Monday, March 2, 2015

News from the Tow Center  
 
March 2, 2015
UPCOMING EVENTS
Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age

The Tow Center will host a launch and panel discussion of Taylor Owen's new book from Oxford University Press, Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age. 

Read more here
Workshop - Algorithmic Transparency in the Media

Nicholas Diakopoulos will convene a group of industry and research experts for a crucial workshop of best practice and standards.  

Read more here
RECENT EVENTS
Play The News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism

On February 17th, we launched a report by Max Foxman on games and journalism. Max was joined by Sisi Wei of ProPublica, Nicole Leffel of BuzzFeed, and Heather Chaplin of The New School.

Read the report here
Watch the video
ON THE TOW BLOG
Tow Center to Workshop Algorithmic Transparency in the Media

Nicholas Diakopoulos and Fergus Pitt
Nicholas Diakopoulos will convene a group of industry and research experts for a crucial workshop of best practice and standards.  We have a limited number of openings for students and members of digital journalism community to join the group.  You can apply using this form.
TOW CENTER REPORTS
Learning Security: Information-Security Education for Journalists 
Chris Walker and Carol Waters

Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (And Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims, and Misinformation
Craig Silverman

Play the News: Fun and Games in Digital Journalism
Maxwell Foxman
TOW CENTER IN THE NEWS
NY Times Editor: Snowden Lessons Unlearned, Gov't Secrecy Alive and Well
Sputnik News International

New Tow Center report looks at how games can improve news coverage
ivoh

Lies, Damn Lies, and Viral Content: Examining the Role of News Websites
Digital Content Next

Six questions journalists should ask when evaluating a rumor
IJNet
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Ruling center-right party wins Estonia’s parliamentary election

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas’ center-right Reform Party has won the parliamentary election with 28 percent of the vote, according to the country’s election committee. The result ensures that the ruling party will get 30 percent of the seats in the 101-seat parliament. The Centre Party came in second with 25 percent of the vote. Sunday’s polls closed at 18:00 GMT. The Reform Party was ahead of the others from the start. According to preliminary voter turnout, 63.7 percent of the eligible population voted.

The first batch of the Ashok Leyland ‘Ashirwad Yojana’

The first batch of the Ashok Leyland ‘Ashirwad Yojana’ – the 4-year diploma course for underprivileged youth of Uttarakhand graduates from their plant in Pantnagar 
 Uttarakhand, March 02, 2015: Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja group, and the 2nd largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India, inducted the first batch of 135 youth who successfully completed the 4-year Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering Program, in partnership with NTTF, the reputed technical training institute, in to its formal workforce.
 Launched in 2010, the ‘Ashirwad Yojana’ selects deserving 12th pass children from economically weak and remote and hilly areas of Uttarakhand, and offers them classroom training, on-thejob training on the latest world-class machines, personality development, grooming and English language classes, and introduces them to the corporate culture.
State of the art Technical Learning center with sophisticated equipments and a fully functional girls hostel with all amenities were available on site for these children. Each of these children has battled tremendous personal odds to emerge as a successful graduate and diploma-holder and the entire stream of these graduates will become full-time employees of Ashok Leyland. The event was presided over by the honorable Labor Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri H. C. Durgapal.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland said,“In 2010, Ashok Leyland laid the foundations of our modern, fully-integrated manufacturing plant in Uttarakhand. The same year we envisioned an empowered Uttarakhand that produces skilled talent that will go on to become an asset to the state and to the country. ‘Ashirwad Yojana’ is a unique program under which Ashok Leyland offers an intensive 4-year training program to unemployed boys and girls from Uttarakhand, turning them in to skilled and confident talent.
These 12th pass young people come from humble economic backgrounds in remote and hilly areas of the state, and through a mix of theory, on-the-job practical training, personality development inputs, hands-on experience in a state-of-the art learning center; become professionally qualified youth, ready to participate in the industrial development of the state of Uttarakhand and the country at large. We are very proud to have them join the Ashok Leyland family.” Press ReleaseShri H. C.
 Durgapal, Labor Minister of Uttrakhand, who was chief guest at the event, said, “It is commendable that Ashok Leyland is helping create employment opportunities for the youth of Uttarakhand. 100% of the children enrolled in the Ashirwad Yojana are being offered permanent positions across the Ashok Leyland system and it gives me great pleasure and pride to wish all the current and future graduating children the very best.”

Analysis of Funds Collected and Expenditure Incurred by National Political Parties

- Lok Sabha 2004, 2009 & 2014

Executive Summary

 Details provided in the Election Expenditure Statement
  • 13th August, 2014 was the last date of filing of election expenditure statements of National Parties which was 90 days from 16thMay on which the election results were declared.
  • Based on the information available on the website of the Election Commission of India, the ECI received the expenditure statements of INC on 22nd Dec,’14, BJP on 12th Jan,’15 , BSP on 8th Aug,’14, NCP on 22nd Aug,’14, CPI on 27thOct,’14and CPM’s expenditure statements on 25th Aug,’14.
  • It is to be noted that while BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM submitted their expenditure statements with details of only Lok Sabha elections, 2014, the expenditure statement of INC included details of elections to Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha Assemblies. As the details were not segregated by INC, the information istaken as is submitted by the party.
  • Similarly, for Lok Sabha elections, 2004, the expenditure statements of BSP, CPI and CPM contained details of expenditure incurred during Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Sikkim Assembly Elections. The complete information as submitted by the National Parties have been taken into consideration during the preparation of this report.

Funds collected by National Parties during the Lok Sabha elections:
  • The National parties considered for the report are BJP, INC, BSP, NCP, CPI, and CPM.
  • Total funds collected by the National Parties, in cash, cheque/DD or in kind, during Lok Sabha elections held in 2004was Rs 223.80 crores while during Lok Sabha 2009 elections increased by 282%, to Rs 854.89 crores.
  • The total funds collected by the National Parties during Lok Sabha 2014 elections increased by 35.53%, to Rs 1158.59 crores from Rs 854.89 crores during Lok Sabha 2009.
  • Over a period of 10 years, the funds collected by National Parties during Lok Sabha elections increased by 418%.
Funds collected by National Parties during the Lok Sabha elections, 2014:
  • BJP declared the highest amount of funds collected during Lok Sabha elections, 2014. The party declared collecting Rs 588.45 crores over 75 days of election period.
  • INC declared the second highest amount of Rs 350.39 crores followed by NCP with Rs 77.85 crores and BSP withRs 77.26 crores.
  • CPI declared the least funds collected (Rs 9.52 crores) during the 75 days of election period.
                                           
Expenditure incurred by National Parties during the Lok Sabha elections:
  • Total expenditure incurred by the National Parties, in cash or cheque/DD, during Lok Sabha elections held in 2004 was Rs 269.42 crores while during Lok Sabha 2009 elections, it increased by 225%, to Rs 875.81 crores.
  • The total expenditure of the National Parties during Lok Sabha 2014 elections increased by 49.43%, to Rs 1308.75 crores from Rs 875.81 crores during Lok Sabha 2009.
  • Over a period of 10 years, the expenditure incurred by National Parties during Lok Sabha elections increased by 386%.
                                
Expenditure incurred by National Parties during the Lok Sabha elections, 2014:
  • BJP declared the highest amount of expenditure incurred during Lok Sabha elections, 2014. The party declared expenses of Rs 712.48 crores over 75 days of election period.
  • INC declared the second highest amount of Rs 486.21 crores followed by NCP with Rs 64.48 crores and BSP withRs 30.06 crores.
  • CPI declared the least amount of election expenditure (Rs 6.72 crores) during the 75 days of election period.
Expenditure of Political Parties under various heads during Lok Sabha elections:
  • The main heads under which political parties declare their expenses are publicity, travel, other/ miscellaneous expenses and expenditure on candidates.
  • During Lok Sabha elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014 together National Parties spent 50.58% of their total expenditure on publicity,19.68% on travel expenses and 15.43% on candidates and 14.31% on other expenses.
  • During Lok Sabha elections, 2004, National Parties spent Rs 115.90 crores on publicity, Rs 34.57 crores on travels, Rs 50.715 crores on other expenses and Rs 60.364 crores on expenditure towards candidates.
  • During Lok Sabha elections, 2014, National Parties spent Rs 858.97 crores on publicity, Rs 311.8 crores on travels, Rs 104.28 crores on other expenses and Rs 311.47 crores on expenditure towards candidates.
  • In 10 years, expenditure on publicity increased by 641% while expenditure on travel increased by 802%and the declared expenditure on candidates increased by 416%.
Expenditure incurred under various heads during the Lok Sabha elections, 2014:
  • During Lok Sabha elections in 2014, BJP declared spending Rs 463.17 crores on publicity while INC spent Rs 346.41 crores, NCP – Rs 30.98 crores, BSP – Rs 12.75 crores, CPM – Rs 4.94 crores and CPI – Rs 0.72 crores.
  • BJP’s declared expenditure on travel (for leaders, workers and star campaigners) was Rs 159.15 crores while INCspent Rs 129.50 crores on travel. NCP – Rs 3.73 crores, BSP – Rs 17.31 crores, CPM – Rs 1.94 crores and CPI – Rs 0.17 crores.
  • BJP declared an equal amount of expenditure on candidates as that incurred on travel during Lok Sabha 2014 elections. The party spent Rs 159.81 crores on its candidates while INC spent Rs 96.70 crores on its candidates.
Expenditure of National Parties on Publicity during Lok Sabha elections:
  • There are three main items listed under publicity expenditure: expense on media advertisement (print & electronic, bulk sms, cable, website, TV channels) publicity material (hoardings, posters, banners etc.), expenses on public meetings (processions, rallies etc.).
  • Expenditure of BJP on publicity increased from Rs 49.31 crores during Lok Sabha 2004 to Rs 180.87 croresduring Lok Sabha 2009 and Rs 463.17 crores during Lok Sabha 2014. The party declared an overall increase of 839% in 10 years.
  • Expenditure of INC on publicity increased from Rs 62.77 crores during Lok Sabha 2004 to Rs 207.88 croresduring Lok Sabha 2009 and Rs 346.41 crores during Lok Sabha 2014. The party declared an overall increase of 452% in 10 years.
                                        
Expenditure of National Parties on Publicity during Lok Sabha elections, 2014:
  • National Parties collectively spent Rs 661.26 crores (or 76.98%) on media advertisement, Rs 126.94 crores (or14.78%) on public meetings and Rs 70.77 crores (or 8.24%) on publicity materials during Lok Sabha Elections, 2014.
  • BJP spent the maximum amount of Rs 342.36 crores on media advertisement followed by Rs 89.56 crores onpublic meetings andRs 31.35 crores on publicity materials.
  • INC spent the maximum amount of Rs 289.22 crores on media advertisement followed by Rs 33.08 crores on public meetings andRs 24.11 crores on publicity materials, while BSP spent Rs 6.59 crores on publicity materialsand Rs 3.90 crores on media advertisement.
                                          

Recommendations of ADR

  • It must be made mandatory for all political parties to submit their statements of expenditure in the format given by the ECI, within the prescribed time limit. Political parties not submitting on time or in the prescribed format should be heavily penalized.
  • The details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated.
  • format similar to the donations report along with the date of donations, submitted to the ECI on an annual basis, has to be prescribed for the expenditure statement so as to bring in more transparency in the finances of the political parties especially during elections when it is said that black money plays a major role.
  • Similar to the shadow observers of the ECI for monitoring expenditure of candidates, there must also be observers for monitoring the expenditure of political parties.
For the complete report titled ‘;Analysis of funds collected and expenditure incurred by National Parties – Lok Sabha 2004, 2009 & 2014′; , kindly refer to the attached report.

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