Monday, January 31, 2011

Sahara salutes Mumbai, Dantewada & Kargil martyrs

Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate of India, observed Shaheed Diwas of the Father of Nation - Mahatma Gandhi, at Sahara Shaher along with the families of the Martyrs who laid their lives for the country during three of the worst attacks inflicted on the nation in recent times, which are the Kargil War, 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack and Dantewada Massacre. It has been over a decade that Sahara India Pariwar is financially and emotionally supporting the families of martyrs who displayed the unmatched valor, grit & courage at the time when our nation was under attack. Today, 298 families of martyrs are being provided financial assistance from Sahara India Pariwar and the total support extended so far, amounts to over Rs. 20 crores.
The ceremony witnessed the felicitation of the 127 families of Kargil, Mumbai and Dantewada martyrs by Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar and other members of Sahara India Pariwar.
The families of Kargil, Mumbai and Dantewada martyrs came together from all across the country on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas to join Sahara India Pariwar in paying tribute to the national heroes who attained immortality through their supreme sacrifice of life in upholding our esteem and strengthening the edifice of our indivisible national unity. 
On this occasion, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar said, “We are indebted to the brave sons of our beloved motherland who have laid their life for the nation and its people. The sacrifices of the families of the martyrs are also no less, who have faced the trauma, pain and difficulty, which ascended on them. We have to remember that these gems of our nation were cast in these homes and among these families only. It is our responsibility to take full care and give highest respect to the families whose bright sons placed their love for the nation and its billions of people, above their own affections, hopes, aspirations and even life. I, on behalf of the entire Sahara India Pariwar, extend my gratitude to them and their families and would like to re-emphasize our commitment towards them. Today, I feel privileged to host the families of martyrs and I feel really honoured in doing anything for them. The sacrifice of the martyrs is so great that no honour can match it. In fact the family members of these great martyrs have honoured us by accepting our small gesture of honour for them. We truly feel honoured and stand highly obliged”
On knowing about some of the Kargil Martyrs families where children are still small and they are facing some financial problems, Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara, today announced to further extent Sahara’s financial support to the 301 children of 152 Kargil martyrs, who are still below the age of 18 years, till their adulthood.

Sahara India Pariwar is a major business conglomerate in India with operations in multiple sectors, including financial services, housing finance, mutual funds, life insurance, city development, real estate activities, print and television media, film production, sports, information technology, healthcare, tourism, hospitality, commodity sales & services and consumer products.
Sahara India Pariwar has always been prompt in its services towards the nation and its nationals who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of nationalism. Sahara India Pariwar’s commitment to Social Welfare is evident from the fact that 25% of its profits every year are dedicated towards social development activities. In fact, it’s the firm conviction of the Chief Guardian of Sahara India Pariwar, Hon’ble Saharasri, Subrata Roy Sahara that every organization, along with its own development and progress should also contribute towards the cause of the society and the nation at large.
Sahara also works on various Health programmes, including Mobile Healthcare Units, under which 49 medical vans across the country are running 30 days a month, throughout the year, taking free primary healthcare services to the remotest rural areas where medical services do not exist. Besides this, Sahara also works on various programs on Nutrition, Literacy, Vocational Training, Civic Development, Behavioral Change, Communication and Rehabilitation of the Physically Challenged People.
Under its Disaster Management initiatives, Sahara has always stood up in the need of the hour of the country, be it super cyclone of Orissa, earthquake in Gujarat, drought in Rajasthan or floods in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Sahara has adopted Bhimasar-Chakasar village in Taluka Anjar, District Kutch for relocation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the village along with basic amenities, panchayat ghar, bus stop, post office, play ground, primary and secondary school and street lights. When the devastating earthquake hit Latur district of Maharashtra, Sahara India Pariwar came forward to rehabilitate the earthquake stricken citizens of the region and also developed a cluster of earthquake houses in Killari Village in Latur, The houses were handed over to the villagers by Reverend Mother Teresa.    

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

President voices concern over paid news

President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil has emphasized the need to curb the influence of money power in the elections besides looking at the criteria for contesting candidates so that criminals are debarred from contesting elections. Electoral practices and procedures should be constantly be improved to further strengthening our democracy. Good electoral practices and high conduct will attract the youth as well as talented and capable people to politics .
 “ We should also be constantly looking at how processes can be improved, and how our democracy can be further strengthened. Some of the persistent concerns are the criteria for candidates to fight elections, so that criminals and other such elements are debarred from contesting elections. Good electoral practices and high 

conduct will attract the youth as well as talented and capable people to politics. The influence of money needs to be curbed. Elections are not about buying votes, it is about selecting candidates committed to working for the aspirations of the people and hence, eligible to be a representative of the people.” The President was speaking at the valedictory function of Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India ( ECI) and launch of National Voters’ day at New Delhi today. 

“Money can distort choices of the people, when voters are influenced through free distribution of goods, or through distortion of perception through paid news. I am sure that the Election Commission will continue to look at ways and means to make our electoral processes and procedures much more robust and free of any malpractices,” the President said. “If need be, necessary legislation and procedures must be introduced to achieve these objectives,” she added. 

Commending the ECI’s role in conducting successfully 15 Lok Sabha and more than 300 elections to the State Legislative Assemblies in over last six decades, thereby facilitating peacefully, orderly and democratic transfer of power, the President said this experience gained by the ECI has enabled it to improve and adopt latest technological tools for enhancing quality and quantity of its operations. 

The President expressed her happiness to commemorate the founding day of the Election Commission - the 25th of January - from now onwards, which will be observed as the National Voter's Day every year, to spread awareness among voters about effective participation in the electoral process. “Comprehensive and correct electoral rolls are the very foundation of a successful election. Every year a significant number of young people on attainment of 18 years of age also become eligible as voters. In spite of the annual exercise for the revision of electoral rolls, a significant number of new voters do not come on to the voters list for one reason or another,” she added . Lauding the ECI for this initiative , she said that in order to overcome this, the Commission has decided to carry out a regular exercise to identify all eligible voters, across the more than eight lakh polling stations in the country, and give to them Election Photo Identity Cards on 25th January at every polling station. To launch the National Voters Day at the National level, the President , on the occasion conferred the Electors Photo Identify Cards to five young girls and boys , who turned 18 as on 1st January ,2011 and became the newly registered voters on the first National Voters Day. 

Complimenting the ECI for the gigantic mechanism and efforts put in for the smooth functioning of the electoral process, the President said “Now the Election Commission is fulfilling the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. At one stroke by giving voting rights, the barriers of caste, creed, gender, rich and poor, religious discrimination all were brushed aside, and all came on one platform, and became the pillar of a robust democracy. The Election Commission thus brought that dream into reality.” 

In his welcome address , Dr S.Y. Quraishi , the Chief Election Commissioner ( CEC) said “The National Voters’ Day is borne out of a deep concern of the Election Commission of India to involve every Indian in the democratic electoral process and to create a situation in which each eligible person exercises his or her franchise, in true blossoming of democracy.” He said that today, at about 800,000 Polling Stations around the country, exactly the same thing is happening, that newly eligible and registered voters are being given their political empowerment by means of their Voter Identity Cards. They are also being administered pledge to “vote in every election fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any inducement”. They all have been given a badge that reads “Proud to be a Voter, Ready to Vote”, the CEC added. He further said that following the special countrywide campaign in the just concluded revision of electoral rolls, 5.2 millions of youth who turned 18 as on 1st January have been additionally enrolled. The overall additional enrolment is 17 million. He hoped that this initiative will give the youth a sense of citizenship, empowerment, pride and participation and also inspire them to exercise their franchise, when the occasion comes. Commission’s objective is to use this occasion to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality and thereby enhance the quality of Indian democracy. The day will also be utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process, Dr Quraishi added. 

Dr Quraishi also announced the decision of decision of the ECI to consolidate the country’s election management skills available from the polling station level upwards at a central institute, named as the Indian Institute of Democracy and Election Management - IIDEM. and build up a resource centre accompanied by in-depth documentation for learning by both national and international practitioners of elections and related fields. 

While speaking on the occasion, Dr Veerappa Moily , Minister for Law & Justice said that democracy in the country has stood the test of time and we all are proud of it and new movement in the shape of “ National Voters Day” will take this message forward. He further said that this day will provide impetus to the comprehensive agenda set for Electoral Reforms by both Ministry of Law & Justice and ECI. In order to take it forward , seven state and one National level consultations with all stakeholders are planned , out of which three consultations are already held , he added. 

In her address, Smt. Meera Kumar, Speaker , Lok Sabha lauded the role of Election Commission in conducting the free and fair elections in the country. She called the elections conducted by ECI as “Green Elections” because of conserving trees with the usage of Electronic Voting Machines for election purpose. 

Mrs. Ambika Soni , Minister of Information & Broadcasting in her address said that Election Commission has played a crucial role in strengthening electoral processes and hoped that the new initiative will reinforce the trust of voters in the electoral process. She also assured to ECI the total support of media units under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in vigorously joining hands with it to popularise its campaign “ Proud to be a Voter , Ready to Vote”. Smt Soni handed over the CD of a short commemorative film on Indian Elections in the last 60 years, brought out with active support of Doordarshan, to the Hon’ble President for releasing on the occasion. 

Mr. V.S. Sampath , Election Commissioner gave the introduction of “ Best Electoral Practices Awards , which were presented by the President to eight District Election officers , Superintendents of Police for their efforts in introducing the innovative practices in conducting elections in their respective Districts. 

The function was attended by the leaders of all National and State level Political parties, Constitutional and statutory authorities, former Chief Election Commissioners and Election Commissioners , members of the diplomatic corps and over 30 Heads of National Electoral Management Bodies from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, Mexico, Venezuela, Guyana, Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Botswana. Representatives of International IDEA Sweden; IFES, USA, AAEA, Taiwan; Malaysian Commonwealth Study Centre, UK , University of North Carolina, USA also attended the function.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CBI ends freeze of Money Matters' accounts

Investigator admits no justification for the freeze on Rs 700 worth accounts

MUMBAI, Jan 21: CBI has agreed to withdraw the freeze of bank accounts of Money Matters Financial Services and its subsidiaries in a case pertaining to the LIC Housing Finance home loan scam.
 During the hearing in Bombay High Court, CBI admitted that it has no justification for the accounts freeze the Bank Accounts and Fixed Deposits of Money Matters Financial Services and its subsidiaries. It has given an undertaking to withdraw the seizure notices immediately”.
Money Matters Financial Services Ltd. (MMFSL) and its subsidiaries had filed a petition with the High Court for quashing of the notices issues by CBI EOW freezing their various Bank Accounts, Fixed Deposits etc. aggregating to approx. Rs. 700 cr. In the course of argument and discussions today in the High Court, the Honourable High Court came to a conclusion that there was no causal connection of the Bank Accounts of the Petitioners (MMFSL and its Subsidiaries) with the alleged offences in the FIR. The CBI was unable to satisfy the High Court as to why they had frozen various Bank Accounts. Thereforre CBI Counsel ultimately gave an undertaking to forthwith withdraw the seizure notices on all the Bank Accounts that were earlier frozen by CBI without any condition.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Its official! Adarsh will be demolished

NEW DELHI, Jan 17: The Ministry of Environment &Forests has decided to remove the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS) building in Mumbai .Out of three potions the Ministry has decided to remove entire structure.It was, ‘Removal of the entire structure since it is unauthorised and no clearance whatsoever under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991 was obtained.’

Other two options were removal of that part of the structure in excess of the FSI that might have been allowed had the requisite permission been sought from the appropriate authority and recommending government takeover of the building for a public use to be determined later .

Shri Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for Environment and Forests (I/C) Said, “Option II of part removal was rejected since this would have been tantamount to regularising or condoning an egregious violation of the CRZ Notification, 1991. Option III was rejected because (i) even though the final use may be in the public interest, it would still be tantamount to regularising a violation of the CRZ Notification, 1991; and (ii) there would be substantial discretionary powers that would vest with the State or Central Government in case of takeover.”

Shri Jairam further said, “I have decided on Option I. The fact that there may well be other cases of similar violations provides no grounds for mitigation of the penalty attracted by such an egregious violation as that by ACHS. Any other decision would have diluted the strong precedents that have been set in judgments of the Supreme Court and different High Courts. ACHS has violated the very spirit of the CRZ Notification, 1991 by not even acknowledging the need for clearance under this Notification. Whether they were aware of such requirement or not is immaterial as ignorance of law can never be an excuse for non-compliance.”

Elaborating on Coastal Regulatory Zone Notification Shri Jairam added, “Finally, I wish to reiterate that the CRZ Notification, 2011 published on January 7th, 2011 makes no difference to ACHS-like cases. In addition to the safeguards provided for such cases in the CRZ Notification, 2011 itself, this practice is substantiated by the principle enshrined in Article 20(1) of the Constitution which states “No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence...”. Thus, ACHS was in violation when the CRZ Notification, 1991 was extant, action was initiated by the MoE&F when the CRZ Notification, 1991 was extant and therefore the action against ACHS will continue to be pursued.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mukesh Ambani is FC's Bizman of the year

The head honcho of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Mukesh Ambani was awarded the title of 'Businessman of the Year 2010' by Financial Chronicle last week, unanimously voted by FC's senior editors

MUMBAI: The head honcho of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Mukesh Ambani was awarded the title of 'Businessman of the Year 2010' by Financial Chronicle last week, unanimously voted by FC's senior editors. This dynamic industrialist from the highly regarded house of Reliance was an obvious winner for many reasons, beating out competition from the flock of other top-notch industrialist from the country. Known, for his risk-taking abilities, head strong attitude and creating share holder values, Mukesh Ambani is a person of multiple facets. Mounting to this esteemed status due to his successful foray into retail, hospitality, telecom and broadband, and a planned plunge into other high-growth sectors of power, pharmaceuticals and education was a battle that only an epic personality like him could have undertaken with a striding and directive mind-set. He set out to venture on his own with his father's directive principles to guide him, and today he stands as the personification of excellence and power.

Mukesh Ambani has fired the dreams of many investors, just like his father Dhirubhai Ambani. He has always focused on creating 'value' over money for not just consumers but for his employers and associates as well. Standing true to the words of trust and reliability, Reliance has led the excellence pact for many years coming out as a triumphant monolith that extends value propositions and prospect for growth.

As he reaches his self actualization status, Mukesh Ambani has rigorously made efforts to associate himself more personally with the philanthropic arm of Reliance called 'Reliance Foundation'. A humanitarian at heart, Mukesh Ambani has always supported the cause of education and empowerment for the youth. His commitment to excellence has found its way into charitable grounds and with this a hope now exists for the youth of this country to taste brilliance the Reliance way.

It does not come as a surprise that Mukesh Ambani is the winner of this title. This recognition is an appreciation of values that bind Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries. The mark of a successful company is when it strives for long-term sustainable growth. Even in the face of challenges, Mukesh Ambani has only grown from strength to strength, just like his company, reinforcing that; "commitment to growth carries on without hindrances."