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Corruption In High Places: HARYANA OFFERS HOPE, By Insaf, 17 Jan, 2013 Print E-mail

Round The States

New Delhi, 17 January 2013

Corruption In High Places


By Insaf


Political corruption in high places may no longer remain unchecked, as Haryana has shown.  After 12-long-years, its formidable Jat leader, INLD’s former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA-son Ajay and 53 others were convicted in the famous teachers’ recruitment case. Recall 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers were illegally recruited in the State during 1999-2000. While Delhi’s special CBI court is yet to pronounce the quantum of sentence, the duo are cooling their heels in Tihar jail. Notwithstanding Abhay Chautala’s assertion that the teachers were selected on merit and no money exchanged hands, the Court found them guilty for cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption. Reportedly, each aspirant teacher paid Rs 3-4 lakhs bribe, totalling a mind-boggling 90 crores pocketed by the Chautalas. Typical of leaders, they have put the onus on the Department of Primary Education head for the scam and are preparing to go in for an appeal.  While it may take time, it remains to be seen whether this case would be a lesson for our political leaders to follow. 

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Karnataka In Fresh Trouble?

BJP-ruled Karnataka is inviting fresh trouble. The State’s Textbook Society has come under a scathing attack by the Committee for Resisting Saffronisation of Education, with the latter accusing it of “saffronising” text books. In a memorandum to the NCERT and the Human Resource Ministry, the panel has sought a detailed investigation into “academically poor and saffronised textbooks with many a distortion and misrepresentation.” The textbooks in question are for Class V and VII by the Karnataka Textbook Society, which allegedly ‘contain lessons that are anti-minorities and treat Dalits, women and adivasis as inferior beings’! The panel has further noted that the textbooks for most part go against the spirit of the National Curriculum Framework 2005, which clearly recommends that curriculum should be culturally neutral. With reported aberrations abound in these textbooks, it would be best for the KTS to oblige and offer these to the NCERT for scrutiny. Amends should be made immediately lest lakhs of young minds get corrupted.      

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‘Greyhound’ For 4 States

Four Naxal-hit States of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have reason to be hopeful. Given the success rate of the special police unit “Greyhounds” in Andhra Pradesh, the Centre has decided to provide Rs 280 crore in the 12th Plan to these States to raise the specialised force. The funds are to be utilised to create and upgrade infrastructure, equipment and weaponry and train special units in guerrilla warfare. However, it is not smooth sailing as the Centre has put riders before it doles out the funds. For starters, the States would need to chip in Rs 56 crore each and ensure that the special force is upgraded as per its approved guidelines of Greyhounds. State Governments would need to give an undertaking, and only then would the Centre consider releasing the funds. With no short-cuts allowed, Chief Ministers of these States should ensure that New Delhi’s offer does not go a begging. More so, as the Centre has set all doubts to rest over the capability of the Greyhound to help its war against the Naxals.         

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J&K Changes

Twitter-savvy J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is getting proactive offline. The young CM, seen as being rather mellow in administration, has started planning for the next Assembly elections due next year, like New Delhi. On Tuesday last, he undertook a major reshuffle in his Cabinet, the first since he took over the reins in January 2009 and inducted 10 new faces (seven from National Conference and three from Congress). The changes have interesting connotations. For starters, some MLAs who were peeved over their areas not getting representation will now be mollified. However, with the newcomers, father Farooq Abdullah may have a bigger role to play in the State’s politics. At the same time, the NC may hope to have better chances in the election as by re-inducting Congress MLA Ghulam Ahmed Mir, involved in a sex racket but later exonerated, it seems to have hurt its coalition partner’s prospects. State Congress leaders are visibly perturbed but can do little as Omar has the backing of Party General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi. All eyes, however, shall now be on how the young brigade fares in governance.            

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Kudos For Madhya Pradesh

Three cheers to Madhya Pradesh. The BJP State’s initiative for farmers’ upliftment and improving food grain production has yielded excellent results. With an unprecedented 18 per cent agriculture growth rate to its credit, it bagged the “Krishi Karman Award” --- the best-performing State in overall total food grain production (Category I over 10 million tonnes) for 2011-12, on Tuesday last. Tamil Nadu (in Category -II with output between 1-10 million tonnes) and Manipur (Category-III with below one million tonne output) followed suit. What did the trick? Apparently, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s resolve to make agriculture profitable, which saw the setting up of a first-ever Krishi Cabinet, comprising ministries and departments related with agriculture did wonders! As a result schemes such as offering low rate of interest to farmers; a three-fold increase in irrigated land; transfer of cash to bank accounts of wheat growers who sell their produce to Government; Kisan Credit Cards to farmers; feeder separation to supply 24-hour power to farmers etc were rolled out. With agriculture now being his USP, Chouhan is eyeing the State’s food processing potential. While he has invited investors in the hope of another success, other States could take a cue from Madhya Pradesh.

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Jolt To Tripura Cong

Tripura augurs bad news for the Congress. Less than a month away from the 60-member Assembly elections on February 14, the Party received a rude jolt with 32 leaders of the Pradesh Congress Scheduled Tribe (ST) department, resigning and deciding to contest in 20 seats (17 in ST reserved seats and 3 in general constituencies) against the official nominees. The tribal wing of the party is obviously peeved over the Pradesh Congress’ decision to allocate 11 seats to the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) without consulting it and leaving its prominent tribal leaders out in the lurch. Perhaps, the Congress, which is in the Opposition, seems to have got its calculations wrong to turn the tables around this election. While seeking to appease its new found alliance partner, the INPT, it has clearly rubbed the tribal leaders the wrong way. The big question is: Will Party President Sonia Gandhi, manage to get the ST leaders to take back their resignations? Let’s wait and watch.---INFA

(Copyright, India News and  Feature Alliance)


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