Monday, February 28, 2011

Union Budget 2011-12



The Union Budget 2011-12 aims to sustain economic growth, strengthen infrastructure, moderate the price rise, particularly of agricultural produce and reduce social imbalances through inclusive development. Presenting the budget 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha February 28, the Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the budget is a transition towards a more transparent and result oriented economic management system in India. He said while developments on India’s external sector have been encouraging, continued high food prices have remained our principal concern. He said that the trend revealed shortcomings in distribution and marketing system. The Finance Minister said that huge differences between wholesale and retail prices are at the expense of remunerative prices for the farmers and competitive prices for consumers.


For sustaining growth tax reform will continue with the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) to be operationalised from April, 2012 while a Constitution Amendment Bill is proposed to be introduced during the current session of Parliament as a step towards roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He said the introduction of DTC and GST will result in moderation of rates, simplification of laws and better compliance. The Finance Minister re-iterated the Government’s resolve to move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy to people living below poverty line in a phased manner. He said that the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) has improved the availability of fertilizers and the Government is actively considering extension of NBS regime to cover urea.


Finance Minister announced a number of measures to strengthen the agricultural sector particularly in the areas of pulses, vegetables and oil palm . He announced Rs. 300 crore expenditure to promote 60,000 pulses villages in rain fed areas for increasing crop productivity and strengthening market linkages. He also proposed to spend Rs. 300 crore to promote oil palm plantation in 60,000 hectares and Rs. 300 crore for the initiative on vegetable cluster. Rs. 400 crore is proposed to be spent to improve rice based cropping system in the Eastern Region. Capital investment in fertilizer production is proposed to be included as an infrastructure sub-sector since investment in the sector is capital intensive.


The allocation for social sector has been increased by 17% to Rs. 1,60,887 crore which amounts to 36.4% of the total plan allocation. Bharat Nirman, which includes Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), accelerated irrigation benefit programme, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana, National Rural Drinking Water Programme and Rural Telephony have together been allocated Rs. 58,000 crore. Remuneration for Anganwadi workers have been increased to Rs. 3000 per month from Rs. 1500 per month while the Anganwadi helpers will get Rs. 1500 per month. This will be effective from 1st April 2011 benefiting about 22 lakh Anganwadi workers and helpers.


The allocation on education has been increased by 24% to Rs. 52,057 crore. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan gets Rs. 21,000 crore which is 40% higher than the previous year’s allocation of Rs. 15,000 crore. The Finance Minister also proposed to introduce a scholarship scheme for needy students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes studying in classes IX and X. It would benefit about 40 lakh students. Plan allocation for Health has also been increased by 20 per cent to Rs. 26,760 crores. The Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana will be extended to the unorganized sector workers in hazardous mining and associated industries.


Underlining the need to strengthen Public Sector Banks (PSBs) the Finance Minister proposed to provide Rs. 6000 crore to maintain tier 1 capital to risk weighted asset ratio. He also proposed to infuse Rs. 500 crore into Regional Rural Banks (RRB) . A Women’s Self Help Groups Development Fund with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore is proposed to be created. He also proposed to create a micro finance equity fund of Rs. 100 crore with Small Industrial Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for providing equity to smaller micro finance institutions. Rs. 3000 crore will be provided to NABARD to help handloom weaver cooperative societies to become financially viable.


Interest subvention of 1 per cent on housing loans will now be available for loans upto Rs. 15 lakh where the cost of house does not exceed Rs. 25 lakh. The present limit for the loan amount is Rs. 10 lakh while the cost of the house should not exceed Rs. 20 lakh.


The total plan expenditure has been increased by 18.3 per cent to Rs. 4,41,547 crore and the non-plan expenditure increases by 10.9 per cent to Rs. 8,16,182 crore. The gross tax receipts are estimated to grow by 24.9 per cent to Rs. 9,32,440. Rs. 2,01,733 crore will be transferred to the Sates and UTs as plan and non plan transfers. This also marks a rise of 23 per cent over budget estimates of last year. The fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs. 4,12,817 crore which works out to 4.6 per cent of the GDP.


Turning to the direct taxes, the Finance Minister proposed to increase the exemption limit for general category individual tax payers by Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,80,000 per year. This will provide a uniform tax relief of Rs. 2000 to every tax payer of this category. The benefit for senior citizens will now be available at 60 years of age and the exemption limit will go up from Rs. 2,40,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. Those who are 80 years and above have been brought under a new category called very senior citizens and the exemption limit in this category will be Rs. 5 lakhs.


The minimum alternate tax rate has been hiked from 18 per cent to 18.5 per cent of book profits. Developers of Special Economic Zones as well as units operating MAT in SEZs have been brought under MAT. Tax benefit for investment in long term infrastructural bonds will continue for one more year. Income from foreign subsidiaries of Indian Company will now attract a lower tax of 15 per cent tax on dividends.


Turning to indirect tax, the finance Minister said that there are 370 items that enjoy the exemption from Central Excise Duty but are chargeable to VAT. He proposed to withdraw the exemption on 130 of these items. The remaining 240 items would be brought into the tax net when GST is introduced. A nominal 1 per cent central excise duty is being imposed on 130 items. The basic customs duty has been reduced from 30 to 5 per cent on raw silk, from 5 to 2.5 per cent on certain textile intermediates and from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent on certain inputs for manufacture of technical fibre and yarn. Stainless steel scrap has been fully exempted from customs. Export duty on iron ore has been increased to 20 per cent ad valorem both for lumps and fines. The basic customs duty on pet coke and gypsum has been reduced 2.5 per cent to give relief to cement industry.


On the service tax front a few new services have been brought under tax net. Hotel accommodation in excess of Rs. 1000 per day and service provided by air conditioned restaurants with licence to serve liquor have been brought under the tax net. Service tax on air travel has been raised by Rs. 50 in case of domestic air travel and Rs. 250 on international journey by economy class. Services provided by Life Insurance Company in the area of investment and some more legal services have also been brought under tax net.


Finance Minister said the proposals on direct taxes are estimated to result in a revenue loss of Rs. 11,500 crore while those on the service tax will yield Rs. 4000 crore more. The Finance Minister has kept the disinvestment target at Rs. 40,000 crore for the coming year. He, however, reiterated that the Government is committed to retain at least 51 percent ownership and management control of the CPSUs. He said that as an emerging economy India stands at the threshold at the decade which presents immense possibilities. He said we have the voice on the global stage and we must not let the recent trends and tensions hold us back from converting these possibilities into realities.


Union Budget 2011-12 Highlights:


· Critical institutional reforms set pace for double-digit growth

· Scaled up flow of resources infuses dynamism in rural economy

· GDP estimated to have grown at 8.6% in 2010-11

· Exports grown by 9.6%, imports by 17.6% in April-January 2010-11 over corresponding period last year

· Indian economy expected to grow at 9% in 2011-12.

· Five-fold strategy to deal with black money. Group of Ministers to suggest ways for tackling corruption

· Public Debt Management Agency of India Bill to come up next financial year

· Direct Tax Code (DTC) to be effective from April 01, 2012

· Phased move towards direct transfer cash subsidy to BPL people for better delivery of kerosene, LPG and fertilizer mooted

· Rs.40,000 crore to be raised through disinvestment in 2011-12

· FDI policy to be liberalized further

· SEBI registered mutual funds permitted to accept subscription from foreign investors who meet KYC requirement

· FII limit for investment in corporate bonds in infrastructure sector raised

· Additional banking license to private sector players proposed

· Rs.6000 crore to be provided in 2011-12 for maintaining minimum Tier I Capital to Risk Weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR) of 8% in public sector banks

· Rs.500 crore to be provided to regional rural banks to maintain 9% CRAR

· India Microfinance Equity Fund of Rs.100 crore to be created by SIDBI

· Rs. 500 crore Women SHG Development Fund to be created

· Micro Small and Medium Enterprises MSME gets boost as Rs. 5000 crore provided to SIDBI and Rs.3000 crore to NABARD

· Existing housing loan limit enhanced to Rs.25 lakh for dwelling units

· Provision under Rural housing Fund enhanced to Rs.3000 crore

· Allocation under Rashtirya Krishi Vikas yojna (RKVY) increased to Rs.7860 crore

· Allocation of Rs.300 crore to promote 60000 pulses villages in rainfed areas

· Rs. 300 crore vegetable initiative to achieve competitive prices

· Rs.300 crore to promote higher production of nutri-cereals

· Rs.300 crore to promote animal based protein

· Rs.300 crore Accelerated Fodder Development Programme to benefit farmers in 25000 villages

· Credit flow to farmers raised from Rs.3,75,000 crore to Rs.4,75,000 crore

· Rs.10,000 crore for NABARD’s Short Term Rural Credit Fund for 2011-12

· 15 more mega food parks during 2011-12

· National food security bill to be introduced this year

· Capital investment in storage capacity to be eligible for viability gap funding

· 23.3% increase in allocation for infrastructure

· Tax-free bonds of Rs.30,000 crore proposed by government undertakings

· Environmental concerns relating to infrastructure projects to be considered by Group of Ministers

· National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles to be launched

· 7 Mega clusters for leather products to be set up

· Allocation for social sector increased by 17% amounting to 36.4% of total plan allocation

· Bharat Nirman allocation increased by Rs.10,000 crore

· Rural broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh panchayats in three years.

· Bill to amend Indian Stamp Act to introduce. Rs.300 crore scheme for modernization stamp and registration administration

· Significant increase in remuneration of Angawadi workers and helpers

· Allocation for education increased by24%. Rs.21,000 crore allocated for Sarv Shikshya Abhiyan registering an increase of 40%

· 1500 institute of higher learning to be connected by March 2012 with Knowledge Knowledge Network.

· National Innovation Council set up. Additional Rs.500 crore for National Skill Development Fund

· Plan allocation for health stepped up by20%

· Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme liberalized further

· Rs.200 crore for Green India Mission

· Rs.200 crore for cleaning of rivers

· Rs.8000 crore provided for development needs of J&K

· 10 lakhs Aadhaar(UID) numbers to be generated everyday from 1st October

· Fiscal deficit kept at 4.6% of GDP for 2011-12

· Income Tax exemption limit for general category in individual tax payers enhanced from Rs.1,60,000 to Rs.1,80,000

· Qualifying age for senior citizens lowered to 60; senior citizen above 80 year to get Rs.5,00,000 IT exemption

· Surcharge on corporate lowered to 5%

83 OSCAR AWARD WINNERS


The King's Speech" won the top Academy Award, for best picture, giving the British royals drama a total of four Oscars.

The acclaimed film about the efforts of the future King George VI to overcome a crippling stammer went into the event with a leading 12 nominations. It won such key awards as best actor for its star, Colin Firth.

The best picture award was accepted by its producers, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin.

The nine other contenders were "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit" and "Winter's Bone."

British actor Colin Firth won the Academy Award for his lead role as stammering wartime monarch King George VI in "The King's Speech."

WINNERS LIST:

BEST PICTURE: The King's Speech (Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers)

DIRECTING: The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Colin Firth in The King's Speech

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Natalie Portman in Black Swan

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Christian Bale in The Fighter

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Melissa Leo in The Fighter

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: In a Better World (Denmark) (defeating Montrealer Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY): The Social Network (Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY): The King's Speech (Screenplay by David Seidler)

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED): The Lost Thing (Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann)

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT): Strangers No More (Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon)

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION): God of Love (Luke Matheny)

ART DIRECTION: Alice in Wonderland

MAKEUP: The Wolfman (Rick Baker and Dave Elsey)

COSTUME DESIGN: Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Inception (Wally Pfister)

VISUAL EFFECTS: Inception (Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb)

FILM EDITING: The Social Network (Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter)

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE): Inside Job (Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE): The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG): We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 (Music and Lyric by Randy Newman)

SOUND MIXING: Inception (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick)

SOUND EDITING: Inception (Richard King)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

National Games draws to a close

After a fortnight-long intense sporting action, the curtain was rung down on the 34th National Games at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium at Mega Sports Complex at Ranchi on February 26th, with a sprightly and colourful closing ceremony.

The five-hour programme, watched by a capacity crowd at Hotwar, brought to an end to one of the biggest and well-attended Games in which competitions were held in 33 disciplines in three cities of Jharkhand.

It was indeed a moment of great delight and immeasurable pride for the people of Jharkhand and the State Government that the Games, postponed six times, finally concluded in a manner appreciated by all.

The Games, riddled with mismanagement and hiccups at the start mainly owing to lack of experience of the local administration and officials, settled down to smooth conduct through the later part of the fortnight.

Services takes honours

At the end of it all, Services emerged as the best sporting unit with a whopping haul of 70 gold, 50 silver and 42 bronze medals for a total of 162, a tally that surpassed its previous best of 59-46-37 achieved at the last Games in 2007.

The ceremony began with a glider making sorties over the Stadium at 4.45 p.m. This was followed by the performance of the Army band. After the dignitaries arrived, nine sky divers from Indian Air Force led by Wing Commander Vasant Raj dropped down from the sky and landed inside the stadium to the lusty cheers from the crowd. The athletes, led by medal table topper Services followed by Manipur, trooped in to the accompaniment of the military band.

This ushered in the formal part of the ceremony with speeches by the guests. Richa Mishra of Delhi and Virdhawal Khade of Maharashtra, the two who were adjudged as the best female and male athletes of the Games, were awarded IOA Trophies.

Services was given the Raja Bhalendra Trophy which was received by Air Marshal J.N. Verma on behalf of the Services Sports Control Board. Manipur was adjudged as the best State and was given a trophy as well.

Over to Kerala

After the Indian Olympic Association president, Suresh Kalmadi declared the Games closed, the OCA flag was ceremoniously lowered and handed over to the president of the Kerala Olympic Association president, M.M. Abdul Rahman, and Kerala Sports Council president, T.P. Dasan. Kerala will be the host of the 35th edition in seven cities spread across the State in December next year.

In a most poignant moment, the sacred flame was put out marking the end of the Games and the festivities associated with them. To lift up the sagging spirit, the cultural programme took the centrestage with a tribal musical ensemble and an audio-visual presentation.

The folk artists from Manipur along with Punjab's Bhangra performers took over to captivate the audience. A special show ‘Bidaai' (farewell), a song and dance tribute to commemorate the victory after hurdles and challenges was performed to thank Mother Nature.

Over 170 dancers and performers from Kerala showcased the State's rich cultural heritage by performing Kalaripayattu, Kathakali, Mohiniattam and finally captivated the audience with the Shingarimelam and Kerala horns.

Famous singer Shaan and actress Katrina Kaif came on the stage to regale the audience and the ceremony concluded with laser show and fireworks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

INDIA ECONOMIC SURVEY 2010-11

Indian economy is poised to grow by 9 per cent in 2011-12 despite risks of global events like volatility in commodity prices, exacerbated by political turmoil in the Middle East, according to Economic Survey.

The Survey for 2010-11, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, has pegged the economic growth at 8.6 per cent for the current fiscal, helped by broad based rebound in agriculture and “continued momentum” in manufacturing and private services.

Inflation, an area of concern which acts as a road block for the growth, is expected to be 1.5 per cent higher than projected earlier, it said. Food inflation, in particular, has come as major challenge for the economy.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Thursday said that general inflation would come down to 7 per cent by March end from more than 8 per cent now.

Days ahead of the general budget, the Survey indicated the need for fiscal consolidation. “Food inflation, higher commodity prices and volatility in global commodity markets have been a cause of concern underscoring the need of fiscal consolidation and stronger reserves,” it said.

Recognising the fact that prices continue to be high, the Survey has underlined the need to “monitor emerging trends in inflation” on a monthly basis while suggesting that the government should improve delivery mechanism by strengthening the situation and addressing “corruption.”

The 456-page report said inflation is expected to be higher than “what would be if the country was not on the growth curve.”

About the growth projections, the document said that with good monsoons, the agriculture sector is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent during the current financial year up from a lowly 0.4 per cent in the fiscal 2009-10.

“Rise in food inflation and the critical role of agriculture underlines the need for larger investments in the agriculture sector enroute to the second green revolution,” it said.

In its endeavour to achieve higher economic growth, the government should pursue a reform agenda which include over a dozen steps including streamlining land acquisition and faster environmental clearance for infrastructure projects.

The Survey called for an early introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

It underlined the need for private sector participation in social sectors such as health and education in the form of ’public-social-private’ partnership for supplementing the government efforts.

In the backdrop of difficulties in land acquisition, the Survey, which is considered as report card of the government along a paper prescribing policies to be pursued, suggested formation of a National Forest Land Bank.

This land bank will have clear titles to reduce approval time for forest go ahead.

It said that focus of the government’s flagship programme ’Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme’ should be shifted to permanent asset building and infrastructure development.


The Economic Survey pegged the country’s agriculture sector growth at 5.4 per cent this fiscal, as against 0.4 per cent in the previous year.

The Survey also called for a “Second Green Revolution with technological breakthrough in the agriculture sector” to boost farm output and ensure the food security of the country.

“Agriculture likely to grow at 5.4 per cent in 2010-11,” said the Survey, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday.

The growth of agriculture and allied sectors is expected to be higher this year on the back of a revival in foodgrains production in the 2010-11 crop year (July-June) following a good monsoon.

Foodgrains production is estimated to rise to 232.07 million tonnes in 2010-11 crop year from 218.11 million tonnes last year. The country is all set to harvest a record wheat, pulses and cotton crop this year.

In the 2009-10 crop year, farm sector growth was only 0.4 per cent due to severe drought in 2009, which hit almost half the country, reducing foodgrain production by 16 million tonnes.


Following are the highlights of Economic Survey for the fiscal year 2010-11, presented in Parliament on 2011 February 25:

* Economy to grow at 8.6 per cent in 2010-11 and 9 per cent in the next fiscal.

* Gross Fiscal Deficit stands at 4.8 per cent of GDP, down from 6.3 per cent last year.

* Inflation expected to be 1.5 per cent higher than what it would be if the economy were not on growth path.

* Economy sees broad-based growth; rebound in farm and continued momentum in manufacturing, private services.

* Fundamentals strong with growing savings and investments, rapid rise in exports.

* Industrial output grows by 8.6 per cent; manufacturing sector registers 9.1 per cent.

* Exports in April-December 2010 up 29.5 per cent; imports up 19 per cent.

* Trade gap narrowed to $ 82.01 billion in April-December 2010.

* Food inflation, higher commodity prices and volatility in global commodity markets cause of concern.

* Inflation continues to be high; need to monitor emerging trends in inflation on a sequential monthly basis.

* To check food inflation, the government should improve delivery mechanisms by strengthening institutions and addressing corruption.

* Savings rate has gone up to 33.7 per cent, while the investment rate is up at 36.5 per cent of GDP.

* Rising food inflation underlines need for larger investment in farming, enroute to Second Green Revolution.

* Net bank credit grows by 59 per cent.

* Social programme spending stepped up by 5 percentage points of GDP over past 5 years.

* Production of foodgrains estimated at 232.1 mn tonnes.

* Forex Reserves estimated at $ 297.3 billion.

* Accelerated investments needed in infrastructure to address delays, cost overruns, regulatory impediments.

* Telecom sector did exceedingly well; role of services sector as the potential growth engine laudable.

* Policies needed to promote new areas such as accounting, legal, tourism, education, financial and other services.

* Economic growth to be faster than ever before in next two decades.

* Need for efficient taxation of goods and services by a new GST regime.

* Improve convergence of social and financial inclusion schemes to check unemployment, poverty and leakages.

* Reform university and higher education; correct demand supply mismatch in job market.

* Meet resource gap in higher education through public private partnership, with regulatory oversight.

Highlights of Railway Budget 2011-12



Indian Railways minister Mamataa Banerjee presented her third annual budget for state-run Indian Railways in Parliament on 2011 February 25. Following are highlights from the budget:

* No increase in fares.

* Earnings for 2010-11 set to exceed Rs.1 lakh crore.

* Working expenditure during 2011-12 estimated at Rs.87,000 crore.

* Outlay of Rs.57,630 crore for 2011-12, the highest investment in one year.

* Rs.10,000 crore to be raised through railway bonds.

* Budget combines strong economic focus with inclusion.

* Will develop business-oriented policies to aid industry.

* Happy to announce 85 PPP proposals received; set up single-window system to take these forward.

* Decided to set-up rail-based industries.

* Passing through a difficult phase; 97 percent increase in expenditure in 2010-11 due to implementation of Sixth Pay Commission report.

* Loss of Rs.3,500 crore in 2010-11.

* Ten-year backlog of 1.75 lakh jobs being addressed; 16,000 ex-servicemen to be given jobs in railways.

* Safety first priority; accident rate has come down.

* Anti-collision device, successful in North West Frontier Railway, to be extended to three more zonal railways.

* Railways always been a soft target but law and order a state subject. If railways are blocked in one region, this has a snowballing effect in other parts of the country.

* Will add 180 km of rail lines in 2011-12.

* All-India security helpline set up.

* New Durantos to be run on Allahabad-Mumbai, Pune-Ahmedabad, Sealdah-Puri, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam, Madurai-Chennai routes, among others.

* Rail linkage to Gujarat from Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor.

* Integrated suburban network to be set up in Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and other cities; suburban system of
Hyderabad to be strengthened.

*
Mumbai suburban system's EMU coaches to be increased from nine to 12.

* Pradhan Mantri Rail Vikas Yojna to be launched.

* Industrial park to be set up in Nandigram, West Bengal.

* Railways to set up factory in Jammu and Kashmir.

* To set up Metro coach factory at Singur, West Bengal.

* First coach from Rae Bareli factory to roll out in next three months.

* Work on wagon factory in Orissa to begin after land is acquired.

* Manipur capital Imphal to be soon connected to railway network.

* Centre for excellence in software to be set up at Darjeeling.

* Fund to be created for socially desirable projects.

* Central Organistaion for Project Implemtaiton created; will create accountability for non-performance.

* Work started on two dedicated freight corridors.

* Work on upgrading 442 stations to be completed by March 31.

* Decision to start pilot projects to give shelter to homeless people living along the tracks in Mumbai.

* Multi-purpose smart card to be introduced for all-India travel.

* Airport-like trolleys to be provided at more stations.

* Railways to set up a sports cadre.

* Upgraded class of air conditioned travel to be introduced shortly.

* To adopt modern technology through centres of academic excellence.

* Train to run to
Bangladesh to showcase Indian culture.

* Age for senior citizen's concession reduced to 58 from 60.

* Concession for physically handicapped and gallantry award winners for travel in Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses.

* 50 percent concession for mediapersons with families to be increased from once to twice a year.


First coach from the new rail factory at Rae Bareli to roll out in next three months

Track-machine industry to be set up in Uluberia in West Bengal

A 700 MW gas based power plant to be set up at Thakurli in Maharashtra

Proposal to set up metro coach factory near Singur in West Bengal

Railways to set up a bridge factory in Jammu and Kashmir considering need for large number of bridges on railway projects in the state

Tax-free bonds for 100 billion rupees to be issued by IRFC in 2011/12

Greater thrust on new lines next year

Additional Rs 10,000 crore will be raised through tax free bonds

Propose to set up new railway lines in difficult, underpriviledged areas

Setting up funds for social sector projects

New 700 km rail track to be laid down

Number of trains increased from 16100 last year to 18000 this year

Three more railway zones to have anti-collusion device. This will further reduce the rail accident

Propose to remove all un-manned crossings across the country.

Anti-collision devices to be commissioned in three railway zones including South and South Central soon.

Track-machine industry to be set up in Uluberia in West Bengal.

Rail accident rate declines from 0.29 per cent last year to 0.17 per cent now.

Special incentives for states that run trouble-free railways

Multi-purpose smart card for passengers on travelling long distance to be introduced (ANI)

New Trains Proposed in Railway Budget 2011

Nine New Duranto Trains: Allahabad-Mumbai AC Duronto (bi-weekly), Pune-Ahmedabad AC Duronto (tri-weekly), Sealdah-Puri non AC Duronto (tri-weekly), Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam AC Duronto (tri-weekly), Madurai-Chennai AC Duronto (bi-weekly), Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram AC Duronto (bi-weekly), Mumbai Central-New Delhi AC Duronto (bi-weekly), Nizamuddin-Ajmer non-AC Duronto (bi-weekly), Shalimar-Patna Duronto (tri-weekly)

The frequency of following Duronto Trains have been increased: Mumbai CST-Howrah Duronto Express from 2 days to 4 days, Mumbai-Ahmedabad Duronto Express from 3 days to daily, Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto Express from 2 days to 5 days, Nagpur-Mumbai CST Duronto Express from 3 days to daily, Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Express from 4 days to 5 days

Double-decker AC Trains: Jaipur-Delhi, Ahmedabad-Mumbai

Three New Shatabdi Exp: Pune-Secunderabad, Jaipur-Agra and Ludhiana-Delhi.

New series of Kavi Guru Express & Vivek Express Trains to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore & Swami Vivekananda

Kavi Guru Express: Howrah-Azimganj Express (daily), Guwahati-Jaipur Express (weekly), Howrah-Bolpur Express (daily), Howrah-Porbander Express (weekly)

Vivek Express: Dibrugarh-Thiruvananthapuram-Kanniyakumari Express (weekly), Dwarka-Tuticorin Express (weekly), Howrah-Mangalore Express (weekly), Bandra(T)-Jammu Tawi Express (weekly)


Rajya Rani Express to connect state capitals with important cities of those states

Sawantwadi Road-Mumbai Express (daily), Saharsa-Patna Intercity Express (daily), Meerut-Lucknow Intercity Express (daily), Mysore-Bangalore Express (daily), Damoh-Bhopal Intercity Express (daily), Silghat-Dhubri Intercity Express (tri-weekly via Guwahati-Kokrajhar-Jogighopa), Bankura-Howrah Express (tri-weekly), Nilambur Road-Thiruvananthapuram Link Express (daily), Jharsuguda-Bhubaneswar Express (tri-weekly) , Manmad-Mumbai Express (daily) via Nasik

Special Tourist Trains Janam Bhoomi Gaurav:

Howrah-Bolpur-Rajgir (Nalanda)-Pataliputra (Patna)-Varanasi (Sarnath)-Gaya-Howrah

Bangalore-Mysore-Hassan (Space Facility, Belur, Halebid, Shravanbengola)-Hubli-Gadag(Hampi)-Bijapur (Gole Gumbaz)-Bangalore

Chennai-Puduchcheri-Tiruchichirappali-Madurai-Kanniyakumari-Thiruvananthpuram-Ernakulam-Chennai

Mumbai-Ahmedabad-(Lothal)-Bhavnagar (Palitana)-(Alang)-Gir-Diu (Somnath-Veraval)-(Junagarh)-Rajkot-Mumbai

56 New Express Trains: Raebareli-Jaunpur Express (daily), Tirupati-Amravati Express (bi-weekly),Asansol-Gorakhpur Express (weekly), Nagpur-Kolhapur Express (bi-weekly, Malda Town-Digha Express (weekly), Pune-Nanded Express (weekly), Visakhapatnam-Koraput Intercity Express (5 days a week), Howrah-Secunderabad Express (weekly), Mumbai-Chandigarh Express (weekly), Bardhaman-Rampurhat Express (tri-weekly), Bikaner-Delhi Superfast Intercity (daily), Hyderabad-Darbhanga Express (weekly), Howrah-Tirupati Express (weekly), Narsapur-Nagarsol Express (bi-weekly), Puri-Shalimar Express (weekly), Ranchi-Pune Express (bi-weekly), Shalimar-Udaipur Express (weekly), Chennai-Shirdi Express (weekly), Coimbatore-Tuticorin Link Express (daily), Howrah-Mysore Express (weekly), Yesvantpur-Mysore Express (daily), Digha-Visakhapatnam Express (weekly), Mysore-Chennai Express (weekly), Ahmedabad-Yesvantpur AC Express (weekly), Bhavnagar-Kochuvelli Express (weekly), Gorakhpur-Yesvantpur Express (weekly), Bhuj-Dadar Express (bi-weekly), Kolkata-Ajmer Express (weekly), Jabalpur-Indore Intercity Express (tri-weekly), Porbander-Kochuveli Express (weekly),Kolkata-Agra Express (weekly), Lucknow-Bhopal Express (weekly), Varanasi-Singrauli Intercity Express (daily), Nagpur-Bhusawal Express (tri-weekly), Puri-Gandhidham Express (weekly), Howarh-Visakhapatnam Express (weekly), Guwahati-Dimapur Express (daily), Howrah-Darbhanga Express (weekly), Vasco-Velankani Express (weekly), Bilaspur-Ernakulam Superfast (weekly), Digha-Puri Express (weekly), Jodhpur-Delhi Express (bi-weekly), Kharagpur-Viluppuram Express (weekly), Udaipur-Bandra (T) Express (tri-weekly), Purulia-Viluppuram Express (weekly), Asansol-Gonda Express (weekly), Delhi-Puducherry Express (weekly), Asansol-Tatanagar Express (tri-weekly), Indore-Kota Intercity Express (daily), Bhagalpur-Ajmer Express (weekly), Howrah-Jaisalmer Express (weekly), Ernakulam-Bangalore Express (weekly), Mangalore-Palghat Intercity Express (daily), Varanasi-Ahmedabad Express (weekly), Howrah-Nanded Express (weekly), Hardwar-Ramnagar Link Express (tri-weekly)

Passenger services: Delhi- Garhi Harsaru-Farukhnagar Passenger (daily), Kendujhargarh- Bhubaneswar Fast Passenger ( 5 days a week), Koraput- Bolangir-Sambalpur Passenger (daily), Barkakhana- Dehri-on-Sone Passenger(daily), Jodhpur- Hissar Fast Passenger (daily), Tirupati- Guntakal Passenger (daily), Coimbatore- Mettupalayam Passenger (6 days a week), Bhuj- Palanpur Passenger (daily), Silghat- Chaparmukh Passenger (daily), Siliguri-Dinhata Passenger (daily), Abohar - Fazilka passenger (daily) , Bilaspur-Katni Passenger (daily), Raipur - Korba Passenger (daily)

DEMU Trains: Gondia –Ballarshah, Vasai road-Diva, Ratlam-Neemuch, Ratlam-Chittaurgarh, Sealdah – Jangipur, Ahmedabad-Patan, Bangalore Cantt-Bangarpet, Dharmapuri-Bangalore, Marikuppam-Bangarpet, New Jalpaiguri-Balurghat, Falaknuma-Medchhal, Mriyalguda-Nadikudi, Kacheguda-Raichur, Raichur-Gadwal, Radhikapur- New Jalpaiguri, Jalna-Nagarsol, Nizamabad-Secunderabad, Kacheguda-Mriyalguda, Baripada-Bangariposi, Sealdah - Bhagwangola – Lalgola, Kolar-Bangalore, Krishnanagar - Behrampore Court

MEMU Trains: Ranchi-Asansol, Ernakulam - Kollam (via Alappuzha), Vasai Road-Panvel, Bangarpet –Koppam, Falaknuma-Bhongir, Midnapore – Jhargram, Kollam – Nagercoil, Jhargram-Purulia

Extension of Trains: Chhindwara-Gwalior Express to Delhi, Jhansi-Chhindwara Express to Delhi, Udaipur-Gwalior Express to Khajuraho, Solapur- Gadag Express to Hubli, Jabalpur-Nagpur Express to Amravati, Nizamuddin- Bapudham Motihari Express to Muzaffarpur, Jammu Tawi-Sonpur Express to Muzaffarpur, Lucknow- Allahabad Express to Vindhyachal, Chandigarh- Jaipur Garib Rath Express to Ajmer, Indore-Ajmer Express to Jaipur, Lucknow- Saharanpur Express to Chandigarh, Chennai Egmore -Nagore Express to Karaikal, Visakhapatnam-Nizamabad Express to Nanded, Sambalpur- Nizamabad Express to Nanded, Mysore- Shimoga Town Express to Talguppa, Valsad- Vadodara Express to Dahod Surat- Bhavnagar Express to Mahuva, Sultanpur - Ajmer Express to Ahmedabad, Ajmer-Kishanganj Express to New Jalpaiguri, Mumbai-Allahabad Express to Faizabad, Yesvantapur-Mangalore Express to Karwar, Saharanpur- Delhi to Farukh Nagar, Lucknow - Bhopal Express to Pratapgarh, Delhi- Shahjahanpur Passenger to Sitapur Cantt, Moradabad- Chandausi Passenger to Bareilly, Hajipur- Phulwaria Passenger to Bathua Bazar, Hajipur- Thawe Passenger to Kaptanganj, Nagercoil- Thiruvanthapuram Passenger to Kochuvelli, Hyderabad- Wadi Passenger to Gulbarga, Hubli- Bijapur Passenger to Solapur, Nagda- Kota Passenger to Ratlam, Ambala - Una DEMU to Amb Andaura

Increase in Frequency of Trains

New Delhi-Ajmer Shatabdi Express from 6 days to daily, Nagpur- Ahmedabad Express from weekly to bi-weekly, Nizamuddin -Dehradun AC Express from 6 days to daily, Secunderabad -Bikaner Express from weekly to bi-weekly, New Delhi- Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express from 6 days to daily, Jaipur- Pune Express from weekly to bi-weekly, Rourkela- Bhubaneswar Express from 6 days to daily, Bangalore- Hubli Jan Shatabdi Express from 6 days to daily, Habibganj- Jabalpur Jan Shatabdi Express from 6 days to daily, Delhi Sarai Rohilla- Udaipur Chetak Express from 4 days to daily, Indore- Udaipur Express from 3 days to daily, Rajkot- Porbander Express from 3 days to daily, Mumbai CST- Mangalore Express from 3 days to daily, Chennai-Tiruchendur Express from weekly to daily, Surat- Amravati Fast Passenger from 2 days to 3 days, Thiruchchirappalli- Karur Passenger from 6 days to daily, Shoranur- Eranakulam Passenger from 6 days to daily, Ambala - Amritsar DEMU to Kurukshetra

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Andhra Pradesh budget at Rs 1,28,542 cr for 2011-12



Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy on February 23, presented state annual budget for 2011-12 in the Assembly amid protests from some opposition parties and MLAs from YS Jaganmohan Reddy faction. The annual budget for the state was pegged at Rs 1,28,542 crore, with Government projecting a revenue growth of 20 per cent for the forthcoming financial year.

Of this, non-plan expenditure formed lion share with Government allocating Rs 80,984 crore while the allocations for planned expenditure stood at Rs 47,558 crore. The budget deficit is Rs 17,600 crore while the revenue surplus is Rs 3,826 crore.

While reiterating the Government’s commitment to continue welfare and development schemes introduced by Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the Finance Minister said the Government allocated Rs 15,010 crore for irrigation sector. The other allocations include Rs 4,108 crore for Roads & Buildings, Rs 1230 crore for Tribal Welfare, Rs 2,500 crore for Civil Supplies, Rs 2,500 crore for subsidized rice scheme, Rs 4,980 crore for energy, Rs 5,040 crore for health and Rs 2,104 for social welfare.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Spectrum

Recently the government was involved in a big crisis that involved the granting of licenses to the mobile users in various spectrums. What are these spectrums? and what is the difference between them? These questions are few that the following write up would clarify.

Spectrum
The spectrum in the field of communication refers to the radio spectrum. It refers to a range of radio frequencies. The bandwidth of a radio signal is the difference between the upper and lower frequencies of the signal. For example, in the case of a voice signal having a minimum frequency of 200 hertz (Hz) and a maximum frequency of 3,000 Hz, the bandwidth is 2,800 Hz (3 KHz).

There are many types of spectrum defined for different users. The spectrum of the signal defined for mobile operators are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G etc. The 1G operator used the technology based on wireless system. While 2G stands for second-generation wireless telephone technology, 2G networks are digital that mostly used GSM technology.

3G helped to simultaneously transfer both voice data (a telephone call) and non-voice data (such as downloading information, exchanging e-mail, and instant messaging 3G (third-generation) technology is used to enhance mobile phone standards. 3G services will enable video broadcast and data-intensive services such as stock transactions, e-learning and telemedicine through wireless communications. CDMA is more proficient in terms of technology as compared to GSM. While the GSM allowed the users to access the facilities such as roaming, flexibility in terms of use of handsets. GSM is generally used by 1G and 2G Spectrum users. However GSM technology became less efficient when it came to transferring data and other multimedia applications.

Thus CDMA operators got the benefits as it was efficient and equipped to handle the transfer of voluminous data and other communication network faster and accurately. In terms of the bandwidth it was assigned twice the spectrum allocated for the CDMA technology. 3G spectrum users are using the CDMA technology due to the speed and accuracy in data transferring.

A more advanced version of these technologies is being used for decoding the messages. It is the improved CDMA with wider band operation known as Wideband Code Multiple Divisions Access (WCMDA). WCDMA provides seamless global evolution from GSM with support of the worlds' largest mobile operators.

4G technology stands to be the future standard of wireless devices which is not being on widespread commercial use. Currently, Japanese company NTT DoCoMo and Samsung are testing 4G communication. These provide for facilities like WiMax and looped networks like LTT. These are based on the improved and extended technology of broadband wireless access (BWA) that use orthogonal frequency division multiple accesses (OFDMA).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

UPSC CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 2011

UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (UPSC)
Dholpur House, Shahjahan road, New Delhi - 110069

Civil Service Examination, 2011

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will hold the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2011 on 12/06/2011 for recruitment of nearly 880 various posts of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and certain other Group 'A' and Group 'B' Central Services / Posts.
Eligibility:
  • Age : Not less than 21 years and not more than 30 years as on 01/08/2011. The upper age is relaxable for SC/ST/OBC and certain other categories of candidates to the extent specified in the Notice.
  • Educational Qualification: Degree of a recognised university or an equivalent qualification.
  • Physical Standards: Candidates must be physically fit according to the Regulations given in notice.
  • Number of Attempts: The maximum number of attempts permissible to different categories of aspirants, who are otherwise eligible will be as follows:

    • General Category : Four
    • Physical Handicapped : Seven
    • OBC : Seven
    • SC / ST : No Limit
Offline Application Form: The candidates must apply in the Common Application Form devised by the Commission for its examinations, which can be purchased from the designated Head Post Offices/ Post offices throughout the country against cash payment of Rs. 30/- only. OR published in the Employment News.

Online Application Submission : Candidates can apply Online also at http://upsconline.nic.in/ upto 21/03/2011.

Fee: Rs. 100/- through Central Recruitment Fee Stamp only. SC/ST/PH/Female candidates are exempted from payment (OBC candidates required to pay full fee) for the candidates applying offline. Those who are applying Online need to deposit Rs. 50/- in any branch of SBI

How To Apply Offline : All Offline applications must reach the "Controller of Examination, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110069" either by hand or by Post/Speed Post or by courier on or before the 21/03/2011. [Candidates from far-flung areas can send application through post/speed post upto 28/03/2011]

Candidates can obtain details of the examination and can get information about registration of their applications, venues of the examination and syllabus etc will be posted on the website of the UPSC at http://upsc.gov.in/ or in the Employment News dated 19/02/2011.


FOR CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 2011 Detailed Notification CLICK HERE

ICC WORLD CUP 2011 SCHEDULE

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)

In India we got many types of inquires, methods are good but final aim of this committees is that
No Punishment but these inquires are good to expose corrupt people or for entertainment.

Joint Parliamentary Committee is appointed to look, inquire into particular matter or subject or fraud, something which is important for nation.

How Joint Parliamentary Committee is formed?
What is the procedure to form Joint Parliamentary Committee?

Joint Parliamentary Committee is formed when motion is adopted by one house and it is supported or agreed by the other house.

Another way to form a Joint Parliamentary committee is that two presiding chiefs of both houses can write to each other, communicate with each other and form the joint parliamentary committee.

How many persons can be members of Joint Parliamentary committee?

The rule is simple -
The Lok Sabha members are double compared to Rajya Sabha.
Example –

If Joint Parliamentary committee has 10 Lok Sabha Members then 5 members will be from Rajya Sabha and total member of JPC will be 15.

The strength of a JPC may be different each time.

When the first Joint Parliamentary committee was established?

On August 6, 1987 the first JPC was instituted to inquire into the Bofors contract
on a motion moved by then defence minister K C Pant in the Lok Sabha.
The JPC submitted its report on – 26 April 1988
India got nothing after JPC in this case.
In this JPC inquiry opposition parties boycotted this inquiry and report was tables but again opposition parities rejected the JPC committee report.
Indian tax payer’s money and time was wasted.

The 2nd JPC was formed to inquiry into Harshad Mehta scandal.
The recommendations of the JPC were neither accepted in full nor implemented by the government of India.
Again 2nd time Indian tax payer’s money was wasted and time was wasted.

3rd JPC was set up to inquire into Stock Market Scam.
Chairman of this committee – BJP member Lt Gen Prakash Mani Tripathi
Report Submitted on – 19 December 2002
What happened after this JPC report?
Report was not implemented
Again tax payer’s time and money was wasted.

4th last JPC was formed to inquire into pesticide residues in soft drinks, fruit juice and other beverages and to set safety standards.
Committee Head was NCP chief Sharad Pawar
Submitted Report on 4th February 2004
Committee found soft drinks got, contain pesticides.

But again we Indians got nothing again waste of time and waste of money and again we demand JPC without demanding changes in JPC working and JPC powers.

Please remember the laws are made in such a way that today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow any JPC or PAC may be formed we Indians will get nothing.
The rules are made in such a way that criminals should enjoy them.
And honest people should fear them, without doing anything land up in jail.


What are the powers of Joint Parliamentary committee?

1.JPC can collect oral or written evidence from the experts.

2.The proceedings of parliamentary committees are confidential. Please note in majority nations this type of committees work in open and day to day there work is available for public. Only corrupt nations need confidentiality.

3.Normally ministers are not called to give evidence

4.SM – Ministers are gods how can they cheat the nation? Even if they cheat it is there birth right to cheat the nation.

5.JPC can inspect all documents related with the inquiry.

6.JPC can invite interested parties for inquiry.

7.JPC can send summons to people to appear before them, if person does not obey summons it is considered as contempt of House.

8.The Speaker has the final word on any dispute over calling for evidence

9.Against any individual or production of a document, even government can deny access to documents if government feels it is related with safety of state. What is safety of state? Only God knows.

I feel that following new powers should be given Joint Parliamentary Committee
Following new laws or amendments or sections should be added to the powers of JPC.

1.JPC should work openly

2.JPC should put all documents and evidence daily on internet.

3.JPC should finish inquiry in 1 month.

4.It should be compulsory on government to follow recommendations given by JPC.
If government wants they can approach to Supreme Court. It should be compulsory for SC to give judgment in 1 week in this type of cases.

5.JPC should get power to arrest any Minister exception should be Prime Minister.

6.During JPC probe no political party should be allowed to withdraw support of Government if they do so the party should get automatically banned forever without any appeal and they should be debar to contest any public or private elections for next 25 years.

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES


The work done by the Parliament in modern times is not only varied in nature, but considerable in volume. The time at its disposal is limited. It cannot, therefore, give close consideration to all the legislative and other matters that come up before it. A good deal of its business is, therefore, transacted by what are called the Parliamentary Committees.

Ad hoc and Standing Committees

Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Ad hoc Committees and the Standing Committees. Ad hoc Committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report. The principal Ad hoc Committees are the Select and Joint Committees on Bills. Others like the Railway Convention Committee, the Committees on the Draft Five Year Plans and the Hindi Equivalents Committee were appointed for specific purposes. Apart from the Ad hoc Committees, each House of Parliament has Standing Committees like the Business Advisory Committee, the Committee on Petitions, the Committee of Privileges and the Rules Committee, etc.

Other Committees

Of special importance is yet another class of Committees which act as Parliament’s ‘Watch Dogs’ over the executive. These are the Committees on Subordinate Legislation, the Committee on Government Assurances, the Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Public Undertakings and Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs). The Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Undertakings and DRSCs play an important role in exercising a check over governmental expenditure and Policy formulation.

COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEES

Select and Joint Committees

When a Bill comes up before a House for general discussion,it is open to that House to refer it to a Select Committee of the House or a Joint Committee of the two Houses. A motion has to be moved and adopted to this effect in the House in which the Bill comes up for consideration. In case the motion adopted is for reference of the Bill to a Joint Committee, the decision is conveyed to the other House requesting them to nominate members of the other House to serve on the Committee. The Select or Joint Committee considers the Bill clause by clause just as the two Houses do. Amendments can be moved to various clauses by members of the Committee. The Committee can also take evidence of associations, public bodies or experts who are interested in the Bill. After the Bill has thus been considered the Committee submits its report to the House. Members who do not agree with the majority report may append their minutes of dissent to the report.

Committee on Estimates

This Committee consists of 30 members who are elected by the Lok Sabha every year from amongst its members. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The main function of the Committee on Estimates is to report what economies, improvements in organisation, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be effected and to suggest alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration. From time to time the Committee selects such of the estimates pertaining to a Ministry or a group of Ministries or the statutory and other Government bodies as may seem fit to the Committee. The Committee also examines matters of special interest which may arise or come to light in the course of its work or which are specifically referred to it by the House or the Speaker.

Committee on Public Undertakings

The Committee on Public Undertakings consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha are associated with it. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year.

The functions of the Committee on Public Undertakings are—(a) to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings; (b) to examine the reports, if any, of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Public Undertakings; (c) to examine in the context of the autonomy and efficiency of the Public Undertakings whether the affairs of the Public Undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices; and (d) such other functions vested in the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Estimates in relation to the Public Undertakings as are not covered by clauses (a), (b) and (c) above and as may be allotted to the Committee by the Speaker from time to time. The Committee does not, however, examine matters of major Government policy and matters of day-to-day administration of the Undertakings.

Committee on Public Accounts

This Committee consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with it. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year.

The main duty of the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government "within the scope of the Demand". The Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General mainly form the basis for the examination of the Committee. Cases involving losses, nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities come in for severe criticism by the Committee. The Committee is not concerned with questions of policy. It is concerned only with the execution of the policy laid down by Parliament and its results.

Business Advisory Committee (Lok Sabha)

The Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman. The members are nominated by the Speaker. Almost all sections of the House are represented on the Committee as per the respective strength of parties in the House. The function of the Committee is to recommend the time that should be allotted for the discussion of such Government legislative and other business as the Speaker, in consultation with the Leader of the House, may direct to be referred to the Committee. The Committee, on its own initiative, may also recommend to the Government to bring forward particular subjects for discussion in the House and recommend allocation of time for such discussions. The decisions reached by the Committee are always unanimous in character and representative of the collective view of the House. The Committee generally meets at the beginning of each Session and thereafter as and when necessary.

Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions (Lok Sabha)

This Committee consists of 15 members and the Deputy Speaker is its Chairman when nominated as a member of he Committee. The Committee is nominated by the Speaker. The functions of the Committee are to allot time to Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions, to examine Private Members’ Bills seeking to amend the Constitution before their introduction in Lok Sabha, to examine all Private Members’ Bills after they are introduced and before they are taken up for consideration in the House and to classify them according to their nature, urgency and importance into two categories namely, category A and category B and also to examine such Private Members’ Bills where the legislative competence of the House is challenged. The Committee, thus, performs the same function in relation to Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions as the Business Advisory Committee does in regard to Government Business. The Committee holds office for a term not exceeding one year.

Rules Committee (Lok Sabha)

The Rules Committee consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee. The members are nominated by the Speaker. The Committee considers matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House and recommends any amendments or additions to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha that are considered necessary.

Committee of Privileges (Lok Sabha)

This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. The function is to examine every question involving breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker. It determines with reference to the facts of each case whether a breach of privilege is involved and makes suitable recommendations in its report.

Committee on Papers Laid on the Table (Lok Sabha)

This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. Its function is to examine all papers laid on the Table of the House by Ministers (other than those which fall within the purview of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation or any other Parliamentary Committee) and to report to the House—(a) whether there has been compliance of the provisions of the Constitution, Act, rule or regulation under which the paper has been laid, (b) whether there has been any unreasonable delay in laying the paper, (c) if there has been such delay, whether a statement explaining the reasons for delay has been laid on the Table of the House and whether those reasons are satisfactory, (d) whether both the Hindi and English versions of the paper have been laid on the Table, (e) whether a statement explaining the reasons for not laying the Hindi version has been given and whether such reasons are satisfactory, (f) such other functions in respect of the papers laid on the Table as may be assigned to it by the Speaker from time to time.

Committee on Petitions (Lok Sabha)

The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. The function of the Committee is to consider and report on petitions presented to the House. Besides, it also considers representations from individuals and associations, etc. on subjects which are not covered by the rules relating to petitions and gives directions for their disposal.

Committee on Subordinate Legislation (Lok Sabha)

The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. The Committee scrutinizes and reports to the House whether the powers to make regulations, rules, sub-rules, by-laws etc. conferred by the Constitution or delegated by Parliament are being properly exercised by the executive within the scope of such delegation.

Committee on Government Assurances (Lok Sabha)

This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. While replying to questions in the House or during discussions on Bills, Resolutions, Motions etc., Ministers at times give assurances or undertakings either to consider a matter or to take action or to furnish the House further information later. The functions of this Committee are to scrutinize the assurances, promises, undertakings etc. given by Ministers from time to time and to report to Lok Sabha on the extent to which such assurances etc. have been implemented and to see whether such implementation has taken place within the minimum time necessary for the purpose.

Committee on Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House (Lok Sabha)

The Committee consists of 15 members who hold office for one year. The members are nominated by the Speaker. This Committee considers all applications from members for leave of absence from the sittings of the House and examines every case where a member has been absent for a period of 60 days or more, without permission, from the sittings of the House. In its report it makes recommendations with respect to each case as to whether the absence should be condoned or leave applied granted or whether the circumstances of the case justify that the House should declare the seat of the member vacant.

Joint Committee on Offices of Profit

This Committee consists of 15 members. Ten members are elected from Lok Sabha and five from Rajya Sabha. The Committee is constituted for the duration of each Lok Sabha.

The main functions of the Committee are to examine the composition and character of the Committees appointed by the Central and State Governments and to recommend what offices should disqualify and what offices should not disqualify a person for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament under article 102 of the Constitution.

Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

The Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes consists of 20 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 10 members of Rajya Sabha are associated with it. The term of the Committee is one year. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The main functions of the Committee are to consider all matters concerning the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, falling within the purview of the Union Government and the Union Territories, to consider the reports submitted by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to examine the measures taken by the Union Government to secure due representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in services and posts under its control.

Railway Convention Committee

The Railway Convention Committee is an ad-hoc Committee. It consists of 18 members. Out of these, 12 members are from Lok Sabha nominated by the Speaker and 6 members are from Rajya Sabha nominated by the Chairman. By convention the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Railways are members of the Committee. Besides this, Ministers of State in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Railways respectively are also its members.

The main function of the Committee is to review the Rate of Dividend payable by the Railways undertaking to General Revenues as well as other ancillary matters in connection with the Railway Finance vis-a-vis the General Finance and make recommendations thereon. The Railway Convention Committee, 1949 was the first Committee after independence. This Committee and subsequent Committees confined themselves to determining the rate of dividend payable by Railways to General Revenues. Since 1971 the Railway Convention Committees have been taking up subjects for examination and report which have a bearing on the working of Railways.

Committee on Empowerment of Women

This Committee came into being on 29th April, 1997, as a consequence of identical Resolutions adopted by both the Houses of Parliament on the occasion of International Womens’ Day on 8th March, 1996. The Committee consists of 30 members, 20 nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 10 nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of the Rajya Sabha. The term of the Committee is of one year. The Committee have been primarily mandated with the task of reviewing and monitoring the measures taken by the Union Government in the direction of securing for women equality, status and dignity in all matters. The Committee would also suggest necessary correctives for improving the status/condition of women in respect of matters within the purview of the Union Government. Besides, another important function of the Committee is to examine the measures taken by the Union Government for comprehensive education and adequate representation of women in Legislative bodies/services and other fields. The Committee would also consider the report of the National Commission for Women. The Committee may also examine such other matters as may seem fit to them or are specifically referred to them by the Lok Sabha or the Speaker and the Rajya Sabha or the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Departmentally Related Standing Committees

A full-fledged system of 17 Departmentally Related Standing Committees came into being in April, 1993. These Committees cover under their jurisdiction all the Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India. These Committees are as under :

Name of the Committee

1. Committee on Commerce

2. Committee on Home Affairs

3. Committee on Human Resource Development

4. Committee on Industry

5. Committee on Science & Technology,

Environment & Forests

6. Committee on Transport, Culture and Tourism

7. Committee on Agriculture

8. Committee on Information Technology

9. Committee on Defence

10. Committee on Energy

11. Committee on External Affairs

12. Committee on Finance

13. Committee on Food, Civil Supplies and

Public Distribution

14. Committee on Labour and Welfare

15. Committee on Petroleum & Chemicals

16. Committee on Railways

17. Committee on Urban and Rural Development

Out of the 17 Committees, 6 Committees (Sl. No. 1 to 6) are serviced by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat and 11 Committees (Sl. No. 7 to 17) by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Each of these Standing Committees consists of not more than 45 members—30 to be nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 15 to be nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of Rajya Sabha. A Minister is not eligible to be nominated to these Committees.

The term of members of these Committees is one year. With reference to the Ministries/Departments under their purview, the functions of these committees are:

(a) Consideration of Demands for Grants.

(b) Examination of Bills referred to by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, Lok Sabha as the case may be.

(c) Consideration of Annual Reports.

(d) Consideration of national basic long term policy documents presented to the House and referred to the Committee by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, Lok Sabha, as the case may be. These Committees do not consider matters of day-to-day administration of the concerned Ministries/Departments.

The newly constituted departmentally related Standing Committee System is a path-breaking endeavour of the Parliamentary surveillance over administration. With the emphasis of their functioning to concentrate on long-term plans, policies and the philosophies guiding the working of the Executive, these Committees will be in a very privileged position to provide necessary direction, guidance and inputs for broad policy formulations and in achievement of the long-term national perspective by the Executive.