Citizens' Issues
Uber driver gets life term for rape
Uber cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav who raped a woman executive on December 5 last year was awarded life imprisonment till death by a court here on Tuesday.
 
Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja pronounced the order.
 
Yadav was convicted last month on charges of rape, causing grievous bodily harm and endangering the life of the woman, and other charges dealing with kidnapping, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.
 
On the night of December 5, the woman hired the cab to head back home in north Delhi's Inderlok area. Police said Yadav drove the woman to an isolated place and raped her.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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How fuel subsidy policy has short-changed Bihar over past decade
Were Bihar to receive a subsidy transfer equivalent to Haryana, the highest per capita recipient among major states, every person in Bihar would get an additional Rs6,859 as fuel subsidy for diesel, LPG and kerosene for the three years to March 2014, says research note from IISD
 
Bihar, one of the poorest and most populous states, which is undergoing assembly elections, has never received its dues, especially in the fuel subsidy policy from the central government over the past decade reveals an analysis. Were Bihar to receive a subsidy transfer equivalent to that received in Haryana, the highest per capita recipient among major states, for the three years to March 2014, this would require an additional (compensatory) transfer of Rs74,008 crore, or Rs6,859 for every person in Bihar, says International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in a note.
 
According to a research note, Bihar has consistently been the lowest per capita recipient of fuel subsidy transfers amongst all states and union territories, providing aggregated data on total subsidy expenditure per capita and disaggregated data for diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene subsidies. 
 
"It (aggregate data) calculates the total additional transfer required to equalize the subsidy transfer received in Bihar and that received in selected states for the three years to March 2014. This shows that were Bihar to receive a subsidy transfer equivalent to that received in Haryana (the highest per capita recipient among major states) for the three years to March 2014, it would require an additional (compensatory) transfer of Rs74,008 crore, or Rs6,859 for every person in Bihar. And to achieve parity with Delhi would require a transfer of Rs42,087 crore, or Rs3,900 per person," IISD says.
 
Over the past decade, fuel subsidies have collectively represented the single largest social transfer administered by the central government. During FY2011-12 and FY2013-14, the central government and associated public-sector enterprises spent a total of Rs4.48 lakh crore ($73.6 billion) subsidising diesel, LPG and kerosene. This amount is equivalent to over four times the central budget allocation to the government’s flagship National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (NREGS) public employment programme.
 
Bihar is undergoing state assembly elections and one of the issues being raised by local politicians is grating special category status, partly based on a sense of historical discrimination against the state within central government funding allocations. 
 
According to IISD, a key issue frequently unrecognised in these discussions on the fiscal relationship between the central government and poorer states are the inequality between states in the distribution of (centrally financed) fuel subsidies. In the past decade, fuel subsidies have collectively represented the single largest social transfer administered and funded by the central government. At the national level, the highly regressive social distribution of fuel subsidies - and in particular of diesel and LPG subsidies - is well documented. Less widely understood is the structural discrimination between states inherent in both current and previous fuel subsidy policies, with consumers and businesses in India’s poorest states receiving a disproportionately low share of total subsidy transfers.
 
Figure below shows total per capita subsidy expenditure for the 20 largest states and union territories in FY2013-14, the most recent year for which state-level consumption data is currently available), highlighting the scale of the disparity between states in the receipt of subsidy transfers. In 2013-14, Bihar received an average per capita transfer of Rs602 per person. By comparison, Haryana received Rs2,556 per capita, Delhi received Rs1,967, Punjab received Rs1,912, and some smaller states and union territories received even more. For example Goa received Rs2,903 per person.
 
 
As per analysis done by IISD, during FY2013-14, Bihar was the lowest per capita recipient of subsidy transfers for diesel, receiving less than 10% or Rs175 per capita of the equivalent transfer received in Haryana at Rs1,770 per capita, the highest among major states (see Figure below).
 
 
Talking about LPG subsidy distributed by the Central government, the analysis shows Bihar as the second lowest recipient of subsidy transfers, receiving a per capita average of Rs170 during FY2013-14. During this period Bihar marginally exceeded Jharkhand. However, the per capita average received by Bihar in FY2013-14 is less than a sixth of the equivalent transfer in Delhi, which received Rs1,340 per person, IISD says.
 
 
Despite being the poorest Indian state, and among the states with the lowest level of access to electricity and LPG, Bihar’s allocation of subsidized kerosene (the one subsidized product whose distribution is directly determined by the central government) was roughly equivalent to the all-India average at Rs257 per capita, with several wealthier states - most prominently Gujarat, at Rs371 per person - receiving far higher per capita subsidy allocations, IISD says. (see Figure below).  
 
 
IISD says, the cumulative effect of these distortions in subsidy expenditure, which are a direct result of central government decisions regarding the design and implementation of fuel subsidies is massive, resulting in huge disparities in multi-year resource transfers. For example, it says, during the three most recent years for which state-level consumption data is currently available (FY2011-12 to FY2013-14), the central government and associated public-sector enterprises spent a total of Rs4.48 lakh crore (about $73.6 billion) subsidizing diesel, LPG and kerosene - over four times the equivalent central budget allocation to the flagship NREGS public employment programme. During this period, Bihar consistently received the lowest per capita transfer of all states, at between Rs525-Rs625 per person. The below tables show the total per capita subsidy received in Bihar relative to selected states and union territories from FY2011-12 to FY2013-14.
 
 
 
The analysis and calculations shows how despite making significant social and economic progress in recent years, the development challenges facing Bihar remain profound. The analysis shows, how irrespective of a political party in power at the Central level over the past decade, Bihar has consistently been the lowest per capita recipient of diesel, LPG and kerosene subsidy transfers amongst all states and union territories.  
 

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COMMENTS

Dharmik Bhatt

1 year ago

This report clearly indicate that institutes like IISD must be closed down, Their intention is to promote corruption oriented culture like Bihar. Earlier before 10 to 11 yrs also some institue had prepared and published this type of data for lifting economic activities of such types of 2 to 3 states, which has resulted increased corruption in those states.Is it the level and model of our democracy?

Sudesh Pratap

1 year ago

This research by IISD seems to be with malafide intent, trying to garner brownie points and create unecessary friction. Because even as a common citizen I know the fuel subsidy is NOT GIVEN PER CAPITA but PER LITRE or KG. Therefore,the states which sell/consume more get more.

TV Ads: When is too much of a good thing, really too much?
Same TV commercials attack you wherever you turn. Until they lose their fizz, and are replaced by the NEXT set of mind-numbing creations
 
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”, said Mae West. And she knew a thing or two about such matters. What she did NOT know about, of course, was TV advertising. Or at least the relentlessness of the mind-bending assault of certain commercials.
 
Either, lots of advertisers believe that they can numb you into submission with this relentlessness - which is kind of silly, since all the punters have to do is go back to staring at their smartphones. Or the TV channel sales people have convinced them that while the channel may or may not reduce the rates, they will throw in a liberal garnish of bonus spots, a sprinkling of RODP, and sundry such ingredients in the salad of spots to deliver greater bang for the buck. 
How else does one account for the overdose of the same commercials in a particular calendar period?
 
Whatever the reason, the upshot is that the same TV commercials (TVCs) attack you wherever you turn. Until they lose their fizz, and are replaced by the NEXT set of mind-numbing creations. Consider some of the current material on air.
 
4G se…fauji tak
 
First up, there is the girl with the cropped hair in the TVCs for a certain cellular service. Who flogs “4G” and pronounces it like ‘fauji’ (so that you expect her, after the hapless victim mumbles, “Kuchh gad-bad hai”, to say, “Gadddd-budddd nahi, yaar, fauji hai. Fauji… served in the Maratha Regiment … once posted in the Dras sector… recipient of the Vishisth Seva Medal, and fortunately for him, now deaf (so that he doesn’t have to hear my drivel”).
 
Then you have a TVC featuring a young man with long hair, who carries a laptop in his arms. The communication attempts to present the laptop as his weapon of choice in the war of generations, but nothing in the actual communication provides solid evidence why his insufferable expression is intellectually or otherwise powered by the piece of electronic equipment he is hugging. Nonetheless, there is an elaborate build up of dialogue that pits ‘soch’ versus ‘approach’. Hoping that rhyme will do in the absence of reason.
 
Moving on.
 
You know that TV is never short on culinary matters, so you have the commercial in which a regiment of hungry folk are attacking a meal, with Kajol flitting around amidst them. Accompanied by a jingle whose strain and refrain, is that ‘khane ka mazaa hai khilaane me’. And just in case the dim viewer hasn’t got it, Kajol rasps “Kyunki khaane ka mazaa hai khilane me” at the end, and gives the viewer a toothy smile. (No doubt using the opportunity to sneak in an impromptu audition for a dental product commercial, while she is at it!)
 
As an aside, other brands of rice have taken to telling you their age. One tells you that the rice is TWO years old, as superior to the other common-or-garden brand, which is only ONE year old. I await an escalation of this carbon-dating of the good old Oryza sativa grains, and look forward to the REALLY superior rice brand that will give me 5,000 year-old rice grains straight out of the granaries of some pre-Harappan civilisation.
 
Good in excess is evil
 
And then there are the generations of yummy-mummies, who have been using a particular brand of soap, causing amazement and consternation among the public, by their young daughters rushing at them in the midst of basketball games, film choreography sessions, and God knows what else, screaming “Mummy!!!”. 
 
Resulting in the unsuspecting gathering squeaking, “Mummy???” like a bad echo in a valley. I am all for consistency in advertising messages, but this is taking things too far. Surely, it is not unreasonable to expect - as an act of mercy towards the viewing public, if nothing else - some modicum of change in the story after all these years?
 
And before you get the idea that I am against advertising, let me assure you that that is not the case. I would be the first to swear by the salt in my toothpaste that I am all for advertising. After all, it is a profession that has paid my salary for years, and I do not wish to sound like a namak-haraam. 
 
But I must say that I echo Woody Allen’s thoughts, that he expressed in his essay, ‘My apology’:
 
Allen: Er, yeah, well for what is evil but merely good in excess?
 
Agathon: How so?
 
Allen: Look at it this way. If a man sings a lovely song, it is beautiful. If he keeps singing, one begins to get a headache.
 
Agathon: True.
 
Allen: And if he definitely won't stop singing, eventually you want to stuff socks down his throat.
 
I hope and trust that the media planners of the above mentioned, and other ads, will take note, and back off, before people stuff socks down their throat.
 
Or start screaming, “Mummmmy!!!” in pain, rather than amazement.
 
(Anand Halve is brand strategist, advertising professional and co-founder of chlorophyll)

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COMMENTS

Amit Anam

1 year ago

News channels, especially Hindi News channels like India TV and ZEE News are run like AD channels showing news in between, no matter how much you surf, you will always find ADs in these 2 channels and host of other channels.

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