Citizens' Issues
Task force to monitor Delhi's public utility projects, HC told
For citizens of Delhi bemoaning the perennial delay and shoddy execution of civic and public utility projects in the capital there is hope at hand. A “'high level task force” is on the anvil for devising a modern system of governance for planning, execution and monitoring public utility projects to turn Delhi into a world-class city, the union government has informed the Delhi High Court.
 
The task force will devise a mechanism to fix “single-point accountability” for non-performance by agencies involved in civic infrastructure projects, the government said in an affidavit filed with the high court. The Centre said the task force will oversee a nodal agency for "effective and efficient coordination between civic agencies engaged in public welfare projects".
 
The Centre said the task force will have representation from various stakeholders, including the Delhi Police, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the three civic bodies, the Public Works Department, the Delhi Development Authority, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre, as also experts and consultants from various fields and representatives of various departments.
 
The affidavit was in response to a public suit, on which the court had directed the union home secretary and Delhi's chief secretary to name a consultant, a think-tank or an expert to suggest ways to turn the national capital into a world-class city.
 
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath had remarked that despite expending huge funds and best intentions of the officials, the city is not able to achieve the world class status to which it aspires.
 
The government said that the task-force will put in place an appropriate mechanism and recommend modern tools, systems and policies of governance/administration in the concerned agencies.
 
"There is an existing arrangement of clear division of functions and responsibility between various agencies of the government for providing civic facilities for the benefit of the general public, including special facilities for persons with disabilities," the affidavit said.
 
"These agencies are responsible for installation, maintenance and regular upkeep of the civic infrastructure in their respective fields of operation and areas of jurisdiction.
 
"There is a need to align and further coordinate the system of governance with changing demands and modern management technologies so as to ensure an effective and efficient administration in the National Capital of Territory of Delhi," it added.
 
It said, the task force, which should meet at least once in a month, will also recommend standards on infrastructure facilities for the disabled.

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'7 new features, numbering system to check fake currency'
To check the menace of fake Indian currency, new notes, especially the Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 denominations, will have 7 new security features and a new numbering system, official sources here said on Sunday.
 
The Reserve Bank of India subsidiary Bhartiya Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) and the state-run Security Printing and Minting Corp are both working to introduce the revised number pattern in currency notes, the source said
 
The currency printers hope to introduce the features on high denomination notes by May next year, and then extend the same to currencies of all other denominations.
 
The RBI has also asked the banks to stamp notes detected as fake as "Counterfeit Note" and impound them, while banks found not following the procedure will be penalised, the source added.
 
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been designated the nodal agency for fake currency cases.
 
The source pointed out that the fake notes inflow is no longer limited to smuggling across India's land borders and Southeast Asian and Gulf countries are developing as important transit points.
 
Malaysia, Thailand and Oman have emerged as the new centres for stocking fake Indian currency for onward circulation across India.
 
As per latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Gujarat tops the list of five Indian states that are considered the "safest" for circulating counterfeit currency notes - allegedly pushed in by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
 
Of the 30,354,604 counterfeit notes seized across the country, 8,747,820 were recovered from Gujarat in 2014.
 
Chhattisgarh followed close on the heels with the seizure of 7,386,900 fake notes, while Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana saw recoveries of 5,437,600, 3,249,000 and 1,696,850 counterfeit notes.
 
Police officers monitoring the circulation of fake notes suspect that the ISI is pushing such notes in India which have a greater resemblance to India's high denomination Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes. The officers said that they have been noticing for the past few months that differences between genuine and counterfeit notes were reducing and that around five such differences have actually disappeared.
 
Apart from the road and railway routes, the air route via Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, as also China and Holland, are being used for smuggling in fake notes.
 
A bank official, who did not want to be named, told IANS that if one gets a fake note, he should immediately approach the nearby police station and register an FIR against the person who gave him the note.
 
"If a fake currency is withdrawn from any ATM, one should also file an FIR against that bank. The Reserve Bank of India penalizes such banks if they are found guilty," said the official, who is a manager in State Bank of India.

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COMMENTS

Dr Anantha K Ramdas

1 year ago

A lot has been said in the past by Dr K C Chakraborty, former deputy governor of RBI in regard to introduction of polymer currency notes. In fact more than 18 months ago, in a press meet, he mentioned that India was already test marketing Rs 10 polymer currency notes in six different selected cities.

After his retirement, there has been no word on this subject from RBI or any other body such as the Finance Ministry who should be genuinely interested in stopping this fake currency coming from Pakistan. ISI wants to ruin in the Indian economy and smuggled notes are in circulation. Your above report also indicates that the fake currency notes of higher denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 are growing in number in terms of circulation. From time to time, photographs of "captured" notes with police sleuths appear in the press. We do not hear anything after that.

It is time RBI makes a clear cut announcement on this subject. Every airport must have vigilant officials on the ex-ray machines to detect this smuggling and land borders need to be even more tough in having sniffer dogs and other forms of checking equipment to stop this happening.

Introduction of polymer currency notes, which even UK is planning an introduction early next year, should be an eye opener to our government.

Brain Damage due to psychiatric drugs
Many drugs used in psychiatric treatment are the main culprit for suicidal tendencies
 
It has now been conclusively proven that the mind is not inside our brain, nor is the mind a product of the brain. I have written, time and again, that reductionist chemical molecules, called psychotic drugs, will certainly damage the brain, while they do little for mental illnesses. Some of them, in fact, increase the incidence of suicidal tendencies! When the tendency for suicide is stimulated, they make the person compulsively suicidal.
 
The recent incident of a German Wings co-pilot committing suicide by craftily sending his captain out of the cockpit to be alone to plunge the aircraft into the French Alps—killing all inside the aircraft—brought to light this sordid ‘boon’ of a class of medicines called anti-depressants. It was proved that he was on those tablets for quite some time. Now, the ethical and vital questions being asked are: Whether his physician should have alerted the airline or not? Should the physician have informed the pilot that he was unfit to fly any aircraft? To cap it, is the news that even the Malaysian Airlines MH 370 pilot was also on anti-depressants. The aviation sector will have to act fast to stop pilots from flying aircraft if they are on anti-psychotic drugs. 
 
Quantum physics has now come to understand consciousness, which, until recently, science did not have an idea of. We now know for sure that the mind and the brain are two distinct entities, having very little to do with each other. Wilder Penfield, the celebrated Nobel Laureate Canadian neurosurgeon, who started the idea that the mind resides in the brain eventually came to understand, even as far back as 1958, that the brain is too small a structure to harbour the all-pervading human consciousness or the individual consciousness—the other name for the human mind. 
 
There were instances of a few thinking psychiatrists who tried to warn their peers that recent anti-depressants are dangerous as they provoke suicidal tendencies. They were all but banished from their positions by the powerful drug lobby which was literally running many universities. Grace Elizabeth Jackson, who went a step ahead to show that almost all psychiatric drugs damage the brain to result in dementia, got the boot from her professorship, thanks to the industry again! She, however, was bold enough to write a book, Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime, which is very popular and keeps her going. But those instances have not made any dent in the sale of such drugs; maybe they increased the sales with a vengeance, thanks to the special promotional efforts of the industry with the connivance of the medical profession.
 
There are new studies that have shown how many of the crazy shooting instances, where young gun-wielding students in the United States who killed their teachers and peers, were also on psychiatric drugs! This is disturbing news, indeed. Yet, this might only be the tip of the iceberg and the large mountain of proof might be still submerged. It is time to have a special cell in criminal investigations to find out if most crimes, if not all crimes, have a drug background? The website, outlines in graphic details all the major shoot-outs in the past 20-odd years. “Nearly every mass shooting incident in the last 20 years, and multiple other instances of suicide and isolated shootings, all share one thing in common, and it’s not the weapons used,” feels Mike Adams, the editor of Naturalnews.
 
Western medicine needs to have a better grip on these deadly reductionist chemical molecules used to treat psychiatric illnesses. 
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

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