Saturday, January 30, 2010


30 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Krishna Tirath, a union minister of state holding independent charge of women and child welfare ministry, is most likely to get the boot whenever the ministry is reshuffled. Reason: An advertisement fiasco last Sunday that made the Prime Minister's office (PMO) apologise as it contained a photo of a retired Pakistan air force chief for no rhyme or reason.

Inquiries revealed that a close relation of the minister was head of an advertising agency which prepared the controversial advertisement and four half page advertisements costing Rs 80 lakhs were released to a particular English daily recommended by that relation.

PMO sources said Dr Manmohan Singh is quite angry at the minister's personal interest in getting not one but four half-page government advertisements released to the Delhi daily in its special 3-page supplement on the International Women's Day.

She did not get the marching orders immediately as the PM ordered an inquiry to get the responsibility first fixed. Moreover, he has the habit "to wait and then act." Tirath is a second term MP from Delhi and was earlier an MLA.

Since all the four advertisements were released by the Directorate of Advertisement and Visual Publicity (DAVP) that operates under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, questions were initially raised as to how it cleared the controversial advertisement without meticulously verifying the contents as it is supposed to do.

DAVP, however, was absolved after it showed to I&B Minister Ambika Soni two letters received by it from the Women and Child Welfare Ministry, the second one specifically stating that the minister has seen the advertisements and cleared them for immediate release.

Soni briefed the Prime Minister that DAVP was not to be blamed as it neither prepared the advertisements, nor did it upcheck the contents as Tirath's ministry wanted them released forthwith. The ministry's orders came on Saturday last week when no time was left as the advertisements were to appear immediately next day.

An inquiry ordered by PMO showed that the said advertisements were released to only one daily and they were conceptualised in tandem with that daily by a private advertising agency. The CEO (chief executive officer) of the agency happens to be a close relative of Minister Tirath.

The agency and the daily involved in preparation of the advertisements appear to have picked up the wrong photograph of a former Pakistan air force chief while searching on Internet for a retired Indian Air Force chief. And, since the DAVP was ordered to issue the release order as the minister has cleared the contents, nobody checked insertion of a wrong photograph.

Sources said the PMO's permission is mandatory for using the Prime Minister's name and photograph in any government advertisement, the PMO had to rush with the apology, though it was not at fault as its permission was not sought at all for the particular objectionable advertisement.

The ministry had to route the advertisements through DAVP just because of the strict rules that the ministries should not release any advertisement on its own as they used to do in the past but only through DAVP.

For that matter, the rules also provide that no private agency should be engaged for preparation of a government advertisement. Either the ministry concerned should prepare it on its own or get it prepared by DAVP.

Tirath's ministry tried to wriggle out on this score by claiming that no money has been paid to any agency for designing the advertisements and that they were designed by the daily's staff and the minister's approval was taken before asking DAVP to issue the release orders.


Friday, January 29, 2010







On crucial issue of Telangana when Law Minister
Veerappa Moily asked a note from Mohan Parasaran
additional solicitor general, a two pages notes
was prepared by Parasaran and submitted to
Law Minister on December 11, 2009


      As at present the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh, particularly in Hyderabad is very volatile, passions are running very high between protagonists who want separation and creation of a separate Telengana State and those who want to maintain status-quo.

      In my humble and considered perception, the situation has to be tackled both from a legal as well as practical point of view. Priority should be towards cooling down the tempers and not further escalating the situation for some more time.

      There are various options which can be weighed but from amongst the options available a Presidential Reference under Article 143 to the Hon’ble Supreme Court seeking its advice / opinion  appears to be a good and reasonable way out.

      Article 143 of the Constitution of India is very appropriate to be invoked under the present circumstances.  Article 143 (1) refers to the Power of President to consult Supreme Court is as follows:

“If at any time it appears to the President that a question of law or fact has arisen, or is likely to arise, which is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer the question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report to the President its opinion thereon.”

      In exercise of the powers under Section 143 (1) it is open to the President and aid and advice the Cabinet to refer any issue which involve substantial question of law or fact which is of such nature and is of such public importance expedient enough to warrant appeal to Supreme Court.  It maybe stated that Article 143 does not deal with the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court but of the power of the President.  It does not refer to any adjudication at all but with consultation.  Adjudication advisory opinion involves no “lis”, but since it has the seal of the Supreme Court it would give lot of confidence to citizens at large.  Though it may be argued that reorganisation of States or formation of new State by separating a territory from any State is purely a political decision for which the Court may refuse to answer the reference under Article 143,  nevertheless that being a political issue has overwhelming public interest overtones.  That argument in my view can be countered.  The discretion not to answer the reference cannot be capriciously exercised, and only in the rarest of the circumstances, the court would be justified in refusing to answer the reference as pointed out in Federal Court in Reorganisation of Lands and Buildings, AIR 1943 Federal Court 13.

      In the reference made by the President in respect of the Ayodhya dispute, the court refused to answer the reference because of the fact that the Government proposed to use court’s opinion in the reference as basis for negotiations between parties and the Government did not propose to settle the dispute on the basis of opinion.  Further the court felt that its opinion may incur criticism of one or both the communities whose interests are involved on the ground of not being heard or involved to put in evidence.  The court is refused to answer the reference and held that it would be justified in not answering the reference where it is invited to decide the question which could only be decided on expert evidence.  Refer Dr M Ismail Faruqui & ors v. UOI & Ors (1994) 6 SCC 360.  However the facts of the present case vastly differ from the scenario in Ayodhya.  This matter does not involve any disputed questions of title nor does it involve any hearing of parties for the purpose of analysing evidence.  This matter would involve constitutional and a federal questions of fundamental importance, which were discussed and considered and were also noticed in some judgments including the judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of The Director of Industries & Commerce, Vs. V. Venkata Reddy and Others, (1973) 1 SCC 99, which is as follows:

“7. The conditions as they prevailed in the Hyderabad State have been summarised by Madhava Reddy, J., in his judgment in the Full Bench, and we may usefully reproduce this summary here :

Hyderabad State was one among the several other Princely States of India. Due to Political conditions and Historical reasons the State remained isolated. There were no adequate Educational facilities afforded to the People of the State, in the result, there were very few opportunities available to the people of the Region to enter public service in competition with others from outside the State. Another contributing factor in this behalf was the use of Urdu, which was not the language of nearly ninety per cent of the people, as the Official Language in the entire administration of Hyderabad state. Similar conditions prevailed in a few other states as well. So much so, that these people were not in a position to compete with others in the matter of employment even in their own state, if no protection was afforded to them in this be-half on the basis of residence within that State.

In view of these conditions, Madhava Reddy, J., further stated that "the Constituent Assembly while guaranteeing fundamental rights in the matter of employment under the State, took notice of this vast disparity in the development of various States and felt it imperative to continue that protection in the matter of employment afforded on the basis of residence within the State and made provision under Article 33(b) of the Constitution for the continuance of those laws.

8.  A few more historical facts may also be noticed here. The States Re-organisation Commission set up by the Central Government recommended the disintegration of the Hyderabad State and suggested the continuance of the Telengana region of the Hyderabad State as a separate State. However, an agreement was reached by the elders of the Andhra & Telengana Regions, among whom were the Chief Minister and the Dy. Chief Minister of the State of Andhra and the Chief Minister, Revenue Minister and the some other Ministers of the Hyderabad State amongst whom one later became the first Chief Minister and most others members of the first Council of Ministers of the State of Andhra Pradesh with a view to allay the fears of the people of this underdeveloped Region and to reserve to them the benefit of securing employment in the Region on the strength of their residence. For safeguarding their legitimate interests in certain matters the formation of a Regional Standing Committee of the State Assembly consisting of the members of the State Assembly of this Region was also agreed upon.

9.  We may mention that in this agreement in Clause B Domicile Rules were dealt with as follows :

B.  A temporary provision will be made to ensure that for a period of five years. Telengana is regarded as a unit as far as recruitment to subordinate services in the area is concerned; posts borne on the cadre of these services may be reserved for being filled by persons who satisfy the domicile conditions as prescribed under the existing Hyderabad Rules.

10.  Parliament, in effect, gave statutory recognition to this agree-by making the necessary Constitutional amendment in Article 371 providing for the Constitution of the Telengana Regional Committee. The Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956. inter alia, substituted a new Article 371 for the old. the relevant part of which reads as follows :

371. Special provision with respect to the States of Andhra Pradesh. Punjab and Bombay.-(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the President may, by order made with respect to the State of Andhra Pradesh...provide tor the Constitution and functions of regional committees of the Legislative Assembly of the State, for the modifications to be made in the rules of business of the Government and in the rules of procedure of the Legislative Assembly of the State and for any special responsibility of the Governor in order to secure the proper functioning of the regional committees.

11. The State of Andhra Pradesh was reconstituted on November 1. 1956. “

      Therefore, an important Federal question which would arise for consideration is when this very exercise having been undergone several times and merely because this controversy continued for several years, would there be any justification for Parliament / Government to once again resort to a second State Reorganisation?  In my view, important Federal questions does arise under the Constitutional scheme in the matter of creation of new states and this matter involves interpretation of Constitution as well and particularly the scope of Article 3 of the Constitution of India.  In my view a reference to the Hon’ble Supreme Court may cool down the tempers for the time being.  A reference to the Hon’ble Supreme Court would normally be pending for atleast a couple of years by which time so many developments may take place to improve the situation from a political perspective.  Even assuming the Supreme Court refuses to answer the reference after two years, things would have by that time changed like as in Ayodhya and the Government can in the meanwhile think of some other suitable alternatives in the eventuality of the Supreme Court refusing to answer the reference.

      The draft questions for reference has to be carefully drafted and formulated in close coordination with the Law Ministry/Legislative Department.

Additional Solicitor General
Govt of India.

IS EVM Machines faulty?


Take a tour of  below given details 

Contact:  Center for National Renaissance,  Telugu Desam Party, Save Indian Democracy (US)
981-015-6791 (India), 986-602-1393 (India),  732-368-0122 (US)
Conf Details:

New Delhi (Jan 16, 2010):   Multiple events are being planned in India by Center for National Renaissance,  Political parties and other activists with well known International and National experts on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to address the EVM related issues in India vis-a-vis similar international developments related to the EVMs. 
International experts who are pioneers and have significantly altered the course of usage of EVM's in their countries are invited to India by Center for National Renaissance.  Details of experts from Netherlands, Germany, United States  drawn 
from legal, political and academic arenas in their countries is given below.  (Detailed bio-data is given at the end).

What is EVM and what are the issues related to EVMs?  EVMs are electronic voting machines that are used in India for more than two decades by Election Commission of India (ECI) during the elections and India went full with EVM in most recent two elections (2004 and 2009).    Many activists have been raising concerns about EVM as far back as 2001 but their increased usage has seen spate of PILs etc from different political parties, activists as well as demonstrations of tamper-ability on EVMs build based on published specifications.   The concerns are not just reliability of EVMs but serious allegations of tampering that altered elections outcomes.  
At the same time India was initially moving towards EVMs to use technology for improving efficiency,  internationally also several countries have moved into that direction with some making huge investments running into millions of dollars.   But what is the international scene today.   All over Europe  several countries 
(Germany, Netherlands, Ireland)
rejected EVMs or cancelled feasibility studies (Italy etc).  In US, more than 21 states banned EVMs or require paper trail and 18 additional states use paper trail in state or local jurisdictions.  

However, ECI informs us that Indian EVMs are special and somehow different from International EVMs and that concerns about Indian EVM's are misplaced.  But activists, technologists contest that position.   These conferences will throw light how Indian EVMs lack the many safeguards that international EVMs have and they  can be easily hacked (perhaps much more easily) than many Internationally used EVMs and if corrective actions are not taken, it will have serious implications to the democracy of the country. 

What is at core is the issue of transparency, as German Supreme Court has enumerated, the ability of a common voter understand the process from the time vote is cast to the counting of that vote to the candidate specified by the voter.  When that transparency is lost, the elections are greatly beholden to experts and election officials and leaves field open for fraud, potentially in a very large scale. 
The challenge in India is also that the public is under the impression that EVM solved many issues related to paper ballots such as booth capturing, booth stuffing etc and is viewed as using technology to improve efficiency.   However, the issues of larger issue of mass scale tampering without a trace with EVMs is not in their purview.

The planned activities are geared to bring an open discussion on these issues with international and national experts and help protect Indian Democracy.  

Details of international experts:

1) Rop Gonggrijp, Netherlands   Computer hacker, successful Entrepreneur who is instrumental in banning of EVMs in Netherlands due to security reasons, in spite of huge investments made by Netherlands in EVMs

Dr. Till Jaeger,  Germany   Attorney who argued the landmark German Supreme Court Judgment that effectively banned EVMs in German Elections
Dr. David Dill, USA   (via Video Conference) University of Stanford,  pioneer for reformation of usage of EVMs in US elections that resulted in 21 states in US either ban EVMs or require paper trail and additional 18 states require paper trail in state or local jurisdictions.   Founder of Verified Voting Foundation.
  In 2004, Dr Dill received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pioneer Award" for "for spearheading and nurturing the popular movement for integrity and transparency in modern elections." 

Dr. Alex Halderman, USA   Computer Science Professor, University of Michigan, noted expert of Electronic Voting Security who demonstrated first voting machine virus, lead team of Scientists from Princeton and Berkeley for "Top to Bottom" review of California EVMs.

Among multiple events planned are (Tentative list):
  has addition details.
1) Feb 12th:    11AM - 3PM,  Book Launch on EVM, India Habitat Center, Delhi
2) Feb 13th:    9AM - 5 PM,  Chennai Conference, Savera Hotel, Chennai
3) Feb 13th:    6:30PM    Talk/Discussion at IIT Chennai
4) Feb 15th:    All Party Meet, Constitution Hall, New Delhi

Rop Gonggrijp, Netherlands   Computer hacker, successful Entrepreneur who is instrumental in banning of EVMs in Netherlands due to security reasons, in spite of huge investments made by Netherlands in EVMs


Born on Feb 14, 1968, Rop Gonggrijp is Dutch hacker, founder of internet service provider (IPS) XS4ALL, instrumental in exposing the vulnerabilities of Electronic Voting Machines to The Netherlands that resulted in banning of EVM machines in spite of huge investments made into them.   Mr. Gonggrijp  is now considered a key figure in the growing international movement for election transparency and verifiability.
Known as teenage hacker in his young days, Rop Gonggrijp founded hacker magazine Hack-Tic in 1988  and was considered major security threat by authorities of Netherlands.   In 1993, he and others around Hack-Tic founded ISP XS4ALL that is first ISP that offered internet access to private individuals which he sold the company to former enemy Dutch-Telecom.   After he left XS4ALL, he founded ITSX, a computer security evaluation company which was bought by Madison Gurkha in 2006.   In 2001, Mr. Gonggrijp started work on Cryptophone, a mobile telephone that can encrypt conversation.    Since 1989, Mr Gonggrijp has been main organizer of hacker events held every four years that are attended by thousands of hackers across the world.
After his home city of Amsterdam switched to electronic voting in 2006, mr. Gonggrijp started publicly questioning the security of the voting machines in use in The Netherlands as well as oppose the inherent lack of transparency when the vote count only happens inside a computer. With Amsterdam now also using computers, The Netherlands (pop. 17M) was 100% electronic voting. "We do not trust voting computers", the organisation founded by mr. Gonggrijp, has managed to convince the dutch public and government that the machines were not worthy of the trust placed in them.

After two government-appointed committees could do nothing but agree with the organization's point of view, voting computers were abolished and the country is now once-again voting using hand-counted paper ballots. The municipal election officials will probably never like the paper ballots as much as they liked the machines, but the recent elections for European Parliament passed without incident.

Mr. Gonggrijp also co-authored the CCC technical report on voting computers as requested by the German contitutional court and he is a key figure in the growing international movement for election transparency and verifiability.

Dr. Till Jaeger,  Germany   Attorney who argued the landmark German Supreme Court Judgment that effectively banned EVMs in German Elections


Born in Dec 1969,  Dr. Till Jaeger, is attorney from Germany who successfully argued the landmark German Supreme Court Judgment that effectively banned the usage of Electronic Voting Machines in Germany's elections for reasons of transparency and verifiability.

"Dr. Till Jaeger has been a partner at the law firm JBB Rechtsanwälte since
2001. He advises large and medium-sized IT businesses as well as government
authorities and software developers on matters involving contracts,
licensing and online use. Till Jaeger also covers conventional areas of
copyright law and entertainment law.

One particular focus of Till Jaeger’s work is on the legal issues created by
open source software. He is co-founder of the Institute for Legal Aspects of
Free & Open Source Software (ifrOSS), contributing to its work with academic
publications, lectures and seminars in the fields of software law and
copyright law.

Till Jaeger represented the physicist and software-engineer Dr. Ulrich
Wiesner at the German Constitutional Court in the proceedings regarding
complaints requesting the scrutiny of the elections to the 16th German
Bundestag. This lawsuit ended successful with the decision that the German
Federal Voting Machine Ordinance is unconstitutional for lack of
transparency and violation of the principle of democracy.

Till Jaeger graduated in law from the University of Mainz and has also
studied in Dijon, France. He started his legal clerkship in Brandenburg in
1996. After that, he was given a DFG scholarship to attend a post-graduate
course on EU law and the protection of personal rights in Munich. In
1999-2000 he wrote his Ph.D. thesis on copyright law at the Max Planck
Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition & Tax Law Munich."

Dr. David Dill, USA   (via Video Conference) University of Stanford,  pioneer for reformation of usage of EVMs in US elections that resulted in 21 states in US either ban EVMs or require paper trail and additional 18 states require paper trail in state or local jurisdictions.   Founder of Verified Voting Foundation.


David L. Dill is a Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, Electrical Engineeringat Stanford University. He has been on the faculty at Stanford since 1987. He has an S.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979), and an M.S and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (1982 and 1987). 

Prof. Dill has been working actively on policy issues in voting technology since 2003. He is the author of the "Resolution on Electronic Voting", which calls for a voter-verifiable audit trail on all voting equipment, and which has been endorsed by thousands of people, including many of the top computer scientists in the U.S. He has served on the California Secretary of State's Ad Hoc Task Force on Touch-Screen voting, the Citizens DRE Oversight Board of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, and on the IEEE P1583 Voting Equipment Standards Committee. He has testified on electronic voting before the U.S. Senate and the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker III. He is the founder of the Verified Voting Foundationand and is on the board of those organizations. In 2004, he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pioneer Award" for "for spearheading and nurturing the popular movement for integrity and transparency in modern elections."
Prof. Dill has research interests in a variety of areas, including computational systems biology and the theory and application of formal verification techniques to system designs, including hardware, protocols, and software. He has also done research in asynchronous circuit verification and synthesis, and in verification methods for hard real-time systems. From July 1995 to September 1996, he was Chief Scientist at 0-In Design Automation.
Prof. Dill's Ph.D. thesis, "Trace Theory for Automatic Hierarchical Verification of Speed Independent Circuits" was named as a Distinguished Dissertation by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and published as such by M.I.T. Press in 1988. He was the recipient of an Presidential Young Investigator award from the National Science Foundation in 1988, and a Young Investigator award from the Office of Naval Research in 1991.
He has received Best Paper awards at International Conference on Computer Design in 1991 and the Design Automation Conference in 1993 and 1998. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2001 for his contributions to verification of circuits and systems, and a Fellow of the ACM in 2005 for contributions to system verification and for leadership in the development of verifiable voting systems. In 2008, he received the first "Computer-Aided Verification" award, with Rajeev Alur, for fundamental contributions to the theory of real-time systems verification.

Dr. Alex Halderman, USA   Computer Science Professor, University of Michigan, noted expert of Electronic Voting Security who demonstrated first voting machine virus, lead team of Scientists from Princeton and Berkeley for "Top to Bottom" review of California EVMs

Born in Jan 1981,  Dr. John Alexander Halderman, is a Computer Science Professor from University of Michigan,  is noted expert on electronic voting security who demonstrated first voting machine virus, served as a technical expert in California's "Top to Bottom" voting systems review leading a team of scientists from Princeton and U.C. Berkeley.

J. Alex Halderman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, where his research spans applied computer security and tech-centric public policy.  Professor Halderman is a noted expert on electronic voting security.  In 2006, he conducted the first public, independent security review of a touch-screen voting machine, the Diebold AccuVote TS, and demonstrated the first voting machine virus.  He later served as a technical expert in California's "Top-to-Bottom" voting systems review, leading a team of scientists from Princeton and U.C. Berkeley.  In addition to exposing voting security flaws, he has investigated ways to improve the security and efficiency of the election process by making smarter use of technology.

Professor Halderman earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Princeton University with a dissertation focused on studying computer security failures in order to strengthen future designs.  Besides electronic voting, his research interests include Internet security, data privacy, digital rights management, and cybercrime.  He was a founding member of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, where he continues to hold an appointment as a visiting research collaborator.

Dr. Gitanjali Swamy,  PhD Berkeley, MBA Harvard,  (In 2000, demonstrated to then Election Commissioner M.S. Gill the vulnerabilities of chips in EVMs)
Awaiting Bio.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Justice Sri Krishna likely to head Telangana roadmap panel


Will Justice Sri Krishna to head the Telangana Roadmap Committee?


By R Rajagopalan

Six points in the terms and reference of the Committee to lay road map for Telangana 
is ready,after approval of the Pranab Mukherjee P Chidambaram and Veerappa Moily
the file is being taken to Prime Minister on Friday for final clearance.

Name of the Judge to head the committee has also been finalised. The tenure
and headquarters are two contentious issue. Government informally talked to two
former Judges of Supreme Court.  Most likely it is Sri Krishna who would be agreeing.
according to higly placed govt sources.

No one in the Govt is ready to speak about the six points as it is being kept
more than the secrecy of the  Union Budget

What is the terms and references of the Committee to lay road map for Telangana?

Six major points are shortlisted to be the terms and conditions. As this six points
have to be conveyed to the retired Supreme Court Judge before asking his consent
whether he would head the committee or not. Six points were taken out from
the December 9, December 23 . 2009 and January 5, 2010 policy statements
of P Chidambaram.

Why the differences between two Union Ministers on terms and references?

At one point of time, one senior minister stated that we shall leave the Chairman of 
the Committee to finalise his own terms and references to lay road map for telangana.

What about Hyderabad?

Centre feels that Hyderabad issue will be left to the Committee to finalise
whether to be a dual capital for seven years or work out a capital for
Andhra with a financial assistance to build their capital.

But impressing upon the importance of six points Chidambaram convinced Moily
and also even Prime Minister at the core committee. That six points would
satisfy the Telangana and non Telangana groups.  

Authority of the Chairaman of the road laying Committee?

The retired Judge shall be given full powers to choose his team,
experts from Gas, Oil, Water, Town Planning, Agriculture experts.
to be coopted for a fixed tenure.

How Delhi was too active for past two days to finalise the roadmap committee?

New Delhi was too active for Wednesday and Thursday. Since the Republic Day
parade was over on  Tuesday, the offices were closed. And crucial ministry
Union Ministry of Home was also closed as Beating retreat rehersal is taking
place.  Moily was in constant touch with Chidambaram on RAX the four digit
secret phone provided only to Union Ministers. The RAX was too busy for 
these days. Talking only on Telangana issues.

Who all played crucial role apart from Moily and Chidambaram?

It is M A Siddique private secretary and Safi Azan Rizvi another aide of 
P Chidambaram added to the active role of Law SecretaryD R Meena
with active assistance from TK Viswanathan. These four officials
had burnt mid night oil.  Anita Choudhary Special Secretary Home
with the active consultations from GK Pillia Home Secretary
all have assisted Chidambaram and Moily.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

new delhi political gossips

gossips from delhi (27-1-2010)

Narendra Modi Chief Minister of Gujarat recently
shown a rare gesture of air dashing to Chennai.
to attend the wedding of the son of Duraiswamy 
Rajagopalan former Chief Secretary of Gujarat
Which was celebrated in a typical Tamil Iyer style. Modi went to
"Bharat Ghar" dias - sprinkled holy water on the heads of the newly 
wed couple. Sat in the dining hall, enjoyed typical Iyer Sambar
Rice-Took two glasses of Rasam Modi. 
Cabinet agenda papers used to be bulky and packed with policy
issues. Be it Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, P V Narasimha Rao
or for that matter Rajiv Gandhi's. But last week cabinet
agenda item number one is to get post facto approval
for appointment of  N Gokul Ram IAS 1974 Karnataka
and to create a new post of Secretary in the Cabinet
Secretariat.Should such items be sent to Cabinet?
One Union Minister was unhappy and commented that
it is the job of Cabinet Committee on Appointments
and PM can well approve this.
Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan is likely to be the
Chairman of National Human Rights Commission. 
Since November 2009 this post is vacant.KGB retires
in May 2010. Another five months NHRC will be headless.
Centre is likely to constitute a judicial commission headed 
by a retired Supreme Court judge to examine the demand for 
bifurcating Telengana as a separate state from Andhra Pradesh.
The Judicial Commission is expected to be chaired by a retired 
Supreme Court Judge, with three experts who will be members of 
this commission. The Judicial Commission will be given eighteen months
tenure. Commission headquarters will be in Delhi. Terms and 
references are now being drafted and discussed between three 
Union Ministers. When Veerappa Moily identified three names.Justice Sri Krishna, 
Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Lakshmanan, But will these
be agreed upon by Home Minister? 
Nitin Gadkari the BJP president seems to have gained 
three more kilos of weight. Unable to understand the reasons.
But he confided to his friends that he used to take fresh carrot
while he used to have morning walk either in Pune or in Mumbai. 
And he would avoid Lunch. In New Delhi, he is unable to stop the
temptations of Aaloo Parantha and Gobi ki Parantha. Too oily
and applied ghee on the hot parantha, after relishing the tasty
piece, obviously he put on more weight.He loves food cannot
resist the temptations.BJP leaders say that Nitin Gadkari is another
Atal Bihari Vajpayee-at least in food habits.
SMS jokes at times carry heavy political flavour. Who will now
bridge the top two leaders. Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan SIngh
So far Pulok Chatterjee and MK Narayanan were doing.
With this backdrop if you read the SMS, Pulok Chatterjee was
sent to WB (World Bank) MK Narayanan is now Governor WB(West
Bengal) If this sequence of speed continues to clip the wings
of Prime Minister,  obviously the next question is to which WB
will Dr Manmohan Singh be sent? Delhi grapevine is that by this
year end, there shall be a new Prime Minster. 
Who are the three Union Ministers in the recent two years bought
apartment in London?  Interesting details are now trickling down
from a report of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. Of course
this list also has names of former diplomats and bureaucrats
who have bought houses in foreign soil. Will this DRI report
be made available under RTI? 
Shiv Shankar Menon succeeded MK Narayanan as NSA
if this pattern continues, by June it is certain that M Ramachandran
Secretary Urban Development will succeed KM Chandrasekhar.
This is the latest grapevine being murmured.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

andhra assembly

Andhra Pradesh assembly session is from  February 15?

By R Rajagopalan

Monday 15 February is fixed for convening 
the Andhra assembly according to highly 
placed Andhra govt sources.

Announcement is likely on Wednesday after
Andhra Cabinet approves the date and assembly

Governor ESL Narasimhan is likely to read
his address the joint session in Telugu.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

new NHRC chairman?

23 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Despite the Delhi High Court's snub for keeping the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headless since last June after
retirement of Justice (retd) S Rajendra Babu, the government is in no
hurry to fill up the post.

Top sources said the post will remain vacant for another five months
as the government has zeroed on Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan to head
the NHRC after retirement in May when he completes 65 years of age.

Only a retired Chief Justice of India can be made the NHRC chairman
and the government was not willing to pick of either of the two
available retired CJIs.

Since after Rajendra Babu's retirement, Justice G P Mathur, a retired
Supreme Court judge and member of NHRC, is running the show as its
acting chairman.


mumabi dabbawala on maharashtra tableau

23 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Mumbai's "dabbawalas" who ferry lakhs of lunch tiffin boxes
every day gets pride of place on the Maharashtra tableau for
presentation in the Republic Day Parade here.

The precision they display in the error-free collection of the lunch
boxes from homes and their delivery to Mumbaikars in their offices was
on display in the full dress rehearsal of the parade on Saturday.

The Indian Navy tableau on the other hand displays how it dealt with
the pirates in the Glf of Aden, with display of a dummy helicopter and
the Somalian pirates surrendering before the marine commandos.

An added attraction in the navy tableau is display of Shivalik class
ship that is proposed to be inducted in the Navy in March to boost its
surface fleet.

The Goa Government has chosen to use the theme of the International
Film Festival of India (IFFI) it holds every year in November that
used to be once Delhi's monopoly.

Tripura has chosen rather an unusual theme never tried in the R-Day
parades: Playing the "Sun mere bandhu re" song of legendary singer and
composer late Sachin Day Burman all along the 10-km long route. Burman
belonged to a royal family of Tripura but left his inheritance and
moved to Mumbai when family opposed his marriage to Meera Dasgupta not
hailing the royalty.


paid news edtiors guild meets election commission

23 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Deploring the growing trend of political advertisements
purveyed as news, Editors Guild’s has urged the Election Commission to
take strong action against both candidates and media persons who
violate the disclosure norms of election expenditure in regard to
media publicity.

A guild delegation, led by its president Rajdeep Sardesai, submitted a
memorandum to the commission on Friday expressing the guild’s grave
concern over the “paid news” phenomenon. It cited several recent
investigative reports which highlight the prevalence of this
pernicious practice.

Sardesai said the guild is worried that this dangerous trend will
erode public faith in credibility and impartiality of journalists in
news reporting. Moreover, he said it also vitiated the poll process
and prevented a fair election, since richer candidates who could pay
for their publicity had a clear advantage.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla said the commission did not
have a mechanism to monitor the candidates in all 543 Lok Sabha
constituencies, but it will probe a few candidates to serve as a
warning to others.

His colleague Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi added that the notice
served to Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in the recent
Maharashtra assembly elections will serve as a test case to
demonstrate the commission's commitment to tackle the growing malaise
of "paid news." Chavan has to reply by February the charge that he
paid newspapers for favourable publicity.

Referring to the guild's pointer that the expenditure ceiling for
candidates was not realistic, the CEC said it was not in the Election
Commission's hands as the limit is fixed by Parliament.

He said the commission has already received several complaints on the
issue of paid news. One grievance was that candidates sometimes got
blacked out by unscrupulous publications, unless they paid up. Others
complained that well-heeled candidates who could pay the corrupt media
get write-ups in their favour.

The Guild delegation included Coomi Kapoor, Mannini Chatterjee and Seema Chisti.


Friday, January 22, 2010

judicial panel for telangana road map


By R Rajagopalan

Centre is likely to constitute a judicial commission headed 
by a retired Supreme Court judge to examine the demand for 
bifurcating Telengana as a separate state from Andhra Pradesh.

Armed with the authorisation of Core Committee of Congress giving
green signal - which is from the political side, now the responsibility is
entrusted to Government. 

The Judicial Commission is expected to be chaired by a retired 
Supreme Court Judge, with three experts who will be members of 
this commission. The Judicial Commission will be given eighteen months
tenure. Commission headquarters will be in Delhi.

Terms and references are now being drafted and discussed between
three Union Ministers. 

PMO has quietly begun to do exercise this afternoon. To select one
it has shortlisted three senior judges who retired recently, 
Justice Sri Krishna, Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Lakshmanan.

The three experts are to be identified from a list of 15 names have been 
shortlisted by PMO. Most of them are technical experts.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

list of governors

S. No.
Name of the State
Name of the Governor
Andhra Pradesh
Shri E.S.L.Narasimhan  (IPS)
Arunachal Pradesh
Gen. (Retd.) Joginder Jaswant Singh  
Shri J.B.Patnaik
Shri Devanand Konwar
Shri Shekhar Dutt  (IAS)
Dr. Shivinder Singh Sidhu IAS
Dr. (Smt) Kamla
Shri Jagannath Pahadia
Himachal Pradesh
Smt. Urmila Singh
Jammu & Kashmir
Shri Narinder Nath Vohra IAS
Shri M.O.H. Farook
Shri H R Bhardwaj
Shri Ramkrishna Suryabhan Gavai
Madhya Pradesh
Shri Rameshwar Thakur
Shri K.Shankaranarayanan
Shri Gurbachan Jagat IPS
Shri Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary IPS
Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Madan Mohan Lakhera, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Shri Nikhil Kumar IPS
Shri Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare
Shri Shivraj V.Patil
Smt. Prabha Rau
Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh IAS
Tamil Nadu
Shri Surjit Singh Barnala
Dr. Y.B.Patil
Smt Margaret Alva
Uttar Pradesh
Shri B L Joshi IPS
West Bengal
Shri M.K.Narayanan IPS

IPS  (6)
Mr MK Narayanan, Mr ESL Narasimhan, Mr Nikhil Kumar, Mr BL Joshi, Mr RS Mooshahari
Mr Gurbachan Jagat

Lt Governors

Mr Iqbal Singh  Puducherri
Lt Gen Bhoopender Singh Andaman
Mr Tejender Khanna Delhi

6000 crores projects to network knowledge

20 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet will put its stamp on Thursday on an innovative National Knowledge Network (NKN) to be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 6000 crores to help the higher educational institutions across the country share knowledge and information.

The network will be rolled out with a 15 Gigabit broadband connectivity of institutions across the country to help all universities, libraries, laboratories, hospitals, agricultural institutions and research bodies share and exchange data online. It will have nodes in all major institutions of higher education and learning.

Communication and Information Technology Minister A Raja will be moving the NKN proposal at the Cabinet to enable India leapfrog into knowledge society and knowledge driven economy.

PITRODA PROJECT: Conceptualised by the Sam Pitroda-led National Knowledge Commission (NKC), the project gathering dust since its report in 2007 envisages networking across some 18,000 colleges and universities, putting learning material online and sharing the expertise of centres of excellence with institutes spread across the country.

The Cabinet nod has been sought to provide the ultra highspeed nework to connect eight metros, 2500 cities and 2500 major towns before 2020. The cost is not very high since the project envisages utilising the existing optical fibre network laid across the country by the telephone department. Network of railways may be used as a standby backup.

Pitroda had stressed in his report that the network will promote collaboration and co-creation among the IITs, IIMs, national research institutions, universities and colleges which has already become a hallmark of higher education in the western world. It will enrich every participating institution from flow of the academic resources.




From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: In an unusual gesture, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is hosting a farewell dinner to the outgoing National Security Adviser (NSA) M K Narayanan on Saturday.

Union Ministers and senior officials who got invitation for the dinner were surprised as the Prime Minister does not exhibit such hospitality to a bureaucrat. Narayanan has been the Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief.

Earlier on the same day, TKA Nair, the PM's Principal Secretary, is hosting a lunch to Narayanan separately.

Narayanan will be sworn in as the West Bengal Governor in Kolkata on Monday to be on time to hoist the Tricolour on the Republic Day and take salute of the ceremonial parade.

Meanwhile, sources say Narayanan may be India's last NSA, the post that came to him after the death of J N Dixit, a former foreign secretary. His successor may not get designation of the NSA but the post as a foreign affairs adviser.

Former foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon is tipped to get the post, with no meddling in the internal security and anti-terror measures to be handled by a new mechanism proposed by Home Minister P Chidambaram under the home ministry.


knowledge network in24 months

21 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The National Informatics Centre(NIC) that runs government computers and hosts its portals on Thursday got an "in principle" nod to go ahead setting up the National Knowledge Network (NKN) linking up 1500 higher education and research institutions in a span of 24 months.

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure gave the approval to build NKN with 25 core points of presence (PoPs) and 600 secondary ones.The most significant advantage of the network will be to mount "countrywide classrooms" to resolve the issue of faculty shortage and ensure quality education delivery across the country.

NIC sources said they have already connected 40 institutions of higher learning and advanced research and set up six virtual classrooms with 2.5 Gbps capacity at 15 PoPs.

NKN will enable scientists, researches and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.

Conceptualised by the Sam Pitroda-headed National Knowledge Commission, NKN will catalyse knowledge sharing and transfer between stakeholders seamlessly – that too across the nation and globally. NKN is expected to encourage a larger section of research and educational institutions to create intellectual property by providing them high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.

BACKGROUND: The goal is to inter-connect all knowledge institutions trough high speed data communication network. This would encourage sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research. The government's decision to set up the network was taken in 2008-09, with initial allocation of Rs 100 crores to the Information Technology Department to establish it.

IT and Communication Minister A Raja had sought Rs 6,000 crores for the project, but the Cabinet Committee felt the money can be sanctioned in the next budget while giving the "in principle" clearance to complete the initial steps using Rs 100 crores.

The architecture of NKN will be scalable and the network will consist of an ultra-high speed Core (multiples of 10 gigabits per second and upwards). The Core shall be complemented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. The participating institutions can connect to the NKN at speeds of 1 Gbps or to the distribution layer through a last mile connectivity bandwidth.

The NKN will provide nation-wide ultra high-speed backbone/data-network highway while various other networks in the country can take advantage of it providing national and international reach to create independent and closed user groups.

Health, Education, Grid Computing, Agriculture and e-Governance are the main applications identified for implementation and delivery on NKN. The crux of the success of the Knowledge Network is related to the education related applications, databases and delivery of services to the users on demand.