While there is no increase in passenger fares and freight rates, the railway minister has announced 73 new trains. Mumbai would also get its first AC local train in July 2014
Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge, presenting the interim budget for the railways on Wednesday refrained from hiking passenger fares and freight rates. He also announced 73 new trains, extension of three trains and increase in frequency of three trains in his pre-election budget.
Talking about safety measures, the minister said the railways are planning to introduce indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) across its network after successfully completing field trials. A number of measures for safety and security of passengers like portable fire-extinguishers in coaches and induction based cooking in pantry car have been proposed in the Budget.
"A comprehensive fire and smoke detection system is on trial on two rakes of Rajdhani Express trains. This will be extended to all major passenger trains. Provision of portable fire extinguishers in AC coaches, Guard-cum-luggage break vans, pantry cars and locomotives. Introduction of electrical induction based cooking appliances in replacement of LPG in pantries is being taken up," the minister said.
Highlighting the passenger friendly initiatives of Indian Railways, Kharge said the success of e-booking of tickets has surpassed all expectations, and now train movements can also be tracked online to find the exact location and running.
Besides, 51 Jan-Ahaar outlets for sale of Janta Meals have been set up; 48 passenger escalators have been commissioned at railway stations and 61 more are being installed and air-conditioned EMU services will commence in Mumbai area by July 2014.
The minister said Itanagar, capital of Arunanchal Pradesh will soon be on rail map in this financial year, as Harmuti-Naharlagun line is expected to be commissioned shortly. The state of Meghalaya is also all set to come on the Railway map in this financial year, as Dudhnoi – Mehendipathar line is getting completed by March 2014, he added.
The Budget presented today envisages investment of Rs64,305 crore as against revised estimates for 2013-14 of Rs59,359 crore. Anticipating a healthier growth of economy, the freight traffic target is proposed at 1,101 million tonnes, an increment of 49.7 million tonnes over the current years’ revised target of about 1,052 million tonnes. The gross traffic receipts have been projected at Rs1.61 lakh crore. Working expenses have been proposed at Rs1.11 lakh crore, which is Rs13,589 crore higher than the revised estimates for the current year.
Here are the highlights of this year's interim rail budget:
Kharge has introduced 73 new trains, which includes 17 Premium trains, 39 Express trains, 10 Passenger trains, 4 MEMU and 3 DEMU in this year’s Interim Railway Budget.
Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday introduced 73 new trains, which includes 17 Premium trains, 39 Express trains, 10 Passenger trains, 4 MEMU and 3 DEMU in this year’s Interim Railway Budget. Three trains will be extended and frequency of same number of trains will be increased.
Extension of Trains
Increase in Frequency:
Wittingly or unwittingly, most political parties and media houses appear to be guilty of propagating self-serving and contrived nonsense about 'inherently fallible' biometric identification (Aadhaar) based initiatives of US Department of Defense, NATO, World Bank Group and other international financial institutions
One must accept a continuing divergence between approved and conditioned belief and the reality. In the end, it is the reality that counts.
-John Kenneth Galbraith in "The Economics of Innocent Fraud"
"The story of the march to global empire did indeed appear to be leaking out. Not the details, not the fact that it was a tragic story of debt, deception, enslavement, exploitation and the most blatant grab in history for the hearts, minds, souls, and resources of people around the world.
-John Perkins, in his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The shocking inside story of how America REALLY took over the world"
COBB: No idea's simple when you have to plant it in someone else's mind.
SAITO: My main competitor is an old man in poor health. His son will soon inherit control of the corporation. I need him to decide to break up his father's empire. Against his own self-interest.
COBB: This isn't the usual corporate espionage, Mr. Saito. This is inception. The seed of the idea we plant will grow in this man's mind.
It'll change him. It might even come to define him.
-From INCEPTION, a movie by Christopher Nolan
Aren't most supporters of Nandan Nilekani, the former chief executive of Infosys, C Chandramouli, Sam Pitroda and Capt Raghu Raman guilty of "innocent fraud"? Haven't they been manipulated by a brigade of economic hit man (EHM) which is on the prowl? In the contested terrain of jurisdiction, execution of purportedly innocent legal action that tantamount to fraud but claim of being lawful, are deemed innocent fraud. In the name of delivery of public good and services, Indians are witnessing the same being practiced amidst legal challenge by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, West Bengal Assembly, and High Courts and in the Supreme Court. Perhaps, one cannot put Nilekani's Boss, Montek Singh Ahluwalia in this category.
As to the machinations of EHMs, whose job is to encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promotes US commercial interest, who are ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty in furtherance of its political, economic and military needs? The political position of these leaders is bolstered through industrial parks, power plants and airports to their people although workers therein are mere wage slaves. As a consequence, "The owners of US engineering/ construction companies become fabulously wealthy." This is revealed by John Perkins, in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The shocking inside story of how America REALLY took over the world.
One gets an indication of how the seed of the idea about identification and transformation being propagated by World Bank Group may have been planted in the minds of Rahul Gandhi and the then Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee by ID cartels, in "Decoding Rahul Gandhi", a book by Aarthi Ramachandran. The book reveals how GK Jayaram's Bangalore based Institute of Leadership and Institutional Development (ILID) was a consultant to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies adopted VISTAR or 'transformation' and the same was used by Rahul for his failed attempt to train Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and National Students' Union of India (NSUI). Jayaram who has taught at the US Navy Post-Graduate School and worked in US firms like AT&T, Arthur D Little (ADL), Coopers & Lybrand had also set up Infosys Leadership Institute (ILI). ILID set up Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute (JNLI) in 2008 for training NSUI with Jayaram as its chief mentor.
Associated Press reported on 22 August 2007 that US National Intelligence Director, Mike McConnell confirmed that AT&T was one of the telecommunications companies that assisted with the government's warrantless wire-tapping program on calls between foreign and domestic sources. Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician told Keith Olbermann, MSNBC on 8 November 2007 that all internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office - to which only employees with NSA clearance had access. Associated Press also reported that AT&T keeps for five to seven years-record of 'who text messages whom' and the date and time, but not the content of the messages on 29 September 2011.
As to ADL, it is notorious for having claimed that sabotage was the cause of the Bhopal disaster as it was paid by Union Carbide Corp. As to Coopers & Lybrand, it merged with Price Waterhouse. As to Bell Laboratories, it is the research and development (R&D) subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent in Berkeley Heights at New Jersey that handles sensitive US contracts in the communication technology field. It was previously a division of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T Corp).
Subsequently, a web-based Pehchaan (identity) platform was set up "as a mechanism to identify and promote elected office-bearers (EOBs) at every level." The text of the resolution in this regard reads, "Every EOB is allotted a unique ID and password and given the opportunity to share their work and connect with the organization at various levels." Not only that the "IYC tied up with Google to provide it with a communications platform using cloud computing technology. The IYC's applications on Pehchaan such email, chat and others apps were provided by Google."
Its newsletter dated July 2011, disclosed that it planned to move 28, 000 of its EOBs and volunteers on to Google platform to help them "carry out various development programmes at grassroots level all across India."
Rahul also unsuccessfully attempted to appoint Aam Aadmi Ka Sipahi (AAKS) for two years tenure of enablers from the Congress party to work at the panchayat/ ward level through Ashok Tanwar, his protégé and President of IYC.
When Arnab Goswami of Times Now asked Rahul in his first long interview in 10 years, to respond to what Narendra Modi tells voters about Congress having been given 60 years but he seeks only 60 months for BJP, Rahul responded, "We are talking about Aadhaar which is going to give money directly to the people," which is limited to only 60 crore Indian residents. In his speech at the conference of All India Congress Committee, Rahul boasted that he has given right to identity through Aadhaar, which is directly being implemented by Planning Commission's Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and indirectly through National Population Register (NPR) of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Aarthi Ramachandran, his decoder underlines, "Rahul's approach to change through his backing of for measures such as the UIDAI scheme reveals an unwillingness to engage with the existing system. It is an attempt to superimpose new systems over existing structures. This approach is bound to meet the fate of his experiments in the IYC and the NSUI…"
She observes, "Also in the name of better targeting of the poor for state sponsored schemes, the UID programme pays little attention to privacy issues" and notes that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance "was scathing in its rejection of the scheme…"
Rahul Gandhi's interview with Times Now has revealed what was blanked out from electronic media by Congress party when students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had quizzed him on the evening of 29 September 2009. Rahul is consistently evasive in his replies. He refuses to engage with not only the existing system but also with tough questions. Had his interaction with the students been broadcast, it would have revealed his political and social understanding in a deeper way than his non-replies to Times Now did. One student had commented in his face, "Rahul bhai, you are a real rajneta. You are speaking so much but answering nothing", once again the recent TV interview has vindicated the opinion of JNU students about him. In answer to series of difficult questions, he said, tough questions posed to him in the university campus do not change existing structures outside the campus. UID scheme is all set to undermine all the existing institutional safeguards because Rahul has been a colossal failure in responding to tough political questions.
Why is Rahul maintaining silence about the emergency architecture based on Centralized ID Repository (CIDR) of Aadhaar number, NPR number and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), whose database is stored on cloud akin to what has been decided for the EOBs of IYC and Congress through Google's cloud computing, which is in agreement with IBM since 2007?
Meanwhile, it must be noted that Indian National Congress is a party, which gets 90.38% of its funds in cash between 2008 and 2012. Almost 89.11% of its money comes from unaccounted sources and unnamed sourced. Aren't Google and IBM funding Congress?
It seems understandable for the Congressmen in provinces to become servile and subject themselves to biometric identification like obedient boys. But it is inexplicable as to why when the Pehchaan (identity) platform of the Congress was extended the whole country, even likes of Modi volunteered to be profiled? Are visible and invisible corporate donors dictating these actions or is some EHMs who have made inroads in BJP too are calling the shots.
Or is it because of Narendra Modi's closeness to Japan (which is under the security umbrella of US since its defeat in World War II), which hosted him in 2007 after the US revoked his visa in 2005 under a domestic law for "severe violations of religious freedom" under a US law? Tycoons in Japan are also close to Nilekani who as the CEO of Infosys Technologies was one of the Co-Chairs at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in Tokyo in June 2006 that focused on 'Creating a New Agenda for Asian Integration.'
Infosys has been a part of the WEF since 1997. Coincidentally, the theme of Asian integration fits quite well with World Bank's convergence initiative that was formally launched in April 2010.
A poem titled "UID" by Dr SP Udayakumar aptly captures the emerging situation and urges action:-
U are no longer U,
I am no longer I,
We are all 12 number Digits
It's their UID.
U carried anything?
I never held nothin.
Now U and I keep something,
It's their UID.
U aren't Kashmiri Muslim,
I am no Kanyakumari Tamil,
U and I are numbers
It's our new ID.
RAW can track U and I
IB, CBI can keep an eye,
So can Q-Branch and CID
That's why we have UID.
Where I go, when I come,
Who U see, what U chomp,
PMO can find and U can't hide,
That's what does the UID.
Grandpa's name and color of eye,
Dates and prints and scanned iris,
All other data have U and I
Hi-tech plastic will keep it by.
U and I were roaming free
No longer will they allow that spree,
Rich men inside and rich men out
Want to keep us under their clout.
Poor we were, but free I say
Alas, now we're sold to USA,
Indeed the UID is our new ID
And UID is nothing but USAID.
The Great Dictator of Modern Times
Protects, provides and makes high claims,
As long as carry the card U and I
And never say nay or ask even why.
Think your thoughts and speak your mind?
Stand up high with friends behind,
Demand your rights and cry and coo?
He'd find your number and burst U too.
Wake up U, I wake up thee,
Shirk your sleep and apathy.
U and I should make a deed
Lest we lose our Hind ID!
Meanwhile, arguments against legally questionable biometric Aadhaar are underway in the Supreme Court.
But when Raj Chengappa, editor-in-chief of The Tribune Group of Newspapers asked Arvind Kejriwal, leader of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on 9 February 2014 as to what is his view of the Aadhaar card scheme? Kejriwal replied, "It is not a bad idea to give people some sort of identification. However, there are certain objections, which need to be addressed." It is the 5th year of the 12 digit Unique Identification (UID) Number branded as Aadhaar but neither Chengappa nor Kejriwal realize that Aadhaar is not an identification card but a biometric identifier number that verifies citizens as subjects. Shouldn't Kejriwal as Delhi chief minister issue orders asking officials to remove Aadhaar from the list of identity proofs now that he has conceded that "there are certain objections" against the Aadhaar scheme that have remained unaddressed? This author witnessed it being considered as one of the identity proofs at Delhi Secretariat-AAP does seem to realize that it is one of the pernicious residual legacies of Congress Government that merit immediate attention and action.
"Out of the pecuniary and political pressures and fashions of the time, economics and larger economic and political system cultivate their own version of truth. This last has no necessary relation to reality...what is convenient to believe is greatly preferred…It is what serves, or is not adverse to, influential economic, political and social interest," wrote John Kenneth Galbraith in his book The Economics of Innocent Fraud. Be it AAP, UPA, NDA, Federal Front, TMC or MNS, evidently "what is convenient to believe is greatly preferred" in the face of marketing blitzkrieg by vendors of identification technologies.
Wittingly or unwittingly most political parties and media houses appear to be guilty of propagating "self-serving and contrived nonsense" about "inherently fallible" biometric identification based initiatives of US Department of Defense, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), World Bank Group and other international financial institutions by reporting unquestionably and approvingly.
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(Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)