SC gives nod to 27 per cent quota for OBCs

April 10, 2008 11:26 IST
Last Updated: April 10, 2008 12:47 IST

In a major boost to reservation, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Constitution amendment law providing for 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes in IITs, IIMs and other Central educational institutions, but excluded the creamy layer from the benefit.

Coverage: The Reservation Issue

A five-judge Constitution bench cleared the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 providing for the quota, by a unanimous verdict.

The bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan excluded the creamy layer among the OBCs from the quota benefit.

The court held that the Act does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.

The verdict came on a bunch of petitions by anti-quota activists challenging the Act. They vehemently opposed government's move saying caste cannot be the starting point for identifying backward classes.

The inclusion of creamy layer in the reservation policy was also questioned by the anti-quota petitioners.
With this judgment, the interim order of March 29, 2007 staying the implementation of the Act has been lifted.
In effect, the reservation policy can be put in place for the 2008-09 academic session.

The court held that the Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act, under which the government came out with the law providing 27 per cent quota in Centrally-aided institutions, was not violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

All judges favoured periodic revision on the implementation of the 27 per cent quota.

The court ruled that the delegation of power to the Centre to determine OBCs was valid.

The parameter applied for identifying the creamy layer among the OBCs for jobs as per the office memorandum of September 8, 1993, will be applicable, the court said.

It also held as valid the exclusion of minority institutions from the ambit of quota under the Act.
Besides the Chief Justice, the bench comprised Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker, R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari.

SC gives nod to 27 per cent quota for OBCs

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Olympics to 'rebound from crisis'

 

The head of the International Olympic Committee has said the Beijing Games will rebound from "crisis" after days of protests along the torch route.

Jacques Rogge told a meeting of national committees in the Chinese capital that they should assure their countries the Games would succeed.

The US stage of the torch relay passed off amid confusion and tight security in San Francisco on Wednesday.

The route was totally changed at the last minute amid anti-Chinese protests.

Torch-bearers were immersed in a cocoon of security, surrounded by dozens of police officers and Chinese guards in track-suits.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Olympics to 'rebound from crisis'

Highly-skilled Indian workers win court challenge in UK-UK-World-The Times of India

 

LONDON: An estimated 30,000 Indians and 19,000 other non-Europeans successfully overturned the British government's hardline new rules for highly-skilled migrant workers on Tuesday with the High Court decisively ruling the immigration changes "unlawful" and a rank "abuse of (administrative) power".
Tuesday's legal triumph for the Highly-Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), the non-profit campaign organisation that was the lead appellant in the 14-month case, puts Britain's progressively-tighter immigration policies under the microscope.
It comes almost exactly six months after thousands of Indian doctors won their High Court challenge to the British government to force it to treat them on a par with European medics.
The High Court judgement dismissed the government's argument that it was in the "public interest...the national interest" retrospectively to apply changes to HSMP visas.
The ruling, by Judge Sir George Newman, means that Britain will be forced to grant entry, residence and/or settlement to non-European Union nationals who entered the UK under the 2002 HSMP rules.
But a defiant government said it wants to appeal.
Newman said, in his landmark judgement, "In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the terms of the original scheme should be honoured and that there is no good reason why those already on the scheme shall not enjoy the benefits of it as originally offered to them. Good administration and straightforward dealing with the public require it. Not to restrain the impact of the changes would, in my judgment, give rise to conspicuous unfairness and an abuse of power."
Flushed with victory, an ebullient Amit Kapadia, the HSMP Forum's executive director, told TOI, "We are relieved and happy and very glad that British justice is available as a last resort when there is a clear abuse of power by the government. This is a lesson for this government and those in the future".
The judge ruled that it was only fair the UK apply the original HSMP rules to thousands of non-European nationals who migrated to the UK in the "legitimate expectation" they were entitled to a year-long stay, a two-year visa extension, then a further three years before applying for settlement.
He ruled it unlawful to apply the 2006 points-based immigration rules to existing HSMP visa-holders as criteria for remaining in the UK.
But the judge ruled that "the old scheme constituted an integrated and entire programme and that it was not open to the government to alter the terms and conditions upon which the pre-arranged stages were to be implemented."
The High Court ruling means that hundreds of Indian HSMP visa-holders who were forced to go back to India can now legitimately ask to return to the UK. It will also finally mean the freedom from fear – of deportation – for 100,000 Indians here, which is thought to signify the total number of HSMP visa-holders and their families.
Indian HSMP visa-holders said they felt "vindicated" in their claim, first revealed by TOI, that they had been suddenly disenfranchised by Britain's allegedly "racist, Idi Amin-style immigration policies".
The HSMP Forum, which brought its legal challenge against the government with the thousands of pounds it collected from its often-impecunious members, said it was a comeuppance for "the immigration department (which) was obsessed with defending their decision and were not open to any reasoning. We had no other recourse but to approach the judiciary".

Highly-skilled Indian workers win court challenge in UK-UK-World-The Times of India

Inflation at new high, hits the 7%-mark

April 04, 2008 12:17 IST
Last Updated: April 04, 2008 12:49 IST

Inflation galloped to 7 per cent for the week ended March 22, on higher prices of food, vegetables, minerals and manufactured items, even as measures to tame prices are expected to take effect only in 2-3 weeks.
Inflation growth in the previous week was 6.68 per cent and was 6.54 per cent in the corresponding week a year-ago.
On Monday, the government decided to abolish import duty  on crude form of edible oils, cut rate on refined edible oils and ban non-basmati rice exports among other measures to ease the pressure off prices.
However, Manila-based Asian Development Bank expects these measures to influence prices only by the month end.
The high rate of inflation could also prompt the Reserve Bank of India to take monetary measures, like hike in interest rate or tighten money supply through hike in CRR.
During the week, prices of fruits and vegetable, pulses, cereals, eggs, meat and fish went up, while condiments and spices were cheaper. The mineral category-index shot up by 38.2 per cent driven by 46 per cent rise in prices of iron ore.
In the manufactured items category, sunflower oil, vanaspati, butter, mustard oil, sugar and groundnut oil became expensive, while prices of ghee, coconut oil mellowed down by 1 per cent each.
At the same time, prices of steel ingots, alloy steel casting were higher. However, car chassis moved down by one per cent.

Also Read:

Inflation at new high, hits the 7%-mark

The Hindu News Update Service

Kallis, de Villiers cement South Africa's position

Ahmedabad (PTI): Jacques Kallis and A B de Villiers cemented South Africa's already dominant position with a record fifth wicket 189-run stand to take the visitors to 306 for four at lunch in the second cricket Test against India here on Friday.

The duo, who joined forces on Thursday when the visitors were 117 for four replying to the Indian first innings total of 76, faced 279 balls during the stand, leaving the visitors ahead of the home team by 230 runs.

At lunch, Kallis was unbeaten on 97, three short of his 30th Test century, while the more attacking de Villiers, who completed his fifth ton and first against India in the last over before lunch, was on 102.

The duo's unfinished stand overhauled the previous fifth-wicket best of 164 between Kallis and Lance Klusener against the hosts done at Bangalore during the 1999-2000 visit by the Proteas.

The well-settled pair, which resumed at the overnight 223 for four, was hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers in the opening hour of play, barring once when Kallis was nearly bowled off his gloves.

Kallis was lucky that the ball hit the stumps without disturbing the bails when he batted against off spinner Harbhajan Singh, the hosts' most penetrative bowler on Thursday.

Later, the burly all-rounder survived a close leg before appeal when trying to pull Indian pacer S Sreesanth. TV replays indicated he could have been declared out.

Kallis and de Villiers added 83 runs in 29 overs in the session, with the former scoring 37 and the more enterprising de Villiers adding 43 to slowly take the match away from India's grasp.

In the first over after drinks, de Villiers, who once again showed fleetness of foot to negotiate the spinners, survived a run-out attempt when on 89 in 270 for four.

The batsman tapped R P Singh to the vacant fine leg position and, after a yes-no with partner Kallis, was trying to scamper to the non-striker's end when Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected the ball and threw it wide of the bowler whose aim at the stumps after a dive was way off the mark.

At lunch, the powerfully built Kallis had hit 11 fours and a six, while facing 223 balls and staying for 287 minutes at the crease.

The Indian attack looked mostly clueless. The pacers tried to dig the ball in on the slow pitch offering low bounce and were hammered with pull shots by the 32-year-old Kallis.

The rub of the green also seemed to go against their attempts to come back into the game after having become the first team from the country to be bowled out in the first session of a Test match on Thursday.




The Hindu News Update Service

Videocon eyeing Motorola`s handset biz: report

Indiainfoline.com-Top stories,Leader speak,company news,sector news,Market talk,lifestyle,budget,market today,global indicators

India Infoline News Service / Mumbai Apr 02, 2008 10:54

According to media reports, Videocon group chairman said that we have expressed our interest in acquiring Motorola’s handset business. We learnt from a reliable source that they will be selling it and when they do we are sending an expression of interest.

The Videocon group is planning to bid for Motorola's troubled handset unit, if the US-based company decides to sell the loss-making business. According to media reports, Videocon group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot has been quoted as saying that Videocon is in the initial stages of evaluating a bid.

"We have learnt from a reliable source that they (Motorola) will be selling it and when they do we are sending an expression of interest," he added. According to a financial daily, the group has hired a leading investment banker to convey its interest to buy out the mobile handset business of Motorola.

Motorola, on March 26 said it plans to split into two companies next year amid pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to spin off the handset business that it pioneered 25 years ago. The board is looking for a new CEO for the mobile handset business, Motorola said.

Motorola spokespersons declined to comment on the news.

Motorola's handset business may be worth about US $3.8bn, according to Merrill Lynch. That's more than double the market value of Videocon Industries Ltd., the Videocon group's listed company. Some analysts say Motorola won't sell its mobile handset business to Videocon as it does not have a global brand value.

Having said that there are definite synergies to be had as Videocon group's subsidiary Datacom has received license for launching pan-India mobile operations and is awaiting allotment of spectrum.

The group plans to invest Rs60bn on the mobile services business across all the 23 circles in India. It is looking at a subscriber base of 25mn in the next three years. India adds around 7-8mn new mobile users every month.

So, the potential is quite big given the tele-density of just 25% in the country. At the same time, the challenges too are quite a few. One is the stiff competition among global mobile phone makers and low margins of the business.

Second, how will Videocon fund the acquisition, considering the ongoing turmoil in global credit markets. Another issue is how to revive the Motorola brand, which has seen its market share erode considerably over the past 12 months. Motorola has lost its No.2 spot to Samsung due to lack of strong products.

Last year, Motorola sold over 159mn mobil e phones globally. Its market share is down to around 14%, just behind Samsung, and way below Nokia, which is the No.1 brand with a market share of close to 40%.

Indiainfoline.com-Top stories,Leader speak,company news,sector news,Market talk,lifestyle,budget,market today,global indicators

Airtel, Google come together for Airtel Live Portal

Indian telecom service provider Airtel has announced the launch of an all-in-one Internet portal called Airtel Live. This service is powered by Airtel broadband and software-cum-Internet giant Google.

Customers at airtellive.com will get free access to a number of Google products including Google Apps messaging and collaboration suite which comprises Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. It will also include the Start Page feature which allows users to create a customizable home page.

Besides Google, Airtel has partnered with other Indian companies like shaadi.com, naukri.com and 24×7guru. With this partnership, Airtel Live will also offer exclusive deals and discounts to customers.

Atul Bindal, President, Airtel Telemedia services commented on the launch saying, “Airtellive.com is a milestone in Airtel’s broadband strategy and it builds upon the current broadband ecosystem infrastructure to establish an Internet destination for web applications.”

“It underlines our commitment towards simplifying and adding value to our broadband customers and driving the adoption of broadband in the country,” he added.

Users will definitely enjoy the Airtel Live experience as the collaboration includes two major powerhouses who will offer a good customer experience with their expertise and innovation.

Airtel, Google come together for Airtel Live Portal

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Olympic torch re-lit in Beijing

The Olympic torch has been re-lit at a lavish ceremony in Beijing, after arriving aboard a flight from Athens.

image

Chinese President Hu Jintao took part in the event at Tiananmen Square to welcome the torch to the city, which hosts of the 2008 Olympics in August.

Tight security was put in place at the square, amid concerns of possible anti-government protests.

Last week protesters opposed to China's actions in Tibet clashed with police at the lighting ceremony in Greece.

On Tuesday, the torch goes to Almaty in Kazakhstan, its next stop on a tour of 20 countries before returning for the opening of the Beijing games on 8 August.

See map of Olympic torch relay route

Square closed

Hundreds of schoolchildren turned out at Beijing airport, waving flags as the Air China plane arrived.

Students and workers sang the Olympic slogan "One World, One Dream" and waved pom-poms.

Security was tight in the centre of Beijing, with one underground station near Tiananmen Square closed, and the square closed off to vehicles.

'Timeless symbol'

Sunday's formal handover was held in the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896.

The Chinese and Greek flags were marched in by Greek athletes to the strains of a band, before a circle of white-clad actresses dressed as ancient priestesses surrounded a podium as the torch was brought in.

Minos Kyriakou, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, passed the flame to chief Beijing organizer Liu Qi.

"The Olympic flame is the timeless symbol which stirs admiration, pride and faith [in] the Olympic ideals and values," said Mr Kyriakou.

"I hope the world community welcomes the flame and honours it".

Mr Liu pointed out that the summit of Mount Everest was on the torch's destination list, "testifying to the great strength of the Olympic movement in marking the progress of human civilisation".

The protesters tried to unfurl a banner which said "Stop genocide in Tibet", but failed to enter the stadium or disrupt the solemn ceremony.

At least six people were arrested.

Police had warned they would confiscate all banners, signs or objects that might be thrown.

OLYMPIC TORCH ROUTE

Olympic torch relay route

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Olympic torch re-lit in Beijing

Official Gmail Blog: Newest Gmail features now available for Google Apps users

Official Gmail Blog: Newest Gmail features now available for Google Apps users

NDTV.com: Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics

Sunday, March 30, 2008 (New York)

The Indian American Intellectuals Forum has urged the United States to boycott the coming Olympics to send a ''clear and strong'' message to Beijing that Washington would not tolerate suppression of and brutalities against peace-loving Tibetans.

''This will be a minimal symbolic gesture of our solidarity with the Tibetan people,'' said the Forum President Narain Kataria in a letter to President George Bush on Saturday.

Kataria said that in 2002, US Congress had passed the Tibetan Policy Act that calls for the preservation of culture and identity of Tibetans living in exile and in Tibet.

''Under that act, it is the sacred duty of United States to protect the non-violent Tibetans from the brutal wrath of Chinese army,'' he stressed.

Pointing to ''reign of terror and repression'' let loose by the ''world's largest military dictatorship on ''hapless non violent'' Tibetans, Kataria said ever since China forcibly occupied the nation, there have been many reports of ''widespread mistreatment of civilians, torture of detainees and political prisoners.''

''There is a string of serious and severe violations of human rights,'' he said.
Tibet, the letter said, is overwhelmingly of the Buddhist faith. As Buddha was born in India, Buddhism is like a sister religion to the Hinduism.

''Hindu people in India even believe Lord Buddha to be an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu. There is a symbiotic relationship between Hindus and Buddhists and hence, the Hindu people are very concerned about the miserable plight of Tibetan civilians at the hands of Chinese army,'' he added.

Stating that there is precedent, Kataria recalled the boycott of Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

NDTV.com: Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics

Iraqi Blogger Reporting The Latest Fights! (Unbelievable!)

Fuck the big cold-hearted media! THIS is how you really report a story. This Iraqi blogger is right in the middle of everything and constantly updating his Blog. He describes the fights, how the U.S. army is responding and what the local people think. Plus he's connecting all The latest happenings in a way you won't hear from CNN, BBC and Fox!

read more | digg story

NDTV.com: Arrested SIMI chief planned terror strikes

Arrested SIMI chief Safdar Nagori had called a meeting in Indore to finalise plans for major terror strikes across the country, police sources have said.
Another SIMI activist Ehtesham has told the police that Nagori held a series of meetings to plan the strikes.
He also organised training camps in Madhya Pradesh to raise a local terror force.
Nagori's plan was to set up a completely indigenous jehadi outfit trained in the use of explosives and sophisticated arms.
He also wanted to create a force of fidayeens or suicide bombers.
Ehtesham, who was caught after the Mumbai train blasts, has also revealed that Nagori played a key role in the Malegaon and Mumbai train blasts.
With the Indore arrests, the police have managed to catch almost all major SIMI chiefs.
An ATS team Mumbai left for Madhya Pradesh on Thursday night to ask for his custody to probe his role in the blasts.
The Karnataka police have said that Nagori, Shibli and Adnan were involved in the foiled Hubli terror attack plot.

NDTV.com: Arrested SIMI chief planned terror strikes

Japanese Man Crosses Pacific with Wave-Powered Boat

Forget sails, this guy is using wave-power to cross the ocean in a custom-made boat. The boat is powered by two fins that raise and lower with the tide, which drive the propellers. On board energy is provided by solar panels and the boat is primarily made out of recycled aluminum.

read more | digg story

Two-yr-old trapped in 45-ft borewell for 20 hrs

New Delhi: On Tuesday evening, a two-year-old girl, fell in a 45-foot borewell at Tehra village in Agra. Vandana fell inside the borewell, which had been left uncovered, while playing. Villagers complained to the administration and the authorities who started rescue operations on Tuesday night.

read more | digg story

I’m not against Windows; Unix just works better

I’m biased in favor of Unix and against Windows - everybody knows that except me; my perception is that I like things that work and Unix works better.

read more | digg story

Turn Your PC into a DVD Ripping Monster

Once upon a time, the four to eight gigabyte footprint of a DVD on your hard drive was prohibitively large. But since the price of a gigabyte has plummeted, ripping your entire DVD collection to your computer is not just possible, it's prudent, and it's easy. Let's take a look at the best ways to back up and play any DVD rip on your home computer

read more | digg story

Holi

Holi, festival of colours celebrated all over India is loosing its magnificence in metropolitan cities because of busy life and non-interactivity between peoples. Everyone get him /her jailed inside home and watch TV or play games on computers or surf internet but don’t come out and celebrate while the villages celebrates the holi with great passion although some accidents happens but it doesn’t reduce the passion of peoples living in Indian villages for Holi. Even our popular TV channels doesn’t shows much about it except DD National.

I hope that people will come out of their busy life and interact with each others and celebrate festivals with great passion.


Happy Holi to all of You!

Cleaning of River Yamuna

yamuna yamuna pollution yamuna river

The Yamuna sometimes called Jamuna or Jumna is a major river in northern India having total length of approximately 1,370 kilometers. Its source is at Yamunotri and it flows through the states of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and finally merges into River Ganga at Allahabad. Mathura, Agra and Delhi are the major cities lying on the banks of this river. In 1970-80’s Yamuna was the lifeline of Delhi has now became the most polluted water resource of the country. Increasing pollution of the Yamuna has now become an international issue and a cause of concern for environmentalists. Big industries, Factories, Peoples living in colonies, slums and rural areas everyone pollute this holy river. 18 drains of city falls into the river as it covers distance of 22 km in Delhi. City dumps its 3,296 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage in the river. A few years back when the pollution level of Yamuna increased alarmingly, the Delhi government woke up. A number of projects were launched by the government to clean the Yamuna, but till date nothing has happened. Yamnua Action Plan has not given desired results because it is not in accordance with the Master Plan for Delhi-2021. Last Year Delhi Govt. entered into agreement with Engineers India Limited to clean Yamuna. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) proposed laying down sewers along the three major drains — Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahadra drains and also make 15 sewage treatment plants functional to prevent the waste from going into this holy river. Recently DJB accepts before the court that some lapses are have gone in past regarding cleaning of river and we all knows that most sewage treatment plants are malfunctioning or don’t have sufficient maintenance and manpower due to corruption and lack of administration. Delhi Govt said that it will be not able to clean the Yamuna before 2012 or upto 2010 Commonwealth Games but government had not considered to work 24 x 7 x 365 to clean the river. If cleaning work goes 24 x 7 x 365 the Holy River will be definitely clean before 2010.

In 1960 the famous Thames river of London was also got polluted but the river had been cleaned with excellent clean up model and now the river is a very important part of London’s beauty. We hope that the same will goes for Yamuna before 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The most important question is that can clean up drive become successful without the contribution of Delhites? In our country, India we all assumes that it is duty of government to do everything. If government agencies failed to do something, should not we take our own initiative and put our efforts to complete the project. It is almost impossible to make the Yamuna clean, till Delhites wake up. It is the prime duty of Delhites to help the government to save Yamuna. Only then Yamuna clean up drive can achieve its goal.

'Obviously, there is need for greater involvement of citizens' groups and volunteers

All over the world, there was a fresh reawakening about the state of rivers.

Badarpur Flyover



Badarpur flyover project has been mooted five years ago to de-congest National Highway – 2 (Mathura Road) at Badarpur Crossing. It is an important gateway to Delhi city and a link between Delhi, Faridabad, Mathura and Agra. Too much encroachments and traffic increase the chaos. Many attempts have been done to remove encroachments from the main crossing to increase space for traffic but to no avail because of political interference, corruption and lack of administration.

Approximately 100000 (one lakh) vehicles daily ply on this road and 45 to 50 minutes is the waiting time and goes up in night due to commercial traffic on highway. Approximately 500000 (five lacs) peoples use this road daily basis and 45 minutes wastage means 500000 x 45 = 22500000 minutes mean 3,75,000 hours are wasted. If we calculate on monetary scale than 375000 * 300 (average income for one hour) = Rs. 11,25,00,000/- are wasted on daily basis. If we multiply its from 1825 days i.e 5 (five) years the figure will be Rs. 2,05,31,25,00,000/- is wasted from our national income. In last five years the cost of construction had gone tremendously high which is clear loss to Ex-Chequer’s and also affected the nation’s prosperity. Apart from financial losses the traffic chaos on the road increase pollution heavily and also affects health of commuters.

Many of the industrial associations of Faridabad is saying that cheap land in city attracts many industrial ventures but traffic bottleneck on the approach roads stops businessmen’s and Corporate Sector to starts their project in city.

To deal with all these problems the concept of six lane flyover had been mooted which again did not visualized because of procedural and political compulsions. Flyover will start from BTPC and ends at Sec-37 Faridabad. To construct flyover first of all slip and services roads had to be constructed on both side of border by their respective state governments. National Highway Authority of India will borne the cost of flyover while state governments are responsible for ancillary works.

Now the issue had been raised in parliament also so some news are flashed that work on the flyover is expected to begin by July 2008.