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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Good News Weekly for Rising India grand reshuffle

meet modi’s new cabinet The PM has made the changes based on performance and so we have India’s first lady Defence Minister



Save Ozone Layer

The threat from ozone depletion is huge and is growing with the loss of every millimeter of it

Vol-1 | Issue - 39 | September 11 - 17, 2017 | Price ` 5/-



aamir khan

The magnanimous actor and filmmaker has donated Rs 25 lakh for Bihar flood victims

Modi Cabinet gets a facelift In a major rejig barely 18 months before the 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi infuses fresh life into his cabinet by inducting bureaucrats and diplomats, besides others

02 Modi Cabinet Reshuffle

September 11 - 17, 2017

Four Ministers Rewarded For Good Performance

Nirmala Sitharaman Union Minister for Defence First Line of Defence


irmala Sitharaman, who was allotted the crucial Defence portfolio in a major rejig of the Modi government on August 3, is the first woman defence minister, full time, of the Independent India. Earlier, it was then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who held the additional charge of Defence portfolio twice - from December 1 to December 21 in 1975, and January 14, 1980, to January 15, 1982. Born on August 18, 1959, in Madurai, Sitharaman hails from a middleclass family. Her father, Narayanan Sitharaman worked in the Railways while her mother, Savitri, was a homemaker and a great lover of books. She spent her childhood in different parts of Tamil Nadu as her father’s job led to many transfers. In 2003, Sitharaman was made a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. She remained an NCW member till 2005. A year later, in 2006, Nirmala joined the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). In 2010, Nirmala was made a BJP spokesperson. On May 26, 2014, with BJP assuming charge at the Centre, Nirmala was made a Minister of State, Commerce and Industry, with independent charge. She also handled the ministry of finance and

corporate affairs prior to the cabinet reshuffle. In Nirmala’s words, she led a ‘secure’ childhood. Although she was born in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, Sitharaman spent most of her younger days in different parts of the state due to her father’s transferable job. After completing Class 5, Nirmala and her sister were packed off to their periamma’s (Mom’s elder sister) place in Chennai. Three years were spent in ‘Madras’ before she moved to Trichy in Tamil Nadu, where she completed the rest of her schooling and secured a Bachelors degree in Economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College. Consequently, being open to change and travel came naturally to the young Nirmala. In 1980, the intelligent and determined Sitharaman joined Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU). She pursued her PhD dissertation on Indo-European textile trade. Apparently, globalisation and its affect on developing economies was one of her favourite subjects. While at JNU she met her husband Parakala Prabhakar. He hails from Andhra Pradesh, and after they were married, the couple moved to London. Better opportunities came calling and she joined Price Waterhouse as an Analyst to study how East European economies adapted to western audit and marketing systems. She found the job interesting. In no time, Nirmala climbed up the corporate ladder and then India beckoned, because they planned to have a baby in their own country.

Piyush Goyal Union Minister for Railways and Coal Powerhouse of Energy


f India became a power surplus country in last three years of NDA government at the Centre and there is no shortage of electricity or coal, it is because of untiring efforts of Piyush Goyal who has been promoted from the post of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Energy and Coal to Cabinet Rank for Railways and Coal. The highest ever 60GW addition in conventional power, about 40% increase in transformation capacity, and over onefourth increase in transmission lines since April 2014-March 2017, have made India a power surplus country, with no shortage of electricity or coal. Not only this India also became a net exporter of electricity for the first time in 2016-17. These feats have been achieved because of several new initiatives taken by Goyal like all states signed the “Power for All” agreements, highlighting Centre’s “commitment” to the principle of Cooperative Federalism. Through another programme -“One Nation, One Grid, One Price’ - surplus electricity was made available to States at affordable rates. SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala Transparently in India) became a “transformational policy” for

auction and allotment of coal linkages. This will lead to affordable power, access to coal and accountability in the allocation of coal. In the last three years, UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme helped save around Rs 12,000 crores for DISCOMs due to the issuance of UDAY Bonds worth Rs 2.32 lakh crore. These savings will help in providing affordable power to consumers. Similarly, under DDUGJY – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana - the government has set the target of electrifying every household by 2022. Under UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Electricity for All) scheme, India received world recognition for its energy efficiency initiatives as over 23 crore LED bulbs were distributed under UJALA across the country in three years. This helped in saving Rs 12,400 crore in electricity bills and reduced CO2 emissions by over 2.5 crore tonnes annually. Goyal has been handed over the Railways at a time when the Minister has been undergoing a major upheaving because of a spate of accidents during past few months. His predecessor Suresh Prabhu, no doubt a highly efficient minister, managed to enhance passengers’ comfort but because of the high railway traffic and low budget, could not improve railway safety and infrastructure. Goyal has an onerous task of demonstrating marked improvement in the beleaguered ministry within next 18 months when the country goes to polls once again.

September 11 - 17, 2017

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Union Minister for Minority Affairs The Diligent Worker


ukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been with BJP even before it was formed in 1980. He was a student leader during an Emergency and like many student leaders raising their voices in protest, was incarcerated in Naini Central Jail. He got associated with Janata Party after the emergency was lifted. Naqvi unsuccessfully contested elections for the legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh in 1980 as a candidate of Janata Party (Secular). He also contested elections as an independent candidate in 1980 Lok Sabha elections from Ayodhya constituency. He later joined BJP and even mobilized support for Ram Janmabhoomi agitation during 1989-90. He was elected to the 1998 Lok Sabha from Lok Sabha and subsequently given the post of Minister of State for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. But, he lost the next Parliamentary election from Rampur in 1999 and kept working for the party organization. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2010 from Uttar Pradesh and again in 2016 from Jharkhand. He became Minister of State for Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs on 26 May 2014 in Narendra Modi ministry. After the resignation of Najma Heptulla on 12 July 2016, he got independent charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Because of his silent and assiduous style of working, he was

promoted to the Cabinet rank with charge of Minority Affairs Ministry. Few people know that he was one the main cogs in the election machinery during 2014 polls which catapulted the BJP to power with full majority on its own. He was handling the election campaign from party headquarter in New Delhi. He kicked off many new schemes for minorities. These include Nai Roshni to provide leadership skills to women from the minority community, Nai Manzil – in which Rs 650 crore have been earmarked for 5 yrs to educate and train 1 lakh minority students, the Educational Empowerment Scheme under which more than Rs 85.40 lakh minority students received scholarships. While the entire state was scoffing at pros and cons of the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq, Naqvi was busy flagging off the first batch of Haj pilgrims in Mumbai. He hoped that this year, the government would be able to send 35,000 more people on Haj. Naqvi also said that the government was planning to reopen the sea route for Haj pilgrims making the travel much cheaper enabling even with economically unsound people to take up the pilgrimage. He is so modest that when asked about the reason for his promotion, Naqvi responded quietly that he simply performed his task in right earnest. Asked what will be his priorities now that he is a full-fledged cabinet rank minister Naqvi replied, “Whatever responsibility has been handed over to me, I will try to carry it out with all my ability and earnestly.” He studied Arts and Mass Communication. Naqvi married Seema (now Naqvi), a Hindu by birth on 8 June 1983 and has a son from the marriage.

Modi Cabinet Reshuffle

Dharmendra Pradhan Union Minister for Petroleum Fuelling Clean Governance


rime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan to cabinet rank giving him the additional charge of the skill development ministry. Pradhan has been awarded for the success that PAHAL and Ujjwala schemes of the Petroleum Ministry have achieved. The two schemes played one of the most important roles in changing the lives of the poor, particularly in the rural areas. The Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) or Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL) scheme has been a runaway success. It found an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest cash transfer programme in the world. The Centre had launched the PAHAL scheme in 54 districts of the country on November 15, 2014 and in remaining districts of the country on January 1, 2015. The LPG consumers who joined the PAHAL scheme got LPG cylinders at market price and received LPG subsidy (as per their entitlement) directly into their bank accounts. It was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest cash transfer program (households) with 12.57 crore households receiving cash transfer as of June 30, 2015. Similarly, Ujjwala scheme gave access to the poor and rural households to a smokeless stove, significantly changing the lives of the people, particularly the


women. Ujjwala seems to have paid dividends to the Centre electorally. BJP registered the historic win in Uttar Pradesh largely due to the Ujjwala scheme. Dharmendra Pradhan, who is tipped to be Odisha BJP’s chief ministerial candidate during the 2019 Assembly elections, is clearly the man behind the success of the two success. The Odisha-born Pradhan now has the twin task of delivering the state for the Bharatiya Janata Party and give a new push to the Skill India mission, an issue close to the heart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pradhan’s promotion as a cabinet minister is largely because of the successful implementation of the scheme to provide free LPG cylinders to BPL families --another pet scheme of PM Modi. Before the rollout of the scheme, more than 10 million families returned subsidy on LPG cylinders, passing on the benefits to deserving families from poorer sections. “I am humbled by the trust & confidence reposed on me by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Party President & senior leadership of the Party,” Pradhan, a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar, tweeted. “This is the beauty & strength of our democracy that an ordinary person like me has been given such huge responsibility.” If Pradhan impressed the PM with his energy in the petroleum ministry, he also won praises from party chief Amit Shah for his active involvement in organisational matters. Pradhan was a key strategist for the BJP in Uttarakhand, a state the party won earlier this year. The 48-year leader is married to Mridula Pradhan and has two children Naimisha and Nishant.

04 Modi Cabinet’s New Faces

September 11 - 17, 2017

modi cabinet new inductees

other New Faces in the Cabinet Four of the nine new inductees in the cabinet are former bureaucrats and diplomats. Others too bring with them certain specialisations, reports SSB Bureau

Ashwini Kumar Choubey Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare The Cleanliness and Hygience Man he newly appointed Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey is famous for coining and popularising the slogan “Ghar-ghar me ho shouchalaya ka nirman, tabhi hoga ladli bitiya ka kanyadaan”. He also helped in constructing 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families in Bihar. This way he took forward the cleanliness mission even before it became a national movement under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guidance. Elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly for five consecutive terms, Choubey held important portfolios such as Urban development, PHED and Health in Bihar during both NDA I (2005-2010) and NDA II (2010-2013). Choubey represents Buxar in the Lok Sabha and was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates, Standing Committee on Energy and Consultative Committee on Health and Family Welfare. He is also a member of Central Silk Board. Choubey, who was born on January 2, 1953, at Dariyapur in


Bhagalpur, is a political and social worker and agriculturist. Starting his early politics as student union leader in Patna University, Choubey went on to become its President in 1978-79. He also took part in JP movement and was taken into custody under MISA during the emergency. Choubey was a full time member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad from 1974 to 1987. A Bachelors in Zoology from Science College, Patna University, Choubey has also authored a book - “Kedarnath Trasadi” based on the 2013 deluge in Uttarakhand. Choubey along with his family had escaped the Kedarnath floods. Choubey’s favourite pastime is practising yoga, listening to classical music and watching Kathak performances. He has been a keen parliamentarian which is evident from parliamentary records too. He has 93 per cent attendance in the Parliament. He has participated in 180 debates and asked 151 questions besides moving two important private member bills including one demanding Cow be declared national animal of India. He had campaigned for speedy development of various pilgrim centres in Bihar. He also demanded the construction of a martyr’s memorial in Lakhimpur. His concern for manual scavengers

came to fore when he requested the government to ensure proper implementation of 2013 Manual Scavenging Act and also of 2014 Supreme Court judgment to prevent loss of lives while cleaning sewers and protect the dignity of Dalits. He has been campaigning hard for the development of his constituency, Buxar in Bihar. He has raised demand for setting up of an International Airport at Buxar, as also a raise in wages being given to Aanganwadi workers’ and Asha workers’. He vociferously put forth a demand for setting up a Rashtriya Sanskritik Ved Shodh aur Adhyayan Kendra (National Research and Study Centre on Vedas and Cultural) at Buxar. He has frequently raised voice demanding proper toilet facilities to women cops. He also wanted that a life-size statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay to be set up in Parliament’s compound. He had called on then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in April this year inviting him to visit Buxar before demitting office. He had also submitted a memorandum demanding that the President should organize celebrations in honour of well known freedom fighter Kunwar Veer Singh, inside President’s House.

Shiv Pratap Shukla Minister of State for Finance

Quintessential Organisation Man ate has strange twists and turns in a person’s life. One year back, Shiv Pratap Shukla was interested in getting elected to the legislative council in UP. However, just before the upcoming by-polls to Legislative Council in which Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with his four other senior ministerial colleagues is seeking election, Shukla has been inducted as Minister of State for Finance in the Modi government. Shukla had been a Minister for Prisons in the Kalyan Singh-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. Shukla, a law graduate from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, had begun his political career as a student leader in the 1970s. Prior to becoming a Rajya Sabha MP last year, Shukla was an MLA for four consecutive terms: 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996. He is popularly known for his work in Rural Development, Education, and Prison reform during his tenure. Shukla was appointed Vice President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Uttar Pradesh in February 2012 under the presidency of Surya Pratap Shahi. He had initiated an Education for all scheme which tied together ten districts for the first time and for his efforts to reform conditions for prisoners and various Rural Development Schemes. SP Shukla’s life as a politician


September 11 - 17, 2017 started in the early 1970s when he was the student leader of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and elected as the Provincial Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1981. Shukla campaigned in the General Elections in 1989 and was elected a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Shukla, who was imprisoned for 19 months under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act during the Emergency, is also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. Shukla rose to prominence only during Laxmikant Bajpai’s regime as state BJP chief. Has had 87 per cent attendance in Rajya Sabha, asked 21 questions (all unstarred) and participated in six debates – including the one on Aadhar. He is known to be a low-profile leader. Born in Khajni village in Gorakhpur district on April 1, 1952, Shiv Pratap took a law degree from Gorakhpur University. His family consists of wife and three daughters. He joined Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad in 1970 and was imprisoned several times during the course of the students’ agitation that was sweeping the country at that time.

Alphons Kannanthanam Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism; Minister of State (Indepenent Charge) for Electronics and Information Technology

The Demolition Man n 1979, having given his Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams, a 26-year-old man from Kerala couldn’t be bothered to look for his name in the list of successful candidates in the newspapers. Instead, he tucked the paper under his pillow and went back to sleep. “I call it confidence, some would say arrogance; to each his own. I was confident that my name would be there, somewhere in the first paragraph of the results, which usually has the toppers,” he later wrote in his best selling autobiography in Malayalam ‘India Mattathinte Muzhakkam’. His second book, Making a Difference too is a bestseller. On August 3, Alphons Kannanthanam — he stood eighth in the UPSC exam — was inducted into the cabinet as its first Malayali minister. The former bureaucrat has been made MoS (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism and MoS in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Kannanthanam earned a reputation for being an earnest civil servant after making Kottayam the first fully literate town in the country as part of the literacy campaign launched by the communist government in 1989. He later hogged headlines as an unrelenting officer in Delhi, going after illegal constructions, that earned him the moniker ‘demolition man’. He also figured in Time magazine’s 1994 list of “100 young global leaders” -- Mukesh Ambani who was the only other Indian on it. Kannanthanam quit the civil service in 2006 and joined politics, served as an independent Kottayam legislator backed by the communists. In a massive change, he moved to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during 2014 Lok Sabha polls and was made a member of its national executive council soon after joining. However, he was never appointed to a top post. The BJP has been long been desperate to make a dent in Kerala’s traditional two-party politics dominated by the Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist). Last year it won its first assembly seat. BJP president Amit Shah gave a clear message to the state unit in June that it is simply impossible to win more seats in Kerala without the support of at least

Modi Cabinet’s New Faces



one of the minorities—Christians and Muslims —who together make up half of the state’s population. “No doubt at all, the Christian community will be willing to respond (to Kannanthanam’s elevation). That kind of statement is already coming from senior Bishops,” said BRP Bhaskar, a political commentator and veteran journalist. Although a relative outsider, Kannanthanam is a practising Syrian Catholic, a good orator, has a track record of bureaucratic efficiency, a political mind, and now has the blessings of Shah and Modi. “He always had a political mind. When he was a bureaucrat he launched a non profit ( Janshakti). He had a knack to negotiate his candidacy with the communists. His personal ambition was to grow nationally so he joined the BJP, although he has been very critical of BJP’s Hindutva politics in the past,” said Bhaskar. Mediapersons could not immediately get a comment from Kannanthanam for this story. But when asked if would be the face of BJP in Kerala in an interview with India Today after the swearing in on Sunday, he said, “Kerala has to be part of the PM’s agenda, otherwise Kerala is going to miss out.” Tipped to be the administrator of Chandigarh last year, the former MLA from Kanjirappally seat was earlier backed by CPI(M). Kannanthanam shot into the limelight during his stint as commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority in the 1990s for his encroachment-clearing drive, and earned the sobriquet Delhi’s ‘demolition man’. He also featured in Time magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders. Born in a non-electrified village of Kottayam district of Kerala, Alphons made a name for himself as an IAS officer by first making Kottayam the first 100% literate town in 1989 when he was serving as the district collector there. He also earned the moniker Delhi’s Demolition Man after demolished 15,000 illegal buildings on government land while he was the Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority.

Satya Pal Singh Minister of State for Human Resource Development; Minister of State for Water Resources,River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation The Super Cop former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Satyapal Singh was the 1980 batch Maharashtra cadre IPS officer who is credited with breaking the backbone of organised crime syndicates in Mumbai in the 1990s. Singh was a highly-regarded Maharashtra cadre IPS officer of the 1980 batch, and has held several important posts in the state police department, including as Additional Director General of Police. Singh was Pune Police Commissioner in 2010 when the German Bakery blast took place, rattling a city which once used to be a sleepy retirement town. It was during this stint that Singh refused clearance to renew the passport of Maharashtra home minister Ramesh Bagwe, who had criminal cases pending against him. He was shunted to the establishment wing of Maharashtra Police for refusing to buckle under political pressure. In 2012, Singh was appointed the Police Commissioner of Mumbai after Arup Patnaik was shunted out for his failure in handling the rioting at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan that August. Upright, honest to a fault and not one to mince his words, Singh has been an exemplary police officer for the entire length of his career; so it was a surprise when he decided to put in his papers while still serving as Mumbai police commissioner in 2014. After his resignation was accepted, he joined the BJP. He represents Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in Lok Sabha. Singh has been appointed as Minister of State


06 Modi Cabinet’s New Faces H in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. A scholar of Vedic studies and Sanskrit, Satya Pal Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, UP. He was born in Basauli village of Baghpat and has an illustrious career in academia. Singh has an MSc and MPhil in Chemistry, MBA in Strategic Management from Australia, MA in Public Administration as well as a PhD in Naxalism. An IPS officer of the 1980 batch of the Maharashtra cadre, Singh has been recognised with medals like the Antrik Suraksha Sewa Padak and a Special Service Medal for extraordinary work in the Naxalite areas of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in 1990 by the government. Singh is known for breaking the backbone of organised crime syndicates in Mumbai in the 1990s as the financial capital’s commissioner of police. He also served as the commissioner of Pune and Nagpur police. He has also written best-selling books, including on topics like tribal conflict resolution and Naxalism.

Hardeep Singh Puri Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Development

September 11 - 17, 2017

A Career Diplomat ardeep Singh Puri was a 1974-batch Indian Foreign Service officer. 65-years old Puri is considered to have been close to LK Advani during NDA-I. Puri is considered as one of the top diplomats of India and has served as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 and was the vice president of the International Peace Institute, New York. Currently, he holds the post of president and chairman of think-tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). He is also the head of Indian delegation to the UNSC, and served as the chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN and president of the UNSC. Born in Delhi, India 15 February 1952, educated from University of Delhi, BA (Hons) History in 1971, MA(History) in 1973. He was elected Prime Minister, of Students Parliament of Hindu College and was a keen debater. A decorated former IFS officer of the 1974 batch, Hardeep Puri, has a four decade long distinguished career in diplomacy, foreign policy and national security. Puri served as Secretary (Economic Relations), Joint Secretary (Europe West) and Joint Secretary (Americas) in the External Affairs Ministry. He has wide experience in international trade law and dispute resolution. He served critical roles as India’s ambassador to Brazil and the United Kingdom, and Permanent Representative of India in both Geneva (2002-05) and New York (2009-13).

An alumnus of Hindu College, Delhi University, Singh briefly took teaching as a lecturer at St. Stephen’s college, Delhi, before joining IFS. During the JP movement, he actively participated as a student leader. Extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, served on three occasions as a member of India’s Delegation to the GATT/United Nations in Geneva including as Ambassador and Permanent Representative from 2002 to 2005. Long association with and specialization in trade-related matters and served on several Dispute Settlement Panels of the GATT and WTO. Puri retired from the IFS in February 2013 and joined the International Peace Institute (IPI), New York, a non-profit think tank. He also was Vice President of the International Peace Institute, New York. In 1987, as a first secretary in the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Puri went to Jaffna and met LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran and persuaded him to come to New Delhi to understand a peace pact India and Sri Lanka were set to sign to end the ethnic strife. Puri, 65, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He was Ambassador to Brazil and Permanent Representative of India to the UN. He is one of the few Indians to have presided over the UN Security Council. He has authored a book, Perilous Interventions: The Security Council & The Politics of Chaos, and has been a commentator on contemporary global issues and developments including strategic, peace and security, economic and trade. The Delhi-born diplomat was a student leader during his days at the Hindu College and was active during the JP movement. Puri, as the head of the Indian delegation to the UN Security Council has served as the Chairman of the Counter Terrorism Committee of the UN. He was also appointed the President of the UNSC in August 2011.

Raj Kumar Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power; Minister of State (Independent Charge) for New & Renewable Energy

Internal Security Expert eldom in his life has Raj Kumar Singh been a backbencher - be it while studying English at St Stephen’s College in the early 1970s or during his 38-year stint in various capacities as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in Bihar and New Delhi. But Singh, who retired as the Union home secretary in 2013 and months later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has remained consigned to the back benches of the Lok Sabha in his first year as a Member of Parliament (MP). An MP from Arrah, he has a whopping 99 per cent attendance in the Lok Sabha in the past year but has participated in only four debates against the House average of nearly 18 per MP. According to data culled by PRS Legislative Research, Singh has asked 13 questions in the Lok Sabha in its proceedings up to the last Budget session, while the average is 69. His contribution to parliamentary proceedings, or the lack of it, is in some contrast to his illustrious career. Singh has been known to be a man of personal integrity and sought after by politicians of all hues for administrative skills. In 1984, he was the Patna district magistrate who put a stop to anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, within 48 hours in that city. Six years hence, Singh was the man whom then Chief Minister of Bihar


September 11 - 17, 2017 Lalu Prasad Yadav entrusted with arresting BJP leader L K Advani, then on his Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra, in Samastipur. Singh carried out the orders on October 30, 1990. A few days later, and as direct result of the arrest, the VP Singh-led National Front government fell. But 62-year-old Singh’s transition from an effective administrator to a politician is proving tougher than expected. The IAS officer of the 1975 batch has, rather wisely, also been quiet in his public statements ever since joining politics. In the past, Singh is known to have had good relations with political leaders he might have acted against, including Advani. While he did arrest Advani in 1990, Singh served as a joint secretary in the home ministry from 2000 to 2005 with Advani as the minister. He is also known to have a knack for picking the right side, including in 2013 when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted him to join the state government as advisor (infrastructure) after he retired from the IAS. As the principal secretary, road construction, in Bihar from 2006 to 2009, Singh had vastly improved the state’s road network. There was even talk of him getting a Janata Dal (United) ticket to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But Singh joined the BJP, got a Lok Sabha ticket and won from Arrah by over 135,000 votes. This trait of choosing the right side was evident when Singh was selected for the Indian Police Service in 1974 but attempted the civil services again, to be selected for the IAS’ 1975 batch. Singh, it would seem with his comments on Tuesday, has yet again picked the right side.

Virendra Kumar Minister of State for Women and Child Development; MOS, Minority Affairs

The Cow Protector ssociated with the RSS from childhood, Virendra Kumar is a six-time Lok Sabha member from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh and the BJP’s Dalit face. The 63-yearold is passionate about the cause of cow protection and is closely associated with the successful management and functioning of the Gau Seva Sangh Sanstha in Sagar town of Madhya Pradesh. Kumar is known for his simplicity and is often seen taking a lift from anyone in the town to reach his destination. “Even when he comes from Delhi, he just gets down at the station like any common man and take an auto-rickshaw to reach his home,” his close associate said. He still roams around in his constituency on a scooter and stays away from all kinds of security paraphernalia usually associated with the post. Born on February 27, 1954, Kumar became MP for the first time in 1996 in the 11th Lok Sabha from Sagar. Since then he has never looked back and won from Sagar till 2004. After delimitation he won the lower house elections from Tikamgarh seat in 2009 and 2014. Among the six elections that he had won, three were held in a gap of just three years --1996, 1998 and 1999. An M.A in Economics and Ph.D in Child Labour from the prestigious Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar, Kumar started his career as an RSS worker. Kumar belongs to the cadre of leaders who participated in the JP Movement of 1975. He was sentenced for 16 months under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in Sagar and Jabalpur jails. An SC leader, he claims to have engaged youth in fighting caste and class barriers, apart from working towards building orphanages and schools for the differently-abled and old-age homes. Formerly the convenor of the ABVP, District Sagar in 1977-79, he was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development as well as MoS of Minority Affairs. Kumar joined politics in 1982 and since then he was closely associated with national, state, local movements and programme initiated by the BJP. Before becoming an MP, Kumar held various positions in ABVP and Bajrang Dal Apart from these areas he has been involved in building orphanages, schools for the differently abled and old age homes. Currently, Virendra Kumar is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour and has been the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Office of Profit and a Member of National Social Security Board.

Modi Cabinet’s New Faces



Anant Kumar Hegde Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Hindutva Posterboy n agriculturist by profession, Anant Kumar Hegde is a fivetime BJP Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. At the young age of 28, he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time — he defeated sitting Congress MP Margaret Alva — and has never lost an election since. He was appointed Minister of State for Skill Development. He has served as a member of the parliamentary standing committees on finance, home affairs, human resource development, commerce, agriculture and external affairs. He has also been a member of the Spices Board of India for four terms. Hegde, who was an RSS member from his young days and later an ABVP activist, rose through the ranks in the aftermath of Babri Masjid demolition. The young Hindutva face is expected to play a vital role when the Karnataka state Assembly goes to the polls next year. Practitioner of Tae-kwon-do, a Korean martial art, Anant Kumar Hegde was elected as an MP at a young age of 28 years and since then he is now a fifth term Lok Sabha MP. He has been a member of multiple Parliamentary Standing Committees including the likes of Finance, Home Affairs, Human Resource Development, Commerce, Agriculture and External Affairs during his multiple stints in the Parliament. Hegde has been working in the area of rural development for a long while. He is the founder president of an NGO


named Kadamba that works for rural health, self help groups, rural marketing and other rural welfare programmes. Hegde has been a member of the Spices Board of India for four terms between 1996 and 2009. In 1994, he caught the attention of RSS by dodging prohibitory orders in Hubli, north Karnataka and raised the Tricolour flag at disputed Idgah Maidan on Independence Day. Despite being a young MP he participated in only one debate during past three years but posed 245 questions pertaining to various ministries during this period. His attendance in Parliament was nearly hundred per cent. But he did not move even a single private member’s bill in the House. Currently the Karnataka BJP Vice President, he is also the founder president of Kadamba, a national-level NGO working in the field of rural development, rural health, formation of self help groups, rural marketing among others. Born to Dattatreya Hegde and Lalita Hegde in Sirsi of Uttara Kannada district on 20th May, 1968, he had a firm basic foundation of rich heritage and tradition, quiet at a young age. His parents instilled in him initial insight of his existence amongst them, while imparting their proud ancestral inheritance. The importance of coliving in harmony with environment and cultivating the natural love towards Sanskrit & Kannada lingual were some of the salient features which defined Anant’s personality. His wife, Shrirupa Hegde, has been too intense in supporting his societal endeavours and has been caring mother to his daughter Vrushali Hegde and son Ashutosh Hegde. Anant feels that his children have been the biggest source of his aspiration, as he visualises the future society through them.

08 Modi Cabinet’s New Faces

September 11 - 17, 2017

all the pm’s men

...and a few brilliant women as well who will run the country till the general elections in 2019

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare

The Progressive Farmer ajendra Shekhawat is a BJP leader from Jodhpur, which is former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s home turf. He has been sworn in as the Minister of State for Agriculture. His promotion is part of the BJP’s plans for the upcoming elections in Rajasthan, which has been underrepresented in the Union Cabinet. Shekhawat has made his way by climbing ranks in the party since he began his political career in 1992 when he was elected Jodhpur’s Jai Narain Vyas University students’ union president as an ABVP candidate. He recently drew Modi’s attention during a BJP parliamentary party meeting where he gave a power-point presentation on the implementation of government schemes. Shekhawat is also the general secretary of RSS-promoted Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti, whose objective is to create a “civil line of secondary defence along the international border, covering four major districts of Rajasthan and about 17 tehsils”. Gajju, as he is popularly known, is a recognised face on social media, where he engages with people on the Q & A community — Quora with more than 55000


followers. He regularly answers a range of questions, embedding in the answers the Modi government’s flagship initiatives and the Prime Minister’s image of a simple, hardworking man. Shekhawat is a basketball player and has played the sport at the national and interuniversity level. Shekhawat is also the general secretary of RSS-promoted Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti, whose objective is to create a “civil line of secondary defence along the international border, covering four major districts of Rajasthan and about 17 tehsils”. He is currently a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. He is also popular among the youth owing to his likes for technology and gadgets. The National General Secretary of BJP’s farmer’s wing BJP Kisan Morcha, Shekhawat is popular with the rural community. Shekhawat completed his higher education from Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur, obtaining a MPhil and MA in philosophy. During his days in JNVU, he was involved in student politics under the banner of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Currently, a member of All India Council of Sports, his involvement in sports is also known to many. He has participated in the National and All India Inter University level in Basketball and right now is the President of Basketball India Players Association.

Narendra Modi Prime Minister


Rajnath Singh

Sushma Swaraj

Minister of Home Affairs

Minister of External Affairs

Arun Jaitley Minister of Finance; MO Corporate Affairs

Nitin Jairam Gadkari

Minister for Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Shipping & Water Resources, River Dev and Ganga Rejuvenation

September 11 - 17, 2017

Suresh Prabhu

DV Sadananda Gowda Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution


Ravi Shankar Prasad

Jagat Prakash Nadda

Ashok Gajapathi Raju

Narendra Singh Tomar

Chaudhary Birender Singh

Minister of Tribal Affairs

Harsh Vardhan

Prakash Javadekar

Minister of Commerce and Industry

Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers; Minister of Parliamentary Affairs

Harsimrat Kaur Badal Minister of Food Processing Industries

Thaawar Chand Gehlot Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

Minister of Law and Justice; Minister of Electronics and IT

Minister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj; Minister of Mines

Smriti Zubin Irani

Minister of Textiles; Minister of Information and Broadcasting

Piyush Goyal

Minister of Railways; Minister of Coal

Uma Bharati

Cabinet Ministers

Minister of Health and Family Welfare

Ramvilas Paswan

Minister of Civil Aviation

Jual Oram

Minister of Steel

Minister of Science and Technology; Earth Sciences; Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Nirmala Sitharaman Minister of Defence

Minister of Human Resource Development

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Minister of Minority Affairs


Maneka Gandhi

Minister of Women and Child Development

Anant Geete

Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Radha Mohan Singh

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Dharmendra Pradhan

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

10 Ministers of State (IC)

September 11 - 17, 2017


Rao Inderjit Singh

MoS (IC) of the Ministry of Planning; MoS Chemicals and Fertilisers

Santosh Kumar Gangwar

MoS(IC) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment

Shripad Yesso Naik

MoS (IC) Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

Mahesh Sharma

MoS (IC) of the Ministry of Culture; MoS Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Giriraj Singh

MoS (IC) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Manoj Sinha

MoS (IC)of the Ministry of Communications; MoS Railways

Jitendra Singh

Minister of State (IC) for Development of North Eastern Region; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office; Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; Minister of State in the Department of Space

Rajyavardhan Rathore

MoS (IC) Youth Affairs and Sports; Information and Broadcasting

Raj Kumar Singh MoS(IC)Power; New and Renewable Energy

Hardeep Singh Puri

MoS(IC)Housing & Urban Affairs

Alphons Kannanthanam MoS (IC) Tourism; Electronics & IT


Vijay Goel

Radhakrishnan P MoS Finance; Shipping

MoS Drinking Water and Sanitation

Vishnu Deo Sai

Ram Kripal Yadav

Hansraj Gangaram Ahir

MoS Parliamentary Affairs Statistics and Programme Implementation

MoS Steel

VK Singh

MoS External Affairs

MoS Rural Development

Parshottam Rupala

MoS Agri, Farmers Welfare; Panchayati Raj

SS Ahluwalia

Ramesh Jigajinagi

Ramdas Athawale

MoS Drinking Water and Sanitation

MoS Social Justice and Empowerment

MoS Home Affairs

MoS Mines; MoS Ministry of Coal

Haribhai Chaudhary

Rajen Gohain

Krishan Pal

Jaswantsinh Bhabhor

Shiv Pratap Shukla

MoS Social Justice and Empowerment

MoS Tribal Affairs

MoS Railways

MoS Finance

September 11 - 17, 2017

Ashwini Kumar Choubey MoS Health and Family Welfare

Anant Kumar Hegde MoS Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Babul Supriyo

MoS Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Mansukh L Mandaviya

MoS Road Transport and Highways; Shipping; MoS Chemicals and Fertilizers

Sudarshan Bhagat MoS Tribal Affairs

MJ Akbar

MoS External Affairs

Vijay Sampla

MoS Justice and Empowerment

Anupriya Patel

MoS Health and Family Welfare

Upendra Kushwaha

Kiren Rijiju

MoS Human Resource Development

Niranjan Jyoti

Ministers of State

MoS Home Affairs

YS Chowdary

MoS Food Processing Industries

MoS Science and Technology; MoS Earth Sciences

Arjun Ram Meghwal

Ajay Tamta

MoS Parliamentary Affairs; Water Resources, River Dev & Ganga Rejuvenation

CR Chaudhary

MoS Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Commerce and Industry

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat MoS in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

MoS Textiles

PP Chaudhary

MoS Law and Justice; Corporate Affairs

Satya Pal Singh

MoS Human Resource,Water Resources, River & Ganga Rejuvenation


Virendra Kumar

MoS WCD; MoS Minority Affairs

Jayant Sinha MoS Civil Aviation

Krishna Raj

MoS Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Subhash Ramrao Bhamre MoS Defence

12 Good News

September 11 - 17, 2017


pollution funds

Germany Doubles Funds To Fight Pollution

Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement to double the funding

The funding to help federal states and towns battle pollution by vehicles would be doubled to reach 1 billion euros

The money could be used to implement ecological mobility



erman Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that funding to help federal states and towns battle pollution by vehicles would be doubled to reach 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion). Speaking alongside Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Merkel on Monday said the government would be holding talks with the automotive industry to see to what measures they could contribute as well and, without citing figures, spoke of a substantial contribution by the sector, Efe news reported. With three weeks to go until the next elections, the Chancellor made the decision after a meeting with 30 mayors and state leaders to begin tackling the consequences of the diesel motor emissions scandal. Merkel said all towns with emissions

levels higher than the established limits would be able to apply for money from the fund, as well as the 28 German cities that Brussels began legal proceedings against for their elevated pollution. The money could be used, for

Quick Glance Towns with high emissions levels would get funded

example, to implement ecological mobility concepts, reinforce public transportation, promote electric cars and extend the charging network for electric vehicles. The fund’s aim, said Gabriel, is to settle on what has to happen over the next few years to avoid having to ban diesel motors in Germany. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and Gabriel’s Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who together form the ruling coalition, are both against such a measure, which is to be implemented in France and Britain starting from 2040. The opposition and many activists have criticized that the German government has not pressured the automotive industry and forced it to perform free modifications to motors that would drastically reduce emissions.

digital distribution IPL

Star beats facebook in bidding

Social networking giant, Facebook placed a $600 million bid but Star India had bagged it for four times the price IANS


n a ‘bold’ move to stream the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, Facebook placed a $600 million bid to secure five years’ digital distribution rights for the IPL. However, Star India bagged the media rights for both TV and digital broadcast worth Rs 16,347.50 crore with a single consolidated bid worldwide during the auctions last Monday. According to a ReCode report on Tuesday, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg was willing to put up that kind of money “is a big, bold declaration that the company will write real cheques in order to get its hands on must-see sports content”. Facebook has been looking into more original content for its live video offering, including live sports. In February, Facebook was reported to have live streamed all 46 football matches of the top level Mexican

football league Liga MX 2017 season. The matches also included the playoffs. Micro-blogging website Twitter is already live streaming a range of sports on its platform. In July 2016, Twitter started streaming from Wimbledon, one of the most-watched tennis tournaments

of the year. Twitter also paid the National Football League (NFL) $10 million for the rights to stream some of the league’s Thursday Night Football games. In November 2016, Twitter launched Android TV app allowing users to stream NFL and other live videos available on its platform.

Investments In Railways For Development Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the recent large investments in the railways would definitely lead to development IANS


iyush Goyal, who recently took office as Railway Minister, said that huge investments made in the railways in last three years will definitely lead to the development. “Huge investments in railways have been made in past three years, which will definitely lead to its development,” he said after taking charge in the Rail Bhavan. He also said that Indian Railways will continue on the roadmap of development. Appreciating the efforts put in by his predecessor Suresh Prabhu, Goyal said: “Now people talk about ministers working 24x7. But I have seen Prabhu working like that 15 years ago.” He also described Prabhu as his elder brother and said that it is an emotional moment for him as “Prabhu is my mentor”. “He has been mentoring me for over 20 years. He (Prabhu) has worked with my father in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government,” he said. Goyal’s father had been Power Minister then. He also said that he has got time to work under Prabhu. Meanwhile, Prabhu, who was also present to hand over the charge of office to Goyal described him as his younger brother. “Goyalji is like my younger brother and now he will take over as new Railway Minister. I am confident that he would contribute to the development of the nation,” he said. Goyal was on Sunday given charge of the Railway Ministry, replacing Prabhu, who shifts to Commerce and Industry that was with Nirmala Sitharaman, who has now become India’s first, fullfledged Defence Minister. Prabhu had offered to quit after a major rail accident in Uttar Pradesh claimed 23 lives last month.

Good News

September 11 - 17, 2017



BRICS black money

Pledge To Fight Tax Evasion A pledge to create a fair and modern global tax system was initiated by the BRICS countries

Skilling Will Speed Up: Pradhan The newly appointed Union Skill Development Minister expressed his intentions to expedite the skilling mission whose foundation has already been laid IANS




he BRICS Summit of five emerging economies on Monday pledged itself to creating a fair and modern global tax system that will address issues like tax evasion by shifting of profits to safe havens and to promote exchange of tax information that will seek to curb the practice. At its 9th Summit here attended by leaders of the BRICS nations, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the five-nation grouping also decided to support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group. This will also extend to matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption. The declaration was adopted at the end of the Summit during the plenary of which Modi said India has stepped up the fight against black money and corruption. “India has found that technology and digital resources are powerful tools in fighting poverty and corruption. Moving forward, using the springboard of our national experiences, BRICS countries can deepen partnership for win-win results,” he said.

Quick Glance Tax evasion would be tackled by shifting of profits to safe havens It would promote exchange of tax info that will seek to curb evasion All BRICS nations agree to support cooperation against corruption

The 25-page BRICS Leaders Xiamen Declaration said: “We reaffirm our commitment to achieving a fair and modern global tax system and promoting a more equitable, progrowth and efficient international tax environment, including to deepening cooperation on addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), promoting exchange of tax information and improving capacitybuilding in developing countries. “We will strengthen BRICS tax cooperation to increase BRICS contribution to setting international tax rules and provide, according to each country’s priorities, effective and sustainable technical assistance to other developing countries.” Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations. The leaders said that they were

keenly aware of the negative impact of corruption on sustainable development and declared their support to efforts to enhance BRICS and anti-corruption cooperation. “Keenly aware of the negative impact of corruption on sustainable development, we support the efforts to enhance BRICS anti-corruption cooperation. We reaffirm our commitment to intensifying dialogue and experience-sharing and support compiling a compendium on fighting corruption in BRICS countries,” it said. The declaration said the leaders acknowledge that illegal flow of the proceeds of corruption impairs economic development and financial stability and support enhanced cooperation in asset recovery. “We acknowledge that corruption including illicit money and financial flows and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruption on the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments,” the declaration said.

ewly-appointed Union Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that he would work to expedite the skilling mission whose foundation has already been laid. Meeting reporters after taking charge of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Pradhan said: “In the last three years we have been able to lay down the foundation for skill development in the country. We will now work towards bringing scale and speed to this programme by bringing in convergence and coordination with states, departments, private institutions and other existing skill programmes.” Pradhan was earlier holding the charge of Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry as Minister of State (Independent Charge) and was elevated to Cabinet rank with

the same responsibility in a reshuffle on Sunday and also given this additional charge. Pradhan said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision of creating a new environment of dignified job opportunities for the youth and he would try to deliver on his expectations. “It is a great responsibility... we will explore all possible grid system, information systems, technology advent that the country is witnessing, conventional jobs and new age skills to enable a more efficient outcome of our programmes and schemes in skills,” he said.

14 Sanitaion

September 11 - 17, 2017

Clean DU

Students Groups To Clean DU Campus In 36 Hours

People’s participation

The district collector laid emphasis that responsibility for making toilets lie more with the people

A stern warning was issued to students indulging in littering and vandalising the premises and were asked to clean up

MEDALS FOUND AT PUBLIC TOILET BLOCK IN BORONIA A set of tenmedals from the First World period have been found in a carpark toilet in Floriston




he Delhi University (DU) election office recently issued a stern warning to the student groups indulging in littering and vandalising of the premises, asking them to clean the campus in 36 hours or face action. “The DUSU election committee directs the stakeholders to immediately stop all these activities and remove the posters or banners and clean the defaced walls within 36 hours of this notification, failing which action will be taken as per the extant rules, including non-acceptance of candidature, cancellation of nominations or even countermanding of elections,” said a letter issued by Chief Election Officer (CEO) S.B. Babbar. He acknowledged the state of the campus roads which are buried under campaign paraphernalia and defaced properties and called it a “gross violations of the code of conduct for DUSU elections, Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and National Green Tribunal order”. The CEO said he and the Proctor have received many complaints about the defacement of the various college properties and movement of cavalcade of vehicles for campaigning purposes. The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election for four central panel posts of President, Vice President, Joint Secretary and Secretary are scheduled to be held on September 12. Although the groups will not announce their nominations before September 6, the entire campus, including the adjoining areas, is smeared with graffiti and posters bearing several possible candidates’ names.

Outer East

toilet construction



istrict Collector Rajiv Gandhi Hanumanthu said the responsibility of building toilets lies more on people. He participated in an awareness programme on progress of construction works of toilets, organised jointly by the District Panchayat, Revenue and Village Development departments at Kothagudem Club last week. Speaking on the occasion, the Collector said the mindset of people should change. “They shouldn’t act negligently towards their health.”

Officials should encourage people in constructing toilets. Sand will be supplied free of cost for the construction, he said. The Collector further added that the Centre has sanctioned funds worth Rs 130 crore under Swachh Bharat Scheme towards the construction of toilets in 205 village panchayats. Of the 130 crores, Rs 120 crores has been sanctioned towards payment of bills for toilets constructed earlier. Disbursement would begin as and when the relevant reports were received. Officials concerned were striving their best to achieve 100 per cent target by October 2018.

ENTURY-OLD war medals retrieved from a public toilet in Boronia are now waiting to be returned to their owners. The 10 medals, that appear to be from World War I, were found at a carpark toilet block in Floriston Rd recently and handed over to Boronia police. Police said the medals were left in the loos alongside paperwork. Ten war medals have been found in a Melbourne public toilet, with police searching for their rightful owner. A good Samaritan found the medals and associated paperwork in carpark toilets at Boronia on Sunday and handed them to police. The medals appear to be from World War I and are engraved with the names T.W. Newton, B.M. Spooner and R Hilton.

MISSION Swachh Bharat

Big B Poses For Swachh Bharat

The actor is working on videos for Swachh Bharat with PM and Consul General of India in Brazil IANS


egastar Amitabh Bachchan has said that he is working on videos for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Consul General of India in Brazil, for an ongoing festival. Amitabh wrote on his blog: “Drafting and working on video bytes for Swachh Bharat and the Consul General of India in Brazil, for an ongoing Festival of India, cementing further the bonds of friendship that have existed for the past 70 years.” The 74-year-old “Piku” star added: “And

inviting articles to be written on the Swachch Bharat campaign or a short two-three minutes film of the issues of cleanliness in the country... Prizes and gifts forthcoming.” Amitabh feels that promoting issues and work of creativity “are blessed by the presence of the IT (Information Technology) world we live in”. “Blessed by the speed of communication... by the rapidity of conveyance... and blessed by the ease with which it can all be accomplished and despatched,” he added. The thespian also

wrote on his Twitter about late veteran actor Om Puri and the film “Partition: 1947”, directed by Gurinder Chadha. “An Om Puri Foundation film... being promoted by his son Ishaan... A ‘buddy’ from long years,” he tweeted. “Partition: 1947”, which released as “Viceroy’s House” outside India earlier this year, tells the story of India’s partition from Pakistan. It also stars Huma Qureshi, Manish Dayal, Denzil Smith, Huge Bonneville and Gillian Anderson. The film is slated for release in India on Friday.

September 11 - 17, 2017

cisf campaign

outfit takes a very novel step on swachhata



feeding on garbage

The CISF is consistently running its campaign on cleanliness, now taking to schools with a dedicated street theatre team

HC Seeks Response On Plea For Impounding Cows The Delhi HC asked the Centre for a response asking for direction to impound cows feeding on garbage IANS IANS


ISF Units located across the Country are actively contributing in Swacch Bharat Mission of the Government of India under the inspirational leadership of Shri O.P. Singh IPS DG/CISF. The units have done remarkable works in this regard in the month of August. The in-house Nukkad Natak team of CISF has been assigned the responsibility of spreading the Swacch Bharat Mission through its special performance sessions in schools across the Delhi-NCR. This extensive awareness campaign has

made the school children, teachers, staff and principals realize the respective roles and contribute for the success of the mission. The children and staff have taken a pledge to keep their, class, school, room, home and surrounding clean thereby contributing in the overall cleanliness of the area. These Nukkad Natak performances are a small step in realising the dream of clean India of our Prime Minister. We in CISF are fully committed to make all out efforts and contribute in the best possible manner to make India clean and green. All the principals, teachers and staff have highly appreciated the skills of CISF team in Nukkad Natak

Quick Glance The organisation has done remarkable works during the month of August The latest street theatre campaign was conducted across NCR schools CISF says that the children have become motivated to follow the path

performances and they also thanked in writing the cleanliness awareness drive, extensively undertaken by CISF through this novel way. The children are now motivated and energized to keep the area clean. This has created a force of 5000 new Swacch volunteers in the society.


he Delhi High Court recently issued notice to the Central government on a plea seeking direction to impound cows that are seen feeding on garbage on roads across the country. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar sought a response from the Central government, civic bodies and the Animal Welfare Board of India by September 18.


MISSION Swachh Bharat

A fun ride on bicycles to sponsor classrooms and toilets in schools

adras Esplanade Round Table 30 and Madras Esplanade Ladies Circle 100 hosted the second season of the charity fundraiser — CYCLOFUN on Sunday at Anna University. The registration fee of `700 collected from this event will go for building class rooms and toilet in government schools. Another goal of the event is to make a fitter, cleaner and better environment by motivating the younger generation to cycle more. With over 450 participants, the first half of the cyclofun began at 5:15 am with a 30 km ride from the university premises. This was only for participants above the age of 18. The lower age limit of the event was eight years. For students who came without cycles, there was a hire-and-use provision available. There was also a session for special children where they were allowed to ride the cycle as long they wanted. Over 30 students from Arvind Foundation participated — they were allowed without any registration fee.

A large number of cows are found eating garbage not only on Delhi roads but across the country, said the plea seeking action against the owners of the cows as per the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by directing the municipal authorities across the country. Seeking direction to the Board to take serious action on the issue and to appoint a high powered commission headed by a former Chief Justice of India and other members to suggest ways for protection of cows, the plea suggest need of sufficient number of veterinary hospitals with qualified doctors for the treatment of cows.


September 11 - 17, 2017

sharad gupta A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications


Save Ozone Layer to Save Ourselves Ozone Layer Conservation Day on September 16, is a warning of an impending disaster

Education System

Rapid Cleansing

Digitally enforced honesty will have to be matched by something more: honesty of parents and students


hen anything new starts, there is resistance to change, just as it was in the case of digitisation. In its very first phase there were massive ban strikes. But today the whole thing about transparency is bearing fruit because of digitization and the deep penetration of information technology. The same needs to be now maximised in the case of education and the examination system. States like Bihar are in a sad state today, with rampant cheating and paper leaks being the order of the day. Only firm penetration of information technology and digitisation can bring in the much needed transparency. This will not just weed out corruption in the system but students will actually see the benefit in the medium run, when they will have to actually read to pass exams and thus become actually fit for the jobs they pine for. However, digitally enforced honesty will have to be matched by something more: honesty of parents and students who often think that cheating in exams will get them jobs. The few cases of so-called toppers from one state have shown that sooner than later they are bound to be caught, bringing shame and derision. It is doubtful if those students will ever be employed by anyone after names have been painted black all over the media. In the end, it might sound very cliched, but honesty definitely is the wisest policy.


Kumar Dilip Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email:,


he Ozone layer is a deep blanket in the stratosphere made up of comparatively high concentration of the ozone. The ozone layer encircles the earth and occurs naturally. It is mainly found in the lower part of the stratosphere, approximately 15 to 30 kilometers above the earth. The ozone layer contains less than 10 parts per million of ozone, while the average ozone concentration in Earth’s atmosphere as a whole is about 0.3 parts per million. The ozone is an extremely reactive layer and it acts as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B rays discharged from the sun. The thickness of the ozone layer differs as per season and geography. The highest concentrations of ozone occur at altitudes from 26 to 28 km (16 to 17 miles) in the tropics and from 12 to 20 km (7 to 12 miles) towards the poles. An essential property of ozone molecule is its ability to block solar radiations of wavelengths less than 290 nanometers from reaching Earth’s surface. In this process, it also absorbs ultraviolet radiations that are dangerous for most living beings. UV radiation could injure or kill life on Earth. Though the absorption of UV radiations warms the stratosphere but it is important for life to flourish on planet Earth. Research scientists have anticipated disruption of susceptible terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems due to depletion of ozone layer. Ultraviolet radiation could destroy the organic matter. Plants and plankton cannot thrive, both acts as food for land and sea

animals, respectively. For humans, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation leads to higher risks of cancer (especially skin cancer) and cataracts. It is calculated that every 1 percent decrease in ozone layer results in a 2-5 percent increase in the occurrence of skin cancer. Other ill-effects of the reduction of protective ozone layer include – increase in the incidence of cataracts, sunburns and suppression of the immune system. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals found mainly in spray aerosols heavily used by industrialized nations for much of the past 50 years, are the primary culprits in ozone layer breakdown. When CFCs reach the upper atmosphere, they are exposed to ultraviolet rays, which causes them to break down into substances that include chlorine. The chlorine reacts with the oxygen atoms in ozone and rips apart the ozone molecule. One atom of chlorine can destroy more than a hundred thousand ozone molecules, according to the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the mid-latitude, for example, over Australia, ozone layer is thinned. This has led to an increase in the UV radiation reaching the earth. It is estimated that about 5-9% thickness of the ozone layer has decreased, increasing the risk of humans to over-exposure to UV radiation owing to outdoor lifestyle. In atmospheric regions over Antarctica, ozone layer is significantly thinned, especially in spring season. This has led to the formation of what is called ‘ozone hole’. Ozone holes refer to the regions of severely reduced ozone layers. Usually ozone holes form over the Poles during the onset of spring seasons. One of the largest such hole appears annually over Antarctica between September and November. In other regions, the ozone layer has deteriorated by about 20 percent. About 90 percent of CFCs currently in the atmosphere were emitted by industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including the United States and Europe. These countries banned CFCs by 1996, and the amount of chlorine in the atmosphere is falling now. But scientists estimate it will

Every one per cent

decrease in ozone layer results in a 2-5 per cent increase in the occurrence of skin cancer

September 11 - 17, 2017

90 per cent of CFCs are

emitted by industrialised countries, including the United States and Europe take another 50 years for chlorine levels to return to their natural levels. Effect on health of humans With depletion in ozone’s layer, we humans are more prone to UV rays that reaches the Earth’s surface. Studies suggests that high levels of UV Rays cause non-melanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. Direct exposure to UV rays can lead to development of cataracts which clouds the eye’s lens. Permanent exposure to UV rays can also lead to weakening of the response of immune system and even permanent damage to immune system in some cases. Aging of skin is yet another problem that will make you look older than what you really are. Extensive exposure to UV rays can lead to acceleration of the aging process of your skin. Effect on plants Plants become another casualty by radiation effects of UV rays. The physiological and developmental processes of plants are also severely affected apart from the growth. Some other changes that are caused by UV inlcude the way plants form, timing of development and growth, how nutrients are distributied within the plant and metabolism, etc. Solutions Depletion to ozone layer depletion does not affect a region or a country. In fact whole world is vulnerable to its after affects. The increase in the levels of UV rays lead to high rate of skin cancer and eye related problems. Lets have a look at some of the solutions to ozone layer depletion. If you are out for shopping, don’t buy aerosol products with chlorofluorocarbons. Do check your fire extinguishers if “halon” or “halogenated hydrocarbon” is the main ingredient. Dispose of old air co2nditioning units, refrigerators that use chlorofluorocarbons to function. This could release the toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Fertilisers and pesticides are extensively used in agriculture and are also a source of nitrous oxide production which is the main culprit in depletion of ozone layer. Encourage local political representatives to raise a campaign to put forth laws governing fertilizer use. Ozone layer depletion is something that could prove hazardous for the entire human community. Speak to your friends, family members, colleagues and encourage them to drive less, eat local, to dispose of fire extinguishers and air conditioning units containing ozone depleting substances.



Delving Into The ‘Mind’

mihir paul

Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States


What happens when you realise that you are not your ‘mind’?


or the sake of simplicity let’s define the mind as a stream of thoughts that changes from moment to moment in perceptible experience in each individual. This stream of thoughts comprises of memories, thoughts themselves and thoughts in the form of future projections. Also, this stream of thoughts also manifests themselves “as being inside our head” as an inner chatter that keeps going on and on in our own voice. Scientists often say that we experience way over 10,000 thoughts a day. So this thought stream could almost be comparable to an unending waterfall that keeps flowing throughout our daily lives that we seem to have no control over. Here’s the kicker though, we believe we are our minds. We have heard that inner voice for so long we start believing that the voice is who we are! That every thought we perceive is our own and that the inner voice is our own voice is what we truly are. Some people go as far as claiming that inner chatter to be the voice of our souls. Early philosophers have even gone on to say “I think therefore

I am”. The human species regards its capacity of thinking the highest level of functioning. We believe that thinking is our greatest asset. Hence our entire civilization is based upon honing and rewarding those skills in all facets of life like the education system, professions, and political systems.

We have lived with this inner voice that opens the flood gates of thoughts that come gushing in and we get conditioned beyond critical judgment and discernment to distinguish our being-ness from our thoughts. We become our thoughts, we become our minds. No one denies that at any point during the day they

stop having thoughts. Thinking becomes addictive. The mind saps the energy of our focus and of our awareness by making us focus on our thoughts more rather than what we’re actually doing in that very moment. The more information we consume, the bigger this mind thought stream becomes and the more distracted we get in our daily life situations. We become absent minded. We miss out on the beauty of life. No wonder people get riddled with stress. If you’re not enjoying being alive how do you expect to live a fuller life? Enjoyment doesn’t mean sitting on your couch and virtually plugging yourself into a fake reality. The more in tune you are with the real world the less inner chatter you experience and thus you experience less stress. This stream of the mind is the root cause of mental exhaustion that not only causes stress but also anxiety, depression, fear, insomnia and host of other negative experiences depending on the thought stream you are fixated on.

letters to the editor lady Defense Minister, earlier we heard about the first Indian women wrestler at the international level and so on. Recently we have come across Nandini KR who topped the UPSC exams with the first rank. We are honored and feel proud that in this male dominated world we still have women achieving and excelling and winning their battles in male arenas. I salute all these women .. Raj Nilekani, Kanpur

salute, ladies The article ‘UPSC Toppers Honoured’ was an interesting article to read. Daily we hear and read about women excelling in some or the other sector or walk of life. Like now we have the first

a purpose in life Importance of having a Purpose’ made an impact on me. This is a fact that if we get to know the purpose of our existence, frame a goal in our mind and focus on that, we could excel in that direction. The search for this goal should begin at an early stage so that the person can get proper guidance in that field and can plan properly without wasting

his or her precious time. Sometimes we discover that there were aspects about which we did not know or points that we just took for granted when it is too late. Dhruv Ghoshal, Kolkata upfront upright The article ‘Loneliness leads to lethal online game’ may provide clues to those who all are the victims of games like these. I too am a gamer and can say that not every game is like this. In techno-savvy times like these, online games are not only common but also relaxing for some people. But it is also true that recent trends have taken games to an extreme level. I agreed with the writer on many issues, like the need to tackle growing loneliness among children. But one is curious to know whether the developer was arrested Manthan, Bengaluru

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18 Photo Feature

September 11 - 17, 2017

Making of the goddess It is an annual ritual in the somewhat shaded lanes of the Kumartuli area of North Calcutta, where hundreds of artisans work to make perfect idols of Goddess Durga and her children for more than a 1000 puja committees

A visit to the various studios of Kumartuli say a month prior to the Durga Puja leaves one perplexed: there are heads of Durga lying around. Five fingers and the palms of hands are lined up for use on the various idols, Durga, her four children and Mahishasura. Manes of hair are being combed by junior trainee artists. A man squatting on the ground to make a miniature.

September 11 - 17, 2017

Photo Feature


It takes weeks of repeated visits, which is sometimes resisted by the owners of the studios for fear the their art might be copied, to finally see the cosmic beauty of the mother goddess come alive, especially with the last part, the creation of the eyes, which still gives a mystical feeling to the creators of the fabled idols!

20 Health

September 11 - 17, 2017

in-vitro conception

Technology To Avoid Miscarriages

A new technology to diagnose abnormal chromosomes during IVF implantation has been recently launched in india for the first time IANS


o cut the chances of miscarriage in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), a new technology that can diagnose the abnormal chromosomes during the implantation was launched at a city hospital recently. The new time-lapse technology monitors the health of the embryos by capturing thousands of digital images since the moment of creation until implanting it in the uterus. Doctors are able to identify the embryos (usually out of three) that are well developing and have least chances of miscarriages to ensure live birth. The technique is popular in the western countries but not India. This is the first time it’s available in Delhi. It allows doctors to non-invasively identify the embryos which are less likely to have abnormal numbers of chromosomes and hence choosing the least risk embryo for implantation. “Having abnormal number of chromosomes is one of the major reasons for the IVF cycle to be unsuccessful,” said Arvind Vaid, a IVF Specialist at city’s Indira IVF Hospital,

Now available for the first time in India, IVF

implantations can be monitored digitally to check for abnormal chromosome counts where the technique was launched. “This can either lead to failure in implantation in the womb or miscarriage in the later stages of pregnancy or child born with Down’s syndrome and other genetic anomalies.” A healthy human

embryo should contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. But any change to this number can lead to a reduced chance of a successful implantation. The technology offers the exciting potential of a novel and non-invasive

Stem Cells Against Parkinson’s


apanese neurosurgeons have found that inducing an experimental human cell therapy can lead to longterm benefits in monkeys with Parkinson’s disease, a key step for initiating treatment for neurodegenerative diseases in humans. Parkinson’s disease leads to degeneration of a specific type of cells in the brain known as dopaminergic (DA) neurons. It

It captures thousands of digital images throughout the IVF process It allows non-invasively identify embryos with abnormal counts

methods of embryo selection with greatest chances of implantation through in-depth study of stages of embryo development. “Embryos develop and grow in the incubator attached for the first five days and captures over 5,000 pictures to analyse the various stages of development,” said a statement from the hospital, adding that further embryo development is monitored regularly and information analysed using a computer. Earlier, the embryo used to be removed from the incubator once in a day to study the changes under microscope. This technology is advantageous over the conventional method. “Depending on the method used, pictures can be captured at different time intervals. The shorter the time interval the more detailed information will be available for analysis,” said the statement. “With the availability of inbuilt algorithm, the computer helps to choose the best embryos that stand a better chance of developing into a baby.”

Japanese scientists have found that the technique has benefitted a lot in monkeys The halophine primate have shown good progress over two years Though this mitigates the disease, its use is still controversial

Inducing an experimental human cell therapy can lead to long-term benefits in monkeys with Parkinson’s disease has been reported that when the symptoms are first detected, a patient will have already lost more than half of his or her DA neurons. The findings reported that after transplanting the neurons prepared from human iPS cells, monkeys with Parkinson’s disease symptoms showed significant improvement over two years. Several studies have shown the transplantation of DA neurons made from foetal cells can mitigate the disease -- however, its use is controversial.

The new time-lapse technology monitors the health of the embryos

Quick Glance

Parkinson’s breakthrough


Quick Glance

The new study, however, showed that iPS cells made from blood or skin can be used to transplant DA neurons to treat patients. “Our research has shown that DA neurons made from iPS cells are just as good as DA neurons made from foetal midbrain. Because iPS cells are easy to obtain, we can standardise them to only use the best iPS cells for therapy,” said Ryosuke Takahashi, Professor at the Kyoto University in Japan. For the study, appearing in the journal Nature, the team

transplanted the DA neurons from different iPS cells lines -- some were from healthy donors, others from Parkinson’s disease patients -into the brains of monkeys. The results showed that the quality of donor cells had a large effect on the DA neuron survival. The researchers are hopeful that it can begin recruiting patients for this iPS cell-based therapy before the end of next year. “This study is our answer to bring iPS cells to clinical settings,” Takahashi said.

September 11 - 17, 2017



hiv heart risks


Tick Saliva Drug Against HIV An experimental drug made from tick saliva is being used to reduce heart disease risk in HIV positive patients

Quick Glance



cientists have developed an experimental drug from tick saliva that can hold a promise as a potential treatment for people living with HIV and at risk of developing heart disease. It was known previously that people living with HIV have double the likelihood of developing heart disease. In the new study, the researchers found that the increased heart disease risk is driven by an elevated number of immune cells called monocytes. These express high levels of the “tissue factor” protein, associated with blood clotting and other inflammatory proteins in the blood from people with HIV, regardless of how well their infection was controlled. Further, an experimental drug named Ixolaris, isolated from tick saliva and previously tested to treat blood clots in animals, was found to successfully reduce the inflammation in monkeys infected with SIV -- the primate form of HIV, the researchers explained.

People with HIV have double the likelihood of developing heart disease The new drug has been successfully tested in animals to treat blood clots The drug is called Ixolaris and has been used to treat blood clots

“People are living longer, fruitful lives with HIV thanks to tremendous strides in antiviral treatment regimens, however those lives are being cut short due to perplexingly high rates of heart disease,” said Ivona Pandrea, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, US. “By uncovering one of the cellular mechanisms driving the heart disease, we can look for medications -- such as Ixolaris -- that specifically target and disrupt that mechanism,” Pandrea added. For the study, detailed in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team tested blood samples from people without HIV, people with HIV whose

geriatrics binge watching

TV Linked To Immobility Binge watching of television has been linked to lack of mobility in older people


lder people who watch more than five hours of television a day and indulge in three or lesser hours of physical activity in a week were at more than three-fold higher risk of being unable to walk or having difficulty walking, researchers warned. The findings showed that people who watched five or more hours of television per day had a 65 per cent greater risk of reporting a mobility disability, compared with those who watched television for less than two hours per day. Television viewing in the evening may be especially detrimental to health because it is not broken up with short bouts of activity, compared with sitting during the day. “Television viewing is a very potent risk factor for disability in older age,” said lead author Loretta DiPietro from

the George Washington University. Younger people might be able to get away with sitting for long periods because they are physiologically more robust. But after age 50, prolonged sitting, and especially prolonged television viewing becomes particularly hazardous, DiPietro said. “We’ve engineered physical activity out of our modern life with commuting, elevators, the internet, mobile phones

infections were well-controlled by antiretroviral therapy, and people with HIV who were not on the medications. The researchers then exposed the human blood samples to Ixolaris and observed that the drug blocked the activity of tissue factor. When tested in a small group of monkeys during early HIV infection, the treatment significantly lowered the levels of inflammatory proteins linked to cardiovascular disease. “This treatment has the potential to improve the clinical management of HIV-infected patients and help them to live longer, healthier lives with HIV,” Pandrea said.

Quick Glance Watching more than five hours of TV is linked to immobility in elderly Viewing in the evening is more harmful since it goes uninterrupted by activity Television viewing is a very potent risk factor for disability in older age

and a lifestyle that often includes 14 hours of sitting per day,” DiPietro said. “Our findings suggest that older people who want to remain fit must ramp up their daily physical activity and reduce the amount of time they spend sitting,” DiPietro added. For the study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, the team analysed data which kept track of men and women aged 50 to 71 from six states and two metropolitan areas, nearly 30 per cent of the previously healthy participants reported a mobility disability-having difficulty walking or being unable to walk at all. “To stay active and healthy as you age, move more and sit less -throughout the day -- every day,” DiPietro added.

Odisha Seeks National Institute For Sickle Cell Disorder Chief Secretary AP Padhi requested Union Health Secretary C.K. Mishra to set up a sickle cell disorder institute in Odisha IANS


he Odisha government has urged the Centre to set up a national institute for sickle cell disorder in Odisha, an official said. Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi requested Union Health Secretary C.K. Mishra to set up the institute, which will be a means of support for the entire eastern region of the country as the nearby states of Assam, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, among others, report high incidence of this disease. He said sickle cell disorder is a serious health concern in tribal and western Odisha. “Sickle disease predominantly exists among the tribal communities and certain other distinct groups in different states of the country. However, as per studies, not only is the highest frequency of sickle cell gene in India reported from Odisha, but even the average load of sickle cell disease in the state is almost double the national average,” Padhi said in a letter. He said the state government has already established a sickle cell institute in 2010 on the campus of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Burla. But the high incidence, high morbidity and high mortality of this disease require the support of national level research and monitoring, which can only be effectively conducted through a National Institute of Sickle Cell Disorder, the Chief Secretary said.

22 Science & Technology

September 11 - 17, 2017

Fallen Tree Leaves To Electronics

A new method to convert fallen tree leaves into a porous carbon material for use in electronics has been discovered IANS


esearchers in China have discovered a new method to convert fallen tree leaves into a porous carbon material that can be used to produce high-tech electronics. In a study published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, the researchers described the process to convert tree leaves into a form that could be incorporated into electrodes as active materials. The dried leaves were first ground into a powder, then heated to 220 degrees Celsius for 12 hours. This produced a powder composed of tiny carbon microspheres. These microspheres were then treated with a solution of potassium hydroxide and heated by increasing the temperature in a series of jumps from 450 to 800 degrees Celsius. The chemical treatment corrodes the surface of the carbon microspheres,

making them extremely porous. The final product, a black carbon powder, has a very high surface area due to the presence of many tiny pores that have been chemically etched on the surface of the microspheres. The high surface area gives the final product its extraordinary electrical properties. The investigators, led by Hongfang Ma of Qilu University of Technology in Shandong, ran a series of standard electrochemical tests on the porous microspheres to quantify their

The method is able to convert tree leaves into electrodes Dried leaves are ground & heated to produce carbon microspheres Final black carbon powder having a large surface area is conductive

potential for use in electronic devices. The current-voltage curves for these materials indicated that the substance could make an excellent capacitor. Further tests showed that the materials were, in fact, supercapacitors, with specific capacitances of 367 Farads/gram, which are over three times higher than values seen in some graphene supercapacitors. A capacitor is a widely used electrical component that stores energy by holding a charge on two conductors, separated from each other by an insulator. Supercapacitors can typically store 10-100 times as much energy as an ordinary capacitor, and can accept and deliver charges much faster than a typical rechargeable battery. For these reasons, supercapacitive materials hold great promise for a wide variety of energy storage needs, particularly in computer technology and hybrid or electric vehicles.

Phone waterproof

BlackBerry’s Waterproof Flagship As a response to other OEM’s, TCL will be selling a touchscreen water and dust proof smartphone under Blackberry’s branding IANS


hinese electronics company TCL will launch a full touchscreen smartphone under the Black Berry name in October -a month after Apple launches its new flagship iPhone 8 and a refresh of iPhone 7 devices. According to a report in Engadget, TCL’s François Mahieu said the new phone would respect BlackBerry’s reputation for building hard-wearing devices for clumsy international travellers who will be working in all kinds of weather. “The main feature, beyond the fulltouchscreen, is the (planned) IP67


Quick Glance

China bio-energy

water and dust-proofing, as well as a battery rated to last for more than 26 hours of mixed use,” Mahieu was quoted as saying. It is clear that the company would keep durability and longevity as its biggest selling points. Mahieu claimed that a number of iPhone and Galaxy users would “make the switch” to BlackBerry come October. He said that BlackBerry’s security know-how will enable TCL to deliver the “most secure Android phone in the world”. “We are there to play. We are just playing with different cards, mostly by pushing its strengths of battery life, security and durability,” he said.

Quick Glance A Chinese electronics company has launched new BlackBerry phone This will happen after Apple launchedsits flagship iPhone 8 The device is expected to cost much less than the flagship products

The device is expected to cost less than other flagships. Telecommunications company Optiemus Infracom owns the rights to manufacture and sell BlackBerry branded smartphones in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

India Ready For Carbon-Capture Technology

The government is ready to fully finance carbon-capture technology and is in favour of opening up the technology to all IANS


ndia is fully prepared to finance carbon-capture technology but the developed world’s approach in this area leaves much to be desired, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal has said. “The government is ready to fully finance carbon-capture technology and is in favour of opening up the technology to all. However, this idea did not find takers as companies wanted to sell technology for a profit. Climate change is being made into a business which is not in the right spirit,” Goyal said on Thursday at the 3rd Business and Climate Summit here organised by industry chamber Ficci. “People’s participation, holistic approach to sustainable lifestyle, better allocation of resources and engagement amongst nations are imperative for climate change reduction and India is willingly and voluntarily working towards reducing carbon footprints in the country,” he said. “There have been many commitments on climate change but no action,” Goyal said, adding that 29 per cent of greenhouse gases “come from only one country, while 45 per cent come from the rest of the developed world.” “India barely emits about two and a half per cent of greenhouse gases.” He also said the government was working out a mechanism on standardizing specifications for charging batteries and creating low cost infrastructure.

September 11 - 17, 2017

MIT robot

Robot Follows Pedestrian Rules

An autonomous robot in the US can keep pace with foot traffic while observing the general social codes that pedestrians follow IANS


ngineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed an autonomous robot that can keep pace with foot traffic while observing the general social codes that pedestrians follow to avoid oncoming obstacles while keeping up a steady walking pace. In drive tests, the robot, which resembles a knee-high kiosk on wheels, successfully avoided collisions while keeping up with the average flow of pedestrians, said the researchers who have detailed their robotic design in a paper scheduled to be presented at the IEEE Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in September. “Socially aware navigation is a central capability for mobile robots operating in environments that require frequent interactions with pedestrians,” said lead author of the study Yu Fan (Steven) Chen. “For instance, small robots could operate on sidewalks for package and food delivery. Similarly, personal mobility devices could transport

people in large, crowded spaces, such as shopping malls, airports, and hospitals,” Chen said. In order for a robot to make its way autonomously through a heavily trafficked environment, it must solve four main challenges -localisation (knowing where it is in the world), perception (recognising its surroundings), motion planning (identifying the optimal path to a given destination), and control (physically executing its desired path). Chen and his colleagues used standard approaches to solve

Science & Technology

Quick Glance

These could operate on sidewalks for package and food delivery

the problems of localisation and perception. For the latter, they outfitted the robot with off-the-shelf sensors, such as webcams, a depth sensor, and a high-resolution lidar sensor. For the problem of localisation, they used open-source algorithms to map the robot’s environment and determine its position. To control the robot, they employed standard methods used to drive autonomous ground vehicles. For motion planning, the researchers used reinforcement learning, a type of machine learning approach, in which they performed computer simulations to train a robot to take certain paths, given the speed and trajectory of other objects in the environment. The team also incorporated social norms into this offline training phase, in which they encouraged the robot in simulations to pass on the right, and penalised the robot when it passed on the left. “We want it to be travelling naturally among people and not be intrusive,” study co-author Michael Everett said. “We want it to be following the same rules as everyone else,” Everett added.

To assist the citizens affected by hurricane Harvey, NASA will provide technical assistance and scientific expertise to help response teams


and federal emergency managers and first responders. “This is an immense weather event that is creating a unique challenge,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “NASA is working to enable and enhance the capabilities of our partners across federal agencies and elsewhere to ensure they are able to do the best job possible in assessing the threat and providing rescue and


Socially aware navigation is a central capability for mobile robots

How NASA Is Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims

ASA has said it is providing technical assistance and scientific expertise to help respond to hurricane Harvey which has been a disaster of unprecedented proportions for those who live and work in southeast Texas. With no atmospheric steering mechanism to move the storm once it made landfall, Harvey has been producing rainfall totals measured in feet, rather than inches, presenting exceptional challenges to local, state,


The robot runs on wheels and successfully avoids collisions

NASA disaster management



response services,” Zurbuchen said. At the forefront of the agency’s efforts, the NASA Earth Science Disasters Team is providing support to local, state, and federal agencies in their response to the extreme flooding in the Houston area and related damage associated with Harvey. Scientists at NASA centres and external partners are providing analysis of satellite imagery, output products, and other decision-support aids to inform disaster mapping and response efforts.

Google Assistant On Third-Party Devices To compete with Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa, Google has made its Google Assistant available on partner speakers, appliances, and cameras IANS


ith an aim to go toe-totoe with Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant Alexa, Google has announced that it would put its “Assistant” on partner speakers, appliances and connected cameras. Citing the announcement made at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) industry show that kicked-off in Berlin on Wednesday, Tech Crunch reported that the move is likely to be good for both the voicepowered assistant market as well as for Google’s ability to use its service to collect useful data which it can then use to work on its advertising and marketing products. “The more places ‘Assistant’ appears, the more likely it is that people will engage with the voice companion and that’s not territory Google wants to cede to someone like Amazon,” the report said. The devices that would get “Assistant” include the Anker Zolo Mojo, a small cylinder speaker that’s like a third-party Google Home, which will go on sale in late October. Two other smart speakers powered by “Assistant” are Panasonic GA10 and the TicHome Mini. Google is also now making it possible to use “Assistant” to.

24 Gender

September 11 - 17, 2017

Manvi scholarship Girl

up Village lass To Study in wellesley, USA

Looking at her educational gifts, the Shiv Nadar’s Vidya Gyan in rural UP admitted her for completely paid studies, and she did not waste her chance when she was sent to the US on a students’ exchange programme Quick Glance

ssb bureau


ellesley College in Massachusetts, USA has offered Indian farm family girl Manvi a full scholarship to pursue her undergraduate degree. The daughter of a farmer and his homemaker wife from western Uttar Pradesh is 18 years old and the eldest of four children. She is now the first person from her village of over 2,000 to pursue education abroad. “I am excited about everything,” Manvi said when asked what she thinks of her future. She lives with her parents in Dhanauri Mafi village. she has three siblings. There’s electricity in the air as she relaxes in the courtyard surrounded by her extended family with two buffalos that live in a nearby shed. Constantly breaking into a wide grin as she speaks, she says “Everything is exciting.” The annual income of Manvi’s family is less than Rs 100,000 ($1,800) whereas a single year’s tuition and boarding at Wellesley College, which was tgill recently Number 1 in Liberal Arts in the USA - is $88,884 for international students. Wellesley College is currently ranked number three among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Manvi’s family definitely acknowledges and praises her achievement wholeheartedly. “She is making our name shine,” her father Brijpal says. “Everyone knows me now as Manvi’s father.” With a constant stream of well-wishers and visitors at Manvi’s house excited to see her off before she starts college. Manvi has almost become a legend in her village. This is justified, since the female literacy rate in UP is 59.26%, 19.98% lower than male literacy according to a 2011 Census. Moreover, less than four in every ten girls are enrolled in schools in the state’s villages and more than half drop out of school after class 10. Most of them get married before they are 18.

18-years old Daughter of a farmer, Manvi is exceptionally brilliant She was chosen by Shiv Nadar foundation for free education She’s been offered a full scholarship for undergrate degree

“Everyone knows me now as Manvi’s father.” Most of Manvi’s friends in her village are already married or will get married soon. Even though these girls completed their primary education, they left schooling to tend to domestic chores and support the household income. Only a few get to finish schooling and maybe attend the nearby college. Manvi’s path changed from theirs and it all began in primary school. Manvi had a habit to practice whatever she was taught in school after coming back home. She would use a wooden slate and practice with her mother, Sunita Devi. “I didn’t study much when I was her age but I wanted my daughter to get the best education,” Sunita says. “There are more opportunities for girls now,” she adds.

While Manvi’s mother wanted to send her to a good school, it was out of their financial reach. Manvi attended the local government school that was walking distance from her residence. Classes weren’t always regular but when they did have classes, the quality of teaching was poor, Manvi explains. Despite these conditions, she persevered and became a topper in all her classes. Her father filled out an application for admission to a newly opened private school that was accepting admissions from lowincome families. This was when she was in Class 5. The school was Vidya Gyan, a residential school run by the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and opened its first facility in 2009 to assist intellectually gifted students from rural areas of Uttar Pradesh in achieving their potential. Manvi was

Manvi’s mother feared that the residential school would kidnap her, but now she is proud

one of the ten students chosen from Amroha district. Manvi’s schooling was entirely free of charge since Vidya Gyan admits its students for free whilst providing them food, lodging, healthcare, uniforms, and school supplies. The one notable clause is that the parents have cannot disrupt their children’s education and have to leave their children completely under the care and supervision of the school authorities. “I was so scared they would kidnap my daughter,” Sunita recalls. “It happens, you know.” Six months later, when Manvi came home during winter break, her mother remembers noticing a sea of change in her daughter. “She was so confident,” Sunita says. “After that, I didn’t worry.” Manvi made very rapid progress in her studies and was getting recognised by school authorities for her talents. She went from barely speaking English to fully conversing in the language confidently. She also excelled in basketball and played it at the statelevel. In 2014, she was sent to be an exchange student at a public high school in Minneapolis, USA. This was through the KennedyLugar Youth Exchange and Study programme which funded her studies. This was a tremendous break for Manvi. Travelling to the United States completely changed her worldview “Everyone was really nice,” she says. She even picked up an American accent while being there for a year. After visiting several college campuses, she decided she wanted to study there. And as they say, God helps them who help themselves.

September 11 - 17, 2017

Science & Technology


manipur wildlife

Operation ‘Save Sangai’

There are just 100 of these deer left in its only known habitat in Manipur and urgent action is being worked out Raj Kashyap


erious efforts have been initiated by the Manipur government for conservation of the Sangai, the endangered browed antler deer and the state animal. To boost up the efforts, Forests and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar had recently toured the world’s only floating Wildlife Sanctuary at Loktak Lake in Manipur’s Bishnupur district known as the Keibul Lamjao Wildlife National Park. The park is the only natural habitat of the deer, also called Sangai. Later the Minister told the media that suggestions of all stakeholders on the conservation of Sangai would be encouraged and especially of the locals living near Keibul Lamjao National Park.’ Sangai is the only species from the northeast which has been included in the Centre-sponsored endangered species recovery programme. The other three are great Indian bustard, Gangetic dolphin

and dugong (medium-sized marine mammal). Once found throughout Manipur, Sangai is now found only in the 40 square km area park and has a population of less than 100 in the park. It is listed as “endangered” in IUCN Red List and Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Wildlife Institute of India has firmed up a plan to secure long-term survival of Sangai after extensive research. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority under the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change which will fund the programme will adopt a multipronged approach that includes conservation research, technology-aided management support, training and capacity building of the implementing agencies, monitoring population and habitats, stakeholder sensitisation and mobilisation and mitigation of threats in priority habitats. For strengthening of the existing

population of sangai in the park, the Wildlife Institute will monitor its population trend through scientific and genetic methods, set up a veterinary lab and rescue-cum-conservation breeding centre. To improve the habitat condition and protection measures, the plan has included construction of anti-poaching camps in areas more vulnerable to poaching as well as resource extraction. The programme assumed importance since the Manipur government has also made a case for the prestigious World Heritage Tag for the Keibul Lamjao Conservation Area, which comprises a core area of Keibul Lamjao National Park (40 square km) and Loktak Lake (140 square km) and covers 223 square km. The browed antler deer is facing a threat of extinction as the floating biomass (‘phumdis’) on which it walks has been steadily decreasing in buoyancy and thickness over the last few years. As a result, Sangai face death from drowning as the phumdis may not be able to support its weight. This has also

For strengthening

the existing population of sangai in the park, the Wildlife Institute will monitor its population trend

Quick Glance Once found throughout Manipur, Sangai is now found only in the 40 square km area park It is listed as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List and Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 The Wildlife Institute of India has firmed up a plan to secure long-term survival of Sangai

restricted the mobility of the species, leading to inbreeding. According to observers, the primary reason for the decrease of phumdis is the Loktak hydro electric project which has kept the water level in the lake artificially high, which separates the phumdis from the ground, preventing their absorption. Pollution and poaching are also a problem, as is the spread of the invasive para grass. Culturally, the Sangai is intertwined with the legends and folklore of the Manipuris. According to a folk legend, the Sangai is interpreted as the binding soul between humans and the nature. The killing of the animal is conceived as the breaking up of the cordial relationship between humans and nature. Due to conservation efforts, the population of the rare deer has increased over the years — from less than 100 in 2008 to 204 in 2013. There are plans by the Manipur Forest Department to translocate a section of the rare species to Pumlen Pat, which is close to its existing habitat in Loktak where the floating biomass and small hillocks are also found. The challenging task before the department would be to acquire land for the project as the wetland is encroached upon by fisherfolk and local villagers. Officials said they will need an area of around 60 to make the project viable. The floating park itself is a wonder of sorts. It is a swamp established by Mann Sharma with floating mass of vegetation created by accrual of organic garbage and biomass with soil particles that have been thickened into a solid form called phumdis, at the south– eastern side of the Lake, which has been declared a Ramsar site. Two third’s to three fourth’s of the total park area is formed by phumdis. A water way through the park provides year-round access by boats plying through the Loktak Lake, to the Pabot Hill in the north.

26 Environment

September 11 - 17, 2017

floods challenges

Adaptation To Floods Is Vital Weather scientists agree that India and Bangladesh need to consider short term adaptation projects for people in flood prone areas


the world, including at the MIT, all emphasise “larger extreme events in the picture”. Prinn was in the city to deliver the lecture on ‘Climate Change Risks and the Challenge of Avoiding 2 degree Celsius Warming’ on Wednesday as part of centenary celebration of Bose

Institute. “Every big group is coming up with the same general conclusions. These big extremes are driven by very strong convection... this is fuelled by water vapour. Humidity is increasing all of the time so we are putting more fuel into the extreme weather engine and global warming does exactly that,”

plastics order

Find Ways To Dispose Poly Bags: NGT 8,000 kgs of poly bags have been seized in Delhi after NGT’s ban, but their disposal remains a challenge Quick Glance Polythene bags below 50 microns are banned Delhi govt asked for disposal strategy by NGT Rs 2.9 lakh was collected as environmental compensation



he National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently asked the Delhi government to find ways to dispose off the banned plastic bags it has seized.

Weather projections are being done by more than 20 centres worldwide Recent floods have killed 1,200 across India, Bangladesh and Nepal Over 40 million people have been affected by the floods

IANS ith larger extreme weather events in the picture, such as the floods that ravaged India and Bangladesh, the countries need to think about short-term adaptation to protect people, says noted atmospheric scientist and MIT Professor Ronald G. Prinn. “For countries like India, Bangladesh, I would say there is very little you can do on the mitigation front. How can you protect people and infrastructure or how can you set up warning systems, have places that people can shelter... to preserve at least life... that’s the level one has to think about... short-term adaptation,” Prinn told IANS here. Prinn co-directs the MIT’s Joint Program on Science and Policy of Global Change with John Reilly. Queried about the extreme weather events, including the floods in India, he said all of the projections that are being done by 20-plus centres across

Quick Glance

Following the NGT on August 10 reiterating its earlier ban on polythene with thickness below 50 microns, the Delhi government and civic bodies informed that about 8,000 kgs of banned poly bags were seized. But as the lowgrade plastic could not be recycled,

its disposal remains a challenge. On Tuesday, the bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar instructed the Delhi Government to figure out ways to dispose of it, by the next hearing on September 5. “How will you dispose of the sized plastic bags, inform us,” it told the Delhi government. According to experts, this lowgrade plastic has good calorific value and could be used in the waste-to-energy plants of which

he said. Floods have claimed over 1,200 lives across India, Bangladesh and Nepal, and affected 40 million people. Ongoing monsoon rains have ground Mumbai to a halt. “The forecast is that you get greater and greater extreme events to do with big storms and greater and greater extreme events to do with prolonged drought. We are also having big floods in Texas, Louisiana.” At least 37 deaths related to Hurricane Harvey have been reported in the US state of Texas. In addition to adaptation for floods, Prinn also believes India should be concerned about heat waves in its neighbourhood. “More countries should be concerned about what goes on in their neighbourhood. So, all of the heat waves are occurring up in Kashmir region and up until Pakistan, Afghanistan... that’s something India has to be concerned about,” he added.

Delhi has four. However, burning such plastic for producing energy comes at the cost of high emissions. Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain said on August 23 that a total of 7,739 kg of the banned plastic bags were seized and 492 challans and notices were issued under a drive by his ministry. Under the drive, Rs 2,90,000 was collected as environmental compensation. According to a 2015 report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), plastic comprises 10.14 per cent of total waste generated in the city. Earlier, the tribunal had asked the city government to ban the low grade plastic with effect from January 1. But the directive could not be implemented. The bench later asked the Delhi government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to file an affidavit and inform it about how its directions were being implemented in the city. For now, the tribunal has put an interim ban on low grade plastic bags.

September 11 - 17, 2017




UNFCCC commitment

‘India Will Not Disappoint On Climate Issues’ India took a firm stand at the Business-Climate Summit 2017. The summit aims to generate solutions to protect the environment Quick Glance


The summit aims at bringing leaders from business and environment sectors


tressing on limiting consumption of natural resources, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan told key UN and business leaders here last week that India will not disappoint the world on environmental issues. “I assure you that India will never let you down on the issue of climate change as this is a part of our DNA,” the Minister said. Vardhan was speaking at the Business-Climate Summit 2017, along with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Fijian Minister Inia Seruiratu. Pointing out at the current urban flood situation in Mumbai, Espinosa said unprecedented weather conditions were a result of climate change and cost a fortune. “Right now, in Mumbai, Bangladesh and China, we see massive human and economic losses due to flooding. Many lives have been lost due to unprecedented extreme weather events,” she said. The two-day summit held under the aegis of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) was earlier held in London and Paris. The summit aims at bringing leaders from business and environment world to chalk out ways for green and sustainable solutions. The summit

Nationally Determined Contributions are 175 GW of renewable by 2022 India is planning to establish a voluntary carbon market

began here with the quantification of creating 65 million green-jobs by 2030. Reminding the developed world of its commitment to the developing countries ahead of the COP 23, to be held in November in Germany’s Bonn and presided over by Fiji, Vardhan said that the UNFCCC must push the developed nations for their pre-2020 commitment -- extending financial and other support to countries like India. The pre-2020 financial commitments are un-quantified unlike the post-2020 which will come into effect after the Paris Climate Agreement is implemented. Under the Paris accord, the developed nations would raise $100 billion annually for developing countries for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. “It is, however, also critical that equal focus is given to pre-2020 action by developed countries under Kyoto Protocol. They must fulfil their commitments of providing effective finance, technology, transfer and capacity building support to developing countries,” the Minister said. Speaking of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),

Named the second most attractive country in renewables, India shows its commitment towards environmental protection at the Bussiness-Climate Summit 2017

the Minister said that of 175 GW of renewable power by 2022, 58.2 GW of installed capacity has already been achieved. “India is also planning to establish a voluntary carbon market with the World Bank’s assistance to focus on uncovered areas,” Vardhan said. He pointed out that it was India, which had the terms like “climate justice” and “sustainable lifestyle” inserted in the landmark Paris Agreement. Espinosa stressed upon India to collaborate with the private sector to promote sustainable business solutions. “India and all other major players in the global economy must collaborate with the private sector. It is in everyone’s interest to have this work finalised as soon as possible,” she said. “Business community, your government needs them. All countries need to support countries like India in open access and to finance technology and building capacity for action as soon as possible,” Espinosa said. She also appreciated India’s initiatives toward climate change, especially mentioning key private players like Dalmia Cements, which during Marrakech climate talks (COP 22) in 2016 resolved to use 100 per cent renewable energy sources and the Tata Motors’ for their electric bus project. “India was named the second most attractive country in renewables,” she said. Pointing out that 2016 was the hottest third year in a row, she said: “Third time this summit has happened under such circumstances. These trends cannot continue if we meet the main objectives of Paris Climate deal limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we may avoid the most immediate impact in developing and developed world,” Espinosa said.

MoUs With Brazil An MoU was signed between India and Brazil for promoting the development of Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies IANS


he Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently apprised of a MoU signed between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. “The MoU will strengthen the existing friendly relations between India and Brazil and promote development of Genomics and Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Cattle through joint activities to be implemented through mutually agreed procedures,” said an official statement. Under the MoU signed in October 2016, an implementation committee will be created with an equal number of representatives from both countries for the purpose of regularly determining the activities and developing work plans and subsequently their evaluation. This will be done through joint projects in the fields of productivity improvement of cattle and buffaloes, for the purpose of broadening the existing knowledge base on sustainable dairy development and institutional strengthening. Zebu cattle are humped cattle species or subspecies of domestic cattle originating in the Indian subcontinent.

28 Bold Women

September 11 - 17, 2017

Crime women

“Swayamsiddha”: punching traffickers in Bengal The state, under increasing criticism of being the highest reporting trafficking, and inspired by one girl’s relentless effort, has launched the unique scheme Quick Glance

Prasanta Paul


A 15-year-old girl, once sold off, now prowls her village for traffickers Her example has led the state to start the scheme that seeks to stop trafficking It is aimed at making the girls and their parents aware of the traps Photo: Amal Dhar Gupta

escued from Baruipur station last year after being sold into a make-believe marriage and then caged in a room for more than six months, Manisha Khatun, 15, now prowls around her village in search of men or women frequenting the area with suspicious looks. Khatun’s (name changed) eyes have turned red with rage and her determination simply oozes out of them; determination to root out the least sign or appearance of child traffickers who had, all on a sudden, turned several mothers childless and sold umpteen girls in the flourishing flesh racket. The grit and courage of Khatun and others of her ilk have prompted the West Bengal administration to launch a model – Swayamsiddha – to fight the growing menace of trafficking of girls in the state. The promptitude of the state administration has stemmed from a notso-glowing report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in 2016, which categorically lists Bengal as one occupying the top slot in respect of human trafficking in India. The total number of girls trafficked has registered a jump – ,1400 more – than what it was in 2015. A sad commentary on the state of affairs of the issue of women’s empowerment indeed! In fact, Bengal and neighbouring Assam are infamous for an alarming rise in the number of trafficking cases in India. Though girls are the main target, mostly trafficked for sex work or as domestic helps, boys land up in sweet shops and brick kilns too. The districts that have acquired notoriety in this regard include both South and North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, as well as East and West Midnapore. Incidentally, the ratio of school dropouts (girls) is among the highest in Murshidabad and South and North 24 Parganas districts. What is the basic strategy of the traffickers? According to police and NGOs, traffickers employ agents who first scour vulnerable households for innocent girls and their ready-to-believe parents. Agents promise to arrange prospective grooms and promise to pay

Manisha, still very angry, visits from village to village every day and discusses with the women the options they have and warns them of traffickers

for the marriage. In case of domestic help, which is an effective ruse for trafficking, advance payment is made to nip all suspicions in the bud. The unsuspecting parents are thus easily trapped along with the underage girl who is taken away. The girl then vanishes without a trace; the grieving parents seldom lodge any police complaint fearing harassment or social stigma. The girl eventually finds her way into the sex trade after the due exchange of cash. Sometimes, NGOs have found, parents are equally willing to get their child sold off as they are too financially weak to arrange for dowry or a suitable groom for their daughter. Recently, the administration was forced to press the panic button in the wake of a report of a girl of Class X from Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district having been drugged by a senior girl of her school and trafficked out of West Bengal. When she finally came to her senses, she found herself in a brothel in Mumbai. Interestingly, instead of breaking down, she feigned illness and requested her keeper to fetch her some medicine. The rest is history: she just darted out of her cage and ran for hours before dropping unconscious on the road.

People took her into a government hospital, where after regaining consciousness, she told her sordid tale to the police, who organised her return to Joynagar, unscathed. “The Swayamsiddha model ingrains in itself various factors that take into account different ruses trafficking agents wear. It is aimed at making the girls, their parents, villagers and the community aware of the traps set by these agents to lure the vulnerable girls,” said Chandra S Bardhan, additional superintendent of police, South 24 Parganas district. How does the model work? According to him, an awareness campaign has been launched involving the teachers, students, panchayat members and parents whereby every stakeholder is being briefed about the modus operandi of the agents, the evils of trafficking and the firsthand accounts of the rescued girls. Every school, panchayat office and even police outposts have been equipped with a `Swayamsiddha Box’ which allows people to submit their suggestions in writing. “One can even provide some clues to the administration if he or she notices some suspicious movement of people in his or her neighbourhood or someone confides to him/her about any plan to

elope from the village…etc. We do not disclose the identity of the person who provides such information,” he explained. The model has already helped thwart marriage of minors in some villages. Reports said that a group of Class XI students in Baspota village in South 24 Parganas district learnt a student of their school was sought to be married off by her parents even though she was barely 14. The group first confronted the girl’s below-poverty-line family and threatened that the family would lose its NREGS job card, ration card and might also face arrest if the marriage wasn’t called off. The threat worked wonders as the parents yielded and the minor girl heaved a sigh of relief. In neighbouring Mouli village where the hurricane Aila rendered hundreds of villagers homeless, several girls were trafficked out as poor and hapless parents failed to see through the game of the traffickers. But 17-year-old Tanuja Khatun, a student of a higher secondary school, has made things difficult for the smugglers. She leads a group of about 14 children and treks from one village to another, in search of men who sneak in and out with various offers. “She (Tanuja) has become a rage among the villagers as she was instrumental in saving the lives of many girls,” the ACP confirmed. “I’m not scared of anyone,” said the plucky girl, youngest of six daughters of a daily wage earner. “We were tipped about a possible trafficking attempt and we kept a watch. The moment we noticed the man, we confronted him. He failed to reply to any of my queries and tried to run away. But we tied him up and called the elders, who handed him over to police after some thrashing.” It was one among the 30 such cases Tanuja and her friends had handled.

sulabh sanitation

Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, New Delhi is organizing a Written Quiz Competition that is open to all school and college students, including the foreign students. All those who wish to participate are required to submit their answers to the email address, or they can submit their entries online by taking up the questions below. Students are requested to mention their name and School/College along with the class in which he/she is studying and the contact number with complete address for communication

First Prize: One Lakh Rupees Second Prize: Seventy Five Thousand Rupees


Third Prize: Fifty Thousand Rupees Consolation Prize: Five Thousand Rupees (100 in number)

500-1000) ti on (W or d Li m it: ti pe m Co iz Qu en tt Qu es ti on s fo r W ri nounced? rt was ‘Swachh Bharat’ an Fo d open Re the m fro y da ich uses and there should be no ho 1. On wh the all in d cte tru ns co by 2019, toilets should be 2. Who announced that l. defecation? Discuss in detai Toilet? 3. Who invented Sulabh ovement? Cleanliness and Reform M 4. Who initiated Sulabh t? ve features of Sulabh Toile t? 5. What are the distincti used in the Sulabh compos r ise til fer of ge nta rce pe d an 6. What are the benefits of the Sulabh Toilet? ’? 7. What are the benefits be addressed as ‘Brahmins to me ca g gin en av sc al nu ople freed from ma If yes, then elaborate it by s? 8. In which town were pe ste ca r pe up of s me ho take tea and have food in the 9. Do these ‘Brahmins’ person. discussing story of any such entions of Sulabh? 10. What are the other inv


ritten Quiz Competition W of on si is bm su r fo te t da

: September 30, 2017

For further details please contact Mrs. Aarti Arora, Hony. Vice President, +91 9899 855 344 Mrs. Tarun Sharma, Hony. Vice President, +91 97160 69 585 or feel free to email us at SULABH INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANISATION In General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council Sulabh Gram, Mahavir Enclave, Palam Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110 045 Tel. Nos. : 91-11-25031518, 25031519; Fax Nos : 91-11-25034014, 91-11-25055952 E-mail:, Website:,

30 North East

September 11 - 17, 2017

incubator Shillong

Quick Glance

Tackling Shillong’s e-Wastes Considering the growing environmental threats posed by e-waste, the state government has decided to establish an e-waste management incubator to tackle the menace ssb bureau

and dumped in landfills to be burnt openly or leach out and contaminate the land, water and soil. MSPCB officials said the Information & Technology department had already distributed computers to over 1000 schools spread across the state under the IT Education scheme funded by the North Eastern Council (NEC). “However, in the absence of proper electronic waste management where do we throw such electronic hardware once they are out of order or become obsolete,” they said. According to the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, collectors of e-waste are to be authorised by the board only if they have been authorized by a registered recycler anywhere in the country. “Right now, the authorised collector

Aadhaar Assam

Assam to roll out Aadhar Card process from December It entails a total expenditure of Rs 160 crore for Aadhaar to be delivered to 3.16 crore people of the state SSB Bureau


ssam will start data collection for rolling out Aadhaar cards in the state from December 1. Assam and Jammu & Kashmir are the only two states in the country where Aadhaar enrolment has not taken

E-waste later gets collected by scrap dealers and burnt in landfills The incubation centre will allow residents to dispose off e-waste

is JS Kharbithai who has tied up with a registered recycler. He is the only one who is being recognised to handle and channelise the electronic waste,” Marak said. “The public (consumers) can also give the electronic parts to the dealers directly as the latter have tied up with suppliers for taking back the electronic products.However, if people are unable to give the obsolete products to the dealers, they can come to the incubation centre and hand them over,” Marak said. Again, manufacturers of major electronic products such as Panasonic and Sony fall under the Extended Producer Responsibility of the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016. “It is (therefore) their responsibility to take back the electronic products,” he said. The Rules, which came into

force on October 1, 2016, state that Extended Producer Responsibility means the responsibility of any producer of electrical or electronic equipment to channelise e-waste and ensure environmentally sound management of such waste. Marak said it was mandatory for the producers to take back the electronic products. “The responsibility of the Board is to enforce the rules by giving authorization. We authorise the collectors so that only the authorised collectors can take away the obsolete products which could be TV sets, mobile phones, medical equipment or CFL bulbs,” he said. Referring to Meghalaya, the board’s chairman said a preliminary assessment of various electronic products has been made and that it intended to make an inventory of different kinds of electronic products to analyze their composition. “We intend to go for detailed stock-taking as we want to inventories the kind of products coming into Meghalaya. Whether TV sets are more or mobile phones are more, the composition of products will be analyzed,” he said. On the status of e-waste in Meghalaya, Marak pointed out that it was not channelized properly. “As of now, we want to set up the mechanism to facilitate the incubation centre and we can have authorized collectors for not just Shillong but other towns as well,” he said.

place so far. At a review meeting yesterday, officials of the General Administration department (GAD) informed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would begin collection of biometric and demographic data of the people in the state from December 1. The whole process would be completed within one year as it would mark the bringing of Assam into the Aadhar ambit. The Chief Minister said that local vendors must be engaged in the data collection for Aadhar and they should be given an opportunity to find employment

through the whole process that entails an expenditure of 160 crore rupees for providing Aadhar Card to 3 crore 18 lakh people of the state. The Chief Minister also remarked that Aadhar Card would benefit those students going to study outside the state where Aadhar is mandatory for admission into educational institutes and asked GAD to ensure completion of the process within one year. He also asked the Department to undertake massive awareness campaigns through street plays and short films for making the people aware about the importance of Aadhar Card in the state.


midst growing environmental concerns over accumulation and management of e-waste, the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) is planning to set up an incubation centre where people can dispose of their obsolete electronic parts. MSPCB chairman CP Marak said the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA), State Council of Science, Technology and Environment (SCSTE) and Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board intends to promote the incubation centre. “We are working on a plan to ensure systematic collection and disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in the state. There have been growing environmental concerns over accumulation and management of e-waste, which comprise among others discarded electronic appliances such as mobile phones, computers and television sets,” Marak said. He said the collection and disposal of e-waste need to be done in a systematic manner so that it does not go into the municipal landfill or unauthorized hands, which will pollute the environment. The Meghalaya’s capital city generates roughly 446 tons of e-waste annually. In absence of a proper waste disposal mechanism, toxic waste is largely collected by scrap dealers, mixed in municipal waste

Shillong generates roughly 446 tonnes of e-waste annually

September 11 - 17, 2017

Guwahati Renewable Energy

Solar power plant at Assam Raj Bhavan

The project will reduce carbon footprints, boost sustainable energy

SSB Bureau


30 KW grid interactive solar power plant has been installed at the Raj Bhavan in Guwahati. The project, built under the Renewable Energy Project, was inaugurated by Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Science and Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta. Under the project, different renewable energy systems have been installed and commissioned at the Raj Bhavan, like 30 KWp grid interactive solar PV power plant, solar water heating systems, 6 KWp solar wind hybrid aero generator and LED garden lights and LED streetlights. The Renewable Energy Project at the Raj Bhavan, Assam

was sanctioned to the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) Government of India under its Special Area Demonstration Project Scheme. The objective of the scheme is demonstration of application of various renewable energy systems in a project mode with 100 per cent funding from the Ministry to create greater awareness about renewable sources of energy and to supplement the energy requirement. The project was first initiated by the then President of India in 2008 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with the aim to reduce carbon footprints wherever possible, to undertake comprehensive measures for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and

Quick Glance

Project being showcased by state government for emulation

for adopting eco-friendly practices in day-to-day life as part of the programme ‘Roshni’. The Governor said solar energy is considered to be the best option for the people and the exceedingly increasing energy requirements of modern-day life, as it belongs to the renewable category. The disappearance of fossil fuels from the planet and their rising costs has forced countries to switch over to a sustainable energy source, he added. The sun is the biggest energy supplier and is fully capable of meeting the energy needs of the earth in the distant future. Solar energy is the only alternative energy for the country, the Governor said. Purohit also asked the Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) officials to look into the possibility of providing LED-based solar lanterns in the streets where there is no access to power. Even in the un-electrified villages, LEDbased solar study lamps would be a good alternative. He further asked the AEDA officials to make the technology available to every household to help them reduce the energy expenditure to a great extent and help the country to switch over to clean and renewable energy. Minister Mahanta said the AEDA is going to launch a programme for a rooftop solar project to harness the abundant power of the sun. He said by December 31 this year, 14 megawatts of power in the social sector of Assam is going to be installed and it will be grid connected.

Massive protest rallies were organised in Left-ruled Tripura to denounce World War II on its 78th anniversary


voices against the indiscriminate massacre of civilians, including women and children during the war. Tripura Chief Minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Manik Sarkar, all

strategic road

Excess energy generated can be transferred to the grid

Second World War Denounced in Tripura

ar l iamentarians , legislators, intellectuals, artists, writers, poets, social activists, journalists and people, including women and children from all walks of life voluntarily took part in the protest walk that went through the streets of Agartala. Protesters carrying placards of anti-war slogans sang songs, recited poems and raised slogans defaming the war and ongoing conflicts across the globe. Protesters raised their


Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit inaugurates solar plan at Raj Bhawan

Tripura mass protest

SSB Bureau

North East

three Members of Parliament – Jitendra Choudhury, Jharna Das Baidya, Sankar Prashad Das, Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar and several other top Left leaders also took part in the peace procession. The World War-II had begun in the early hours of September 1, 1939, when the German battleship SchleswigHolstein fired on the Polish fort of Westerplatte and subsequent the attack on Poland by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime led Britain and France to declare war on Germany two days later.

bro completes tough task

This will establish strategic road connects in the difficult terrains ssb bureau


he Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed a 71-km strategic road in remote Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh, a herculean task, the completion of which would benefit several villages located there. Project Arunank of the BRO on August 31 established road connectivity in between Sarli and Huri by completing the 71.30 km road. The construction of the road started in May, 2006. Last year, in order to expedite the progress, the Project Arunank was staged forward from Ziro to Jeevan ahead of Koloriang in April. Three additional dozers were dismantled at Ziro and inducted by air to the ‘Km 44’ detachment where they were reassembled. All the heavy construction plant and machinery was transported to the detachments by Indian Air Force helicopters. “The construction plant and machineries have to be broken down into a number of parts and carried under slung by helicopters which were later reassembled at the remote detachments. As a result of this boost, it became feasible to cut 10 km of road in one year which is an unprecedented achievement. “It was a Herculean effort as this methodology of road construction is the single-most significant challenge in the construction of roads in the state,” the BRO official said. Raised in 2008, Project Arunank has a vital role in the development of strategic roads and in a larger perspective, the overall communication system, designed for the socio economic development of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.


September 11 - 17, 2017



32 Unsung Hero


Yogeshwar Ram Mishra

District Magistrate goes teaching kids

District Magistrate of Varanasi, Yogeshwar Ram Mishra has adopted an upper primary school and is also teaching the children there


etting a note-worthy example for society, a district magistrate from UP is doing things that fall out of his job description for the betterment of children. The district magistrate of Varanasi, Yogeshwar Ram Mishra adopted an upper primary school in his region last month. “I adopted the school to improve the quality of education. As a part of the initiative, I teach students for about an hour every week. There is tremendous improvement in the knowledge and confidence of the students,” Yogeshwar said in an interview.

Yogeshwar Ram Mishra

HERO Every Saturday Yogeshwar has been teaching arithmetic, English and science to children from standard 1 to 8. He also tries his best to make the classes more interactive. There is no strict timetable for the classes he teaches. Students can enter and leave classrooms at random. He says that he takes his students’ choices into consideration and teaches what they want to learn. He also spreads awareness about environmental conservation and encourages students to plant saplings along the school yard. “Improving quality in primary and upper primary schools may be a challenge, but is not impossible. It can be improved with little efforts,” he said. Yogeshwar also makes it a point to talk his students on topics apart

from studies by engaging them in friendly banter.“Children interact with me and sometimes ask questions related to cricket and history. It is great to see that my effort has boosted the confidence of the students,” he added. In a school with an enrollment of 53 students, Yogeshwar found that many children wanted to speak English. In order to provide them with the exposure, he has charted out plans of taking them to the movies in the coming weeks. Yogeshwar found that most of his 53 school students desired to learn and speak English. To give them exposure to the language, he has planned to take them to English movies in the next few weeks. Before Mishra adopted the school, it lacked basic infrastructure. After the DM’s intervention, CSR activities of a corporate entity are going to help refurbish the school. He is also working towards making the schools digitally equipped with computers and projectors.

ers ak New New s smma kers

Aamir Khan


ctor Aamir Khan donated Rs 25 lakhs to CM’s relief fund for financially assisting the rescue operations for the flood victims in Bihar. He has also urged his fans to help the victims. A cheque of Rs 25 lakh was sent by ‘Dangal’ star through courier and was

Aamir Donates 25 Lakh Towards Flood Relief

Pillay Appointed Singapore’s Acting President

The Dangal star sent a cheque of Rs 25 lakh via courier for Bihar flood victims

J.Y Pillay’s appointment as interim President after President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s term ended

received at the office of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. This is not the first time Aamir Khan has donated such a big amount to a state. Previously, Khan donated the same amount for the flood victims in Assam and Gujarat. Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal took to Twitter to thank Aamir Khan for his generous contribution. Over one crore seventy lakh people have been affected by the floods in Bihar. The death toll has mounted to 415, with 21 districts being affected by the deluge. Twentytwo lakh people of Darbhanga have been affected by the floods.

ndian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay recently took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month. The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term last week, it was reported. The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23. According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the


J.Y Pillay CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991. Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe. He has served more than 60 such “stints” -- the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President S.R. Nathan visited Africa.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 39 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain

Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 39)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 39)