Citizens' Issues
Eminent people urge Team Anna to call off fast

The appeal from eminent jurist VR Krishna Iyer, former Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, former chief of Army VK Singh and others came as the health of Arvind Kejriwal and two others deteriorated on the ninth day of their fast

New Delhi: About 22 eminent persons, including former Army chief VK Singh, on Thursday appealed to Team Anna to call off their indefinite fast as the activists are said to be considering announcing a 'political alternative' before ending their stir, reports PTI.
"All the people listening to us, watching us tell us whether Team Anna should form a political party," prominent Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said addressing the protesters this afternoon.
The appeal from eminent jurist VR Krishna Iyer, former Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, Singh and others came as the health of Arvind Kejriwal and two others deteriorated on the ninth day of their fast.
The letter from eminent persons raised the possibility of an end to the indefinite stir during the day with Hazare likely to announce the future course of action. However, Team Anna members refused to confirm this.
"We appeal you to end the fast," a letter written by the eminent persons, including PV Rajagopal, who had resigned from Team Anna earlier, said.
Reading out from the letter, Anupam Kher said the government was not responding to the fast and was not paying heed to the protest.
"The government has turned its back to the agitation and has also not shown political will to punish corrupt people. The opposition also does not fare well on the issue," the letter said.
"Do not expect anything from this political class. We request Anna Hazare and other fasting activists to channelise their efforts in setting up a political alternative, to give a responsive, democratic and non-violent system," it said.
"Indian democracy needs a new direction. We request the people who are fasting to accept this historical challenge and call off their fast," the letter said.
Questions were raised whether Team Anna was mulling a political role as their official twitter handle and website put a poser to the public asking, "Should Annaji provide a political alternative to the country? Reply YES or NO to this tweet." 
It also tweeted a link which goes to an internet page which put two questions -- Do you have any hope from the existing political parties? Should Annaji provide a political alternative to the country? 
Team Anna had on 31st July appeared opposing UPA in the next Lok Sabha elections, saying its mission is to ensure that "new and apt people" come to power in the 2014 polls.
"This mission will not stop till the 2014 elections, till the time new and apt people come in power. We have to go till the end which is 2014 when the people with Anna's blessings will come to power. Till then, our responsibility is to spread these words," its member Kiran Bedi had said.
Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai have refused hospitalisation despite their health condition worsening and a warning from police that organisers will be "squarely responsible" if anything happens to the fasting activists.
"All the three have repeatedly said that they are here for sacrifice. They will not get prevailed upon. They are very determined themselves," Bedi said.
Hazare, whose fast entered the fifth day, held discussions with the three fasting activists and Bedi in the morning. 
"We call upon Anna Hazare and all his associates who have been on an indefinite fast to give up on their expectations from this establishment.
"Instead, we call upon them to focus their energies on creating an alternative political force that is democratic, accountable, ethical and non-violent and capable of leading an electoral revolution to democratise and decentralise power and make the power structures of the country more accountable to the people," they said.
Former BJP leader KN Govindacharya also appealed to Hazare and others to climb down from their "hardline" position and allow a peaceful solution to the present impasse.
"Both members of the civil society and the government should realise that they are working for the interest of the common man. No situation should be allowed to degenerate into a crisis since this would be unhealthy for democracy. My way or no way should not be a policy of either side.
"...We appeal to both sides to sit together and find an honourable solution to the present crisis. It is time for the civil society to join hands and find ways to resolve the issue," he said.




4 years ago

Duration - 3 mins
Film - Facebook Fuss (Edited & Directed by - Parimita Barik)

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The spread of Social Media and its access have raised a number of questions and posed challenges, socially and legally. The argument is that uncontrolled access to Social Media by minors could cause various kinds of problems -innocent and impressionable minds may be affected, cheated or compromised in certain ways. It may provide unsupervised access to facts and other kinds of information that minors are too young to properly evaluate and make decisions on. Is this indeed the case? If it is, are legal, technical and social mechanisms available to help parents and minors make appropriate decisions on accessing social media? Given that mobile devices are all-pervasive, how can such controls actually be implemented?

Is it possible for the Indian Government or its instrument agencies to regulate who opens an account on a web site. There are thousands of places that ask for user data. People open accounts everywhere all the time. FB is just one kind of social media platform. Is it possible for the Government to demand enforcement on such? And how? How can we check the credential of whoever is creating an account?


SBI cuts interest rates on deposits by 0.25%, PNB increases it to 9%

While SBI cut interest rate on deposits by 0.25% to 8.5%, other state-run lender PNB has increased its deposit rates to 9% from 8.75%

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday lowered interest rates on domestic term deposits of maturity of five years and more by 0.25% to 8.5%, reports PTI.
"The bank has decided to revise downwards the interest rate on domestic term deposits for tenors five years and above to 8.5% with effect from 7 August 2012," SBI said in a filing to the BSE.
The country's largest bank offers an interest rate of 8.75% on deposits below Rs15 lakh, and 9% on deposits from Rs15 lakh to less than Rs1 crore.
Punjab National Bank (PNB), however, has increased the interest rates on deposits by 0.25% to 9% for maturity of one year with effect from today.
"The bank has decided to increase rate of interest on single domestic deposit of less than Rs 1 crore from 8.75% to 9% for maturity of one year," PNB said in a separate filing to the BSE.
PNB further said that NRE term deposits will also attract an interest rate of 9%, as applicable to domestic term deposits.
SBI yesterday announced reduction in lending rates by 0.5% on home and auto loans.
The decision to alter deposits rates within days of Reserve Bank announcing its first quarterly monetary policy review. The central bank, despite pressure from India Inc, decided to keep the key interest rate unchanged in view of high inflation.
RBI, however, had lowered the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), the portion of deposits that banks are required to invest in government bonds, by 1% to 23%.


APIIC-Emaar case: Industrialist gets bail after 9 months

According to CBI K Rajendra Prasad and others allegedly collected several crores of rupees towards plots developed by Emaar MGF in the controversial township project from buyers, after grossly undervaluing the market price  

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday granted bail to industrialist Koneru Rajendra Prasad, an accused in the APIIC-Emaar township project case, after being behind bars for the last nine months, reports PTI.
The High Court directed Prasad to deposit personal bond of Rs5 lakh towards execution of the bail and asked him to surrender his passport and not to leave Andhra Pradesh.
Prasad, who was the first person to be arrested by the Central Bureay of Investigation (CBI) on 3rd November last year in connection with the alleged irregularities in the APIIC-Emaar project deal, is presently under judicial custody and lodged at the Chanchalguda Central Prison.
A CBI court had earlier denied bail to Prasad atleast on five occasions since his arrest.
According to CBI, K Rajendra Prasad, chairman of Trimex group and also a promoter of the Stylish Holmes Real Estate Private Ltd, allegedly collected money to the tune of several crores towards plots developed by Emaar MGF in the controversial township project from buyers, after grossly undervaluing the market price.
This caused a huge financial loss to the joint venture company in which the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) holds 26% equity.
CBI, in its chargesheet filed on 1st February against suspended IAS officer BP Acharya (then CMD of APIIC) and others comprising individuals and private companies, had charged them under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act in the alleged irregularities in land transfer and sale of villas and apartments in the township project at Gachibowli.
The central agency had earlier alleged that APIIC was deprived of its legitimate revenue share to the tune of Rs43.5 crore from the Integrated Township project it developed jointly with Emaar Group, even as Emaar Properties and Emaar MGF obtained pecuniary gain of about Rs167 crore.


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