Ode to an environmentalist, who became environment minister

Environmentalist, especially river conservation activist, author, amateur pilot and Member of Parliament. Anil Madhav Dave had donned various caps before he became the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change in July 2016.
Dave, 61, died of heart attack on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at New Delhi. Prime Minister NarendraModi tweeted his shock about Dave’s death and termed it as a “personal loss”.
It was exactly one year ago, when Madhya Pradesh government had organised the ‘International VicharMahakumbh’ coinciding with the Simhastha Kumbh Mela 2016. The Vichar Mahakumbh, with the theme ‘The Right Way of Living’ was attended by religious saints, politicians from almost all parties, thinkers and activists both from India and abroad and each one of them was encouraged to participate in the intellectual churning, a la Kumbh Mela mythological story, to bring out what was later declared as 51-point ‘Universal Declaration of Simhastha’.


Two sides of the Army Chief’s statement on status of officers

The Army Chief recently spoke at Pune wherein came up with a much controversial comment “Don’t compare yourself with civil service officials regarding Non Functional Upgrade (NFU).  The NFU is a time-bound upgrade given to Group “A’ service officers by the Sixth Pay Commission wherein within two years of a promotion all officials start drawing a similar pay scale. Since it affects salary and pension, it has a long-term effect. 
The armed forces are kept out of the NFU saying they are commissioned officers. On the contrary, the armed forces and the nation know that the “Army is the last hope” and when all fail, they go in and sort things out. This has created a minor storm in the tea cup for defence officers and possibly for veterans who see these statements close to the final implementation of 7th pay commission. 
The final implementation of the 7th pay commission with an implementation factor of 2.57 and no NFU, but a specific factor of 2.67 for select ranks is a watered down recommendation from the expected factor of 2.87 which would have put the forces at a higher level than others.  Like every comment there are two sides or versions to these remarks. Both require scrutiny.

Professor Rajvir Sharma 130x160

Reshaping India: Three years of Modi Government

NDA was returned to power in 2014 with a huge majority by the electorate. It was after about 25 years of coalition era that the Indian voters preferred a single party rule though still bound by the coalition commitment. BJP itself was given a clear mandate to govern the country without any scope for it to blame the coalition compulsion for malgovernance or policy paralysis or corruption.
People were fed up with the perpetuating status quo, both political and economic. There was an environment of gloom, hopelessness and frustration all around in almost every section of the society – rich and poor, young and old, male and female. Politicians and the bureaucracy were perceived as law unto themselves in general.
Against this backdrop, the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi promised change in the life conditions of all these withdrawn and cynical sections specially the poor and the young. Modi promised that India could change with the engagement of the youth, the women, the kisan and the jawan together in rebuilding the nation. He said the main reason behind the gloom pervading all across the social fabric of India was the loss of self-confidence as a nation.
It was necessary to instill faith in the average citizen to assert, “Yes, India can do it”. 


Three years of Modi Govt: Resounding push to social justice

Over the last three years we have witnessed a fundamental shift in the narrative of social justice for the marginalised. The focus has moved from the politics of welfarism and entitlement to a more participatory model of empowerment. By all means, the Central Government is effectively exploring multiple facets of empowerment for the socially deprived sections of the society. Here is an objective assessment of the steps taken by the present regime towards achieving the goal of social justice and holistic development of the last man in the village, which is reflective of the eternal commitment to the principles of Antyodaya.

The annual financial statements of the Government for the last three years have reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen the rural economy and indigenous infrastructure that lies at the core of our villages. It is indicative of the commitment reiterated by the Prime Minister NarendraModi on more than one occasions. Since the inception of the incumbent government, Modihas made his intentions clear that the core agenda of the government will remain“welfare of themarginalised”. 

Siddheshwar Shukla

Let Kejriwal resign taking a cue from his predecessor Madan Lal Khurana

“Even Lalu Yadav had spoken out on such evidences of corruption”. This has been the refrain of Kapil Mishra, ever since he put Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the dock over probity, over Kejriwal’s studied silence. Leveling serious corruption charges against his former boss and AAP supremo, he dared him to come clean.
The ongoing drama played out in the National Capital is a clear indication that all is not well in the AAP camp. It’s time Kejriwal was judged on the basis of some pre-existing standards set by political leadership before Kejriwal presented his ‘alternative politics’ with an avowed aim to cleanse politics.
As for the question what a leader should do in the wake of charges of corruption against him, Kejriwal need not grapple with precedence as one of his predecessors, Madan Lal Khurana, has illustratively demonstrated the way out. Following the footsteps of his party’s senior leader LK Advani, the first chief minister of Delhi resigned from the post at the peak of his political career. The move came in the wake of his name figuring in the infamous Hawal scam of 1996. The evidence was a diary recovered from the main accused in the case.