Immediate Release- TISS Students’ protest against Montek Singh Ahluwalia



10.05.2012: Morer than 30 students protested with placards and slogans outside the TISS Mumbai Campus. The protest was directed towards Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the chief guest of the 72nd convocation ceremony and represents the Planning Commission as the Deputy Chariman. The estimation of Poverty line, the non-implimentation of the SC/ST special compenent plan and the diversion of the allocated money, like the funds of the SC/ST SCP was diverted to the infrastructure development of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and against his recent comments about the privatisation of higher education just a few ddays ago in Dehli.

A memorandam was also drafted, which was handed over to the director, Prof. S. Parasuraman about the concerns of the students about the comments on the privatisation of education. The memorandam discusses the current situation of Higher education in India and the implications of the proposed privatisation policy.



Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

Government of India


Respected Sir,

We, the students and research scholars of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai wish to express our concern over your recent comments pertaining to higher education in India. These include your comments on stopping the funding for universities and raising tuition fees across the board. You have also argued for an increased role for private sector investment in higher education. However, the reality of education in our country, particularly higher education compels us to strongly disagree with your comments.

Overall the gross enrolment rate in higher education in India is still less than 15 per cent. These figures show significant disparities across class, caste, gender and region. It is also less than the world average of 23 per cent. Secondly, despite the government’s constant pledge to raise public spending in education to at least 6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), public spending on education still remains at less than 4 per cent of GDP. This is much lower than the share in a number of developing countries. The average share of higher education in the total education expenditure of both Central and State governments has come down from 14 percent during 1981-82 to 1991-92 to 12.7 percent during 1992-93 to 2003-04.

Further, the Planning Commission’s approach paper to the twelfth five year plan makes it clear that there is no scope for a rise in public funding of higher education and the government is looking at the private sector as the engine growth in the higher education sector. The approach paper says: “Resource constraints will make it difficult to meet the need of expanding higher education entirely through the public sector. Not all private educational institutions are of good quality and some are quite inferior. Minimum standards will have to be ensured. But free entry will, in the end, automatically weed out the poor quality institutions. Private initiatives in higher education, including viable and innovative PPP-models, will therefore, be actively promoted. The current “not-for-profit” prescription in the education sector should be re-examined in a pragmatic manner…”

We strongly disagree with this policy position. Unbridled expansion of the private sector will only exacerbate inequalities in higher education across socioeconomic groups and across gender and region; instead, it will be based on the slogan: “only the rich deserve good education”. In our view, in view of the above realities of our higher educational system, only a public funded education system can best ensure equal access to higher education. Hence, all efforts should be made to strengthen public higher education across the country.

As a member of a body like the Planning Commission, whose decisions impact the lives of people in the country, we hope you would give a thought to the concerns raised by us.


Yours sincerely,

Saqib Khan, Karan Raut, Ranjini Basu and Rupesh Kumar

Research Scholars and students

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

V.N.Purav Marg, Deonar




Dr. Srinivasan, Half Truths Can Never Tell the Real Story


Anuj Wankhede

A concerned, educated Indian who does not take paintings at face value.

In a recent Business Standard article, Mr. M.R. Srinivasan – former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission makes a case for nuclear power in India.

I dare him to a debate.

Half truths cannot ever tell the real story.

The fact of the matter is that, what when you talk of a 1000MW project, all nuclear plants in India operate at average 60% capacity utilization (mostly 40%).

To create that sort of combined wind and solar project, it will not take more than two years. Gujrat did it recently and there is no reason other states cannot. Note that this year itself wind energy contribution in Tamil Nadu is at a historic high.

To state that wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine is an argument unbecoming of a scientist. Obviously he knows better, because the sun does not shine at night and life goes on because of ‘stored’ energy!

Mr. Srinivasan says it it not impossible to transport coal, it is only difficult. Why are we only looking for easy answers? Is that become our psyche that we can no longer think of alternatives, just because they are difficult?

Transporting coal from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu to U.P. for power generation is not cheap – it is correct only because politics deems it to be. Have you considered the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses and ways to plug these criminal wastages? Or are they too difficult.

For every solution given to the Atomic Energy Board, things are either too difficult or politically inconvenient.

The only convenient thing is to put thousands of innocent lives at risk.

There are many other facts that can be discussed, Mr.Scientist.

And even I – as a layman – will counter them.

I dare you to a debate, Sir.


CSR: NHRC mulls ‘code of ethics’ for corporates

NHRC logo

NHRC logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wed May 2, 2012 4:09 am (PDT)

New Delhi: Controversies over land acquisition and labour unrest involving big businesses have prompted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to come up with a “code of ethics” for corporates.A draft report in this respect has been submitted to the NHRC by New Delhi-based Institute of Corporate Sustainability Management (ICSM) Trust and has been perused by the Commission.

NHRC had commissioned a study — ‘Developing Code of Ethics for Indian Industries’ — with the objective of bringing into effect a similar a code of ethics for corporates by drawing from international norms.

For the study, data was collected from ten sectors – steel, power, mines, cement, paper, FMCG, sugar, banking and MFI, textile and pharma.

“We had a sitting on the draft report. It talks about what corporate bodies have to do in ensuring human rights, their obligations of corporates to maintain human rights and their attitude towards employees besides other issues,” NHRC Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan said.

He said NHRC was looking at a scenario where the state will watch the performance of the corporate bodies and ensure that human rights values are observed by these bodies.

“There should be accessibility for common man to redress their grievances. So the state should provide this accessibility. So if there is a human rights violation, a single citizen may not be in a position to fight against the corporates. So should give the facility and accessibility by court or other fora,” he said.

Balakrishnan noted that the issues with corporates was not an India-specific problem.

Remove Monty from Planning Commission #poverty #India

Dear all

Please join us on  faceboook …..

Because  Montek Singh ahulwalia  excels at being anti-poor.

Because he is creating an India that is awesomely elitist.

Crony-Capitalist. Policy by Policy. Brick by Brick.

Our Suggestion to Montek Singh Ahluwalia: Quit the planning commission and do a PhD. It will allow you to call yourself Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Possible Thesis Topic: The Horrible Impact of Horribly Elitist Policies by Horribly Elitist Policymakers in India: 2004-2012.

In September 2009, Montek claimed that inflation will decline by the end of the year. In November 2009, Inflation was at 11.5%. In December 2009, it was 13.5%. In the first month of the new year, it was 14.97%. And in February 2010, it reached 16.22%.

 Someone seems to care more about Monsanto than about farmers. Of course, that someone has name that sounds quite similar to Monsanto.

click below , LIKE and share widely

This is a cause, not a hate group.


‘Coriander’ has Aadhaar number/UID #thisisnotajoke

J B S Umanadh, Hyderabad, April 12 2012, DHNS:

Nandan Nilekani, the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, (UIDAI) hopes that Aadhaar card and rural mobile telephony will bring transformation in rural India, but the cards being issued at times spot some real gaffe.

Here is one case. A coriander plant in rural Andhra Pradesh received its unique identification number and of course a card for itself with the photo of a mobile phone.

An Aadhaar card with number : 4991 1866 5246 was issued in the name of Mr Kothimeer (Coriander), Son of Mr Palav (Biryani), Mamidikaya Vuru (Village Raw Mango), of Jambuladinne in Anantapur district. As the card displayed the photo of a mobile phone, officials have no clue of the address where the card has to be delivered.

“We have completed all formalities, got ourselves photographed almost an year ago after standing in the long lines for days but haven’t received the card so far. The Kothimeer is lucky,” said an old man at the Jambuladinne Panchayat office.

“It’s probably the work of a young man who wanted to tell us how routine the process of data collection was in villages. The private agencies entrusted with the job have no understanding of the job in hand,” fumed Payyavula Keshav, a TDP MLA from Anantapur district.

However, revenue officials said they would trace out the agency that completed the enumeration work in Jambuladinne to pinpoint the responsibility of issuing a card to a mobile phone named Coriander.

Considering the delay in issuing Aadhar cards and other discrepancies, the UIDAI announced recently that it would soon send the Aadhaar numbers through SMS. The authority hopes that villagers could go ahead and avail social benefits before the actual card reaches their households.

Last Letter of Mantany Saldanha to Prime Minister of India

Dear Friends,

Kindly find attached (pdf) the National Fishworkers’ Forum’s (NFF) open letter to the Prime Minister on the Kudamkulam situation. This is also a response to Dr. Manmohan Singh‘s statement on Kudamkulam – what fish workers’ consider to be an attack on the dignity of Indian fisherpeople.

Shri. Matanhy Saldanha co-drafted & endorsed this open letter as on 15th March 2012 and since then the statement has been taking rounds among state unions of fishers for endorsements. This is being sent to the Prime Minister’s office & released to the National Media on the 23rd March 2012. 

People of Goa are joined by the entire India’s fisherpeople and other struggle groups in mourning the great leader’s death, which occurred on the 21st March 2012, due to a massive heart attack. Our Chairperson, Matanhy Saldanha was sworn in as Goa’s Cabinet Minister on the 9th march 2012, in charge of Tourism, Environment & Forests. 
Matanhy Saldanha died after a massive attack at around 3.30 am on Wednesday, 21st March 2012
The attached is his last letter/statement, in his official capacty as Chairperson, NFF. 

On Behalf of NFF Executive Committee
NFF open Letter to PM on Kudamkulam

Piyush Pandey and the Vedanta open letter


English: Piyush Pandey

Image via Wikipedia

Anant Rangaswami Feb 22, 2012FIRST POST, Feb 22, 2012

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, an activist-blogger, has posted an impassioned open letter to Ogilvy South Asia executive chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey in the context of the campaign created by his agency for Vedanta and his role in the communication.

“After so many socially responsible ad campaigns by you I was aghast to see Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness” ad. Recently unveiling the campaign you said: “The Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ campaign is extremely close to my heart for it’s all about enabling India. I have worked on this campaign along with my team as an excited young copywriter and I look forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta’s efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India a happier place.”


Read more here


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