Wednesday, August 30, 2017

[National Election Watch news] Press Release: 51 MPs/MLAs have declared crimes against women. BJP has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 14, followed by SHS (Shiv Sena) with 7 and AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) with 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related to crimes against women.

ADR India via 
Attachments16:13 (28 minutes ago)

to national-ew-ne., national-elect. 
Dear Friends,

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch have analyzed 4852 out 4896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. It includes 774 out of 776 affidavits of MPs and 4078 out of 4120 MLAs from all the states of India. 


Out of 1581(33%) MPs/ MLAs analysed with declared criminal cases, 51 have declared cases related to crimes against women.
Among these 51 MPs/MLAs with declared cases related to Crimes s against women, 48 are MLAs and 3 are MPs.
334 candidates analysed who had declared cases related to crimes against women, were given tickets by recoginized political parties.
122 independent candidates analysed with declared cases related to crimes against women had contested for Lok/Rajya and state assembles’ elections in last 5 years.
Among these candidates, 40 candidates were given tickets by parties for Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha elections. Various recognized parties have given tickets to 294 candidates with cases related to crimes against women for state assemblies’ elections.
In the last 5 years, 19 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Elections. Similarly, 103 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the state assemblies’ elections.
·         Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by West Bengal with 11 and Odisha with 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.
·         Among the states in the last 5 years, Maharashtra has the highest number of candidates i.e. 65, followed by Bihar with 62 and West Bengal with 52 candidates who were given tickets by political parties even though they have declared cases related to crimes against women in their affidavits.

·         Among various recognized parties, BJP has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 14, followed by SHS (Shiv Sena) with 7 and AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) with 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.
·         Among the major parties in the last 5 years, 48 candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BJP. The second highest number of candidates, i.e. 36 who had declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BSP, followed by 27 candidates from INC who had declared cases related to crimes against women who had contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State Assemblies Elections in last 5 years.

·         Following are 4 MLAs who have declared have declared cases related to rape :

§  Gonuguntla Suryanarayana from TDP who has won from Dharmavaram constituency in Andhra Pradesh (2014)

§  Subal Sahu from INC who has won from Bijepur constituency in Odisha(2014)

§  Jethabhai G.Ahir from BJP who has won from Shehra constituency in Gujarat (2012)

§  Gulab Yadav from RJD who has won from Jhanjharpur constituency in Bihar(2015)

·         In the last 5 years, recognized parties have given tickets to 29 candidates who had declared cases related to rape.

·         In the last 5 years, 14 independent candidates with declared cases related to rape have contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State assemblies’ elections.


All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crimes against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognizance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament’. ADR and NEW strongly recommends that:
·         Candidates with a criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections.

·          Political parties should disclose the criteria on which candidates are given tickets.

Cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and decided upon in a time bound manner.

​For more information please visit: 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Dear PM Modi, India is Already Land of Self-Employed, and It Ain't Working

The prime minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech made last week said: "The Government has launched several new initiatives in the employment related schemes and also in the manner in which the training is imparted for the development of human resource according to the needs of the 21st century. We have launched a massive program to provide collateral free loans to the youth. Our youth should become independent, he should get the employment, he should become the provider of employment. Over the past three years, 'Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojana' has led to millions and millions of youth becoming self-dependent. It's not just that, one youth is providing employment to one, two or three more people."
Adding to this, the Bhartiya Janata Party president Amit Shah recently said: "the youth have turned into job-creators from job-seekers". Dear Reader, I would request you to keep these points in your head, while I set the overall context of this piece. As I have written on several previous occasions in the past, one million Indians enter the workforce every month. That makes it 1.2 crore Indians a year. There is not enough work going around for all these young individuals entering the workforce every year.
While, it is not possible for the government to create jobs for such a huge number of people, it is possible that the government makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs. (I will not go into this, simply because this is a separate topic in itself and I guess I will deal with this on some other occasion).
Take a look at Table 1. This is a table that I have used on previous occasions as well. But I need to repeat it, in order to set the context for this piece.
Table 1: Percentage distribution of persons available for 12 months

What does Table 1 tell us? It tells us that only 60.6 per cent of the individuals who were looking for work all through the year, were able to find it. This basically means that nearly 40 out of every 100 Indians who are a part of the workforce and were looking for work all through the year, could not find regular work. In rural India, around half of the workforce wasn't able to find regular work through the year.
This table is at the heart of India's unemployment problem. Actually, we do not have an unemployment problem, what we have is an underemployment problem. There isn't enough work going from everyone who joins the workforce. The solution that prime minister Narendra Modi has to this is that India's youth should become self-dependent and seek self-employment. In the era of post-truth, this sounds like a terrific idea. But this is nothing more than marketing spin.
Let's look at some data on this front. As the Report on the Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey, 2016, points out: "At the All India level, 46.6 per cent of the workers were found to be self-employed... followed by 32.8 per cent as casual labour. Only 17 per cent of the employed persons were wage/salary earners and the rest 3.7 per cent were contract workers."
The point being that nearly half of India's workforce is already self-employed. And they aren't doing well in comparison to those who have regular jobs. Take a look at Table 2.
Table 2: Self-employed/Regular wage salaried/Contract/Casual
Workers according to Average Monthly Earnings (in %)

What does Table 2 tell us? It tells us very clearly that self-employment is not as well-paying as a regular salaried job is. As is clear from the table nearly two-thirds of the self-employed make up to Rs 7,500 per month. In case of the regular salaried lot this is at a little over 38 per cent. Clearly, those with regular jobs make much more money on an average.
Further, only 4 per cent of the self-employed make Rs 20,000 or more during the course of a month. In comparison, more than 19 per cent of individuals with jobs make Rs 20,000 or more during the course of a month.
What Table 1 and Table 2 tell us is that India's youth have already taken to being self-employed. Hence, there is nothing new in Narendra Modi's idea. Further, it is clearly not working.
As Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo write in Poor Economics: "The sheer number of business owners among the poor is impressive. After all, everything seems to militate against the poor being entrepreneurs. They have less capital of their own (almost by definition) and... little access to formal insurance, banks and other sources of inexpensive finance.... Another characteristic of the businesses of the poor and the near-poor is that, on average, they are not making much money."
The point here is that a large part of the workforce is not self-employed by choice but are self-employed because they have no other option. Banerjee and Duflo call them 'reluctant entrepreneurs'. The phrase summarises the situation very well.
Other than the reluctant entrepreneurs, more than 30 per cent of the workforce comprises casual labourers, who seek employment on an almost daily basis. The reluctant entrepreneurs and casual labourers looking for daily work essentially tell us that no one can really afford to stay unemployed.
Hence, the problem is not a lack of employment but a lack of employment which is productive enough.
Prime minister Modi talked about his government launching, "several new initiatives in the employment related schemes and also in the manner in which the training is imparted for the development of human resource according to the needs of the 21st century."
How good does the data look on this front? As the Volume 2 of the Economic Survey of 2016-2017 points out: "For urban poor, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAYNULM) imparts skill training for self and wage-employment through setting up self-employment ventures by providing credit at subsidized rates of interest. The government has now expanded the scope of DAY-NULM from 790 cities to 4,041 statutory towns in the country. So far, 8,37,764 beneficiaries have been skill-trained [AND] 4,27,470 persons have been given employment."
The annual report of 2016-2017 of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of the government of India makes an estimate about the number of people trained by different ministries during the course of the financial year. For the period April to December 2016, the number is at around 19.59 lakh. The annual target was set at 99.35 lakh. Given this, the gap between the target set and the target achieved is huge.
Another way of looking at this is that 1.2 crore Indians are entering the workforce every year. They have had an average education of around five years (i.e. they have passed primary school). Given this, they really don't have any work-related skillset. At best, they can add and subtract, and perhaps read a little.
Hence, they need to be trained or there need to be enough low skill jobs going around. Real estate and construction, the two sectors that can create these kind of jobs, are in a huge mess. This is something that can be sorted, but in order to do that some serious decisions on black money need to made. This includes cleaning up of political funding and the change in land usage regulations at state government level.
Take a look at the following graphic (Figure 1) reproduced from the annual report of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Figure 1:

What Figure 1 tells us very clearly is that the scale that is needed to train people is simply not there. And this will lead to a substantial chunk of individuals entering the workforce looking for low end self-employment opportunities anyway, as has been the case in the past. Or people will continue to stick to agriculture.
Prime Minister Modi in his speech further said: "Over the past three years, 'Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojana' has led to millions and millions of youth becoming self-dependent. It's not just that, one youth is providing employment to one, two or three more people."
Let's look at this statement in some detail. Between April 2015 and August 11, 2017, the government gave out Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank) loans worth Rs 3.63 lakh crore to 8.7 crore individuals. This works out to an average loan of around Rs 41,724. There is no evidence until now whether this is working or not. Can a loan of a little under Rs 42,000 provide employment to one, two or three more people, is a question which hasn't been answered up until now.
The CEO of Mudra was asked by NDTV recently, as to how many jobs had the Mudra loans created. He said: "We are yet to make an assessment on that... We don't have a number right now, but I understand that NITI Aayog is making an effort to do that."Given this, Mudra loans making millions of youth self-dependent is presently nothing more than something that prime minister Modi likes to believe in.
While he is entitled to his beliefs, I would like to look at some data before concluding that Mudra loans are the answer to India's job crisis.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kiran rings health alarm

Calcutta, Aug. 18: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the chairman and managing director of biotechnology company Biocon, today said incidents like the Gorakhpur hospital child deaths should trigger the debate "why we spend only 1 per cent of our GDP on health care".
Mazumdar-Shaw, who was awarded DSc (honoris causa) by Presidency University, said: "A very, very worrying trend in India is that we spend only 1 per cent of our GDP on health care. And a debate has started because of incidents like Gorakhpur. Today, you look at all our primary health centres, tertiary health centres, district hospitals. You know we have a huge challenge. We have a resource challenge and an infrastructure challenge."
Mazumdar-Shaw flagged the issue in her speech after inaugurating an auditorium named after Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis - an alumnus of the erstwhile of Presidency College who later headed the institution as its principal - at Baker Building. As many as 30 children had died at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital between August 11 and 12, allegedly after oxygen supply was stopped over unpaid bills.
Speaking to The Telegraph later, Mazumdar-Shaw said the incident in the Uttar Pradesh hospital was symptomatic of "lack of standard of care". "To cover everything, you can say it is symptomatic of lack of standard of care, which is itself symptomatic of poor administration, which again is symptomatic of poor infrastructure."
Mazumdar-Shaw alleged that most people working in district hospitals don't follow procedures and don't have standard protocols. "For instance, in the Gorakhpur case, I am told the oxygen levels were not where they should be. I am told that there was no standard protocol. People were just being dealt with in a very ad hoc way."
Mazumdar-Shaw stressed the need for a good "cause analysis" to find out what had gone wrong in Gorakhpur and suggested surprise inspections at hospitals. "You have to have a lot of frequent inspections, audits. All our hospitals should go for a regular audit system, audit checking to find out what ails them. And it should be spot inspection. If you come on inspections on a pre-announced date, like in six months, on that particular day, they will be very good."
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had held a review meeting at Baba Raghav Das Medical College hours before the deaths. But he had missed the most glaring of lapses - the unpaid oxygen bills, the vendor's threat to stop supply and the hospital's repeated request for funds.
The head of Biocon, who in her speech advocated providing health care at affordable rates so that the poorest of the poor can benefit, said hospitals should have technologies to ensure good accountability and compliance. "We don't have this compliance culture. This compliance culture is very, very poor."
Mazumdar-Shaw contended that in India, lack of standardised treatment protocols and infrastructure lacunas went beyond government hospitals. "Even the private sector has it (the problem). So don't start saying only government hospitals, centres have these problems. There are some big private groups, which have very good standards. But some of the smaller private health care facilities have these problems."

Heads of 3 med colleges quit in UP, cite poor conditions

Lucknow: Principals of three government medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh have offered to quit, citing “sorry state of affairs” in the state’s medical education department. “Many more are contemplating quitting, citing lack of infrastructure and poor working condition in the department, which has not had a permanent director general in the past 23 years,” said a highly-placed source.
Of the 14 medical colleges in the state, just five have permanent principals — Allahabad, Saharanpur, Kanpur, Badaun and Orai.
The resignations assume significance following nationwide outrage over the death of 30 children within 48 hours in the state-run BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, and subsequent suspension of officiating principal Dr Rajiv Mishra. Even his successor, Dr P K Singh is holding an additional charge.
The three principals who have expressed their desire to quit are Saharanpur Medical College principal Anand SwarupJhansi Medical College’s N Sengar and Agra Medical College’s Saroj Singh.
Theyhave offered to quit, blaming poor working conditions, “favouritism in appointments” and “shady state of affairs” in the medical education department.
“I have applied for the VRS. I cannot work under the present condition. Despite being the senior-most principal, I have been denied the opportunity to become the director general, while juniors have been favoured,” Dr Swarup told TOI on Friday. “I don’t want to do the administrative job anymore,” said Dr Senger. He applied for VRS on May 16, well before tragedy struck BRD Medical College Hospital on August 10. His move clearly suggests that his decision is not triggered by the Gorakhpur tragedy and that he has been frustrated with the functioning of the department for a while.
The resignations assume significance following nationwide outrage over the death of 30 children within 48 hours in the state-run BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Election Commissioner speaks out: ‘Winning at all cost, without ethics, is new normal in politics’

Barely ten days after the Election Commission used its special powers to reject votes cast by two rebel Congress MLAs in the high-stakes Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, Election Commissioner O P Rawat spoke out against the “creeping new normal of political morality” here on Thursday.
“Democracy thrives when elections are free, fair and transparent. However, it appears to a cynical common man that we have been scripting a narrative that places maximum premium on winning at all costs — to the exclusion of ethical considerations,” he said in his keynote address delivered at the ‘Consultation on Electoral and Political Reforms’ organised by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
“In this narrative, poaching of legislators is extolled as smart political management; strategic introduction of money for allurement, tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation etc. are all commended as resourcefulness.
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“The winner can commit no sin; a defector crossing over to the ruling camp stands cleansed of all the guilt as also possible criminality. It is this creeping ‘new normal’ of political morality that should be the target for exemplary action by all political parties, politicians, media, civil society organisations, constitutional authorities and all those having faith in democratic polity for better election, a better tomorrow,” he added.
Rawat’s remarks are significant against the backdrop of the political storm that raged at the time of Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. Congress lost six MLAs in the state to BJP ahead of the August 8 elections, leaving its candidate Ahmed Patel with very little leeway in the final count. The Congress then herded its remaining 44 legislators to a luxury resort in Karnataka to prevent any further defections.
Within days, the Income Tax department searched 60 premises linked to Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar who was overseeing the stay of these MLAs. Questioning the timing of the raid, the Congress accused BJP of misusing its resources and sought the Election Commission’s protection.
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However, the most dramatic twist came on the day of the election, when the EC, in a rare move, invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to revoke the decision of its Returning Officer (RO) in the state and declare invalid the votes cast by two rebel Congress MLAs in favour of the BJP candidate.
Congress party leader Shaktisinh Gohil had alleged that Bholabhai Gohil and Raghavjibhai Patel had voted for the BJP and showed their ballots to BJP party president Amit Shah, who was one of the candidates.
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Although the BJP sent a high-profile delegation, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyand Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, to convince the EC otherwise, the poll panel concluded that the two Congress MLAs had violated secrecy norms by disclosing their choice to unauthorised persons, other than the party’s election agent.
At the ADR meet today, Rawat also spoke against the practice of paid news and said that it should be made an electoral offence punishable by two years of imprisonment. Apart from calling for a limit on the election expenditure of political parties, he reiterated the Commission’s reservations on proposed electoral bonds and the amendment to the Representation of the People Act which permits political parties to not disclose details of donors contributing funds through electoral bonds

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nothing, nothing, nothing - The response to repeated reminders on oxygen dues

Lucknow, Aug. 14: Documents The Telegraph has seen contradict the Yogi Adityanath government's claim that it became aware only on August 4 about the dues owed to the gas vendor to the Gorakhpur hospital where 30 children died on Thursday and Friday after supplies were stopped.

The government has blamed the delayed payment on Rajiv Mishra, principal of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College, and suspended him before accepting his resignation.

Here's what the records of the state's medical education department say (represented in the form of a calendar):

March 22: Mishra writes to the director-general of the medical & health department, which functions under health and family welfare minister Siddharth Nath Singh, to clear the vendor's dues.
He has attached a copy of a payment reminder he has received from the vendor, Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, the same day. Mishra forwards copies of his letter to medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon and Siddharth Nath.
Result: Nothing.

April 3: Mishra sends a similar letter to the additional chief secretary of the medical education department, with copies to the directors-general of the medical & health and medical education departments. He attaches the latest reminder from the vendor, received the same day.
Result: Nothing.

April 17: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder, received the same day.
Result: Nothing.

April 24: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

May 2: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

May 6: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

May 29: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

June 28: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

July 6: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

July 18: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, with copies to the directors-general, attaching the latest reminder.
Result: Nothing.

(At least five of the reminders from Pushpa Sales that Mishra has attached to his letters threaten stoppage of oxygen supply.)

Aug. 1: Mishra writes again to the additional chief secretary, attaching the latest reminder, signed by Pushpa Sales executive Dipankar Sharma, which says the dues have grown to Rs 63.65 lakh and must be paid immediately to ensure "uninterrupted supply" of oxygen. A copy is marked to minister Tandon.

Aug. 4: Tandon receives a letter sent by Mishra and learns - for the first time, according to the minister - about the dues and the threat.

Aug. 5: Tandon orders Rs 2 crore transferred to the Gorakhpur treasury towards the payment of the dues, according to the minister. Money reaches the treasury the same day, according to the government.

Aug. 7: Money arrives in treasury, according to Mishra.
Aug. 8: Mishra sends college accountant to treasury to get a token clearing the payment.

Aug. 9: The vendor writes directly to Tandon, sources in Pushpa Sales say.
The letter from company director Maneesh Bhandari says the six-month dues have risen to Rs 68.65 lakh despite the principal being informed "many times through letters, orally, telephone, email and a legal notice".
"We personally handed this letter to the minister on August 9 morning. He and (chief minister Yogi) Adityanath went to the medical college the same afternoon to hold a review meeting," an executive of Pushpa Sales said.
"We came to know from hospital authorities that they had told the chief minister about the problem and he had looked questioningly at Tandon. After that, Adityanath apparently stayed silent."

Vendor still unpaid. No work possible because the chief minister was at the medical college and "we were busy with him", Mishra says. Doesn't explain why a Net-banking transaction that should have taken the accountant just a few minutes was not done.

• Vendor stops supply in the evening after Adityanath leaves.
Aug. 10: After 23 babies die,Adityanath tells reporters he hadn't known about the delayed payment or oxygen crisis at the hospital, located in the parliamentary constituency he has represented continuously since 1998.
Vendor still unpaid. Mishra doesn't explain why.

On August 14, Mishra does not take calls from this newspaper, which wanted his reaction to reports that he had been away in Rishikesh on August 10.
Aug. 11: A sum of Rs 52 lakh is finally transferred to the company's account through RTGS. Vendor begins steps to resume supply.

Aug. 12: Siddharth Nath announces suspension of Mishra, accusing him of delaying the payment. But even before a probe starts, the government insists that lack of oxygen didn't cause the deaths. Late at night, government accepts Mishra's resignation.

Aug. 14: Siddharth Nath tells reporters in Allahabad that the oxygen supply was disrupted because "some people wanted kickbacks". He does not say who they are.
(A health department source had told this newspaper on August 12 that the medical college's account had a balance of Rs 3.86 crore on August 9, and that the vendor had gone unpaid because he had "failed to oblige some senior members in the government".
("No such business operates without kickbacks," the source said. "But the principal had recently received orders from Lucknow to stop the payment.")

• Adityanath, who used to call Gorakhpur bandhs against "misrule" by the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, faces a shutdown against him in his hometown for the first time in his political career.
Most Opposition parties participate in the protest. So do the Hindu Samaj Party and Nagrik Manch, two social welfare organisations once closely associated with Adityanath.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Supreme Court tells Singh Bros to maintain shares in Fortis

Supreme Court tells Singh Bros to maintain shares in Fortis

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday told Fortis promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh to maintain the current status of shares held by one of their companies in Fortis Healthcare Ltd. The order, a result of DaiichiSankyo’s latest petition at the apex court, is expected to block the brothers from selling any shares in their flagship hospital chain until arguments are heard in about a month.

A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha told RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd and Oscar Investments Ltd to maintain “status quo” of Fortis Healthcare Holding’s shareholding in Fortis Healthcare Ltd. The Singhs control RHC and Oscar, which jointly own Fortis Healthcare Holding—the company that holds their stake in the hospital group.

The court also issued notice to the companies, which are expected to submit a response before the next date of hearing likely in four weeks.

The Singhs are currently locked in litigation initiated by Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo, which is trying to enforce an arbitration award that would require the brothers to pay the company Rs 3,500 crore in damages and interest. A Singapore tribunal had granted this award last year after Daiichi alleged the Singhs concealed information of wrongdoing at Ranbaxy while selling it for $4.6 billion in 2008.

Daiichi has moved the Delhi High Court several times since January following reports that the Singhs may strike a deal to sell their controlling stake in Fortis. Last Friday, it approached the Supreme Court to appeal a June 21 high court that would potentially let the Singhs enter corporate transactions provided they maintained the value of the unpledged assets they disclosed earlier this year.

The high court had sought the value of these unpledged assets so that they could be considered to pay Daiichi’s award if the Japanese firm won its ongoing case to enforce it.

Since June, Fortis Healthcare Holdings has pared its shares in the hospital chain to around 37% from 52.20%, Daiichi's counsel had argued at the Delhi High Court on Thursday. The Japanese company fears the move would make it difficult to realise its award if it wins its ongoing case at the high court.

Ahead of Yogi Adityanath’s visit Gorakhpur hospital gets a makeover

In 24 hours the Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital at Gorakhpur underwent a makeover, ahead of the visit of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, along with Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda.
Police personnel deployed inside the sprawling campus of the hospital on Saturday were stationed even inside the wards on Sunday to regulate relatives of patients and visitors.
The narrow corridor connecting the “100-bed encephalitis ward” with the canteen in the middle of the hospital was sprinkled with bleaching powder and four colourful dustbins were put in a row. At the glass door of the ward some young policemen and women were on their toes and not allowing anyone to go inside.
At one far corner of the corridor Baby Kumari of Chauri-Chaura was in tears as she was not allowed to see her son Sangam Kumar inside the ward. On the intervention of The Hindu the woman was allowed in.
The tiled floors and walls had been washed; the gurneys and trolleys to carry sick patients neatly arranged in a row; the ill-lit places lit up; the smell of urine and stale food filling the air had vanished and plastic bags of patients’ relatives scattered all over had been removed.
Even the canteen area, where one plate of food is available for ₹15 for patients’ relatives, was in order. The army of stray dogs had been chased away and the milling caretakers of the patients not to be seen.
The doctors appeared extra attentive, the nurses running from one bed to another and the ward boys, wearing plastic caps and rubber gloves, were busy ensuring that everything looked neat and clean. “CM saheb aa rahe hain, sir…kuch bhi gad-bad hua to sidhe napa jayenge (CM is coming, sir…if anything goes wrong, dismissal will follow next)”, said a ward boy.
At one bed in the encephalitis ward two-three nurses were seen attending to the children, with doctors giving them necessary instructions from the prescriptions. “Where were all these amenities a day back? It seems we’ve come to some big private hospital today,” grandfather of a child admitted in the ward told The Hindu.
However, death of children continued. Bhikhari Yadav of Bhatni in U.P. came out of the ward with the body of his four-year-old son Sumit Kumar in his arms. Seeing it his wife broke down.

Gorakhpur's creaky health infra: Tragedy was waiting to happen

The death of over 60 children within the span of a few days at Gorakhpur's BRD Medical Collegehas caused ripples of shock and anger across the country and abroad too. As state and central government ministers and officials scramble to find out what actually happened, ground reports seem to indicate that, as suspected, oxygen supply to the children's ward and the ICU had indeed run out.

But the moot question is: Was this tragedy just waiting to happen? Preliminary investigations suggest it was certainly deemed to occur. BRD Medical College is one of the few tertiary care public hospitals in this heavily populated region of Uttar Pradesh that caters to over 3.5 lakh outpatients and 40,000 inpatients every year.

While BRD's creaking infrastructure and mismanagement have played a role in the deaths, a larger question may again be bypassed - Why is BRD Hospital a "big centre" to which patients, not only from Gorakhpur but others districts around it, come in thousands? After all, many of their diseases (including Japanese Encephalitis) and treatment procedures do not require super-specialty level medication. So, why is it that a person has to go to BRD only to be treated for Japanese Encephalitis?

A look at Gorakhpur's health infrastructure reveals the chilling state of affairs. Just 11 primary health centres out of 68 in the district function 24x7 - which is what they are mandated to do. There are just six first referral units in the whole district which has a population of nearly 45 lakhs. There is just one sick new born care unit and only three new born stabilization units in the whole district.

In fact the reach of the much-vaunted mother and child health programmes of the government is also severely limited. Although estimated deliveries in 2015-16 were 1,29,429, based on the past trends and number of women in child-bearing age, the reported live births in the district were just 58,674 - that is, 45% of the total. Clearly 55% of the children were born outside the whole institutional framework .

A glance at Gorakhpur's National Health Mission district-level approved budget for 2016-17 reveals some bizarre and misplaced priorities of the officials. Of the Rs 82.46 crore allocated to Gorakhpur district, child health and the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (National Children's Health Program) together account for a measly Rs 1.89 crore - that is, just over 2% of the total.

In contrast, family planning is allocated Rs 1.61 crore, and health personnel get Rs 10.6 crore.

But simply allocating more resources is of course not the solution because as another report shows, health personnel in the state are distributed in the most imbalanced way with Lucknow division having 187% of its requirement of obstetricians and gynecologists while Goraphpur has 83% and neighbouring Azamgarh just 50%.

Similarly, while Kanpur has four general surgeons for every sanctioned position, Gorakhpur has about one for two sanctioned posts. So, while the oxygen supply issue needs a quick and just resolution, a deeper look at what plagues Gorakhpur’s healthcare system is urgently needed.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


A division bench of Hon’ble Justice Mr. B.C. Gupta and Dr. S.M. Kantikar in the National Consumer Forum (NCDRC) admitted a major complaint of “medical negligence” and issued show cause notice against a private nursing home “Extent Medical & Surgical Center” in Chandannagar near Kolkata for the wrongful death of Ms. Sanchita Khan, US-trained IT specialist and only 32-year old daughter of a ENT specialist, Dr. Manik Chandra Khan. Sanchita died following treatment by one Dr. Amit Saha (owner of the Extent nursing home) after suffering from a simple cough and fever for only 4 days. Ironically, Dr. Saha was found to be practicing with a fake M.D. degree in medicine as he claimed himself to be a “critical care specialist” even though he was found to have only post-graduate (M.D.) degree in Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM).
PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, appeared on behalf of Dr. Khan and argued that the treatment provided to the victim was abysmal as no attempt was made to correct the obvious medical problems like anemia and hypoxia as the patient was left virtually unattended to die after only 4 days. A claim of Rs. 3.95 crore compensation has been made in this complaint in view of the young age and high status of the victim as well as the unethical conduct of the accused doctor and hospital.
PBT president also successfully argued before the same bench the case of a second victim of alleged medical negligence in which a 62-year old lady, who was suffering from a heart attack, was refused admission at an ESI Hospital in Kolkata. The patient died within 15 hours without treatment after she was taken back home. In this case, MCI has already found the accused doctor, Darpanarayan Datta, guilty for medical negligence and directed the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) to cancel his medical license for a period of 1 year. Unfortunately, WBMC still refused to abide by the MCI’s order and did not take any measure to cancel license of Dr. Datta. A compensation of Rs. 1.05 crore has been claimed in this matter. Both matters will come up for further hearing in November. Over the past more than one month since Dr. Saha came from USA, he has been appearing for different victims of medical negligence (on behalf of PBT) in consumer courts across India without ever taking any money from any of the victims only to help them find medical justice.

Difference between Haryana and Chandigarh police

Chandigarh, Aug. 6: Police in Haryana's Hisar town were accused of ignoring a complaint about a woman's possible abduction in a car hours after their Chandigarh colleagues were publicly thanked by a woman for responding promptly to her distress call during an alleged stalking-cum-kidnapping attempt.

Umesh Sharma, a trader in his 40s, today told The Telegraph he had heard a woman's cries through the open window of an Alto while driving over the Dabra flyover in Hisar, 242km from Chandigarh, around 5pm yesterday.

He said he had pulled up alongside the Alto and peered in to see three young men and a woman, who was screaming that she was being kidnapped.

"I honked and asked why she was screaming. The man seated beside the driver pointed to the word 'police' inscribed on the rear windshield. The Alto then accelerated and vanished," Sharma said. "The men were in plainclothes."
Sharma said a policeman on traffic duty near the flyover refused to hear his complaint.

"I called the police control room several times but there was no response. Then I decided to go to the Civil Lines police station and file a complaint," he said.
Sharma said he gave the police the number of the Alto. The police lodged a general diary but appear not to have taken any action so far.

"We have noted what the man had to say. There was nothing much to go on in this case," a senior police officer in Hisar told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

"There is no missing persons complaint with us matching the description given by the man."
The officer evaded the question whether the police had investigated the car number Sharma had given them. Calls to the mobile number of Hisar superintendent of police Manisha Chaudhary were not answered.

Chandigarh police had promptly intercepted and arrested Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala's son Vikas and a friend after receiving an emergency call from a young woman driver at Friday midnight saying two men were stalking her in a car.
In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon that described her ordeal, she thanked the Chandigarh police profusely "for unparalleled efficiency and attention to a distress call from me", saying they "almost restore my faith in the system".

Allegations that weak charges had been invoked today prompted Rahul Gandhi's office to tweet: "Condemn attempt to kidnap & outrage modesty of young lady in Chdgrh. BJP Govt mst punish the guilty; not collude W/culprits & mindset they represent."

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted: "Clearly someone is helping the accused here. Why are the PM and BJP President so silent about stalking of women?"
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Chandigarh police had already succumbed to political pressure and diluted the case.

"The police facilitated Vikas Barala's bail and did not apply non-bailable sections, though the victim had clearly stated that an attempt was made to kidnap her," he said.

Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar tweeted: "The BJP runs anti-Romeo squad in Uttar Pradesh and its leaders turn Romeo to chase girls on the streets of Haryana."

Lucky not raped and lying in a ditch

That being said, I'd like to take a moment to commend and thank Chandigarh Police for unparalleled efficiency and attention to a distress call from me. They almost restore my faith in the system.
Here's what went down:
I was driving home from the Sector 8 market at about 12:15am, and crossed the road into Sec-7, where the petrol pump is. I was also on the phone with a friend at the time, and realised about a minute later that a car was following me.
It was a White SUV, and as I noticed it, it pulled up and started driving alongside my car. I was now in Sec-7, heading towards the lights next to St. Johns' in 26.
There were 2 guys inside the SUV, and they seemed to really be enjoying harassing a lone girl in the middle of the night, judging by how often their car swerved, just enough to scare me that it might hit me.
By now I was totally alert and mildly panic-y, so I decided to turn right from the St. Johns' traffic lights towards Madhya Marg (a more crowded, seemingly safer road).
I tried to turn right from the lights but the SUV blocked my way, forcing me to go straight into Sec-26.
At the next turn, I tried to turn again, but this time they went a step further.
Right at the turn, they blocked the road in front of my car, and the guy in the passenger seat got out of the car and started walking towards me. I reversed as fast as I could and went straight and took the next right turn before they could catch up again.
I used this time to also call the cops at 100, and explain to them the situation and my exact location and where I was headed.
The cop who answered my call, intuitively sensed the urgency in my voice, and promised me that help would be along very soon.
I hung up and had now reached the main road, and hadn't seen the SUV for about 15 seconds, so I hoped, that they'd seen me calling the cops and disappeared. I was wrong.
I was now on a straight road for about 5-6km (Madhya Marg), and that entire time, the SUV stayed alongside my car, trying to bully me into stopping every 10-15 seconds LITERALLY.
I was in a full-blown panic attack by now because they would keep trying to corner me, and I'd somehow manoeuvre my way out and keep moving.
My hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in tears, half bewildered, because I didn't know if I'd make it home tonight.
Who knew when, or if, the cops would show up.
These guys INCESSANTLY bullied me all the way to Solitaire (end of 6kms), and at the traffic lights, blocked my car for the final time. This time they meant business, because they left me absolutely no space to move or escape, and the passenger JUMPED out of the car and moved towards mine.
I don't know how, but I reversed my car and moved to the right where there was space, all this while constantly honking so the few vehicles around would know something was wrong.
At this point, the guy had reached my car, banged loudly on my window, AND TRIED TO OPEN THE DOOR HANDLE!
Just as he did this, I saw a PCR pull up at the lights, quite possibly in response to my call. They heard me honking, and saw the SUV swerving left and right in an attempt to block me, and a couple of cops ran out towards the SUV, nabbing it just in time, because they were blocked in by traffic.
I, still shaking from fear, drove straight home, and told... (father) what happened, getting him back with me to file the complaint.
The 2 boys, who of course, are from influential families with political connections, have been arrested and the complaint has been filed.
At the risk of sounding redundant, I need to mention and thank Chd (Chandigarh) Police again because had it not been for their timely response, I might not be writing this status today.
If this is what women deal with in one of the safer cities in the country, where are we going?
I find it shocking, that in a place with cameras at every light and cops every 200 metres, these boys thought they could either get into my car, or take me into theirs, just because they're from an influential background.
I'm lucky, it seems, to not be the daughter of a common man, because what chance would they have against such VIPs?
I'm also lucky, because I'm not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere.
If this can happen in Chd, it can happen anywhere.
LADIES! Please be proactive about your own safety;
DON'T BE AFRAID to call the cops, The minute it starts!
Call your parents, if possible, and let them know where you are and the situation you're in.
Try and run away, in the safest way possible.
YOUR LIFE IS PARAMOUNT! If he walks towards you, use whatever you can as a weapon.
I was never a big fan of weapons, till last night.
Whether it's a gun or mace or taser or a golf club or a knife, it's going to make you feel safer and more confident.