Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saina Nehwal bows out of the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier
Ace Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal bowed out of the 500,000-dollar Malaysia Open Super Series Premier. She lost her semifinal clash to Olympic champion Li Xuerui, in Kuala Lumpur today. World number one Saina had a one-game advantage but eventually lost 21-13, 17-21, 20-22 to the world number three in a gruelling final that lasted one hour and eight minutes at Putra Stadium. Saina, who won the India Open Super Series last week, once again failed to come good against Xuerui, who has now beaten the Indian nine times in 11 meetings. Saina emerged triumphant against her only on two occasions --2010 Singapore Open and 2012 Indonesia Open.
Do read this Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal by Prashant Bhushan:

Dear Arvind,
In the National Council meeting held on the 28th of March, in your Convenor's address, instead of giving a review of the party's situation and the path ahead, you chose to launch an attack on me, Yogendra Ji and my father, making all sorts of false and inflamatory allegations against us. Your speech incited several Delhi MLAs- (who were invited despite not being members of the NC) to scream that we were “gaddars” who should be thrown out, and behave in the manner of hooligans. Such was the ferocity of the mob of these MLAs and others as they rushed towards my father, that he felt that he may not get out of this alive.
You did not even allow us to respond to your allegations. Immediately after your speech, in the middle of shouting and screaming by MLAs and others, Manish read out a resolution for our removal (without any chair, and without anyone allowing him to do so). He then proceeded to call for vote by show of hands without allowing any discussion, forcing us to walk out of what had clearly become a farce.
It was farcical for many reasons: Many members of the NC had not been invited or allowed to attend; more than half the people inside the meeting hall were non members, which included MLAs, district and State convenors of 4 states, volunteers and bouncers; there was no orderly conduct of the proceedings for many reasons, including the hooliganism displayed by many people there; no independent videography was allowed, the party's lokpal was not allowed, etc.
What has happened subsequent to the 28th however, has taken the farce to a level where it seems as if a Stalinist purge is taking place in the party. The party's internal Lokpal, a person of immense stature and independence, has been removed unconstitutionally, merely because he expressed his wish to attend the National Council meeting and was seen to be fair; other members of the National Executive are being suspended, again unconstitutionally, only because they had attended a press conference held by us after the hooliganism in the National Council meeting.
Thereafter, you have ordered the release of a carefully edited version of your speech in the National Council meeting, containing various false charges against us, and carefully editing out the portions showing the hooliganism of the mob. It is in such circumstances that I am having to write this open letter to you.
In order to respond to your charges, I would need to go back a bit to see where my serious differences started with you. If you will remember, my differences started after the Lok Sabha elections, when a series of things happened, which began to show two serious defects in your character and personality. Firstly, you wanted to push through your decisions at any cost in the party, despite the majority of the PAC or the National Executive disagreeing with you. This included decisions that would have undoubtedly been very harmful for the party and against public interest. And secondly, you were willing to use some very highly unethical and even criminal means to achieve your ends.
After the Lok Sabha elections, you felt that the party was finished,and could only be revived if it were able to form the government again in Delhi. So immediately after the elections, you started talking to the Congress party for taking its support again to form the government in Delhi. When news of this came out, a large number of important people in the party including Prithvi Reddy, Mayank Gandhi and Anjali Damania called me up saying this would be disastrous,and if this happens, they would have to quit the party. I was in Shimla at that time, I called you up, and I said that you should not go ahead with this unless there is a proper discussion in the PoliticalAction Committee (PAC).
I immediately came back and we had a meeting of the PAC at your residence. And at that meeting, a majority of the members – 5:4 – felt that we should not go ahead with forming the government with Congress’ support. I had pointed out that this would seem extremely opportunistic, since there was no logical reason for us to change our publicly stated position. I also added that such a government would not last, as the Congress will withdraw support soon, and thereafter, for us to revive the party would become even more difficult.
Instead of abiding by the majority decision, you said that while that may be the majority view, as the Convenor of the party, you have the right to take the final decision, and that you would go ahead with seeking Congress’ support. At that point, I had a verbal argument with you. I said the party can’t be run in this manner, and it has to be run by some democratic means. So it was decided to refer this issue to the National Executive which had many more people. This reference was made by email, and people were expected to vote by next morning. By next morning, again a majority of people opposed this decision in the National Executive and yet, a letter was secretly sent by you to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi saying that he should not dissolve the Assembly for another week because AAP wants to seek the opinion of the people on whether to form the government again.
Immediately after the letter came out, Congress said they were not ready to support AAP and that left us with egg on our face with the result that you had to backtrack the next day and apologize. But despite that, the attempt to form the government with Congress’ support or with the support of breakaway MLAs from the Congress continued, as is clear from the sting tape of Rajesh Garg which shows you were wanting to form the government with the support of those MLAs whom you had yourself accused of having being bought over by the BJP for Rs 4 crore each. How could you even think of forming a government with the support of such people! And this went on till as late as November, just before the dissolution of the Assembly. In November you called Nikhil Dey and asked him to speak to Rahul Gandhi to convince him to get the Congress party to support. But Nikhil told you that he can’t talk to Rahul Gandhi on this issue.
Can you deny any of these facts? All this, showed your willingness to go against majority opinion, break all democratic rules of the party, and seek unethical support of MLAs whom you yourself had accused of being corrupt, all in the pursuit of power at any cost.
Then came the issue of communal posters. A poster accusing the Muslim MLAs of the Congress as being traitors to their religion was got published by Dilip Pandey under your instructions, for which the police arrested Dilip Pandey. At that stage, the party got Amanatullah Khan to send a letter to the police saying that he had got this poster printed, and it was not the party. At the time you yourself tweeted that why is the police arresting Dilip Pandey when they should be arresting Amanatullah Khan. Yet within a week, he was made in charge of the Okhla constituency by the party, promised a ticket and eventually given one! Are such means not unethical?
Then came the issue of AVAM or Aam Aadmi Volunteer Action Manch, which was a group of volunteers who wanted their voices heard in the party. Because this was threatening to brew into a rebellion amongst volunteers who felt that they were being used only like slave labour, and because you felt that it was necessary to crush this, it appears that the party got an SMS sent in the name of AVAM, saying that volunteers should join the BJP – the idea was to suggest that AVAM had become an agent of the BJP, though the SMS was fabricated by the party itself in the name of AVAM. And using this, you announced in a Google Hangout that these people had become traitors because of that SMS. And on that basis, Karan Singh, who was the leader of AVAM, was suspended and removed from the party. He appealed to the national disciplinary committee, which I was heading, and he said ‘I had been saying that this is not sent by me, please have this investigated’. So I asked you and Dilip Pandey and others to get this investigated, but you steadfastly refused.
Eventually, Karan Singh had to lodge an FIR, and the police investigated the matter and it was found that a volunteer of the party, not of AVAM, called Deepak Chaudhary, created this identity in the name of AAVAAM and used that to send that SMS. You should know Arvind, that impersonating an organisation or persons in order to defame them, is a serious criminal offence. Unfortunately young volunteers in the party under your tutelage are being taught that use of such means is OK in politics, since any means used to defeat a “Bigger evil” is OK.
Then came the issue of whether the party should contest Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra. Again the matter was put to the National Executive by email, and the majority – 15 is to 4 – said that that should be left to state units to decide in accordance with our principle of Swaraj. But you did not allow that decision to be implemented. And eventually, it was rendered infructuous, because elections came too close and finally in that National Executive meet in Sangrur it was decided that there’s no point, and one should forget about contesting those elections.
When the Delhi elections were announced and campaigning started, you instructed volunteers to start a campaign ‘Modi for PM, Kejriwal for CM’. I said this is totally unprincipled. It means that our party has gone down on its knees before Modi at a time when it was positioning itself as the main opposition to Modi.
When the process of candidate selection for the Delhi Assembly election of 2015 started, I found there was no transparency. Contrary to earlier practice, we were not posting candidates’ names on the website. Even the PAC, which was meant to approve the candidate, was not being sent the bio-data or names of the candidates in advance to enable us to check the records of the candidates. In the second meeting of the PAC to discuss candidate selection, because I had received complaints about two of the candidates who were being proposed in that meeting, I pointed this out. You got very angry saying, “Why do you think we will be selecting crooked people?” I said that is not the point – we need to have some transparency and due diligence. That led to an argument between you and me, and I walked out of that meeting and wrote an email on November 27, that I cannot be a rubber stamp for non-transparent and questionable selection of candidates. That email is now in the public domain.
After that, in the next list, again there were at least four questionable candidates among the 10 names proposed. Yogendra Yadav and I wrote a letter to the PAC on 10thDecember, detailing the objections against these four and pointing out that this time, the process of candidate selection was very different from the last time. This time, we were giving tickets to a large number of political entrepreneurs who had joined the party only for opportunism, who had jumped ship from Congress, BJP or BSP at the last moment, who had no ideological commitment to our party, had no record of public service, and whose sources of wealth weren’t explained.
Some of them were people against whom our party had itself complained that they were distributing money or liquor or had beaten up our volunteers. One of them (our initial choice from Wazirpur), went back to the BJP within 4 hours of us announcing his candidature. Your initial choice for the Mehrauli seat, Gandas, had to be dropped at the last moment only because his photographs were circulated with him showing off, with a glass of liquor in one hand and a revolver in the other. Yet, while he was dropped, his brother was given the ticket. Eventually, even he had to be changed because our Lokpal, Admiral Ramdas gave a strong report against him.
Thereafter, when we sent that letter, AAP stopped having meetings of the PAC or sending names for the approval of the PAC, and started announcing names on their own. When all this happened, I said “Now enough is enough. If this does not stop, and if there is no credible scrutiny of these candidates, I will have to resign from the party and make public the reasons for my resignation.” On that, an emergency meeting was called at my residence on January 4, by Yogendra Yadav, Prithvi Reddy etc which had 16-17 people from all over the country, important functionaries of the party. All of them felt that the party's campaign would be ruined if I resigned at that stage.
In that meeting I said, “Look, all these kinds of compromises are being made, various ethical corners are being cut and now you are selecting these kind of candidates without proper transparency or scrutiny. If you go with these kinds of candidates, then even if you win, the further compromises that you will have to make, will be such that they will completely destroy the USP of the party, which is of being a clean, transparent party, wedded to alternative politics. And instead of winning by using these kinds of candidates, it would be better to lose the elections by going with clean and honourable candidates”. That statement is being twisted around to claim that I said that I wanted the party to lose.
I had said that rather than winning by these kinds of candidates and means, it’s better to go with honourable candidates and run the risk of a possible loss. Because winning with these kinds of candidates and means destroys the founding principles of the party in the short run, and will destroy the party itself in the long run.
If I had wanted the party to lose the elections, I would have resigned and gone public with my reasons at that very time. If Yogendra Yadav wanted the party to lose, he would not have convened that meeting and stopped me from going public. Instead, he worked his heart out for this campaign, defended the party on innumerable occasions on TV. And yet you have the temerity to accuse even him, along with me, of working for the defeat of the party!
At the end of that meeting, an arrangement was worked out with your express consent, that: We would immediately refer all the complaints against candidates who had been selected to the Lokpal of the party and his decision would be final. And the rest of the issues of institutional reforms about transparency in the party, accountability, swaraj, inner party democracy – those issues will be taken up immediately after the elections. So those complaints against 12 candidates were referred to the Lokpal. In the 4 days that he had to do this exercise, he recommended the removal of two against whom there was clear evidence, recommended the issuance of warnings against six against whom there was some evidence, and allowed four to continue. Two were thus removed.
But the other issue of institutional reforms, which was agreed to be taken up within two days of the election results, were not discussed. Instead, the National Executive meeting of February 26, which you chose not to attend, started with Vishwas announcing your resignation and a no holds barred attack on Yogendra Yadav and myself by members of your coterie. The message conveyed by them on your behalf was clear: That the price for your continuing as Convenor was our removal from the PAC and NE. I then responded and pointed out the things I have mentioned above, and the issues of institutional reforms, but those were not discussed. The only issue that was discussed that day was whether you should continue as Convenor.
We all agreed that you should continue, but thereafter, some people went to your residence to meet you, and you made it clear that it’s either you or us, and that we have to be removed. And therefore, that is what happened in the next meeting which was held on March 4.
A charge that is made against me is that I did not campaign for the party during this election. I had said that I can’t campaign for many of these candidates, and given the manner in which these candidates had been selected, I was willing to campaign only for those candidates about whom I was fairly certain that theywere the kind of people who would take the ideology of clean politics forward and work in public interest if they win. I had in fact given a list of five people that I thought were decent. But the party did not send me any programme for addressing public meetings. I therefore went for Pankaj Pushkar's public meetings who had personally invited me. Gopal Rai is falsely stating that I backed out of his meeting which I had agreed to. In fact, on that day when he called me for his meeting, I was in Calicut where I had addressed a party meeting and a press conference in which I had reiterated that Kiran Bedi was not an appropriate choice for the post of CM.
The other charge made against me is that I stopped people from donating to AAP. When other people asked me whether they should donate etc, I’d said, “Look, you should donate to those candidates who appear to be decent and honest to you”. You and your coterie have made the same charge against my sister Shalini Gupta. She also said the same thing that I had said to a closed circle of friends. In fact she strenuously encouraged the Global group to donate to deserving candidates, which is why several candidates got so much funds from NRIs.
In your speech you have given a fanciful and utterly false account of how I was responsible for sending you to jail. The truth is that you had publicly stated that youwould ‘rather go to jail, than give bail’, in the Gadkari defamation case, and when the matter came up for hearing, the judge herself explained to you what the meaning of a 'personal bail bond' was. You asked me if the judge's explanation was accurate, to which I replied in the affirmative. And then you decided that in the interest of your's, and the party's public image, you should refuse to furnish the personal bond and go to jail.My father and I however defended your decision in court and in public, and said that it highlighted an important public issue of the unnecessary requirement of asking for bail/personal bail bonds in such cases. In fact both of us spent several hours to meet you in jail, to explain the options and to persuade you to fill the bond after you had made your point.
Your coterie have also accused my father, my sister and myself of trying to capture the party. Arvind, you know very well that none of us have even wanted any executive positions or tickets for ourselves or any friends or family members. We have only tried to contribute and help in every way that we could to see the party grow into a powerful and credible vehicle for alternative politics in the country. My father, apart from donating more than 2 crores as seed money to the party, has spent an enormous amount of time in giving selfless advice, legal and otherwise to the party. He played a major role in the draft of the Jan Lokpal bill. He worked for the well being of the party with his “tan, man and dhan”. Yes, when he felt that you, for various reasons were not the right person to lead the party organisation, he frankly told you so. Apart from the reasons of ethical compromises mentioned above, he also saw that you were violating the constitution and rules of the party repeatedly, not allowing any working structure of the party organisation to be created (other than a coterie), and were not interested in formulating the policies of the party.
For two years, the elaborate reports of the 34 policy committees that we had set up, have been gathering dust because you havent found the time or have the inclination to look at those reports and apply your mind to them. You accuse my father of having stated that you were his third choice for CM after Kiran Bedi and Ajay Maken. That was his honest view after seeing all the shorcomings in your character that he had been observing. I had immediately publicly disagreed with his opinion, but in the light of what has transpired subsequently, particularly the stage managed lumpenism that you got unleashed in the NC meeting, I regretfully wonder if he was right.
My sister Shalini Gupta, as well as many other highly qualified persons, left their lucrative jobs abroad to help you build credible and efficient systems which would have proper cells and expertise so that it could function as a world class organisation. On repeated occasions you had yourself asked Shalini to give up her job for the sake of the country and said that her role as Organization Development Advisor was only an advisory role and not a formal position with any power in the party as discussed in the PAC before she was appointed. However it became clear over time that you did not want any professional advice in this matter. Instead you asked Ashutosh who has no such professional expertise to come up with an alternative plan to make each cell of the party organisation an appendage to your coterie and accountable only to you. My sister worked day and night for the party and mobilized the support of Indians all across the world that contributed so much to the success of the party. One third of all the donations to the party came from NRIs.
It is true Arvind that I have not contributed as much as you for the party. I have not fasted, nor gone to jail. I have been mostly involved in my various PILs against various scams, 2G, Coalgate, the CBI director, 4G, the Reliance Gas robbery, against GM foods, Nuclear Power Plants, destructive Hydel projects, Section 66A, Tobacco and Gutka, etc. I have spent the rest of my time giving legal and other advice to the party and fighting its cases in court. I have never been interested in any executive posts and I have seen my role in the party mainly as a person who will try and ensure that it remains true to its founding principles. And it is for this reason that I have raised my voice whenever I have found it to be slipping from its path.
It is in this spirit that I have been telling you that you need to have a majority of independent and credible voices in the decision making bodies of the party particularly the PAC and the NE, and people who have the spine to stand up to you and tell you when you are wrong. And for this, my family and I are being seen as troublemakers who want to destroy the party! Arvind, you must realise that you cannot go very far with a party of just yesmen. The party would certainly be destroyed if you try and do that, but even you cannot go very far with this kind of culture that you are trying to breed in the party.
Arvind, this party was founded with a lot of idealism by thousands of people, especially young people, who came out and spent a lot of their time, effort, energy, money, sweat and blood in order to create a vehicle for alternative politics, in order to create a party that would practice clean and transparent politics. But unfortunately, all those principles are being betrayed by you and your coterie, who are currently in control of the party. And it has become a supremo-oriented, high-command culture kind of party.
After winning the Delhi elections with such a thumping majority, when you have such good fortune, you should be showing your best qualities to the people of this country. But unfortunately, your worst qualities have emerged now. The removal of the Lokpal, us and others who questioned the manner of our removal, reminds one of Stalin's purge of dissenters in the Communist party of Russia. You should read Orwell's Animal Farm to see the parallels between Stalin's Russia and what is happening in our party today. God and history will not forgive what you are doing to the party.
You feel that you can rectify everything by running the Delhi government well in the 5 years that you have. You think that if you deliver on governance, people will forget what you have done to the party. I wish you well in that endeavour. Even traditional political parties like Congress, BJP have done some governance. But the dream that we started with for clean and principled politics and corruption free governance was much much bigger. The fear that I have, is that after how you have behaved and the character traits that you have showed, this dream of clean and principled politics that the Aam Aadmi party was founded on may well turn into a nightmare. But still, I wish you well.
Goodbye and good luck,
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah & team win the Pro-Am event of the PGTI Ahmedabad Masters 2015

Ahmedabad, April 4, 2015: The Pro-Am event of the PGTI Ahmedabad Masters presented by Kalhaar Blues & Greens 2015 was won by Bangladesh professional Md Zamal Hossain Mollah and his team on Saturday. The leading amateur golfers from Ahmedabad competed at the Pro-Am event.

The Pro-Am was played in the team scramble format where the team’s best ball was chosen on every shot including the putting green. After the best ball was chosen all other players were to place their ball within One Club Length (on the putting green within One Score Card Length) before continuing play. Each team consisted of one professional and three amateurs.

PGTI member Md Zamal Hossain Mollah led his team to victory with a score of 51.9. Mollah’s team comprised of amateurs Mr. Rohan Bhandari, Mr. V V Iyer and Mr. Jay Pandya.

PGTI member Ranjit Singh’s team finished runner-up with a score of 53.4. The Chandigarh-based professional’s team comprised of amateurs Mr. Dharmesh Acharya, Mr. Maharshi Patel and Ms. Poonam Sheth.

The prize for the closest to the pin on hole no. 7 went to Mr. Gaurav Singh who landed it within three feet and nine inches of the pin.

The prize for the straightest drive on hole no. 9 went to Mr. Jagadish Prasad Jhangid who landed his drive on the centre line.

The prize for the longest drive on hole no. 17 went to Mr. Hemal Prajapati who came up with a drive of 249 yards.

'बेटी बचाओ बेटी पढ़ाओ'  सांस्कृतिक एवं सम्मान  कार्यक्रम के आयोजन के परिप्रेक्ष्य में

 सशक्त नारी परिषद पिछले कई वर्षों से समाज में विभिन्न प्रकार की सामाजिक गतिविधियों के जरिए   'बेटी बचाओ बेटी पढ़ाओ'  एवं  'महिला सशक्तिकरण'  व उन पर होने वाले अन्याय के विरोध में कार्यक्रम आयोजित कर कर उन्हें जागरूक करने पिछले कई वर्षों से  कार्य कर रहा है।  इसी दिशा में सशक्त नारी परिषद आज तक 300 से अधिक कार्यक्रमों   कर आयोजन कर 1,50,000  से अधिक महिलाओं को इस संगठन मे जोड़ चुका है ।   सशक्त नारी परिषद  ने  इस अवसर पर   सामाजिक सेवा, शिक्षा, साहित्य, कला व सिनेमा समेत कई अन्य क्षेत्रों में उल्लेखनीय कार्य करने वाली सर्वोच्च  महिलाओं सामाजिक  संस्थाओ, अस्पतालो, शैक्षणिक संस्थानो  को " एस एन पी नेशन आचीवर अवार्ड 2015"  (SNP Nation Achievers  Award 2015 ) से सम्मानित किया ।

  अपने देशव्यापी अभियान "नारी सशक्ती करण एवं 'बेटी बचाओ बेटी पढ़ाओ'  की आवाज को और अधिक प्रचारित व प्रसारित करने के उद्देश्य से २ अप्रेल,  को सेक्टर – ४५,  कम्यूनिटी सेंटर , गुडगाँव, हरियाणा में  एक भव्य सांस्कृतिक  एवं  सम्मान समारोह का आयोजन किया गया ।  जिसमे गायक  श्री पदम जीत  शहरावत (पेड्डी बॉय ) ने अपने दमदार जादूई आवाज से सबका मन जीत लिया।
साथ ही इस कार्यक्रम में सनसिटी स्कूल के बच्चों के साथ साथ अन्य सामाजिक संस्थाओ के बच्चो ने  बेटी बचाओ बेटी पढ़ाओ के विषय पर  नाटक प्रस्तुत किए, एवं अन्य रंगारंग सांस्कृतिक प्रस्तुतियाँ दी गई  । इस आयोजन में सामाजिक कार्यों से जुड़े हुई अनेक संस्थाएं व अनेक कार्यकर्ता भी शामिल  हुए,
  कार्यक्रम में मुख्य अतिथि के रूम में माननीय इंद्रेश कुमार जी (सदस्य - अखिल भारतीय कार्य कारिणी राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ)  ऑल इंडिया इमाम काउंसिल के  अध्यक्ष  मुख्य इमाम उमर इलयासी जी, श्री अजय चौधरी जी,  पूज्य धर्म देव गुरु, श्री नारायण सिंह राणा, श्री संदीप महलावत,  श्रीमती  सुनीता दुग्गल,  पूर्व पुलिस कमीशनर श्री एस॰ के॰ वर्मा जी,  श्री रवीद्र प्रताप छोकर , श्री मनोज यादव व श्री राणा जी  जी मौजूद थे। 
वहीं कार्यक्रम  में विशिष्ट के रूप में, श्री सुभाष डबास, श्री ताएक्वोण्डो रचना जी, श्री प्रदीप होंडा, श्री धरम वीर जी, पूज्य माँ प्रभा किरण जी, श्री राजकुमार पाण्डे, नेचर एसेन्स के मुख्या श्री एवं श्रीमती  नन्दा, श्री राज जी, श्री नवीन गौतम, पंजाब केसरी से श्री अजय जी, श्री मनोज शर्मा एवं उनकी धर्म पत्नी, श्री सायद निज़्ज़ामी, श्री सुब्रों कमाल दत्ता, डॉक्टर बृजेश जी , श्री कमाल पांचाल, श्री मन्नू शर्मा , श्रीमती किरण कुमारी , श्री चेतन कुमार,  श्रीमती भगवती जी , श्री सुरेश कुमार नरनौल   सहित भिन्न राज्यों व स्थानीय गणमान्य लोग उपस्थित रहे ।
 वहीं इस कार्यक्रम को सफल बनाने के लिए श्री सुभाष त्यागी ,श्री  निशांत राघव, श्री राजन यादव, श्री सतीश यादव , श्री संजय सरपंच , श्री सूरज बोकेन , श्री रणवीर सिंह चौहान, श्री राजकुमार चौहान, श्री महेंद्र सिंह यादव , श्री प्रदीप रामपुरा, श्रीमती विजया यादव, श्री लिलु राम नथुपुर, एवं श्रीमती अनुराधा चौहान का विशेष सहयोग प्राप्त हुआ ।     
 सशक्त नारी परिषद पारस अस्पताल गुड़गाँव, नेचर असेंस , सजनी एव संगिनी मेगज़ीन का उनके सहयोग के लिए विशेष धन्यवाद करता है।

सशक्त नारी परिषद की राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्षा श्रीमती दीपा आंतिल जी ने सभी सम्मानित विभूतियों को बधाई एवं शुभकामनाएं दी, साथ ही इस कार्यक्रम को सफल बनाने के लिए सभी सहयोगियों के एवं मीडिया का विशेष रूप से धन्यवाद किया  ! 
India's top mountaineers Malli Mastan Babu found dead
Apr 4,  12:52 PM
One of India's top mountaineers Malli Mastan Babu has been found dead. Babu went missing after he went on a climb up the high mountains between Argentina and Chile. In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, India is working with authorities in Argentina and Chile on next steps.

Malli Mastan Babu, was fastest to climb summits in all seven continents, went missing on 24th of last month.

Earlier, helicopter teams from Argentina and Chile were searching the Andes Mountains for the missing Indian mountaineer.

In 2006, Babu had scaled seven summits of the world in 172 days. He hails from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.
Khalin Joshi’s final round heroics earn him title and course record at PGTI Ahmedabad Masters

Chikkarangappa finishes runner-up

Ahmedabad, April 3, 2015: Bangalore’s Khalin Joshi shot a course record nine-under-63 on the final day to register a sensational come-from-behind victory at the PGTI Ahmedabad Masters presented by Kalhaar Blues & Greens. Joshi signed off with a 17-under-271 total to bag his second professional crown. Chikkarangappa, another Bangalorean, finished runner-up at 15-under-273 after his final round of five-under-67.

Khalin Joshi (70-67-71-63), who was placed eight shots off the lead in fifth place after round three, came out firing on all cylinders on Friday to steamroll all opposition in sight. The 22-year-old began the day with an eagle-birdie on the first two holes courtesy a perfect approach shot on the first which found the hole and a 15-feet conversion on the second.

Khalin emerged top contender for the title when he struck four birdies on the trot from the sixth through the ninth to go past overnight leader Shubhankar Sharma who dropped two strokes on the front nine. Joshi’s four consecutive birdies featured two conversions from a range of 10 to 15 feet.

Khalin all but nailed it with two more birdies on the 11th and 12th even as Shubhankar slipped out of contention after conceding four more strokes from the 10th to the 12th. Joshi, who won his first title at Noida in October last year, landed it within five feet on the ninth and 11th and was two-on on the par-5s eighth and 12th.  

Khalin thus broke the previous course record of 64 set by Anirban Lahiri in the opening round of last year’s PGTI Ahmedabad Masters. Joshi, who took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs. 6 lakh, has now climbed from eighth place to third position in the Rolex Rankings. The Bangalore lad’s earnings for the year now stand at Rs. 10,57,093. Mukesh Kumar of Mhow continues to lead the rankings with earnings of Rs. 14,70,780.

“I’m delighted to have won after shooting a 63 in such tough and windy conditions. I had a terrific front-nine and was seven-under for the day at the turn. However, I was not aware of the leaderboard till the 16th. All I knew was that I was within striking distance of matching my personal best of 10-under.

“I struck the ball well through the week but the putts rolled in for me only on the final day. I sank three putts from a range of 10 to 15 feet. The highlight of the day though was the approach shot from 160 yards out on the first. It was a perfect six-iron shot which bounced one foot short of the pin before dropping into the hole for an eagle. I was really comfortable on the course today and knew I could shoot a low score from the very outset.

“My scoring has become much more consistent in recent months and my short game is shaping up well. I now want to make the best of my limited opportunities on the Asian Tour and try to earn my card for the 2016 season in Asia. I’m also glad to have won in Gujarat as I’m a Gujarati. This win will make my grandfather Mr. Natwar Lal Joshi very proud. I dedicate this win to him,” said Khalin.

Chikkarangappa (69-66-71-67) held on to his overnight second place with a round of 67 that included eight birdies and three bogeys. Chikka had three birdies on the last five holes to reduce the gap to two strokes between himself and Joshi.

Shubhankar Sharma (69-65-66-77) shot a disappointing five-over-77 to slip from overnight first to third place at 11-under-277. Sharma dropped out of the race after making bogeys on the fourth, eighth, 11th and 12th and a double-bogey on the 10th as he couldn’t replicate his iron-play from the first three rounds. The turning point for Shubhankar was the bogey on the eighth where he found the water. The Gurgaon-based professional picked up his only birdie of the day on the 17th.

Sri Lankan Anura Rohana and Delhi’s Rashid Khan were joint fourth at 10-under-278 while Kolkata’s SSP Chawrasia and Sanjeev Kumar of Lucknow were a further three shots back in tied sixth.

Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee was tied 12th at two-under-286 while Sri Lankan Mithun Perera ended tied 19th at one-over-289.

Patna’s Aman Raj, the lone amateur to make the cut, won the trophy for the best performance by an amateur. He finished 43rd at 11-over-299.

BJP MPs shamelessly defending the hazardous tobacco syndicate in the country


From: Media Cell AAP  Fri, 3 Apr '15 6:36p

The Aam Aadmi Party has issued the following statement on the issue BJP MPs shamelessly defending the hazardous tobacco syndicate in the country.

In a development that has further exposed the actual agenda and ‘charitra’ of the ruling BJP dispensation at the center, yet another party MP has come out in open to defend the tobacco lobby in the country. BJP, which has always stood by vested interests and industrial lobbies, now with a majority won in Lok Sabha has shamelessly come out to defend tobacco products and its consumption, a major cause of cancer related deaths in the country.  

BJP MP from Assam, Ram Prasad Sarma has said today in an interview that whether or not smoking causes cancer is debatable. The statement by Sarmah comes soon after the parliamentary panel head and BJP MP Dilip Gandhi stated that there was no Indian study to confirm tobacco use leads to cancer. He sought to defend the tobacco lobby through his observation which coincided with the April 1 deadline for increasing size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products being deferred by the BJP government.  

On Thursday another ';beedi'; baron and a parliamentary committee member from BJP Shyam Charan Gupta, Lok Sabha MP from Allahabad suggested that there are "nil" effect of smoking.

All these remarks are a clear case of conflict of interest. The fact that BJP MP Gupta is into tobacco industry and also a member of Parliamentary Committee of Subordinate Legislation looking into the rules regarding tobacco sale in the country is a mockery of the Parliamentary standards of legislation and policy making. 

The public statements of BJP MPs in support of tobacco syndicate is not just grossly unethical but also raises several questions on the effectiveness of Parliamentary  working.

With the conflict of interest and vested moves of the members and head of the Parliamentary Committee out in the open, Hon. Speaker should recall the report and take action against the members who continued to the part of the committee without due declaration.

The BJP leadership should come out clear on its stand on the issue and answer to the public if it has purposely let its political space and platform to be utilized by vested lobbies to pursue their selfish interests.  

Aam Aadmi calls upon the Hon. Speaker to take immediate action in this regard. BJP leadership should clarify its stand and make clear to the public if it stands for the tobacco lobby or with the health of the citizens of the country. 

AAP Media cell

Reconstitution of the Board of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) shows contempt towards recommendations Parliamentary Standing Committee and High Powered Committee of the Supreme Court

April 3, 2015: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has reconstituted Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as per a notification dated March 23rd, 2015 disregarding the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests and the High Powered Committee of the Supreme Court. The Parliamentary Committee observed that composition of "CPCB is dominated by Government representatives and constituted by central Government", in such a situation, "CPCB can not be expected to act as a watchdog of environmental protection." The Committee expressed "its displeasure over the fact that no qualifications or criteria have been fixed for Members of such an important technical and scientific body. The eligibility criteria for Chairman prescribing a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection or a person having knowledge and experience in administering institution dealing with the matters aforesaid are too general and vague as to accommodate anyone who is even distantly related with environment." The MoEF&CC';s notification displays contempt towards the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

In exercise of the powers confened by section 3 and sub-section (6) of section 5 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974), and in supersession of the notification of the Govemment of India in the erstwhile Ministry of Environment and Forests number S.O. 1621 (E), dated the 27th September, 2006, the CPCB has been reconstiuted. The Principal notification constituting the CPCB was published in the Gazette of India dated 21st September, 1974.

Dr. V. Maitreyan headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests examined the functioning of CPCB in its report presented to the Rajya Sabha on September 22nd, 2008 and Lok Sabha on October 21st, 2008. 

The Committee recorded that "key posts in CPCB and SPCBs are being manned by officers of Indian Administrative Service or bureaucrats who neither possess the necessary capabilities and expertise in properly managing and planning pollution control activities nor have enough time to pay attention to these activities for obvious reasons. This trend has led to virtual relegation and replacement of technically capable persons to the place of exile from the keyposts. The Committee has been informed that this point has been highlighted by Prof. Menon Committee set up by the supreme Court with regard to management of Hazardous waste. According to the report of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous waste, 77 per cent of Chairpersons and 55 per cent of Member Secretaries in different state pollution control boards are not qualified enough to hold the post. The Committee observes that this is a very disturbing trend and that this practice needs to be stopped forthwith." The March 23rd, 2015 notification of MoEF&CC reveals that the trend has not been reversed.  

The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee reads: "The Committee’ expresses its anguish over the fact that the Central Board created for the purpose of control and abatement of pollution is being given such a raw deal so much so that it has virtually been reduced as a near defunct body. If all the powers and functions were to be concentrated into the hands of the Central Government/Ministry of Environment & Forests the very need to have such an apex body is untenable. The Committee feels that the country can ill afford to let this sorry state of affairs prolong any further as it has already started bearing the brunt of pollution and climate change and hence drastic measures are required to be taken. Central Pollution Control Board needs to be given adequate statutory and legal support to make it effective and functional and for this purpose its constitution under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 needs to be urgently reviewed. The Committee recommends that environment protection should be included as an item in the seventh schedule to the constitution in the concurrent list and CPCB be brought under its ambit with all necessary powers and functions to meet the challenges that pollution and its after-effects pose before us without disturbing the federal character of our constitution. This new body should be given functional as well as financial autonomy so that it can discharge its duties without fear or favour." 

The reconstitution of CPCB in a business usual manner reveals that the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests has been totally ignored.

The report observed: "The Committee feels that although pollution in some form or the other has spread its tentacles throughout the length and breadth of the country, CPCB has failed in making its presence felt, as an effective controller, even after 33 years of its existence mainly because of the number of its Zonal offices being grossly inadequate and insufficient. It may not be feasible for a zonal office to cover three to eight states specially when the number of industries, vehicular load etc., has multiplied manifold in course of time. The Committee, 7 therefore, recommends that one zonal office should be established in each State so that CPCB in close coordination with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) is able to keep a close watch on the extent of pollution and take strict action against violations of pollution norms. This will also help state Pollution Control Boards to derive full benefits of the Central Pollution Control Boards’ expertise."

The report recommended "CPCB/SPCBs should be actively and effectively involved in the process of issue of license for setting up of industries and an enabling amendment for the purpose may be made in the Environment Impact Assessment Act., 1986." 

It recommended, "There is a need to exercise caution over large polluting MNCs entering into the country. Trampling environmental health and safety regulations these MNCs ignore real development needs all in the quest for ever higher profits with the least risk and responsibility. These MNCs implement high environmental standards in their mother countries but have another set of environmental standards in our country. Such a disturbing trend calls for stringent rules and regulations and their strict enforcement in the larger interest of the country."

Members of the CPCB';s Board includes Shashi Shekhar, Chairman, CPCB, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Advisor, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Chairman, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, Chairman, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Chairman, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Seema Arora, Confederation of Indian Industry, Mayor, Allahabad Nagar Nigam, Dipesh Sampat Mehta, Advocate & Solicitors (U.K), Deepa Gupta, Chartered Accountant, Meenakshi Kakkar, General Manager, Environmental Management Division, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Jiban Mahapatra, Chief Manager (Environment), National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and Dr. A.B. Akolkar, Member Secretary, CPCB. It is noteworthy that neither has recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, the recommendations of Supreme Court’s committee headed by Prof M G K Menon been complied with nor has any independent representative from environmental movement been made part of the CPCB’s board. 

CPCB has the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.  It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Its principal functions are mentioned in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. These are: (i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and (ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
The National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP) has been established with objectives to determine the present air quality status and trends and to control and regulate pollution from industries and other source to meet the air quality standards. 

CPCB also provides background air quality data needed for industrial siting and towns planning.  Besides this, CPCB has an automatic monitoring station at ITO Intersection in New Delhi. At this station Resirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) are being monitored regularly. This information on Air Quality at ITO is updated every week.

The Parliament of India in its wisdom enacted the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 with a view to maintaining and restoring wholesomeness of our water bodies. CPCB also monitors and regulates fresh water because Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) and Surveillance are of utmost importance given the fact that most of the rivers are fed by monsoon rains, which is limited to only three months of the year. They run dry throughout the rest of the year and carry wastewater discharges from industries or cities/towns endangering the quality of our scarce water resources. One of the several mandates of CPCB is to collect, collate and disseminate technical and statistical data relating to water pollution. 

For DetailsGopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660, E-mail:1715krishna@gmail.comWeb:

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...