Saturday, March 31, 2012

Delhi Govt.moves to recover from Pvt hospitals

Unwarranted profits made at the cost of the poor
Delhi Government after Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld Delhi High Court judgment dated 22.03.2007 in Social Jurist PIL on September 01, 2010 has now moved to recover from 43 identified private hospitals unwarranted profits having been made by these hospitals by denying free-treatment to poor patients during the relevant period in accordance with the land allotment clause.

The Directorate of Health Services, Government of NCT of Delhi by its letter dated 06.03.2012 has sought detailed information from all the 43 identified Private Hospitals in the prescribed Proforma within one month in order to determine the amounts to be recovered from each hospital to be used as corpus for the welfare/treatment of the poorest in the Government Hospitals as per the directions of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Order dated 22.03.2007 in Social Jurist amongst others held,

“There is no justification whatsoever on the part of the General, Specialty or Super Specialty hospitals not to comply with the mandate of the condition. Thus, they would be asked to make good of the non-compliance of the condition and they must repay to the authorities and the society at large for the unwarranted profits, at the cost of the poor, made by them for all these years to the extent of the percentage of free-patient treatment (in terms of money) proportionate to the number of patients treated by them during the relevant period and they must pay that money to the authorities who shall create a central corpus/pool which shall be utilized for the welfare, health-care and treatment of the poorer section of society in Government Hospitals.  A Division Bench of this Court in its order dated 07.11.2002 (referred Supra) had passed such a direction. Despite orders of this Court from time to time, the hospitals which were in default persisted with the same and showed complete disobedience to the orders of the Court. The conduct of these hospitals even during the pendency of the writ petition is not worthy of any appreciation. Rather, it would tilt towards denial of relief on equitable grounds. Thus, we direct that a special committee shall be constituted which shall carry out these directions in its best wisdom and which shall ensure that the directions of the Court are neither diluted nor rendered ineffective by such steps.”

It is unfortunate that despite High Court and Supreme Court orders, some of the identified private hospitals like Mool Chand Karaiti Ram Trust and Hospital, St. Stephen’s Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre are still not at all providing free-treatment to the EWS patients.  The present step of the Government to recover unwarranted profits from all the erring private hospitals would certainly go a long way in implementation of the Court Orders in accordance with which such private hospitals on public lands allotted to them on highly concessional rates are obliged to provide totally free-treatment to EWS patients to the extent of 10% IPD and 25% OPD.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate                                                          31.03.2012 
Advisor, Social Jurist

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another proud for Ludhianvis

DDJain Students got 100% results
Rimple, Neha and Ankita of DD Jain college for women Ludhiana (Seven Seas photo by HK Ahuja)
The Students of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women got 100% results in Msc(IT) 1st semester. Neha Narula got 2nd position in Panjab University by securing 86.16% marks, Ankita got 2nd  position  in college  by securing 82.16% marks, Rimple  got 3rd  position in college by securing 82% marks.
Congratulating the students, Chairman Samaj Rattan Shri Hira Lal Jain, President Sh. Kedar Nath Jain, Sr. Vice President Sh. Shanti Saroop Jain, Sr. Vice President Sh. Raj Kumar Jain, Secretary Sh. Bipin Jain, Manager           Sh. Surinder Kumar Jain and Principal Smt. Surinder Khurana said such a result is possible because of the hardwork and determination of both teachers and students. Rector Kathuria

IDPD welcomes the statement by Dr.Manmohan Singh

Asking for a nuclear free world
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) welcomes the statement Dr.Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India asking for a nuclear free world. India has always been a champion for nuclear disarmament. Keeping the tradition of non aligned movement our country should take lead in various international forums for abolition of nuclear weapons as well as check on proliferation of small arms through confidence building measures between the nations. 
According to a statement issued by it's President Dr L S Chawla General Secretary Dr Arun Mitra even if a single country has the nuclear weapons, the chances of their development by other countries will always remain as the nuclear weapons possessing states looses the moral right to ask other countries desist the same. The fear of these weapons falling into the hands of non state actors will always remain. The stand of IDPD and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in this regard has been vindicated by the Seoul meet. IDPD also appeal to the Prime Minister to pay heed to the people movements and put moratorium on the nuclear plants for power generation as the nuclear energy is neither safe nor economical. Moreover the nuclear plants cloud any time is used for production of nuclear weapons.

2nd National CME of ACOIN held at CMC

There was also a scientific poster competition
Ludhiana, 29th March, 2012(Shalu Arora  and Rector Kathuria): The Deptt of ophthalmology, Christian Medical College and Hospital conducted 2nd National CME of Association of Community Ophthalmologist of India in association with Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Eye Hospital, Jalandhar, Slum doctor project U.K and vision 2020, India on Pediatric Ophthalmology and strabismus.
The chief guest for the occasion was Dr.A.G.Thomas, Director CMC and Hospital, who also released the souvenir. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were Dr. S.M Bhatti, Principal Christian Medical College, Ludhiana , Associate Director, Dr.Kim Mammen, Dr.Kanwal Masih, Medical Superintendent, Dr.Nitin Batra, HOD Ophthalmology and organizing Chairman of the CME. .
The guest faculty and Course director of the event was Dr.Tony Aguire, consultant ophthalmologist Caldudale Huddersfield NHS foundation trust U.K, Augenklinik teufen, Switzerland and an adjunct associate clinical professor, University of Texas at Houston, who delivered keynote address on update in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Prominent strabismologists  from various parts of the country delivered lectures on pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.
The occasion was also graced by eminent physicians and ophthalmologists from different parts of the country and abroad.
Along with scientific sessions there was a workshop conducted in Department of Ophthalmology on evaluation of squint and pearls of squint surgery.
There was also a scientific poster competition for undergraduate students engaged in research in the field of ophthalmology.

Social Justice Lawyers- Lawyers for Change

National Meet of 28-30 April, 2012 at New Delhi,India  
Dear Friends,

Greetings from Centre for Social Justice!

Centre for Social Justice, Ahmedabad, in collaboration with National Dalit Movement for Justice is organizing a three day 'National Meet of Social Justice Lawyers - Lawyers for Change' from the 28th-30th of April, 2012 at New Delhi, India. The meet aims at bringing together lawyers from across the country who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of the vulnerable, who seek to fight injustice, and those who work to maintain and protect the rights of those who suffer and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of rights of peo-ple rather than for their repression.

The event can be attended by lawyers practicing on social issues in the lower courts, High Court and the Supreme Court. Lawyers who want to gain knowledge from first-hand experiences of renowned social activists and human rights advocates may also attend the event. The event is also open to undergraduate and postgraduate students of law.

Please find attached the brochure of the event for more details. Feel free to forward the same to your friends and peers.

Please note that prior registration is compulsory for participating in the meet. For registration, please click on the following link

For more information, please send your queries to  or call +91 99099 63150

Satyajeet Mazumdar
Centre for Social Justice

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ms. Dilma Rousseff addressing

The President of Brazil, Ms. Dilma Rousseff addressing after receiving the Degree of Doctor of Letters (D. Litt. Honoris Causa), at the Special Convocation of the University of Delhi, in New Delhi on March 28, 2012.

(PIB photo) 28-March-2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven Day Protest fast in Delhi

In solidarity with fasting activists in Idinthakarai
Nationwide Protests in support of Anti-Nuclear struggle in Koodankulam
March 26, New Delhi : National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), Lok Rajniti Manch and Delhi Solidarity Group, is  organising a protest and fast from today 26 March 2012 till 1st April 2012, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in solidarity with ongoing fast by activists of the anti-nuclear movement at Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.NAPM National Convener and noted Social activist Sandeep Pandey is sitting on a seven day fast.

In Chennai too people are fasting in support of anti-nuclear movement in Koodankulam. In Mumbai, noted film-maker Anand Patwardhan is leading a protest in front of Dadar Railway Station. 

On 27th March, 2012, one day fasts will be organised at many places in support of the local people protesting against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. NAPM Andhra Pradesh is organising a protest demonstration and candle light vigil between 6 to 8 pm on 27th March at Ambedkar Statue, near Tankbund, Hyderabad.

It is ironical that India has raised the issue of atrocities on Tamil people in Sri Lanka at UNHRC but is not relenting its nuclear power pursuit which potentially puts its own Tamil people at grave risk of nuclear tragedy in times to come.

We strongly condemn the undemocratic manner in which nuclear energy is forced upon us. Not only Indian government has used a strong hand to snub the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu, but also is trying to intimidate and stifle resistance by misleading allegations of a ‘foreign hand’. Dr Udayakumar who leads PMANE has declared his personal assets and he has no FCRA account to receive foreign money. Whereas it is clear that Indian government is working hands-in-glove with bigger ‘foreign hands’ of USA, Russia and other countries in its joint military operations and expanding nuclear programme.

The latest attempt by the CM of Tamil Nadu to brand S.P. Udayakumar as a naxal clearly shows the desperation of the government. We condemn such underhand tactics and attempts by government to mislead general public.

It is the people in Europe and America that have forced their governments by coming out in large numbers on street to abandon nuclear energy. But Indian government is trying to stifle such people’s initiatives to have their say. Our claims of being the largest democracy prove to be hollow.

Recent nuclear emergency in Japan leaves no doubt that this world needs to renounce nuclear power for military and civil/ energy purposes, as soon as possible, to put an end to any further catastrophe in the name of 'energy', 'security' or 'technology'. Nuclear power is clearly the most dangerous options for civil or military use. Countries that have been using nuclear power such as Germany have resolved to abandon nuclear energy by 2022. Japan, USA, and many such nations who were earlier pursuing nuclear energy option are having second thoughts now.

We believe that India should adopt the futuristic energy policy like Japan and the European Union (EU) relying on renewable sources of energy which are non-polluting. Like EU and Japan, India too should aim for a low-carbon energy production system. India’s future energy policy should be low carbon and no nuclear.

We appeal to the Indian government to support dialogue on nuclear energy in a democratic way and until there is a consensus on whether India should go ahead with nuclear programme or not, should stall all nuclear programmes.

National Alliance of People's Movements, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, Lok Rajniti Manch and Delhi Solidarity Group.

For more details contact : P.K. Sundaram, 9810556134, Ramesh Sharma, 9818111562, Madhuresh Kumar, 9818905316 and Vijayan M J 9582862682.

Medical camp by BJGVJ//188 patients were examined

20 Patients fitted with free hearing aids 
The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ) Haibowal Branch Ludhiana in collaboration with Indian Medical Association Ludhiana and coordinated by Voice of Youth Foundation  held a Free Medical Checkup Camp dedicated to the memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 82nd martyrdom day at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public School, Haqiqat Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana. 188 patients were examined by Dr Arun Mitra ENT Surgeon and Dr.Anakhveer Singh Gill. 20 patients were fitted the free hearing aids after checking their hearing levels. Addressing the gathering Dr.Arun Mitra said that the real tribute to the martyrs is to create a society based on justice and equality to all citizens. He said the quality health care and education is the right of all citizens. Such camps are a miniscule contribution in that direction. He also gave health education about prevention of diseases related to Ear, Nose and Throat. Other who addressed the gathering include Sh.M.S.Bhatia, Maj.Sher Singh Aulukh, Mrs.Gurcharan Kocher, Shri.G.S.Narula, Sh.Harbhajan Singh Bhatia, Sh.Ashish Moliry – Vice President of Voice of Youth Foundation. Mrs.Rajinder Kaur Bhatia – Principal of the school in her thanks giving address appreciated the help extended by Punjab Bank Employees Federation Ludhiana and assured that such like camps will be organized in the future also.
Others who make the function success included Sh.Bhajan Singh, Sh.Avtar Chibber, Sh.Rajesh Verma, Sh.B.D.Saini, Sh.Sunil Grover, Sh.Gulshan Gaba, Sh.Harvinder Singh Obrai, Sh.Prem Grover, Sh.Ramadhar Singh, 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Art face of medical line

Talent sets the stage alight at CMC Ludhiana
The Music and Theatre Workshop of Christian Medical College (CMC) Ludhiana comprises of doctors and students of various colleges of the institution who organizes regular productions. This year, the workshop organized a play entitled ‘Harvey’. The show was staged on three days commencing on the 22ndof march, 2012 at the Lady Willingdon Hall, CMC, Ludhiana.

Mr. Sajin Sunny Mathew, the student co-ordinator of ‘Harvey’ said, “We are glad that the rich tradition of high quality productions we have had in the past has been kept alive with ‘Harvey’ under the patronage of our director, Dr Abhraham G Thomas.”

The play ‘Harvey’ is a comedy in three acts authored by the American playwright Mary Chase. It is about an affable man named Elwood P Dowd (played by Manu Mathew Kurien) who claims to have an unseen friend named Harvey- a six-foot, one-half-inch tall rabbit. His social-climbing sister, Veta( Angela Elizabeth Eapen), and her daughter, Myrtle (Meriya Joseph), find his eccentric behaviour embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to the sanatorium and a comedy of errors ensues. As the play moves hilariously through various comic situations, there is an underlying message of goodwill and encouragement that the lead character always portrays. His philosophy of life is a message to us all. ‘Many years ago,’ he says, ‘my mother told me I should be either oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. I was smart for years. I recommend pleasant.’ Through every stressful situation even in the face of anger, he remains calm, kind and courteous making him well-beloved character by the end. The message of love and bonding between family members which prevails eternally despite mutual faults, is powerfully depicted through the play.

Be it the well- coordinated production, the enticing props and costumes or the proactive backstage crew, the production holds together and moves seamlessly through the three acts. A collective team, comprising a cast of about 11 students and about 50 others pitched in their time, efforts and talents in the making of ‘Harvey’. “An amazing and witty play that’s bound to leave you captivated and entertained” adds Mr. David Livingston. “It was challenging but fulfilling experience  to put up a three act comedy on stage with the right expressions, timings, punch lines to deliver and even working off-screen and on-screen chemistry with the co-cast. It boosted our confidence and built on our positive traits allowing us to improve” said Angela, one of the actors. “Though there wasn’t much tedious work involved, we worked hard at depicting the scenes to the finest detail,” said Ansu John, a member of the props crew. “It was a gratifying job to design the costumes and transport the actors to a different era.” said Amritha Kurien, from the costumes team. The director of the play, Dr Dhruv Ghosh, a paediatric surgeon of CMC said, ‘It was a great joy to work with the students on the play. Their talents never cease to amaze me.’

The annual musicals and plays have been appreciated by the residents of Ludhiana city and surrounding areas for the many years. This year’s play, ‘Harvey’ was a break from the hectic routine of life as aspiring doctors entertained and enthralled the audience showcasing the power of voice and expression. Aditi George, one of crew members said,  “This year’s play is a must see. Funny and heart-warming, it’s a wonderful night of theatre for the whole family.” --Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria

Friday, March 23, 2012

Homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev

Pledge to work for a society based on justice and equality
Ludhiana//March 23, 2012:
The Sanjha Morcha paid homage to the martyrs of the nation Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev today at Jagraon Bridge in which hundreds of activists of Communist Party of India (CPI) Distt. Ludhiana, CPI-M, PPP along with social organizations Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ), Punjab Istri Sabha, All India Working Women Forum –AITUC participated. They garlanded their statues and pledged to build a nation based on justice and equality. The participants said that the martyrs had dreamt of a nation with equal rights to grow for all the citizens. But event after 64 years of independence we find vast majority of our population living under abject poverty and devoid of basic infrastructure to sustain life including nutrition and quality education & health care. This situation has worsened after the economic policies of neo liberalism and globalization.  The communalist and casteist forces are out to destablise the harmony in society. It is the duty of all secular and democratic forces to foil their designs unitedly.   Prominent among those who were present and addressed today include Com.Kartar Singh Bowani, Dr.Arun Mitra, Com D.P.Maur, Com.O.P.Mehta, Com.Ramesh Rattan, Sh.Barat Bhushan Thapar, S.Rajesh Gandhi, Com.Sukhminder Sekhon, Com.Sukminder Lotey, Com.Jagdis, Mrs.Gurcharan Kocher, Maj.Sher Singh Aulukh, Mrs.Kusum Lata, Com.Gulzar Goria, Com.Nageena, Com.Surinder Sachdeva, Com.Ramadhar Singh, Com.Gurnam SIdhu, Com.Gurnam Gill,  Com Randhir Singh, Com.Devraj, Com.Manjit Mehram, Com.Ragbir Sing Benipal, Com.Dinesh Kumar, Com.Samar Bahadur, Com Gulzar Pandher, Com.Mohan Lal, Com.Baldev Walia, Com.Tilak Raj Sangra, Com.Agya Dass, Com.Kuldeep, Com.Vijay Kumar, Com.Buta Singh, Com.arbans Singh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shri Kishore Chandra gives away National Tribal Awards

Award carrying cash prize of Rs.5 lakhs, a citation and a trophy
The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj, Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo presenting the National Tribal Award 2011-12 to Smt. Binny Yanga, in New Delhi on March 20, 2012. The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Mahadev S. Khandela is also seen. [PIB] 21-March-2012
The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj, Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo lighting the lamp to inaugurate the Festival of Tribal Dance-‘Prakriti’, in New Delhi on March 20, 2012. The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Mahadev S. Khandela is also seen.[PIB] 21-March-2012 
The Minister of Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj, Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo inaugurated "Prakriti", a National Festival of Tribal Dances here last evening. In his inaugural speech, Shri Kishore Chandra Deo said that the dance festival aims to promote the vibrant tribal culture and also provide an opportunity to showcase the tribal dance and music. 

On the occasion, he also gave away the National Tribal Awards for outstanding tribal achievers in sports, education, and culture and to outstanding contributors towards tribal welfare. Smt. BinnyYanaga (Maya) was given the award for Exemplary Community Service rendered to the Scheduled Tribes, carrying a cash prize of Rs.5.00 lakhs, a citation and a trophy. Smt. M.C. Mary Kom awarded the Best Tribal Achiever Award for outstanding achievement in the field of sports, carrying a cash prize of Rs. 2.00 lakhs, a citation and a trophy and Shri Guru Rewben Mashangva was also awarded the Best Tribal Achiever Award for outstanding contribution in the field of tribal art and culture. Shri Kishore Chandra Deo stated that he has asked the Ministry to examine the possibility of increasing the categories for awards in various fields and simplify the nominations process for the awards. 

The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Mahadeo Singh Khandela was also present on the occasion. During the event, tribal artistes from different part of the country performed enchanting tribal dances and music. The three days tribal festival is organized by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture from 20th to 22nd March, 2012 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. [PIB] 21-March-2012 15:34 IST

DOD Reviews Cyberspace Rules of Engagement

Dangers are not something new in cyberspace 
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2012 - Whether by land, sea or air, Defense Department leaders have long crafted rules of engagement to determine how, where and when they can attack the enemy. They expect soon to complete the same for their newest domain: cyberspace, the assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs said today.
"We are working closely with the Joint Staff on the implementation of a transitional command-and-control model for cyberspace operations" while reviewing existing rules of engagement, Madelyn R. Creedon told the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities.
Teresa M. Takai, DOD's chief information officer, and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, joined Creedon at the hearing.
"This interim framework," Creedon told the panel, "will standardize existing organizational structures and command relationships across the department for the application of the full spectrum of cyberspace capabilities."
Describing DOD's strategies for operating in cyberspace, Creedon said the department maintains more than 15,000 network enclaves and 7 million computing devices in installations around the globe.
"DOD continues to develop effective strategies for ensuring the United States is prepared for all cyber contingencies along the entire spectrum," she added, "from peace to crisis to war."
In times of fiscal constraint, Creedon said, DOD also is taking advantage of efficiencies provided by information technology advances.
"The department has been working around the clock, often in close cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies," she said, to protect the nation from cyber threats that include the theft of intellectual property, as well as damage to the defense industrial base, the economy and national security.
The department hit a "significant milestone" last July with the release of its first strategy for operating in cyberspace, Creedon said. The document builds on President Barack Obama's International Strategy for Cyberspace and the DOD Quadrennial Defense Review, and guides the department's military, business and intelligence activities in cyberspace in support of national interests, she said.
The DOD works closely with colleagues in the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, Treasury, Commerce and other agencies, she added, and pursues bilateral and multilateral engagements to enhance security and develop norms of behavior in cyberspace.
Takai told the panel that DOD's $37 billion information technology budget request for fiscal year 2013 includes a range of IT investments, including $3.4 billion for cyber security efforts to protect information, information systems and networks against known cyber vulnerabilities.
It also includes $182 million for Cyber Command for cyber network defense, cryptographic systems, communications security, network resiliency, workforce development, and development of cyber security standards and technologies department-wide.
Among efforts to improve effectiveness and efficiency, Takai explained, "is consolidation of the department's IT infrastructure, networks, computing services, data centers, application and data services, while simultaneously improving the ability to defend that infrastructure against growing cyber threats."
Her office is leading the implementation of the initiatives, the chief information officer added, "but it is important that we work closely with the services, Joint Staff and U.S. Cyber Command to more aggressively modernize our overall information systems."
A pillar of that modernization is a move to a single, joint network architecture, Takai said, allowing DOD and Cyber Command better visibility into network activity and better defense against cyber attacks.
Individually, she said, the services and agencies have taken action to better position the information enterprise and security posture.
The department has made significant progress in several areas, Takai said. One effort involved deploying a modular system called a host-based security system that enhances situational awareness of the network and improves the ability to detect, diagnose and react to cyber intrusions.
"We've also taken the lead in assessing the risk of the global supply chain to our critical information and communications technology," Takai added, and has instituted a successful defense industrial base cyber security and information assurance program.
Alexander said cyber defense requires contributions not only from DOD, but from Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Defense Information Systems Agency -- "all key partners in helping us do our cyber mission."
Cyber space is becoming more dangerous, he added.
"The intelligence community's worldwide threat brief to Congress in January raised cyber threats to just behind terrorism and [nuclear] proliferation in its list of the biggest challenges facing the nation."
The task of assuring cyberspace access, the general said, "has drawn the attention of our nation's most senior leaders over the last year and their decisions have helped to clarify what we can and must do about developments that greatly concern us."
Cyber Command is specifically charged with directing the security, operation and defense of DOD's information systems, he added, "but our work and actions are affected by threats well outside DOD networks ... threats the nation cannot afford to ignore."
Dangers are not something new in cyberspace.
"Nation-state actors in cyberspace are riding a tide of criminality," the general said. "Several nations have turned their resources and power against us and foreign businesses and enterprises, even those that manage critical infrastructure in this country, and others."
For the panel, Alexander described five key areas Cyber Command is working on:
-- Building the enterprise and training the force;
--Developing a defensible architecture;

--Getting authorities needed to operate in cyberspace;

--Setting the teamwork properly across U.S. government agencies; and

--Creating a concept of operations for operating in cyberspace.
"I think we're making progress," Alexander said, "but ... the risks that face our country are growing faster than our progress and we have to work hard on that."
Army Gen. Keith Alexander
Madelyn R. Creedon
Teresa M. Takai
Related Sites:
Special Report: Cyber Security

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

workshop on Special Reference to River Ganga

The Speaker, Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar, the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal and the Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri K. Rehman Khan at the inauguration of the workshop on "Water Conservation and Management -with Special Reference to River Ganga", in New Delhi on March 20, 2012. [PIB photo] 20-March-2012

President Proclaims 'National Day of Honor'

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 19, 2012 - On the ninth anniversary of U.S. forces moving into Iraq, President Barack Obama has proclaimed today to be "A National Day of Honor."
Here's is the text of the president's proclamation:
Nine years ago, members of the United States Armed Forces crossed the sands of the Iraq-Kuwait border and began one of the most challenging missions our military has ever known. They left the comforts of home and family, volunteering in service to a cause greater than themselves. They braved insurgency and sectarian strife, knowing too well the danger of combat and the cost of conflict. Yet, through the dust and din and the fog of war, they never lost their resolve. Demonstrating unshakable fortitude and unwavering commitment to duty, our men and women in uniform served tour after tour, fighting block by block to help the Iraqi people seize the chance for a better future. And on December 18, 2011, their mission came to an end.
Today, we honor their success, their service, and their sacrifice. In one of our Nation's longest wars, veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn wrote one of the most extraordinary chapters in American military history. When highways became mine fields and uncertainty waited behind every corner, service members rose to meet the task at hand with unmatched courage and determination. They learned languages and cultures, taking on new roles as diplomats and development experts to improve the communities where they served. Their strength toppled a tyrant, and their valor helped build opportunity in oppression's place. Across nearly 9 years of conflict, the glory of their service -- as well as the contributions of other members of the U.S. Government and our coalition partners -- always shone through.
The war left wounds not always seen, but forever felt. The burden of distance and the pain of loss weighed heavily on the hearts of millions at home and overseas. Behind every member of our military stood a parent, a spouse, or a son or daughter who proudly served their community and prayed for their loved one's safe return. For wounded warriors, coming home marked the end of one battle and the beginning of another -- to stand, to walk, to recover, and to serve again. And, in war's most profound cost, there were those who never came home. Separated by time and space but united by their love of country, nearly 4,500 men and women are eternally bound; though we have laid them to rest, they will live on in the soul of our Nation now and forever. To them, to their families, and to all who served, we owe a debt that can never be fully repaid.
When we returned the colors of United States Forces-Iraq and the last of our troops set foot on American soil, we reflected on the extraordinary service and sacrifice of those who answered our country's call. Their example embodied that fundamental American faith that tells us no mission is too hard, no challenge is too great, and that through tests and through trials, we will always emerge stronger than before. Now, our Nation reaffirms our commitment to serve veterans of Iraq as well as they served us -- to uphold the sacred trust we share with all who have worn the uniform. Our future is brighter for their service, and today, we express our gratitude by saying once more: Welcome home.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 19, 2012, as a National Day of Honor. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the return of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
nineteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ms. Sangita Gairola addressing

The Secretary, Culture, Ms. Sangita Gairola addressing at the release of a book ‘Power and Resistance: The Delhi Coronation Durbars’, in New Delhi on March 19, 2012. (PIB photo) 19-March-2012

Cheap Imports from China

Some cases where Indian products were being copied and sold in China/exported from China to other countries have come to the notice of Government. However no specific case of such counterfeit products being sold in the Indian market has come to the notice of the Government. Some complaints involving copyright/trademark violation against Indian brands/products by the Chinese companies were received. Details of such cases are appended as Annexure-1. 

(c) to (e) All the cases mentioned in the Annexure were taken up at appropriate level with relevant Government agencies in China and the same are being followed up through our Embassy in Beijing. 

This information was given by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia in a written reply to a question raised in Lok Sabha today.(PIB) {
19-March-2012 16:52 IST}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On the President's address

PM's reply in the Lok Sabha debate 
Madam Speaker, I rise to join all Members of this august House in conveying our sincere thanks to the Honourable President for her enlightened address. The debate on the President’s Address has been very wide-ranging and Shri Jaswant Singhji has made his contribution as well. I thank all the Hon. Members from all sides who have contributed to this debate.

        The President’s Address lays down the objectives and the roadmap that our Government is following and will pursue with greater vigour to deal with the challenges that are mentioned in the President’s Address. The President’s Address in paragraph 10 refers to five important challenges that our country faces today. They are :-

1) to strive for livelihood security for the vast majority of our population and contribute to work for removal of poverty, hunger and illiteracy from our land;
2) to achieve economic security through rapid and broad-based development and creation of productive jobs for our people;
3) to ensure energy security for our rapid growth;
4) to realise our developmental goals without jeopardizing our ecological and environmental security; and
5) to guarantee our internal and external security within the framework of a just, plural, secular and inclusive growth.

Madam, these five challenges sum up the task that lies ahead of our Government in the two-and-a-half years that remain.

        As far as the economy is concerned, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance has placed the Economic Survey on the Table of the House and the Economic Survey gives an exhaustive account of the state of the economy. The Finance Minister has also referred to challenges facing us, in his Budget Speech. Madam, all these issues will be thoroughly debated during the general debate on the Budget next week. Therefore, I will be brief while dealing with the economy of the country.

I am sure, hon. Members are aware that we are charting our course through waters that are choppy for all countries today. The year 2011-12 has been a difficult year for all countries. Global growth decelerated everywhere. The Industrialised countries grew at the rate of only 1.6 per cent in 2011, which is half the rate in the previous years. The international economic environment that we face is highly uncertain.

The developments in North Africa and West Asia have led to a steep increase in the prices of hydrocarbons adversely affecting among others prices of fertilisers, food grains and have also put pressure on our balance of payment.

Madam, in this background, our own economic performance of about seven per cent growth- though slower than what we had hoped- must be regarded as commendable. Of course, we cannot view this as acceptable. We must strive to improve upon this in the next year and return as quickly as possible to a higher growth path and we must do this while also ensuring that we will progress towards our objective of achieving inclusive growth with reasonable price stability. Madam, for all this, we need a broad-based national consensus covering all sections of political opinion represented in this august House. This is an occasion when we must rise above narrow partisan ends and stand united as a nation.

Madam, we grew at 9 per cent for five years before 2008, and I do believe that we can get back to that kind of growth rate provided we can agree on a number of difficult decisions. If we succeed in that objective, we will ensure that India continues its rise as an economic power and acquires the economic capability of reducing persistent poverty from which we have suffered and filling the gaps, which are all too evident in critical areas such as health, education, skill-development, and provision of clean drinking water and sanitation. Shri Jaswant Singh referred to the problem of drinking water supply. I assure him that our Government attaches high priority to ensuring that all our citizens have access to clean drinking water. … (Interruptions)
Madam, several Members have referred to the problems faced by weaker sections of our society and I do agree with them that we need to focus, in particular, on the developmental gaps affecting the weaker sections of our population such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, the Other Backward Classes, the Minorities and other disadvantaged groups. I would like to assure the Hon. Members that we will rise to this important task. … (Interruptions)

Madam, the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, which will be presented to the National Development Council (NDC) sometime in the middle of the year, will lay out the credible plan of action for faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth. I do not wish to go into details, but only wish to remind the hon. Members that our path is not easy.
I am sure that the hon. Members also realize that the difficult decisions that we have to take are made more difficult by the fact that we are a coalition Government and we have to evolve policy keeping in mind the need to maintain a consensus. The challenges that this poses have been sharply brought out in the developments following the presentation of the Railway Budget. I would like to use this opportunity to inform the hon. Members of the latest development. Madam, I received late last night an e-mail message followed by a formal letter from Shri Dinesh Trivedi tendering his resignation as the Railway Minister.

I propose to forward this letter to the President with the recommendation to accept Shri Trivedi’s letter of resignation. I regret the departure of Shri Trivedi. He had presented the Railway Budget which promised to carry out the Vision 2020 that was outlined by his predecessor. A new Railway Minister will be sworn in shortly. He will have the onerous duty of carrying forward the challenging task of modernizing our railway system.

Madam Speaker, in a country as large and as complex as ours, and where the farmers of our country constitute 65 per cent of the labour force, it is inevitable that Parliament and the Government should be worried about the state of India’s agriculture. I share the agony of the hon. Members, when they refer to the suicides of our farmers.

        The House has my assurance that we will work with the renewed vigour to ensure that no farmer in our country is forced to go to the extreme level of committing suicide.

Our Government has attached high priority to the development of agriculture, to increase public investment in agriculture, to ensure that there is more attention, technologically, paid to the development of agriculture and as a result, the growth rate of agricultural production within the last five years has been as high as three per cent or 3.5 per cent per annum. This year we are likely to achieve a record production of food grains of 250 million tonnes.

Last year, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, the National Horticulture Mission, and the Food Security Mission have all contributed to create a more favourable environment for the growth of agriculture. But I will be the last one to say that more cannot be done. We will, in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, focus more sharply on the development of our agriculture because the interest of farmers is uppermost in the minds of our Government. That will be the priority we will follow with due diligence.

Madam, there were references to the price situation in the country. I do admit that in the last two years, the prices have become a problem. Fortunately, there are indications that prices are coming under control, but we have to be vigilant. It was in this context that the Finance Minister’s effort to control the fiscal deficit is very relevant. Our fiscal deficit did increase in the year 2008-09 because of the developments in the international economic environment, and it was our hope that we will be able to get back to a more reasonable level of fiscal deficit in the year 2011-12.The Finance Minister had projected a fiscal deficit of 4.8 per cent for that year. It turns out that the fiscal deficit will be as high as 5.9 per cent. The Finance Minister has committed our Government to work towards a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 5.1 per cent in the next year. It is very important that the Finance Minister succeeds in the control of fiscal deficit, in the control over the balance of payments deficit to a more reasonable level as it is essential for us to achieve our objectives of growth with reasonable price stability.

Since these matters will be debated at length during the debate on the Budget, I do not propose to spend more time in dealing with these issues. However, there are certain matters which I would like to refer to and one of these relates to the establishment of National Counter Terrorism Centre. While discussing issue relating to the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Shri Rajnath Singh Ji questioned the sincerity of our Government while dealing with problems of the terrorism. 

        Madam, dealing with terrorism and dealing effectively as well as the control of left wing extremism constitute two big challenges before our country and for all the growth objectives that we have, particularly,  the developments of the Central Indian regions.  The States of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand are infested with left wing extremism.  Control over the left wing extremism and control over terrorism are absolute necessities if we are to achieve our growth objectives.
        Madam, let me assure the House that our Government is committed to providing fully secured living conditions to its citizens and it will take every possible step to deal with the menace of terrorism.  In fact, setting up the NCTC is an important step in that direction. Concern has been raised that the Central Government is trying to encroach upon the jurisdiction of the State Government and it has been suggested that they should be taken into confidence before the National Counter Terrorism Centre becomes operational.  The question of setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre has been discussed at various fora since the report of the Group of Ministers appointed by the previous Government and the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission were submitted. Multi-agency Centre that was established in 2001 was a pre-cursor to the NCTC and the need for a single and effective point of consideration for coordination for counter terrorism has been discussed in meetings on internal security of Chief Ministers. As has been pointed out by some Members that a number of Chief Ministers have expressed their concern after the order was issued and I have replied to them that there will be consultations before the next steps are taken.  The consultation was held on 12th March, 2012 with the Chief Secretaries and DGPs from different State Governments.  The meeting of the Chief Ministers on Internal Security has been called which was originally scheduled for 15th February, 2012 but because of elections, it had to be postponed.  It is now scheduled on 16th April, 2012.  Therefore, adequate and full consultations will take place before the next steps are taken. 

Madam, I think that the idea of NCTC and the manner in which the NCTC will function are two separate issues. The idea of NCTC, you have all agreed is unexceptional. And the manner in which the NCTC will function, there may be differences about tingle but I am confident that through discussions and dialogues, these differences could be narrowed down and a consensus can be arrived and that will be our sincere efforts. 

Madam, another issue which was raised during the debate relates to the state of Sri Lankan Tamils. Some Members have raised concern regarding the situation in Sri Lanka. The Central Government fully shares the concerns and sentiments raised by hon. Members regarding the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Since the end of conflict in Sri Lanka, our focus has been on the welfare and well being of the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka. Their resettlement and rehabilitation has been of the highest and most immediate priority for our Government. The steps taken by the Central Government in this regard has been outlined in the suo motu statement made by the External Affairs Minister on 14th March, 2012. As a result of our constructive engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka and our considerable assistance programme, the modicum of normalcy is beginning to return to the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka. There has also been progress, given the withdrawal of emergency regulations by the Government of Sri Lanka and the conduct of elections to local bodies in the Northern provinces of Sri Lanka.

Members have also raised the issue of human rights violations during the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka and on the US initiated draft resolution on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka at the on-going 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Government of India has emphasised to the Government of Sri Lanka the importance of a genuine process of reconciliation to address the grievances of the Tamil community. In this connection, we have called for implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission appointed by Sri Lankan Government that has been tabled before the Sri Lankan Parliament. These include various constructive measures of healing the wounds of the conflict and fostering the process of lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

We have asked the Government of Sri Lanka to stand by its commitment towards pursuit of a political process through a broader dialogue with all parties including the Tamil National Alliance leading to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution so as to achieve meaningful devolution of power and genuine national reconciliation. We hope that the Government of Sri Lanka recognises the critical importance of this issue, act decisively and with vision in this regard. We will remain engaged with them through this process and encourage them to take forward the dialogue with the elected representatives of Sri Lankan Tamils.

As regards the issue of a draft resolution initiated by the United States at the on-going 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, we do not yet have the final text of the Resolution. However, I may assure the House that we are inclined to vote in favour of a Resolution. That, we hope, will advance our objective, namely, the achievement of the future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect.

Madam, Shri Jaswant Singhji has raised the issue of Gorkhaland Darjeeling Hill Council. I wish to assure this House that we have worked with sincerity to find an amicable solution to this difficult problem. We recognise the contribution made by the Government of West Bengal in facilitating this outcome. Whatever issues are outstanding, the House has my assurance, we will work with the same constructive spirit to find a pragmatic, practical and viable solution.

Madam, I would not like to take more of the time of this House. I once again join all Members in thanking hon. President for her enlightened address which I hope we can adopt with acclamation.

Thank you.

***** PIB (19-March-2012 18:05 IST)

A discussion by Punjab Manch

Punjab Election:Poll % has considerably declined
Chandigarh// March 18, 2012//Bureau Report: 
Recent Punjab assembly polls witnessed highest ever turnover of around 79 per cent voting which could be projected as an evidence that Punjabis have a firm faith in the democratic system based on universal suffrage. But, at the same time poll percentage has considerably declined in the case of both the Akali-BJP combine which returned to power for the second time in a row and its main rival party, Congress- a runner-up in the election fray. As compared to the 2007 assembly elections, the winning alliance secured 3.49 per cent lesser votes and Congress’s share came down by 0.79 per cent. This trend indicates the Punjab voters have not swung in favor of either of the two main contenders. And they wanted a change in the regime which eluded them because of various reasons and factors. As statistics vouchsafe that the winning alliance, at least, could not claim the people have voted in favor of them overwhelmingly and have recorded their appreciation for “ better governance and development works undertaken by the last Akali-BJP regime”.    
    Thus, the election results have surprised and puzzled many about how the vote-arithmetic have worked and what factors played their decisive role in sealing the fate of an overconfident Congress. In their attempt to crack the puzzle; thinkers, academicians, journalists and social activists assembled in Kisan Bhawan here today and deliberated for about three hours on the undercurrents that brought Akalis-BJP back to power.
Participating in the discussion, organized by the Punjab Manch, former Baba Farid Medical University Registrar Dr Piayre Lal Garg said it is interesting that the Akari-BJP comes to power in Punjab even by getting 3.49 per cent less votes as compared to the 2007 election. Dr. Garg said there should be an alternative agenda to rally around recurring dissent among the people against the corporate and neo-liberal policies being pursued by the mainstream parties. There is an urgent need of dismantling a myth being orchestrated by the media that Akal-BJP combine won the election because of the best management by Sukhbir Singh Badal. 
Commenting on defeat of Congress, Senior journalist Hamir Singh said the Congress had failed to project itself as strong opposition to the Badal government, hence it could not cash upon on apparent wide-spread resentment among the people on some anti-people policies of the outgoing regime. As the Akali-BJP regime followed the same model of development in Punjab which was being pursued by Congress led UPA government at the Centre, the Punjab Congress could not gather the moral strength to oppose those policies. Visibly upset over such developments, the people wanted a change in the state’s governance and voted for the PPP getting a sizeable 5.17 per cent votes. Whereas Samajwadi Party swept the polls by gaining the same per cent of votes over its nearest rival BSP in Uttar Pradesh.
Senior columnist-writer Jaspal Singh Sidhu said the Punjab Congress lost election because its Delhi-based high command invariably adopts a patronizing attitude towards its state units and acts as a balancing force for different pressure groups instead of resolving their differences for strengthening them. Such top-down command structure of Congress and other all-India party, BJP are fast ceasing to work in the era of reasserting regionalism that has already forced the ‘national parties’ to form coalition governments with regional political parties.
Senior journalist Jagtar Singh said that the Akalis who were loosing six months before the polls, However managed to refashion their image, through skillful management. Despite the Election Commission’s strict vigilance, candidates freely exercised use of money and drinks through some innovative ways to buy votes.
Prof Manjit Singh from Punjab University said the common man stands nowhere in the electoral system which has virtually been hijacked and seized by those who have a hold on political, money and muscle power. And the democracy is no longer a participatory exercise for the people to choose their own representatives rather it has been turned out to be a ‘convenient tool’ in the hands of a political class to usurp power. 
Another columnist Karmajit Singh said the panthic agenda from religious point of view was totally ignored in the election but cultural strains too become a casualty perhaps because of globalization and corporate dominance has succeeded in spreading the Western culture and English language.
Another journalist Yadwinder said the politics has been corporatized leaving a shrunk space for alternate people’s agenda. 
But Malwinder Singh Mali said that people’s search for 3rd alternative could be seen as they refrained from voting the two mainstream parties resulting in decline in their vote share.
CPI(ML-Liberation) activist Kanwaljit Singh said the masses has to be motivated and politicized to make them vote for the alternative agenda of change as the masses in placid situation tend to be driven by their vested interests and short-sightedness. 
Former Punjab Mandi Board chairman Jugraj Singh Gill said congress lost elections because of wrong allocation of tickets.
Karnail Singh Jakhepal and several others participated in the discussion. 

A 30 years old Punjabi farmer got a new life from CMC

Bypass on a beating heart the risk of the repair is reduced:Dr.Bedi
A happy Mr Baljinder and family with Dr Harinder Singh Bedi 
Ludhiana, 17th March, 2012 (Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria) Mr Baljinder Singh – a 30 year old farmer of Nakodar – was in a difficult situation. This young man had suffered 2 massive heart attacks 4 and 2 years back due to which his heart pumping was very weak and he was unable to breathe. He was investigated at heart hospitals in Chandigarh where it was diagnosed that besides blockage of his heart arteries he also had a severe leakage of his main heart valve (the mitral valve). He was in imminent danger of another heart attack but because of his double pathology (blockage + valve leakage) he was refused surgery. He then came to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Ludhiana. Dr Bedi realized that the valve leakage was not due to an intrinsic defect or tear of the valve but was due to the heart size becoming big (dilating) leading to failure of the valve to close properly. Contrary to popular Punjabi belief – Dr Bedi said – a ‘large’ heart is not really a healthy heart. The leakage led to a vicious cycle wherein the leak caused a further enlargement which in turn leads to more leakage. Till now the treatment was a complicated valve repair which was not always successful or a valve replacement which had its own problems.  A new repair technique is now being used all over the world – it is called a mitral valve repair using a McCartney-Carpentier-Adams Edwards IMR ring. This has been designed by Edwards company of USA in collaboration with world leaders in valve repair techniques – Dr McCartney and Dr  Adams from USA and the legendary Dr Carpentier from Paris . This technique was taught to Dr Bedi by the inventor Dr McCartney himself. Dr Bedi added his own modification by doing the bypass first on a beating heart - Dr Bedi is credited with having done the world’s first series of beating heart surgery and has a Limca World Record for the same. Dr Bedi explained that by doing the bypass on a beating heart the risk of the repair is reduced. The heart was then put on an imported heart lung machine for a very short time and stopped with ice. The heart chambers were opened and the valve repaired successfully with this new ring. The operation was successful and the valve leakage immediately stopped.

Baljinder is now doing well. The other members of the Heart team are Dr A Joseph, Dr S Garg, Dr Melchi, Dr Paul, Dr Deepak, Dr Vaishu, Dr Amruta, Dr Sarah, and Mr Jairus, and Mr William. Dr Bedi explained that if the valve had been changed Baljinder would have required life long close supervision and expensive medications. Dr McCartney has congratulated Dr Bedi and CMC on the excellent result and complimented him on his skills.

Dr Abraham G Thomas – Director of CMC & H – said that the CMC was committed to bringing International level expertise and equipment to the people of the region.