Friday, December 6, 2013

World Bank and its Accountability: Case of Tata Mundra
 December 16, 2013 2-4.30pm
Constitution Club, New Delhi 
Dear friends,
 Disproportinate to its quantum of lending, World Bank’s influence on India has been unparalleled since it bacame a member of World Bank on December 27, 1945. The influence, most often under the veil of secrecy and obfuscation, spanned not just over the economic polices of the country, but over almost all sectors, law and administration.
 This is apart from India being the single largest borrower from the World Bank Group for development projects – dams, thermal projects, infrastructre projects, urban development etc. The Bank also was instrumental in privatising water and power, and opening up agriculture to corporate plunder – something which had a serious impact on a very large section of the population. World Bank Group has currently 386 active projects in India with a committed portfolio of $29.5 bn.
 The increasing lending and influence didn’t match with Bank’s reluctant transparency and accountability. Talking tall on these principles, the Bank failed to walk its talk. It took years of hard struggle for the people of Narmada valley to hold the Bank accountable for its lending to the Sardar Sarovar dam. The Bank was forced to withdraw its lending to the dam in 1993.
 However, many other struggles have not been very lucky. Be it the people affected by Singrauli thermal power project, or the slum dwellers affected by the Mumbai Urban Transport Project or the fisherfolk and coastal communities affected by the ongoing Integrated Coastal Zone Management or the tribal community affected by the limestone mining by Lafarge in Meghalaya, the Bank continue to turn it blind eye to the serious impacts of these projects on people and environment. In a few cases like the GMR Kamalanga thermal power project, people are availing all possible opportunities to hold the World Bank Group accountable.
 After the Morse Report, which scripted the ousting of Bank from Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Project, one significant report on India, authored by Bank’s own compliance mechanism is the recent report by Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) report on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) funded Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Mundra), released late October 2013.
 The communities lodged a complaint with the CAO in 2011, raising serious issues arising out of the Tata Mundra project. After 2 year process, CAO released its findings. The report confirmed all the concerns raised by the communities. Key findings of CAO include:
  • Environmental and Social risks and impacts of the project were not considered and addressed.
  • There is no social baseline data
  • IFC’s policies for land acquisition not applied, despite physical and economic displacement
  • Inadequate attention paid to the requirement of biodiversity conservation.
  • IFC failed in its review and supervision of the impacts on airshed & marine environment.
  • IFC failed to examine the cumulative impact of projects around Tata Mundra
Expectedly IFC rebutted the findings. It went out of the way, and even risking its own credibility, defended its actions and their client. What was shocking was World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim’s complete silence over the findings. While procedurally the President is the one who should take actions on the report, he chose not to take any actions, defending the IFC, making mockery of communities’ concerns and undermining CAO, World Bank’s own accountability mechanism.
This raises some pertinent questions:
  • How accountable is the World Bank?
  • Is the existence of CAO and Inspection Panel in World Bank a farce?
  • Who is made accountable when institutions like CAO find serious non-compliance of policies?
  • How is World Bank Group accountable to the people who are affected by its lending?
  • Are there oversight mechanisms in India over World Bank and other financing by international financial institutions?
To discuss this, and more, we invite you to a public meeting on December 16, 2013 2-430pm at the Constitution Club, New Delhi.
Speakers from different walks of life – project affected, senior activists, Parliamentarians, Bank and project officials are expected to take part in this.
We will send you more details of this in the coming days.
In solidarity,
National Alliance of People’s Movements | Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangthan
Contact : napmindia@gmail.com | 9818905316
To know more about the struggle against the Tata Mundra Thermal Power Plant read :
e.      Indian organisations’ letter to World Bank President: http://www.bicusa.org/over-100-organizations-demand-world-bank-withdrawal-from-tata-mundra/
f.        International organisations’ letter to World Bank President: http://www.bicusa.org/groups-worldwide-join-indian-people-demanding-kim-pull-ifc-out-of-tata-coal-plant/
i.         MASS Blog: http://masskutch.blogspot.in/

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National Alliance of People’s Movements6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

BSP Press release

cgqtu lekt ikVhZ }kjk tkjh izsl foKfIr

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(II)     bl ekSd+s ij [+klrkSj ls ch-,l-ih- ds yksxkas us iwjs ns”k esa fofHkUu dk;ZØeksa ds t+fj;s] budks vius J)k&lqeu vfiZr fd;s o buds dk;kZsa dks Hkh ;kn fd;k] bu lHkh yksxksa dk lqJh ek;korh th }kjk fny ls vkHkkj izdV(
(III)  nf{k.k vQzhdk dks ljdkjh jax o uLyHksn ds vfHk'kki ls eqDr djkus okys Jh usylu e.Msyk dh vkt gh ds fnu gqbZ e`R;q dqnjr dk ,d bfÙkQkd] muds fu/ku ij Hkh 'kksd O;Dr o J)katfy]
(IV)   v;ks/;k ds fookfnr
(V)      eqt+¶Qjuxj naxk ihfM+r ifjokjksa ds yxHkx 50 eklwe cPpksa dh ekSr ,d vR;Ur xaHkhj ekuoh; =klnh dk ekeyk] laln esa ch-,l-ih- }kjk dke jksdks uksfVl ,oa dsUnz ljdkj ls bl lEcU/k esa izHkkoh dkjZokbZ o et+cwr d+ne mBkus dh lqJh ek;korh th dh dsUnz ls ek¡xA

ubZ fnYyh] 6 fnlEcj] 2013 % vius Hkkjr ns'k esa t+kr&ikr o Å¡p&uhp ds dkj.k ;gk¡ O;kIr vlekurk ls xzLr lekt esa [+kkldj nfyrksa] fiNM+ksa ,oa vU; misf{kr oxZ ds yksxksa dks vkRe&lEeku o LokfHkeku ds lkFk thus ds muds cqfu;knh ekuoh; gd+ dks lafo/kku o d+kuwuh rkSj ij fnykus dk egku o ;qx&ifjorZuh; dk;Z djus ds dkj.k mu lcds fny&fnekx+ esa vR;Ur vknjiwoZd jpus o clus okys muds elhgk HkkjrjRu] cksf/klRo ijeiwT; ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dks] vkt muds 58osa ifjfuokZ.k fnol ¼iq.;frfFk½ ij] ch-,l-ih- dh jk"Vªh; v/;{k lqJh ek;korh th o d`rK] jk"Vª us vR;Ur vknj o lEekuiwoZd Lej.k fd;k vkSj mUgsa HkkoHkhuh J)katfy vfiZr dhA

laln dk 'khrdkyhu l= dy fnukad 05 fnlEcj ls izkjEHk gksus ds dkj.k] ch-,l-ih- dh jk"Vªh; v/;{k] lkaln ¼jkT;lHkk½] ps;jilZu] ch-,l-ih- lalnh; ny ,oa mÙkj izns'k dh iwoZ eq[;ea=h lqJh ek;korh th bu fnuksa fnYyh esa gh gSa vkSj vkt lqcg ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dh 58osa ifjfuokZ.k fnol ij mUgksauss lcls igys vkt lqcg 12] xq#}kjk jdkcxat jksM] ubZ fnYyh esas LFkkfir  **cgqtu izsj.kk dsUnz** esa yxh ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dh HkO; izfrek ij iq"ikatfy djds viuk J)k&lqeu vfiZr fd;kA blh **izsj.kk dsUnz** esa gh ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj ds :ds v/kwjs dkjok¡ dks xfr iznku djus okys ckelsQ] Mh-,l-&4 o ch-,l-ih- ewoesUV ds tUenkrk ,oa laLFkkid  ekU;oj Jh dka'khjke th dh vfLFk dy'k] mudh olh;r ds eqrkfcd] izfr"Bkfir gSA

rnqijkUr] lqJh ek;korh th laln Hkou x;ha] ftlds izkxa.k esa LFkkfir ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dh fo'kky izfrek ij iq"Ik vfiZr dj mUgsa HkkoHkhuh J)katfy vfiZr dhA laln Hkou ifjlj esa vk;ksftr bl J)k&lqeu dk;ZØe ds volj ij lkalnksa vkfn ds lkFk&lkFk ;gk¡ ij dkQh la[;k esa vU; izeq[k yksx Hkh ,d= Fks] tks lqJh ek;korh th dks cM+h mEehn o cgqr vknj Hkko dh utj ls ns[k jgs Fks] ekuks muesa o muds dk;ksZa esa os yksx ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dk vDl ¼izfrfcEc½ ns[krs gks fd ogh ,d ek= usrk gSa tks ns'k ds nfyrksa] fiNM+ksa o 'kksf"krksa ,oa loZlekt ds xjhcksa vkfn dk lgh ek;us esa fgr lk/kdj mudk dY;k.k dj ldrh gSaA lqJh ek;korh th ds lkFk&lkFk fnYyh esa ekStwn ikVhZ ds lHkh lkalnksa o dqN vU; ofj"B inkf/kdkfj;ksa us Hkh izfrek ij iq"ikatfy vfiZr dj ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dks HkkoHkhuh J)katfy nh ,oa muds liuksa dk lgh ek;us esa tkfr&foghu lerkewyd ekuorkoknh Hkkjr] ch-,l-ih- ewoesUV ds ek/;e ls] ns”k cukus dk ladYi nksgjk;kA

bl volj ij bysDVªfud o fizUV ehfM;kdfeZ;ksa dh Hkkjh HkhM+ ekStwn Fkh] ftUgksaus muls dqN egRoiw.kZ eqÌksa ij ckrphr dhA mu ehfM;kdfeZ;ksa dks lEcksf/kr djrs gq;s ch-,l-ih- dh jk"Vªh; v/;{k o vius ns'k esa **lkekftd ifjorZu** dh egkukf;dk cgu dqekjh ek;korh th us dgk fd Hkkjr dks ,d tkfr&foghu lerkewyd ekuorkoknh lekt cukus ds fy;s ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dk thou la?k"kZ] R;kx&riL;k o vusdksa izdkj dh dqckZfu;k¡ ges'kk gh izsj.kk dk Jksr cuh jgsxhA ns'k ds djksM+ksa vuwlwfpr tkfr] tutkfr] vU; fiNM+s oxZ ,oa /kkfeZd vYila[;d oxZ ds yksxksa ds lkFk&lkFk vijdkLV lekt ds x+jhcksa o ihfM+rksa dks eku&lEeku dk thou nsus ,oa mUgsa vius iSjksa ij [kM+k djus ds fy;s ckck lkgsc Mk- vEcsMdj us viuk iwjk thou lefiZr fd;k vkSj tc vkxs pydj ns'k ds vkt+kn gksus ij lafo/kku fuekZ.k djus dk 'kqHk&volj izkIr gqvk rks rc mUgksaus bu misf{kr oxksaZ ds yksxksa dks gj ekeys esa vkRe&lEeku ds lkFk thus dk d+kuwuh vf/kdkj nsdj mUgsa oksV ds ek/;e ls viuh ilUn dh ljdkj cukus dk Hkh ekxZ iz'kLr fd;k] ftlls bu misf{kr oxksaZ ds yksxksa esa lEekuiwoZd thus dh ,d ubZ vk'kk txhA blh Øe esa  ch-,l-ih- ewoesUV dk dkjoka Hkh vxzlj gS rkfd jktuSfrd lÙkk dh ekLVj pkch izkIr djds viuh rdnhj lgh rjhds ls [kqn ;gk¡ lokajh tk ldsA

lqJh ek;korh th us dgk fd ;g dqnjr dk ,d bfÙkQkd gh gS fd Hkkjr esa nfyrksa] 'kksf"krksa] ihfM+rksa ds elhgk ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dk vkt ifjfuokZ.k fnol gS vkSj vkt gh ds fnu nf{k.k vQzhdk ns'k esa jaxHksn dk dkQh t+ksjnkj rjhd+s ls dkQh MVdj fojks/k djrs gq;s yxHkx 27 o"kZ rd ¼vFkkZr~ 10 gt+kj fnuksa½ rd tsy esa jgdj eqYd dks vktkn djkus okys ogk¡ ds iwoZ jk"Vªifr Jh usylu e.Msyk ds nsgkUr dh [kcj feyh gS] ftuds izfr Hkh eSa viuh o viuh ikVhZ dh vksj ls 'kksd O;Dr djrs gq;s mUgsa Hkh J)k&lqeu vfiZr djrh gw¡A ckck lkgsc Mk- vEcsMdj dh rjg gh Jh usylu e.Msyk dk 'kksf"kr&ihfM+r o misf{kr lekt ds mRFkku ds fy;s ;ksxnku o dqckZuh vfoLej.kh; o vrqyuh; gSA

lqJh ek;korh th us dgk fd ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj ds ifjfuokZ.k fnol ij ns'k Hkj esa yksx vius&vius rkSj ij rFkk ch-,l-ih- ds yksx [+kklrkSj ls vusdksa  dk;ZØe vk;ksftr dj mUgsa Lej.k djrs gq;s mUgsa 'kr~&'kr~ ueu dj jgs gSaA blh Øe esa mÙkj izns'k dh jkt/kkuh y[kuÅ esa ch-,l-ih- ljdkj }kjk fufeZr ,sfrgkfld fo'o&Lrjh; ^^Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu LFky^^ esa Hkh yksxksa us cM+s iSekus ij ,d= gksdj ijeiwT; ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dkss viuh HkkoHkhuh J)katfy vfiZr dhA y[kuÅ ds bl J)katfy dk;ZØe esa [+kklrkSj ls ch-,l-ih- ds NksVs&cM+s ftEesaokj inkf/kdkfj;ksa ds lkFk&lkFk mÙkj izns'k ds lHkh 75 ft+yksa ls cM+h la[;k esa vk;s ch-,l-ih ds dk;ZdrkZvksa o leFkZdksa us Hkkx fy;k vkSj ckck lkgsc ds dkjoka dks eaft+y rd igq¡pkus ds fy;s ch-,l-ih- ewoesUV dks ru] eu] /ku ls iwjk&iwjk lg;ksx djus ds vius ladYi dks nksgjk;k] ftlds fy;s lqJh ek;korh th us ehfM;k ds ek/;e ls] mu lc yksxksa dk fny ls vkHkkj izdV fd;kA

vius bl laf{kIr lEcks/ku ds ckn lqJh ek;korh th us ehfM;kdfeZ;ksa }kjk fofHkUu jk"Vªh; eqÌksa ij iwNs x;s iz'uksa ds tokc Hkh fn;sA vkt N% fnlEcj ds fnu gh lu~ 1992 esa v;ks/;k esa *ckckjh efLtn* ds fo/oal ds lEcU/k esa ehfM;k }kjk iwNs x;s ,d loky ds tokc esa ch-,l-ih- dh jk"Vªh; v/;{k lqJh ek;korh th us dgk fd lkEiznkf;d rRoksa us ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj ds ifjfuekZ.k ds fnu gh *ckcjh efLtn* dk fo/oal djds viuh ?kksj **/keZfujis{krk& fojks/kh ekufldrk** dk ifjp; fn;k gS] D;ksafd ckck lkgsc vius ns'k esa **/keZfujis{krk** ds tcZnLr fgek;rh Fks vkSj blh dkj.k mUgksaus Hkkjrh; lafo/kku dh cqfu;kn /keZfujis{krk dh Bksl cqfu;kn ij j[kh Fkh] tks bu lkEiznkf;d rkdrksa dks ilUn ugha o blls os yksx nq%[kh gSaA mUgksaus dgk fd v;ks/;k ds fookfnr

if'peh mÙkj izns'k ds eqt¶Qjuxj o 'kkeyh ftys esa gq;s naxksa ds ckn ogk¡ dkQh rknkn esa f'kfojksa esa n;uh; thou O;rhr djus okys x+jhc ifjokjksa ds yxHkx 50 cPpksa dh ekSr ds lEcU/k esa iwNs x;s ,d lkoy ds tokc esa lqJh ek;korh th us dgkfd ;g lgh gS fd mudh ikVhZ ch-,l-ih- us bl lEcU/k esa laln ds nksuksa lnuksa esa iz'udky LFkfxr djds bl fo"k; ij ppkZ djus dh uksfVl nh gS] D;ksafd ;g ekuoh; =zklnh ls lEc) ;g ,d xEHkhj ekeyk gS] ftlesa mÙkj izns'k lik ljdkj dh ?kksj ykijokgh Li"V rkSj ij >ydrh gSA
mÙkj izns'k dh iwoZ eq[;ea=h lqJh ek;korh th us dgk fd eqt+¶Qjuxj naxk mÙkj izns'k lik ljdkj dh ?kksj ukdkeh rks gS gh] ijUrq naxk ihfM+r yksxksa dks fnu&izfrfnu dh t:jh pktksa dksa miyC/k djkus o muds iquokZl ds fy;s le; ij vkfFkZd lgk;rk miyC/k ugha djk ikus ds dkj.k f'kfojksa esa jg jgs yxHkx 50&60 gtkj yksxksa dk thou ujd lk cu x;k gS] ftldks xEHkhjrk ls ysrs gq;s dsUnz dh ljdkj dks fcuk le; xoka;s izHkkoh rkSj n[+ky nsuk pkfg;s] rkfd eklwe yksxksa dh ftUnxh cpk;h tk ldsA mÙkj izns'k dh ykijokg ljdkj ds f[kykQ Hkh dsUnz ljdkj dks et+cwr dne mBkus dh t+:jr gSA

if”pe caxky jkT; ekuokf/kdkj vk;ksx ds v/;{k] lqizhe dksVZ ds vodk”kizkIr U;k;k/kh”k Jh ,-ds- xkaxqyh ds fo:) ekuuh; lqizhe dksVZ dks tk¡p lfefr n~okjk ,d izf”k{kq efgyk odhy n~okjk yxk;s x;s ;kSu mRihMu ds vkjksi dks izFke n`’Vk;k lgh ik;s tkus ls lEcfU/kr ,d loky ds tokc esa mUgksaus dgk fd bl lEcU/k esa ;g T;knk mfpr gksxk fd dkuwu dks viuk dke djus fn;k tk,A oSls bl ekeys esa vxj tfLVl xkaxqyh uSfrdrk ds vk/kkj ij Lo;a vius in ls bLrhQk ns nsrs gSa rks ;g T;knk csgrj gksxkA

mYys[kuh; gS fd cgu dqekjh ek;korh th ds usr`Ro esa vc rd mÙkj izns'k esa pkj ckj cuh mudh ljdkj esa ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj dh Le`fr dks fpjLFkk;h cukus ds fy, rFkk muds vknj&lEeku esa tufgr dh vusdksa egRoiw.kZ ;kstuk,a vkSj dk;ZØe Hkh lapkfyr fd;s x;sA blds rgr vuqlwfpr tkfr@tutkfr o fiNM+k oxZ ,oa vU; det+ksj oxkZsa ds yksxksa ds vkfFkZd o lkekftd fodkl ds fy, Mk- vEcsMdj xzkelHkk fodkl foHkkx dk xBu djrs gq, budh vkcknh ckgqY; okys xkaoksa dh rjDdh vkSj [kq'kgkyh ds fy, Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj xzkelHkk fodkl ;kstuk dkQh izHkkoh cgqmís'kh; lkeqnkf;d dsUn
z** cuk;s x;sA vuqlwfpr tkfr@tutkfr oxksZa ds yksxksa dks jkst+xkj miyC/k djkus ds mn~ns'; ls Mk- vEcsMdj fo'ks"k jkst+xkj ;kstuk dks izHkkoh :i ls lapkfyr fd;k x;kA

     blh izdkj] ckck lkgsc ds lEeku esa vkxjk fo'ofo|ky; dk ukedj.k ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj fd;k x;kA blh fo'ofo|ky; esa ckck lkgsc Mk- vEcsMdj ds uke ij vEcsMdj ihB dh Hkh LFkkiuk dh x;hA Mk- vEcsMdj ds uke ij vuqlwfpr tkfr@tutkfr dksfpax lsUVj dh LFkkiuk tuin vyhx<+ vkSj vkxjk esa dh x;hA QS+t+kckn e.My ds vUrxZr vEcsMdjuxj ds uke ls u;s ft+ys dk xBu fd;k x;kA okjk.klh esa ckck lkgsc ds uke ij LVsfM;e dk ukedj.k rFkk jkeiqj esa laxzgky; o iqLrdky; dh LFkkiuk dh x;hA blds vykok] tuin ckank esa ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj esfMdy dkyst] uks,Mk rFkk xszVj uks,Mk esa Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj eYVh lqij Lisf'k;YVh vLirky LFkkfir djk;s x;sA
     lkFk gh] dkuiqj esa MkW- vEcsMdj bULVhV~;wV vkWQ VsDukWykWth Qkj gS.MhdSIM rFkk tuin vkt+ex<+ esa Mk- vEcsMdj Hkou dk fuekZ.k djk;k x;kA tuin eSuiqjh rFkk d+UukSt esa Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj jktdh; egkfo|ky; dh LFkkiuk dh x;hA blh izdkj] y[kuÅ esa Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj vUrjkZ"Vªh; [ksy LVsfM;e rFkk xszVj uks,Mk esa 500 lhVksa okys Mk- vEcsMdj vuqlwfpr tkfr@ tutkfr Nk=kokl dk fuekZ.k djk;k x;kA vkxjk ,oa xkSre cq) uxj esa Mk- vEcsMdj ikdZ LFkkfir fd;k x;kA y[kuÅ esa Mk- vEcsMdj i;kZoj.k E;wft+;e rFkk MkW- vEcsMdj i;kZoj.k ifjlj dk fuekZ.k djk;k x;kA ckck lkgsc Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj fo'ofo|ky;] y[kuÅ esa vEcsMdj ihB dh LFkkiuk rFkk iz'kklfud Hkou ladqy dk fuekZ.k djk;k x;k gSA

     ckck lkgsc Mk- vEcsMdj dh Le`fr dks fpjLFkk;h cukus ds mn~ns'; ls gh ch-,l-ih- ljdkj }kjk y[kuÅ esa xkserh unh ds rV ij fo'o&Lrjh;  ^^Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu LFky^^ LFkkfir fd;k x;k gS] ftlds vUrZxr Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj fogkj] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu xSyjh] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj Lekjd n`'; LFky] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu izfrfcEc LFky rFkk lkekftd ifjorZu laxzgky; LFkkfir gSA blds vykok] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj xkserh ikdZ dk fuekZ.k vkSj bl ikdZ esa Mk- vEcsMdj dh izfrek Hkh LFkkfir dh x;hA lkFk gh] y[kuÅ esa Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj xkserh fogkj [k.M&1] [k.M&2] [k.M&3 ,oa MkW- Hkhejko vEcsMdj xkserh fogkj [k.M&4] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu LFky gsrq uohuhd`r xkserh fczt] Mk- Hkhejko vEcsMdj lkekftd ifjorZu LFky gsrq vksoj fczt dk fuekZ.k Hkh djk;k x;kA MkW- Hkhejko vEcsMdj xkserh fogkj [k.M&1 esa ckck lkgsc dh pgq¡eq[kh izfrek dh LFkkiuk dh x;h gSA

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India to host Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017

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India to host Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017
In a landmark development for Indian football, the country was awarded the right to host the 2017 Under-17 FIFA World Cup on Thursday by the world governing body of the game in its executive committee meeting in Brazil.
India was chosen as the host country for the mega event by the FIFA executive committee in its meeting at Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. 
South Africa, Ireland and Uzbekistan were the other countries in the running for the right to host the tournament. 
By virtue of being the host country, India will take part in the 24-nation tournament for the first time in its history. 
“India confirmed by the FIFA ExCo as host of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,” FIFA said in a tweet after the meeting. 
“Yes, India has won the right to host the 2017 Under-17 World Cup Football. It’s official now,” All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das said. 
AIFF President Praful Patel described the development as historic.”This is historic. This is what we have been waiting for. I need to thank the FIFA Executive Committee for keeping their trust on us and granting India the rights to host the 2017 U-17 World Cup,” Patel said. “I am also grateful to the Government of India for their support and giving us the necessary guarantees which made it possible for India to bid for the 2017 World Cup,” he added.
This will the biggest ever football tournament India will be hosting and the first FIFA event in the country’s history. India has hosted Asian Football Confederation’s Youth Championships (Under-20) in 2006 and then the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 but never has hosted any FIFA tournament.
United Arab Emirates hosted the tournament this year while Chile will be the host country for the 2015 edition.
India, whose submission of final bid documents were initially in doubt due to delay in getting government guarantees on various subjects, will be held in six venues which are to be selected from eight prospective cities — New Delhi, Margao, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati. 
From the very beginning, India’s chances of winning the hosting right have been strong as it was FIFA which mooted the idea of the country hosting the mega event. The world body felt that if India can host the mega event, it could go a long way in lifting the profile of the game in the second most populous country in the world.
In a visit to the country, FIFA President Sepp Blatter and then his secretary Jerome Valcke, have supported India hosting the event, provided it builds the required infrastructure and facilities.
But, the journey has not been a smooth one as India’s initial bid in January was rejected due to want of clear guarantees from the government on several subjects which the FIFA wants from a host country.
The bidding countries were required to submit written guarantees on tax exemptions for broadcasters and sponsors, foreign exchange remittances, security, transport and accommodation of players, and visa, among others.
The government supported the AIFF’s bid from the very beginning but the sticking point had been the issue of the guarantees. India submitted the final bid document just a few days before the deadline of November 15.
While the expenses of hosting the event will be borne by FIFA and AIFF, the government has assured additional financial assistance.
“While the expenditure for upgradation of stadia (Rs 95 crore) will be provided as additional central assistance to the State Governments, a sum of Rs 25 crore is kept as a contingency to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament,” the Sports Ministry had said.
“AIFF and FIFA have agreed to bear the entire expenditure of hosting the tournament. The amounts required are to be raised through sponsorships and other commercial agreements,” it had said. 


 

Nelson Mandela dies at 95

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Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela dies at 95Updated on : 06-12-2013 09:48 AM
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first elected black president and a global anti-apartheid icon died early Friday, at his home in the suburb of Houghton in Johannesburg, following a lengthy illness. He was 95.
The elder statesman was receiving medical care from a leading team since September after spending three months in a Pretoria hospital for a recurrent lung ailment.
“Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed,” Zuma said in a nationally televised address.
He passed away peacefully at 20:50 (local time), 5th December, Zuma said.
“He is now resting. He is now at peace…Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” he said.
Zuma announced that there would be a state funeral for the departed world leader. Details of the funeral have not been announced yet, but all flags will fly at half-mast until the funeral.
Zuma said Mandela’s tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world, “His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love.”
“Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood.
Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause, Zuma said.
“Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another. Let us commit ourselves to strive together sparing neither strength nor courage to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa,” he said.
Hundreds of South Africans all over the country huddled in groups from the early hours of this morning to mourn the death of founding father of the democratic nation.
The government has also set up a special tribute website at http://www.mandela.gov.za.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison, most of them on Robben Island, after being convicted in the Rivonia trial with several others 50 years ago.
He stepped down after serving one term as President following the first democratic elections in 1994.
Mandela had been in and out of hospital for the past two years with a range of medical problems.
Tributes and condolences from many world leaders have been pouring in from all corners of the world after the tragic news.
President Pranab Mukherjee said, “President Mandela was a statesman, world leader and icon of inspiration of humanity.He was a great friend of India and his contribution for strengthening the close ties between our two countries will be always remembered”.
Mandela was awarded the Bharat Ratna in honour of his contribution to the friendship between our two countries, he said.
“I convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of the people and the Government of India as well as my personal behalf to the family members of Late President Mandela and the people and the Government of South Africa,” Mukherjee said on Friday.
Describing Mandela as the “greatest personalities of our times”, Vice President Hamid Ansari said he represented the best of human spirit and values.
While his courage, determination and sacrifice inspired millions of people during the anti-apartheid movement, his message of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation thereafter, united them and led the rainbow nation on the path to peace and progress, he said.
“In his death, South Africans have lost the father of their nation and the world a statesman, whose life and message of courage and goodness would continue to inspire and guide all of us around the world in the years ahead,” the Vice President said.
Condoling his death, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul”.


 

On the passing of Nelson Mandela

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The White HouseThursday, December 5, 2013
On the passing of Nelson Mandela
This evening, President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.
See President Obama's statement


 

DIRECTOR-GENERAL CONDEMNS THE MURDER OF BLOGGER YAMEEN RASHEED IN THE MALDIVES Posted on  April 26, 2017 Paris, 26 April—The Direct...