Thursday, May 19, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
hinges. He lives in constant fear of death. His life is a constant punishment to him as he dies every minute. Thus he dies thousands of times before his death. As against this, there is the brave man. He keeps smiling under all circumstances. He knows that the moment of death is fixed. It must come. There is no running away from death. Browning in his poem ‘Prospice’ expressed his wish to die fighting with death. He was a brave man. He was not at all afraid life. A brave man delights in facing dangers boldly. Thus he saves himself from the agony of the fear of death. He rather challenges death. He knows that if the worse comes to
the worst, he may die. His spirit will always remain unconquerable. It is this conviction that makes his life worth emulating.
learnt from our failure can thus prepare the way for success. In fact only that person fails who gives up the effort after some setback. We should regard our failure as lesson-giving. We should not become slack in our efforts. Failures, as a matter of fact, should make our resolve stronger to achieve success. Failures are actually a touch-stone of our courage and
efforts. Actually a man should be like his tea ; his real strength being known when put into hot water. We must discipline ourselves to learn some lesson from our failure.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Any/Every child can learn to swim.
But the meaning is not quite the same.
Any looks at things one at a time : it means ‘ whichever one you choose’,’this is or that or the other’.
Every looks at things together: its meaning is closer to ‘all’, ‘this and that and the other’.
‘Which newspaper would you like?’ ‘It doesn’t matter. Any one.’
(= ‘one or another or another’) (Not……Everyone)
On the stand there were newspapers and magazines of every kind.
(= ‘one and another and another’) ( Not…..magazines of any kind.)
Monday, April 25, 2011
Laxmi bai was born on November 1, 1835 in a respectable Maharashtrian family at Benaras (now Varanasi). Her childhood name was Manu and she was the daughter of Moro Pant. She played with Nana Phadanvees in her childhood who treated her like his younger sister and called her ‘Chhabiii’ out of affection. Along with some formal education, she learnt horse-riding, sword-fight and other such manly games and exercises.
Laxmi Bai was married at an early age of perhaps 15 to Gangadhar Rao, the ruler of Jhansi. She made herself lovable and useful to her husband and popular with the people of Jhansi. She favoured giving military training to women and thus raised a brigade of women who were expert in horse-riding and sword-fight. Her husband also approved of her activities. Unfortunately Gangadhar Rao died suddenly without having any issue. The Rani adopted a small boy as her son. The British Governor General, Lord Dalhausi did not recognise and approve of this and annexed Jhansi.
The annexation of Jhansi made Laxmi Bai furious and she declared that she would not allow the annexation of Jhansi. She decided to oppose the British and started making preparations accordingly. She was brave and courageous. She was also a very good organiser. With her will and skill she repulsed many attacks of the British soldiers and defeated them many times. But she had to leave Jhansi in the end. Then she captured the fort of Gwalior. There she was surrounded by Sir Hue Rose, the Commander of the British army. She left the fort and escaped. Her bravery and lighting skill surprised the English commander. Her son tied on her hack, swords in both hands and reins of the horse in her mouth, she appeared to be Durga, the goddess of war. But unfortunately the horse could not jump over a nullah near Kalpi and fell. Five English soldiers attacked her. She was mortally wounded and one of her eyes came out of its socket. Even then she killed three soldiers and the remaining two fled away. She died fighting bravely in 1857 at the age of twenty two years.
Shivaji was born in Maharashtra in the year 1627. His father Shalji was a jagirdar in the state of Bijapur which was a subsidiary of the Moghul Empire then ruled over by Aurangzeb. Jija Bai was his mother who was a pious lady of a very strong character and influenced him most. She taught him lessons of bravery, truthfulness, patriotism and deep religious feelings. Shivaji learnt many things about the art of warfare under the able guidance of Dadaji Konadev. He became an adept in horse-riding, sword-fight and the use of lance. His family guru was Ramdas who was a source of inspiration to him at every step. He had no formal liberal education but he was a trained soldier and warrior who was liberal in his views.
Shivaji organised a band of young and brave warrior followers at the age of 20 years. They attacked and conquered fort after fort and soon a large number of forts came under his control. Shivaji knew he could not face enemy numbers and so he adopted the gorilla warfare, hit and run policy, utilising the element of surprise. The rising power of Shivaji made the Sultan of Bijapur afraid of him and he sent Afzal Khan to catch or kill him. Afzal Khan was a crafty person who wanted to kill him by a stratagem but was outwitted by Shivaji and killed. Then Aurangzeb sent a large army under his maternal uncle Shaista Khan to crush him but Shivaji surprised him and he had to run away to save his life.
Aurangzeb then sent Jai Singh with a large army and he persuaded Shivaj ito go to Delhi and meet Aurangzeb. But Aurangzeb insulted him and imprisoned him. Shivaji proved too clever for Aurangzeb and escaped in a big basket of sweets with the help of his men. On reaching his kingdom, Shivaji was crowned king. In 1680, at the age of 52 he breathed his last peacefully.
Maharana Pratap Singh was the king of Mewar, a small hilly kingdom of Rajputana (Rajasthan). His capital was Chittore which was a small but strong fort situated on a hill. Here Pratap Singh lived with his family peacefully and ruled Bhils and other hilly tribes. He did not covet for furthering the frontiers of his kingdom. He did not want to attack other kingdoms and principalities to extend his own kingdom. He only wanted peace and prosperity for his subjects. But he was not allowed to rest in peace by the Moghuls.
A large army under very capable army chiefs was sent by Akbar to subdue the lion of Mewar. Pratap Singh’s own younger brother, Shakti Singh had also got angry with him and had gone over to the side of the enemy. Pratap Singh collected his army of handful soldiers and came out of Chittore to face the enemy in the battlefield of 1-laldighati. A fierce battle ensued and the Rajputs and Bhils fought with unparalleled bravery. The Moghul soldiers and generals were taken aback at their unmatched fighting skill. The battle went on till each and every soldier of the Chittore army was killed. Chetak, the horse of Rana Pratap wanted to take away his master to safety but it was also killed. The sun was going to set and in the twilight Shakti Singh saw two Moghul soldiers following Rana Pratap to kill him. Shakti galloped his horse, killed the two Moghul soldiers and saved his elder brother and returned to the Moghul camp.
Evil days fell on Rana Pratap and his family. They wandered hiding themselves in the hills and forests and had to eat chapatis made from grass. One day some citizens from Chittore came to see him and among them was Bhama Shah. He laid all his money, ornaments and jewels at Rana Pratap’s feet and requested him to organise a fresh army. Very reluctantly, the Rana accepted the offer and with the help of freshly organised army recaptured his kingdom.
Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 at Anand Bhawan in Allahabad. Her parents called her ‘Priyadarshini’, her grand-parents called her ‘Indira’ and Gandhiji called her ‘Indu’. Since her father Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was often in prison, she received her education at several places. She started her education at Allahabad and then she was sent to Poona. For sometime she was at Oxford and then in Switzerland. Finally she completed her education at Shanti Niketan where she was fortunate to have Rabindranath Tagore as her teacher.
At the age of 12, Indira Gandhi formed ‘ Vanar Sena’ (Monkey Brigade) at Allahabad and enrolled 6,000 members. As a student she took keen interest in student movement and joined the Congress at the age of twenty one. During the 1937 movement, .she worked enthusiastically and made contacts with women in villages. For taking part in the freedom struggle, she was sent to prison along with thousands of others. After partition of the country, she worked with Mahatma Gandhi in the riot affected areas. In 1959 her election to the high post of the Congress President was a tribute to her abilities. In 1964 she became the Minister for Information and Broadcasting in Lal Bahadur Shastri cabinet. During the 1965 war with Pakistan she was the first union minister to visit the front and other trouble spots in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mrs. Indira Gandhi became the first woman Prime Minister of India in 1966 after the death of Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri. The group of politicians who supported her as against Morarji Desai to be Prime Minister, thought that she was a mere doll and they would lead her by the nose. But within short period she asserted her authority and emerged as the toughest lady to deal with. She showed them their place. As a result the party was divided but soon she proved that her party, Congress I was the real and effective party. During her tenure of Prime Ministership, she had to face many storms in the country and in the party but ultimately she emerged victor. She dealt with the problems of food grain scarcity, price- hike, unemployment and population control with ability and wisdom. She nationalised the 14 major banks in the country. She adhered to and continued Nehru’s policies of socialism, secularism and non-alignment. She took bold steps to end terrorism in the Punjab. Imposing Emergency on the country proved her ruin and she was defeated in the elections of 1977. She bore this blow with boldness and again became the Prime Minister in 1980. On October31, 1984, she was shot dead by her own security guards.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
On 23 May 1940, Sathya called household members and materialized sugar candy and other items from thin air. His father became furious and thinking his son was bewitched, took a stick and asked him who he was.To this Satya announced calmly and firmly” I am Sai Baba- a saint who became famous in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Maharashtra, and who had died eight years before Satya was born.
Later this year Satya Sai Baba declared that he had no worldly relationship with anyone around this time devotees began to gather to him. In 1944, a temple for the devotees was built near the village . The construction of Prashanthi Nilayam, the current ashram, began in 1948 and after two years, was completed in 1950.
In 1963, Satya Sai Baba suffered four severe heart attacks.In 1968 , he made his first and only trip overseas , to Uganda.
Satya Sai Baba devoted his life for the good of the poor people. In March 1995, he started the water project to provide drinking water to 1.2 million people in the drought prone Rayalaseema region in Anantpur. In 2001 he established another free Super Speciality Hospital in Bangalore to benefit the poor.
May his soul rest in peace!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 in a poor Kayastha family in Uttar Pradesh. It was a family of school teachers in which he was brought up under circumstances which gave him nothing to boast of. His father had died when he was only a small child and his uncle brought him up. After finishing his primary education in the village, he was sent for further education at Harish Chandra High School at Varanasi (then Benaras). He used to go to the school on foot from his village after crossing a river on the way in a boat. But often he had no money to pay to the boatman and he crossed the river by swimming. He was a very brilliant student and made his mark in his studies. But at the call of Gandhi, along with other youths of the country he also gave up his studies and joined the political movement against the British. It was only later that he took his degree of Shastri from the Kashi Vidyapeeth at Varanasi.
Mr. Shastri joined politics as very humble and modest soldier of his country. He was a patriot and so could check himself from plunging himself into the struggle for freedom. He worked honestly and sincerely without ever desiring to come into the lime light. He had great organising capacity and a wonderful gift of bringing about compromises among the people as well as the workers of the party. He was associated with great leaders of the freedom struggle like Gandhi, Nehru, Pant, etc., and left his mark on them. He contributed with his best capacity to the gaining of independence of India on August 15, 1947.
Mr. Lal Bahadur started his political career with his membership of the Allahabad local body. Then he was made a minister in the U.P. cabinet under the Chief Ministership of Mr.Govind Ballabh Pant. Later on, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru invited him to join his cabinet as Minister of Railways. After sometime he was given the important position of Home Minister in the Nehru cabinet. After the sad demise of Pandit Nehru, Mr. Shastri was chosen to be the Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister, Shàstri had to take some very hard decisions. The country was facing serious food problem. He guided the country out of this difficulty with courage and determination. Pakistan attacked India and Shastri gave the marvellous lead to the country to defeat the enemy and keep the morale high. He gave the country the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jal Kisan’.
To keep peace between the two countries, U.S.S.R. Prime Minister invited Shastri and his counterpart in Pakistan for talks. He signed Tashkent Declaration. It was there that the cruel hands of death, snatched him from us on January 11, 1966. He is no more but his memory will always remain in every Indian heart.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Dr. Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888 in a village in Andhra Pradesh. He received his education at Velore and Madras. He finished university education in 1909 and joined the Provincial Educational Service (P.E.S.) He started as a lecturer and within a short span of seven years he was promoted to the post of a professor. His popularity as a teacher among his students is clearly borne out by an incident. He was leaving Madras University to join Calcutta University as a professor. A horse-driven carriage was ready to take him to the station to catch a train. A number of his students were there to see him off. They disengaged the horses from the carriage, pulled his carriage and took him all the way to the station. Under the ‘Extension Lecture Series’ programme , he went to deliver lectures in leading foreign universities like Oxford, Chicago, etc. After coming back from the foreign lecture-tour, he served as Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University and then of Benaras Hindu University. Then he represented India at the UNISCO,
Dr. Radhakrishnan was a man of academic pursuit it but, after independence, he was given political assignments. In I 949, he was sent to the U .S.S.R. as ambassador of India. He discharged his ambassadorial functions so creditably that he became the first foreign diplomat in that communist country to have been called twice by Marshal Stalin for interview.
Dr. Radhakrishnan was one of the greatest exponents of Indian Philosophy and his masterful views are worth reading in the two volumes of his published work ‘Indian Philosophy’. He was also a great scholar of Western Philosophy. In fact, today he is ranked among the great philosophers of the world. He was also a good orator and could influence the educated audiences. He was a thinker, a writer, and a teacher who believed in simple living and high thinking. He always wore his typical turban which became the embodiment of wisdom for his countrymen.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s unanimous election to the highest office of the country was really a recognition of his scholarship, his ability, his services to the country and admirable qualities of his head and heart.
He also proved to be a forging link between the South and the North. But unfortunately he did not agree to continue as the President of the country for a second term of five years. Thus, he established the healthy tradition that nobody should hold this office for more than one term. His eye-sight also became weak and he had to undergo an eye- operation. His failing health did not allow him to survive very long. His death created a void which can never be filled.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Prof. A.K. Sen was born in 1933 in India. After finishing his brilliant educational career, he took to teaching of economics. He served as Professor of Economics in the Delhi School of Economics of Delhi University for quite some time. He is the first Indian to be the President of American Economics Association (A.E.A.) in 1994. He has the rare distinction of being the only person to have been President of A.E.A. , International Economic Association and Indian Economic Association. He was made Master at Trinity College,
Cambridge and was the first Indian to be appointed head of a college at Oxford or Cambridge Universities. He is the first Indian and Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Economics for 1998. He is Indian economist Member of World Bank Advisory Board . He has researched into the behavioural foundations of economic theory and developmental economics. He has been awarded India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in January, 1999.
Award of Nobel Prize to Professor Sen is very significant as it has also resulted in a shift in obsession from financial sector issues to the real sector issues. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has also departed from the usual trend where the awards in economics were given to the works with a strong right-winged ideological bias and emphasis on neo-classical methodology. It is very gratifying that Dr. Sen’s work on poverty alleviation has been given recognition, which is very relevant in the present-day Context.
Dr. Sen’s off beat work shows great concern for poverty alleviation. Its choice of techniques represents the dilemma faced by many developing countries. The dilemma is to go in for capital intensive techniques of production or for labour-intensive techniques of production. In the Indian context, Dr. Sen believes that India’s basic problem lies in the deep-rooted poverty and wide-spread inequalities, and that removal of these two economic evils calls for a more participatory growth on a wider basis. But wider participatory growth is difficult to achieve due to severe inequalities in social and economic opportunities. Therefore, “solution to India’s economic problems lies in preservation and better practice of democracy, rapid social development through public and private efforts, introducing pragmatic economic changes in the economy and removal of institutional, legal and other barriers in mobility and socio-economic equity.”
The real name of Mother Teresa was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhin and was the daughter of Albanian parents living in Yugoslavia. She was born on August 27, 1910. She went to Ireland at the age of eighteen and entered the congregation (A group of people gathered for religious service) of Loretto at the Institute of Blessed Virgin Mary. After living and learning there for six weeks and after being baptised in 1929, she sailed for India where she began teaching in the congregation’s schools and convents. She continued teaching for twenty years. Then she was given the responsibility of being the Principal of St. Augustin’s Day School for Bengali girls near Calcutta. Calcutta became her home and it was here that she set up Missionaries of Charity in 1949 and started serving the poor, the sick, the downtrodden and the destitute living in the slums of Calcutta. She started a leper colony named Shanti Nager in West Bengal. She also opened schools, charitable dispensaries, a T.B. clinic, and homes for unwanted and crippled children and Nirmal Hridaya. Thus she devoted herself whole-heartedly to the service of the poor and the weak and the helpless.
Mother Teresa translated her beliefs and principles into practice. She belonged to the category of those who practice what they believe and preach. It was her firm belief that the greatest problem for the weak and the destitute was not an ailment but the want of love, sympathy and charity. She believed that the feeling of neglect and unwantedness was the biggest affliction or disease for humanity. She worked day and night ceaselessly to provide sympathy and help to the suffering humanity. She proved by her deeds that she was really a symbol of peace and piety. She was a devout Christian and a living testimony of the teachings of Jesus Christ. For all this she was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace.
Mother Teresa was now 87 and was ailing for some time. So she stepped down as head of the Order on March 13, 1997 and. Sister Nirmala was elected as the new head. Mother Teresa did not survive long. She breathed her last on September 5, 1997 at 9.30 p.m. at the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity. India and the whole world plunged into grief. Her funeral took place on September 13, 1997 with full state honours. All national flags on state buildings flew at half-mast. In order to pay homage to her memory, the Union Cabinet adopted a two-page resolution. The Government of India issued an extraordinary gazette to mourn the Mother’s death.
Raman was born on November 7, 1888 at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. Shri Chandrashekhar Iyyer, his father was a teacher of Physics. Raman passed his matriculation examination in first division at the age of only twelve years. He did his graduation in 1904. In 1907, he passed his M.Sc. examination in Physics securing highest marks and for this extraordinary performance he was awarded a gold medal,
Since his childhood Raman had been a very inquisitive boy. He would not accept anything unless he was fully convinced. He wanted to know why and how of everything. He was a very patient boy who hated gossip and idle talk. He was always busy pondering over the basis of one or the other idea and reasoning about it like Socrates. He would think about the sky, the rain, the rainbow and the clouds. He would think about these for hours. This inquisitiveness helped him in making his discovery about the effect of colours in these natural phenomena. The discovery known as ‘Raman Effect’ was made in 1928 and the same year he was awarded Nobel Prize for it. It made him famous all over the world and astonished the scientists.
Raman was the first Indian scientist to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. He was knighted by the British after that. In 1954, after independence, the Indian Govermnent honoured him with Bharat Ratna. In 1958, the Government of the U.S.S.R. presented him Lenin Prize for Peace. This great scientist passed away on November 21, 1970. But he will always be remembered for his contribution to science.
Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 6, 1861. He was the youngest son of Maharishi Devendranath Tagore who was a great thinker of Bengal. His mother was a noble lady of high ideals. For education, he was sent to a school but he did not like it for the boys there were not allowed to play. Reading without playing or mental work without physical exercise was meaningless to him. So he left school and received his early education at home. At the age of sixteen he went to England and there he attended lectures on English literature. He also studied some plays of William Shakespeare. He came in contact with literary personalities like W.B. Yeats.
Tagore came back from England and at the age of 24 took charge of his father’s estates. In 1901, when he was 40, he founded a school at Bolepur which later developed into the Vishwa Bharti University. There is hardly a form of literature which Tagore has left untouched and which he has not adorned by his writings. His work is marked by religious spirit and a keen appreciation of the landscape of Bengal. Tagore also played a notable part in the struggle for independence.
Of Tagore’s works the best known is ‘Gitanjali’ (1912) for which he was awarded Nobel Prize. Among his other works are The Gardener (1913), The Crescent Moon (1913), Fruit Gathering(l916), The Post Office (1914), Sacrifice (1917), Red Oleanders (1925), The Home and the Word (1919), The Wreck (1921), Gora (1924), Hungry Stones and Other Stories (1918), Mashi and Other Stories (1918), My Reminiscences (1917) and My Boyhood Days (1940). Tagore wrote mostly in Bengali but he also wrote in English and translated into English some of his own writings.
Tagore is one of the greatest poets of the modern age. He was a great patriot too. He renounced title of Knighthood (‘Sir’) as a protest against the massacre of Jalian wala Bagh. He did his best to serve his country in his own way. He was widely read and appreciated. He breathed his last in 1941.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for secretarial assistance to the Cabinet, its committees and ad hoc groups of Ministers, and for maintenance of records of their decisions and proceedings. The Secretariat monitors implementation of the decisions/directions of the Cabinet/Cabinet 0mitteeS/grOUp5 of Ministers etc. The Secretariat is also responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and facilitates smooth transaction of business in ministries/departments of the government by ensuring adherence to these rules.
The Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the President, the Vice President and ministers are kept informed of the major activities of all ministries/departments by means of monthly summary reports. Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of this Secretariat.
On 15th August, 1947, number of ministries at the centre was 18. As on July 22, 1997, the Government of India consisted of the following ministries/departments :
1. Ministry of Agriculture — Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, and Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
2. Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers — Department of Chemicals and Petro-Chemicals, Department of Fertilizers.
3. Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism — Department of Civil Aviation, Department of Tourism.
4. Ministry of Coal.
5. Ministry of Commerce, Department of Commerce, Department of Supply.
6. Ministry of Communications — Department of Posts, Department of Telecommunications.
7. Ministry of Defence - Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, and Supplies, Department of Defence Research and Development.
8. Ministry of Environment and Forests.
9. Ministry of External Affairs.
10. Ministry of Finance — Department of Economic Affairs, Dept. of Expenditure, Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Company Affairs.
11. Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs — Dept. of Food and Civil Supplies, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Dept. of Sugar and Edible Oils.
12. Ministry of Food Proeessing Industries.
13. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare — Dept. of Health, Dept. of Family Welfare, Dept. of Indian Systems of Medicines and Homeopathy.
14. Ministry of Home Affairs — Dept. of Internal Security, Dept. of States, Dept. of Official Language, Dept. of Home.
15. Ministry of Human Resource Development — Dept of Education, Dept, of Youth Affairs, Dept. of Culture, Dept. of Women and Child Development.
16. Ministry of Industry — Dept. of Industrial Development, Dept. of Heavy Industry, Dept. of Public Enterprises, Dept. of Small Scale Industries and Agro and Rural Industries, Dept. of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
17. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
18. Ministry of Labour.
19. Ministry of Law and Justice — Dept. of Legal Affairs,
Legislative Dept., Dept. of Justice.
20. Ministry of Mines.
21. Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources.
22. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions — Dept. of Personnel and Training, Dept. of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Dept. of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare.
23. Ministry of parliamentary Affairs.
24. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
25. Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation — Dept. of Planning, Dept. of Statistics, Dept. of Plan Implementation.
26. Ministry of Power.
27. Ministry of Railways.
28. Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment Dept. of Rural Development, Dept. of Wasteland Development, Dept. of Rural Employment and Poverty Alleviation.
29. Ministry of Science and Technology — Dept. of Science and Technology, Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dept. of Bio-Technology.
30. Ministry of Steel.
31. Ministry of Surface Transport.
32. Ministry of Textiles.
33. Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment — Dept. of Urban Development, Dept. of Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation.
34. Ministry of Water Resources.
35. Ministry of Welfare.
36. Department of Atomic Energy.
37. Department of Electronics.
38. Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs.
39. Department of Ocean Development.
40. Department of Space.
41. Cabinet Secretariat.
42. President’s Secretariat.
43. Prime Minister’s Office.
44. Planning Commission
All legislation requires consent of both the Houses of Parliament. In the case of money bills, however, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails. Delegated legislation is also subject to review and control y Parliament. Besides the power to legislate, the constitution vests in Parliament the power to initiate amendment of the constitution.
The functions of Parliament are not only varied in nature, but considerable in volume. The time at its disposal is limited. It cannot make very detailed scrutiny of all legislative and other matters that come up before it. A good deal of its business is, therefore, transacted in committees.
Both Houses of Parliament have a similar committee structure, with a few exceptions. Their appointment, terms of office, functions and procedure of conducting business, are also more or less, similar and are regulated under rules made by the two Houses under Article 118(1) of the constitution.
Broadly, parliamentary committees are of two kinds — standing committees and ad hoc committees. The former are elected or appointed every year or periodically and their work goes on, more or less on a continuous basis. The latter are appointed on an ad hoc basis as need arises and they cease to exist as soon as they complete the work assigned to them.
Standing Committees : Among standing committees three financial committees — Committee on Estimates, Public accounts and Public Undertakings — constitute a distinct group and they keep an unremitting vigil on Government expenditure and performance. While members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with committees on Public Accounts and Public Undertakings, members of the Committee on Estimates are drawn entirely from the Lok Sabha.
The Estimates Committee reports on “what economies, improvements in organisation, efficiency or administrative reform consistent with policy underlying the estimates” may be affected. It also examines whether the money is well laid out within the policy limits implied in the estimates and suggests the form in which estimates shall be presented to the Parliament. The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises appropriation and finance accounts of Government and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General. It ensures that public money is spent in accordance with Parliament’s decision. It calls attention to cases of waste, extravagance, loss or nugatory expenditure. The Committee on Public Undertakings examines the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General if any. It also examines whether Public Undertakings are being run efficiently and managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices. The control exercised by these committees is of a continuous nature. They gather information through questionaires , memoranda from representative non-official organisations and knowledgeable individuals, on-the-spot studies of organisations and oral examination of non-official and official witnesses. Between themselves, the financial committees examine and report on a fairly large area of multifarious activities of the Government of India.
Leaders of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are accorded statutory recognition. Salaries and other suitable facilities are extended to them through a separate legislation which came into force on November 1, 1977.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs is responsible for coordinating, planning, and arranging Government business in both Houses of Parliament. In the discharge of this function, his Ministry works under the overall direction of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. The Minister for parliamentary Affairs keeps close and constant contact with the Presiding Officers, the leaders as well as he chief whips and whips of various parties and groups. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs also nominates Members of Parliamentary , Committees, Councils, Boards and Commissions etc. set up by the Government.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
BACKGROUND OF THE MOVEMENT
The movement started due to the resentment because of the serious differences between the draft Lokpal Bill 2010 prepared by the government and the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by the members of this movement.
DRAFT LOKPAL BILL 2010
1. Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by Lok Sabha Speaker or Rajya Sabha Chairman.
2. Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body. Its part is only limited to forwarding its report to the ‘Competent Authority’.
3. Lokpal will not have any police powers. It cant register FIRs or proceed with criminal investigations.
4. CBI and Lokpal will have no connection with each other.
5. Punishment for corruption will minimum 6 months and maximum upto 7 years.
JAN LOKPAL BILL
1. Lokpal will have powers to iniate suo moto action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public.
2. Lok pal will be much more than an Advisory Body. It should be granted powers to initiate Procecution against anyone found guilty.
3. Lokpal will have police powers.To say that will be able to register FIRs.
4. Lokpal and anticorruption wing of CBI will be one independent body.
5. The punishment should be minimum 5 years and maximum up to life-imprisonment.
6. Lokpal will not be a monopoly for particular area.
A 71 years old man is doing what the youth of India should have done long ago. Now this is upto the people of India to shoulder the responsibility.
Monday, April 4, 2011
The President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. To secure uniformity state inter se as well as parity between the states, as a whole, and the Union, suitable weightage is given to each vote. The President must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age and qualified as for election as member of the Lok Sabha. His term of office is five years and he is eligible for re-election. His removal from office if any is to be in accordance with procedure laid down in Article 61 of the constitution. He may, by writing under his hand addressed to Vice President, resign his office.
The executive power of the Union is vested in President and is exercised by him either directly or through officers ,sub-ordinate to him in accordance with the constitution. Supreme command of defence forces of the Union also vests in him. President summons, prorogues, addresses, sends messages to Parliament and dissolves the Lok Sabha; promulgates ordinances at any time, except when both houses of Parliament are in session; makes recommendations for introducing financial and money bills and gives assent to bills; grants pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or suspends, remits or commutes in certain cases. When there is a failure of constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of that state. President can proclaim emergency in the country if he is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India or any part of its territory is threatened whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion.
Vice President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. He must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age and eligible for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha. His term of office is five years and he is eligible for reelection. His removal from office is to be in accordance with procedure prescribed in Article 67-b. Vice President is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha and acts as President when the latter is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness, or any other cause or till the election of a new President (to be held within six months) when a vacancy is caused by death, resignation or removal or otherwise of President. While so acting, he ceases to perform the functions of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Council of Ministers
There is a Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister to aid and advise the President in exercise of his functions. Prime Minister is appointed by President who also appoints other Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. It is the duty of the Prime Minister to communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration or affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation and information relating to them. The Council of Ministers comprises Ministers who are members of the Union Cabinet. Ministers of State (independent charge), Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.
Legislature of the Union called Parliament, consists of President and two Houses, known as Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and House of the People (Lok Sabha). Each House of Parliament is supposed to meet within six months of its previous sitting. A joint sitting of the two houses can be held in certain cases.
The constitution provides that the Rajya Sabha should consist of 250 members, of which 12 members shall be appointed by the President from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art, and social service; and not more than 238 representatives of the states and of the union territories.
Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect, members representing states are elected by elected members of legislative assemblies of the states in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote, and those representing union territories are chosen in such a manner as the Parliament may by law prescribe. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one third members retire on expiry of every second year. The Rajya Sabha has at present 245 seats. Of these 233 members represent the states and the union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President.
The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of people chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage. The maximum strength of the House envisaged by the constitution is now 552 (530 to represent states, 20 to represent union territories and not more than two members of Anglo-Indian community to be nominated by the President, if in his opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the House). The total elective membership of the Lok Sabha is distributed among states in such a way that the ratio between number of seats alloted to each state, and population of the state, as far as practicable, be the same for all states. The Lok Sabha at present consists of 545 members, of these, 530 members are directly from 26 states 20 from seven union territories while two are nominated by the President to represent Anglo-Indian community. The allocation of the seats in the present Lok Sabha is based on the 1971 census and under the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution (1976) and will continue to be so based until figures of the first census after 2000 AD become available.
The term of the Lok Sabha, unless dissolved earlier, is five years from the date fixed for its first meeting. However, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period of one year with time not extending in any case, beyond a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate. Twelve Lok Sabhas have so far been constituted so far.
In order to be chosen a member of Parliament; a person must be ‘not less than 30 years of age in case of the Rajya Sabha, and not less than 25 years of age in the case of the Lok Sabha.’
Additional qualifications may be prescribed by Parliament by law.
Monday, March 28, 2011
India is a Union of States and Union Territories. It is a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic, with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the constitution which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 and came into force on January 26, 1950.
The constitution which envisages parliamentary form of government is federal in structure with unitary features. President of India is constitutional head of executive of the Union. Article 74(1) of the constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head to aid and advise the President who shall in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice. Real executive power thus vests in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as head. Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. Similarly, in states, Governor is head of the executive, but it is the Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as head in whom real executive power vests. Council of Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly or the Vidhan Sabha.
The constitution distributes legislative power between the Parliament and state legislatures and provides for resting of residual powers in Parliament. The power to amend the constitution also vests in Parliament. The constitution has provision for independence of judiciary, Comptroller and Auditor General, Public Service Commissions and the Chief Election Commissioner.
The States and the Union Territories
India comprises 26 States and 6 Union Territories. The names of States are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The Union Territories are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Pondicherry.
The constitution of India provides for a single and uniform citizenship for whole of India. Every person who was at the commencement of the constitution (January 26, 1950), domiciled in the territory of India and : (a) who was born in the territory of India or (b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India, or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India. The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for acquisition and termination of citizenship after the commencement of constitution.
The constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively some basic freedoms. These are guaranteed in the constitution in the form of broad categories of Fundamental Rights which are justiciable. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These are : (i) Right to equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth and equality of opportunity in matters of employment; (ii) Right of freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union, movement, residence and the right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency
or morality); (iii) Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour, and traffic in human beings; (iv) Right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion; (v) Right of any section of citizens conserve their culture, language or script and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice; and (vi) Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
By the 42nd Amendment to the constitution, adopted in 1976, Fundamental Duties of the citizens have also been enumerated. Article 51 ‘A’ contained in Part IV A of the constitution deals with Fundamental Duties. These enjoin upon a citizen, among other things, to abide by the constitution, to cherish and follow noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom, to defend the country and to render national service, when called upon to do so and to promote
harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all people of India, transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.
Directive Principles of State Policy
The constitution lays down certain Directive Principles of State Policy which though not justiciable are “fundamental in governance of the country” and it is ‘the duty of the state to apply these principles in making law. These lay down that the state shall strive to promote welfare of people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice — social, economic and political , — shall inform all institutions of national life. The state shall direct its policy in such a manner as to secure the right of all men and women to work, education and to public assistance in the event of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement other cases of undeserved want. The state shall also endeavour to secure to workers a living wage, humane conditions of work, a decent standard of life and full involvement of workers in the management of industries.
In economic sphere the state is to direct its policy in such a manner as to secure distribution of ownership and control of material resources of community to subserve the common good and to ensure that operation of economic system does not result in concentration of wealth and means of production to common detriment.
Some of the other important directives relate to provision of opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
National Flag is a horizontal tri-colour of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. Ratio of the width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the Charkha. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947. Its use and display are regulated by Flag Code-India.
State emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions standing back to back mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
In the state emblem adopted by the Government of India on 26 January, 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of ether wheels on extreme right and left, the bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words Satyameva Jayate fom Mundaka Upnishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’ are inscribed below the abacus in the Devanagri script.
The song Jana-gana-mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on January 24, 1950. It had been first sung on December 27, 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. First stanza consists full version of the National Anthem. It reads:
Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava-shubha asisa mange,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka- jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he.
Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time is approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions. The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the stanza:
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thou name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravida, and Orissa and Bengal; It echoes the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea. They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India’s destiny. Victory, Victory, Victory to thee.
The song Vande Matram, composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterji, was a great source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:
Sujalam, Suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Phullakusumita drumandala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh in prose is:
I bow to thee, mother,
richly watered, richly fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight, her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom, sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.
National Calendar based on the Saka era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from March 22, 1957 along with Georgian calendar for the following official purposes: (i) Gazette of India, (ii) News Broadcasts by All India Radio, (iii) calendars issued by the Government of India, (iv) Government communications addressed to the members of public.
Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of Georgian calendar: Chaitra 1 falling on March 22 normally and on March 21 in leap year.
The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris (Linnaeus), the national animal of India, is a rich-coloured well-striped animal with a short coat. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger great respect and high esteem. Out of eight species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger is found throughout the country except the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India ‘Project Tiger” was launched in April 1973. So far, 23 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 33,046 sq km.
The Indian Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India, is a colourful swan sized bird with a fan-shaped crest of feathers on its head, a white patch under the eye and a long slender neck. The male of the species is more colourful than the female with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is a brownish, slightly smaller than the male and it lacks the tail. The elaborate courtship dance of the male by fanning out the tail and quivering the feathers is a gorgeous sight.
The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east to Assam, south to Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. The peacock enjoys full protection from the people as it is never molested on religious and sentimental grounds. It is also protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
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