In a reply to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal, the DoE has admitted to ‘unauthorized’ activities at ‘6, Krishna Menon Marg’ bungalow which was allotted to the late Babu Jagjivan Ram
The Directorate of Estates (DoE) in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application has admitted existence of an ‘unauthorized’ statue and a photo-exhibition of late Babu Jagjivan Ram along with two boards including one by New Delhi Municipal Corporation depicting the 6 Krishna Menon Marg bungalow as Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial.
The reply followed the Central Information Commission (CIC) order dated 7 May 2012 to the ministry of urban development (MoUD) to disclose information related to allotment, occupation and use of a government bungalow by family members of late Indrani Devi, widow of late Babu Jagjivan Ram and her daughter and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, in public domain. DoE comes under the MoUD. (Disclose details of Babu Jagjivan Ram’s bungalow, orders CIC)
In the same reply to the RTI application filed by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal, the DoE revealed that Central Public Works Department (CPWD) was the authority responsible to take care of the said bungalow.
According to Mr Agrawal, considering the above information, the DoE had deliberately avoided other queries such as the owner of the photos displayed at the exhibition at the bungalow; information on removing ‘unauthorized’ statue of late Babu Jagjivan Ram, photo-exhibition on him and a NMDC board stating it as ‘Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial’ and information on the person who had given permission to Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation to hold Sarva Dharma Prarthana in 2011, among others.
“Director of Estate has surprisingly expressed ‘ignorance’ about persons living there despite their physical presence highlighted and observed by media-persons,” said Mr Agrawal referring to a media report. He added that, “Strict-most action should be taken against all CPWD persons responsible for not taking action against encroachers and trespassers of the bungalow now continuously for last one decade, when it was claimed to be vacated by Ms Meira Kumar vide her letter dated 28 November 2002 addressed to the CPWD. Immediate arrest of persons living and having encroached the said bungalow should be made. All unauthorized structures, boards, photo-exhibition, etc, should be immediately removed.”
Mr Agrawal demanded that, “High-level enquiry should be ordered and responsibility fixed for keeping the bungalow un-allotted for such a long period resulting in loss of crores of rupees in terms of rental value. The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) should take cognizance of such big loss to exchequer. Immediate steps should be taken to allot this bungalow to some entitled one.”
In 2004, Ms Kumar was allotted the bungalow number 6 at Krishna Menon Marg after she became the Union minister of social justice & employment. The same residence was the house of her father and senior Congress leader Babu Jagjivan Ram till his death in 1986. Ms Kumar was allotted another bungalow, number 20 on Akbar Road when she became the Speaker in 2009 and where she currently lives.
However, according to the news reports, Ms Meira continued to hold both these bungalows. A statement from the Speaker’s office had said that the family members of late Indrani Devi had vacated the Krishna Menon Marg bungalow by 30 November 2002, and this was intimated to the CPWD, NDMC, Director of Estates and other authorities. It is also reported that the bungalow has been turned into a memorial for Babu Jagjivan Ram.
Interestingly, considering the Union cabinet’s decision on 6 August 2000, which said that no bungalow in the future could be converted into a memorial, furnished under the earlier RTI application of Mr Agrawal, the memorial of Babu Jagjivan Ram is in complete violation of that decision.
In November 2011, the RTI query filed by Mr Agrawal had revealed that the Speaker has been served A Rs2 crore bill for THE illegally occupied bungalow. (Lok Sabha Speaker owes govt Rs2 crore as unpaid rent). However in reply to Mr Agrawal’s earlier RTI query the DoE said that the recovery notice was withdrawn.
According to the ASCI, this is a huge jump in the first month of proactive monitoring as prior to the launch of NAMS there were only 177 complaints in whole of 2011-12
Self regulatory body Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has identified 55 advertisements from the print and television medium making misleading, false and unsubstantiated claims. These ads were tracked by ASCI's newly launched National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS).
NAMS, is joint collaboration of ASCI and AdEx, a division of TAM Media Research, and was launched on 1 May 2012, with an aim to reduce misleading advertisements. Last month it tracked newly released 40 print ads and 12 television commercials from sectors such as auto, banking, financial services & insurance, FMCG (including food & beverages), consumer durables, educational institutions, health care products & services, telecom and real estate.
Alan Collaco, secretary general, ASCI told Moneylife that, "Majority of the identified advertisements belong to FMCG, education and health sectors. TAM tracks down the ads and sends the list to ASCI. Some of these ads also include where a complaint has already been addressed. These are then excluded. For the remaining, we are in the process of writing to the advertisers for their response."
The agreement between ASCI and TAM Media Research, AdEx India aims to identify ads that are in potential violation of Chapter 1 of ASCI code. These ads are tracked from more than 30 newspapers (all editions), contributing to over 80% of national newspaper readership and all TV channels across the country in all Indian languages. Ads which are potentially violating ASCI Code are forwarded to ASCI on a weekly basis. Further ASCI processes them as per its normal complaint procedure involving its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) for adjudication.
According to the ASCI, this is a huge jump in the first month of proactive monitoring as prior to the launch of NAMS there were only 177 complaints in whole of 2011-12. This is as much as 31% of ads to be processed in just one month as compared to the ads process in the last 12 months.
I Venkat, chairman, ASCI, said, "We are enthused with the results shown by NAMS in the first month of the proactively monitoring of ads. Going by the initial results I am confident that NAMS will enhance the ad self-regulation redressal process manifold. We now expect to see significant reduction in ads making misleading, false or unsubstantiated claims in the future with start of NAMS and consumers in India will benefit immensely."
Stocks were rallying until the market was hit by an S&P warning report. Fact is, the S&P report was available since 8th June. It was used as an excuse by market players to book profits, thus ending the longest run of the markets since January
Indian stock markets, which were rallying till late afternoon today, used the Standard & Poor's (S&P) report in the afternoon trade, mostly to book profits. The BSE Sensex, which had gained 754 points in the last five straight sessions, opened higher in the morning and advanced 175 points to touch a day's high of 16,893.
However, citing a report from S&P which said slowing GDP growth and political roadblocks to economic policy-making are some worrying factors for India, market players started booking profits in the afternoon trade resulting in markets ending below its last closing.
Surprisingly, S&P's report titled “Will India Be The First BRIC Fallen Angel?” was there on the ratings agency's website since 8th June, and yet Indian market started losing its gaining streak only after the media release in the country. According to sources, the report was accessible only for paid subscribers of S&P. The subscription ranges from $100 to $500. However, it seems that not a single media house in India is subscribed to these reports; otherwise, they would have given a “breaking news” on 8th June itself. In any case, institutional investors subscribe to such reports and after all, they are the ones who move the market.
S&P’s latest warning came less than two months after it cut India's credit rating outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’ due to the country's lower GDP growth prospects and the risk of erosion of its external liquidity and fiscal flexibility.
Earlier in the day finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said 2012-13 would be the turnaround year for the economy. Highlighting the positives in the economy, Mr Mukherjee said interest rate cycle has been reversed and there is growth in mining sector, turnaround in investment growth rate and there are predictions of normal monsoon, besides decline in crude oil prices. “All these factors should help in recovery of domestic growth momentum,” he said.
Coming back to the stock market, last week it closed with a gain of about 5%, its longest gaining spree since January this year. Last week the Sensex jumped 754 points to settle at 16,719 and the Nifty climbed 227 points at 5,068.
On Monday, the Sensex rose by over 164 points in the early trade on increased buying by funds and retail investors, supported by recovery in the rupee and a firming trend in Asian markets. The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 47 points or 0.93% to 5,115.40 in early trade.
Asian shares rose today after finance ministers of the Eurozone nations, in a emergency conference call last week, agreed to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros to stabilise its banks, relieving markets that had feared for the country's fiscal collapse.