Newz First Tue, 07 Nov 2017 06:05:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-logo-1-32x32.jpg Newz First 32 32 Gujarat on high alert following terror advisory /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/journalist-shahina-media-person-intimidated-outside-court%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/home#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 05:00:05 +0000 /?p=18 Gandhinagar – errorists might have entered the state, state Home Minister Rajanikant Patel said here.article (1)

“We had received inputs from the central government yesterday (Saturday) about terror suspects having entered the state,” the minister told reporters here.

“We have issued a high alert,” he said, and the security has been increased.

Patel said the central government also sent National Security Guard (NSG) teams to Gujarat following a request by the state government.

“The NSG teams have arrived here,” he said.

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Sanders campaign to use India video against Clinton /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/rethink-death-punishment%3A-activists%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/full+story#respond Sat, 05 Mar 2016 04:23:21 +0000 /?p=6 Washington – As Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton vowed to punish companies that leave the US, her rival dug out a video of hers saying in India that there are “pluses and minuses” to outsourcing US jobs.

Rival Bernie Sanders’s campaign is planning to widely distribute the video of Clinton on television in India in 2012 in a bid to gain an advantage ahead of next week’s Michigan Democratic presidential primary, according to the Washington Post.

Appearing on NDTV during her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton was asked during a town hall-style public affairs programme for her thoughts on outsourcing from the US to India.

“Well, you know, it’s been going on for many years now,” Clinton said on the programme, “and it’s part of our economic relationship with India.”

“And I think there are advantages to it that have certainly benefited many parts of our country, and there are disadvantages that go to the need to, you know, improve the job skills of our own people and create a better economic environment, so it’s, like anything, it’s, you know, got pluses and minuses.”

While Sanders’s camp is prepared to argue that Clinton’s words, spoken abroad, show an insensitivity to the plight of US workers, Clinton’s team suggests what she said is consistent with her view that trade can be a mixed bag, the Post said.

Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver also argued that Clinton’s comments in India differed from what she has said about outsourcing during appearances in the US.

In the video, Clinton is also asked about a political ad that President Barack Obama was airing during his 2012 re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney that was critical of Romney’s outsourcing of jobs as a businessman.

The hosts told Clinton that the ad is causing “a lot of heartburn” in India.

“Well, it’s an election year,” Clinton responded, adding: “It’s an obligation in an election campaign to talk about what’s on people’s minds.”

She said that Americans who have lost manufacturing jobs are fearful because they “don’t feel like they have any other job possibilities”.

Meanwhile, speaking at a car part manufacturing plant in Detroit on Friday, Clinton pledged to punish companies that leave the US, as she laid out a sweeping plan to boost American workers and enforce trade policies, CNN reported.

In what her campaign billed as major policy address on the economy and jobs, Clinton proposed an exit tax that would punish companies for moving their headquarters overseas while still benefiting from US laws.

“If you aren’t going to invest in us, why should taxpayers invest in you?” she said.

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Symposium presents blueprint for trans-boundary cooperation /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/symposium-presents-blueprint-for-trans-boundary-cooperation%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/home#respond Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:51:06 +0000 /?p=12 Dehradun/Guwahati: Delivering the valedictory address at the International Symposium, recently on ‘Transforming Mountain Forestry’, Dr. Krishan Kant Paul, the Governor of Uttarakhand, enlisted a range of ideas for the experts to consider in future deliberations.

“The once highest rainfall area of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya is now bereft of forests and shrubs, challenging foresters to bring the degraded forests to life,” said Dr. Paul, “arguing that degraded soils do not hold healthy forests.” The scientists and foresters need to explore the causes of forest degeneration.

Some of the traditional practices like the ‘sacred forests’ in the tribal areas of the north-eastern India could offer cultural methods of sustaining forests, he stressed. The Governor also highlighted the need to conduct research on finding hydrocarbon species that can address the fossil fuel crises. By drawing patents on new discoveries of products from the forests, the scientists can make the best use of harnessing knowledge (Goddess Saraswati) to generate wealth (Goddess Lakshmi), he remarked. His Excellency said that recommendations drawn by the symposium should influence policy.

Spread over 5 days in as many as 26 plenary and parallel sessions, with a couple of brainstorming sessions and few break-away group discussions, the symposium delved on a wide diversity of issues related to ‘Transforming Mountain Forestry’ towards developing a third-generation paradigm to bridge trans-boundary challenges for the welfare of mountain people, forests, and environment in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.

Recognition of mountain forests as a ‘carbon pool’ was widely acknowledged and to ensure that the forests continue to play their role in neutralizing the impact of global warming the symposium recommended the need for States in the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) to develop policies that promote people-centric sustainable management practices backed by relevant research. The need for linking science with policy and practice was stressed. Innovative ways to exchange knowledge for bridging information gaps was suggested to create horizontal and vertical links among stakeholders.

Governance and institutions are at the heart of a paradigm shift in managing mountain forests. Landscape-led governance institutions, along with the lines of the Alpine Convention and the Mekong Commission, could be the way forward in finding common meeting points for member countries to identify policy provisions that can foster trans-boundary cooperation. Supporting formal and non-formal networks, encouraging legal trade in mountain products, and inter-sectoral dialogues were identified by the symposium as areas that can contribute to trans-boundary cooperation on a wide array of issues.

Developing and managing trans-boundary markets holds promise in the context of improving the economic basis of local livelihoods in the region. The participants unanimously agreed that ‘minimum of quality’ for mountain products could be crucial for developing a network of HKH markets. The Governments of the Countries of the HKH Region would need to work together in removing regulatory hurdles by evolving standards and maximize value realization by sticking to niche products from the mountain regions.

The symposium was unequivocal in voicing its concern on the growing human-wildlife conflicts. Ways to improve forest management by involving and engaging communities were put forth. Incentives to enhance stewardship of forests by communities by developing both fiscal and non-fiscal mechanisms for payment for ecosystem services were show-cased through case studies. Recognizing and mainstreaming traditional knowledge in planning and implementation could inspire local stewardship of forests.

Attended by 250 participants drawn from 15 countries, including 8 countries of the HKH region, the 5-day symposium was jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India; Forest Research Institute, India and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

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Vedanta AGM disrupted by protests as Niyamgiri mine is lost /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/vedanta-agm-disrupted-by-protests-as-niyamgiri-mine-is-lost%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/home#respond Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:56:06 +0000 /?p=14 The protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organizations on Thursday held a loud carnival demonstration at the AGM of mining company Vedanta at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square in London. Sources said that a parallel demo was also held in Johannesburg.

Vedanta’s London AGM was again disrupted by protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organizations who raised a number of human rights concerns. Chanting and singing were continuous throughout the two-hour protest and could be heard inside the AGM. Protesters held placards painted with defiant anti-company quotes from the Dongria Kond tribe in Odisha, India, where the company has been trying to mine illegally for ten years and has now been stopped.

Another group performed street theatre holding a giant inflatable monster with Vedanta Resources painted on it, and snake-like heads bearing the names of Vedanta’s subsidiaries. Some Sri Lankan protesters played Parai drums (a Tamil drum of revolution) outside the Mayfair venue. Vedanta subsidiary Cairn India is drilling in the fragile Mannar basin off Sri Lanka. At the peak of the demo, protesters staged a sit-in and blocked the road using the inflatable monster. No arrests were made.

The protesters in London and India celebrated the victory of the Dongria Kond over Vedanta. In April the Supreme Court of India gave a precedent final verdict that the ultimate decision on the contentious Niyamgiri mine should be taken by village meetings (Palli sabhas) held on the mountain.

On Monday the majority vote was in, as the seventh of twelve meetings registered a unanimous no to the project. To date, eight Palli sabhas have been held and each one has unanimously voted against the project. Commentators are suggesting the mine will now be canceled, losing Vedanta a $7 billion investment.

Yesterday in Delhi almost a hundred people braved rains to raise their protest at Odisha Bhawan. Meanwhile, the majority of tribal village meetings given legal power by the Supreme Court of India have unanimously voted against Vedanta’s flagship Niyamgiri mine.

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“After independence, we got bureaucracy not democracy” /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/%E2%80%9Cafter-independence-we-got-bureaucracy-not-democracy%E2%80%9D%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/home#respond Sat, 20 Apr 2013 04:58:10 +0000 /?p=16 Bangalore – After independence, we got bureaucracy, not a democracy, said Bhaskar Rao Gorantla, Research Director of National Social Watch. He was addressing a gathering of civil society representatives at a consultation programme organized by the Karnataka Social Watch on administrative reforms.

Listing various structural problems in the administration, he said that although the central and state level administrations have undergone a positive change since independence, the district/local level administrative bodies have not undergone any significant changes.

“Wide powers of control over Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) have been vested with the state bureaucracy; this takes away the essential characteristic of PRIs,” he said.

Presenting the gist of the ‘Administrative Reforms for Good Governance’, a book by NC Saxena – former director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Rao said that it is very essential to replace the entire system, as we change the entire structure when 70 percent pipes have leakage issues.

Referring to the number of ministries and departments that have increased from 20 to 110 after independence, Rao said that the lack of coordination among these ministries and departments have marred development.

Moreover, lack of professionalism, corruption and rampant misuse of discretionary powers by the bureaucracy has been deteriorating the administration and the governance, he said.

Another speaker Vasudev Sharma, a noted civic activist and executive director of Child Rights Trust, said that the Budget presented by the political parties after coming to power do not reflect their own election manifestoes.

On the other hand, the general mass is losing seriousness over political discussions, he said.

He also called upon the addressees to contemplate over the crucial issues like lessening days of assembly sessions, the rise in pending bills and court cases, and poor implementation of huge budgets.

Highlights of ‘Administrative Reforms for Good Governance’ book

· The book points out that it is not due to lack of resource, but due to the poor governance and administration, the country is still plagued by the poverty, starvation, malnutrition, diseases, unhygienic and wretched living conditions, etc.

· The Government of India transfers close to 6.5 lakh crore every year to the States. If even half of it was to be sent to the seven crore poor families directly by money order, they would receive more than 130 a day!

· It is due to the inability of the administration to deliver the quality services and good governance, the politicians are forced to adopt the shortcut to remain in the power and become powerful. It is due to the inability of the administration to deliver the quality services and good governance, the politicians are forced to adopt the shortcut to remain in the power and become powerful.

· Many problems of bureaucracy in India are quite old and well known. Obsession with rules rather than concern for output, promotions based on seniority rather than merit, delays, and mediocrity at all levels are some of the factors inhibiting outcomes in government. Many citizens find bureaucracy in India too slow, extremely rigid and mechanical and consequently not flexible and adaptive to cope with change.

· Due to the control that the IAS and the IPS lobbies exert on the system, a large number of redundant posts in the super-time and superior scales have been created to ensure them quick promotions. Often a senior post has been split, thus diluting and diminishing the scale of responsibilities attached to the post. For instance, in some States against the post of one chief secretary, there are many officers now in equivalent but far less important posts drawing the same salary. In one State, previously where one officer used to be the Secretary of Medical and Health, now there are five officers doing the job of one, four are in-charge of health, family planning, medical and medical education respectively, whereas the fifth one, as principal secretary, oversees the work of these four secretaries!

· In the long term, steps need to be taken to drastically reduce the number of meaningless posts in the IAS, so that only such posts where people can contribute meaningfully are retained.

· Increase the period an officer can be out of the system from five to seven years, without losing his seniority; and

· Many posts in the government should be earmarked to permit lateral entry of people from NGO/professional institutions at various levels to bring in a fresh outlook.

· Retire 25 to 50 percent of the officers at the age of 52 to 55, as it is done in the Army

· All organs of state are affected by the malaise of governance. The political executive, legislators, bureaucracy, and judiciary – no class of functionaries can escape responsibility. For instance, 20–25 million cases are pending in courts, and justice is inaccessible, painfully slow and costly. Police reforms will remain ineffective if criminal cases are not disposed of expeditiously.

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Maruti Crisis: Protestors demand release of innocent workers /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/maruti-crisis%3A-protestors-demand-release-of-innocent-workers#respond Sat, 21 Jul 2012 04:20:42 +0000 /?p=4 NEW DELHI – A large number of people Saturday protested against the repression of workers at Maruti Suzuki plant, a leading car manufacturer and urged the government to act against the management of the company and to release innocent workers, who were arrested following violence inside the plant on last Wednesday.

The protestors, who gathered outside Haryana Bhavan, shouting the slogans against Bhupinder Hooda, the chief minister of Haryana and the management of Maruti Suzuki Company, accused the management of repressing the workers of the factory since a year.

Addressing the gathering of protestors, Shivkumar of Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra said, “Workers had long pending resentment against the officials of management, who used to harass and abuse the workers for trivial issues.”

He also expressed the deep anguish over the entire episode and death of Awanish Kumar Dev. “We grieve over this unfortunate and painful incident. And also deplore the move to make others scapegoat for this.”

He also held management of the plant, labor department and administration responsible for the entire incident.

In Wednesday’s clash between workers and management staff, a senior executive was killed and scores were injured. The management had pointed the finger at workers for the violence inside the plant premises. Police have arrested about a hundred workers in this case.

Protestors also accused the management of the violent developments, who according to them called in the bouncers to brutally attack the workers.

Protestors in the memorandum sent to the chief minister of Haryana also demanded an impartial probe by an independent agency. They also demanded a thorough investigation of security in-charge of the plant, who according to protestors, will be in better position to reveal about the bouncers.

Members of about two dozens of social and labor organizations joined the demonstration.

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Face to Face: A talk with Anti POSCO PPSS leader Abhay Sahoo /web/guest/full-story/-/asset_publisher/Qd8l/content/face-to-face%3A-a-talk-with-anti-posco-ppss-leader-abhay-sahoo%3Fredirect%3D/web/guest/home#respond Mon, 22 Aug 2011 04:46:13 +0000 /?p=10 (Musab Iqbal, Chief Editor of new first traveled to the very heart resistance in Odisha to understand the overlapping phenomena of resistance and development. He interviewed the leader of anti-POSCO PPSS Abhay Sahoo, a man who architected this movement from ground zero and lead it through its all tough time. Lived a period in the underground, jailed for months and now confined to a small home of PPSS worker in Jagdishpur village far from his native village to shape and lead the movement.)

Tell me about PPSS

When on June 22, 2005, the MoU was signed by the state government with POSCO it was clear that the steel plant is coming. A protest was organized that very day in the state capital in which I was also present. Then my party (communist party) decided that thus this project area comes under a home block of Abhay Sahoo, so he must go back there and prepare a mass movement. I came here and organized 10-12 people and started educating the villagers about POSCO project. On July 11 we launched our first campaign in a Rickshaw rally with a microphone and covered 3 Panchayat and did corner meetings, on that very day PPSS was formed and I became its Chairman and Sisir Mahapatra became its General Secretary. This is a mass resistance, not political resistance – BJP, Cong all are supporting this movement

Since 2005 what PPSS is doing?

We felt that educating the people should be the first priority. So we decided to do high-level campaign across the villages to educate people about the imminent danger and for that we invited a lot of high profile leaders as well. D.Raja also came and addressed the villagers of almost all villages after him many other comrades came. After these campaigns govt felt that even pro POSCO protestors are coming to PPSS then ministers decided to come to us and explain the rehabilitation policy.

And when the protest began?

So on 21 January 2006, we protested on main entry point against the ministers and we said clearly that we will not allow you to enter and there must be no POSCO. This was the first major protest outside the village with thousands of women protesting as well. So they went back

But again they did the same programme in Nuagaon there also we protested and they did the similar programme in Dhinkia. In that programme, 4000-5000 people gathered with us and protested against the pro-POSCO rally. There was the severe confrontation with them. So Dhinkia show has flopped and ministers failed to do their programmes

When was the first case registered in your name?

The first case against me and 52 others under section 307 was slapped immediately after the Dhinkia protest

From 11 April 2006, we became underground and we didn’t step out of the village but the spirit of protestors was high. Police also arrested nine people and later it was declared on behalf of villagers that police and administration cannot enter the village and we also detained police and administration when they entered. So police remained outside the village and we remained inside as the warrants were against many of us

When were you arrested?

On October 12, 2008, I came out of the village for treatment and then only I was arrested.I was charged with 33 cases and when I was in jail 4 more cases were slapped. I was in prison for 10 months 14 days. Now 49 cases are against me. Govt has charged me for doing movement, keeping officials in detention etc

Who are in favor of POSCO? What is Pro POSCO?

Actually, the POSCO Company identified few villagers, gave them money and formed a unit or committee in their favor to break the protest which resulted in a riot in the village among pro and anti. 52 – 56 members formed united action committee in favor of POSCO

In every village there are 10 – 20 supporters pro POSCO people are very less but they are patronized by Govt, administration, and company

Is Nuagaon supporting POSCO?

Nuagaon have maximum 100 supporters. Palli sabha passed judgment against POSCO

What’s your take on Transition camp?

Transition camp is among the ‘mistakes’ of the company. Now the transition campers want to return under administration. We don’t have problem with them but they must not come back with administration

When did police start camping in school?

On 29 November 2007 when we were protesting day and night at Balut the POSCO goons came and burnt our camps. So we withdrew from the main entry point. More than hundred of men and women were injured. After our withdrawal police made camp in every school building except Dhinkia for 4 months

We gave the slogan ‘Save Dhinkia’ and on 1st April 2008 activists and members of various mass movements from across the state almost 10,000 – 12,000 came here breaking the police barricade and forcing the police out. Then we recaptured many villages.

How was Tapan Mandal killed?

We were doing digging activity near the mouth of the sea while coming back from their 59 goons was hiding in Govindpur School and they started bombing. Tapan Mandal died then only while 2 become severely injured

How did the firing happen?

In January Govt announced that South Korean president will visit POSCO project villages so we did meeting and sat on dharna on 26th January day and night at Balitut and his programme was canceled

30 platoons entered in May and did fired rubber bullet with lathi charge and used water canon injuring over hundreds and then arrested 5. Section 144 was called and all meetings were banned and police took control of the village

A.B.Bardhan then asked state govt to lift 144 else he will break it, so the Govt lifted 144

You never spoke to POSCO?

We never spoke to POSCO, they came but we detained them. It’s decided we will not talk to them. I met CM in June 2010 he agreed to conduct a survey to calculate the loss and damage but not under police supervision. I invited him to the village and he promised he will come. Survey guys came but CM never came

What is the status of the project now?

Meen Gupta committee recommended that this is the violation of forest right but after clearance by the ministry, the land acquisition is done under the supervision of the police. Govt and ministers are talking about peaceful land acquisition then why police are there. Police is basically trying to crush the opposition and creating fear psychosis among villagers

1600 -1700 acre is acquired so far in Polang and Nuagaon. I can’t go there as I will be arrested. The forcible land acquisition is underway if there is no police no acquisition can take place. Mainland is in Dhinkia – the valuable one. The plant is impossible without Dhinkia. We have to think how to get back the acquired land too

And what do you think why POSCO want this very land?

They say it is port-based plant. They want captive port and also sand dunes will help them. All infrastructures are ready for them. In the name of diversion, Govt is giving the forest land for free to them. And also they are getting the iron ore with a royalty of just Rs.27

Why are you opposing POSCO?

All agriculture is on Govt land – forest land is people’s livelihood. It’s a profitable and self-reliant economy and it should not be destroyed for industrialization. Cultivable land should never be destroyed. Water is not available for irrigation how shall it be given to industry

What about the mining license?

Without mine, there will be no factory. If mining license is canceled the industry is not possible

How do you see the future of POSCO?

POSCO is not possible. Dhinkia movement will never break…its united…they will have to shift. In Dhinkia it’s not possible. Only force can destroy this resistance

Your message for other movements

The agricultural economy should be preserved and develop. Industrial growth should be for all. All India united movement of farmers is needed. Farmers’ movement needs to be centralized

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