Monday, June 17, 2013


RE: TRAI Press Conference on General Telecom Issues

Dear Sir/Madam,
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairperson will address a Press Conference on General Telecom Issues, today as per the following details:
Venue:             Conference Room of TRAI in Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhavan, 3rd Floor, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg (Old Minto Road), New Delhi
Date:                Monday, June 17, 2013
Time              1400 hrs
Railway Revenue Earnings up by 12.73 per cent during April - May 2013
The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April to 31st May 2013 were Rs. 22439.30 crore compared to Rs. 19905.32 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 12.73 per cent.

The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. 14169.34 crore during 1st April – 31st May 2012 to Rs. 15660.11 crore during 1st April – May 2013, registering an increase of 10.52 per cent.

The total passenger revenue earnings during 1st April – 31st May 2013 were Rs. 5803.43 crore compared to Rs. 4940.04 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 17.48 per cent.

The approximate revenue earnings from other coaching amounted to Rs. 696.12 crore during April - May 2013 compared to Rs. 490.13 crore during the same period last year, an increase of 42.03 per cent.

The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during 1st April– 31st May 2013-14 were 1395.11 million compared to 1392.47 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of 0.19 per cent. In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the numbers of passengers booked during April-May 2013 were 725.63 million and 669.48 million compared to 700.51 million and 691.96 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of 3.59 per cent and a decrease of 3.25 per cent respectively. 


AI index: ASA 20/027/2013
12 June 2013
India: Comply with Supreme Court ruling on Mining in Niyamgiri Hills
Amnesty International urges authorities in the eastern Indian state of Odisha to fully respect a recent Supreme Court ruling and hold village assembly (gram sabha) meetings in all of 80-odd Dongria Kondh Adivasi (Indigenous) and other Adivasi villages in Niyamgiri hills that will be affected by a proposed bauxite mining operation.
Newspaper advertisements issued by the Odisha authorities are asking the communities in only 12 villages – seven in Rayagada district and five in Kalahandi district – to file, within the next six weeks, their claims on the areas proposed to be mined.
The controversial mining plans - a joint venture between Sterlite India, a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based Vedanta Resources, and the Odisha Mining Corporation – affect the traditional lands of the Dongria Kondh Adivasi communities. On 18 April 2013 India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling stipulating that the village assemblies of the these communities would need to decide if the proposed 670 hectare mine affected their religious and cultural rights, including their right to worship.
India’s Ministry of Tribal Affairs has already written a letter, dated 9 June 2013, to the Odisha authorities to confirm that restricting the meetings to only 12 villages is not in accordance with the Court ruling, or with Section 12 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA).
The Ministry’s letter says that the Odisha authorities cannot arbitrarily decide the list of villages whose residents’ rights may be affected; this should be decided by the village councils themselves.
For more than a decade the Dongria Kondh Adivasi communities have led a sustained campaign stating that the mine plans endangered their specific way of life. Indian and international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have repeatedly raised concerns that the proposed mine, which lies within the Dongria Kondh’s traditional lands and habitats, on which they depend for food, water and livelihoods, could result in violations of their rights as Indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to water, food, health, work amongst others.
Amnesty International is concerned by reports that the central paramilitary forces stationed in the Niyamgiri hills have resorted to intimidation of the Dongria Kondh Adivasi communities, urging them give up their opposition to the bauxite mine plans. Human rights activists in Orissa have reported that, on 3 June 2013, three residents from Bataudi village fled after the central paramilitary forces, suddenly fired upon them when they were bathing in a water stream. No one was injured in the incident.
Amnesty International calls on the Odisha authorities to ensure that meetings are held in all villages and that these meetings are conducted in a free and genuine manner. The organization is concerned that in the run-up to previous consultation processes there has been intimidation by the companies concerned or the paramilitary forces stationed at the Niyamgiri hills. The meetings should be observed by international human rights organisations, if the communities want this, as well as being in the presence of a judicial officer as stipulated by the Supreme Court ruling.
The Court ruling directs that the proceedings take place independently and completely uninfluenced either by the project proponents or the Orissa or central government officials; it also requires the village assemblies to share their decision with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests within three months’ time.
The Court ruling is a clear vindication of the protests by local communities, the findings of the extensive research carried out since 2009 by Amnesty International and the campaign by many organisations which exposed how the communities’ views had long been ignored. Their views should not be ignored once again. The authorities should fully respect the decisions taken in the village assembly meetings and not allow projects without the agreement by the communities.
Amnesty International has consistently demanded that the Indian authorities announce a clear and transparent process for ascertaining the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Adivasi communities, as recommended by India’s National Advisory Council on 21 December 2012. All information pertaining to the potential impact of mining plans should be made available to the communities in a language accessible to them.
This FPIC principle is recognized by the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007, as central to the protection and realisation of the rights of Indigenous communities.
Mainstreaming of AYUSH under National Rural Health Mission



   Dr. H. R.Keshavamurthy*

In India, we have a pluralistic health care delivery system where the Government provides opportunity to every recognized medical system to develop and be practiced with a view to provide integrated and holistic health care services. That is why there is a peaceful co-existence of Allopathy with Ayurveda and Siddha, which are traditional and indigenous systems of medicine with Unani which originated from Persia and Homoeopathy which is from Germany.

AYUSH is the acronym for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, UnaniSiddha & Sowa, Rigpa, and Homoeopathy. AYUSH systems of medicines are a group of Indian systems of medicine and Homeopathy. Ayurveda is the oldest system practiced since more than 5000 years, whereas Homeopathy is being practiced since last 100 years. These systems are being practiced in the country with diverse preferences of people and infrastructural facilities. Ayurveda is more prevalent in the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarkhand, Goa and Orissa. The practice of Unani System could be seen in some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Homoeopathy is widely practiced in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat and the North Eastern States and theSiddha system is practiced in the areas of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala.

Recently recognized Sowa Rigpa system of medicine is among the oldest surviving health traditions of the world with a living history of more than 2500 years. It has been in vogue and practiced in Himalayan regions throughout particularly in Leh andLaddakh (J&K) Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling, etc. Sowa-Rigpa is effective in managing chronic diseases like Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis, etc. the basis theory of Sowa-Rigpa is explained in terms of (i) The body and the mind as the locus of treatment; (ii) Antidote, i.e. the treatment; (iii) The method of treatment though antidote; (iv) Medicines that cure the disease; and lastly (v) Pharmacology. Sowa-Rigpa emphasizes the importance of the five cosmological physical elements in the formation of the human body, the nature of disorders and the remedial measures. There are few educational institutes of Sowa Rigpa in UP and Karnataka.

AYUSH services are provided by public, private and voluntary sector organizations and the range of their distribution varies from state to state. All these medical systems are being utilized in the national health care delivery system, each to its potential and availability in different parts of the country. Although “health” is a state subject, the Central Government has transformed the health sector by providing huge amounts of additional financial resources, equipment and machinery, manpower and material as well as training and technical aid to facilitate the State Governments in provisioning of comprehensive healthcare services, particularly for the marginalized and vulnerable sections of the population in the remotest areas; development of human resources and tertiary care facilities; encouraging health research and for promotion and integration of the Indian Systems of Medicine among other things .

Mainstreaming of AYUSH, including Homoeopathy has been one of the important strategies envisaged under the National Rural Health Mission. During the last four years grant-in-aid amounting to Rs 553.00 crore has been given to the State / UT Governments for mainstreaming of AYUSH under the NRHM .As a result new AYUSH facilities have been set up in 803 Primary Health Centres, 113 Community Health Centres, 24 District Hospitals and up-gradation done in 379 Exclusive AYUSH hospitals and 415 Dispensaries. Department of AYUSH has also supported the setting up of six 50 bedded Integrated AYUSH Hospitals at Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand and five 10 bedded Integrated AYUSH hospitals at Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim. A total number of 11,478 AYUSH doctors and 4,894 AYUSH para-medics have been appointed on contract basis at Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres under NRHM across the country.

The Government of India has also made sustained efforts for growth and development of human resources in all traditional medicine systems. A highly commendable infrastructure in the form of 496 medical colleges offering quality education to 37,234 UG and 3,311 PG students and over 7 lakh 20 thousand registered AYUSH medical practitioners now exist in the country. Department of AYUSH implemented various schemes in the eleventh plan for development of all the four core areas of education, research, drug development and health care delivery.

 During 12th plan period stress is likely to be given on Integration of AYUSH systems in health care delivery and their incorporation in National Health Programmesthrough co-locating such facilities at sub-centres and primary health care centres. Some of the new initiatives which are under consideration during 12th Plan include, setting up of aNational Commission for Human Resource in; Referral hospitals in 8 National Institutes to provide world class treatment facilities; a National Institute of Medicinal Plants ;Research and Quality Control Laboratories in 8 National Institutes; a Central Drugs Controller for AYUSH drugs to facilitate standardization of ASU products; 5 Hi-Tech Quality Control Labs under the Research Councils at regional levels; setting up of a Homoeopathic Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited to provide facilities for manufacturing of Homoeopathic medicines and to set up an All India Institute of Homoeopathy to fulfill the emerging interest of scientists for research in homoeopathy.

In fact, all the systems of medicine should be geared up by utilizing their unique strengths and proven abilities to contribute to need based health planning.  Importance of traditional systems of medicine vis a vis conventional streams can be seen in the epoch making statement of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Homeopathy ….. cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical and most complete medical science.


Eight persons were killed in Uttarakhand on Sunday as incessant rains lashed the hill state causing landslips in the higher reaches and sweeping away several roads and bridges in Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts leading to suspension of the Char Dham Yatra.
Three persons of a family were killed when a house caved in at New Mithi Beri in Prem Nagar area of Dehradun this morning, Prem Nagar SHO Vikas Rawat said.
A 30-year-old man, his 26-year-old wife and 10-year-old child were killed, he said.
Five persons were killed and six injured after being hit by landslips in Rudrapayag district, disaster management officer Meera Kenthura said.
Five stationary buses were also swept away by the relentless downpour which continues in the district, six persons injured in these landslips have been rushed to Gaurikund hospital, she said.
Both Mandakini and Alaknanda, major tributaries of the Ganga, are flowing over the danger mark and the bridge connecting Rudraprayag and Gaurikund has been damaged leading to its closure, she said.
Kedarnath yatra has been suspended in view of bad weather, the officer said.
Thousands of pilgrims headed for the Himalayan shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri got stranded as the routes had to be closed due to landslips at various points including Pipalmandi, Baraki and Nalupani.
Hotels and dharamshalas in Uttarkashi district are bursting at the seams with char dham yatris occupying their lounges due to non-availability of rooms.
State Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Minister Yashpal Arya said the administration is on alert to deal with any emergency.
Stranded pilgrims and people living in areas close to the rivers in spate like the Ganga and Bhagirathi are being evacuated to safer places, he said.
The BRO is also busy repairing the roads damaged by rains, he said, adding that the state government has also sought the assistance of ITBP to clear the roads blocked due to landslides.
He also advised people not to travel to Uttarakhand until the weather clears up.
The state government has also announced Rs 1.5 lakh as compensation to the kin of those killed in the house collapse incident in Dehradun.
Incessant rains in Uttarkashi during the last 36 hours swept away pillars of Tiloth bridge cutting off hundreds of villages including Tilot and Mandav from the district headquarters.
Gangotri highway had to be closed at five points leading to suspension of the yatra, District Magistrate R Rajesh Kumar said.
2,200 pilgrims are stranded at Gangotri and 1,500 at Yamunotri, he said. The stranded devotees have all been shifted to govt houses and relief camps.
Choppers will be pressed into service to ferry stranded passengers to safe places when the weather clears up, he said adding about 80 affected families have been evacuated to safer places already.
All arrangements are in place to deal with any emergency, he said adding ITBP's help is also being taken in restoration work being hampered by continuing rains.
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