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Indian Politics

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:42 pm
by CielOnTap
The current health minister in India wants no more corruption to hold up health ministry files. Let's hope his can-do attitude is sincere and not a matter of arrogance. He has a purpose in making the healthy ministry accountable and reputable.

Azad gets cracking, targets corrupt ministry officials
Vineeta Pandey / DNA
Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:11 IST

New Delhi: Ghulam Nabi Azad has launched a crackdown on corruption. The health minister has issued a warning to his staff, Medical Council of India (MCI) and medical institutes that anybody found giving or taking bribe to clear files would be punished. He said involvement of private parties (touts) could result in cancellation of licences of colleges.

Within a week of taking charge of the ministry, Azad has cleared over 150 proposals to open medical, dental, yunani and ayurveda colleges. Every medical college has to obtain annual clearance from MCI and the health ministry. Sources said the files were pending for months.

"Delay breeds corruption. We have to ensure files are cleared promptly," Azad said. He made it clear the ministry would process proposals for opening colleges and extending licences in a time-bound manner. Middlemen and agents would not be entertained, encouraged or allowed to meet ministry officials.

Flying into international airspace without clearance raised some blood pressures in India and Pakistan when an Indian airline pilot entered Pakistani airspace.

AI plane strays into Pak airspace for 5 minutes
Yogesh Kumar / DNAThursday, June 18, 2009 2:44 IST

New Delhi: In a major security breach, an Air India flight strayed into Pakistan airspace for five minutes, creating a flutter at Amritsar international airport, around 7.30pm on June 5.
However, the Delhi-Amritsar-London flight with over 150 passengers reached Amritsar on schedule.

A senior aviation ministry official told DNA, "The pilot had been told to go around by the Amritsar control tower. But she wandered off into Lahore airspace." The airline's preliminary internal probe found the pilot at fault and she has been withdrawn from flying duty.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:04 pm
by CielOnTap
Sonia meets Deshmukh, Shinde on Maharashtra assembly polls
Thursday, June 25, 2009 20:46 IST

New Delhi: Amid demands for 'going it alone' in Maharashtra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today began consultations over the coming Assembly elections by meeting Union ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde.

Gandhi met Deshmukh, a known advocate of the Congress going solo, and Shinde separately. Both the leaders are former chief ministers of Maharashtra.

Elections in the state are scheduled by October and will be the first test for the Congress after their victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

Oh oh, it looks like India is having its own version of California's energy price hikes from a few years ago:

Public anger over power tariff rise will explode: Shiv Sena
PTIThursday, June 25, 2009 15:54 IST Mumbai: Shiv Sena which is leading a violent agitation against power tariff hike, today likened public resentment on the issue to a 'time-bomb' waiting to explode.

"After July 1, when people receive their bills, they would compare the previous bills and explode when they notice that they have been duped," senior Sena leader Subhash Desai said.

"When Delhi chief minister can force the Electricity Regulatory Commission not to effect more than 10 per cent hike, why can't our chief minister convince the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC)," Desai said.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:14 pm
by CielOnTap
The Indian Health Minister is in the news again, this time on movie themes he would like to see ended, in order to improve health of Indians. Since mind-body connections are recognized by health experts (modern and alternative) to have impact on healing, the minister is just stating the obvious: keep the minds clear of bad stuff. However, social issues do require documentaries and news broadcasts.

Ban rape & murder on screen before smoking & drinking: Azad
PTIFriday, June 26, 2009 19:47 IST
New Delhi: Toeing a different line from that of his predecessor, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today that before banning smoking and drinking on screen there was a need to stop showing more objectionable things like "rape and murder".

"Movies show much more serious things like rape, murder and dacoity. That is a very deep thing to go into. Before banning smoking and drinking, we have to ban rape and murder too," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the international day against drug abuse here.

His predecessor Anbumani Ramadoss had earned the ire of filmstars for trying to impose a ban on smoking and drinking on screen. Movie topic bans?

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:32 pm
by fishandchips
I would like a chat with the minister to learn how he finds such topics objectionable. Gratuitous use of them for stories--yes, I can understand that logic. How is his stance towards dealing with real murders and rape in India? They can be health issues too.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:49 pm
by CielOnTap
Hooch tragedy furore rocks Gujarat Assembly
DNAThursday, July 9, 2009 8:33
Ahmedabad: The hooch tragedy rocked the state assembly with the Opposition Congress shouting slogans against minister of state for home Amit Shah.

The party also demanded his resignation over the issue. Congress MLAs stalled the proceeding of the assembly and disrupted the question hour for the first 20 minutes.

Later they rushed to the well of the assembly and threw papers at the speaker, an act that earned 14 Congress MLAs suspension from the assembly. They were suspended by the speaker on finance minister Vaju Vala's suggestion. Soonall Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition in the Shaktisinh Gohil, walked out of the house shouting slogans against Shah.

Gujarat is a dry state officially but illegal alcohol consumption remains an issue within the state, where residents cannot afford purchases of commercial liquor. A recent alcohol incident led to many people dying in hospital from poisoning as the alcohol was adulterated with chemical to make the liquor stronger.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:42 pm
by CielOnTap
Smart judges--they are asking the state to provide evidence that prohibition rules on alcohol were enforced.

Explain how you keep Gujarat dry: HC to state government
DNAThursday, July 16, 2009 9:02 IST
Ahmedabad: In an embarrassing development for the state government, the Gujarat high court has initiated suo motu action in connection with the hooch tragedy.

A division bench of the high court, consisting of chief justice KS Radhakrishnan and justice Akil Kureshi, has directed the state government to explain its implementation of the Prohibition Act.

The court's action has been spurred by recent complaints made by the volunteers of the Gandhi Ashram, who had submitted their concerns through letters written to the chief justice.

The judges are taking the allegations seriously about the lack of enforcement of the prohibition law.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:38 pm
by trailblaze
America's Continental Airlines has apologised to former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam for frisking him before he boarded a flight to the US. The airline said in a statement that it had not intended to offend Mr Kalam or the sentiments of the people of India.

Members of India's parliament were outraged after it emerged that Mr Kalam had been frisked and made to remove his shoes at Delhi airport in April. Protocol exempts former presidents and other dignitaries from such searches.

Treated like every other member of the flying public. Didn't hurt him, so what is the big deal. Unfortunately some poor sap doing his job will probably lose that job because of this.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:31 pm
by CielOnTap
Andhra Pradesh chief minister's chopper goes missing
PTIWednesday, September 2, 2009 14:33 IST

Hyderabad: The fate of Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy remained uncertain tonight after a helicopter carrying him went missing over a dense forest area since the morning, prompting a continuing massive search operation.

The 60-year-old Congress leader, who led the party to a remarkable victory in the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, left Hyderabad for Chitoor at 8.35 AM in a twin-engined Bell helicopter which lost contact an hour later. There was no trace of the helicopter, which got lost in bad weather.

Amid fears that the helicopter may have force landed or crashed, the IAF's Sukhoi 30MK1 aircraftwith synthetic aperture radar for high resolution ground mapping even at night and a pilotless low-flyingISRO aircraft were scouring the thick Nallamalai forests in Kurnool district in the Rayalaseema region.

Wouldn't there be some weather protocol to ground flights if visibility was an issue?

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:52 am
by CielOnTap
The helicopter had a crash and the state minister died. A story on how India is dealing with the tragedy:

India state 'in deep mourning'
Sep 05, 2009 04:30 AM
Rick Westhead
South Asia Bureau

NEW DELHIā€“A strange phenomenon is occurring in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. As of yesterday, an estimated 67 people had died after learning of the death of their powerful 60-year-old chief minister. Some killed themselves out of despair, others died of shock, according to local news reports.

Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's body was discovered Thursday in the tangled wreckage of a U.S.-made Indian army helicopter that crashed a day earlier in the forests of Nallamala. The chief minister was on a flight from the state capital, Hyderabad, to the city of Chittor.

Re: Indian Politics

PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:03 pm
by guitarblues
India's top 'suicide tourism' destination: Bothbodan
Kiran Tare / DNASunday, October 4, 2009 2:47 IST
Mumbai: Till three years ago, hardly any politician or social worker had heard of Bothbodan, a tiny village in Vidarbha's Yavatmal district. Today, whenever a high profile politician arrives in the district, he ensures that Bothbodan is included in his itinerary. Reason: The village has become the 'poster boy' of the agrarian crisis in the region.

Bothbodan is known as the 'suicide village' of Vidarbha. The village has around 300 households, mostly of the Banjara community. Of these, 18 have seen suicides over the last three years -- a record for any Vidarbha village. The villagers killed themselves due to mounting debt. Their farm land had not produced enough grain, and they did not have money to spend on food.

Their tragedy has 'attracted' many high profile personalities, including Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra governor SC Zamir, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Amrutmai Maa, representatives of World Churches Organisation, a fact-finding committee of the Planning Commission, a team from the National Commission of Farmers, and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.

How about helping the locals cope with debt by providing social services and money first, before worrying about campaigns in the area? Hungry voters won't care about elections if they starve or have no money.