Saturday, October 31, 2015

Doctors fix baby's heart with parts of cow

London, Oct. 30 (PTI): A newborn baby born with a rare heart condition has made an amazing recovery after British doctors, in a pioneering surgery, used parts of a cow heart to save his life.

Noa Gwilym Pritchard was born on February 10 this year with Holt-Oram syndrome, a genetic disease that affects one person in 100,000. People with the syndrome have abnormally developed bones in their upper limbs and often suffer cardiac problems.

Just days after being born, the baby was operated on at Alder Hey Hospital near Liverpool. The surgeons repaired Noa's heart with "both human and bovine parts" and his heart is now "near perfect", the Cambrian News reported.
Eight-month-old Noa is now "flourishing" according to his mother, Elen Pritchard.

Cow heart valves are occasionally used by surgeons as they have a similar tissue physiology to human valves.

Here is another use of a cow to save a life.
Would are BJP rather allow the child to die?

Considerable fear in minds of minorities, says Narayana Murthy

Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy on Saturday expressed concerns that there is considerable fear in the minds of minority in India and wanted governments should bring back the sense of confidence in them.
“I am not a politician, I am not interested in politics, therefore, I don’t want to comment on that but the reality today is that there is considerable fear in the minds of minority in India,” he said.
He said there was also “considerable fear” in the minds of people of one region living in another region.
Citing the Shiv Sena campaign against the South Indians living in Mumbai in 1960s, he said, “Today there is a lot of that worry. I get lots of emails, I get a lot of people talking to me even though I stay at home because of my leg.
He told NDTV, “The first priority of this government, or for that matter any government, both at the Central level and the State level, is to bring back the confidence, the energy, the enthusiasm, the trust in the minds of every Indian that this is our country, I have all the rights here, I am very safe here and therefore I will work towards the betterment of India.”
No country, the IT veteran said, has ever made steady economic progress unless “there is no distrust, there is no fear, unless the majority community doesn’t oppress the minority community, doesn’t want the minority community to do what it wants etc. etc”.
Participating in the programme, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said he agreed with Mr. Murthy but added that all citizens should be assured with statements by the Prime Minister and senior leaders of the BJP and the NDA as well as President Pranab Mukherjee that “Constitutional rights are going to be protected, they are non-negotiable and inviolable.”
Now will Jaitley and Anupam Kher and the other BJP leaders start calling Narayan Murthy names?

CIC turning down more RTI requests now.

The Central Information Commission has admitted fewer and fewer cases every month this year, under the Right to Information Act, data show, and RTI activists have asked for greater transparency in the process of turning down requests.
Cases come before the CIC in two ways: if an applicant is not satisfied with the response to his or her request for information from a Central government authority, and with the verdict of the first appeal made to the authority concerned, he or she can approach the CIC for the second appeal.
Additionally, if a citizen has a complaint — his or her request was not taken or wrong information was given or he or she has faced threats — he or she can come directly before the CIC.
Data from the CIC’s website show that from September last to June this year, the CIC admitted between 2,500 and 3,500 cases every month. However, since June, the number of cases the CIC admits has crashed precipitously, falling to just 119 last month.
While it is likely that this means a larger number of applicants are having their requests turned down, there is no data for this, said RTI activist Lokesh Batra.
RTI question
In response to his RTI question whether the CIC maintained a record of all cases received by it and those returned, the CIC said it did not.
As a result, the high volume of pending cases before the CIC — 34,382 as of Tuesday — has begun to shrink, but for reasons that undermine the Act’s objectives, activists say.
The CIC says it is not rejecting requests but is “returning” them for “technical deficiencies, including lack of proper identification.” However, it has not made public details of these requests being returned, nor why the need to return requests has suddenly arisen.
RTI activists who met Central Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma on Tuesday asked for a searchable database of all requests for information, along with reasons for rejection or return, Anjali Bhardwaj of the National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information said.
“Moreover, the persons whose requests are getting turned down for technical deficiencies are likely to be the poorest with the least voice,” she said.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Investor-friendly India? Ha! ha! ha!

For a government overtly committed to shredding red tape to smoothen matters for business, it is a trifle disappointing that India has moved up only four places (not by 12 as reported in a section of the media) in the World Bank’s annual ranking on this count. A ranking of 130 out of 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business is unflattering for an economy that seeks to replace a slowing China (ranked 84) as the preferred destination for investors. Nor is it good news for an economy in which investment has stagnated for four years. Whether it is startups or investment by existing concerns, small or big projects, domestic or foreign capital — we need them all. Yet, India’s (or rather, Mumbai’s and Delhi’s) performance across a range of indicators tells us that except perhaps for being able to secure electricity without breaking into a sweat, there has been virtually no improvement in other parameters over last year. These are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. The Modi government has set its sights on breaking into the first 50 in the next three years and has promised changes in income tax procedures, bankruptcy laws and the Companies Act. Add GST to this list, and it may help improve our ranking in contract enforcement (a reflection also of our judicial machinery), where we are placed at an appalling 178. Construction permits remain another area that needs to be addressed, India’s rank being 183. If this is how matters stand in Mumbai and Delhi, it only shows that ‘investor-friendliness’ is a just a slogan in most other parts.
Procedural reforms have been neglected for too long. The Centre should seize the initiative, all the more because such moves are politically non-controversial. It, however, involves taking on vested interests in the bureaucracy, the regulatory hurdles, and sections of industry that have learnt to game the system. Once a momentum is established, States across the political spectrum are likely to act on cue.
However, there is more to improving conditions for business than simplifying procedures. If the OECD countries are at the top of the table, it is because of the maturity of their institutions — social, political and economic. A similar distinction marks out India’s southern and western States from the rest. Long-term investors would prefer a place where the workforce is skilled and healthy and where the government delivers on civic amenities, social and physical infrastructure, and law and order. An issue that does not figure in the report is the need for an ecosystem that spurs innovation and research. As the World Bank’s chief economist Kaushik Basu observes, the debate is not about more or less government, but how it can facilitate private initiative rather than hamper it. 

The above is from the Editorial of The Businessline
Modi is just good at playing to the gallery. 
The only time he is in india is during elections, giving Jhumlas.
The rest of the time he is abroad, backslapping Barrack and the rest as if dropping first names will make India progress.

Moody's to Modi: Rein in members or risk losing credibility Read more at

Against the backdrop of controversies like on beef, Moody's Analytics today cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the country may lose domestic and global credibility if he doesn't rein in the members of his party.
In a report titled India Outlook: Searching for Potential, Moody's Analytics said for the country to reach its growth potential it has to deliver the promised reforms.
"Undoubtedly, numerous political outcomes will dictate the extent of success," it said.
The ruling BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha and crucial reforms bills has been met with an obstructionist opposition.
"But in recent times, the government also hasn't helped itself, with controversial comments from various BJP members.
While Modi has largely distanced himself from the nationalist gibes, the belligerent provocation of various Indian minorities has raised ethnic tensions.
"Along with a possible increase in violence, the government will face stiffer opposition in the upper house as debate turns away from economic policy. Modi must keep his members in check or risk losing domestic and global credibility," Moody's said.
It projected that India's GDP growth for September quarter at 7.3 per cent, while for the full fiscal it would be 7.6 per cent.
"Key economic reforms could deliver greater potential GDP, as they would improve India's productive capacity. These include the land acquisition bill, a national goods and service tax, and revamped labour laws. They are unlikely to pass through Parliament in 2015, but there is an even chance of success in 2016," Moody's said.
As regards interest rates, it said low rates will buttress the economy in the short-term but reforms are needed to reach long-term potential growth.
The Reserve Bank kick-started the recovery by cutting the repo rate by 1.25 per cent this year.
It said positive signs are emerging with the State Bank of India, the nation s largest bank, cut its base lending rate earlier this month.
"Capacity utilisation has been low across industries this year. The capital expenditure pipeline is running dry.
However, interest rate cuts should encourage investment, as will the softer inflation profile," it added.
Moody's Analytics, the research and analysis arm of Moody's Corporation, projected the RBI to keep rates on hold for the remainder of 2015, with a small chance of another cut early next year.
It, however, cautioned that Indian equities have suffered loss in global and domestic investors.
"The Sensex has fallen around 11 per cent since the euphoria behind the new government propelled the stock market.
But consistent failure to deliver key economic reforms has faded the optimism," it added.
Narendra Modi-led government assumed office in May 2014.
As regards the impending US rate hike, it said: "The rupee will likely come out relatively unscathed thanks to the RBI's bulging foreign exchange reserves stockpile."
The slowdown in global growth will prove a major headwind for Indian exporters, Moody's said, adding that the fall in exports from 2015 is expected to continue in 2016.
"The newfound stability in India's current account balance could come under renewed stress if global growth slows more.
So far, lower oil prices have buttressed the trade balance.
But a rebound in prices if oil supply rebalances could see the trade balance deteriorate," Moody's said.
Moody's Analytics said there are indications that investors have been less optimistic about India s economic prospects. Net financial flows into equity were around USD 16 billion in 2014.
However, they are unlikely to reach those highs this year.
The same can be said about financial flows into India s debt market, it added.
RBI is consistently looking to improve India s banking and financial structures, Moody's said, adding We believe a move towards full capital account liberalisation is inevitable in India.
"This will likely occur in the next two to four years. A freer capital account will give Indian companies greater access to overseas markets, lower borrowing costs, and facilitate credit growth a key ingredient to increasing investment," it added.

The above has been said by Moody's.
I wonder what Jaitly and Anupam Kher are going to say now.

Another BJP corrupt minister helping Modi fight corruption

Gowda building fate in court

Our Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, Oct. 29: The Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on whether Union law minister V. Sadananda Gowda had built an illegal five-storey structure in Bangalore, while avoiding any strong observations in a case where an earlier ruling had gone against the BJP leader.
In October 2012, Karnataka High Court had said the entire construction was in violation of rules, prompting Gowda's appeal in the top court.
If the apex court rules against Gowda when it finally pronounces its verdict - probably in another fortnight or a month - it might prove politically costly for the minister, apart from a back-to-back setback.
Earlier this month, the top court had struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act as "unconstitutional", particularly as it permitted the Union law minister to pick and transfer judges.
A five-judge constitution bench that quashed the NJAC Act had expressed concern that the involvement of a politician like the law minister would erode judicial independence.
Today, counsel Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeval told Justices Madan B. Lokur and S.A. Bobde that the plots the Karnataka government had allotted to Gowda and BJP MLA D.N. Jeevaraj should be reclaimed.
"The entire events show blatant disregard and violation of the law by a person who is currently the Union law minister himself and was at that time the chief minister of Karnataka," Bhushan told the bench.
Bhushan and Sachdeval were appearing for Nagalaxmi Bai, a local journalist.
Senior counsel Basvaraj Patil, who defended the Union minister, said there was no illegality in the construction.
The bench reserved its verdict after arguments that lasted three days.
The plots had been allotted to Gowda, when he was deputy leader of the Opposition, and Jeevaraj in August 2006 by the then JDS-BJP government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The two BJP leaders had given an undertaking to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) that the independent plots would be used only for constructing one-plus-one-floor residential apartments.
The undertaking said if "any condition of site allotment" was violated, the authorities were "empowered to resume (reclaim) such building and site without granting any compensation".
But a public interest petition in Karnataka High Court alleged that the BJP leaders amalgamated the plots and raised a five-storey commercial complex, although the authorities had rejected their application for merging the plots and building the complex.
Nagalaxmi Bai, the petitioner, said the structure should be razed.
On October 19, 2012, the high court upheld the petition, saying the conditions in the lease-cum-sale agreement and zonal regulations did not permit construction of a multi-storey building, and directed the authorities to reclaim the land allotted to the two leaders.
The court also said "if such violations... committed by persons occupying... positions capable of wielding influence" were "overlooked" by the judiciary, "public confidence" in the administration of justice and the judicial system would "be eroded".
Gowda, who had briefly ruled Karnataka, challenged the high court judgment through a special leave petition he filed in the Supreme Court on January 2, 2013.
The apex court, which had then stayed the high court order, took up the appeal after nearly three years.

Sculptor, Anish Kapoor's voice for writers

London, Oct. 29: Anish Kapoor, the British Indian sculptor, today expressed support for Indian writers who are returning their literary awards.
He said in a statement today: "I stand alongside my colleague artists of India in solidarity with the courageous action of our writers, who have relinquished their awards in protest against intolerance in our country."
"Art can only have a home where there is tolerance," he said. "Fascism does not allow the possibility of creativity."
"All good-thinking Indians will recognise the atmosphere of intolerance and intimidation that prevails in our Indian society today, as having the hallmarks of self-righteous exclusion that keeps out all those who are different or even those who dare to think differently," he said.
"How then can we find the creativity or the possibility of expression in this atmosphere of fear?" he went on.
"Our government encourages the hate that lies dormant in our great Indian psyche," he maintained. "Can our leaders not see that our tradition has always thrived on our openness and tolerance?"
Modi, who comes to Britain in mid-November, may not want to share shrikhand with Kapoor who said: "We artists call for an end to murder and injustice in the name of the majority."

Govt reaction shows it is rattled: Sahgal

Oct. 29: Writer Nayantara Sahgal today said that Arun Jaitley's attack on those returning awards to protest growing irrationality and intolerance showed that the Narendra Modi government was rattled by the outcry.
"I'm afraid the government is very rattled and nervous about this huge public response and is acting in the way it is and not in an intelligent way," Sahgal said on the sidelines of a literary festival in Mumbai.
A host of writers, historians, scientists and filmmakers have renounced their awards citing the recent attacks on minorities and rationalists, prompting the Union finance minister to accuse "rabid anti-BJP elements" of a "manufactured rebellion".
The protesters' ranks have grown with 415 artists and art critics - including Vivan Sundaram, Anjolie Ela Menon, Anish Kapoor, Jatin Das and Subodh Gupta - issuing an "Artists Alert" through the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) in Delhi.
Also, 53 historians including Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar and M.G.S. Narayanan issued a statement today against intolerance that referred to the silence of the "head of government" on "prevailing conditions".
Senior biologist Pushpa Bhargava has decided to give up his Padma Bhushan and 12 filmmakers and film technicians yesterday renounced their national awards, joining the 50-odd writers who have dumped their awards.
Sahgal, whose decision to return her Sahitya Akademi award triggered the avalanche, said: "The country is anguished about what is happening to defenceless people who are being gunned down, who are having ink thrown on their faces, who are being brutally threatened."
She narrated an incident in her hometown of Dehradun. "In the bazaar yesterday, a man said to me: ' Yeh log khali ladai karna jante hai; inko nahin maloom kal kya hoga (These people know only to fight, they don't know what will happen tomorrow)'."
Sahgal, a niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, today participated in a panel discussion re-evaluating the contribution of the country's first Prime Minister. She described Nehru as an institution builder.
"Nehru attended Parliament daily. He encouraged the Opposition and nurtured it. What I want to say today is that cohesiveness is being torn apart by the idea of Hindutva," she said.
"Earlier they divided us. Now they are re-dividing us as Hindus and others. We're not Hindus and others. We're Indians. We need to debate and discuss cohesiveness and Hindutva."
Bhargava, founder-director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, said India seemed to be "moving into an era of irrationality".
"We're straying away from democracy and towards a nation and a government guided by religious autocracy," Bhargava told The Telegraph .
"This is deeply disturbing to many of us. It is disturbing that some are celebrating (Nathuram) Godse (the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi) as a martyr - it appears that the government through its inaction is promoting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's agenda."
He denied that his action was politically motivated, saying: "Dissent is dissent and there is a specific point on which you dissent."
The historians' statement said: "When it is hoped that the head of government will make a statement about improving the prevailing conditions, he chooses to speak only about general poverty, and it takes the head of the state to make the required reassuring statement, not once but twice."
The artists said: "We condemn and mourn the murders of M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, rationalists and free thinkers whose voices have been silenced by Right-wing dogmatists but whose 'presence' must ignite our resistance to the conditions of hate being generated around us."
The last time a similar alert was issued was after the 1989 murder of communist playwright Safdar Hashmi by Congress goons in Ghaziabad.
"Artists must be willing to fight from the barricades even from a minority position," Sundaram said.

Anupam Kher slams filmmakers for returning awards

Mumbai, Oct. 29 (ANI): Slamming the filmmakers who returned their National Awards over growing intolerance in the country, noted Bollywood actor Anupam Kher on Thursday said that they should celebrate awards as they have got it because a lot of people have put faith in them.
Kher also accused those returning the awards of doing so with an 'agenda'.
"Those people have an agenda and that's why they are doing what they are doing. They should be a part of celebrating cinema, should celebrate awards that they have got it because lots of people have put faith in them," said the actor whose wife Kirron Kher is a BJP MP from Chandigarh.
The actor said that there is no threat to either democracy or freedom of expression in the country.
He also lashed out at director Dibakar Banerjee, who had returned his national award for the movie 'Khosla ka Ghosla', saying that he had got the award because of the collective efforts of the actors in the film.
"Dibakar Banerjee got national award for 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', alongwith me, Ranvir Shorey and many others gave our blood to that film. He has no business to return that award without asking us because he got that award also because of us," Kher said.
Kher had even yesterday raised his voice over the issue by saying that filmmakers have insulted the Censor Board jury and the audience who watched their films by returning the awards.
Eminent filmmakers including Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and eight others yesterday returned their National Awards in solidarity with the protesting FTII students and against growing intolerance in the country.
Other filmmakers who have returned their awards are Nishtha Jain of "Gulabi Gang" fame, Paresh Kamdar, Kriti Nakhwa, "Hunterrr" director Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai. (ANI)

Anupam Kher is raving just like Arun Jaitley and he should do so for they are both from the BJP.
If the intellectuals do not protest who will?
I would suggest even more film makers should return their awards.

CPM disapproves PM Modi's over USD 10 bn credit to Africa

New Delhi, Oct. 29 (ANI): Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centre's 10 billion dollars concessional credit to Africa, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday asked the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government to focus more on agrarian crisis in the country instead of providing monetary help to other nations.
In a seething attack on Prime Minister Modi, Yechury said it is India's "misfortune" that the Prime Minister has no time for people here as "he is either abroad or busy with leaders from abroad when in the country".
The Rajya Sabha MP, Yechury, was speaking on the sidelines of party's two-day politburo meeting, which concluded on Thursday.
The Prime Minister on Thursday offered a concessional credit of 10 billion dollars to Africa over the next five years and a grant assistance of 600 million dollars even as Prime Minister Modi made a strong pitch for deeper ties in key areas of counter-terrorism, climate change and UN reforms.(ANI).

To put it in proper perspective, remember, Modi is asking you to give up your gas subsidy so that he can give the gas to the poor and yet he can give away 10 billion dollars.
what crocodile tears?

Historians protest against 'climate of intolerance'

New Delhi, Oct. 29 (ANI): Noted historians on Thursday joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against "climate of intolerance", while censuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "not making any reassuring statement" following concerns over "highly vitiated atmosphere" prevailing in the country.
As many as 53 historians, including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, K.N. Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee, in a statement said, "Arguments are met not with counter arguments, but with bullets."
"This was particularly worrying for historians, who have already experienced attempts to ban their books and expunge statements of history despite the fact that they were supported by sources and the interpretation is transparent," they stated.
The statement urged the state to ensure an atmosphere that is "conducive to free and fearless expression, security for all sections of society and the safe-guarding of the values and traditions of plurality that India had always cherished in the past."
Referring to the Dadri lynching and the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni during a book launch function in Mumbai, the statement said, "Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence."
Noted scientist P.M. Bhargava had earlier announced that he would return his Padma Bhushan.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley, however, hit back at those returning awards, saying they were "rabid anti-BJP elements" and called it a "manufactured rebellion".
In Patna, Jaitley said their stances on various social and political issues show a lot of rabid anti-BJP elements in them. (ANI)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

In Delhi there is less corruption under AAP depts than under BJP depts.

Survey points to a decrease in corruption in Delhi; AAP happy

Posted on October 26, 2015 from Delhi ι Report #43277
New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on Tuesday finally got a reason to cheer after a survey report found that nearly half of the Delhi residents felt that corruption decreased in the state. According to a survey of Centre for Media Studies (CMS) – India Corruption Study 2015, on the level of corruption in the departments of state government of Delhi, around 45 percent of the respondents said that it has decreased during the last one year as compared to 39 percent opining so about central government governed public services for residents of Delhi.
The CMS survey also revealed that Bharatiya Janata Party led Municipal Corporation of Delhi failed to stop corruption in its departments. A slightly higher percentage of Delhi households feel that the level of corruption has remained same i.e. no change is noticeable in the level of corruption prevailing in public services under the Municipal Corporations of Delhi as compared to those public services, which are under state or central governments, the CMS survey stated. 
Delhi Police- Most corrupt department:
The CMS survey finding says that the Delhi Police which comes under Centre, is the most corrupt public service department in the national capital. Dehlities felt that ‘experience with corruption’ was highest in Delhi Police (39%) followed by Teh Bazaari/ Hawking permits (32%) and Driving license (26%). According to the survey, the top three reasons for which a bribe was demanded by Delhi Police were for putting up a vending unit, getting a complaint or FIR registered and for driving a commercial vehicle without proper licence.
Experience with Corruption:
Nearly one-third of the households in Delhi had paid bribe at least once during the last 12 months. Of the households which were asked for a bribe or had to use contacts, 62% households experienced the demand for a bribe at least once during the last 12 months or had to use influence of influential person while another 29% came across such situation twice. While state-run services fared better than the Centre, the public continues to deal with corruption. The largest perception of increase in corruption was for LPG, followed by electricity and water supply. While the distribution of LPG comes under the Central government, electricity and water come under the State government.
On an average a household in Delhi had to pay a bribe amount of INR 2486/- during the last one year.  It is therefore estimated that the total amount paid by households in Delhi across 15 public services as bribe, during the last one year, is around INR 239.26 crore (INR 2392 million).
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal attacked at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the CMS found that corruption decreased in state-run public services. Aam Aadmi Party chief appreciated his government and said the survey proves that Delhi government is capable of doing good.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No quota in higher medicine: SC

New Delhi, Oct. 27: The Supreme Court today directed the central government and all states to make sure that super-speciality medical courses are kept "unreserved, open and free" following complaints that some states were allowing only domiciled MBBS doctors to appear for entrance exams.
Justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant said there should not be any form of reservation in such courses on the basis of caste, religion, residence or other criteria.
The bench cited an earlier case - Dr Pradeep Jain versus the Union of India and others - in which the top court had in 1984 held that merit was the sole criterion when it came to super-speciality medical courses. But till date, it said, the government has not framed any rules or guidelines to implement the directive.
"In the Dr Pradeep Jain case this court... observed that in super specialities there should really be no reservation. This is... for improving the standard of higher education and thereby... the quality of available medical services...," Justice Misra, who wrote the judgment, observed.
"We hope and trust that the Government of India and the state governments shall seriously consider this aspect... without delay and appropriate guidelines shall be evolved by the Indian Medical Council so as to keep the super specialities... unreserved, open and free."
The judgment came as the court allowed petitions filed by some MBBS doctors. The doctors had complained that while in most of India they are allowed to appear in entrance exams of different states for courses like DM (Doctor of Medicine) and MCh (Master of Chirurgiae), Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu permitted only those domiciled in these states.
This, they said, means that while candidates domiciled in these states can sit for exams in other states, students from other states are barred from taking exams in these states.
The petitioners said this went against constitutional provisions like Articles 14 (equality before law) and 16 (equality of opportunity in public employment, education, etc.).

Mr Modi, show them the money - Why cashier Mithun is facing the music

Mithun Kumar is looking for a place to hide - from women seeking money.
A cashier with the Madhya Bihar Gramin Bank in Rana Bigha, 90km from Patna, Mithun blushes behind the counter every time a villager asks the familiar question: "Has the kala dhan (black money) arrived yet?"
The next query leaves him even more tongue-tied: "When's it coming to our bank accounts, then?"
"It" is the Rs 15 lakh that Narendra Modi had promised every Indian during last year's general election campaign provided they made him Prime Minister, allowing him to retrieve all the black money rich Indians had hidden abroad.
By September 2014, almost all the women of Rana Bigha had opened bank accounts under Modi's flagship Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana - within days of its Independence Day launch - so the money could be deposited in their names.
Since then, the women have been coming at least once a week to enquire about the money. But now, in Assembly poll season, their visits have become more frequent.
"We don't know where to hide our faces - and it's all because of the politicians," Mithun complained.
Rana Bigha's women have apparently not realised that BJP president Amit Shah had, as far back as February, admitted that the Rs 15-lakh promise was a jumla - a mere figure of speech. And Mithun hasn't the heart, or the nerve, to tell them.
But why has the women's interest in the money suddenly intensified after all these months? Apparently because some BJP cadres, despite Shah's admission, have been spreading rumours among voters saying the money has arrived but the bank officials are holding on to it.
"The villagers are growing impatient," Mithun said at the bank, set up on the first floor of an under-construction building in June last year - coincidentally days after Modi assumed office.
"A group of women arrived with their husbands a fortnight ago, saying they had learnt that Modiji had sent the money. They asked us to credit it to their accounts or else they would complain to Modiji," one of Mithun's colleagues at the bank said.
Modi addressed an election rally at Golapur on October 25, about 2km from Rana Bigha.
Rana Bigha isn't alone. Villagers all over Bihar are demanding the promised Rs 15 lakh, confirmed senior officials at several nationalised banks in Patna, where lakhs have opened accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana over the past one year.
"Our officials have been facing the same question from poor farmers in our branches across Bihar," a senior State Bank of India official said.
Yojana hope
In the past one year, the Gramin Bank branch at Rana Bigha has registered around 3,000 new savings accounts, of which 80 per cent are zero-balance ones opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
Somehow, the Prime Minister's marquee social welfare scheme - which allows the poor to open zero-balance bank accounts - had got entwined with his marquee pre-election promise.
"The poor opened these accounts with the sole hope of receiving the Rs 15 lakh - else they don't earn enough to do business with banks," Mithun's colleague said. "All these accounts have been lying inoperative."
Mithun agreed. "For most of the women in Rana Bigha, these were the first bank accounts they had opened in their lives," he said.
"They had taken it very seriously when local BJP leaders and workers announced the money would be deposited as soon as their party formed the government at the Centre."
Even some of those who had a bank account had opened a fresh one under the Yojana because they thought the promised sum would be credited only under the scheme - a testament to how rumours and the poll promise fed each other.
The polls have split Rana Bigha's 400 households along caste lines, with the Yadavs favouring Lalu Prasad, the Kurmis backing Nitish Kumar, the Dalits behind Ram Vilas Paswan and the upper castes rooting for the BJP.
This marks a resumption of normality after most of the village voted for Modi in last year's general election. Now they seem disenchanted with him, a prime reason being the unpaid kala dhan.
It's one subject Rana Bigha agrees on across caste lines.
Deji Devi, a Dalit from the Malah community, held up her bank passbook, which carries her photo and shows a balance of zero rupees. " Zero ka zero hi hai abhi tak (it's still zero)," she sighed.
Deji narrated how she and her husband Pranav Kewat, a day labourer, had stood for hours in a makeshift tent erected by the riverbank in September last year to open a joint bank account.
"After all, it was a matter of Rs 15 lakh. We have never seen such a huge sum," she said. "So we both rushed to open the account, thinking all our problems would be solved. But we have not received a single paisa."
Her scepticism is shared by Rakesh Gupta, a Bania, and Rajinder Pandey, a Brahmin and a BJP supporter.
"We like him (Modi) but not his promises. By now he too seems to have realised his folly," Pandey said.
"He hasn't made any tall promises during his speeches in Bihar - he hasn't even spoken about achchhe din (good days)."
Gupta complained that Modi keeps saying "the same things again and again", whether or not they materialise on the ground.
He was noncommittal about his vote but said that local issues determine state elections.
Visiting the village last week, The Telegraph found residents talking about development amid a growing respect for Nitish and the measures he has taken: good roads, new schools and colleges, electricity and, most important, better law and order.
Numbers game
A senior State Bank official in Patna said the Jan Dhan Yojana had been reduced to a numbers game, with banks competing to meet their targets.
"To achieve the numbers, people who had accounts were asked to open new accounts under the scheme. Most of these are lying dormant without any transaction," the official said.
"What use is a bank account to a poor man who has nothing to put in it?" an official at a Bank of India branch in Patna asked.
"Banks can't afford to give loans to people who have no regular income and don't have a credit history."
In August, the Centre had claimed that around 18 crore bank accounts had been opened under the scheme and that nearly every household had a bank account where wages and subsidies were being directly routed.
Media reports say that nearly three-fourths of the accounts opened under the scheme have zero balance.
Some of the Yojana's other features are: an accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh, an additional life cover of Rs 30,000, and an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000.
Villagers in Rana Bigha said that bank officials were refusing any overdraft unless they kept their accounts operative by making transactions, which they had been unable to do.
"How shall we deposit money in our accounts when we don't have enough to feed our children? It has become difficult even to secure dal and roti," Deji said, referring to the steep prices of pulses.
"We'll go to Golapur on Sunday to listen to Modi. Given an opportunity, we'll ask him about his failure to keep his word."
But Usha Devi, a Kurmi, is clinging on to a forlorn hope.
"I keep my passbook under lock and key just in case the money comes," she said, drawing peals of laughter from other villagers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Maharashtra government withdraws controversial circular on sedition law

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday withdrew the controversial circular on sedition law, which says that charges can be imposed on anybody who, by words, signs or visible representation, criticises politicians or elected representatives belonging to the government.

The state government informed Bombay High Court that it had withdrawn its controversial circular on sedition law.

The Bombay High Court had on October 20 extended its interim order restraining state government from acting on its controversial circular issued to prevent misuse of IPC section 124-A which deals with sedition.
The circular had drawn flak from the Opposition parties. Congress and NCP leaders had lashed out at the Fadnavis government, terming the guidelines as regressive and alleging that these would be used to stifle criticism of the BJP-led government.

The petitioner Narendra Sharma had contended that the circular dated August 27 amounts to violation of the fundamental rights of a person and sought the High Court's direction to quash and set it aside.
The circular had asks police to bear in mind that the sedition clause of IPC can be invoked against whoever, by "words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, dissatisfaction and provoking violence" against the central or state government.

Cartoonist Trivedi was arrested on September 8, 2012, on the basis of an FIR under section 124-A (sedition) and other provisions of IPC for cartoons published on 'India Against Corruption' website. However, on a PIL, Bombay HC had granted him bail.

Amnesty International had said that a circular issued by the government is "overly broad" and demonstrates why it must be "urgently repealed."

It is good to note that good sense has dawned on the BJP government in MH. 
This was probably a bit of kit-flying by Modi to see the reaction of the people to the note.
If the people had accepted it without murmur, Modi would have done the same at the centre.
We are seeing how the Beef policing has moved from the states to Delhi.

Thanks, Supreme Court, For Saving Us From Disaster

Finally, the Supreme Court has spoken boldly and decisively with a majority of 4:1 declaring that the 99th constitutional amendment to set up the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) is unconstitutional and void as it violates the basic structure of the constitution. And this was so primarily because it gave the executive a say, perhaps even a veto, in judicial appointments. It is not surprising that this constitutional amendment had wide support during both UPA and NDA days, as the executive has long been trying to get back its old authority to appoint judges.

As Justice Kehar, the presiding judge, wrote "It is difficult to hold that the wisdom of appointment of judges can be shared with the political-executive. In India, the organic development of civil society has not as yet sufficiently evolved. The expectation from the judiciary, to safeguard the rights of the citizens of this country, can only be ensured, by keeping it absolutely insulated and independent, from the other organs of governance."

So, why was the 99th amendment (NJAC) declared unconstitutional and void? The NJAC was to have six members: the Chief Justice of India (CJI), two senior most puisne judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister and two "eminent persons" selected by a panel comprising the CJI, the PM and the Leader of the largest opposition party (LOP). But then came the crunch. Any two of these six members could veto an appointment.

The judgement made it clear that it was opposed to the Law Minister being a member of the panel as his very presence would impinge on the principle of the independence of the judiciary and be contrary to the separation of powers. And the presence of the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition in the panel to select the judges was also viewed negatively.

I would submit there are two other objections. The government is the largest litigant in the country and has the dubious distinction of losing 80% of the cases in the Supreme Court. You have to be crazy if you want the head of these "losers" to have a hand in selecting the judges who will assess him.

Then we come to the two "eminent persons" - and who might they be? Well - the three wise men (two of whom, the PM and the LOP, are political) will decide. But just get a flavour of the kind of persons they could be from the views of the learned Attorney General as expressed to the Supreme Court. Here is The Economic Times on June 12, 2015:

"Rohatgi was circumspect when suggesting the kind of eminent persons that the NJAC could have. They included film director Satyajit Ray and Amul founder Verghese Kurien, both deceased, and that of agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Rohatgi said the appointment process must reflect diversity, have inputs from people in other fields and be in sync with global developments. "The eminent persons may or may not be jurists. That will be left to the discretion of the troika (the Prime Minister, the chief justice of India and the leader of largest political party in parliament)," he said. When Chelameswar said Ray should be left to rest in peace, Rohatgi mooted the name of another dead film director, Hrishikesh Mukherjee."

Ye, Gods, and this is the learned Attorney General! But what is worse is that he believes that persons such as M S Swaminathan or Bill Gates (were he Indian) could be good picks. This is truly amazing. I think the "eminent person" should be looking at the candidate's past record - most often as a High Court judge. Does the judge have a judicial temperament? How sound is he on the constitution and the law? Has he written articles in peer-reviewed journals? What is the quality of his judgements? What was his record as a lawyer? Etc.

And the learned Attorney General expects someone with no knowledge of law and no ability to assess these judicial issues to be able to help select a Supreme Court judge in a few minutes (like the widely-reported selection of IIT Directors in 10 minutes) or even an hour. And this to select someone who is going to safeguard the constitution and judge other weighty matters?

I think that having heard the learned Attorney General suggest these names, the judges would have figured out the government's game plan and decided that this was one more covert move to recover the executive's power over judicial appointments. The wounds inflicted on the judiciary during the Emergency by Indira Gandhi's government are still raw.

Their Lordships did not mince their words saying it would be "disastrous" to include lay persons without expertise on the selection panel and proceeded to junk the constitutional amendment.

The government, a part of the political class and some legal heavyweights have risen up in arms. The most extensive defence of the government, in various fora, has come from Ravi Shanker Prasad, Minister of Telecommunications and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. He has also found support from Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress, another senior advocate of the Supreme Court in The Times of India.

This is as it should be for it is as much a UPA amendment as of the NDA and the UPA should stand up for it and not seek to weasel out of it.

Across his various media interactions, Mr Prasad (and those who back his views across the political, legal and journalistic spectra) makes several points and I would like to take up each one of them:

1. Sovereignty of Parliament

Here is a quote from Mr. Prasad in The Indian Express: "While holding very dearly the principle of independence of judiciary, I regret to say that parliamentary sovereignty has received a setback today... Questions have been raised on parliamentary sovereignty, (emphasis mine)" said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a press conference at the BJP headquarters.

In Britain, which does not have a written constitution, there is a concept of Parliamentary sovereignty. But times have changed even in Britain. Today, some British laws can be set aside either by the Supreme Court of the UK or by the European Court of Justice or by the European Court of Human Rights.

But parliamentary sovereignty in the Indian context? That's a new one on me.

Where does it say in India's written constitution that Parliament is sovereign? Can some politician, however learned, decide that Parliament is sovereign? Under the Indian constitution, the executive is subordinate to the legislature and the judiciary is independent. Like in the US's written constitution, the concept of legislative sovereignty is alien to the Indian constitution.

If anybody, "We the People" are sovereign; the Constitution of India ("the only book" as Prime Minster Modi recently called it) is sovereign. And let not the learned senior counsel and minister forget the ringing words of the great jurist Lord Justice Denning: "Be you ever so high, the law is above you."

2. The role of the judiciary and the political class during the Emergency

In a TV interview, Mr. Prasad rightly pointed to the shameful role of the judiciary during the Emergency. For those who do not remember that disgraceful episode, let me briefly set out the case: in the infamous Habeas Corpus case, the Supreme Court went against the decision of nine High Courts and upheld the right of Indira Gandhi's government to suspend all fundamental rights during the Emergency. Four judges ruled for the government; H R Khanna, the fifth judge, dissented. He was superseded and resigned. Later, three other judges were superseded and they resigned. I agree that this was the lowest point for the judiciary.

Mrs. Gandhi and H R Gokhale, her Law Minister, wanted to pack the court with "forward looking" judges. Justice Hidayatullah (a former Chief Justice of India) remarked that "this was an attempt of not creating "forward looking judges" but "judges looking forward" to the office of Chief Justice." So the executive was playing politics and cannot say it was blameless in the matter.

Then Mr. Prasad says that it was the political class that fought the Emergency. That is absolutely correct. Many went to jail - veteran politicians like JP, Acharya Kripalani, Morarji Desai, Biju Patnaik, M Karunanidhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani as well as up and coming politicians like Arun Jaitley, who almost began their political careers in jail. And hopefully Mr. Prasad will not want to forget the newspaper owners, journalists and editors who stood up to a brutal assault on our freedoms - owners such as Ramnath Goenka of the Indian Express and CR Irani of The Statesman and journalists such as Kuldip Nayar and Nikhil Chakravarty. Those of us who lived through the Emergency remember what a traumatic time it was. As a nation, we must honour these politicians and media persons and many other unsung heroes for standing up to the Emergency.

But Mr. Prasad must also identify those who imposed the Emergency. It was Mrs. Gandhi, a member of the political class, assisted by SS Ray, a lawyer and a member of the political class. The proclamation was mindlessly signed by another lawyer and yet another member of the political class, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

3. Quality of Judges - post-1993

Another point raised by Mr. Prasad concerns the quality of judges post-1993. Here too, I do agree with Mr. Prasad. However, he does not give any reason for this decline. May I suggest one hypothesis? That concerns the breach of the Setalvad Doctrine in the 1990s. Under this doctrine (named after MC Setalvad, India's first and longest serving Attorney General), there was a standard rate of Rs. 1,040 for special leave petitions and Rs. 1,680 for final hearings. As a result, the differences in the earnings of judges and lawyers were kept under reasonable control.

Then, with liberalisation, the floodgates also opened in the fees of lawyers. Today, a top notch lawyer in Delhi with a few special leave petitions or a couple of cases can earn more in one day than a Supreme Court judge earns in one year! The obscene fees charged by Delhi lawyers (not that Bombay lawyers charge much less!) have been set out on September 16, 2015, in an article in The Mint.

In an interview to Maneka Doshi of CNBC, the recently retired Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Mohit Shah, said that he had offered a judgeship to a good, young lawyer. The person had almost accepted. Then, one day, he told the Chief that he would have to decline the offer. On being asked the reason, he said that his son had been admitted to a foreign university and he would be unable to pay his fees from the salary that he would get as a judge. So, there we have it, Mr. Prasad.

The executive is populated by lawyers but it does not occur to them that it is they who are responsible for the declining standards of applications for judgeships. The sanctioned strength of judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court is just over 1,000. Let us assume that we need 1,200 judges. As a nation, would it kill us to pay them each Rs. 20 lakh per month, i.e.around Rs. 2.5 crore per annum?That would cost the nation Rs. 3,000 crore per annum. But, the executive, prodded by the bureaucracy, has pegged the emoluments of judges at levels similar to those of senior bureaucrats. This is an invidious comparison. The judges interpret the laws and the constitution and good lawyers take an enormous drop in their earnings to become judges. There is a limit to the amount we can expect lawyers to sacrifice for the public good. Mr.Prasad is an eminent lawyer and has also been the Law Minister. Mr. Gowda, the current Law Minister, Mr. Jaitley, another former Law Minister, and Mr. Prasad will earn the nation's gratitude if they change the manner in which judges are paid.

4. Judges-appointing-judges

I also agree with Mr. Prasad that only judges-appointing-judges does leave something to be desired. As the dissenting judge Justice J Chelameswar writes: "There is no accountability in this regard. The records are absolutely beyond the reach of any person including the judges of this Court who are not lucky enough to become the Chief Justice of India. Such a state of affairs does not either enhance the credibility of the institution or good for the people of this country." The Supreme Court judges are the guardians of our Constitution. What happens if a Collegium turns rogue? As the Roman poet Juvenal wrote: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" ("Who will guard the guards?")

While I concede that the judiciary should provide the lead in judicial appointments, "We the People" need to see some openness in the appointments and some "outside" participation. In fact, the judges also do not think the Collegium system is an ideal system but, for the time being, we are back to the Collegium system.

Incidentally, while this case was going on, no new appointments were made and a humongous 397 vacancies of judges have piled up in the High Courts.

5. The tyranny of the unelected

Mr. Prasad laments the tyranny of the unelected over the elected. I am afraid I have little sympathy for this view. The constitution has laid down that judges not be elected, but it does not say that this unelected status gives them no ability to right wrongs inflicted by the elected executive! In the US, judges are elected in 39 states. The candidates campaign as if they were standing for election to the state legislature or the governorship. They collect funds, lay out their personal views, even if against established laws, on matters such as abortion, gay rights, Medicaid, gun control, capital punishment, etc. I wonder if Mr Prasad would prefer to have such judges with openly known positions sitting on the Bench.

So what happens now? The Supreme Court has asked the government and other supporters to get back by November 3 with their suggestions. While the Supreme Court has struck down the NJAC, it too is aware of that fact that the 'judges-appointing-judges' collegium system is not transparent and is also plagued with problems. We have clearly had a number of unsuitable, questionable and dodgy appointments.A few years ago, there was the case of a senior judge "pushing" for the appointment of his sibling, who, from all accounts, was not a suitable candidate.

No system is perfect. The original system was not. The collegium is not, and the next system will not be. But I do not think it is beyond the ingenuity of our legal and political minds to evolve a system that, while giving primacy to the judiciary, involves 'outsiders' and keeps its excesses under check. But currently, the distrust of the executive is so great that it can play only a minor role, if that, in the process. Prashant Bhushan has suggested a system and I am sure many others will. The political class too can think of something that passes muster.

We need first-rate judges - because they are the final word in a democracy. Many top-notch lawyers would be willing to accept judicial positions if they were better compensated than they are today. And thus give us a judiciary of which all of us can be proud.

(Dorab R. Sopariwala is Editorial Adviser at NDTV and writes on political and economic issues.)

Calcutta police will get someone with TAPE to measure the "world's biggest Durga"

Calcutta police will get someone to measure the "world's biggest Durga" before it builds a case against the organisers of the Deshapriya Park puja.
Sources said Lalbazar's planning and survey department had been asked to find out how tall the idol was, without which it would be impossible to establish that the organisers had violated norms laid down by Calcutta High Court regarding the maximum height of a puja pandal.
Since the idol at Deshapriya Park is said to be 88ft tall, the police might have to seek help from the pandal makers - decorators, as they are called - to get someone up with a measuring tape.
"We have registered a case against the organisers of the puja for allegedly violating the court's order pertaining to the height of a pandal. We will now have to submit a chargesheet in court mentioning the findings of our investigation," a senior police officer said on Monday. "In this case, the height of the structure is crucial and we will have to mention it in the chargesheet."
The task assigned to the police's planning and survey department is, of course, not something it does routinely. The department's responsibilities include measuring disputed land and drawing up maps for police projects. "We have 100ft and 200ft measuring tape, one of which can be used to confirm the height of the idol. There are scaffolds in the rear of the structure, which can be used to reach the top," the officer said.
The high court's order regarding the size of pandals mentions that "the height of the super structure (pandal) can be no more than 40 feet."
The police forced the Deshapriya Park puja shut on Panchami evening following a near-stampede and laid bare the lack of preparedness to deal with large crowds. Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha had got off his vehicle to take a Metro train from Esplanade to reach the venue after traffic was paralysed across south Calcutta.
Sources said the order to keep the Deshapriya Park puja closed to the public for the remainder of the festival came from chief minister Mamata Banerjee, based on the realisation that the administration wasn't prepared to cope with the tidal wave of visitors triggered by a publicity campaign centring on the height of the idol.
As if on cue, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, the fire services department and the police said they hadn't granted permission to the Deshapriya Park puja to build such a large idol. It is a different story that mayor Sovan Chatterjee was among the guests at the opening of the puja.
Asked why the police allowed the organisers to build the structure when it was visible to everyone that the height limit had been breached, a senior officer said the local police station did send an "objection letter" to the organisers but they didn't pay heed. "The officer-in-charge of the local police station had asked the organisers several times to stop construction and we have documents to prove it," he added.
Sources in Lalbazar said the puja organisers' political connections helped them ignore the police's objection to the height of the idol.
Sudipto Kumar, a brother of mayoral council member Debasish Kumar, is the secretary of the Deshapriya Park Durgotsav. Baishanor Chatterjee, who heads Trinamul's legal cell, is the puja's chief patron.
Sources at Lake police station said the office-bearers of the puja committee would be interrogated during the course of the investigation. "We will record their statements and mentioned it in the chargesheet," an officer said.

What an irony that in this city of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, our police are stumped on measuring the height of the Durga image. People can now measure the distance between distant stars but our police are still using a tape to measure the height. Are they just prevaricating so that the people involved may go scot free? Any student of trigonometry could calculate the height from the ground itself, using instruments. If the police asked any of the Engineering colleges like shibpur or Jadavpur, I am sure they would help them, that is if the police is really interested.

NDA Govt. nothing but 'Congress plus cow': Arun Shourie

New Delhi, Oct. 27 (ANI): Training guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government, Former Union Minister Arun Shourie accused the former of managing headlines instead of economy, saying that such an approach would not work in the long run.
Speaking at a book launch event yesterday, Shourie also mocked the NDA government by saying that it was nothing but 'Congress plus cow'.
"There is a clearer belief that managing economy means managing headlines about the economy and this is not really going to work," Shourie said.
"The way to characterize the policies of the Government is Congress scaled plus a cow," he added.
He also said that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was never as weak as it was now.
"I feel there was never a weaker a PMO as now... There has never been as great a centralisation of functions, not power, of functions in PMO as now," he said.
Shourie further said that looking at the way economy is being managed, people have started recalling the days of former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
"Doctor Singh (Manmohan Singh) ko log yaad karne lag gaye hain (People have started recalling the days of Manmohan Singh)," he added. (ANI)

 Shourie in 'pain' for not being part of Govt.: BJP
New Delhi, Oct. 27 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday brushed aside former Union Minister Arun Shourie's statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'managed headlines instead of economy', saying that the former had made such a remark since he was in pain for not being a part of the NDA Government anymore.
"All I can say for our former colleague Mr. Arun Shourie is that somewhere, his pain of not being in the government anymore is being reflected through his career nationalism," BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh told ANI here.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also slammed Shourie saying the effect of the current company he was in, was showing through his words.

Arun Shourie was one of the enlightened members of Atal Behari Vajpaye's cabinet and I fully endorse his views.
People who have views similar to Shourie would never find place in Modi's cabinet.
Why, even Atal Behari Vajpayee would never have found place in Modi's cabinet.
Modi likes to be surrounded by rabble rousing murderers and rapists

What Doctors need to learn from ATLAS SHRUGGED

Dr. Aniruddha MalpaniMD, Malpani Infertility Clinic
Whenever doctors get together, they love complaining. They complain about how hard life is; how little respect their patients give them; how hard they have to work for such little money; how the government makes onerous rules which are very hard to obey; how bureaucrats have forced them to become paper-pushers; and how their friends who were the back benchers and D-graders at school are now multi-millionaires who drive Mercedes , while they are stuck still driving a little Maruti. They complain about how hard it is to make ends meet; to find good staff; to keep patients happy; and to comply with all the mindless government regulations which are introduced every new day. I think the only thing doctors seem to be good at is complaining , and this is what they do all the time.

Of course they don't just complain about patients, politicians and lawyers ! They complain about each other as well - and they complain about how unfair life is in general . I think we doctors need to remember that it is we ourselves who are responsible for bringing things to this sad pass. For example, let's look at the PC PNDT Act. Doctors are actually being sent to jail because they failed to fill up a form correctly ! Imagine what kind of lesson you are conveying to doctors - that it is more important to fill up forms properly , than to take care of patients. And you can imagine that once this has happened , every doctor is going to be ten times more careful about ensuring the paper work is immaculately completed - never mind if the care of the patient suffers.

Sadly, it seems that all doctors do is complain , but they don't take any real action to improve the state of affairs . Doctors have clout - why don't they use it ?

I think part of the reason is that doctors are so poorly united . Because they are so busy pulling each other down, they can't get along with each other , and are not capable of taking any joint action. This is why politicians and officials play them against each other, and they start behaving like mindless puppets.

Doctors need to re-read Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged. Unless Atlas is willing to carry the weight of the world on his shoulder, nothing is going to get done. Now a lot of politicians and lawyers and NGOs who raise a hue and cry about protecting the female fetus have decided that all doctors are crooks, who are just out to kill unborn girls. Sadly, they don't respect doctors, which is why they don't listen to the doctor's viewpoints, even though it is doctors who do the ultrasound scans day in and day out.

I think if all doctors in a single town jointly decided that they would refuse to do any ultrasound scans for any pregnant woman, things would improve very quickly ! If a pregnant woman comes for a scan and the doctor says 'Sorry, I am not doing this scan - please go to a government hospital to get this done', then at least ordinary citizens will start learning how ridiculous the rules are, and why good doctors find these rules are so unreasonable - they make absolutely no sense , and don't help in achieving the desired goal of preventing female feticide. (Government officials recently sealed the ultrasound machine in the Ophthalmology Dept of Sassoon Hospital, Pune ( which is a public hospital) , just because it was an ultrasound machine - never mind that it cannot be use to do pregnancy scans !)

However unless the Act actually starts hurting politicians and lawyers themselves, nothing will change . The only way doctors have the power to make it hurt is by learning to say 'no'. The trouble is that taking care of our patients has become so deeply engrained into us , that we reflexively say 'yes' when a patient needs our help, and we go ahead and help them. We complain but we continue performing what we think our clinical duties are , and we continue doing what our patients need. However, by putting our patients first, we are actually doing a disservice to all our future patients. If society continues to treat doctors so shabbily, no-one is going to want to become a doctor anymore, as a result of which the quality of medical care will continue going down progressively.

The trouble is that doctors don't even bother to stand up for each other when something bad happens to another doctor. We usually feel sorry for him; pay lip service to " how unfair life is and how stupid the government is" ; and count our blessings that - There, but for the grace of God , go I. We rarely do anything concrete and constructive, and we fail to realise that the people who are gunning for that doctor today will come after us tomorrow - and if we don't stand up for our colleagues today, there will be no-one left to stand up for us when they come after us. Every doctor need to remember - " Ask not for whom the bells toll - they toll for thee. "

About Dr. Aniruddha Malpani

Dr Aniruddha Malpani is an IVF specialist who passed out from Bombay University, winning over 20 gold medals during his academic career.

Dear Dr. Malpani,
Your sympathies are misplaced. Although I agree that not 100% doctors are crooks but a vast majority are. And as far as protecting its own species are concerned, I would request you to read the blogs of People for Better treatment started by Dr. Kunal Saha who lost his wife owing to carelessness at AMRI Kolkata. I myself would have lost my younger brother if I had not shifted him from AMRI to RIITC.
You will see how MCI is protecting one Dr. Ketan Desai who has been convicted. No, doctor Malpani, doctors deserve what they are getting, even more. They are making money from Pharmaceutical companies, Test labs and wherever they can lay their hands on.They carry out unnecessary test just for the sake of increasing the hospitals bills and also keep dead persons under the ventilator for days on end for the same reason.