Landmark Food Security bill passed by Parliament

Landmark Food Security bill passed by Parliament

The much talked National Food Security Bill, which seeks to provide heavily-subsidized food to two-thirds of India's 1.23 billion people, was passed by the parliament in September amid fierce protest from opposition. Considered to be a game changer in upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha election, UPA 2 managed to pass the bill despite of reservations from opposition and left parties. The Food Security programme when implemented will be the biggest in the world with the government spending estimated at Rs 125,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tonnes of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to 67 per cent of the population. The bill guarantees two-third population the right to 5 Kgs of food grains every month at highly subsidized rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.

China: A competitor to India in commercial satellite launches

China: A competitor to India in commercial satellite launches

By successfully sending the first ever satellite of Bolivia to space, China has posed as a strong competitor to India in commercial satellite launches. On December 21, a Chinese Long March 3B rocket inaugurated the Bolivian space program by successfully placing Bolivia’s Tupac Katari (TKSat)-1 telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit. Notably Bolivian President Evo Morales traveled to China to witness the launch, from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, indicating the project’s political importance in Bolivia.

Only 6% of Indian towns have sewage treatment systems

Only 6% of Indian towns have sewage treatment systems

The grim picture of the challenge of the polluting water resources in India came to light after an assessment report, on the pollution in the river, prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was published this year. The report highlighted that only 6 percent of Indian towns and cities have some sort of functional sewage treatment plant. West Bengal treats only 49 per cent of the waste water before dumping it in the Ganga, said the report. It also raised concern about the inefficiency of sewage treatment plants. CPCB also made an inventory of the138 drains that flow in the Ganga river catchment. Total 76 per cent of the pollution load was contributed by Uttar Pradesh. Maximum flow of pollutants was also measured in Uttar Pradesh.

Dengue fever outbreaks stung India

Dengue fever outbreaks stung India

Dengue cases usually jump during and just after the rainy season in India. But, an outbreak of dengue fever since February killed more than 100 people, inundated hospitals with patients and triggered school closures. This year, the country saw the heaviest rains in nearly two decades, particularly pleasing farmers who rely on the monsoon for their living. But, the rains also brought challenges, including the appearance of Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that spreads dengue and yellow fever. The government said, 109 Indians have died from the tropical illness in the first nine months of this year and 38,179 cases have been recorded in total, more than double that of 2011. Experts said this year's early and prolonged monsoon has provided more breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The rise and rise of Narendra Modi

The rise and rise of Narendra Modi

With winning a hat trick in Gujarat assembly polls, Narendra Modi showed how the good governance and politics of development can overcome all political ills. By anointing Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 General Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) successfully tried to tap the massive countrywide support, especially amongst the youth, in its favor. Modi has become an icon for the politics of good governance, development and economic prosperity and stability along with its foundational approach of Hindutva which his party perceives as the national identity of India. In 2013, Modi got clean chit in 2002 Gujarat riots by the judiciary and his line of “Janata Ka Sevak” has appealed the masses. The year 2013 saw a trendsetter Modi who has given new mantra – “Vote for India”

Indigenous missile program conquered new skies

Indigenous missile program conquered new skies

Development of Indigenous missile program touched conquered new skies in the year 2013. In September India tested Agni-V nuclear-capable missile that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. Agni-V is the most advanced version of the indigenously built Agni, or Fire, series, part of a program that started in the 1960s. On 23 December, India test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km. The Agni-III  can carry a warhead of 1.5 ton. The sleek missile, already inducted into the armed forces, is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer.

‘Cheat’ funds looted investors for Rs 40000 Cr

‘Cheat’ funds looted investors for Rs 40000 Cr

Estimates say that small investors across the country lost over Rs. 40000 Crore of their hard earned money in various financial scams during the year 2013. 10,000 registered chit funds in the country do a business of around Rs 30,000 crore in a year and unregistered ones could be three times bigger. Saradha Chit Fund scam was unearthed in April and National Stock Exchange ltd. (NSEL) scam followed it. In both cases investors were lured into Ponzi schemes by promising huge returns. In another study, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said that combined default by 50 prominent corporate in the country totaled to Rs 40,528 crore of bank loans and total NPAs of public sector banks stood at Rs 1,64,461 crore.

Rupee touches lowest value ever, speculation hits hard

Rupee touches lowest value ever, speculation hits hard

Indian rupee was among the worst performing currencies this year, hitting a record low of 68.85 against the dollar due to the weak domestic economy and speculation over scaling back of stimulus by the US. Rupee lost 27 percent of its value between June and August. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) pulled out of money after the US Federal Reserve said it will consider reducing its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program, introduced after the 2008 global economic crisis to pump prime the economy. The rupee hit a record low of 68.85 against a dollar Aug 28, just over three months after the US Federal Reserve's May 17 announcement of scaling down on the stimulus program. Rupee and stock markets recovered only after the RBI intervention.

VHP's Hindutva campaign continues

VHP

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad continued to build pressure for early resolution of Ramjanmabhoomi issue. On September 23, the VHP organized  ‘Panch Kosi Yatra’ in Ayodhya in which saints from all over India participated. Earlier, it also held ‘Sankalp Sabha’, meetings at thousands of places in India.  In October month, the working president of VHP, Dr. Pravin Togadia, announced ‘Hindu help line’ - an initiative to extend all possible help to tourists and visitors at tourist and religious places.

A unique farmer rally in Delhi

A unique farmer rally in Delhi

New Delhi 13 September 2013: Farmers from over 400 districts stormed the capital city for their demands under the aegis of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, an all India peasant’s movement. Addressing the gathering BKS President Prof Annasaheb Murkute strongly came down on the anti-farmer policies of the union government. He categorically held the apathetic attitude of the UPA II responsible for the sorry state of affairs in agriculture sector today.

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Vivid manifestations of Hindutva thought were seen in 2013: Bhaiyyaji Joshi

Abhijit Mulye
Nashik, December 30 : 


undefinedThe passing year put before us vivid manifestations and acceptability of the Hindutva thought amongst the intelligentsia of our society, SarKaryavah (General Secretary) of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) Shri. Suresh (Bhaiyaji) Joshi told NewsBharati here today.  

Vivekananda 150th birth anniversary:growing acceptance of Hindutva  

Vivekananda Saardhashati (150th birth anniversary) celebrations started on 12th January 2013 got overwhelming response from all cross sections of the society. Through various symposia, lectures, seminars and other similar kind of events, efforts were made to reach out to the thought leaders of the society. These efforts were received very well and we could see a broader, brighter manifestation of the Hindutva thought through such interactions. We realized that the thought leaders of the society have a much more acceptance to Hindutva than what was perceived earlier, Joshi elaborated.

Rise of AAP is a clear signal to all political parties

In a special interview for the ‘Recap 2013’ section of NewsBharati, Shri. Joshi elaborated on various topics that made news in 2013. When asked about the much talked of success of Aam Aadami Party in Delhi assembly elections and the discussions regarding the new political culture that followed it, Joshi said that this is a clear signal for all the political parties that they should be more careful in choosing candidates.

Dignity of women: Not by law alone: it is a social responsibility

While speaking about the crime against women in our society, Joshi said that, these crimes are an outcome of ill, degraded minds. We, as a society, need to look into the ‘Samsakara’ factor or the values that are inculcated through our societal institutions like family, educational institutions, and media. We will have to ensure that right values are inculcated into the society and this won’t be possible merely by passing some legislation. He said, “Legislation is not an alternative to value system.” Joshi also expressed concern over the demands to nullify recent Supreme Court verdict regarding article 377. He said, homosexuality does not have social sanction in India and does not have any standing in Indian culture. Hence, any attempts to get legal status for that “would not be acceptable”.

Safety and security of Hindus all over the world is responsibility of Bharat 

When asked about the attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Joshi said that, it has always been our demand that Indian government should ensure safety and security of Hindus world over. Indian government should convey its concern over such cases to the respective country.

Weak and meek foreign policy towards neighbors

While speaking about the Chinese and Pakistani aggression on the borders along India during the year, Joshi said, such incidences are not new to us, in the sense that they are obvious side effects of the weak external affairs policy which our government has adopted. If we feel that such incidences should not repeat in future, we will have to have our foreign policy corrected. “Any lapse in internal or external security is always a danger. India should take all such actions by Pakistan and China very seriously. India should not bow to any kind of pressure from any international forces or groups. And our external policy needs to have correction in this regard”, he said.Joshi appreciated Indian government’s tough stand in the Devyani Khobragade case and said, this might be an effort to weaken and demoralize India. Government should ensure that nobody dares any such attempt in future.

Government machinery should be more trained to handle natural disasters

Joshi expressed deep condolences towards the lives lost in the natural calamity that hit the state of Uttarakhand earlier this year and said, “We need to ensure that the development plans are made after a due consideration to the geological and geographical factors and are implemented flawlessly”. He praised Indian military forces for their efforts during the calamity and also commended the way in which the voluntary organizations across the nation started relief and rehabilitation operations in the region. He expressed displeasure over the response of the government machinery and said government machinery should ensure proper and complete training in disaster management.