Saturday, June 23, 2012

Egyptians gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square,

Tens of thousands of Egyptians are gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, dissatisfied with the interim military government's handling of the presidential election.The outcome of the election was due on Thursday, but the electoral commission has delayed reporting the winner. The two candidates, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, have both declared victory.

The protesters, including Muslim Brotherhood supporters, are accusing the military government of manipulating the election results.On Friday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a statement supporting a peaceful demonstration. But it added that it would use force to prevent damage.

Singur Act held unconstitutional by Calcutta High Court

    A setback to West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee, Calcutta High Court on Friday held as unconstitutional and void Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, under which the state had vested land leased to Tata Motors.  Giving its verdict on an appeal by Tata Motors Ltd, a division bench comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhury observed that the President's assent had not been taken for the Act and as such it was void and unconstitutional.  The implementation of the order was, however, stayed for two months by the division bench to allow the aggrieved party to appeal before a higher court.  The division bench set aside the order of Justice I P Mukerji who had held the Act to be constitutional.  It observed that the single bench had no jurisdiction to fill up loopholes left by the legislature.  The court also observed that what was done in Singur was acquisition of land by the said Act and as such it was void.  Tata Motors had challenged the order of the single bench of the Calcutta High Court, which had upheld the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, by which the West Bengal government vested the land leased to the company at Singur, before the division bench of the court.  Tata Motors had appealed against the order of Justice Mukerji, which was passed on 28th September, last year.  Justice Mukerji had held the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 to be constitutional.  The court had, however, ordered on 28th September an unconditional stay of the judgement till November two to allow any aggrieved party to file an appeal, if it so desired.  Tata Motors had been leased 997 acres at Singur in Hooghly district, about 40 km from Kolkata, by the previous Left Front government for its Nano car project, billed as the cheapest car.  Trinamool Congress, which was then the main opposition in West Bengal, had demanded return of 400 acres to farmers unwilling to give land for the project.  Tata Motors had moved its Nano small car factory to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008 citing law and order problems, but had kept possession of the leased land at Singur.  After coming to power in May 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had the Singur Act passed in the Assembly as one of her government's first major legislations.  Counsel for the state government Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, who is also a Trinamool Congress MP, said that the state would appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.  Bengal to decide action after getting copy of H C verdict  The West Bengal government, which received a setback with Calcutta High Court holding Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act as unconstitutional, on Friday said it would decide its next course of action only after getting a copy of the verdict.  "We have not received the copy of the court verdict. The state government will take action only after getting it," Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters in Kolkata.  The High Court has held as unconstitutional and void the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, under which the state had vested land leased to Tata Motors.  Chatterjee also assured the people, farmers and land labourers in Singur that they were with them and would continue to stand beside them.  "We were with them, we are with them and we will be with them. We are committed to protect their interest," he said, recalling that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had observed a 26-day fast in Singur to protect the interests of farmers.  He said the state government was committed to return the land of unwilling farmers and protect interests of land labourers.

PM Manmohan Singh hit at developed countries

PM hits out at developed nations over carbon emissions

PM Manmohan Singh on Friday hit out at industrialised countries over the issue of making available additional finance and technology to help developing world reduce carbon emissions, saying there is “little evidence” of support for them. >Dr Singh also made a strong plea for finding new pathways for sustainable living since the current consumption patterns in the industrialized world are unsustainable.The prime minister enunciated India’s stand in his address during the plenary session of the Rio+20 summit, which is officially known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.“Many countries could do more if additional finance and technology were available. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of support from the industrialised countries in these areas(reducing emissions intensity). The ongoing economic crisis has made matters worse,” he said.Describing economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as all equally critical as components of sustainable development, Prime Minister Singh said that the task before the world community is to give practical shape and content to this architecture in a manner that allows each country to develop according to its own national priorities and circumstances.>Observing that the Rio+20 Summit was meeting at a time of serious economic crisis and political ferment in the world, the prime minister said it is timely because it focuses the world community’s minds on “the future we want” and how to realise it. “Difficult though it may seem, we have to summon the imagination to balance the costs that we will incur in the present with the benefits that will accrue to future generations,” said Prime Minister Singh, who was among the 125 world leaders who participated in the deliberations.The Prime Minister made it clear to the summit that for developing countries, inclusive growth and a rapid increase in per capita income levels are development imperatives. “Those living at the subsistence level cannot bear the costs of adjustment and their livelihood considerations are important in determining how scarce natural resources such as land, water and forests are used. The severe deterioration of land and water resources is already affecting the well- being of millions of people living on the edges of subsistence, particularly women and children,” he said.>Noting that Sustainable development also mandated the efficient use of available natural resources, Singh said the world community has to be much more frugal in the way it uses natural resources.A key area of focus is energy. We have to promote universal access to energy, while at the same time, promoting energy efficiency and a shift to cleaner energy sources by addressing various technological, financial and institutional constraints. In India, we are implementing an ambitious National Solar Mission as a critical option for our energy security,” he said.Observing that environmental sustainability is the third leg of the sustainable development architecture, the prime minister said that economic activity invariably results in negative spinoffs, either by way of local pollution, or by way of global effects such as Greenhouse Gas emissions.“We need to tackle both,” said the prime minister.Dr Singh also spoke about issues relating to local pollution and how it can be regulated and how such regulation may impose costs on various economic actors.“To ensure equity, there may be a case for targeted assistance to small producers to meet part of these costs and this should be built into policy,” he said.At the global level, Dr Singh said that the approach to the problem should be guided by equitable burden sharing.“It is for this reason that the first Rio Summit enshrined the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. I am happy we have reaffirmed this principle as well as the principle of equity during this Summit,” he said.This does not, however, mean that countries should not take proactive actions to promote sustainable development, Dr Singh said.“In India, our efforts over the last two decades have yielded positive results. Over the period 1994-2007, our emissions-GDP intensity, excluding agriculture, has declined nearly 25 per cent. Looking ahead, we have set a target to further reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent between 2005 and 2020, the prime minster said.Stating that one of the key challenges that demanded urgent global action is the worrying depletion of bio-diversity across our planet, Dr Singh said the Eleventh Conference of Parties on Convention on Biodiversity is being hosted by India in October this year at Hyderabad.“We look forward to working with the global community to make it a success,” he said.“The future we want should be a future in which there is ecological and economic space for sustainable growth for all. Let us work together to attain the future that we all desire..,” Dr Singh added.

State of Indian environment

From:
Add sender to Contacts
To:
nksagar_1@yahoo.com
Dear  Mr Naresh Kumar Sagar,
We are writing to you because of your interest in water and waste management. We know that you will find our new report of interest: Citizens’ Seventh Report on the State of India’s Environment, Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own waste. The report, in two volumes, is on the horrendous crisis of water scarcity and growing threat of water pollution in cities and presents a detailed city-by-city analysis of the situation on the ground. The findings of our report are based on a nationwide survey, in which we collected primary data on the state of water and waste provisioning. We used this data for analysis and also put together an assessment of the challenges ahead. 

We know that India will urbanize. It will implode, which will put pressure on scarce water resources. And if we do not get the sums of water-waste correct, it will also drown in its own excreta. It is also clear that we in the growing parts of the South do not have the financial capital or natural resources to be able to ape the systems of the already industrialized world cities. We know that we have to urbanize, but to do this differently, so that we can build cities that are water-prudent and waste-wise. 
How is this possible? 

This is what we have detailed in the two-volumes of our report. The first report details issues of water supply, groundwater, sewage and why we are not managing to clean our rivers and lakes, in spite of pumping money and new technologies. It joins the dots between pollution and our flush toilets – between the river and the cities infrastructure to provide water to all and take back the waste of all. It then sets out to explore the management challenges – from the issue of private sector involvement to the matters of economics of water and waste in cities and what needs to be done to build a different future. The report presents an agenda for change, which we hope will be accepted and adopted by cities as they grow. 

The second volume presents a city agenda – city by city. We detail the water and waste stories of 71 cities: We ask where does the water come from, where does the waste go? Putting together this apparently simple answer has taken us a huge amount of research. It is indeed appalling how little we know of our own realities. 

Today cities across India are sourcing their water from further and further away, which in turn is increasing tensions between rural and urban water use. Worse, cities take clean water but release sewage and toxins in rivers and lakes. This in turn leads to pollution of local water sources, forcing cities to look for newer and newer water – and longer the water pipeline gets, the more the distribution losses in supply or water and less is the amount available for investment in sewage and pollution control. In this book we discuss the challenge of dying rivers, in spite of the race to build sewage treatment plants. We present data on the state of pollution, treatment systems and costs. And we argue that we need ways to change the flush and forget mindset, if this vicious cycle of water scarcity and pollution has to be broken. We believe this can and must be done.  

It is for this reason that we are excited by this research. We hope that this knowledge of the sums of urban water and waste will help us demand the need for innovation and re-engineering in technologies, systems and methods used for water supply and sewage. 

As we see it, the ‘matter’ of water and excreta – is both a crisis but also an opportunity to get it right. We will look forward to your involvement in this matter in the coming months. We believe these reports detail out the way Indian cities (and perhaps other parts of the world that are similarly placed) can develop differently. We hope you will also agree that this report is not just about water and waste. But about the paradigm of urban growth that is sustainable and affordable. This is the challenge.

Please do get a copy of the books, as you will find these useful. The e-version of the report is also available at our store: http://csestore.cse.org.in. I am writing because we know that not only will the report be useful in your work, but also that your payment will help CSE’s financial sustainability. All the money we get from the sales of our publications goes into our corpus (endowment), which in turn helps us survive tough times. So, we hope you will not only get your own copy but will also help us spread the word about the report and its findings.

With warm regards
Sunita Narain

Excreta Matters (2-volume set)
Price (including postage):
Volume 1, 296 pages, Rs 750/USD 45.00
Volume 2, 496 pages, Rs 1,100/USD 60.00
2-Volume set price: Rs 1,450/USD 80.00
Down To Earth readers get 10% discount. Please quote your customer number

HOW TO ORDER
1. To make an online purchase, please visit:
http://csestore.cse.org.in

2. Pay by cheque/DD in favor of
Centre for Science and Environment
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110 062

Contents: Volume 1
CHAPTER 1: Pipe dream    
It is axiomatic that as cities grow, so will the demand for water. Or, is it? What if cities have no idea what the water demand is, yet attempt gregarious supply? Beyond the city, is urban-industrial growth already inciting water conflicts?
    Scenes from a pipe dream    
    Supply and supply more    
    Scarce for most    
    Lost in transmission    
CHAPTER 2: Hurtling into the aquifer    
City water math, truly laissez-faire, turns into a con if you consider the x-factor: groundwater use. Nobody knows how much is used in India’s cities. What is visible, though, is how city 
waterbodies are disappearing. Depleting the aquifer by default is foolish enough. But how wise is it to extinguish a city’s natural endowment?
    X-factor in water maths    
    Stop sponging off lakes and tanks        
CHAPTER 3: The water-waste connection    
Where there are humans...there will be excreta. Where there is water use...there will be sewage discharge. More water...more sewage. More water for whom...more sewage from whom? 
Sewerage systems to collect and convey excreta exist only in parts of cities. Within a city, there are stark inequities in water use as well as excreta disposal.
    Water: sewage    
    Excreta journey    
    Excreta tales from all over India    
    Think excreta: connect water to sewage    
CHAPTER 4: The real excreta of progress    
Cities today exhibit a flush-and-forget mentality that’s turning India’s rivers into sewage canals. The mentality has turned pollution control into an infrastructure spree, a pure scam. A rash of sewage treatment plants dot cityscapes. The river remains pus-filled. Moreover, rivers in India, dammed now from headwater to sea, are losing flow. So such a mentality bodes really ill.        
    Downstream is where all of us live    
    Tryst with cleaning rivers    
    Clean-up: tech and cash    
    Without water can a river be cleaned?    
    Partial treatment = Pollution    
    Solution for pollution    
CHAPTER 5: PPP dream    
Could water, too, increase cash flow? What if the sewage treatment infrastructure spree was not only a spree but also a profitable bandwagon to jump on to? Two buzzwords dominate and can sell any plan: 24x7 and PPP. But will they work a new magic?
    Right answer or wrong question?    
    Infra structure: India pining    
    Future: private    
CHAPTER 6: Faeconomics    
The cost to deliver water has become exorbitant. But is full-cost pricing the solution? Moreover, the supply-obsession of water utilities ensure they pay little attention to the growing volumes of sewage their supply results in. Can urbanising India persist on such a path?
    Bills and beyond    
    Costs: electrifying    
    Recovery is a separate business by itself    
    ‘Matter’ is engrossing    
CHAPTER 7: The agenda for water to water    
Provide clean water to all. Augment local water supply to cut the length of the pipeline. 
Legislate to protect waterbodies. Get rich without water. Re-design the flush toilet. India must 
design to turn waste to water. Let us re-learn the water-to-water cycle. Let the rivers flow.
    India isn’t imperial Rome    
    The strategy for water and waste   

New Delhi, June 22, 2012 – BenQ, an internationally renowned provider of digital lifestyle innovations, is leader in Indian Projector market with share of more than 17 % in India according to Futuresource Consulting Q1’2012 report.  The brand is global No. 1 in DLP technology which is the preferred choice world over. BenQ is all set to expand its offerings by introducing the LX60ST/ LW61ST. These short-throw education projectors are the first in the world to incorporate BenQ's mercury-free Bluecore light engine to deliver superb energy efficiency, projection performance and instant readiness, saving money and helping the environment at the same time.
 
BenQ in India has strong focus on education segment with commanding 25.41% market share, in addition to No. 1 ranking in SVGA, HD, DLP and 3D segment, BenQ has been pioneer in technological innovations in all spheres. Today with the launch of the LX60ST/ LW61ST BenQ adds another star to its portfolio.
 
 
"We are more than pleased to announce the launch of our BlueCore education projectors. Our endeavor has always been to provide world class solutions for traditional as well as modern digital classrooms that makes content simpler for students to learn new things with high level of retention” says Rajeev Singh, Country Head & General Manager of BenQ India  “BenQ India is leader in the Short Throw projector category with 30.99% market share, by adding Blue Core engine projector we are one big step closer to fulfilling our endeavor of providing the best to education industry”
 
The product is having Apple iPhone/iPad wireless display support for superior connectivity with current generation products. It is designed to bring images to life while keeping the total cost of ownership down, the cutting-edge BlueCore light engine utilizes the unparalleled qualities of a unique laser light source rather than a traditional mercury lamp to achieve up to 90% less light source power consumption as well as:
• An average of 20000 hours of reliable brightness in Eco Mode
• 80000:1 ultra-high contrast ratio for outstanding images and crisp clear content
• Instant on/off capability to save time on projector warm up or cool down
• Manual brightness level adjustment to suit different surroundings
• A mercury-free light source that is more environmentally friendly and safe
 
BlueCore-driven SmartEco Advanced technology optimizes the performance of the projector light source system to bring impressive brightness, longer lighting life and high energy efficiency to schools:

SmartEco Mode: automatically determines the optimal brightness level by the input source to generate the best image contrast
No Source Detected Mode: automatically lowers the projector brightness to 10% when no display source has been detected for over three minutes
Eco Blank Mode: enables teachers to blank the projector screen when the projector is not in use to redirect students’ focus back on them while lowering the light source power consumption to only 10%
 
The BenQ LX60ST & LW61ST are available for the Indian market from June at a price point of Rs. 145,000 & 150,000 respectively.  For further information please visit www.BenQ.co.in

Queens Park Rangers Heads to Asia for Pre-Season Tour

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEPANG, 22 JUNE 2012 – Rangers fans will be thrilled to hear that Queens Park Rangers (QPR) will be making their way to the region with their official Pre-Season Asia Tour. During the tour, the team will be in three cities – Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Surabaya, Indonesia.
 
The Barclay’s Premier League (BPL) team will face the Sabah Allstars team in Kota Kinabalu on July 17 followed by a match against the Kelantan team in Kuala Lumpur on July 20. In Surabaya, the match will see The Hoops go against Persebaya Surabaya team on 23 July.
 
AirAsia Group Commercial Head Kathleen Tan said, “We have fostered a fantastic partnership with QPR and is proud to renew our sponsorship as QPR official shirt sponsor. We are excited and thrilled to have QPR tour our major hub cities in Malaysia and Indonesia. AirAsia has been actively involved in sports sponsorship & sports marketing, however our keen interest in sports is not just about the value and branding opportunities that it gives us, but also our belief that we need to invest in the region’s youth to develop their interest and skills in international sports.”
 
“As the people’s airline, AirAsia does not only enable everyone to fly, but also to experience international sports at the local front. And with our extensive route network across Asean especially, we hope to share the joy and excitement of football to our guests from every corner of this region.”
 
QPR chief executive officer Philip Beard added, “It is an honour for Queens Park Rangers to come and play in Malaysia & Indonesia next month. Everyone at the Club is extremely excited by the Tour, and we hope it allows as many of our fans as possible in Asia to watch the team in action.”
 
“From the day Tony took over, the response and support from AirAsia has been overwhelming. This is a massive step for QPR to come and play in Asia and we hope it is the first of many more opportunities to come. I know the players and management are excited about to come in advance to a successful second season in the Premier League.”
 
To see QPR in action, fans in Malaysia can get their tickets from AirAsia RedTix. Tickets are priced between RM30 to RM200 for the matches in Malaysia. Stay tuned on when the tickets are available for sale by logging on to www.redtix.airasia.com. Details on the tickets for the Surabaya match will be announced soon.
 
AirAsia is the Official Club Partner for QPR and it was recently announced that it is also the Official Playing Kit Sponsor, with the airline’s logo to appear on all QPR’s playing kit (home, away and third shirt) for the whole duration of the 2012/13 BPL season.
 
In addition, there will also be special AirAsia QPR co-branded merchandize including t-shirts, footballs, wristbands, caps and lanyards on sale at the stadium during the friendly matches at the AirAsia booth. Those in Malaysia who has purchased their tickets online via AirAsia RedTix can also order the t-shirts online and collect it at the booth during match day.
 
AirAsia members can also win a pair of free tickets to the matches through a special online contest through the airline’s newsletter and on its website at www.airasia.com. All they have to do is submit their booking numbers for flights purchased in 2012, answer three questions on QPR and AirAsia and complete a slogan. BIG loyalty card members will stand a chance to win two pairs of tickets for the contest. The contest will begin on June 25 and ends on July 1, 2012.
 
Apart from that, 5 lucky people can also get a chance to follow the QPR team on the QPR Asia Tour to all three cities during the whole tour. All they have to do is tell AirAsia of their analytics in a blog entry of QPR’s brave battle against relegation last season in the English Premier League. Participants can submit their entries via email to facebook@airasia.com. Contest starts June 20 and ends on June 29, 2012.
 
In conjunction with the QPR Asia Tour, AirAsia will be having a special promotion. Guests can look forward to flying from Kuala Lumpur with all in fares from as low as RM29* one-way to destinations including Kuala Terengganu, Penang and Johor Bahru, RM59* to Langkawi, Palembang and Medan. Booking period for the promo is from June 26 to July 8 for the travel period of September 18 to November 30, 2012. The great, low fare offers are available online at www.airasia.com and all of AirAsia’s mobile booking platforms.
 
*All fares quoted are all-in fares, inclusive of airport tax and fuel surcharge. For one way only.
+Prices may not be inclusive of tax & may change at the time of print. Terms & conditions apply.
 
Photo caption:
AirAsia Group Head of Commercial, Kathleen Tan (third from left) and Queens Park Rangers Chief Executive Officer, Philip Beard (fourth from left) flanked by AirAsia flight attendants at the announcement of QPR’s Asia Tour. The tour will see QPR taking on the Sabah Allstars, Kelantan FC  and Persebaya Surabaya team in Kota Kinabalu (Sabah); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Surabaya, Indonesia.
 
                                                             ***ENDS***
About AirAsia & AirAsia X
AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the most extensive network with 150 routes. Within 10 years of operations, AirAsia has carried over 140 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to approximately 106. The airline today is proud to be a truly ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines servicing a network stretching across all ASEAN countries, China, India, Sri Lanka and Australia. This is further complemented by AirAsia X, its low-cost long-haul affiliate carrier that currently flies to destinations in China, Australia, Taiwan¸ Iran, Korea and Japan. AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011).
 
Queens Park Rangers Football Club
QPR FC (www.qpr.co.uk) is a professional Football Club based in West London, England. The Club play their football in the top-flight of English football, the Barclays Premier League, under the management of former legendary striker Mark Hughes. On August 18th 2011, Tony Fernandes arrived at the Club as a majority shareholder, alongside Kamarudin Bin Meranun and Ruben Emir Gnanalingam. Amit Bhatia, who represents the Mittal Family, returned to the Club as Vice-Chairman.

12.2 Million Tourists to Bangkok is ranked third Globally

Bangkok Ranks Third Globally in context  of the Number of International Tourists Expected. Expected to receive 12.2 million international visitors in 2012
 MUMBAI, JUNE 21, 2012: Bangkok, the capital city of ‘Amazing Thailand’ has been ranked third globally in terms of the number of international tourists expected to visit the city in 2012.
MasterCard Worldwide annual Global Destination Cities Index has stated that the number of people travelling abroad continues to increase around the world despite a challenging economic environment.
Bangkok was the top ranked city in Asia and outranked cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Dubai. The index said Bangkok will attract 12.2 million visitors. Globally, the list was topped by London (16.9 million visitors), followed by Paris.
The index also placed Bangkok third in a list ranked by visitor spend. It said a total of $19.3bn will be spent by tourists in Bangkok, up 19.3 percent compared to the previous year.
Commenting on this remarkable achievement, Mr. Sethaphan Buddhani, Director for Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai said “The entire team at the Tourism Authority of Thailand across the globe is proud that tourists across the world chose Bangkok as their preferred destination in Asia. Bangkok and all our major cities that attract tourists globally and especially India are indeed perceived as a value for money destination and therefore attracts travelers in search of a culturally enriched but at the same time, vibrant city. We are pleased that Bangkok has outranked cities such as New York, Madrid, Rome and Barcelona and hope that our constant efforts make Bangkok the number one most visited city worldwide”
Mr. Buddhani further elaborated,” India is a key source market of travelers for Thailand. For the calendar year 2011, over 900,000 Indian holiday and business travelers traveled to the Kingdom making Amazing Thailand the number 1 destination for outbound travelers from India.”
Bangkok is the capital and also the largest city of Thailand. It is also known as Krung Thep in the Thai language. Bangkok is one of the top cities of Southeast Asia economically. It is one of the foremost tourist destinations of the world and tourists normally travel to Bangkok for its vibrant nightlife, world renowned cuisine ranging from street food to fine dining restaurants, beautiful temples and luxury hotels. Over the last few decades, Bangkok has changed into a modern, exciting, and sophisticated city. Bangkok offers visitors not only the modern amenities they would expect from other cosmopolitan cities, but also a unique treasure trove of cultural attractions.

“Why no background declaration by people contesting for the President’s office?”, National Election Watch ask Election Commission of India

Mr Gopalaswami N(former CEC) and T S Krishnamurty(former CEC) also agree that the filing of affidavit should be made mandatory on the lines of Supreme Court’s judgment.

New Delhi: June 18, 2012: Since 2003 judgement of Supreme court directing the Election Commission to get background information on criminal records, assets, liabilities, education etc. on an affidavit, all candidates contesting parliament or legislative assembly elections have to give this declaration to the election commission on an affidavit. Following in the steps of Election commission of India, most State Election Commissions (SECs) have also implemented it in the elections to local bodies(Panchayats and Municipal elections).

However, there is no such declaration in force for Presidential elections. National Election Watch (NEW) has written to Election Commission of India requesting it to enforce the same for candidates contesting for the offices of President and Vice-President starting with the cngoing elections. The Election Commission is yet to take a decision on the issue.
In its letter to the Election Commission, NEW has made the following arguments:

1.       As per the Supreme Court Judgment 2003, it states that "The  Election Commission is directed to call for information on affidavit  by  issuing necessary order in exercise of its power under Article  324 of the  Constitution of India from each candidate seeking election  to Parliament or  a State Legislature as a necessary part of his  nomination paper”.
 As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the Parliament consists of the President and two Houses known as  the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People  (Lok Sabha). Thus the proper implementation of the afore mentioned judgment of the  Supreme Court requires the implementation of the affidavits for all candidates contesting presidential and vice-presidential elections also.

2.        The Supreme Court has also mentioned that this judgment has  reached finality. And using the various arguments in  the order, several other public bodies have implemented this order in their  elections, e.g. in Panchayat and Municipal Body  elections.
The office of the President is one of the most important positions in  our  country and theright now the only elections to a public office where the candidates are not  required to  submit self sworn affidavits on their background details  at the time of  filing their nominations.

3.       The President is the head of the Union Executive. The implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment will bring about more  transparency and will set a good example for others to follow.  The Election Commission should take lead on this and issue the appropriate orders for its implementation.

Commenting on the same issue Mr. M.N Gopalaswamy (Former Chief Election Commissioner) said: “In my view EC should extend this requirement to the elections to the office of the President and Vice President of India as they are elected offices and it is in the fitness of things that all elected offices in the country, from the lowest level namely to  the Panchayats to the highest namely to the President (and Vice President) of India ,are brought within the same discipline.”

Mr T S Krishnamurthy (Former Election Commissioner) also agreed. He said, “I agree with ECI that the SC judgement is not quite clear but in continuation of the SC order the Right to Information  should extend to Presidential electors as well for the electors to know all about the candidates before exercising their votes This is more so as The party whip does not apply to this election.Morever, the Election Commission can extend the logic of the  SC order under its inherent powers to require thse candidates should file the affidavits in the interest of free & fair elections.”

Amongst others, the letter sent to the ECI has been signed/endorsed by the following people:
Prof Trilochan Sastry, Professor IIM, Bangalore (National  Election Watch/ Karnataka Election Watch)
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, Former Director In-charge of IIM, Ahmedabad (National  Election Watch / Gujarat Election Watch)
Mr Ajit Ranade, National  Election Watch /Maharashtra Election Watch
Mr Anil Bairwal, National Coordinator (Association for Democratic Reforms/National Election Watch)
Shri I.C. Dwivedi, Former DGP, Uttar Pradesh (Uttar Pradesh Election Watch)
Mr Nikhil Dey, Founder Member MKSS (Rajasthan Election Watch)
Dr Sudarsan Pabmanaban, Professor IIT Chennai, (Tamil Nadu Election Watch)
Mr Ranjan Mohanty,Director PECUC, ( Coordinator Odisha Election Watch)
Mr. Jaskirat Singh, Coordinator Punjab Election Watch
Mr Uttkarsh Sinha, Senior Journalist,(Uttar Pradesh Election Watch)
Dr Lenin, Uttar Pradesh Election Watch
Mr Sanjay Singh, Uttar Pradesh Election Watch
Mr Sanjay Rai, Uttar Pradesh Election Watch
Mr Rajiv Kumar, Bihar Election Watch
Mr. Bhasker Assoldekar, Goa State Cordinator,(Goa Election Watch)
Dr B.P. maithani ,Uttarakhand Election Watch
Mr Rakesh Dubbudu, Andhra Pradesh Election Watch
Mr Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Chhatisgarh Election Watch
Mr Biplab Halim, West Bengal Election Watch
Mr P Joseph Victor Raj, Puducherry Election Watch
Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, Executive Director NEST (Manipur Election Watch)
Biswendu Bhattacharjee, Coordinator Tripura Election Watch
Mr. Vanlalruata, PRISM (Mizoram Election Watch)
Mr. J.R Ramoul, Himachal Pradesh Election Watch

Revitalising Indian Democracy

 Text Box:  

GYAN BOOKS PVT. LTD.

Cordially invite you to release of the book

 ‘Revitalising Indian Democracy’

by

Major General Vinod Saighal 



The book will be released by

Justice J. S. Verma (Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court) 



Panelists



Justice A.P. Shah (Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court)

Dr. S. Y. Quraishi (Former Chief Election Commissioner)

Mr. Arif Mohammed khan (Former Minister, Government of India),

H.E. Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas (Ambassador of EI Salvador)

Dr. Waeil Awwad (Renowned International Journalist)



on Saturday 23rd June, 2012 at 6:15 pm

at

India International Centre,

New Seminar Hall 1,2  &  3 New Building Area

Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi-110003                                                  



                      Please join us for refreshment at 6 p.m.                                   



    R.S.V.P.

   Gyan Books (P) Ltd.

    23282060, 23261060, Mobile: 9811692060

    Security Instructions



1. Please be seated by 6:15 pm

2. Please carry this card with you for security reasons

3. Briefcase, Camera and handbags etc are not permitted

4. Please Switch off Mobile Phone inside the seminar hall.
 
 
 
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