Wheat output may touch 85 million tonnes in 2010-11

According to the agriculture ministry’s third advance estimates for foodgrain production in 2010-11, wheat output is estimated at 84.27 million tonnes and the total foodgrain production for 2010-11 is pegged at 235.88 million tonnes

New Delhi: Wheat production in the 2010-11 rabi season could touch 85 million tonnes, reports PTI quoting minister of state for agriculture Harish Rawat said.

“We are having a record wheat production this time and it may even touch 85 million tonnes in the current 2010-11 season,” Mr Rawat told reporters here.

According to the agriculture ministry’s third advance estimates for foodgrain production in 2010-11, wheat output is estimated at 84.27 million tonnes.

Mr Rawat was speaking on the sidelines of an all-India convention on agricultural administrative reforms.

Speaking on the importance of agriculture policy reforms, Mr Rawat said there is a need for greater co-ordination between the administrators and the farm scientists to meet the food requirement of a growing population.

“By 2025 our requirement of foodgrains will be around 280 million tonnes and this can only be achieved through better linkages between the agencies involved in agriculture,” he noted.

According to the agriculture ministry’s third advance estimates, foodgrain production for 2010-11 period is pegged at 235.88 million tonnes.

The convention was organised to discuss the possibility of creation of an all-India cadre of Indian agricultural service, restructuring of agriculture policy framework, creation of job opportunities for agriculture graduates and delivery system for agri-inputs and services.

It was organised by All India Federation of Agricultural Associations, Technical Officer’s Association of the ministry of agriculture and Bharatiya Kisan Union among other agricultural organisations.

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Gokul Patnaik elected chairman of Indian Commodity Exchange

Gokul Patnaik is an independent and public interest director on the board of the Exchange

The Indian Commodity Exchange Board of Directors has elected Gokul Patnaik, IAS (Retd) as the non-executive chairman of the company.

Mr Patnaik is an independent and public interest director on the board of the Exchange and has served in senior positions both with the Government of Punjab and Government of India. Mr Patnaik has been the president of the All India Food Processors’ Association, a member of the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and a member of the task force on Agriculture of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

He is on the Board of Trustees of the Prince of Wales’ Bhumi Vardaan Foundation which promotes sustainable agriculture in Punjab. He is also a member of the Chief Minister’s Advisory Committee on Agriculture, Government of Madhya Pradesh.

“It is indeed a privilege to have a person of Mr Patnaik’s eminence as the chairman of the Indian Commodity Exchange,” said Mr Rajnikant Patel, MD & CEO, Indian Commodity Exchange. “Mr Patnaik brings with him a wealth of experience and insight into this role in the commodity exchange space, particularly agriculture. His role as an administrator, where he has been actively involved in policy formation and execution, will definitely help the Exchange in delivering value to the national commodity market infrastructure. His guidance and expertise will be an asset for the organisation and beneficial in more ways than one.”

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SC clears deck for prosecution of Reliance Group honchos in OSA case

The company and its three officials are facing a criminal case under the Official Secrets Act over the alleged recovery of some secret documents during search of the office premises of V Balasubramanian, the then group president of Reliance Industries, in 1998

New Delhi: Three top executives of the undivided Reliance Group—AN Sethuraman, Shankar Adawal and V Balasubramanian—will face criminal proceedings on charges of possessing confidential government documents after the Supreme Court today refused to give them any relief, reports PTI.

The apex court dismissed their petitions challenging the Delhi High Court order saying “these petitions do not contain any merits”.

The company and its three officials are facing a criminal case under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) over the alleged recovery of some secret documents during search of the office premises of V Balasubramanian, the then group president of Reliance Industries, in 1998.

They had challenged the 8 October 2010 order of the high court which had dismissed the technical objections raised by them that before sending the case to the sessions court for prosecution, the chief metropolitan magistrate should have recorded the testimony of witnesses named in the complaint.

However, an apex court bench comprising justices Dalveer Bhandari, VS Sirpurkar and Deepak Verma, upheld the high court order saying that the present grievance was devoid of merit.

A criminal case was filed in 1998 by the Delhi Police against the company and its three officials for the recovery of the photostat copies of four classified documents but later considering the sensitivity of the case, investigation was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which registered a complaint in 2002.

Of the three officials against whom the case was registered, two—Mr Adawal and Mr Balasubramanian—are now with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries while Mr Sethuraman is with the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.

Earlier when the matter was before the trial court and the high court, the company had contended that the CBI failed to register the complaint within the time-frame of three years and as such the trial should not have been proceeded with.

However, the high court refused to accept the contention that 142 days’ delay in registering the complaint could be a ground to quash the proceedings before the trial court.

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