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Indian Economy: Growth -3
It is so sickening to see people showing no symapthy for the persons killed by maoists but instead going out of their way to find reasons to whitewash the maosits misdeeds.

Bodhi has given an clear answer why the maoists started their murderous campaign in india rather than china their birth place which is fit to receive the maoist gospel.

Yesterday the Maoists killed a school teacher in West Bengal. Now the maoist apologists will have to find another lame excuse to whitewash the murder of an person who was striving to bring education to the children.
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Is anybody justifying mayhems?
Certainly, no.
The other day they showed picture of DGP of Orissa police breaking down at the funeral of 1 of ?police pers. Such a public display of sympathy sends wrong signals to maoists and emboldens them.
So, the need of the hour is persons of ACTION.
Supporting naxals by giving excuses for their actions does send an negative message that such people are with the mass murderers.

<!--QuoteBegin-Capt M Kumar+Feb 23 2008, 07:24 AM-->QUOTE(Capt M Kumar @ Feb 23 2008, 07:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> If EQ(emotional quotient) could solve 1 problem, India would not be left w/ any problem.

<b>Treating the cause is more important than just the effect.</b>

That's where Ravish scored over majority of the members as he always highlighted the causes.

<b>Capt M Kumar Ji :</b>

You couldn't be more right.

1. To Every Effect there is a Cause.

2. The Effect is nothing but another Manifestation of the Cause.

3. If from the Effect the Cause be Removed : <b>NOTHING REMAINS</b>

I take this opportunity to apologise to a dear Friend and Brother : Ravish Ji.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Harshvardan+Feb 22 2008, 08:45 AM-->QUOTE(Harshvardan @ Feb 22 2008, 08:45 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Maoist supporters will surely be happy and breaking open champagne bottles for the acrocity that they have committed on unarmed civilians and farmers.
Not champage Harsh, it's Patiala peg with this crowd. Maybe some beef-jerky munchies on the side too - how else could they prove their secular credintals.
We literally had Mani Shankar Iyer posting here dude. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Capt M Kumar+Feb 22 2008, 09:54 PM-->QUOTE(Capt M Kumar @ Feb 22 2008, 09:54 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> If EQ(emotional quotient) could solve 1 problem, India would not be left w/ any problem.
Treating the cause is more important than just the effect.
With that logic we could make a case to invite Musharaff and his ISI cronies to take over India.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Forum will be poorer by your absence.
Which forum you talking about Capt Kumarji? The one our 'enlightened' soul 'assessed' in his typical "down to earth" fashion as:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Perhaps you have been unable to comprehend the thinking in the minds of the bloggers with whom you have been interacting.The following are the wishful thinking of most of them:-

1. How to get rid of Muslims from this world.
2. How to remove Pakistan from the map of the world.
3. How to remove traces of Urdu language from the conscious and sub conscious state of mind of the human race.
4. Hindu gagaran at the earliest, first in India and than in the entire universe.
5. Establishment of Hindu Talabani form of society etc.All meat eaters to be termed as trators.

I just gave you the highlight of the wish list. If you have ample time to devote in day dreaming, this is the best company that one can have for relaxing .<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Indian Innovation: Action on Many Fronts; Creativity, Flexibility, and Adaptation Are the Keys to Success of This Fast-Growing Giant. </b>

by R. Chidambaram

Because India is so large and so diverse and because change is occurring at such a rapid pace, it is impossible to talk about a single innovation policy. Conditions vary widely among technologies, among industries and among regions. For example, India is on par with global leaders in some technologies (nuclear power, space), well behind in other sectors (productivity of small and medium enterprises), and in a position to leapfrog into global leadership in some areas (tools for rural development). It should therefore come as no surprise that innovation policy is actually a rich mix of policies and strategies linked to specific conditions and goals. A comprehensive survey of Indian innovation activities is impossible, so I will provide snapshots of a few programs that illustrate the variety and careful customization of current strategies.

India is on a rapid economic growth trajectory that will make it a "developed country" sooner or later. Of course, developed-country status is not a single-point destination. Even already-developed countries want to develop further. The key for India in sustaining its economic development over a long period is to become scientifically advanced, and ultimately to become a global innovation leader.

Measuring a nation's S & T progress is complex. One must look at papers published in basic science and at patents granted and products introduced in technological development. For government missions such as energy development or space exploration, quantifiable measures are more elusive. And for something as multifaceted as rural development, the challenge is truly daunting. India is making a concerted effort to develop reliable measures for progress in all these areas, but this will be a task that requires continual updating.

Quantifying a nation's innovative capacity is even more complex. Technology is obviously a critical dimension, <b>but a variety of legal, financial, and cultural dimensions are also essential</b>. Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, has highlighted the importance of factors such as retention of talent, improvement of infrastructure, expansion of venture capital, and quality of leadership in maintaining a healthy environment for innovation.

<b>India has been investing in the S & T infrastructure for innovation. Evidence of progress can be seen in the government's mission-oriented laboratories, in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, in the universities, in the Indian Institute of Science, and in the Indian Institutes of Technology. In-house corporate R & D capacity is growing, and industrywide cooperative research associations are forming. Nearly 150 of the Fortune 500 companies have R & D facilities in India, and many Indian companies have joint research projects with non-Indian companies.</b> Still, there is plenty of room for growth and improvement.

India has long believed in self-reliance, but that has too often been interpreted to mean self-sufficiency. In the context of today's rapid globalization, self-reliance does not mean avoidance of international scientific and technological cooperation.

In fact, the latter is a must, and today's India must take and give in equal measure in international cooperation. <b>India must promote itself as an equal partner in international cooperative research projects. It already participates in projects such as the Large Hadron Collider being built by the Center for European Nuclear Research in Geneva and has also recently joined the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor cooperative program. </b>The government is supporting creation of a high-speed computer communications network that will facilitate cooperative work among Indian researchers and between Indians and their international colleagues.

<b>Technology foresight.</b> The need to customize policies and goals for each country is illustrated by the difference between India and the United States in their approaches to the fast breeder nuclear reactor. <b>India places a high value on reprocessing spent fuel to close the nuclear fuel cycle, because it has limited uranium reserves and the world's largest thorium reserves. The United States, with easy access to relatively cheap uranium (though the price has risen sharply in the past couple of years), is content to store the spent fuel as "waste" for decades.</b>

But U.S. planners are well aware that the plutonium in the spent fuel will last for thousands of years. In fact, the longer one waits, the easier it becomes to reprocess the spent fuel because other shorter-lived radioactive elements that make reprocessing difficult will have decayed significantly. <b>The United States sees no need to rush ahead with reprocessing. </b>

<b>India, on the other hand, sees reprocessing as essential for its near-term development of nuclear power and has invested its resources accordingly. It has become one of the world leaders in pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) technology and has achieved technological self-reliance in the entire fuel cycle related to this technology.</b> A test reactor has operated successfully for more than two decades, and the first prototype fast breeder reactor is under construction in Kalpakkam. By closing the fuel cycle with plutonium, India can extract 50 times more power from its limited uranium resources. India can use its domestic thorium as a "blanket" in the breeder reactors, and during operation the thorium-232 will be converted to uranium-233, an excellent nuclear fuel. Although developing the necessary technology will be expensive, the rewards will make the investment worthwhile--particularly in the future.

<b>Rural technology delivery</b>. India has a large rural population, and the government has made a concerted effort over the years to develop technology that can contribute to rural economic development. The impact of these efforts, particularly in the non-farm sector, has not been very significant. A variety of initiatives are now under way to correct this deficiency. <b>One promising approach is found in the Rural Technology Action Groups (RuTAGs), which are based on the realization that active scientists are too busy with their own work to be of much use for grassroots technological intervention in rural India. However, if some voluntary organization or a government agency has recognized a problem in a rural area and implemented a technological solution up to a point, the researchers at higher-level R & D institutions and universities can carry it further</b>.

Each RuTAG is located in either a premier educational institution or a corporation and has strong links with reputable science and technology-based voluntary organizations. A nationally recognized person is identified to be the adviser and a retired scientist is nominated as the coordinator of each RuTAG. <b>So far, three such RuTAGs have been set up, one each in Chennai (Tamilnadu), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), and Guwahati (in the North East).</b> Some of the projects taken up at Uttarakhand through the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization, a volunteer group, are upgrading water mills with help from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)Delhi; improving packaging and food processing technology with the help of Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore; and recharging aquifers with help from the Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai. In Tamilnadu, projects include converting natural dyes from liquid to powder and improving the manufacturing processes for traditional ayurvedic medicines. Institutions such as IIT Madras, Central Leather Research Institute, Anna University, and the National Institute of Ocean Technology are providing technology as well as R & D support.

<b>The primary need in rural areas is for technology delivery rather than development of new science</b>. Because the rural people are often unaware of the technologies that can help them, the initiative to deliver this technology must come from government or independent service organizations. <b>Because the specific needs of rural areas can differ from those of urban areas, there is also some need for directed basic research to create new knowledge that can be helpful in meeting rural needs. </b>

<b>Academia-industry interaction.</b> With government mission agencies driving the agenda, India has been successful in nurturing cooperative research efforts with industry in areas such as nuclear power and space. The challenge now is to achieve the same type of cooperation in research related to commercial technology and products. In the past, cultural resistance to cooperation has been a powerful barrier to collaboration, but I believe that the attitudes of scientists and business leaders are changing as Indian companies become more globally competitive. Once cultural resistance is overcome, the potential for productive cooperation is great. If industry begins to interact actively with academia, it can also play a greater role in guiding academic activities in the direction of industry interests, be it human resource development, R & D prioritization, or the choice of areas of international cooperation.

Beginning in 2002, my office has been organizing meetings at which leading representatives of academic institutions and industry have tried to reach consensus on some ways that they could work together. Very often people with degrees in engineering don't go in for research and technology development, even though they may have a talent for it. Instead they opt for jobs in management or migrate to other countries. To tap some of this lost talent, industry should choose some of the most talented new university-trained employees and offer them the opportunity to do industry-related research with a leading university scientist.

Although receiving a salary from a company, the student should be no different from any other student of the professor, and the research should not be limited to immediate problem-solving for the company, which is too restrictive. In choosing a research topic, the employee-student might not be addressing the company's problems consciously, but subconsciously the company's practical needs would certainly influence the choice as well as all other professional interactions. Over a period of four to five years, the employee-student could evolve into someone very useful for the company's product or process development. Indian industry should realize, and it is beginning to, that information exchange is free in an academic environment. When a professor from abroad meets an Indian colleague, the discussion of industry-oriented research is much more open than a discussion between an Indian industry scientist and a foreign counterpart. The employee-student would have the advantage of being part of the open interchanges between academics.

<b>The automotive sector</b>. Another outcome of the discussions between academic and industry leaders was the formation of a cooperative effort to focus on vehicles from scooters to heavy trucks. <b>The mandate is to identify frontier technologies that will contribute to development of vibrant, world-class automotive systems, subsystems, and parts industries. The group has drawn up a technology roadmap for the Indian automotive sector, which includes advanced materials and manufacturing, alternate propulsion, and automotive infotronics.</b> Projects in these areas are currently funded for precompetitive applied research jointly by the Department of Heavy Industries, the Department of Science & Technology, and my office. I think this should be expanded to include directed basic research in some areas.

This initiative has already had significant success. For example, an engine management system for 2/3 wheelers, which previously had been available only from foreign companies, was developed by IIT Bombay in collaboration with IIT Madras and partners from the industry. Initial results indicate that the new system achieves better fuel economy with reduced emissions and at a lower price than the foreign technology. <b>A similar R & D advisory group has been established for the machine tool industry and another is planned for semiconductors. </b>

<b>Small and medium enterprises</b>. The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector creates jobs and wealth. <b>Although many Indian SMEs can now produce world-class products, this is in only a few sectors such as auto components, and most are dependent on foreign designs. The government is keen on strengthening SMEs, which have little access to modern R & D facilities, through technology infusion. Academia-industry interaction could be a very effective means for enabling SMEs to bridge the technology and knowledge gap. One approach could be through incubators in academic institutions, in particular those proximate to technologically homogenous SME clusters. </b>

The Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) of the Department of Science and Technology is playing an important role here through Centers of Relevance and Excellence (TIFAC-COREs). <b>This is a triangular partnership among the government, an academic institution, and industry. The topics range from fireworks safety and environmental engineering to wireless technologies and pharmacogenomics. The more than two dozen COREs in existence are geographically dispersed, develop quality manpower, and provide development support</b>.

TIFAC is also partnering with the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in a cluster-based approach to upgrade SME technology. This effort is getting started with an assessment of SME technology needs in numerous product areas ranging from sporting goods and agricultural implements to surgical instruments.

<b>Innovation ecosystem.</b> Although many Indian programs focus tightly on specific technologies or business sectors, the government is also paying attention to the <b>innovation ecosystem, the larger legal and economic environment in which innovation must take root. This includes the education system, which nurtures creativity; an R & D culture and value system that supports basic research, applied research, and technology development; an industry culture that is keen to absorb academic inputs; a bureaucracy that is supportive; a policy framework that encourages young people to pursue scientific careers; and an ability to scan scientific developments in the world and to use technology foresight to select critical technologies in a national perspective.

An intangible part of the innovation ecosystem is the courage to take risk</b>. The greater the innovation, the higher is the risk in converting it into a marketable product or process. The government is looking for ways to help make this risk manageable. <b>The United States has programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research program and the Advanced Technology Program that provide funds to companies to invest at critical high-risk stages in technology development where private funding is hard to find. India must have similar programs, and the Department of Biotechnology has initiated a pioneering program in this context</b>.

<b>Recruiting new scientists.</b> The educational path to becoming a scientist is very demanding, so young people need reassurance that their efforts will be rewarded. India's Steering Committee for Science & Technology for the Eleventh Plan (2007-2012), which I chaired, recommended that the most talented science students completing their 12th year of education be offered a 15-year career support program. In the first five years, they would receive a fellowship that would enable them to work toward a master's degree. During the next five years, they would receive a larger fellowship, equivalent to what their peers are earning in their jobs, as they worked toward the Ph.D. Finally, they would be guaranteed a proper job in a university or national lab for the final five years. The best students have their choice of many reliable and remunerative career paths. In order to attract these students, science must offer security and economic rewards as well as intellectual stimulation.

<b>Directed basic research.</b> India intends to be a major participant in basic scientific research, but no country can afford to be active in every field. The practical approach is to choose fields that not only advance the frontiers of science but that are also in he long-term interest of Indian industry, Indian society, or India's srtraegic goals. Most of the latter usually relate to cross-disciplinary technology areas.

In its execution and in the requirement of no deliverables other than new knowledge, directed basic research does not differ from curiosity-driven basic research, so university academics should be comfortable with it. From a national perspective, scientists carrying out directed basic research in any area would find it easier to interact with the related industry or related strategic mission or to participate in related societal development programs.

The challenge for India is to achieve a coherent synergy among these diverse programs, to keep programs with very different short-term goals consistent with a long-term direction for the country. <b>India can become a global innovation leader, provided it uses technology foresight to make the right technology choices in a national perspective, nurtures a robust innovation ecosystem, leverages international cooperation to reinforce its own innovation strategies, and maintains a coherent synergy among these efforts.</b>

<i>R. Chidambaram (chairman@tifac.org.in) is principal scientific adviser to the government of India. </i>

<i>Magazine Title: Issues in Science and Technology. Volume: 24. Issue: 1. Publication Date: Fall 2007. Page Number: 59+. COPYRIGHT 2007 National Academy of Sciences; </i>
<b>Gujarat to connect 16,000 villages through broadband</b> <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->

25th February, 2008

After launching Jyotigram Yojana which aims at supplying electricity to all villages, Gujarat is planning another ambitious project to provide broadband links to its rural areas.

Presenting the 2008-09 state budget in the Vidhan Sabha(state assembly) Monday, Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala said the plan, first of its kind in the country, would provide broadband connections to 16,000 villages across the state.

This is the first budget of the Narendra Modi government after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the December 2007 assembly elections.

The broadband connectivity will make all villages e-Gram-Vishwa-Gram and help villagers avail all advantages of information technology (IT), said Vala.

He said the state was also keen on improving its standing in the Human Development Index (HDI). According to him, the budget revolves around the concept of HDI as the UNDP study has said that Gujarat should play a greater role in improving the HDI.

'We have to increase rural prosperity through agriculture development, and increase employment opportunities. But our stress will be on providing common man with nutritious diet, pure drinking water, extension of quality education and extension of health facilities,' he said.

The government has also decided to set up a Children's University in Gujarat, which again will be the first of its kind in India, Vala said. The project will take off as an institution called Bal Gokulam but will ultimately be transformed into a Children's University.

The state was already moving towards achieving a growth rate of 11.3 percent, a notch ahead of 11.2 percent indicated by the Planning Commission, the minister said.

Vala said the state had achieved an average growth rate of 10.4 in the last year against a target of 10.2 percent. For the 11th plan, a challenging target of 11.2 percent has been set.

He indicated that the annual plan outlay for 2008-09 will be Rs.190.3 billion ($4.7 billion) compared to Rs.160 billion approved for 2007-08, reflecting an increase of 18.93 percent.
<b>Record tax collections will enable FM to write off farmer loans worth Rs 90,000 crore</b>

February 25, 2008

An estimated record tax collection of more than Rs 6,00,000 crores this fiscal, will give enough leeway to Finance Minister P Chidambaram to dole out enough money in Budget 2008-09 for social sector programmes, agriculture, rural employment and sops to industry reeling under a global slowdown.

North Block mandarins say the record tax haul, the highest since independence, will exceed the Budget Estimates of Rs 5,48,122 crores for the year.

The impending General Elections in 2009 would necessitate large spending on social sector programmes like education and health to make a visible impact on the common man.

Mr Chidambaram will also be compelled to earmark the largesse that will be shelled out to Central government employees by way of the Sixth Pay Commission. The figure in this regard could touch Rs 36,000 crores with the government already having instructed the Railway Ministry to keep apart Rs 9,000 crores for the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for its employees.

Buoyed by the robust tax collections, the Finance Ministry is likely to set a target for growth in tax revenues by 18-20 per cent for the next Budget.

The total direct tax collection will be in the region of Rs 3,30,000 crores, which is more than the target of Rs 2,70,109 crores set for the year. The phenomenal tax haul will ride on the back of hefty direct tax collections resulting from high growth rate.

<b>Reports indicate that the UPA government is mulling a Rs 90,000 crore package in the Budget in its last ditch effort to appease rural India.</b> If this come through then this will be the biggest ever farm loan write-off.

Direct tax collections have grown by as much as 40 per cent and will account for almost 55 per cent of the total tax kitty. The tax collection this fiscal would constitute almost 13 per cent of India's GDP.

Better compliance resulting from lower rates of taxation and the government tightening of the noose around tax evaders by a slew of measures over the years has resulted in improvement of tax revenues.

For instance, quoting PAN and the Annual Information Report has made tax evasion a more difficult affair.

The stock market boom, with the BSE and Nifty touching historic highs, has resulted in the Securities Transaction Tax growing by almost 60 per cent.

<b>Services, which now account for more than 50 per cent of the GDP, have been recording a double digit growth</b>, and have thus added enormously to the buoyancy in tax revenues. It is also regarded as an area from where larger taxes can be garnered in future. Service tax has been growing at around 30 per cent.
<b>Education, agriculture sectors to get priority in Budget: FM</b>

February 25, 2008

Education and agriculture sectors would get top priority in the coming Union Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said.

Education sector is being given importance as literacy alone could make India a super power, Chidambaram told a public meeting after distributing Congress membership cards to 2,000 people in his Lok Sabha constituency recently

Assuring that the government would "take care of the farm sector," he asked farmers to "take care of the education" of their children. Pointing to the February 29 Union Budget, he said education and farm sectors are his top priorities.

The UPA Government in the last three years had allocated Rs 28,600 crore for the education sector lending, of which Rs 17,636 crore had already been distributed, he said.
Those who are cheering for Maoist and believing that its due to some cause. Why every woman on earth is not picking up chappal and slapping on every next man they see.

Who is creating these so-called causes? People who are cheerleader of Maoist are creating environment by encouraging people to kill, so that we can justifying that you have some cause and lets us get busy to resolve.
No one on this earth is happy with current situation, so it means they start killing others.

With same logic, rapist should be awarded because his action was due to some cause. Cheerleaders can provide solution for this cause.

Good going Maoist cheerleaders.!!!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Down, but could be up </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Let's get back to aggressive reforms

The Economic Survey for 2007-08 pegs India's GDP growth at 8.7 per cent, which is less than the double-digit growth that had been promised by the Prime Minister as well as last year's 9.6 per cent growth. Seen in the context of the recessionary trends in the global economy and the worldwide slowdown, 8.7 per cent growth is not to be scoffed at; optimists will insist, and not without reason, the 'India story' is not yet over. But if we look beyond the growth figure at the statistics that form the bulk of the Economic Survey, we would find there is cause for concern. With the UPA Government -- hostage to a capricious Left -- focussing on populist, though bogus, welfare schemes and thus squandering resources, infrastructure has suffered the most. Every key sector has posted sluggish growth: The deceleration is most obvious in cement production (which has grown by seven per cent compared to 10.5 per cent the previous year) while the growth in steel has nearly halved. Strange as it may sound, there has been a decline in the growth of civil aviation, railways and telecommunications, although these sectors are perceived to be booming. Industrial production is down to nine per cent while agriculture is floundering at three per cent. True, the services sector has shown a healthy growth trend, but that is clearly overshadowed by the poor showing by other sectors. What makes the situation particularly worrisome is the consumer price index, which continues to inch its way upward. The Economic Survey, and Finance Minister P Chidambaram's comments on Thursday, <b>clearly indicate that a dramatic turnaround is not on the cards; that double-digit growth is unlikely to happen in the immediate future; and, that while tight fiscal policies may help contain inflation, it will not really be curbed</b>.

But, as the Economic Survey points out, there is a path out of the gathering despair, a mantra to push growth and ease the pressure on both Government and the masses: Revive and accelerate the reforms process, which has been in a limbo ever since the Left got to say 'no' in the summer of 2004 as the price for keeping the Congress in power. As a result, barring minor -- and hence inconsequential -- policy initiatives, reforms have been shelved with not so inconsequential results. Instead of freeing the economy from the remnants of state control, we have witnessed an effort to return to the discredited policies of the past by extending control regimes that titillate the imagination of our Marxists but dampen the market. The Economic Survey says this trend must be reversed and robust reforms reintroduced if growth has to be encouraged and inflation curbed. It recommends the sale of non-Navratna public sector units, phasing out of controls on drugs, fertilisers and sugar, allowing foreign direct investment in the retail sector and opening up of banking and insurance sectors. All this will no doubt serve as a red rag for the Left, but there is more to Parliament than those who want to hold India back.<b> If the Congress truly believes in what the Economic Survey recommends, let it reach out to the BJP for support</b>. The main Opposition party may say no to FDI in retail, but on other issues it cannot but say yes as they are in continuation of the second generation reforms it initiated when in power at the helm of the NDA Government. The nation's interests can -- and must -- be looked after by the two national parties. The Left can be left to stew in its own foul juice
<!--QuoteBegin-ravish+Feb 19 2008, 07:24 AM-->QUOTE(ravish @ Feb 19 2008, 07:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I<b> presume you will brand the entire print media to be biased( it won't have much takers)</b>
Ravishji, If you still around, there are indeed takers and here it is for your reading pleasure.
Batting for the Maoists - Tehelka and its half truths

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Offstumped Bottomline: As always Tehelka’s economy with truth is meant to shock and awe one into an outpouring of guilt while losing sight of facts.

By conveniently ignoring the press release put out by Binayak Sen on Narayan Sanyal days before his actual arrest Tehelka has attempted to put a smokescreen on Binayak Sen’s Maoist links.

By conveniently chronicling the sequence of events from May 2006 Tehelka has painted an innocent picture that brushes over tough questions.
Tehelka has been promoting bankrupt idealogy and no wonder it's going financially bankrupt too.
Looks like the naxal supporter poster ran away. <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Strategic crude oil reserve</b>
Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Government has decided in September, 2005 to set up strategic storage of crude oil of 5 Million Metric Tonne(MMT) capacity at 3 locations viz, Vizag (1.0 MMT), Mangalore (1.5 MMT) and Padur, Udipi (2.5 MMT).

The estimated capital cost (as per September 2005 prices) was Rs.2397 crore  and the crude filling cost Rs.8870 crore  (based on the then crude price of $ 55 per barrel).

OIDB will finance the cost of building the strategic storage.  To meet the cost of crude,  the Government could consider a temporary increase in the cess on domestic crude and/or customs duty on imported crude, if necessary.

The completion targets for establishing the strategic crude oil reserves are mentioned below:
Visakhapatnam  :      January 31, 2011
Mangalore          :      July 15, 2011
Padur                :      December 31, 2011

The above information was given by the Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dinsha Patel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
A step in the right direction to prevent shortage of crude oil in the nation during times of crisis in the middle east(major supplier of crude oil to India) or during times of war.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>New licensing policy for oil and gas exploration</b>
Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Murli Deora informed the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply that in Krishna Godavari basin, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) started commercial oil and gas production in October 1998. In 2006-07, production by ONGC in onland areas of KG basin was about 602 tonnes per day of crude oil and 4 million metric standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) of natural gas.

He told the House that in July 2008, additional natural gas of 40 MMSCMD from Krishna Godavari deepwater areas is likely to be produced by Reliance Industries Limited and NIKO Resources Limited Joint Venture.

Shri Deora also informed that in Rajasthan, ONGC and Oil India Limited are producing natural gas at the rate of 0.75 MMSCMD. In second quarter of 2009, crude oil peak production of 6 million metric tones per annum is likely to be produced by Cairn Energy India Pty. Ltd. He added that 12 MMSCMD of natural gas is produced from Tapti field by British Gas Exploration Production India Limited (BGEPIL).

The Minister further said that as on 1.4.2007, in KG basin, initially in place oil and gas reserves of 970.52 million metric tones of oil equivalent (MMTOE) have been established. In Rajasthan, initially in place oil and gas reserves of 330.36 MMTOE have been established. In Tapti field, initially in place oil and gas reserves of 114.96 MMTOE have been established.

Government of India approved the New Exploration & Licensing Policy(NELP) in 1997 and it became effective in February, 1999. Since then licenses for exploration are being awarded only through a competitive bidding system and National Oil Companies (NOCs) are required to compete on an equal footing with Indian and foreign companies to secure Petroleum Exploration Licences(PELs). Six rounds of bids have so far been concluded under NELP, in which production sharing contracts for 162 exploration blocks have been signed. Under NELP, 56 oil and gas discoveries in 17 blocks have already been made in Cambay onland, North East Coast and Krishna-Godavari deepwater areas, for which, development plans by the operators are in progress.

With exploration and development efforts made under NELP, Natural Gas production in the country is likely to be doubled by end of 11th Five Year Plan from the present level of gas production of about 90 million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD).

Under seventh round of NELP which was launched on 13th December 2007, Government is offering 57 exploration blocks. The offered blocks include – 19 deepwater blocks, 9 shallow water blocks and 29 onland blocks. Exploration blocks in onland areas are located in the states of Assam (1), Bihar(3), Chattisgarh(1), Gujarat(11), Madhya Pradesh (2), Rajasthan (3), Tamil Nadu(2) and West Bengal (6). Out of 19 deepwater blocks, 15 exploration blocks are in western offshore areas and 3 exploration blocks are in eastern offshore areas. One deepwater exploration block is in Andaman Nicobar basin. Amongst shallow water blocks, 6 blocks are in Mumbai basin in western offshore, while 3 blocks are in KG basin in eastern offshore. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Fiberglass LPG cylinders</b>
Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Government has conveyed “in principle” approval to the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for expanding the product line by way of introduction of composite cylinders for marketing domestic LPG, <b>subject to there being no subsidy element in the LPG to be marketed through these composite cylinders.</b>

To start with, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC) along with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) intend to import some cylinders and do test marketing in selected cities.

OMCs are procuring LPG cylinders from cylinder manufacturers who have valid manufacturing licences from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Chief Controller of Explosives (CCOE). LPG cylinders procured by OMCs meet the required quality standards.

OMCs have reported that necessary approval of CCOE has been obtained for use of composite cylinders for LPG.

The above information was given by the Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dinsha Patel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>India-Japan trade may touch USD 15 bn by 2010: CII</b>

New Delhi, Mar 9 - Trade between India and Japan has the potential to double in the next two years if issues like trade facilitation and non-tariff barriers are addressed, according to industry body CII.

India-Japan trade can reach 15 billion dollars by 2010 from 7.5 billion dollars in 2006-07. New areas of trade in services, higher investment flows into India from Japan, promoting people-to-people contact are other ways through which the level of bilateral trade can increase," CII said.

<b>Bilateral trade has more than doubled since 2002-03 with trade balance in favour of Japan. "While import duties on most goods in Japan is low at present, the India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) can raise the level of India's exports," it said in a study.

There is need for greater focus on agricultural exports to Japan since share of agricultural items in India's exports to Japan has declined by about 22 per cent over the last 10 years, although export of processed food increased by 4 per cent during this period.</b>

Further, export of Indian agricultural goods, chemicals and pharmaceuticals face various NTBs. Exporters also have difficulties in understanding guidelines and regulations, since they are mostly in the Japanese language.

It further said there is need to relax visa norms for Indian medical, para-medical workers and engineers similar to the liberalised entry its nurses have to Philippines and Indonesia as part of free trade deals. "There should be liberalisation of trade in services with regard to movement of professionals in the CEPA," it said.

The Japanese government should also provide Validated End User (VEU) certificate on the lines of the US policy for the Indian buyers. The 6th round of India-Japan CEPA negotiations is scheduled to take place in Tokyo later this month.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Setting Up Of National Skill Development Mission</b>

March 05, 2008

The approach to 11th Five Year Plan has assessed that while India's young demographic profile has the country favourably placed in terms of manpower availability, talent supply shortages are emerging.

This is extremely disconcerting especially for the knowledge services sector, which over the last few years has emerged as a significant growth engine which demonstrated gains in terms of exports, employment and very visibly in urban development across several cities in the country. Research has shown that so far, only a tenth of the global addressable market for these services has been tapped.

<b>India is best positioned to take advantage of this opportunity with its early lead and strong fundamentals such as demographics, economics, and expertise. Yet the unsuitability of a large proportion of the talent pool in the country could lead to significant lost opportunities. The NASSCOM-McKinsey Report, 2005 Projections indicate that these will fall short by about 0.5 million suitable professionals by the end of the decade and in the absence of corrective action, this gap will continue to grow. However, if current trends are maintained, the IT and ITES sector will need an additional 1 million plus qualified people in the next 5 years.</b>

If the country is to capitalize on the huge opportunity in this and other areas of knowledge services, a major thrust is needed at all levels of education and skill development.

<b>Accordingly Government has decided to set up a National Skill Development Mission under which 1600 more ITIs and polytechnics, 10,000 vocational education schools and 50,000 skill development centres are planned proposed in Public Private Partnership mode in order to train 10 million persons per annum.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>11th Five Year Plan Envisages Creation Of  70 Million Jobs</b>
March 05, 2008

<b>The approach paper to 11th Five Year Plan envisages creation of 70 million job opportunities in the next five years. </b>

It also provides a framework to restructure policies to achieve a new vision based on faster, more broad based and inclusive growth. It aims at making employment generation an integral part of the growth process and devise strategies to accelerate not only growth of employment but also wages of the poorly paid.

Besides, Government of India has been implementing various employment generation and poverty alleviation programmes in both rural and urban areas to increase employment opportunities. Some of these are: Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY); Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY); Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY); Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY); Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP); Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>New Schemes To Provide Skilled Manpower To Industry</b>
March 05, 2008

The 55th round of National Sample Survey Organisation Report has revealed that only 5% of the workforce in the age group 20-24 years has got training through formal sources .

Government has taken up the following new schemes to provide skilled manpower to industry :

Upgradation of 500 existing ITIs for providing highly skilled labour force in various industrial sectors.

Upgradation of the remaining 1396 ITIs in Public Private Partnership mode.

Establishment of new ITIs and strengthening of existing ITIs in the North Eastern States, Sikkim and J & K.

Conducting of Short term Modular Employable Courses under “Skill Development Initiative”.

In addition, it has also been decided to set up a National Skill Development Mission under which 1500 new ITIs and 50,000 Skill Development Centres are planned in Public Private Partnership mode.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>One million new jobs in India in 2008: Survey</b>

Mar 10, 2008

It is good news for those fresh out of college or for those who are keen for a job change, as a leading HR consultancy firm has predicted one million new jobs in India this year.

Ma Foi Employment Trends Survey (METS), conducted by Ma Foi, one of India's largest HR consultancy firm has predicted a three per cent increase in employment in 2008.

The largest chunk of the new jobs according to the survey would be generated by hospitality sector which is riding high with the tourism boom in the country.

"The Hospitality sector will generate the maximum number of employment in 2008. 426,668 jobs are going to be generated by the Hospitality sector. This sector is closely followed by Health at 295,829 and Education Training & Consultancy at 166,005," says the survey.

It adds that an estimated USD 11.41 billion is expected to be seen in the Hospitality sector in the next two years and that India is likely to have around 40 international hotel brands by 2011.

"The boom in the tourism industry has had a cascading effect on the hospitality sector, which was a result of the increase in the occupancy ratios and average room rates. With the demand continuing to surge, many global hospitality majors have evinced a keen interest in the Indian hospitality sector," says K. Pandia Rajan, Managing Director, Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd.

While, IT and ITES sector continues with high growth in recruitment at 7.3 and 7.2 per cent, the survey says that it is the Health sector which shows the highest growth in recruitment at 8.9 per cent.
<b>Gujarat has a bumper potato crop</b>

Mar 11 2008

Deesa (Gujarat), Mar 11 (ANI): A bumper potato harvest, thanks to favourable climatic conditions in Gujarat, has farmers rejoicing.

Deesa, a small township in Banaskantha District is one of the major hubs of potato production and trade in the country, and has registered a bumper crop.

Grown in an estimated area of 40,000 hectares of land with average productivity of 300 quintals per hectare, the total production has gone up by 25 per cent to create a sort of record in the history of potato cultivation in Gujarat.

Potatoes of Deesa are basically exported to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Middle East.

Last year, around 85 lakh bags of potatoes were produced in Deesa, but this year, the production is expected to touch 1.5 crore bags.

Apart from Deesa, the traders are expecting good supply from Palanpur, Kheda, and Sabarkantha.

"This year the cold winter conditions that extended longer for 10 to 15 days resulted in a bumper crop for the first time. One is the acreage increase, and I would say 10 or 15 per cent further increase in the yield.

Last year, the yields were destroyed by blight which has not arrived since 14 years in Gujarat. So, if you compare it with last year, there is significant improvement in quality may be to the tune of 10 to 25 per cent plus five per cent is the area increase also," said Devendra Kumar, National Manager (Agriculture), McCain, a company engaged in trading agro-production.

Although potato was not a major crop in the state initially, favourable climatic conditions, sandy loam and medium black soil, have helped jack up production by 10-15 per cent and is a major employment source for many.

There are almost 1000 genotypes of potatoes available here.

Poor harvest in northern and eastern parts of the country has raised the demand for potatoes from Gujarat. Consequently, the farmers here are expecting 7 to 10 per cent growth in demand.

"My crop output this time is over 19 tonnes per acre. In the past few years, I have produced 16 tonnes per acre. In some of the plots, the quantity produced is even more than 19 tonnes per acre. So if you see the past 100 years' record, in the entire nation, the yield has never been this much. The yield has increased upto 18-20 per cent," said Parthi Chaudhary, a farmer.

Farmers feel that the forays by global giants like McCain and McDonalds have resulted in good yield since they are banking on the farmers for processed potatoes.

McCain, has set up a single unit in Mehsana with a processing plant that has a capacity of 30,000 to prepare French Fries and other eatables. All these are processed from potatoes of McCain-1 and McCain-2 varieties.

With the bumper crop, the traders are exploring newer export markets. By Ami(ANI)

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