Thursday, May 21, 2015
The ability to use existing civil infrastructure to reinforce military operations helps to provide redundancy and extra options for the Indian military.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
It may even be that Chief Minister Khujliwal is itching for a way to end his govt with President's Rule, allowing him to bow out while blaming the Centre. After all, 49 days have passed, and he may possibly be craving for a new gig. Bihar?
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
- Dalit woman takes on Kerala Unions: “The unions were not able accept a woman auto-driver, that too a Dalit woman, doing the same job they do. Since then, they have been torturing me.”
- Lethal Breath: After respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, air pollution now shows a definitive link with strokes
- First Froth, Now Flames in a Lake: From Garden city, Bengaluru is now India's second most polluted.
- Toxic heart of South Delhi: “In the winter, you won’t see a single person in my shop. Even if the weather is fine, no one will come here to eat because they can’t breathe.”
- IIT Delhi's air-pollution report: “Merely because you are IIT you can’t always be right”.
- Choking on cars: It was suggested that at the time of registration of a vehicle, the purchaser may be asked to provide proof of parking space and if the person fails to do so, a fee of Rs 5,000 per month can be charged from him/her for parking.
Monday, May 18, 2015
From: Michel Danino
This is the sixth article in the weekly SandHI series on Indian knowledge systems published by Financial Chronicle:
A hand to the plough
By AV Balasubramanian
May 18 2015
Links to previous articles in the series — introductory article, ancient metallurgy, architecture, Ayurveda, and ecological traditions — can be found here:
If you have enjoyed any of the articles in the series, please consider leaving a comment online; it will help the series attract notice. (You will find a comment box at the bottom of every article.)
Fwd: TODAY at noon: A conversation with Civil Rights Activist Jibran Nasir moderated by Professor Shahzad Bashir
From: Sindu Singh
584 Capistrano Way Stanford.
Room: Bechtel Assembly Room
Date: May 18, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m.
(Lunch will be served)
southasia mailing list
Sunday, May 17, 2015
So how much will Pak recieve from Saudi? What does it mean for the Non-Proliferation Treaty which the Saudis and their Iranian rivals are both signatories to?
I think that India should enact a similar laws, instead of offering compensation to terrorists and their families.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
If this is a real vulnerability, then airlines and manufacturers had better address the problem before terrorists try to do something serious.
Date: Mon, May 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM
Subject: IndiaFacts Commissioned Analysis of mainstream media's coverage of temple attacks
On the other side, there is almost no coverage, analysis, editorials, and TV shows on attacks on the places of worship of non-Abrahamic religions including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Could it be the case that there were no attacks at all on these places of worship?
IndiaFacts commissioned a study-cum-analysis of mainstream English media's coverage of attacks on Hindu places of worship. The findings are quite revealing.
To begin with, secularism is an article of faith for the Indian English mainstream media. With that in mind, and with coverage of temple attacks as the context, our analysis also examined three broad aspects:
- Does the Indian English mainstream media really practice the secularism it preaches?
- Is our mainstream English media being fair in its coverage?
- Is our mainstream English media making an attempt to narrow the focus to a particular set of incidents with the intention of creating a false narrative?
The IndiaFacts team sourced news reports, articles, opeds, and TV shows mainly from the Internet, and print for good measure. These news sources were spread across the most popular and widely read newspapers, online news channels, and TV media.
Data was collected based on coverage related to attacks, thefts, vandalism, hate crimes, corruption, mis-governance, and land grab with respect to temples (where temples are generically defined as stated earlier: places of worship of non-Abrahamic faiths). Data was collected for a period of six months: between 01 October 2014 and 31 March 2015, which is a decent sample size to be considered as representative to arrive at reasonably accurate conclusions.
Two preliminary, high-level observations stand out in our analysis:
- There were 145 incidents of attacks on temples during the stated period—that is, approximately,at least one temple was attacked every day (more precisely, 0.8 per day).
- A vast majority of them were Hindu temples, and a few were Jain, Buddhist and Sikh as well. For the sake of brevity and ease of presentation, they're generically grouped as Hindu temples and could be de-grouped as needed, on a case by case basis.
This geo-data map shows the spread of attacks on Hindu temples across India. A darker gradient of red represents states with the highest number of temple attacks. As is evident from the map, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh top the list, followed by Kerala, Telangana and Karnataka.
Figure 1: Tamil Nadu & Uttar Pradesh have the most attacks on temples, followed by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana
The following chart shows the number of attacks on Hindu temples every week for the six month duration of our study. In our study, we have considered Sunday as the starting day of the week and Saturday as the ending day.
The height of the bar represents the total number of temple attacks for that week. Attacks on Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist temples are differently colour-coded.
Note: October being the starting point of our study, the first week has only four days—1 October thru 4 October 2015.
Subsequent weeks follow the Sunday-Saturday scheme. 11 January 2015—31 January2015 appears to be the most peaceful period with only one attack per week.
Media coverage of temple attacks
The following graph shows the number of articles published by news media for the temple attacks shown for the six-month period. Although some of the reports were actually published a few days later, falling into the subsequent week, they were counted for the week on which the incident actually occurred. This would simplify the counting.
Figure 3: News reports covering temple attacks
Number of media reports on temple attacks increase or decrease corresponding to the attack incidents, indicating a correlation with Figure 2.
The 145 incidents of attack on temples were covered by 293 news articles from various publishers and media outlets—that is, there were an average of 2.02 news articles published per incident.
The following graph shows the state-wise grouping of temple attacks, based on the actual location of the attacks.
Figure 4: State-wise temple attacks
Red indicates incidents that could have been prevented by ensuring good governance and law and order mechanisms,and blue indicates attacks due to breakdown of law and order/lack of security. Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh top the list followed closely by Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana. In other words, South India has witnessed the worst attacks on temples.
The next graph shows the number of news reports published related to these attacks in their respective states.
Figure 5: Media reports on state-wise attacks on temples.
Red indicates reports on temple attacks incidents that could have been prevented by good governance and blue indicates reports on incidents that needed effective law and order mechanisms.
Attacks on Temples and Churches: Comparison
The following graph shows a comparison between attacks on temples and attacks on churches for the period under consideration.
Figure 6: Comparison between temple attacks and church attacks.
Exactly four incidents of attacks on churches took place across India in the period under consideration.The overall picture that emerges is clear: there's a huge gap in the attacks against temples compared to Christian places of worship. In other words, temples are targeted more frequently whereas churches remain largely unmolested.
State-wise grouping of attacks on temples and churches
The following graph shows the state-wise grouping of the attacks on temples including the four attacks on Christian places of worship.
Figure 7: Attacks on Christian places of worship added to the state wise chart shown in Figure 4
Media Coverage Comparison
Upon including the reports published in the media about attacks on Christian places of worship into the graphs of respective states, we obtain the following graph.
Figure 8: Media reportage on temple and church attacks
Upon including the attacks on Christian places of worship into the week-wise chart of media reportage on temple attacks, we arrive at the following graph.
Figure 9: Week-wise media reportage on temple and church attacks
- On an average,the English mainstream media reported about 46.25 news articles per incident of attack on Christian places of worship whereas it reported a mere 2.02 news articles per incident of attack on Hindu places of worship
- Further, the 46.25 reports per incident related to attacks on a Christian place of worship had approximately 80 oblique references to the BJP, Narendra Modi, parliament debate, elections, Ghar-Wapsi. However such oblique references were rarely found in reports related to attacks on temples.
- According to the concept of secularism as commonly defined and understood, the Indian English mainstream media should ensure that its reportage remains religion-neutral. Unfortunately, as our analysis shows,the 46:2 ratio of its reportage on attacks on places of worship of Christians to those of Hindus doesn't pass this religion-neutral test by any standards. Therefore, there is very little evidence to show that the mainstream English media is reporting news based on the spirit of secularism it claims it adheres to.
- The same ratio also shows that our mainstream English media is being significantly selective and therefore unfair in its coverage.
- Highlighting a very tiny number of incidents of Church attacks and giving it frequent and repeated coverage while downplaying the real fact of repeated attacks against temples (almost one temple attack per day), certainly lends itself to the conclusion that the media is indeed creating, shaping, and pushing a false narrative.
Based on such hard data, it is not entirely inaccurate to conclude that the Indian mainstream English media is behaving like the mouthpiece of select religious institutions.
Fwd: Sino Indian ties need a long term perspective+Solving India China Border Dispute: One million Indians for a road+lots more
From: sanjeev nayyar
To unsubscribe write back
Friday, May 15, 2015
Modi, BJP, and RSS had better devote a little more time to get a handle on this situation and come up with a response, otherwise the anti-reformist forces will use farmers as a base for launching an agitation wave to oppose reforms.
From: "Arvind Kumar"
Date: 15 May 2015 11:08
Subject: Third party mediator and external Lokpal appointed to resolve AAP crisis
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, "Prashant Bhushan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
** The Internet Court of Justice was founded by Arvind Kumar.Dear Arvind Kejriwal, L Ramdas and other members and ex-members of AAP,
Arvind Kumar has been appointed* the EXTERNAL LOKPAL and third party mediator to resolve the conflict in the Aam Aadmi Party.
All of you who are part of AAP can tell me EVERYTHING. Don't feel diffident when you communicate with me. I can solve every problem for you. Each side is advised to lay down its charges against the other faction and I will give you a fair hearing and pass my judgment after careful consideration of the facts.
For a start, here are the summary of charges against members of one faction and one member of the other faction which will be heard by the Internet Court of Justice.
L Ramdas: The main charge is TREASON and weakening of the armed forces as the first nuclear powered submarine in the Indian Navy, INS Chakra, was decommissioned when the ACCUSED headed the Indian Navy. The ACCUSED is connected to the CIA affiliate Ford Foundation through his daughter who is also suspected of connections to the ISI as she is allegedly married to a Paki. Whether the weakening of the armed forces was a deliberate act due to the alleged ISI/CIA connections will be determined during the trial.
Medha Patkar: Accused of being an American agent controlled by the International Rivers Network (IRN). Evidence entered along with the charges include emails with the IRN which are available on the internet.Yogendra Yadav: Accused of being a beneficiary of money given by the CIA affiliate Ford Foundation.
Prashant Bhushan: Accused of pushing the ISI and CIA agenda of breaking away Jammu and Kashmir from India.
Manish Sisodia: Accused of abetting the murder of a farmer. Accused of being a beneficiary of funds funneled into India by the CIA affiliate Ford Foundation.
Gentlemen of the jury, you will be asked to determine whether the accused are GUILTY of being CIA stooges or GUILTY of being ISI stooges. Until you determine their guilt, they will be presumed innocent.
As regards Accused #4, the jury is advised to consider the claim that he has already received suitable punishment in the form of a beating.Notes* This is a judicial appointment as he has been appointed by the Internet Court of Justice**.
PS: Apart from key members of the Aam Aadmi Party, those on the email list include members of the public specially chosen to be members of the jury.
From: "Vaidyanathan R"
L'Affaire SpiceJet, The Curious Case of Spice Jet Sale – Smell a Scam!
Modi-Luft, which was launched as a collaboration between Indian Industrialist S K Modi and Lufthansa the German carrier in 1993, ceased operations in 1996. In 2004, Ajay Singh raised funds & restarted operations as SpiceJet following the low-cost model. Spice Jet leased 3 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and started operations. In 2005, the Airports Authority of India approved three overnight parking slots to SpiceJet, with two in Delhi and one in Mumbai. The first flight was flagged off by then Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Praful Patel. By 2008, it was India's second-largest low-cost carrier in terms of market share.
Kalanidhi Maran, the media baron based in South, acquired 37.7% stake in SpiceJet in June 2010. In 2012, SpiceJet suffered losses of over ₹390 million (approx. US$6 million) owing to increase in global crude prices. On 9 January 2012, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation reported that several airlines in India, including SpiceJet, have not maintained crucial data for the flight operations quality assurance or the FOQA.
The Bombay stock exchange announced that ever since June 2011, SpiceJet had been suffering losses. In 2012, Despite the losses, Kalanidhi Maran increased his stake in SpiceJet by investing ₹1billion (US$16 million) in the airline.
The airline returned to profitability at the end of the year. For a detailed time line of events, see the list below:
- In 2013, SpiceJet launched its first inter-line pact with Tiger Air in 2013. In July 2014, SpiceJet announced up to 50 per cent discounts due to competition.
- In December 2014, SpiceJet cancelled many domestic flights across the country. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued warning over non-payment of salaries and dues, while the airport operators moved to put the carrier on cash-and-carry mode, which means the airline could use the facilities of an airport only upon immediate payment.
- On December 17, all flights were grounded after oil companies refused to refuel its planes.
- In January 2015, the board of directors of SpiceJet transferred control of the airline to Ajay Singh, the founder of SpiceJet who as we saw earlier, used to run the airlines earlier. At this time Ajay Singh had 4.5% stake in the Airlines. Subsequently Kalanidhi Maran transfers SpiceJet stake to Ajay Singh via 'Scheme of Reconstruction and Revival for the takeover of ownership, management and control of SpiceJet Limited'.
But there are too many questions about this "bailout" or sale. SpiceJet is owned by the public and begs an important question – Can a public listed company be acquired without disclosing the acquisition scheme or the purchase price?
Three issues of public importance were kept secret –
- Scheme Details were not disclosed,
- Acquisition price not disclosed and
- Open Offer was exempted without valid reason.
It is extra-ordinary that the exemptions from open offer as well as non-disclosure of prices are making one feel about the emergence of a scam of massive magnitude which will haunt this government. Not only that the Form B and D filings made by both the Maran's and Ajay Singh where they speak of this off-market transaction in the column which asks for buy value, they have put the face value of shares and not the actual transaction price. In the filing made by Ajay Singh under regulation 10(6) of the substantial acquisition and takeover regulations, when asked to disclose the price at which the shares are proposed to be acquired, he said that in terms of the share sale and purchase agreement the consideration paid by the acquirer for the acquisition of these shares is confidential.
Confidentiality is being claimed for a mandatory public disclosure and it is atrocious to say the least. Both in letter and spirit it is not tenable. Let us be clear that this is a private transaction in a public company. It is not some private deal.
Every provision that requires disclosure needs to be met when the acquisition is close to 60 percent of a listed company. To begin with if there is an exemption being availed of at the minimum, the form says spell out the price. I think fundamentally whether the exemption is even available to them is questionable. SEBI has a lot to answer in this case –
- SEBI Act section 12A says a contrivance or a device to circumvent provision of the regulation is itself a violation. This is a classic case of contrivance and structured essentially to force fit within the exemption. This secret price is what is termed as a "dud" price in the market, grossly under-valued is supposedly by Goldman Sachs, a US based Consulting Company. The accounting procedure adopted as well as the process of price discovery –in the absence of open offer- is not known.
- The officials in Civil Aviation Ministry were also complicit in this process to enable the sale of nearly 60 per cent shares of Spice Jet at a secret and reportedly dud price of a Stock Exchange listed company, by underwriting the source of the Rs. 1,300 crores of infusion of funds by a defacto bankrupt Ajai Singh. The Ministry ought to have found out the source of the fund.
"Here what is happening is, that a private owner of a public company gets an exit at an undisclosed price, terms not disclosed to the public shareholders, it would otherwise trigger an open offer, you call that takeover a scheme of takeover of management and ownership and reconstruction, call the Ministry of Civil Aviation a competent authority and then say this force fits within the exemption. In my view the letter of the law too is not met.
There are judgments where schemes approved by a court of law have been held to be a contrivance and an open offer has been forced which has been even upheld all the way in appellate processes. In that light to have a share purchase agreement masquerading as a scheme is extraordinary."
Further, on Jan 30th: Spicejet Board approves [BSE filing] 'To create, offer, issue and allot up to 3,750,000 non-convertible Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares of Rs.1,000 each to Mr. Kalanidhi Maran and / or Kal Airways Private Limited on preferential basis.' But even this needs shareholders' approval since preference shares are quasi-equity.
Marans and power of politics
SpiceJet is a fit case for quick action in shareholder interest because of the track record of the Marans. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Dayanidhi Maran for diverting 323 high-speed phone lines to his home and connecting them through a dedicated underground cable to the SunTV network, to avoid paying fat telecom charges.
In August 2014, CBI also booked Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi on charges of receiving a bribe of Rs742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis case and of coercing entrepreneur C Sivasankaran to sell Aircel to Maxis.
The astute observer of the financial scene and its entire underbelly – Ms. Sucheta Dalal of Harshad Mehta scam buster fame- asks a pertinent question
"Finally, will Minister [Civil Aviation] Ashok Gajapati Raju tell us why the Rs600-crore bailout will not be a futile when SpiceJet's outstanding's are in excess of Rs2, 000 crore? What other steps has he taken to ensure that he is not asking banks, who have already lent over Rs1,500 crore to SpiceJet, to throw good money after bad, if the management fails to secure the long-term investment that it hopes to get?"
– Sucheta Dalal
But of course Marans are not the run of the mill business barons. They are the nephews of ex-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.Karunanidhi who at one time announced the cabinet ministers' name and portfolio from his Chennai residence which was meekly accepted by UPA1 headed by the then Prime Mininster Manmohan Singh.
About Ajay Singh who is supposed to run the future show at SpiceJet, the less said the better. Ajay Singh is presumbaly Director of 40 or so companies. Some are allegedly bankrupt. Normally Ashish Singh, Shivani Singh, Anupriya Singh are the common Directors in his companies. Seems brother, sister in law and kids…their address of most companies are:
D-32, Kalinidy Colony,
New Delhi – 110065.
One great finding is that he also owned Allianz Infratech, which got two telecom licences and merged with Balwa's Swan Telecom in months… he is actively involved in telecom. He was very close to the then telecom minister Pramod Mahajan—who is no more.
So where are we today? SpiceJet is flying again and everyone involved is hoping that it will be "business as usual".
Recently RBI governor Raghuram Rajan in an important lecture in memory of Dr. Kurien, gave a brilliant analysis of the "crony capital' scenario:
"The firm and its many workers, as well as past bank loans, are the hostages in this game of chicken – the promoter threatens to run the enterprise into the ground unless the government, banks, and regulators make the concessions that are necessary to keep it alive. And if the enterprise regains health, the promoter retains all the upside, forgetting the help he got from the government or the banks – after all, banks should be happy they got some of their money back!
No wonder government ministers worry about a country where we have many sick companies but no "sick" promoters!"
This L'Affaire SpiceJet has all the spice to become the first known major scam of this NDA Government. It has all ingredients of violations of several sections of PCA/ FEMA/ PMLA/ IPC/ SEBI Act/ Companies act. The sooner Government wakes up and ACTS to comply with all these acts better for it. Otherwise the government will have egg on its face.
The author Prof. R Vaidyanathan is Professor of Finance at IIM-B. Views are personal.
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no need to get excited: china is continuing to screw us