Attn Delhi/NCR- LBT Helpline – Qashti


Announcing the helpline

Confused about your sexual orientation?

Worried about your gender identity?

Need somebody to talk to?

Need information on queer life?

PhoneWe are just a call away!

9711282081

9711282307

Qashti is excited to announce its helpline,

starting on June 1st

Wednesdays (from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and on Saturdays (from 4:00 om to 6:00 pm)

 

 

Out of shadow, PPPs at last come under RTI ambit


DoPT issues guidelines providing for suo motu disclosure of all information relating to PPPs under RTI Act

 
Prasanna Mohanty | New Delhi | April 17 2013, Governance Now
In a dramatic turnaround, the union government has now opened up public-private partnership (PPP) projects to public scrutiny.
The move comes in the wake of a fresh set of guidelines issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) on April 15. Till now any information sought through the RTI Act was stonewalled not only by the union government but also the state governments.
DoPT guidelines make it clear that “all information relating to PPPs must be disclosed in the public domain” henceforth suo motu, as per provisions of section 4 of the RTI Act.
This will gladden the hearts of all those fighting for accountability and transparency in the way PPP projects are being implemented in the country. Most big-ticket projects in the infrastructure sector, like roads, ports, airports, power, water supply, irrigation and telecommunication are being carried out under the PPP model. And for a while PPP projects are being seen as “public money for private profit”.
Social activists have been fighting for years to get information about PPP projects in vain. The fight that started in January 2011, with RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak approaching the CIC to get information about PPP projects, has succeeded in breaking down the wall.
DoPT’s guideline of April 15 says: “If public services are proposed to be provided through a public private partnership (PPP), all information relating to the PPPs must be disclosed in the public domain by the public authority entering into the PPP contract/concession agreement. This may include details of the special purpose vehicle (SPV), if any set up, detailed project reports, concession agreements, operation and maintenance manuals and other documents generated as part of the implementation of the PPP project.”
It adds: “Further, information about fees, tolls, or other kinds of revenue that may be collected under authorization from the government, information in respect of outputs and outcomes, process of selection of the private sector party may also be proactively disclosed. All payments made under the PPP project may also be disclosed in a periodic manner along with the purpose of making such payments”.
The stumbling block
In issuing guidelines for suo motu disclosures, the guideline admits that “the quality and quantity of proactive disclosure is not up to the desired level” and a part of the problem is that certain provisions of the RTI Act “have not been fully detailed”, and that in case of some “there is need for laying down detailed guidelines”.
Seen as the biggest stumbling block, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the planning commission, has publicly opposed every attempt to throw PPPs open to RTI by stating that it would inhibit private investment. He also contended that since PPPs are contracts with private entities they don’t come under the purview of the RTI Act.
The planning commission is the nodal body for PPPs.
Things took a turn for better when CIC wrote to the planning commission in January 2011 and sought modifications within PPP agreements to ensure public disclosure of details related to infrastructure projects being funded by the public exchequer. The DoPT supported CIC, but instead of legal changes suggested that the planning commission should draft the PPP agreement in a way that allows the government agency to disclose information on behalf of the private entity.
The planning commission opposed this and referred the matter to the law ministry.
In March 2011, Ahluwalia issued a statement clarifying his position. The statement said: “It is further clarified that concession agreements are executed by the respective ministries and not by the planning commission. So far as the planning commission is concerned, it has published several model concession agreements (MCAs) for PPP projects. These MCAs provide for full disclosure of the concession agreement, the maintenance manual, the maintenance programme and maintenance requirements in respect of each project.
“Where an MCA is followed, any person can obtain certified copies of these documents from the respective concessionaires.” (emphasis added)
But even after this statement, Ahluwalia publicly opposed throwing open PPPs to provisions of the RTI Act.
But DoPT set up a task force to look into the issue. In August 2011, the task force, which included civil society activists, favoured suo motu disclosure. The report was then referred to the PMO.
Apparently, after the PMO’s clearance, DoPT issued the guidelines on April 15.

 

Nuclear Events in Ancient India



Evidence at Mohenjo-Daro

When excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reached the street level, they discovered skeletons scattered about the cities, many holding hands and sprawling in the streets as if some instant, horrible doom had taken place. People were just lying, unburied, in the streets of the city.

And these skeletons are thousands of years old, even by traditional archaeological standards. What could cause such a thing? Why did the bodies not decay or get eaten by wild animals? Furthermore, there is no apparent cause of a physically violent death. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on par with those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At one site, Soviet scholars found a skeleton which had a radioactive level 50 times greater than normal. Other cities have been found in northern India that show indications of explosions of great magnitude. One such city, found between the Ganges and the mountains of Rajmahal, seems to have been subjected to intense heat.

Huge masses of walls and foundations of the ancient city are fused together, literally vitrified! And since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption at Mohenjo-Daro or at the other cities, the intense heat to melt clay vessels can only be explained by an atomic blast or some other unknown weapon. The cities were wiped out entirely.

While the skeletons have been carbon-dated to 2500 BC, we must keep in mind that carbon-dating involves measuring the amount of radiation left. When atomic explosions are involved, that makes then seem much younger.

 Giant Unexplained Crater Near Bombay

by David Hatcher Childress

Nexus Magazine

Another curious sign of an ancient nuclear war in India is a giant crater near Bombay. The nearly circular 2,154-metre-diameter Lonar crater, located 400 kilometers northeast of Bombay and aged at less than 50,000 years old, could be related to nuclear warfare of antiquity.

 No trace of any meteoric material, etc., has been found at the site or in the vicinity, and this is the world’s only known “impact” crater in basalt. Indications of great shock (from a pressure exceeding 600,000 atmospheres) and intense, abrupt heat (indicated by basalt glass spherules) can be ascertained from the site.

A Nuclear Catastrophe in Paleoindian Times?

by Richard B.Firestone and William Topping

Terrestrial Evidence of a Nuclear Catastrophe in Paleoindian Times
The Mammoth Trumpet, 16:9, March 2001. Cr. C. Davant III.

This off-mainstream journal is published by the Center for the Study of the First Americans, 355 Weniger Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-6510.

 Introduction

We introduce here a remarkable theory of terrestrial catastrophism that seems to be supported by evidence that is equally remarkable. One of the authors of this theory (RBF) is identified as a nuclear scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory.

The second author (WT) is a consultant. The authors’ credentials seem so good that we must take a close look at their extraordinary claims concerning a natural phenomenon that they believe reset radiocarbon clocks in north-central North America and – potentially – elsewhere on the planet.

The claims

In the authors’ words: Our research indicates that the entire Great Lakes region (and beyond) was subjected to particle bombardment and a catastrophic nuclear irradiation that produced secondary thermal neutrons from cosmic ray interactions. The neutrons produced unusually large quantities of ^239 Pu and substantially altered the natural uranium abundances (^235 U/^238 U) in artifacts and in other exposed materials including cherts, sediments, and the entire landscape.

These neutrons necessarily transmuted residual nitrogen (^ N) in the dated charcoals to radiocarbon, thus explaining anomalous dates. Some North American dates may in consequence be as much as 10,000 years too young. So, we are not dealing with a trivial phenomenon!


Supporting evidence
Four main categories of supporting evidence are claimed and presented in varying degrees of detail.

  • Anomalously young radiocarbon dates in north-central North America. Example: the Gainey site in Michigan. [Other map sites include Thedford & Zander, Ont.; Potts, NY; Shoop, Penn.; Alton, Ind.; Taylor, Il.; Butler & Leavitt, Mich.; and far to the north Grant Lake, Nunavut; and in the far southwest Baker, N.M. – TWC]

  • Physical evidence of particle bombardment. Example: chert artifacts with high densities of particle-entrance wounds

  • Anomalous uranium and plutonium abundance ratios in the affected area

  • Tree-ring and marine sediment data

The authors claim that the burst of radiation from a nearby supernova, circa 12,500 years ago, not only reset radiocarbon clocks but also heated the planet’s atmosphere, melted ice sheets, and led to biological extinctions. If verified, the claimed phenomenon would also “reset” archeological models of the settlement of North and South America.

 To illustrate, we may have to add as many as 10,000 years to site dates in much of North America!

 

 Rajasthan: Evidence of Ancient Atomic Explosion


Radiation still so intense, the area is highly dangerous.

 

A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built. For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators’ gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region.

Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.


A Historian Comments
Historian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that “Indian sacred writings” are full of such descriptions, which sound like an atomic blast as experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says references mention fighting sky chariots and final weapons.

An ancient battle is described in the Drona Parva, a section of the Mahabharata.

“The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees,” says Ganguli.

“Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people’s hair falling out.”

 

Archeological Investigation provides information 
Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city.

“It’s so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare.”

Construction has halted while the five member team conducts the investigation.

 

The foreman of the project is Lee Hundley, who pioneered the investigation after the high level of radiation was discovered.

UNESCO: Launch of World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education


To mark International Women’s Day, UNESCO and the UIS have jointly released the World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, which includes over 120 maps, charts and tables featuring a wide range of sex-disaggregated indicators.

The vivid presentation of information and analysis calls attention to persistent gender disparities and the need for greater focus on girls’ education as a human right.

The atlas illustrates the educational pathways of girls and boys and the changes in gender disparities over time. It hones in on the gender impact of critical factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education, and fields of study.

The data show that:
Although access to education remains a challenge in many countries, girls enrolled in primary school tend to outperform boys. Dropout rates are higher for boys than girls in 63% of countries with data.
Countries with high proportions of girls enrolled in secondary education have more women teaching primary education than men.
Women are the majority of tertiary students in two-thirds of countries with available data. However, men continue to dominate the highest levels of study, accounting for 56% of PhD graduates and 71% of researchers.

The atlas also provides a fresh perspective on the progress countries are making towards gender-related targets set by the international community under Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals.

The print edition of the atlas will be accompanied by an online data mapping tool that enables users to track trends over time, adapt maps and export data. This eAtlas will be regularly updated with the latest available data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Download full report here

Download the full report or obtain a printed copy

On Death — Kahlil Gibran


You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

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