Friday, March 26, 2010
Even though the incidents of terror have arrived in the city, the top cop of Pune says the citizens can very well prevent the untoward incidents. The need is to be alert and vigilant and way out is the Mission Mrityunjay, which is all about reaching to students in keeping a vigil on the city. The recent bomb blast in German Bakery shook the city of Pune iside out. It exposed the fact that this city is as vulnerable as any other city in India or in the world, for that matter. This fact was only reiterated by P. Chidambaram, union minister of home. Many say it is a systemic failure of the administration.
Before we say that the blast has brought on fore the weaknesses police and other security and intelligence agencies, we thought it better to have word from the top cop of the city. He outlined how the alertness of citizens can avoid the recurrences of such incidents in future.
Dr. Satyapal Singh, commissioner of police, informed City Blog that police are taking up the Mission Mrityunay capmpaign to more students. “We are focussing more on High Schools now. We have already reached to more than 200 schools and colleges,” he said. Here is what he said about the current situation:
Today terrorism has become a monster. It has no preference for any caste or creed, race or religion, country or community.
The roots of terrorism lie in the mind. We have to think why terrorist are being created, how people are lured into it. A man addicted to drug The first priority for us should be to have an objective education. Differences based on caste, creed and nation are giving birth to the terrorism. I do not say this evil can be uprooted from the earth but we can at least minimize its spread.
Hence, the focus of Mission Mrityunjay is to create good human beings with objective education. The aim is to create people with scientific temperament who do not subscribe to radical ideologies. Our message is
“Alertness is our religion,” and “Making others alert is our mission.”
Sutra of Alertness
To be alert is a 24 hours duty. It is not a job of only policemen. To fight against terrorism, you have first to be aware of the dangers of the terrorism.
The terrorism is man made disaster and it is to be fought that way. Any strange activity, person or thing must be recorded and should be immediately notified to police. Anything strange is dangerous, this is the basic principle of scecurity. Those who make noise on human rights have no real good intentions. Almost 90 percent of them are the blackmailers. I never entertain them. When somebody complainst to me about policemen, I say to them, ‘please, you work on the road for an hour and then only you will stop complaining “
VICTORY OVER DEATH AND FEAR
The word Mrityumjay means victory over death. It is mean to inculcate a sense of fearlessness in the minds of those who participate in the programme. Needless to say, children makes a perfect choice for the participation in these kinds of the programme with their impressionable minds.
Under the Mission Mrityunjay, clubs are formed in the schools and colleges. College students as members will help cops gather information on anti-social activities. After recent blast in German Bakery, Pune police revived Mission Mrityunjay. The police conducted security awareness meetings in 57 educational institutes and colleges.
The city police contacted about 32,670 students, teachers and other staff members on a single day. At MIT College in Kothrud, around 15,000 students, 5,000 students at the Modern College and 500 foreign students at the Symbiosis College were covered.
The police officers informed students and teachers about terror strikes and the nature of explosives. This mission was started in in August 2008. Since then, the police conducted meetings and lectures in 218 schools and colleges. These clubs have been established in 103 colleges and 21 schools with 6,771 students being its members.
Poverty Behind Terrorism Is Myth
Dr. Satyapal Singh is also an avid blogger and writes mainly on the spiritual subjects. In one of his posts, he shared his thoughts on terrorism. You can read the blog at http://drsatyapalsingh.blogspot.com/
The biggest myth associated with terrorism is that it is rooted in frustrations, poverty and social economic backwardness. Scholars like Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova, have shown that the terrorists are not poor people nor they are from poor societies. Poverty does not cause terrorism and prosperity does not cure it.
We all know that Osama bin Laden and Dawood Ibrahim, world’s most wanted terrorists, are billionaires. The terrorists come from places which have a concentration of radical preachers.
The first and foremost requirement to tackle terrorism is to counter this radical ideology. Unless the radical ideology and their preachers are neutralized or effectively countered the respective crop of terrorists will keep on resurfacing and growing.
How to impact the minds of the youth to divert them from the path of hate, intolerance and violence, how to demotivate the believers from the clutches of false dreams of an all-blissful paradise are some of the vital questions which require the urgent attention of psychologists, educationists, strategists, parents, politicians and planners.
The plurality of religions is creating contradictions and conflict in society. If all religions lead to peace and happiness, then what is the need for variety ? If they are different and contradictory, then how can they lead to harmony and peace ? The truth is that the common concepts and practices in all religions are scientific, beneficial and true.
This commonality and this core of religions is called Dharma. Intellectuals, not religious teachers, of the world have to come on a single platform and declare that religion means only one: thing the courage to follow righteousness or right conduct in life. The core of religion is what we expect of others, we must do to others.
With its strategically important location and military presence in the city, Pune was always considered to be a safe and secure place to live. The sobriquet of being a Pensioner's Paradise was not given for nothing. It is one of those few big cities in India which remained aloof from the incidents of terror like bomb blast.
All this was in the past. With a sudden jerk on the fateful evening of Saturday, 13 February, the city witnessed one of the bloodiest occurrences in which 9 people lost their lives on first day itself. Latest victim was recorded when a Sudanese student breathed his last exactly a week later. Is existence of terror network in Pune a new phenomenon? Or was it present in the past also?
Investigations after the Mumbai train blasts in 2006 and following intelligence reports have shown clearly that banned organization Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was slowly but surely spreading its wings in Pune. So much so that the city now assumed the form of a nerve centre for the organization's activities.
The intelligence reports show that SIMI activists from all over the country use the city as a transit point and indoctrination centre. The police have time and again reiterated thatthere are many 'Sleeping Cell' in the city consisting of terror operatives. There were also reports that free funding for the organization's activities in the city and its surrounding areas takes place.
More disturbing trend is that besides Mumbai and Pune, network is now spreading to smaller cities of Maharashtra as well. Security officials investigating an encounter in Kashmir discovered that 19-year-old boy from Kolhapur had become a Hizbul Mujahideen operative. Similarly, Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad reached to Aurngabad and Beed investigating the German Bakery blast case. Security agencies have acknowledged the presence of "sleeper cells" in Maharashtra. These cells consist of youth who are not directly involved in any terror activity but provide logistic support.
After the serial blasts in local trains in Mumbai, the Pune police launched an intensive combing operation. A large number of people were questioned since then. The police also increased vigil. According to the police, they have been keeping a close watch on SIMI's activities in Pune since 2001. Even after that vigil, the number seems to be growing alarmingly.
Not long ago, Pune police arrested a software engineer for alleged links with the Lashkar-E-Toiba. Mansoor Peerbhoy was a youth next door whose arrest sent the shock waves across the civil society. In this background, the recent bomb blast does not appear to be an unexpected event.
What is true for Pune is true for country also. The security environment of India is repeatedly challenged by terrorism. Outfits operating out of Pakistan continue to be highly active and finding new and unexpected targets. The details like pattern of attack, target and scale of the loss changes a bit but the story is same. Terrorist attacks are no longer aimed at security forces or government establishments. They have extended to include strikes against common citizens and more importantly, foreigners.
It is a noticeable trend all over the world that the big cities have become the prime terror targets. Terrorists target big cities with their identifiable landmarks, its heterogenous mix of citizens and media. Like the attack of Nov.26, 2008 in Mumbai or Sep. 11, 2001 in USA showed, they create a visual spectacle which leaves impressions in the public memory. Media coverage chaos resulting from the confusion and panic give the terrorists measure of success.
Incidents That Shocked Us
Aug. 11, 1986 :
Retired chief of Army Staff, Gen. Arunkumar Shridhar Vaidya was assasinated at the age of 60. He was chief of staff in June, 1984, when Indian troops entered the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He took a hard line against Sikh soldiers who deserted after that incident and has often been a declared a target by Sikh terrorists.
Four assailants in their 20s opened fire at Vaidya resulting in his death. The incident took place in Camp Area.
Vaidya was the most prominent victim of Sikh terrorists after former prime minister Indira Gandhi who was assassinated by Sikh members of her home guard in October, 1984.
June 15, 2004 :
The police department was perplexed when it emerged that one of the four alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists gunned down by the Ahmedabad police was a resident of Pune.
Large explosives were recovered from the slain terrorists.
It was later found that Javed lived in Pune. His original name was Pranesh Kumar Pillai and he lived in the Kailas Housing Society in Vishrantwadi. However, his name was never found in activities in Pune.
Oct , 2008 :
Mansoor Peerbhoy, alleged Indian Mujahideen operative was arrested in connection with the Delhi and Ahmedabad blasts. He has admitted that he had sent terror e-mails.
Peerbhoy, a 31-year-old software professional and alleged head of the media wing of the Indian Mujahideen. He was working in the global giant company Yahoo and earned Rs 19 lakh per year.His arrest really came as a shocker to the countless citizens of Pune.
A resident of Pune, he is currently being probed for link to latest blast.
Ashok Kamte was born on February 23, 1965. He was the Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police for the East Region on that fateful night. He was killed while fighting terrorists and his bravery was honoured with the Ashok Chakra on 26 January 2009.
Ashok's father was Colonel M. R. Kamthe (Retd.) who served the Indian Army. Ashok Kamthe attended The Rajkumar College, Rajkot then shifting to Kodaikanal International School for five years. He graduated from 12th grade in 1982. He had received an international scholarship at Camp Rising Sun in 1980. He completed his bachelor's degree from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, graduated in 1985 and then earned post graduate degree in Arts from St. Stephen's College, Delhi in 1985-87. He was also an accomplished athlete representing India at the junior power-lifting championship in Peru in 1978.
In 1989, Kamthe joined the Maharashtra state police as an Indian Police Service officer. He became Assistant Superintendent of Police in Bhandara in 1991 and Superintendent of Police, Satara in 1994. He was Superintendent of Police, Thane rural in 1997 – 99. During 1999 – 2000, he was served in the United Nation's Peace Mission in Bosnia.
After returning to India, he first became deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai during 2000 to 2002. Later assignments followed as Superintendent of Police, Sangli in 2002-04; Superintendent of Police, Kolhapur in 2004-05; Commissioner of Police, Solapur in 2006 -08.
His stint everywhere was always appreciated by all. Many government medals and honours walked their way to him. These include Special Service Medal for anti-naxalite operations in 1995; UN Medal in 1999, Videsh Seva medal for UN service in same year; DG's insignia in 2004; Antarik Suraksha Padak for anti-naxalite operations in 2005 and Police medal in 2006.
Ashok Kamte was survived by his wife Vinita, two sons Rahul (15) and Arjun (8), his, mother, Prem and a sister, Sharmila.
The Daring Officer
Kamthe was known as daring, but an exceptionally cool headed officer. He was an excellent negotiator in crisis situations. It was this quality for which he was summoned late night on Nov. 26, 2008 to deal with terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings.
Kamte was revered by ordinary citizens as he took on hardened criminals as well as politicians with criminal background. During Mumbai's occasional communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, the areas under his supervision remained largely free of riots. He was equally loved and respected by all communities. More than 2000 fans have set up a community in his honour on Orkut.
Nearly 3000 people turned up to pay their respects to Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamthe who was cremated in Pune with full state honours. Kamte was one of the most respected and admired officers of the Mumbai Police force. News of his death sent shock waves not just across Maharasthra but across South India, where he had served in Belgaum for a period.
Kamthe was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks, on 26 November 2008 in a narrow lane between St. Xavier's College and the Rang Bhavan opposite Corporation Bank ATM just a stone away from Crime Branch office.
The body of Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, was cremated with State honours at the Vaikunth cremotorium on 27 November 2008. A large number of high-ranking police officers participated in the funeral procession, including: Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane and district collector Chandrakant Dalvi.
CCTV is a short form for Closed Circuit Television. It refers to a surveillance system using cameras that send their signals back to a specific location. These video images can be monitored live, or stored for viewing later. You might have seen CCTV cameras generally being used to monitor stores, banks, and public buildings, etc. However, with the technology becoming more and more affordable and easier to use, many people are installing CCTV cameras even in their homes and businesses.
Many supermarkets and malls use a combination of security guards and a CCTV system to combat shoplifting. Smaller businesses may have only one CCTV camera installed in a prominent place so that shoppers know they are being watched. A retailer can review the tapes on a VCR later, or observe any shoppers that are behaving suspiciously and note the vulnerable areas in the store. The problem with recording and watching later is that some shoplifters can get away with stealing. On the other hand, if they return to same place, they can be caught.
In larger stores, the CCTV cameras are often get unnoticed. They can have high-resolution digital cameras mounted in smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, thermostats or clocks. It is also very popular to mount these cameras in ceiling tile domes (they are bubble-like and tinted so no one can see where the camera is pointed). From this point, a pan/tilt/zoom camera can swing about and follow someone around the store.
Types of Cameras
There are different types of CCTV systems available such as analog or digital, wired or wireless cameras. The methods used to operate them may be different, but the basic components and principle are pretty much the same. A CCTV system includes a camera, a lens, a monitor, and cables that carry the signal from one place to another for the wired systems. Many systems also use some form of video recorders to record the video footage.
The camera captures up the signal from the area being monitored using the lens. The lens used determines how far and how wide of an angle the camera can see. If the system is wired, the camera sends the signals through a cable to the monitor, and/or the recording device. If it is a wireless system, then the camera simply broadcasts the signal straight to the monitor itself.
The video cameras used usually do not look like the video cameras you see at your local electronics store. They are becoming smaller and more specialized for their security purposes. A standard CCTV camera may be in the range of 4 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide with a lens on the end, or smaller.
The monitor used is often just a simple television set (often just a black and white set), but increasingly a PC or laptop is used. Most of the wired analog systems will use the simple television monitors, while digital and wireless systems are more likely to use computers as the monitors. By setting it up on a computer, you can actually see the images from anywhere using the internet.
Installing a CCTV system is generally very easy to do as long as you follow the instructions that come with it. The wireless systems are usually very portable and do not require much more than an electrical outlet and some software.
You might have seen some shopkeepers who have kept the monitors visible to the public so they can see themselves on a monitor as they enter a building. This way everyone knows for sure they are being monitored. It is also a way to reduce the practice of shoplifting.
If you are thinking of getting a CCTV system for your home or business, the first issue to decide on is what you can afford as the systems vary quite a bit. You also need to know exactly what you want to see in the monitor and on the recordings; examining both the scene and the quality of the images. Also, remember to buy one for the right reasons. Using a high-tech solution to solve a low-tech problem can result in wasted money and effort.
Analog & Digital TV
The CCTV cameras come in two types that is Analog and Digital ones.
Analog CCTV systems use one of two main conduits to transmit audio-visual information. The first, and most common, is a wired configuration. The second uses a wireless transmitter to connect to a receiver.
Wired CCTV installations run a cable or wire between the camera and the monitor. The image data is usually transmitted over a coaxial cable. The audio is usually transmitted over a simple copper wire or wires. The signal transmitted over these wires and cables is then fed in to a monitor or a set of monitors if the image needs to be visible in different locations. Analog CCTV cameras can also be routed to an image capture board on a computer to allow the audio-visual information to be viewed on a computer monitor.
Wireless CCTV installations are similar to wired. The difference is that a radio transmitter is attached to the camera. A radio receiver is then attached to the input on the monitor system or computer. Wireless systems are useful in a couple of situations. The first is when the distance between the camera and the monitor is too far to be practical for a cable run. Wireless CCTV is also good when cables aren't practical because of aesthetic reasons.
CCTV installations can also be digital. Digital CCTV often uses Internet Protocol (IP) cameras. An IP camera is a camera that contains the camera and hardware to convert the audio and video signals to a stream of packets that can then be transmitted over a local area network (LAN) wide area network, (WAN) or over the internet.
Digital CCTV has many advantages over analog. First, it can use existing wired or wireless internet, including Wi-Fi. Because of this, it isn't limited by distance. A CCTV camera can be set up in one city and have its signal transmitted easily to another city. Another advantage of digital CCTV is that a series of cameras can be routed to a wireless hub, thus minimizing the amount of cabling required for a complex installation
How Effective it is?
Video cameras, or closed-circuit television (CCTV), are becoming an increasingly familiar feature of modern life. Fears of terrorism and the availability of ever-cheaper cameras have accelerated the trend even more. The use of sophisticated systems by police and other security officials is particularly troubling in a democratic society.
The bottom line is that surveillance systems, once installed, rarely remain confined to their original purpose. Once the nation decides to go down the path of seeking security through video surveillance, the imperative to make it work becomes overwhelming, and the monitoring of citizens in public places quickly becomes pervasive.
One of the features of current surveillance practice is that the cameras are often installed in high-rent commercial areas. Crime may be merely pushed from high value commercial areas into less affluent residential areas. Video surveillance is bad deal for neighborhoods because running these systems will be expensive. The resources that could be better used for community policing.
Teach Your Children to Face Disaster
The terrorism has come to stay with us. There are numerous reasons why it continues to haunt us. Whenever there is a tragedy, the first thing that crops ups in mind is concern about your kids.
Even though you can not ensure that your child does not find its way in any tragic incidence like that of a bomb blast or terror attack, there are ways you can enbale the children to face the situation.
Children, like many adults, may be confused or frightened by the news. They will look to adults around them for information and guidance on how to react.
Parents and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. Parents and teachers alike can continue to help children work through their emotions and perhaps even use the process as a learning experience.
ADULTS SHOULD DO THIS:
1. Keep calm and control over yourself. Do not appear anxious or frightened.
2. Reassure children that they are safe. Explain that attacks all schools, neighborhoods, and regular office buildings are not at risk.
3. Remind them that trustworthy people are in charge. Explain that the government emergency workers, police, fireman, doctors, and administration are helping people so that no further tragedies occur.
4. Let children know that it is okay to feel upset. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy like this occurs. Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective. Even anger is okay, but children may need help and patience from adults to assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
5. Observe children's emotional state. Depending on their age, children may not express their concerns orally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child's level of grief, anxiety or discomfort. Children will express their emotions differently.
6.Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate. Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that the daily structures of their lives will not change. Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school.
The children will be more committed to doing something to help the victims and affected community. For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Heed to what the children are saying. Be a good listener and all will be well!
What Parents Should DoWhenever something untowards, children look up to their parents for emotional help. Here are some ways you can ensure that they get the right dose of support:
n Focus on your children over the next day or so. Tell them you love them and everything will be okay. Try to help them understand what has happened, keeping in mind their developmental level.
n Make time to talk with your children. Remember if you do not talk to your children about this incident someone else will. Take some time and determine what you wish to say.
n Stay close to your children. Your physical presence will reassure them and give you the opportunity monitor their reaction. Many children want actual physical contact.
n Limit the amount of your child's television viewing of these events. If they must watch, watch with them for a brief time; then turn the set off.
n Maintain a "normal" routine. To the extent possible stick to your family's normal routine for dinner, homework, bedtime, etc., but don't be inflexible. Children may have a hard time concentrating on schoolwork or falling asleep at night.
n Spend extra time reading or playing quiet games with your children before bed. These activities are calming, foster sense of closeness and security. They reinforce sense of normalcy. Spend more time tucking them in. Let them sleep with a light on if they want it.
n Safeguard your children's physical health. Stress can take a physical toll on children as also adults. Make sure your children get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition.
n Consider praying or thinking hopeful thoughts. It may be a good time to take your children to church or the temple, write a poem, or draw a picture to help your child express feelings and feel that they are supporting victims and their families.
n Tell children the truth. Don't try to pretend the event has not occurred or that it is not serious. Children are smart. They will be more worried if they think you are too afraid to tell them what is happening.
n Stick to the facts. Don't embellish or speculate about what has happened and what might happen. Don't dwell on the scale or scope of the tragedy.
It was beyond doubt that the widespread curiosity in the peopl of this country for annual railway budget could be overshadowed by only one man’s performance: Sachin Ramesh Te ndulkar.
On the day, union railway minister Mamata Banerjee presented the railway budget, which was far more acceptable to the people than the general budget, Tendulkar’s historic double ton in an One Day Match at Gwalior took all shine away from her exercise.
Even as the hysterical crowd celebrated all night after that out-of-this-world show by Master Blaster, shouts of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ rent the air in every major city of the this country.
All of India overcame with emotions. That was evident when the Parliament of India passed a resolution praising his achievement while the members forgot party differences. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan declared that Sachin’s name will be recommended for the Bharat Ratna, a demand seconded by his arch rival and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackery.
Even though the experts argue that rules do not allow this man to be awarded with the highest civil award given by republic of India, it will not be unopprtune to bend some rules this time. Despite 20 long and glorious years in international cricket and a mountain of achievements, the love, adoration and affection in the hearts of public for this five feet tall person has only increased day by day.
This is not the first time that Sachin has belittled a record. That is one reason why the monumental feat of becoming the first man to reach 200 runs in an ODI innings sat lightly on him.
He still has the enthusiasm of a schoolboy. The sparkle in his eyes has not dimmed one bit. Countless hours under the sun have not diminished his love for the game. As Tendulkar often says, he is passionate about cricket. And he enjoys his time in the arena.
At the heart of it all is his indomitable spirit. He still dives full length on the field, even in the dying overs of a high-octane ODI when his mind and body could have been tired.
Tendulkar travels beyond numbers. His ‘Desert Storm’ innings of 143 against Australia captured the cricketing world’s imagination.He not only made runs, often at a furious pace, but did so with correct methods. Tendulkar found gaps with a surgeon’s precision. Even when suffered a personal tragedy by death of his father in 1999, he scored 140 against Kenya in World Cup in Engl. This showed his commitment to the team’s cause. Who can forget his brutal onslaught on Shoaib Akhtar at Centurion in the 2003 World Cup?
Hockey: Mixed Results For India
The national Hockey team of India gave a joy to the thousands of fans in the form of a victory over traditional tival Pakistan. However, the Hockey World Cup 2010 seems to be filled with the controversies.
Meanwhile, Australia smashed the euphoria born out of the win against Pakistan, by inflicting a heavy 5-2 defeat on India in a pool B encounter in the Hero Honda hockey World Cup on Tuesday.Even before Indian team could rejoice over beating the Pakistan, it received a shock in the form of three match suspension to forward palyer Shivendra Singh, for “deliberately” hitting a Pakistani player during his team’s World Cup opener. The suspension was subsequently reduced to two matches by International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday.
Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said, “We are not at all happy with the decision because the foul was not intentional. We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict but we don’t have any option now. He has to sit out.”
Tournament Director Ken Read had stated that Shivendra “deliberately” hit Fareed Ahmed by lifting his stick in the 39th minute which the hosts won 4-1, leaving the Pakistani player with a small cut above the eye.
The Pakistan team management did not make any complaint but Read concluded that Shivendra breached the FIH’s Code of Conduct and was guilty of a level 2 offence — physical assault without serious injury.
Shivendra had argued that he had no intention to hit the Pakistani player after the jabbing and just wanted to run faster. Players like Aslam Sher Khan said that the thing is not knew and Shivendra Singh was made a scapegoat. “The Australians do not want a strong Indian team against them. The controversy has been raised without solid reasons. I have faced such practices in the past,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Olympians and experts blamed poor preparations and a lack of game plan as the main reasons behind Pakistan’s poor start.
Where Soldiers Are Made
India is an independent and sovereign country. The soldiers, from all three branches of our military, are engaged in protecting this independence and sovereignity intact. The soldiers are trained specifically for the task and whole country takes pride on its martyrs.
City of Pune is fortunate to have National Defence Academy is its vicinity. The premier institute has contributed immensely in developing the character of soldiers and imparting them with the adequate, modern and exhaustive knowledge of warfare.
The NDA came into existence coinciding with the independence of India. Empirical lessons from the World Wars dictated the need for a joint Services Academy to train future leaders for combined operations. The vision of Lord Mountbatten in consonance with the sustained impetus and groundwork provided by Field Marshal Sir Claude J Auchinlek, Command-in-Chief in India laid the conceptual foundation for a Joint Services Military Academy modeled on the lines of the US WestPoint.
In 1941, Lord Linlithgow, the then Viceroy of India had received a gift of a hundred thousand pounds from Sudanese Government for building a suitable war memorial in recognition of the sacrifices of the Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan during the World War II. A committee headed by Field Marshal Sir Claude J Auchinlek, after studying of Military academies around the world, submitted its recommendations to the Government in December 1946.
After independence of India in August 1947, this report was referred to the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Their suggestion for the formation of an interim Junior Inter Services Wing at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun was then implemented. A simultaneous action plan to commission a permanent war academy at Khadakwasla, Pune was also commenced and the foundation stone was laid by the first Prime Minister of India, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru on October 6, 1949.
On January 1, 1949, the Armed Forces Academy having its Military wing, now called the Indian Military Academy and the Joint Services Wing were commissioned. After two years of training at the JSW, Army cadets went on to the Military wing for a further two-year pre-commission training. The Naval and the Air force cadets were sent to Dartmouth and Cranwell in UK for advanced training. On December 7, 1954, the interim process crystallised with the commissioning of the National Defence Academy.
Formal inauguration of the Academy took place on 16 January 1955.
The National Defence Academy is located south-west of Pune City and north-west of Khadakwasla Lake on 7015 acres of land, out of the 8022 acres donated by the Government of the erstwhile Bombay State. The other suggested sites were Bombay (particularly Marve), Bangalore, Dehradun, Belgaum, Bhopal, Deolali, Jabalpur, Nasik, Puri, Secunderabad and Vizag.
Pune was ultimately chosen after careful deliberations for its salubrious climatic conditions, suitability of terrain for military training, proximity to the Arabian Sea, existence of an operational airfield at Lohegaon, vicinity of military establishments and the presence of a lake nearby.
The Sudan BlockOf all the buildings that grace the NDA, the Sudan Block is undeniably the most imposing and majestic. It has an exquisite exterior design comprising an artistic blend of arches, pillars and verandahs. A three storeyed basalt and granite structure constructed with Jodhpur red sandstone, the building is topped by a dome and the architecture is reminiscent of the grandeur and motifs of Mughal times. The foyer has Italian marble flooring and panelling gracing the interior walls. Heroic sons of the NDA, the bravest of the brave, eternally sequestered within frames of gold-rimmed portraits adorn these hallowed walls; a mute testimony of courage under fire and a source of unending inspiration.
The Sudan block is the nerve center of the NDA and houses the main administrative blocks in addition to the Departments of English, Hindi, History, Mathematics Foreign languages. Viewed aerially, the Sudan Block resembles a gun of massive proportions.
Flanked by the anchor shaped Vyas Library and the Habibullah Hall designed to resemble an aircraft; the trinity of buildings underscore the joint services ethos of the NDA.
The building is named after the African republic which gifted a hundred thousand pounds in 1941 for the construction of a suitable war memorial, in grateful recognition and commemoration of the gallantry and sacrifices of Indian troops in the defence of Sudan in WWII. After partition,India’s share which amounted to £ 70,000 was utilized for the construction of the NDA. The building was inaugurated by HE Rahmatullah Abdulla, Ambassador of Sudan on May 30, 1959.
Fortunately, what the country is witnessing today is food inflation primarily due to supply constraints on account of the worst monsoon in 30 years. But as the Economic Survey report warns there is every danger of this inflation percolating to other sectors, if timely steps are not taken.
It was in this backdrop that the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in his budget proposals, took the first step towards fiscal consolidation by making a modest beginning in partially withdrawing the concessions given in the stimulus package last year. The economy then was in a serious downturn and it needed government help to withstand global pressures. The picture today is different. All indicators point to a reviving economy, much before other world economies. The cuts in excise duties on all non- petroleum products have thus been restored by 2 percent to 10 percent, still less than 12 percent earlier. The service tax has not been raised but broad based.
The action is in line with the recommendations of the Economic Survey report and also the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council suggesting a partial roll back of the stimulus package.
In his post-budget interviews Mr. Mukherjee has made it clear that while a modest beginning has been made he would consider a full withdrawal of the stimulus package only when the economy attains a growth of 8.5 to 9 percent. According to his own estimates, corroborated by other surveys, the economy would grow by around 7.2 percent in the current financial year which would go up to 8 to 8.5 percent in 2010-11 and reach 9 percent and more in the subsequent year.
The budget also envisages a fiscal deficit of 6.8 percent for the current year which would fall to 5.5 percent in the next fiscal and 4.9 percent in 2011-12. This would in turn mean lesser borrowings by the government, making more funds available for investment by the private sector. On the financial side the government will collect a revenue of Rs.46, 500 crore through taxes but would suffer a revenue loss of Rs.26, 000 crore by giving concessions in direct taxes. This will mean a net revenue of Rs. 20,500 crore.
A clear disinvestment plan has also been put in place. The government is confident that it will be able to raise Rs. 25,000 crore though disinvestment in the current fiscal ending 31 March 2010. It also envisages to collect Rs.40,000 crore through disinvestment in the next fiscal. The 3-G auction is estimated to bring in about another Rs.35,000 crore.
All these measures aim at checking the inflationary pressures on the fiscal side. But there is a supply side as well. The budget recognizes the fact that it is really the supply side that has to be tackled more effectively to control inflation. That explains a steep increase in the allocations for the farm sector. A 9 percent growth rate will be possible only if we achieve at least 4 percent growth in agriculture which grew only at 1.6 percent in 2008-09 and actually a shrinkage of 0.2 percent in the current year. A new strategy for farm growth has thus been put in place in tune with the needs of the economy. While allocating Rs. 400 crore for extending the green revolution to the eastern region comprising, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand , Eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa, Rs. 200 crores have been provided for conservation farming to increase productivity and reduce losses. The target for farm credit too has been raised from 3,25,000 crore to 3,75,000 crore. Loans to farmers will be provided at a concessional rate of 5 percent. To give a push to the food processing sector, five more mega food parks will come up in addition to the 10 already being set up.
The relief given to the middle class by raising income slabs for personal tax and allowing a further savings of Rs.20,000 in infrastructure bonds for tax relief, will on the one hand leave more money will the people to spend and thus raise demand and on the other hand provide for better savings, given the propensities of an average Indian. This will lead to additional funds for investment.
The increase in excise duty on petroleum prices is no doubt going to increase inflationary pressures but as the Minister put it the impact will only be marginal absorbed in due course of time.
Allocation for the social sector has been increasedMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been given Rs. 40,100 crore, a thousand crore more than the previous year. Rural infrastructure programmes under Bharat Nirman got Rs.40,000 crore. Similarly allocations for other sectors like education, health etc. have also been increased substantially.
So the mood is upbeat and India is well on the path of economic recovery.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
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