While the Indian Railways (IR) struggles to retain relevance in tomorrow’s economy, frequent accidents on the railway network have exposed that it is operating under severe stress. This has led to a situation where needs of punctual running can no longer be balanced with need to carry out critical, safety-related maintenance activities, which require stopping of train movement. Most of the maintenance activities need physical stoppage of trains, with the period for this being called a traffic block. The Railways has reached a stage where physical time available is not commensurate with required maintenance in several locations. This is the case on several of the routes. This has led to adoption of expedient processes under duress and a general sense of exasperation. Given that laying o
What is it that is not sounding quite right about the Rohingya refugee crisis? That thing we’re not quite able to put our finger on? Ah! There it is. The reason for it! Why on earth has the Myanmar army led by Nobel peace prize hero, Aung San Suu Kyi, suddenly begun picking on this innocent folk called the Rohingya, who have just been going about their business all these decades? Perhaps it’s because they haven’t merely been going about their business. A violent Islamist group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) is forcing all Rohingya males – even very young boys – to attack Rakhine Buddhists and other civilians and to provoke the Myanmar army into violence. This group has been getting its funding and weapons from Islamic countries like Pakistan and Malaysia and its tra
The debate over the achievements of demonetization is not settled yet. Ever since the Reserve Bank of India put out its annual report which revealed that close to 99 per cent currency returned to the banks, political parties such as Congress, CPI(M) and TMC have attacked the government and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apologise for undertaking a move that disrupted the country's growth momentum. Senior politicians like P Chidambaram and Mamata Banerjee called the demonetization a big scam which facilitated the conversion of black money. Their argument is fairly simple. They say that the government had expected dividend of close to Rs 4-5 lakh crore, however, the RBI data shows it got just Rs 16,050 crore. So, was it wise decision to lose one per cent GDP for just Rs 16,000 cror...
Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, released after nearly nine years in jail when the Supreme Court granted him bail on August 21, hinted in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after he assumed office, that the sitting president of a major political party was behind the conspiracy that saw him decoyed from his posting at Pachmarhi, MP, to Mumbai, where the Anti Terror Squad (ATS) made an illegal civilian arrest of a serving Army officer. Purohit suggests the conspiracy was masterminded by more powerful forces than the Maharashtra ATS… Purohit has hinted at having uncovered dark secrets while taking an 18-month Arabic course at Pachmarhi, MP, while continuing to gather intelligence as an officer of the Military Intelligence, and pleaded for an in-depth investigation of the sam
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has proposed changes to the Right to Information Act, which was last amended in 2012. Hindustan Times reported that as per the proposed changes, RTI applicants will have to pay more to obtain information and a 500-word limit will be put on the RTI application. Let’s understand from RTI activists of what the government is proposing. Is the 500-Word Limit on RTI Pleas New? Satyananda Mishra, ex-Chief Information Commissioner, said that the word limit is not new and has been around for a few years now. He added: The issue before the DoPT and the government was that RTI applications were inordinately long and a single application could run into several pages, seeking hundreds of queries. This would make it difficult for the res
The Lok Sabha approved a proposal by the government as part of amendments to the Finance Bill, 2017 that relaxes conditions for corporate funding to political parties. One of the major points of controversy surrounding the move is the confidentiality provided to corporate and removal of limit on funding as regards to proportion of profit previously limited at 7.5 per cent. On the face of it, the move seems to make the political funding system more opaque. However, diving deep, it actually makes sense to remove these restrictions as it allows accounted money from corporate to flow into the political system rather than unaccounted money that finds its way into the system dubiously filtered through multiple channels. The move may fare better on merit in comparison to the previous system in...
Is there a tax loophole that the ex-Finance Minister devised that he himself is taking advantage of? The 200 page Income Tax (IT) report shows that the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has engaged in a funny deal with his wife Nalini and son Karti. As per the agreements seized in the joint raid of Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), there appears to be an inspired scheme to fool the taxman through bogus agreements. After getting out of power in mid 2014, Chidambaram who claims to be a resident in Delhi’s Gymkhana Club enters into curious rent agreement with Nalini and Karti living in Chennai. As per thagreement Nalini and Karti own a floor of a multi-storeyed building having the address 115A at posh Jor Bagh in Delhi. These two owners decided to rent one of the floors
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s unprecedented victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has left everyone asking the same question – how did the party manage to register such a thumping majority? Here are eight reasons why the BJP won big in the state. 1. Modi’s Connect With The People Much of the credit for the BJP’s win in Uttar Pradesh goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The win is testament to the trust he enjoys among the people of the state. During the party’s aggressive campaigning, PM Modi did not forgo a single opportunity to lead from the front, even if that meant a prolonged stay in Varanasi. 2. Demonetization Effect A lot was said about demonetization and its effects on the common man. However, the way things have panned out, it appears that the ma
The number of Indian Muslims is projected to rise to more than 300 million by 2050, making India the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, according to the latest data released by the Pew Research Center, a US-based think tank. The estimated change in the population size worldwide from 2010 to 2050 is projected to be 73 percent for Muslims and 34 percent for Hindus. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in terms of population currently. By 2050, India will have the largest populations of two religions in the world: Hinduism and Islam. The actual number of Muslims in India will be about 311 million in 2050, about 11 percent of the global Muslim population. As per the research, rise in the Muslim population is high due to the young median age of 22 and high fertility ra
Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr, Captain Mandeep Singhand, started a social media campaign, “I am not scared of ABVP”, soon after the violent clashes that took place in DU’s Ramjas College. Gurmehar Kaur, is the same girl, who in her video, said,”Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him”. Kaur has her own liberal views. She is fighting to bring peace between India and Pakistan. Gurmehar believes that war is the reason why our soldiers lose their lives. But, people couldn’t agree with her liberal logic behind the statement she made and reacted negatively, though, there were some who supported her. Surprisingly, former cricketer, Virender Sehwag also showed which side of the debate he is on. Take a look at what Sehwag tweeted: https://twitter.com/virendersehw