"The Hindu" editorial is a part and parcel of CAT preperation. but to my surprise i didnt find any thread which discusses the difficult words in the editorial and discuss abt their contextual meanings..
So as a starting effort and im putting forward my analysis of the editorial...
"The Hindu" editorial is a part and parcel of CAT preperation. but to my surprise i didnt find any thread which discusses the difficult words in the editorial and discuss abt their contextual meanings..
So as a starting effort and im putting forward my analysis of the editorial of 28th June '05.
You Can also find this stuff in my blog.. i update it daily..
The author of this editorial is Mr.V.K.Krishna Iyer.
The link to the editorial is
Some of the words/phrases which can cause confusion are:
I have left out some words which i could not comprehend the meanings..
so kindly u can fill those for me...
1.> Everest of the Indian Bar.
Here it means that Mr. Fali Nariman is at the peak of the indian judiciary.
2.> Under the auspices
at the occasion of
3.> To bring to light
to enlighten others on that topic
4.> Curial Process
Curial meant cure pertaining to priests..
5.> Intrigues ( Beyond intrigues )
beyond intrigues meant beyond doubt.
6.> inalterable and unamendable paramountcy.
inalterable means which cannot be altered and paramountcy meant the highest rank or authority.
7.> Without a tear.
Withou considering it.
8.> Expounded Another riddle-ridden doctrine.
Expound means eloberate or set forth, riddle means puzzle, doctrine means principle.
9.> Latifundist, feudalist, strangling of agrarian reform.
Latifundist is derived from latin.. Latus means Spacious Fundus means farm.. agrarian means relating to agriculture.
10.> sip every flower and change every hair
Phenomenon of finding valuable things not sought for.
12.> Vague, Vagarious, Jurisprudentially
Vagarious means unexpected change, Jurisprudence means branch concerned with law and principles.
Lacking in interest or significance.
14.> ipse dixits
an assertion without support or proof.
15.> seared by possible authoritarian anti-socialism.
hidden or secret.
19.> Judicial Ukase.
20.> Curial Invention
21.> Statutory exercises becoming a vanishing point of jurisprudence.
The state of being sensitive.
23.> Kesavananda Vagary.
Vagary means unexpected change in something.
24.> Judicial Riddle.
Strong liking for something.
26.> Grant a holiday
27.> Tragic obiter
A brilliant and notable success.
30.> Judicial Imperative.
Imperative is something which is essential.
Something desired as a neccesity.
Here anathema means seperated or set apart.
reveal in private, tell confidentially.
36.> Was our wont.
TIME BOUND TRIALS FOR LEGISLATORS ( Hindu Editorial http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/timebound-trials-for-legislators/article5781573.ece )
After 65 years of Independence, Supreme court of India has passed a order which strictly directs the lower courts for a speedy disposal & hearing of Mp's and MLA's which may be criminal or corruption cases, within 1 year of the filing of case. This act comes under article 21 of the constitution. last years judgement which says criminal cases against MLA's ANd MP's will disqualify them for a seat in the legislation and cannot contest for 10 years hence. So, this law to prove cases against them within 1 year or not give an explanation to chief justice of H.C. is a welcome decision and may change the face of Indian Politics.
By all accounts, no dramatic developments are to be expected from the 19th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started in Warsaw last week. But it is generally acknowledged tha...
India and climate talks imperatives
By all accounts, no dramatic developments are to be expected from the 19th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started in Warsaw last week. But it is generally acknowledged that the key issue at Warsaw, even if there are many other significant subjects on the agenda, centres around moving forward the negotiations on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (DPA) initiated at COP 17 two years ago.
It is widely understood that the Durban Platform was a game-changer, setting the stage for decisive climate action based on clear commitments to emissions reduction from all nations. Subsequently, the discussions in the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) have resulted in demanding timeline for achieving its aims, including a draft text to be produced by the COP in 2014, a global meeting of heads of states of all nations to be convened by the United Nations Secretary General to push forward such an agreement, and a final agreement to be reached by COP 21 in 2015.
While it is not a foregone conclusion that the DPA will achieve its stated goals by 2015, there are now additional factors conducive to reaching a global agreement. Even if no individual extreme climate event can be attributed exclusively to increased global warming, increasing awareness of the impact of climate-driven disasters, such as Typhoon Haiyan and the Uttarakhand flash floods, is contributing to a global recognition of the urgency of a climate deal, among governments as well as civil society. Significantly, the release of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the next several months, culminating in the release of the final synthesis report of all its findings next year, will add to the sense of urgency.
At the UNFCCC, the European Union has been the most active in pushing forward the agenda of the Durban Platform, laying out in increasing detail the framework and broad outlines of its content and a methodology for securing commitments that would ensure an effective treaty. It has been joined in this effort by many African nations, especially South Africa, and have the strong support of the island-states of the world — support that was vociferously expressed at Durban in 2011. The United States has pursued a two-track policy with respect to the DPA. On the one hand, the U.S. insists that it would undertake only such emissions reductions as it deems feasible, a strategy that is referred to as the “bottom up” approach in the global climate discourse. On the other hand, it has not hesitated to support the European Union, the Africa Group and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in their efforts to have a binding climate agreement with assigned commitments to all nations, especially when such commitments are to be imposed on China and India.
Where do India's interests lie in the matter of a global climate agreement? There can be no doubt that India needs an early climate agreement, for two reasons. On the one hand, there is increasing evidence that unchecked global warming would lead to increasingly severe effects in several sectors, especially agriculture and water, apart from the increased frequency of extreme climate events.
The enhanced climate variability that accompanies global warming will have serious impacts on Indian farmers, the bulk of whom are small-holders who even today suffer the consequences of weather and climate shocks, before the effects of global warming have risen to more alarming levels. An early climate agreement with the potential to restrict global average temperature rise to at least 2 degrees Centigrade, if not lower, is certainly a necessity. An early and effective limit on greenhouse gas emissions will also contribute to lowering the need, and associated costs, for climate change adaptation, which otherwise could be considerable. At the same time, India needs adequate atmospheric “space” in terms of allowed carbon emissions to pursue its development. Even in a highly optimistic scenario in which renewable energy rapidly takes up the bulk of the requirements for sectors such as domestic lighting and heating, agriculture, and all energy needs of small-scale establishments, India will still need fossil fuels for a considerable time until reliable sources of clean energy become available for large-scale use in the expansion of industry, transportation and the like, all of which are needed for development. Even infrastructure needs for adaptation will require such emissions. The IPCC's AR5 report has brought to the centre-stage of discussion the notion of a global carbon budget, referring to the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, from the beginning of the industrial era till the end of the 21st century, that are permissible, if the global temperature rise is to be kept below 2 degrees C. For a 66 per cent probability of keeping the rise in global average temperature below this limit, the world is allowed approximately 1000 billion tonnes of carbon emissions (taking account solely of carbon dioxide). But the nub of the issue is the equitable distribution of this space. In per capita terms, or indeed by several other measures of equitable distribution as well, the developed countries have already substantially exceeded their fair share of this global budget. As a consequence, a large number of developing countries, including China but especially India, will have to make do with less than their fair share of the global carbon space as their national carbon budgets for the future, if indeed global warming has to be kept in check. 'Top-down' agreement To maximise the developing countries' access to the global carbon budget, an early “top-down” agreement to impose constraints on the developed nations' consumption of carbon “space” in the atmosphere is an obvious necessity. Even more obviously, an approach based on “voluntary” commitments to emissions reduction by developed and developing countries would not address India's needs. In view of these considerations, it is surprising that New Delhi's guidelines for its Warsaw delegation should set aside India's long-standing commitment to treating the atmosphere as a global commons, to be shared equitably by all nations, and instead back the “voluntary commitments” approach. Predictably, even before this approach has been articulated, it has run into rough weather.
The EU is of course fully aware of the global carbon budget and hence demands that the gap between the sum of all voluntary commitments and the allowed global budget has to made up by further emissions reductions that all nations have to agree to. This demand, as well as India's response that the gap must be made up by the developed nations based on historical responsibility for emissions, brings us back to what is indeed a “top-down” approach. At the heart of the Government of India's current confusion lies its unwillingness to acknowledge that in an eventual global agreement, all countries have to shoulder some part of the burden, even while any such burden-sharing must be based on equity and climate justice in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. New Delhi's view currently is that developing countries will have no binding commitments whatsoever even into the future, a view that will increasingly isolate India from even others in the ranks of the G-77. The inadequacy of official India's unhappy approach is brought out by the fact that it has allowed the term “equity reference framework” in the context of the ADP negotiations to be hijacked by other nations, including nations of the African Group as well as the EU. India and its like-minded friends are left in the unenviable position of opposing this term, claiming that developing nations will never undertake any binding commitment. For too long, India's official climate policy has portrayed the absence of a proactive stance on a climate agreement as a strategy to protect the country's interests. Climate science as well as good climate politics demand that India shift to making clear to the world its commitment, in concrete terms, both to securing its developmental future as well as preserving the global environment. (Dr. T. Jayaraman is Dean of the School of Habitat Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai)
SummaryIndia has seen unprecedented economic growth in past few years, but not every section of society is benefiting from it. It has vast number of stun...
Analyzing the article Stunting a country
Words usage: Stunted->a stop or hindrance in growth or development
Underscore-> To emphasize , stress
India has seen unprecedented economic growth in past few years, but not every section of society is benefiting from it. It has vast number of stunted children, who live on the verge of death. A major cause is poor health of women during pregnancy. They don't have access to proper food and nutrients, which cause complications during pregnancy and many deliver stunted babies. The need of the hour is to make fight against malnutrition a national agenda. We will be able to control maternal and mortality rate with good measure to provide iron supplements , calcium and other nutrients. Providing nutrients through a basket of commodities can play a major role in fulfilling the needs of marginal segment of society. Public Distribution system and community-run not-for-profit institutions will work as pillar in pursuing this mission.
India can't reap the benefit of demographic dividend if large part of young population is suffering form malnutrition. Our government has forgotten the crucial role first 1000 days of child play in a long and healthy life. It is now for civil society to press the agenda.
Please comment if you find any grammatical error. It will be appreciated.
Why there were no good guys in 2003
In the week marking the 10th anniversary of the illegal United States and British-led invasion of Iraq, a BBC TV Panorama programme carried material to the effect that six months and three months before the March 2003 invasion, two high Iraqi officials separately told the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) — but the information was never passed on to the politicians. The invasion and its aftermath were riddled with procedural and institutional failures and gross illegalities, but the greatest political failures were the inability and unwillingness of the relevant representative assemblies, the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament, to perform their constitutional duty of scrutinising their respective executives.
The procedural failures themselves arouse suspicion. The Panorama programme, made by Peter Taylor and aired on March 18, says the first Iraqi source was Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, who, the then CIA station head in Paris learnt, hated Saddam Hussein for murdering his brother. The second was the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Habbush Al Tikriti, who initiated contact and met a British agent. Yet the notes the CIA officer, Bill Murray, made in New York and posted to be typed up in Washington had their introduction modified, and then seem to have disappeared; a Senate inquiry said it could find no trace of them. As for the Habbush material, MI6 never passed it on; it apparently thought Saddam Hussein had designed it to mislead.
Taylor recognises that Habbush’s approach may have been an attempt by Saddam Hussein to forestall an invasion — but Habbush was telling the truth, and was in fact saying what the United Nations weapons inspectors had been saying publicly for several years already. Neither the CIA nor MI6 seems to have tried to investigate the truth of either set of statements. On the other hand, bad intelligence, as Murray himself told Taylor, reached the top very quickly; that included the fantasies peddled by Ahmed Chalabi and by a contact called Curveball, an Iraqi-born and German-settled chemical engineer named Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi.
The latter, according to Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd of the Guardian , pulled off one of the “greatest confidence tricks” in the history of modern intelligence by keeping up the deceit for six months; the German government passed his fictions on to Washington before deciding he was lying. Al-Janabi was shocked to hear many of his own lies repeated by Secretary of State Colin Powell in the now infamous speech to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003.
The failures by the security bodies were compounded by the way sections of the U.S. and British press created a climate favourable to the war. A 2003 Cardiff University study on British broadcast news for the first three weeks after the invasion found that the BBC displayed the greatest “pro-war” bias among the four main British broadcasters. In that period, 11 per cent of its sources were from the Iraqi coalition government or of military origin, and the corporation used government sources twice as much as the commercial broadcasters ITN and Channel 4 News. Secondly, Channel 4 used independent sources like the Red Cross three times as often as the BBC, and even Sky used such sources twice as often. The BBC also placed “least emphasis” on Iraqi casualties, mentioning them in 22 per cent of stories on the Iraqi people, and it was the least likely of the four stations to report on Iraqis who opposed the invasion.
In addition, some of the BBC’s own staff seem to have accepted government statements without question. David Cromwell notes in Why Are We the Good Guys? (Zero Books, 2012) that the corporation’s current affairs superstar Jeremy Paxman has said he himself was convinced by Mr. Powell’s U.N. speech; he thought Mr. Powell had had access to all the relevant information, and he assumed that such an eminent person would not lie over this matter. As Carl Bernstein has written elsewhere, that is precisely what the mainstream U.S. press had thought 30 years earlier about the officials who tried to cover up the Watergate scandal. Paxman also later admitted to having been “hoodwinked” by the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Furthermore, as the investigative journalist Nick Davies shows in his book Flat Earth News (Vintage Books, 2009), the U.S. and British security services repeatedly planted fabricated stories in the mainstream media, which the latter, under commercial pressure to achieve sales and audience ratings, did not cross-check. Media gullibility and collusion with the political establishment over Iraq are well known; the New York Times later published an apology for not scrutinising the Bush administration’s claims better.
Yet several institutions of state are also implicated in what amounted to failures of democratic processes and institutions. For example, the then British attorney-general, Lord Goldsmith, revised his earlier analysis and said the invasion would not breach international law, but he did so because the chief of military staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, now Lord Boyce, doubted the legality of the invasion enough to ask for a fresh legal opinion.
Lord Boyce even said that if he was going to end up in the dock of the International Criminal Court, he wanted to see ‘other people’, which he later admitted meant Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, indicted alongside him.
There were, of course, staff in the CIA and in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office who resigned over the fixing of intelligence to serve the politicians’ purposes and over the neglect of analyses questioning the legality of the invasion. Those resignations, however, do not obviate the implication that some of the seniormost staff in the CIA and MI6 had themselves decided, like Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, that Iraq had to be invaded irrespective of the evidence.
For the United Kingdom, an even greater problem is that neither the main executive body, the Cabinet, nor the representative and sovereign assembly, Parliament, so much as saw the complete text of Lord Goldsmith’s 13-page document, dated March 7, 2003, which contained inter alia the attorney-general’s doubts that the invasion would be legal without a further U.N. resolution. Secondly, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Butler, has said he was not aware that MI6 had the information Naji Sabri had given the CIA, but that if the CIA had provided that intelligence then “perhaps” MI6 was not permitted to share it with other British bodies. Lord Butler, in effect, has accepted that the CIA can pool information with MI6, a British body, but that the United Kingdom as a body politic has no right to that information. Despite Mr. Blair’s documented subservience to the U.S. — something which may also have been driven by a fear that the opposition Conservatives would call him soft on terrorism — this constitutes a serious abdication of British sovereignty.
Worse still, Lord Butler told the Panorama programme that the British public has “every reason” to think it is the body which was the most seriously misled. This is crucial. Neither the media failures nor those of the professional public-service bodies would have mattered if the United States Congress and the British Parliament had scrutinised their respective governments properly. Steven Zunes notes inTruthout that Congress — members of which have large bodies of staff and are far better funded than many other legislators around the world — had many months to investigate the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq. Mr. Zunes adds that “large numbers” of scholars, Middle Eastern political leaders, and former U.S. officials advised members of Congress that an invasion would probably cause a bloody insurgency, and a rise in Islamist extremism and sectarian violence.
As for the ruling British Labour Party, it had 368 MPs and a majority of 167 in the House of Commons at the time; in the end 139 Labour MPs, 15 of the opposition Conservatives, and all 63 Liberal Democrats, voted for an amendment stating that the case for war had not yet been established. The amendment got 217 votes and was defeated by a majority of 179; yet the Commons had never been given the full legal arguments.
Much is already known about the lies, deceptions, and institutional failures which made the invasion of Iraq possible, and detail has emerged about the effect on the Iraqi population of the invaders’ chemical weapons and depleted-uranium ammunition. Yet the central assemblies of the two countries which led the invasion bear the heaviest responsibility. They failed to question their political executives, failed to use the powers they rightly hold, and failed to remember what they owe to the voters who legitimate their very presence in an elected assembly. They betrayed representative democracy itself.
The unwillingness of the U.S. Congress,
British Parliament and media to question their political executives was the greatest
democratic failure that led to the Iraq war
The Hindu(April 19, 2013)
4th March: The Hindu
The mystique that stock markets seem to hold for lay people and policymakers alike gets magnified several times over in budget season. There is, most certainly, no rational basis for this. Though devoid of real significance, the share markets’ verdict on the budget in the minutes and hours after the Finance Minister’s speech continues to be extremely important to policymakers. This has been amply demonstrated again by the urgency shown by P. Chidambaram and his team in allaying concerns over a provision in the Finance Bill that seems to cast doubts on the validity of residency certificates that benefit investors routing their investments through tax treaty centres such as Mauritius. On budget day, the sharp decline in share indices was attributed to just this single provision. The fact that the concerns are confined to foreign investors and tax havens used by them says it all. The broader market and the government are explicitly acknowledging the importance of these investors. It is, therefore, not surprising that in his budget speech, the Finance Minister gave his proposals relating to the broad category of foreign investors pride of place among financial sector announcements. None of them — and virtually none of the financial sector announcements — made reference to financial outlays but are nevertheless important for the policy direction they reveal.
In moving towards internationally accepted definitions of foreign institutional investment (FII) and foreign direct investment (FDI), the government is facilitating larger foreign inflows especially in sectors that have an FDI cap. Foreign investors may not have got their entire wish list. The much-anticipated announcement to expand the role of FIIs in the debt market did not materialise. But the package for them looks very impressive when contrasted with what is available for domestic investors, especially the retail ones. There has been once again a proposal to simplify the procedures for small and medium enterprises to access their dedicated exchange. More significant, in the context of infrastructure funding, is the proposal to start a dedicated debt segment in the stock exchanges. The facilities being accorded to foreign capital can be justified in the current macroeconomic context of the widening current account deficit. Yet the economy needs domestic investors too, not just the large ones but retail investors, who should ideally be the backbone of any well developed capital market. The ambitious disinvestment target next year, of Rs.40,000 crore, brooks no delay in enhancing the retail participation in the markets.
Idea sentence in both the para??
It was a reference to the Renaissance man, who Sartre exhorted for possessing fraternal as well as revolutionary ideals.
this line in the above link seems grammtically incorrect to me. ""who" should be replac...
It was a reference to the Renaissance man, who Sartre exhorted for possessing fraternal as well as revolutionary ideals.
this line in the above link seems grammtically incorrect to me. ""who" should be replaced with
correct me if i am wrong.
The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed in 1960, took 10 years to negotiate, primarily because of the thorny issue of balancing, on the one hand, the reasonable expectation by India that it could use the hydroelectric potential of “Pakistan's rivers” (the Ch...
As has often been recounted, the IWT worked well for decades, even through periods when India and Pakistan were at war. But the truth of the matter is that the Treaty was not really under stress until India started (quite appropriately, in my view) building hydro power plants across the Himalayas, and, in particular, on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The first case, where the Indian and Pakistani Indus Water Commissioners were unable to resolve their differences, was the one of the Baglihar hydro power project on the Chenab. At Pakistan’s request, the World Bank appointed a Neutral Expert to evaluate the claims. After two years of work the Neutral Expert returned his verdict. The essence of the verdict was that the Treaty allowed for new knowledge to be taken into account, that new knowledge on sediment management meant that modern dams should be able to flush sediments through low-level gates and that this element of the design of the Baglihar dam was therefore acceptable. What the Neutral Expert completely ignored was that this change essentially meant eliminating the “limit live storage” provision of the IWT, a provision that was at the very heart of Pakistan’s acceptance of the Treaty in the first place. Since there are a large number of hydro projects on the drawing board in Indian-held Kashmir, and since the cumulative storage on the Chenab alone has been estimated to be about 40 days, this essentially left Pakistan with no protection against unintentional or intentional harm from Indian manipulation of the dead storage they were now allowed to build.
Which brings us to the Kishenganga case. The far-sighted Indian and Pakistani engineers who drew up the IWT had foreseen the Kishenganga case quite specifically and had dedicated a whole section to this specific case. Annexure D para 15 states “where a Plant is located on a tributary of the Jhelum on which Pakistan has any agricultural use or hydroelectric use, the water released below the plant may be delivered, if necessary, into another tributary but only to the extent that the then existing agricultural use or hydroelectric use by Pakistan on the former tributary would not be adversely affected.” While lawyers might, à la Bill Clinton, ponder the meaning of “has,” it is clear to most that since there was no “then existing use” by Pakistan, India was well within its rights to build Kishenganga.
In my opinion Pakistan should never have taken this case to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), because there was, in my view, no chance that they would win the case. Another Pakistani loss after Baglihar would have several consequences, all negative for Pakistan. First, they would have wasted a lot of resources paying for high-priced lawyers. Second, they could be spending their scarce human resources on more productive areas, like improving the management of water in Pakistan. And third, as the press headlines in both India and Pakistan trumpet “India wins, again,” this would reinforce the Indian claim that “victories” over both Baglihar and Kishenganga showed that India was playing by the rules while Pakistan just wanted to harass India on these projects.
But, as the Christian Brothers told me when I was a boy growing up in South Africa, the Lord works in mysterious ways. In this case there is no doubt that India has won the battle, but I think that it has, in fact, lost a far more important war.
What is my reasoning? The battle is about Kishenganga. The decision of the International Court of Arbitration will, indeed, mean a loss of somewhere between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the generation capacity at Pakistan’s Neelum Jhelum project, an economic and electricity cost which Pakistan can hardly afford. But this is a one-off case — the war is about the large number of projects which India plans to build on the Chenab and Jhelum. And here it is the finding of the ICA on allowable manipulable storage which is the key issue. The Baglihar decision would appear to have provided India with a green light to build these projects with as much live storage as they chose (as long as they classified it as “for sediment flushing”). What is enormously important is that the ICA has, according to early press accounts, addressed this issue head-on and, de facto , concluded that the Baglihar finding in this regard undercut the central compromise of the Indus Waters Treaty, was wrong and should not be applied to future projects. The ICA has, apparently, specifically ruled that the design and operation of Indian hydro power projects on the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum cannot include more live storage than allowed under the IWT, even if the justification for such storage is silt management.
A final word. While it is good — in the view of this observer — that the ICA has put humpty-dumpty back together again, this is not enough. It restores the status quo ante Baglihar, but that is an uneasy and unproductive status quo. Without a change, of course, Pakistan will continue to object to every project on the Indus, Jhelum or Chenab in Indian-held Kashmir (and now, armed with the ICA conclusion on dead storage, Pakistan is likely to win). This will discourage investors from investing in these vital plants on the Indian side, and will escalate the tit-for-tat response (already patent) of India trying to impede needed international support for the construction of hydropower plants in Gilgit Baltistan, which lies on the Pakistani side of the LoC. What is needed is to use the resetting of the terms by the ICA for India and Pakistan to start out in a new direction. This should be one in which there is a search for joint benefits (such as hydropower plants built in the best possible sites, with power sold both ways, and with operating rules which benefit both parties built into the project). As a long-time student of this dynamic in the subcontinent it remains my conviction that the first step in breaking the long-standing vicious cycle must come from sustained, high-level, political leadership from India. I am confident that Pakistan would respond positively to such an overture. And I am equally sure that if this great strategic issue is left in the hands of mid-level bureaucrats, the future is likely to be more of the bad-for-both-sides past.
(John Briscoe served as Senior Water Adviser for the World Bank in New Delhi. Now at Harvard University, he was recently the lead consultant for the Water Sector Task Force of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. The opinions in this piece are his own. The photograph is of theKishenganga hydroelectric project in north Kashmir.)
While allowing India to build the Kishenganga project, the International Court of Arbitration has de facto ruled that the Baglihar decision was wrong and should not be applied to future projects
Questions for Mr. Nilekani
The Hindu EYES WIDE SHUT: Retaining biometric efficiency of data on a large scale does not seem to have been analysed while queries on privacy have not been addressed.
The architects of the unique identification scheme are yet to provide satisfactor...
Questions for Mr. Nilekani
The Hindu EYES WIDE SHUT: Retaining biometric efficiency of data on a large scale does not seem to have been analysed while queries on privacy have not been addressed.
The architects of the unique identification scheme are yet to provide satisfactory answers to concerns about data security
The Aadhaar scheme of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is to provide India’s billion-plus people with a unique identification number. Enrolment is not mandatory, though it was mentioned that it would be difficult for people to access public services if not done. The scheme requires individuals to provide their photograph, fingerprints and iris scan along with documentary personal information for data capture by outsourced operators. It is meant to bypass the corrupt bureaucratic system and deliver government subsidies and grants to the poor, and bring them into the banking system. Sceptics argue that it is an effort to capture the funds of hundreds of millions of micro- and nano-investors who are today outside the banking system, to bring them into the credit economy.
The scheme was introduced as a pilot project in Karnataka’s Mysore district. The poor and those who survive on daily wages were not enthusiastic about enrolment, because it meant losing four or five days wages, to stand in queues, to fill up forms, to produce documents, to provide biometrics, etc., and, later, to open bank accounts. The UIDAI overcame the initial reluctance by wide advertisement of the benefits of enrolment. When this too did not achieve the target set, the local administration informed the public that PDS ration and LPG supply would not be available without the Aadhaar number. This resulted in serpentine queues right through the day at enrolment centres, at the end of which the UIDAI could claim that 95 per cent of Mysore district’s population had enrolled itself into the scheme.
Media reports indicate that commencing January 1, 2013, MGNREGA, the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana (RGAY), the Ashraya housing scheme, Bhagyalakshmi and the social security and pension scheme will be linked with Aadhaar in Mysore district. This linking, with rights like salary and pension, and important entitled benefits and services, has raised some hackles because enrolment is not mandatory.
It has led to questions on whether salary and pension rights, and benefits like PDS ration and LPG supply can be denied just because an individual does not possess a unique Aadhaar number. Today, teachers in Maharashtra and government employees in Jharkhand cannot draw their salaries. Apart from pro-poor projects like MGNREGA and RGAY, even jobs, housing, provident funds and registering a marriage now require enrolment. From being not mandatory, the “poor-inclusive” Aadhaar scheme appears to have quietly metamorphosed into becoming exclusionary and non-optional.
The UIDAI’s own Biometrics Standards Committee stated that retaining biometric efficiency for a database of more than one billion people “has not been adequately analysed” and the problem of fingerprint quality in India “has not been studied in depth.” Thus the technological basis of the project remains doubtful.
Criticism from the top
However, the severest critic of the entire scheme has been the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (PSCF), which deliberated that the Aadhaar scheme is “full of uncertainty in technology as the complex scheme is built upon untested, unreliable technology and several assumptions.” It found Aadhaar to be “directionless” and “conceptualized with no clarity.” But the UIDAI shelters under the Prime Minister’s protective wing and continues to stonewall not only public queries and criticism, but also the unequivocal verdict of the PSCF.
Possibly even more serious is data security, and the consequent threat to privacy. The UIDAI claims that access to its database will be secure from intelligence agencies. This claim is hollow, because the Aadhaar project is contracted to receive technical support from L-1 Identity Solutions (now MorphoTrust USA), a well-known defence contractor. Contracts are also awarded to Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd., which works with the U.S. Homeland Security, and Ernst & Young to install the UIDAI’s Central ID Data Repository. It is impossible to ensure database security when technical providers are American business corporations, and U.S. law requires them to provide information demanded of them, to U.S. Homeland Security. But the UIDAI is in denial.
If biometric data and other personal information fall into the hands of unauthorised agencies, privacy is unequivocally compromised. Compromising an individual’s personal data affects only that person, but when the personal data of many millions of people is involved, there is potential for a national disaster. The fact that the UIDAI is silent on or evasive about these security concerns does not inspire confidence in the capability of the UIDAI or the Aadhaar system to maintain the right to personal privacy.
Though the Aadhaar project is “not mandatory,” enrolment by threat of exclusion from availing benefits and services, and threat of denial of rights like salary or pension makes it non-optional. This kind of deviousness is unbecoming of a democratically elected government. Coming on top of many huge scams, the present government may suffer electorally if it persists in using unethical, extra-legal coercion to impose the security-defective, technologically unproven, very expensive UID Aadhaar scheme on the public.
a person who habitually doubts the authenticity of accepted beliefs
a person who mistrusts people,ideas, etc, in general
a person who doubts the truth of religion,esp Christianity
serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use:a pilot project.
of,characteristic of, or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement.
Raise one's hackles:
to arouse one's anger:Such officiousness always raises my hackles.
not equivocal; unambiguous;clear; having only one possible meaning or interpretation
absolute;unqualified;not subject to conditions or exceptions
tending or seeking to evade; characterized by evasion
force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.
OP-ED article 'Questions for Mr. Nilekani' published in The Hindu, today ,seriously poses some questions for AADHAR.Author has elucidated with example how AADHAR is making some gover...
OP-ED article 'Questions for Mr. Nilekani' published in The Hindu, today ,seriously poses some questions for AADHAR.Author has elucidated with example how AADHAR is making some goverment employees NIRADHAR by making them difficult to draw salary just because they have not enrolled for AADHAR.As UID act explicitly mentioned that AADHAR is not mandatory,I think it is unconstitutional to force people to enroll for it.
@djsunny said:Why is this thread dead???Cmon lets bring this alive...lets Bell the Cats and Dogs together... \m/
As a professional sportswriter, I am sick of hearing the question over and over and over again. I find it almost nauseating. If there are tens of millions posing the question, then, over the four decades that I have spent in the profession, there have been tens of hundreds of answers, from serious commentators and sports critics down to lay persons.
Why does a nation of over 1.2 billion people end up with just a few pieces of bronze and silver every four years in the most celebrated event in sport?
Psychologists often talk of something called paralysis through analysis in life. When you think too much about something and ratchet up your anxiety levels, the performance is bound to dip. When it comes to this clichéd question, this very much seems to be true.
While, some might believe they have the right answers/solutions, we have been left in such a confused state that there is no single ‘right’ prescription for the malaise.
But if you chose to leave aside all serious analysis as to why Indian track and field athletes, swimmers, gymnasts, hockey players and other Olympic participants fail to live up to our — and sometimes their own — expectations and came around to zeroing in on a rather reductionist, and surely controversial, viewpoint, the answer might be simple.
For, this question raises its ugly head for only about two weeks every four years. The rest of the time — for three full years and eleven and a half months — we are obsessed with, worship and shamelessly pay obeisance to a sport played with any degree of seriousness by eight-and-a-half nations.
Let us, then, accept the truth. We are a one-sport nation. And even a toddler would tell you what that sport is.
So, let us forget the London Games. In a few weeks, the Indian cricket team will be playing in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka where the conditions will suit Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys to the hilt.
Another wild parade
Let’s look forward to another wild parade through the streets of Mumbai with the boys peacocking from an open-top bus. Let’s unabashedly hail their heroics, throw fresh flowers and encomiums at them even as my fellow professionals try to pull out every adjective in their vocabulary to celebrate the great achievement.
Meanwhile, Mary Kom would probably be running from pillar to post to find a cooking gas cylinder in Manipur, Yogeshwar Dutt would be walking to the nearest tea stall in his hometown, unmolested, his stellar achievement long forgotten.
The peerless Viswanathan Anand’s fifth world chess title would be a distant memory and he would be preparing for yet another tournament that nobody cares about even as Jeev Milka Singh tees off somewhere that nobody has heard of. Birdie and eagles…well, we haven’t been to a bird sanctuary in a while; should make it a point to visit one.
That’s who we are. That is what we are. That is India. Say all you want about how mediocre Indian sportspersons — cricket is advisedly left out of the description of sport because it is no longer a sport and hasn’t been in quite a while as it is on a par with things religious — are but we simply do no care for them for the most part.
We let them down
And when the Olympics come around, we are saddened, angry and aghast that we are not able to revel in reflected glory. We are ashamed that countries with one millionth of our population pick up gold medals. These guys have done us in, we say. We believed so much in them and they have let us down.
But the truth is, it is we who let them down. For, we don’t care about them for three years and eleven-and-a-half months. We don’t care about their impecunious circumstances, their heroic struggles, their fight against-the-odds and battles with cynical, self-serving sports administrators heading often corrupt sports bodies.
Instead, we spend sleepless nights over whether Chennai Super Kings would make it to the final of the IPL or whether a mediocre also-ran cricketer really did take recreational drugs at some rave party in Mumbai; or whether Yuvraj Singh is dating the latest Miss India or some other starlet whose only claim to fame is that she was seen with a cricketing superstar on a night out.
My dear readers, let us get real. We have failed the Koms and the Yogeshwars and the rest as much as we seem to believe that many Indian athletes have failed us. They don’t owe us as much as we owe them.
We need to follow their careers, cheer them from grassroots up, care about how they are treated by the administrators, worry about how they are ignored by the big corporate giants who would readily part with $10m for a 15-second TV ad campaign featuring a Sachin Tendulkar or a Gautam Gambhir. But we don’t.
We simply don’t give a damn most of the time and then bemoan their lack of success at the Olympics once every four years.
Believe me, it is not easy being an Indian and trying to achieve world-class feats in most sports, barring cricket, with its superb infrastructure public and corporate support and unmatched financial clout.
This is not to belittle what the Gavaskars, Kapils and the Tendulkars have achieved. But, tell me this: why is nobody canvassing for a seat in the upper house for Anand, why isn’t anyone talking about a Bharat Ratna for the genius of the 64-square game?
The world chess champion is an Indian — chess, my friend, chess, where the grey matter matters more than in any other game — and that should make us prouder than any other achievement by any Indian sportsman or team.
But forget it. By the way, when is India’s first match in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka? I bet Harbhajan will be back with a bang. What a fighter the man is!
Nothing reflects our unity in diversity — and is a greater tribute to it — than our national obsession with cricket.
Sorry Mary, we forgot about your gas cylinder and the constant problems with power failures in your little house. But that is who we are.
'To rank third in the medals table this time, beaten only by superpowers US and China, is an achievement that simply does not square with the loser-ish self-image we have spent decades cultivating.' Illustration by Simon Pembe...
The finish line is in sight. After two weeks of exertion, of triumph and dejection, of glittering victory and head-down defeat that have been the focus not just of British attention but of the gaze of the entire world, the London Olympics of 2012 will soon be over – and the reflection will begin.
In truth, the reflection has been under way from the very start, from an opening ceremony that did not serve up mere spectacle but asked its audience, particularly its British audience, to think. Danny Boyle's spectacular, so beautifully executed and ingeniously conceived it lingers in the mind even as the closing draws near, stood apart from its predecessors thanks not only to its humour and eccentricity, but also because it had something to say.
It presented 1948 as the pivot year in the history of modern Britain. That was the last time London played Olympic host, but also the year that saw the founding of the National Health Service and the arrival of the Windrush, the ship bearing the Caribbean migrants who would change the face of Britain.
Both those themes – an ethos of public service and ethnic diversity – would be amplified in the ceremony and, more importantly, in the Games themselves. But that reminder of late 1940s Britain suggests another thought, too.
For those immediate years of post-war austerity and exhaustion, still on rations as we watched our global empire unravel, birthed a national narrative that endured, with the odd interruption, for more than six decades. It is the story of decline, of Britain as a has-been nation, once glorious, now reduced to a tired marginality, bobbing around in the Atlantic stuck between Europe and a superpower United States. Somehow the story seeped into our bones, expressed in our best-loved sitcoms – with their tales of frustrated men, from Captain Mainwaring to David Brent, made ridiculous by delusions of grandeur – and by a brand of newspaper whose unspoken daily message is that the country is going to the dogs.
Then along came London 2012 to change the script. Despite all the familiar fears of failure – of traffic snarl-ups, botched security arrangements and dreadful weather – we have surprised ourselves by staging a global event of infinite complexity with near-perfect success. The new venues, including an architecturally gorgeous velodrome and stadium, were built ahead of time and have worked flawlessly. The locations that were not new but old places put to new use – whetherbeach volleyball in Horse Guards or showjumping in Greenwich – showed the capital in a fresh and telegenic light, the London of a Richard Curtis movie. Not only have the athletes and bigwigs travelled to and fro without a hitch, so has everyone else. Spectators – once, admittedly, they had negotiated an online ticketing system apparently designed to induce collective rage – have filled late-night trains, sleepy with awe and delight at what they have seen. London did not fail or struggle. Instead the sun shone and the city hosted an Olympic Games of wonder.
But if the backroom organisers showed that Britain could still excel, the country's athletes delivered an excess of proof. Team GB did better than at any Games since the first hosted by London in 1908 – back when the judges and umpires were all Brits and plenty of the sports were only played by us anyway. To rank third in the medals table this time, beaten only by superpowers US and China, is an achievement that simply does not square with the loser-ish self-image we have spent decades cultivating.
The effect, of both these organisational and sporting triumphs, was a national good mood so unaccustomed in many it prompted suspicion and unease. Some wondered if all this patriotism was healthy for our collective soul. But most grew hoarse, cheering at the TV for the man or woman in the now-familiar all-blue union colours to row or pedal or run just a bit faster.
And so perhaps historians might record this strange, heady fortnight as the moment when we finally laid to rest a national myth that had dogged us so long, concluding a narrative that began with one London Olympiad and ended in another: the age of decline, 1948-2012.
Here too the opening ceremony set the tone, suggesting that we should love the country we have become – informal, mixed, quirky – rather than the one we used to be. That both it and the Games have enjoyed such a consensus of support is a surprise, because all of this is much more contentious than it appears. To see that, look no further than the clear losers of London 2012.
Atop that uncelebrated podium stands reactionary Britain. Its face belongs to Aidan Burley, the Conservative MP who tweeted his fury at the "multicultural crap" he saw in Boyle's extravaganza, but behind him are all those who nodded at the Daily Mail's denunciation of the "plastic Brits" swelling Team GB's ranks. The Burleyites took a thorough beating at these Games, watching as not just Guardian-types but the nation exalted in the success of a team as diverse as any British city. On that golden Saturday night, when Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah won and won and won, Twitter was cracking a joke that turned on how much we had changed: "A ginger, a mixed-race woman and a one-time Somali refugee walk into a pub – and everyone buys them a drink."
There will be others who need to alter their message after these Games. BBC bashers, emboldened after the jubilee pageant debacle, will surely hold their tongues for a while, after the corporation served up the kind of consistency, quality and quantity that perhaps only a publicly funded broadcaster is capable of. Andrew Lansley has had his warning, via Boyle, about the NHS: it is treasured not just as a valued service but as a core part of Britain's national identity. And Alex Salmond cannot easily claim the union has lost its emotional pull, not after he's seen the ease with which so many Britons, including Scots, draped themselves in its once terminally unfashionable colours.
Of course it cannot last, not at this pitch at any rate. Already, like the holidaymakers who know they are due to fly home in a couple of days, the sense, even the dread, of a return to normality is looming. False dawns are frequent, in sport especially. Witness the victorious French football team of 1998 that was meant to hail a new, racially inclusive future for that country: it didn't quite work out that way. As today'sGuardian/ICM poll shows, most Britons are not going to let the Olympics shift their views on immigration: those Somali-born asylum seekers unblessed by Mo Farah's gifts will not be applauded as they walk into the pub. Our problems haven't gone away just because the news bulletins have barely mentioned them for two weeks. While we were studying the medals table, new figures showed the economy flatlining. We still live in the age of austerity, facing unpalatable cuts, governed by institutions many of which we no longer trust. Even the immediate weather forecast is unsettled.
But that does not mean we have to cast aside what we just lived through. For we got a glimpse of another kind of Britain. A place which succeeds brilliantly, not least by drawing equally on all its talents, black and white, male and female. A place where money and profit are not the only values, exemplified by the 70,000 volunteers who made the Games workand showed the world a smiling face while they were at it. A place that reveres not achievement-free celebrity, but astonishing skill, granite determination and good grace, the land not of TOWIE but of Bradley Wiggins, Nicola Adams and Laura Trott. A place where patriotism is heartfelt, but of the soft and civic rather than naked and aggressive variety; a place that welcomes visitors from abroad and cheers louder for the Turkish woman who came last in a 3,000m steeplechase heat than it did for the winner.
This is the Britain we let ourselves see these past two weeks. It will slip from view as time passes, but we are not condemned to forget it. We don't have to be like the long-ago poet who once wrote: "Did you exist? Or did I dream a dream?"