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Public information campaign launched across northeast India

Posted by egovindia on August 6, 2006

Public information campaign launched across northeast India

Agartala: To empower the poor and illiterate staying in remote corners of northeast India, the central government initiated Public Information Campaign (PIC) concluded here Sunday.

“Press Information Bureau (PIB) has been entrusted to carry out the task under eight important flagship programme of the centre including Bharat Nirman, Right to Information Act, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan besides prime minister’s 15-point programme for minorities,” PIB Information Officer Subhashish Chanda said here.

Apart from all media units of information and broadcasting ministry, banks, public sector units and state government departments involved in the implementation and execution of these flagship programmes, non-governmental organisations and youth associations participated in the PICs, Chanda added.

The other programmes of the unique campaign were enlightenment on the national rural employment guarantee act, national rural health mission, universalised mid-day meal programme and Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission.

“The overall objective of the campaign is empowering poor and illiterate living in rural areas and remote places by giving them access to information on proactive basis on various policies and programmes under the flagship schemes and to make people aware of the rights and responsibilities and ensure their participation in these schemes,” Chanda pointed out.

Similar campaigns would start in Guwahati Tuesday and in Aizwal from Aug 22 followed by other places in the northeast.


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Globalisation and governance

Posted by egovindia on August 5, 2006

Globalisation and governance
— Debabrata Mukherjee

In a wider sense, the notion of “globalisation” comprises all those processes by which the people of the world are incorporated in a single world society, opine M Albrow and E King in their book Globalisation, Knowledge and Society.

In this sense, one may distinguish at least three historic processes or stages or phases of globalisation. The first phase of globalisation accomplished colonial imperialism, over long stretches of time and space throughout the world.

The second phase of globalisation is marked by international concern and declaration of human rights and international standards of justice which will chasten the arrogance of sovereign power everywhere. This phase is still continuing.

The third phase of globalisation, running concurrently with the second phase, is marked by the following features: a steady rise of forces of capitalism, where the whole world becomes an endless chain of shopping arcades or chains of departmental stores, where consumption needs of the industrialised society enjoys ontological priority over the basic needs of the wretched of the earth in the third world, burgeoning consumerist and hedonistic middle class, near-universalisation of Mc Carthy-ism, obscene sycophancy of a uni-polar world where collective interdependence became collective dependence of poor countries on international financial institutions which have become superstatal centre of authorities, and above all, co-habitation of ‘epistemic recruits’ with the super power aiming at continuous deification of free market and reduction in the role of the State in poor countries.

We may cite the intellectual discourse relating to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the world’s governments in 2000. The goals include fighting poverty, disease, hunger, reduction of undernourished population, child mortality, material death in child birth, safe drinking water and eradication of killer diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS by 2015 AD.

Obviously, the goals have been lawfully adopted by the governments. Therefore, the governments are duty-bound to take immediate measures in this regard, at least on two counts. Firstly, the issues are related to human rights to development and the government are duty-bound to protect and promote human rights. Secondly, governments should keep their promises to maintain moral superiority.

Unfortunately, world-famous intellectual of the stature of Jeffrey D Sachs, professor of Economics at Columbia University, has recently made the following observations: ‘The time has arrived for a massive effort by voluntary organisation to take up the MDGs through private action. We need not wait for the politicians. In a short period of time, the world’s citizens can make deep inroads in the fight against disease, hunger and poverty. Then the politicians may follow.”

Professor Sachs could have impressed upon the governments to take immediate measures for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. However, professor Sachs has encouraged abdication of duties by the governments and emphasised the controversial charity principle of social welfare, avoiding the trusteeship or stewardship principle and without taking human rights seriously. Voluntary organisations or NGOs play important roles in the field of human rights activism. However, the primary responsibility of promotion and protection of human rights rests with the governments who may just take assistance of NGOs and not the other way round.

Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is imperative for the developing countries where the governments have extraordinary responsibilities towards the denizens. Government which in the formulation of their policies do not take the wishes of the people into account, are bound to lose the support of their people. Any segment of population which feels itself deprived of its developmental rights will tend to be less patriotic.

On the otherhand, supporters of free-market economy insist on ‘minimal government’. The concept of economic liberty is grounded in wealth-maximisation which can only be achieved in free-market.

Even the existing legal system is inadequate to bring about drastic changes in the developmental process immediately. The second phase of globalisation gave us the impression that there would be a spread of legal culture of human rights and equality of opportunity for human beings in the underdeveloped countries. However, presently the theorists are convinced that the panglossia of statutes, delegated legislations, administrative adjudication, judicial and quasi-judicial decision-making, the multiform institutions and personnel and plural non-formal methods of dispute avoidance and resolution can no longer be coherent, closed ensemble of rules or values. In this individualistic fragmented society, law and rights have become weapons of small scale conflicts. There is repeated recourse to highly inefficient case-by-case fire fighting.

Theorists are also convinced that large parts of the law, at least in common law countries, are based on the concept of wealth-maximisation within a free market, since that is the eco-political environment within which law operates and which the law facilitates.

While law is a means of securing the conditions of social life, it is not the only means. Weakness in legal system may be made up by strength in extra-legal pressure in morals, custom, public opinion and the like. In a traditional society there is gradual transformation of social morality into usage or custom. Such custom or usage metamorphoses into legislative prescription or is merged into the law of the land by judicial law-making. Therefore social morality plays a vital role in the growth or development of legal systems. Only in highly advanced societies, the law becomes increasingly a major factor in the formation of social morality.

Unfortunately, the process of globalisation with its incantation of wealth-maximisation or “Enrich thyself” endeavours to promote the non-altruism that in advancing one’s own interest no consideration need be shown to the plight of others. In other words, the society has been transformed into a pure “survival society” where the only goal worth pursuing in life is that of maximising one’s own welfare, without caring for others. In the process of globalisation, the traditional structures breakdown, settled moral norms dissolve, social bonds become less effective and the individual is thrown upon himself.

In absence of altruism and in view of the inadequacy of existing moral or legal norms, there is need for a new style of benevolent governance in the developing countries.
(The writer teaches in University Law College, Gauhati University)

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Centre to modifiy ICDS for NE region

Posted by egovindia on July 31, 2006

Centre to modifiy ICDS for NE region
Aizawl | July 30, 2006 4:50:14 PM IST

The Centre has modified Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme to provide funds for construction of Anganwadi centres (AWCs) in that area on a regular basis in order to meet teh special needs and status of North East.

It has been decided to make allocation for the construction of AWCs in NE states on a regular basis to the extent of utilisation of residual funds out of ten per cent of mandatory allocation for these states, the official sources here today said.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has already approved the construction of buildings for about 20,000 AWCs sanctioned till 2005.

During 2006-07, more than Rs 144 crore was provided to north-eastern States and Sikkim, the sources added.


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Centre proposes new funding plan for NE region

Posted by egovindia on July 31, 2006

Centre proposes new funding plan for NE region

Aizawl | July 30, 2006 4:50:18 PM IST

Following the plea by various political leaders in the NE states, the Centre has decided to approach Planning Commission to fund the shortfall in the matching state share in the region.

The issue of revision of the sharing formula from 75:25 to 90:10 between Centre and NE states is a long pending demand, the official sources here today stated.

The states had been often failing to utilise the Central resources mainly because it defaulted in contributing the matching share.

The Union Rural Development Ministry, in a report has also admitted that the proposal to change the funding pattern was still pending, as the Planning Commission has so far not taken a final decision.

In order to effect early decision, the Ministry has taken up with Planning Commission for funding of the shortfall in matching state share of NE states from NLCPR.

According to the plan, the Parliamentary Standing Committee attached to the Rural Development Ministry had recommended that the plea of the NE states to change the funding pattern to 90:10 be expedited.

The Rural Development Ministry’s status report is but the latest in a series of confirmation about the Centre’s new strategy to fund all new projects in the North-east from the NLCPR.

However, the impression that was sought to be conveyed was that the new projects would be funded by additional Central resources, the sources added.


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MCA-21, mission project under e-governance launched

Posted by egovindia on July 31, 2006

MCA-21, mission project under e-governance launched

 SHILLONG, July 29 – MCA-21, India’s largest e-governance initiative by the Ministry of Company Affairs and a mission project under Government of India’s national e-governance plan, was launched at a special ceremony held here on July 26. The ceremony was presided over by SK Tiwari, chief secretary of Meghalaya and K Ananda Rao, Registrar of companies, Shillong.

The facilitation centres located at Shillong and Guwahati have also been made operational. Shillong now joins the elite list of 15 centres, wherein MCA 21 has already been successfully implemented, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

The MCA-21 initiative is a flagship programme being executed by the Ministry of Company Affairs in partnership with Tata Consultancy Services Limited on a PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. Under the programme framework, TCS will be resposible for designing and implementing the programme: owning, operating and maintaining the system for a period of six years after successful roll out at all sites.

Silent features of the launched MCA-21 include: Corporations, professionals and the public at large will no longer need to visit the Registrar of Company offices and would be able to interact with the ministry using MCA-21 portal from their offices or home or by going to facilitation centres, which have been set up. The users will have multiple options to make payments in the online mode either through credit cards or the internet banking facility. Besides this, the traditional payment through demand draft would be accepted against a system-generated challan at more than 200 bank branches across the country.

Why MCA 21 Is a MOCKERY of Egovernance in INDIA !

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High-level corruption responsible for MHRC`s impotence: Shishak [Imphal]

Posted by egovindia on July 1, 2006

High-level corruption responsible for MHRC`s impotence: Shishak

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Jun 28: In a strong indictment of the state government, Justice (retired), W A Shishak, chairman of the Manipur Human Rights Commission, accused ministers and bureaucrats of being steeped in corruption, blaming this for the desultory functioning of the rights panel in its eight years of existence.

The MHRC chairman, speaking at a function held yesterday at the MHRC offices to mark the 8th anniversary of the commission, lamented that because of deep rooted corruption, nothing works properly in Manipur.

Corruption has spread its way into all fields of life, Justice Shishak warned, and stressed the need to take steps to bring it under control at the earliest possible time.

Lamenting that the MHRC has not been able to function properly in its eight years of existence, Justice Shishak squarely blamed this on the deep-rooted corruption in Manipur`s society.

The MHRC has been reduced to name only, and expressed his strong desire to have the panel function as an autonomous body without any political interference under the control of Parliament as envisaged in the Protect of Human Rights Act 1993.

RS Rajkumar, MHRC member, in his address to the gathering, said it is imperative for the state government to pressurise the Centre to amend section 19 of the CrPC to allow the MHRC to directly inquire into cases involving the armed forces and the paramilitary forces.

He also wanted section 36 to be amended to allow state human rights panels to conduct inquiries in the manner of judicial commissions of inquiry.

Today`s function was presided over by MHRC member Ngangom Nongyai, while S Gourachand Singh, another member, acted as guest of honour.

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[Four NE Articles] MIZORAM , Centre to develop NE region, NE Tourisum Development Fund, NE IT Secretary Corruption,

Posted by egovindia on June 30, 2006

 Mizoram has set an shining example to other NE states
Aizawl | June 30, 2006 4:44:24 PM IST

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs S Regupathy today appreciated that Mizoram has set an shining example in maintaining 20 years of peace in the region.

Talking on the occasion of ‘Remna Ni’ (Peace Accord day) organised by the Mizoram government at Vanapahal here, the minister lauded the efforts of various political, relegious and NGO leaders for maintaining sustained peace and transquility in the region.

”Maintaining peace for two-days is something remarkable”, he added.

The other NE states, which are affected by the insurgency problem, should take example from the Mizo people not only for sustaining peace but also improving in developmental activities.

Mr Regupathy also mentioned the Centre has already released more than three crores as compentation for various churches and buildings, which were destroyed during the insurgency period.

”It also released more than two crores as compensation for those who lost their lives during various insurgency activities during early 70s,” he said adding ”apart from this, the Centre is also keen in helping the state government for tackling unemployment problems in the region by introducing new schemes.” While talking about the occurance of bamboo flowering in the state, the minster informed that the Centre is also ready to extend all possible assistance through the Bamboo Flowering and Famine Combat Scheme (BAFFACOS).



Centre is keen on developing NE region : Regupathy
Aizawl | June 30, 2006 4:43:15 PM IST


Union Minister of state for Home Affairs S Regupathy today said the Centre is very keen in its vision plan to develop the North Eastern region within a couple of years.

Talking to UNI at the Raj Bhavan here, the minister said the Centre has already shown interest in calling all insurgent outfits, especially in the NE region to the negotiaing table for a peaceful settlement.

Mr Regupathy, who was here on a two-day visit to the state, said that after visiting Asom, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura it was clear the people in the region are interested in developing their states.

”The on-going Centres’ peace process with ULFA would definetly lay a big platform for all development activities in NE,” he said, adding ”once the major companies start investing in these area, NE would be a major investment zone within a couple of years”.

The minister also mentioned that on an average per year, the NE region gets about Rs 90 crores from Border Area Development programmes.

He said ”About 63 new projects has been implemented in the NE region during 2005 Non Lapsable funds”.

Mr Regupathy also urged both the Centre and the state governments to work out various new plans and schemes for the unemployment problem in the region.



Tourism Development Fund to dominate NE Tourism Ministers’ Meet
New Delhi | June 30, 2006 4:43:23 PM IST

The proposal to set up a North-East Tourism Development Fund and review of the existing projects and plans relating to tourism and culture will be the focus of the meeting of Tourism and Culture Ministers of all the North-Eastern States, to be held in Guwahati on July 3-4.

The meeting, convened at the initiative of Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni, will discuss the status of projects sanctioned by the Centre for the North-Eastern States, issues concerning project formulation and implementation and encouragement to the private sector and local entrepreneurs for development of tourism infrastructure.

The status and working of Hotel Management and Food Craft Institutes in the North-East will also come for deliberations, official sources said.

Some specific issues are also on the agenda for discussion.

These include programme for 2550th Anniversary of Mahaparinivana of Lord Buddha; issues relating to Restricted Area Permit/Protected Area Permit/Inner Line Permit regions in North East States; review of the working of North-East Shilpagram at Dimapur; and progress of the multipurpose cultural complex scheme of the Culture Ministry.

In addition, the ministers will discuss status of the cultural festival of the North-East and initiatives in the library sector, particularly infrastructure development and library strengthening programme of the Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation.

Tourism and Culture Ministers of all the North-Eastern States — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — will participate in the meeting.



Deputy secretary comes under audit scanner in Mizoram
Aizawl | June 30, 2006 1:38:27 PM IST

State auditors have alleged the deputy secretary, Information Technology (IT) cell of planning department for misappropriating three crore rupees, allocated for the e-governance programme of Mizoram secretariat.

During inspection, the auditors of the state Accounts and Treasuries (AT) department found irregularities in the selection procedure. They also said that the IT wing deputy secretary had issued certificates to firms illegaly.

The auditors failed to trace out the selection procedure of two firms, M/s Comnet and ORG Informatics limited, who got the contract for installing the e-governance machineries at the secretariat.

Although a tender notice was issued, the concerned department was not able to produce a comparative statement of the tenderers.

The IT wing entered into a contract agreement of Rs 3,75,74,005, with the two firms whereas North Eastern Council (NEC) had sanctioned Rs 380 lakhs for the project.

The report also mentioned that the money was released in three installments of Rs 75 lakhs, Rs 300 lakhs and Rs 5 lakhs. However, the last installment could not be traced.

The auditors have demanded clarification from the deputy secretary regarding the selection of the two firms along with the comparitive statement of the different firms who applied for the tender.


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Centre to expedite NE projects

Posted by egovindia on June 30, 2006

Centre to expedite NE projects
Aizawl | June 29, 2006 2:41:28 PM IST

The Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has reviewed the approval process for projects and release of funds under its flagship NLCPR scheme for the North East States to expedite approval of various new schemes.

Out of total 767 projects sanctioned since the commencement of NLCPR in 1998-99 about 375 projects have been completed as a result of improved monitoring and concerted efforts, official sources here today said.

The total outflow from NLCPR to the North East States during the last two years from May 2004 to May 2006 has been Rs. 1,329 crore.

There also has been a significant increase in the allocation and expenditure of various Central Ministries and Departments for the North East Region during the last two years.

The allocation during 2006-07 has been kept at Rs. 12,621 crores, an increase of about 86 per cent over Rs. 6,787 crores allocated during 2004-05.


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DoNER reviews NE projects and funds

Posted by egovindia on June 28, 2006

DoNER reviews NE projects and funds
Shillong | June 28, 2006 7:43:30 PM IST

The Union Ministry of DoNER has reviewed the process of approval of projects and release of funds under its flagship scheme of NLCPR for the North East States, so as to make them faster.

Out of total 767 projects sanctioned since the commencement of NLCPR in 1998/99, about 375 projects have been completed, as a result of improved monitoring and concerted efforts.

The total outflow from NLCPR to the North East States during the last two years ( from May 2004 to May 2006) has been Rs. 1,329 crore.

There has been a significant increase in the allocation and expenditure of various Central Ministries/Departments for the North East Region during the last two years.

The allocation during 2006-07 has been kept at Rs.12,621 crore, an increase of about 86% over Rs. 6,787 crore allocated during 2004-05.

UNI RRK PC/src1606/1707

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Bhardwaj for for national law schools in Northeast

Posted by egovindia on June 27, 2006

Bhardwaj for for national law schools in Northeast
Ranchi | June 27, 2006 12:40:05 AM IST

The Centre is keen on establishing national law schools in the Northeastern region and asked the governments concerned to take initiatives for its materialisation, Union Law Minister Hans Raj Bharadwaj today said.

Terming the legal education as of paramount importance, Mr Bharadwaj stressed the need on encouraging more and more tribal people to study law and become judges.

”We have already had such colleges in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal to name a few…I have asked the Asom government to find land for the project, ” he told UNI here.

The Union Minister said his design was to produce good judges by imparting quality legal education and added he was focussing on tribal belts having such colleges, which he hoped would help get judges from among them.

Referring to Jharkhand, Mr Bharadwaj said the state had made good progress in terms of instituting such colleges, for which 40 acres had already been sanctioned.

He hoped the project would be completed soon in the state.


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