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Archives for : April2017

India- We need a new law on data privacy in view of #Aadhaar

Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda on Tuesday urged the government to bring a new legislation on data privacy, pointing out that people are facing the risk of data theft, especially with a system like Aadhaar in place.

Participating in a debate on the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Hooda pointed out that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had to go to police to file a complaint against data misuse by Axis Bank, business correspondent Suvidhaa Infoserve and e-sign provider eMudhra.

“You are making Aadhaar mandatory. You are collecting so much data and last month the UIDAI authorities had to go to police and report three companies that used the data for unauthorised transaction by bank employees,” Hooda said.

“People don’t have the right to know how much donation a political party gets and from whom, but you want all information about people,” the Congress member said.

He pointed out that hearing was on in a case in the Supreme Court where the Attorney General had taken a position that data privacy was a right, but not a fundamental right.

“Ultimately the Supreme Court will decide. But the government must study data privacy policy in other countries. The European Union has declared data protection a fundamental right,” he said.

The MP went on to ask why the government was collecting all the data, but added that he did not doubt their intention.

“Bring a new legislation on data privacy,” he said.

Talking about the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Hooda said the bill had a provision under which refusal to give government details for the National Sample Survey Organisation would invite fine and punishment.

“This is a finance bill-like story. You are compelling people to give information,” Hooda said.

The bill amends the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008.

The 2008 Act provides that the information collected under it can only be used for statistical purposes. The bill removes this provision and allows the central government to determine the manner in which such information collected would be used for statistical purposes.

The 2008 Act was not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, but now the bill seeks to extend its jurisdiction to Jammu and Kashmir for collection of statistics pertaining to subjects under the Union or the Concurrent list of the Constitution, as applicable to the state. These subjects would include citizenship, education, banking, labour and forests.

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India – When a “womel” replaced a “manel” #GenderEquality

By – Kalpana Sharma

If all-male panels are called “manels”, what should we call an all-woman panel?  Womels? 

People, meaning even well-intentioned men, get irritated when women remind them that it is possible to attempt some kind of gender balance when organising panel discussions on a range of subjects.  But the norm remains virtually unchanged.  If the discussion is about women’s issues, children, health, the elderly or other so-called societal issues, there is a preponderance of women on the panel.  But if the topic is politics, business, foreign affairs, defence and even law, women are rare or non-existent.

During the extended election process to five state assemblies that concluded earlier this month on March 11, the majority of commentators on television channels were men.  There were women, some of the regulars.  The anchors were sometimes women.  But the majority on any panel discussing the elections were never women.

No wonder the exception stood out.  And not surprisingly, the person to break the norm was Ravish Kumar of NDTV India, the indefatigable journalist who continues to dare the establishment, break the norms of the dominant forms we see in mainstream television journalism, and yet survives!

On March 9, when all the other television channels were going ballistic over the exit polls, Ravish Kumar hosted a “womel”, an all woman panel of journalists who had covered the elections and were experienced political reporters.  The women journalists on the panel were Neha Dixit, independent journalist, Sunita Aron from Hindustan Times, Vandita Mishra from Indian Express, Supriya Sharma from and Poornima Joshi from BusinessLine.

Ravish Kumar deliberately decided to ignore the exit polls and instead drew out these journalists on the issues that faced the electorate in the different states that went to the polls.  The programme was informative, there was no shouting and screaming, no butting in or cutting off the participants.  The anchor gave each person adequate time to make their point.  In the end, the viewer came away with an enhanced understanding of the issues that underline the electoral process and that go beyond just the counting of the votes and the results.

In the last decade and more, scores of women journalists have been covering politics. Unlike the 1970s and even to some extent the 1980s, no one is surprised today to see women interviewing politicians, covering election rallies, and writing incisive and analytical articles on politics in the print media.

Yet, on television, although women anchor programmes on politics, and are also reporters, they are still rarely seen as “experts” on the subject.  We have to question this.

Is it gender blindness on the part of mainstream television channels?  Or are experienced women journalists hesitant about pushing themselves forward even as their male counterparts boast about their contacts and experience, however limited?

Perhaps it is a combination of the two.  And even if one Ravish Kumar cannot topple dominant norms, his initiative has the potential to do so.

NWMI’s Gender and Elections Blog.

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Love kills six times more Indians than terror attacks



  • Between 2001 and 2015, love was the officially recorded reason for 38,585 murders and culpable homicide cases.
  • Terror, on the other hand, killed 20,000 people, including civilians and security forces, in the same period.
  • In suicides, West Bengal leads the list, despite the fact that data for 2012 was not available for the state.

(AP photo used for representation)(AP photo used for representation)

Terror casualties may make more headlines but in the past 15 years alone, love has killed more people than terror attacks.

Between 2001 and 2015, love was the officially recorded reason for 38,585 murders and culpable homicide cases. Government records also link it with 79,189 suicides. Further, 2.6 lakh kidnapping cases were also filed in this period where marriage was mentioned as the motive of ‘abducting’ women.

That’s an average of seven murder cases, 14 suicides and 47 kidnapping cases – mostly because somebody eloped and kith and kin are uncomfortable with that idea — every day. Terror, on the other hand, killed 20,000 people, including civilians and security forces, in the same period. The data shows that Andhra Pradesh, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have witnessed the highest number of murder cases where love was the stated motive.

Each witnessed over 3,000 such cases in this period. Of course, bigger states with large populations understandably will have more cases. These cases include both jilted men turning violent, despondent lovers ending their lives as well as murders committed because of the social outrage over love affairs that unsettle class and caste hierarchies.

“To understand this violence in oppressing a person’s exercise of choice when it comes to marriage, one has to understand patriarchy and caste system,” says retired professor Uma Chakravarti who has done extensive work on gender.

Caste is a way to control resources and can only survive by strict control on marriages+ . Both patriarchy and caste survive through violence and that explains the use of violent means against people who threatens this hierarchy, she explains.

n suicides, West Bengal leads the list, despite the fact that data for 2012 was not available for the state. In 14 years, it witnessed over 15,000 suicides caused by love affairs. The second highest was 9,405 suicides in Tamil Nadu for the 15-year-period. These were followed by Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, each with over 5,000 suicides. In 19 of the 35 states and UTs (Telangana is included in Andhra Pradesh), females outnumbered men when it came to suicides triggered by love affairs, though at the national level the numbers are similar.

“Most of these are institutionally abetted suicides,” says documentary filmmaker Nakul Singh Sawhney who made the 2012 documentary ‘Izzatnagri ki Asabhya Betiyan’ (Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour) which revolves around the resistance of women against khap panchayats in Haryana and western UP.

“Many of these suicides are the result of a hopeless situation created when the state leaves its citizen to be targeted by autocratic institutions that want to maintain caste and class hierarchy,” says Jagmati Sangwan of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA). “One has to understand that even today the control of family on apparently independent individuals has remained intact and through family there is a social control on marriage,” adds Chakravarti.

Although the numbers are staggering, experts believe there is massive under-reporting in states like Haryana and parts of western Uttar Pradesh where the local police is often either directly involved or turns a blind eye to honour killings as many of the policemen come from the same milieu.

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India – Protest – No Bank Transaction day on April 6

Image result for No Bank Transaction day on April 6



In the wake of recent announcement by State Bank of India (SBI) to increase the minimum balance in savings account from April, fuming customers have planned a No Transaction Day on April 06, 2017.

This protest would manifest public outrage over increasing minimum balance and decreasing rate of interest on deposits, affecting 31 crore depositors, including pensioners and students.

The monthly average balance (MAB) requirement has been increased to as high as Rs 5,000 for branches in six metros.

Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates (merging with it on April 1) will have to maintain the monthly balance or else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs 20 (rural branches) to Rs 100 in (metro cities).


To this end April 06, 2017 will be a no transaction day with banks. And if there is no roll back of this extended penalty, April 24,25,26, 2017 would also be observed as No Transaction Day.

A message has been doing the rounds on social media to galvanise support for coming out and raising voices of dissent against this penalty as announced by SBI.

Here is a look at the new rules to be implemented from April 1, 2017:


1. Minimum 3 times deposit free in your account, After more then 3 times deposit you will pay 50/- per deposit.
2. Minimum 5000/
– balance maintain in metro city branch account holder.
3. Minimum 3000/- balance maintain in city/town branch account holder
4. Minimum 2000/- balance maintain in semi urban area branch account holder.
5. Minimum 1000/- balance maintain in villages branch account holder
6. If you not maintain minimum amount in your account you will pay up to 200/- + extra surcharge.(depending on how many days)
7. SBI ATM free for 5 times use, after 5 times you will pay 10/- per transactions.
8. Other bank ATM free for 3 times use, after 3 times you will pay 20/- per transactions.
9. Unlimited SBI ATM use without any charges, If you maintain 25000/- in your SBI savings account.
10. Unlimited SBI & OTHER BANK ATM use without any charges, If you maintain 100000/- in your SBI savings account
11. 15/- SMS charge you will pay after 3 months, (SMS charge free, If you maintain 25000/- in your SBI savings account)


Let the banks also experience the public power.

They are thieves. Imagine .

To withdraw your own money you have to pay service charge to the Bank and you pay Service Tax on the Service Charge to the Govt.

To this end April 06, 2017 will be a no transaction day with banks.

If they don’t rollback.

Let’s plan April 24,25,26, 2017 as no transaction days.

We will continue this until there is no roll back on service charges .

Keep spreading this message every 5 days to all ur FB , mails and W App contacts.

It is difficult but not impossible otherwise banks will go on adding various new charges now and then. RBI Governer is a puppet and has no control nor understands the economics.
This protest is for our benefit to control banks to adding new charges.
Let’s come together and show the
Banks have started to increase transaction fee!
Service tax has gone up big time and will increase even more!
We were taxed for earning money.
We are taxed for spending money.
We were taxed for hoarding money.
We are taxed for withdrawing money.
We are taxed for depositing money.
We are taxed for service money
We are taxed (cess)for education
We are taxed for Swatch Bharat
We are taxed for purchase
We are taxed for sales
We are taxed for manufacturing
We are taxed for public Utility
Earning is a crime.
Saving is a crime.
Spending is a crime.
Donating to Political Parties is the only good act.

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Poor public health services are pitting doctors and patients against each other

Drawing Blood


Doctors are under siege; patients are aggrieved. This is essentially what is being played out in public hospitals, most recently in Maharashtra where last month, in five separate incidents, doctors in public hospitals were assaulted by angry relatives of patients alleging negligence. Similar incidents have been reported from Delhi, Surat, Ahmedabad, Bulandshahr and Chennai in the last couple of years. Such violence against doctors is not peculiar to India. Lancet and the British Medical Journal report increasing attacks on doctors in the Indian subcontinent and China.

The common thread running through these incidents is that most attacks occur in public hospitals where the resources are stretched thin to cover a large section of the population and the doctors (mostly junior) are too overworked to deal empathetically with anxious and tense patients’ relatives. An Indian Medical Association 2015 survey of 500 doctors found that nearly 75% of the respondents had faced attacks and intimidation.

While doctors are overworked, patients and their relatives overwhelmingly point to discourteous doctors and uncooperative hospital staff, insufficient diagnostic equipment and essential drugs and lack of information about the patient’s condition and the prognosis. Together these exacerbate their anxiety. They are also frustrated with being asked to buy medicines and services from private agencies outside the hospital.

From the perspective of doctors, especially in public hospitals, there is the pressure to provide emergency treatment even as the patient’s family and friends surround them expecting miracles. In many of the cases of assault, so-called local “leaders” demanding immediate attention for “their” patient led the charge. And after working back-breaking hours in resource-poor conditions—one of the doctors attacked in Mumbai recently had worked for 36 hours almost non-stop when the incident occurred—their only “rest” is in hostels with abysmal amenities.

Public perception of doctors as “life-givers” has also drastically changed with the increasing privatisation and commercialisation of medical healthcare and the stories of crass insensitivity by private doctors towards patients who cannot afford their high rates. As a result, even doctors doing their best in difficult conditions are perceived as indifferent. Public hospitals have to bear the brunt of this lack of trust as often patients are taken there after their condition has deteriorated in private hospitals and the family is resentful about the heavy expenditure incurred and poor treatment given.

Fourteen states have enacted laws to protect doctors and prevent such violence but enforcement is uniformly weak. For example, Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2010, makes offences against doctors non-bailable with imprisonment up to three years and a fine of ₹50,000. The offender could also be asked to pay twice the amount of damage caused to the institution’s property. However, in the last three years, 53 cases of doctors being beaten up were registered but there has not been a single conviction. According to media reports, almost all those arrested for the recent acts of violence have been granted bail.

Apart from laws, many hospitals resort to increasing security immediately after such incidents. For example, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, the largest government hospital in Delhi, hired “bouncers” after witnessing one attack a month and after the staff stopped work in protest 20 times in the last six years. Yet increased security is at best a piecemeal measure. It could backfire and drive a deeper wedge between the community and doctors. Senior doctors—sensitive to the worsening state of affairs—have initiated steps to teach their younger colleagues to communicate better with patients’ relatives. A few public hospitals have taken the lead in doing this. Medical education pays little attention to this aspect and even if it did, the inability of the doctors to understand the socio-economic backgrounds of their patients ends up making a bad situation worse.

At the same time, while empathetic and communicative doctors are needed, that alone will not suffice. The sheer volume of patients thronging the country’s public hospitals calls for deeper structural changes. India has a pathetically low budget allocation for health services. Also the patient–doctor ratio of 7:1 (Maharashtra and Bihar have the worst ratios in the country) is far from adequate. When a crisis looms, as provoked by the recent clash between doctors and patients in Maharashtra, piecemeal measures are taken. However, unless the larger questions of spending on health and enhancing the capacity of public hospitals to deliver more effective healthcare are addressed, doctors and patients will continue to be viewed as adversaries.

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Adani Carmichael coal mine – The worst mistake Australia could make

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk gets confronted in India over Adani mine plans

SOON Australians will be asked to take sides as the opposition to the Adani coal mine reaches a crucial crunch point.

The owners of the proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland are due to make a final decision on its future after six years of delay caused by legal challenges to the $21.7 billion project.

The State Government this week gave Adani the final approval it needs to go ahead with the mine, a water licence that will give it access to 9.5 billion litres of groundwater.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said modelling assessed by the department found up to 4.55 gigalitres of groundwater could be taken per year.

“In granting this licence, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines has carefully considered a broad range of information,” he told in a statement.

He said Adani would have to fairly compensate landholders for impacts on water resources, and there were 100 conditions relating to groundwater.

On Friday, the head of Indian mining giant Adani said the company was ready to start construction this year.

Adani Mining chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj told a business lunch in Brisbane that the company expected to start engineering work on a rail line the mine needs to transport its coal to Abbott Point by June, and to start major construction by September.

While he was defending the mine against environmental concerns, about 200 protesters gathered outside the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane’s CBD to voice their opposition.

It’s just the first stage in what is expected to be a relentless battle.

While the “lawfare” may be wrapping up, environment groups say the matter is far from over, and will actually ramp up their efforts in coming months.

More than 4000 people attended #StopAdani roadshow events across Australia., with dozens of new groups forming to stop the mine from going ahead.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown is leading the next stage of the fight against the mine and has described the campaign as this generation’s Franklin River, referring to the decades-long protest movement that eventually stopped the Tasmanian river being dammed in 1983.

“This is the environmental issue of our times and, for one, the Great Barrier Reef is at stake,” Mr Brown recently wrote in an opinion piece.

Alongside millionaire businessman Geoff Cousins, a former Howard government adviser, Mr Brown announced that 13 community groups would form the Stop Adani Alliance to oppose the mine.

If the previous track record of the two leaders is anything to go by, Adani should be very worried.

Mr Cousins was also involved in the successful campaign to stop the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania and the proposed Woodside gas hub in the Kimberley.

Before he was the Greens leader, Mr Brown led the non-violent campaign against the Franklin Dam.

Now the duo have their sights set on Adani.

Dr Bob Brown speaks to Tasmanians at a protest rally in 1983 to stop the Franklin Dam being built. Picture: Andrew de la Rue.

Dr Bob Brown speaks to Tasmanians at a protest rally in 1983 to stop the Franklin Dam being built. Picture: Andrew de la Rue.Source:News Corp Australia

They are already being supported by prominent Australians including Australian Test cricket captains Ian and Greg Chappell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks and rock group Midnight Oil, who signed a letter to Adani chairman Gautam Adani, urging him to abandon the project

Adani however rejected the demand as “a motivated attempt by a very small group of 76 misled people”, the Press Trust of India reported.

While there are a couple of outstanding legal issues, including an appeal in the Federal Court and a bill that needs to be passed in Parliament, the mine looks to be on track.

The last major government approval needed is a water licence and the State Government is expected to announce its decision in the next few days.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland said the mine would be a big win for the state’s central and northern regions, particularly for Townsville where the project’s headquarters is expected to be located.

Charters Towers and Moranbah have also been earmarked as service centres for the mines, while Bowen is expected to be the base for rail construction.

“It’s about supporting our regions and not leaving them behind, creating new jobs and supporting our youth,” CCIQ policy adviser Catherine Pham said.

“Projects such as Adani is definitely a win for our regions, but all Queenslanders should see the positive economic impacts of the project once it kicks off.”

Not everyone agrees. GetUp environmental justice campaign director Miriam Lyons said Adani was a reckless company that threatened people’s lives and livelihoods across Australia.

“Their track record reveals they put profits ahead of people, every time. If Adani wins, the reef, our water and people everywhere will lose,” she said.

The Abbot Point coal terminal. Picture: Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The Abbot Point coal terminal. Picture: Australian Marine Conservation Society.Source:Supplied

“They have avoided paying tax in Australia, preferring to hide their assets in the Cayman Islands. If the Turnbull Government can’t make them pay tax, how can we make sure they don’t ruin the Reef or wreck our water tables?

“It’s time someone actually stood up for farmers and tourism, they are billion-dollar industries that supply people with food, lasting employment, and the opportunity to access the Great Barrier Reef.”

This is what you need to know about this generation-defining project.


Once it’s built, the $21.7 billion Carmichael mine near Rockhampton will be one of the biggest in the world. It will include six open-cut pits and five underground mines across an area five times the size of Sydney Harbour.

Once it has been dug up, the coal will need to be transported to India. It will need to travel from the mine in central Queensland via a new 189 kilometre rail link, to a waterfront coal terminal at Abbot Point.

The giant mine will generate so much extra coal, the terminal south of Townsville will need to be expanded to accommodate it.

But there are concerns that the extra coal exports may damage the Great Barrier Reef as the terminal is located on the coastline of the heritage area.

The terminal, which stretches 2km out to the sea, already exports 50 million tonnes of coal per year, but expansion plans approved last year will more than double its capacity, allowing Adani to export an extra 70 million tonnes.

If Adani succeeds in getting a rail link built from its mine to the terminal built, other companies in the Galilee Basin will also be able to use it, and there are plans for another terminal at Abbot Point, which would add another 60 million tonnes of capacity.

There are also concerns that building such a huge mine will also impact the reef because of the emissions produced once the coal is burnt overseas for electricity.

Climate change has been identified as the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef, and in an article published in Nature this month, scientists warned that immediate global action to curb future global warming, was essential to securing a future for reefs.

The report came as scientists confirmed a second consecutive year of mass coral bleaching on the reef.

But Adani has rejected suggestions the mine will contribute to climate change.

“This project is a net positive impact on climate change in the world,” Adani Australia chief executive officer Jeyakumar Janakaraj said last year.

During his speech in Brisbane on Friday, Mr Janakaraj said the mine was vital in reducing India’s carbon footprint, with the higher quality Australian coal producing less pollution than that mined in India.

“The 20,000 megawatts of thermal energy (in India) needs a reliable source of good quality coal to keep the net impact to climate change neutral or lower,” Mr Janakaraj said.

“The thing about Carmichael is, it will reduce the carbon footprint of existing plants which are using Indonesian or Indian coal today, by say 30 to 40 per cent.”

RELATED: Great Barrier Reef photos expose shocking realities for coral bleaching

A scientist measuring coral bleaching in October 2016. Picture: Tane Sinclair-Taylor/ARC Center of Excellence via AP.

A scientist measuring coral bleaching in October 2016. Picture: Tane Sinclair-Taylor/ARC Center of Excellence via AP.Source:AP

But environmentalists are concerned that climate change impacts are not necessarily considered as part of the environmental assessment process for mines.

The Australian Conservation Foundation took Adani to the Federal Court to try and force the federal minister to consider climate change impacts from emissions that would be produced when the coal was burnt overseas for electricity.

But the court accepted the minister’s argument they would be managed through national and international agreements.

The ACF has appealed the decision, with a judgment expected in May or June.


Another thing that is causing concern among environmentalists is Adani’s controversial track record overseas.

The Indian company has been embroiled in illegal dealings, bribery, environmental and social devastation and allegations of corruption, fraud and money laundering, according to a legal research brief released by Environmental Justice Australia in February.

In one concerning incident, a ship carrying Adani coal sank and caused an oil and coal spill along Mumbai’s coast, which damaged tourism and polluted the marine environment. A court fined Adani $975,000 for the accident.

Adani was also ordered to pay $4.8 million after constructing Hajira Port without approval, which destroyed habitat, claimed land and blocked access to fishing communities.

The company has also been subject to long-running investigations into tax evasion and money laundering while trading in diamonds and gold jewellery.

“I deal daily with the devastating impacts of coal while working with some of India’s poorest people,” Indian environmental justice advocate Dr Vaishali Patil said.

“Adani tops the list of the worst companies I have come in contact with in my work.

“The damage that Adani has done to our people can’t be overstated: local fishing communities unable to access their fishing grounds; vast quantities of coal spilled into the oceans and not cleaned up for years, devastating local tourism, beaches and marine life. Adani’s mine must never be allowed to go ahead.”

EJA lawyer and report author Ariane Wilkinson pointed out that Adani also continued to mislead the Australian public about how many jobs would be created from its Carmichael mine.

Adani says 10,000 jobs created but the company’s economist admitted to the Land Court as part of a recent legal action, that the correct figure was in fact 1464 net jobs.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani meets with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Townsville last year. The Queensland government has been given an ‘iron clad’ guarantee that Adani will not use 457 visas at its Carmichael mine and will prioritise local workers. Picture: Cameron Laird/AAP

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani meets with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Townsville last year. The Queensland government has been given an ‘iron clad’ guarantee that Adani will not use 457 visas at its Carmichael mine and will prioritise local workers. Picture: Cameron Laird/AAPSource:AAP

This lower figure used modelling that took into account the amount of jobs created once the jobs lost in other industries was also taken into account.


The project may also rely on the Federal Government giving the company a $1 billion concessional loan to help it build the 189 kilometre rail link required to transport the coal to Abbot Point.

The government is currently assessing whether to give Adani the loan through its $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

But the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said the Australian government should be wary of putting taxpayers’ money into a project that global financial institutions including the Deutsche Bank are now refusing to fund.

IEEFA Director of Energy Finance Studies Tim Buckley said the mine could become a stranded asset as the economics of renewable energy start to stack up. Even Adani is planning to put $US10 million into renewable projects.

“Adani is central to a profound energy transition in India, which is on track to achieve a national 40 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, equivalent to 350GW, or around seven times Australia’s total electricity sector,” Mr Buckley said.

“The smart money on renewable energy.”

A GetUp poll released in January found 74.4 per cent of Australians disagreed with giving the mine access to concessional loans.

Adani has insisted the loan is not crucial to its project, despite this being one of the criteria to get a loan.

There are also concerns about the way the company has been set up and who gets the royalties.

Adani says the mine will generate $22 billion in taxes and royalties for Queensland.

But up to $120 million in royalties every year could also flow to a company in the Cayman Islands tax haven controlled by the Adani family, rather than to the Indian company building the mine.

Resource consultants Energy and Resource Insights highlighted the unusual way the company had been set up so that $2 from every tonne of coal (after the first 400,000 tonnes mined) will flow to the Adani family. This will be at the expense of the company shareholders.

“What this means is that one of the companies currently seeking up to $1 billion in public subsidy is going to profit to the tune of up to $3 billion if the mine goes ahead,” Energy Resource Insights principal researcher Adam Walters told ABC.

Adani claims many poverty-stricken Indian families can be lifted out of poverty if they can access cheap coal-generated electricity. Picture: Kieran Rooney

Adani claims many poverty-stricken Indian families can be lifted out of poverty if they can access cheap coal-generated electricity. Picture: Kieran RooneySource:Supplied


Adani says work on the Carmichael mine will begin in August despite mounting opposition to the long-delayed project.

Company chairman Gautam Adani told a press conference in India recently that he was confident preliminary construction works would start in August 2017, with first exports to begin in 2020.

However, the project still faces some legal challenges and also requires the Federal Government to pass a controversial native title bill through parliament.

The bill was required after the Federal Court ruled in Western Australia that Indigenous Land Use Agreements had to be signed by all the applicants. Adani’s agreement with the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council did not get approval from all the 12 families represented.

The government was unable to pass the bill this week so won’t be able to consider it again until May or June.

The rise of renewables has also impacted the financial viability of the project, and a final investment decision by Adani is reportedly still pending.

— With AFP

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Anti-Romeo squad comes under ‘scanner’ for tonsuring alleged molester’s head

Anti-romeo squad officers tonsured a man’s head for allegedly molesting a woman in Uttar Pradesh‘s Shahjahanpu


Lucknow, April 1: A day after new dos and don’ts for Uttar Pradesh‘s anti-Romeo squads were issued by the state’s police chief, officers of the aforementioned squad came under the scanner for tonsuring the head of an alleged ‘molester’ in Shahjahanpur on Saturday.

According to ANI, officers of an anti-Romeo squad detained a man for allegedly molesting a woman in Shahjahanpur. Afterwards, the squad tonsured the alleged molester’s head. Currently, the police is investigating the matter as it has created a new controversy.

Anti-Romeo squad
An nnti-Romeo squad hauls up a youth in Lucknow last week. Photo credit: PTI

Anti-Romeo squads have been formed across Uttar Pradesh after Adityanath Yogi became the chief minister of the state recently. The Bharatiya Janata Party in its election manifesto had promised to form such squads to protect women from eve-teasers, molesters and rapists. These squads are run by the state police department.

The Uttar Pradesh police was on Friday directed by the state government to ensure that such squads do not resort to blackening of the face or ‘murga position-type punishments (a stress position used as a corporal punishment where sit-ups are done holding the ears) in the name of protecting women.

The move by the government comes amid outrage over the way the squads have punished loitering men on the streets and a day after the Allahabad high court directed it to ensure that guidelines were followed by the police teams and action taken as per the law.

There should be no shaving of heads, blackening of faces or a murga pose, said a senior official while listing out the dos and don’ts.

The fresh guidelines were issued after Adityanath’s intervention amid reports of alleged harassment by anti-Romeo squads.

OneIndia News

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Madhya Pradesh government shunts out Bhind DM, SP after EVM row



  • Madhya Pradesh government removed the district collector and the SP and initiated action against 19 others in EVM row
  • Kejriwal met chief election commissioner earlier in the day and demanded that paper ballot enabled EVMs be used for elections
  • BHOPAL/NEW DELHI: A day after a controversial video of a dummy test of an electronic voting machine (EVM) in Bhind ahead of a byelection there went viral on social media, the Madhya Pradesh government on Saturday removed the district collector and the SP and initiated action against 19 others.

    The Madhya Pradesh government’s action came even as Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal met chief election commissioner Naseem Zaidi earlier in the day and demanded that paper ballot enabled EVMs be used for elections henceforth. Kejriwal also raised questions over the upcoming MCD polls in which over 12,000 EVMs will be used.

    The Bhind video reportedly shows the voter verifiable paper audit trail leading to slips bearing only the ruling BJP‘s lotus symbol when different buttons on the EVM are pressed. The video led to EC seeking report from 21 officials in the Bhind district, where byelection in the Ater seat is scheduled on April 9.

    Congress and AAP staged protests demanding that chief electoral officer (CEO) of Madhya Pradesh Shalina Singh be removed. “We have sought report from the chief secretary regarding the officials,” Election Commissioner OP Rawat told TOI. Kejriwal demanded that every single EVM must be checked henceforth.

    “If some EVMs can be faulty, many others may also be tampered with. These reports are shocking and raise doubts about the essence of democracy in this country. This means that if this continues, no matter who people vote for, the lotus will bloom out of the muck of EVMs,” he said, adding that no checking was done to find the fault in EVMs in Assam and MP. “Who is changing the software and how is not being checked,” he said.

    The video has set off a debate over EVMs. After the BSP’s rout in UP assembly polls, party chief Mayawati had demanded fresh polls in the state alleging that EVMs were tampered with in the state. Kejriwal had also raised doubts over EVMs after AAP failed to win the Punjab polls. Raising questions about the machines, he said it could be that some machines are faulty. “But how is it that all faulty machines only register votes in favour of BJP?” RJD chief Lalu Prasad too demanded a probe.

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