Activist Nikhil Dey: To make RTI really effective, we need an accountability law for public servants

The right to information activist was convicted of a 19-year crime in Rajasthan last week.

For 30 years, social wrestler Nikhil Dey has been active in advocacy for the rights of workers, farmers and marginalized citizens. Through Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Aruna Roy Dey and Shankar Singh and their colleagues have campaigned to introduce the Right to Information Act, the Right to Food Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

On 13 June, however, Dey was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment by a Rajasthan court in a 19-year case of alleged assault. In a verdict, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan calls a “miscarriage of justice,” district court Kishangarh sentenced Dey and four other activists for assaulting Pyarelal tank, ex sarpanch of Harmar Village and Ajmer family. They were also convicted of crimes.

Dey and Sangathan denied the charges. They told me that it was the Sarpanch and his relatives who had attacked Dey and other activists when they went to the house of the Tank May 6, 1998 by requesting documentation of panchayat from funds that had been paid to various public schemes. Although activists chose not to file a complaint to the police at the time, Tanque filed a lawsuit accusing them of assault. The case was closed a month later but reopened in 2001. Sangathan said sarpanch dragged the case over for years making a series of false witnesses.

The conviction last week was an unexpected and unpleasant surprise for Dey. For now, the belief is suspended as activists have appealed against it.

While Dey chose not to speak of the case and recorded his conviction, 54-year activist spoke of displacement. As for the state of the various social assistance programs in rural India, the democracy reduction of space under Narendra Modi and why India needs a law of responsibility of public officials.

For three years the Democratic National Alliance came to power. How was this system far from the previous government?
The social sector has become much less serious today. There is practically no imagination about how poverty, farmers, vulnerable groups can be treated. Before winning the election, the NDA has openly attacked rights-based approaches and, after winning, talked only about empowering people in the market. They said they did not want a benefit-based system for people – that was their approach, in their own words.

Today, its rural development programs have failed. The good thing is that they push the Aadhaar tuition (a unique biometric identity number based on 12-digit Government wants all citizens), who claim to have improved the provision of services. But in Rajasthan, the only state that has made biometrics mandatory for access to rations, we saw that 30% of the eligible population is not able to get cereals. This is a big exception, even if the Aadhaar inscription was a great success.

We also see the tragedy of SWACHH Bharat in the way it is implemented. In rural India, Rs 12,000 were offered to each household to build a toilet – too small even for the poor. In addition, states like Rajasthan lack toilet water.

Arun Kashalkar: Meet the Zen master of Hindustani classical music

If there was a nominee to war name Jeremy Corbyn in the world of Indian music, someone who could be described as “Mr. Zen of Indian music,” would be 74, Arun Kashalkar.

The similar change in Kashalkar monk behavior is, among other things, a consequence of the hard life of the hand that manages this exceptional musician – a hand that played with remarkable dignity and patience. Small society is expected for worldly rewards or recognition of its services to music. This, in turn, allows you to make music on your own terms, without the hinders of the way it will be received by the market.

Having known for two decades, I have observed the ease with which communicates with young people who, in turn, are attracted to his absolute but pleasant personality.

Artist Sarod Abhishek Borkar, 25, says this more. “Arun Kashalkarji was chief examiner on oral and practical Bachelor’s degree exams,” said M. Borkar. “I expressed a deep appreciation of my Yama raga performance in the final, but also grilled on the Puriya-Marwa-Sohini axis during the live report or exam.Although this question forced me to delve into the differences between these ragas, Arunji made sure not to impose myself, but instead he gently told me in the right direction. He has no air. ”

The singer Khayal singer Kedar Bodas, 54, agreed: “It is monitored the musical progression of musicians almost all young people who deserve to be heard and knows exactly what region a particular musician has to work more and share the comments of In an honest way, but loving and stimulating. ”
The promoters of Indian classical music often say that the race is too complex for the average viewer and should be diluted in digestible “capsules” to be enjoyed. However, such proposals are also trying to eliminate the key ingredient that holds any art form relevant to society – a sincere intention. People are curious about Indian music, but the art form is lacking in serious commitment. The exact reason for this qualitative decline lies in the fact that most major developers are content to flirt with the fleetingly temporary curiosity of the audience rather than working to establish a long-term relationship with a cultured audience.

“The broader trend of Hindu music today is avoidance by many musicians, especially the very famous to deepen the knowledge of the subject and create music that meets the aesthetic values ​​of this art form,” Weddings said.

The antidote may be to expose young people to Hindustan classical music in its purest form. Some get there, others do not. The reason rock music of the 1960s always finds listeners, is because their authenticity continues to hit the spot. This is exactly the same reason why Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan or Kesarbai Kerkar never register. When we look at the glamor and general void of many so-called hardcore, there are only a few dozen musicians who can participate in both the experienced rasika and new music, thanks to their artisanal mastery and content. Like sincerity of intention.

With tweak in SEZ rules, Adani group firm gets Rs 500-crore bonus

In August, the government decided to change the rules relating to special economic zones that allowed an Adani group company to benefit from a bonus of around Rs 500 crore. While a predictable and correct Adani Group representative stated that the company had done nothing wrong or illegal, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance (including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (including the Minister of State Nirmala Sitharaman that Head of Department) did not respond to the detailed questionnaires sent by Economic and Political Weekly that two weeks ago, asking for an explanation of the reason for government actions that seem to favor a particular company. The Adani group is led by Gautam Adani, who is supposed to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In August 2016, the Regulation on Special Economic Zones in 2016 was amended by the Ministry of Commerce to insert a provision on claims under the Special Economic Zones Act 2005. The Law of Special Economic Zones in which the Special Economic Zones Rules are initially framed provided no provision for reimbursement of any kind before introducing the change. The change has allowed Adani limited food to have the opportunity to ask for customs repayments at the rate of Rs 500 crore. Adani limited feed claimed to have customs duties paid for raw materials and consumables, that is, imported coal for power generation. However, documents released to the EPW clear limited food qu’Adani had not actually paid the duty on raw materials and consumables Rs 1 billion rupees from the end of March 2015. Apparently, Alteration of the rules of special economic zones to insert a provision that companies are demanding reimbursement customs, the Department of Commerce allows Adani limited food with the claim of restitution by the right that was never paid for it in the first place.

Adani limited feed imports coal from Indonesia. The import of coal by the company (with others such as Reliance Infrastructure, Pink Power Supply, Essar Group companies, among others) from Indonesia has been a review of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for some time. In March 2016, management, research by the Ministry of Finance Finance Department, said that Indonesia’s coal imports were overburdened by diverting funds out of the country and electricity generation companies, including Adani limited food, has a Higher rate compensation based on the artificially inflated price of imported coal. In addition to this, the companies of the Adani and Essar groups have been accused of overloading imported equipment from the plants. These reports first appeared in the WPA in April and May last year. This instance of the so-called set of escape tasks is consistent with the claims claim rights which, in fact, have not been paid.

Located in Mundra, Gujarat, Adani Food Limited claims to have established the first coal-based power plant based on India’s “super critical technology”, with an installed capacity to generate 660 megawatts of electricity. The center of Mundra, located in the port and Adani SEZ, has a total capacity to generate 4,620 MW. The Mundra power plant.

Humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

Humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

On Friday, a multitude of alarming newsletters emerged

on Svalbard’s Global Seed Vault. Apparently, the water had violated this type of “security” of the planet’s seeds that are supposed to protect the food supply of the earth in the case of a “judgment day” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep in the Arctic slope, occurred after warmer than usual temperatures, which caused the formation of a permafrost layer, “sending cast water that gushes into the entrance tunnel” and Assuming the collection of the world’s most diverse crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“The seeds of the Arctic fortress of the world flooded after permafrost pétrissement,” the newspaper said.

“Doomsday dome of Arctic Seeds flooded. Thank you, global warming,” said Wired.

Although the water has exceeded the threshold of the vault, no seeds were damaged. However, a spokesman for Statsbygg – a group advising the Norwegian government, which owns the safe – warned that it would be a matter of time before they were.

“A lot of water occurred early in the tunnel, then it froze on the ice, so it was like a glacier when it arrived,” said spokesman Statsbygg, Heja Njaa Aschim in The Guardian of the Water Rape.

Saturday Statsbygg looked back at some of these comments in a statement posted on the secure website. Yes, there was a “water intrusion depending on the season” on the outside of the seed vault, but the group was already taking precautionary measures to improve the external tunnel to prevent future events.

“The seeds in the seed vault were never threatened and will remain safe during the implementation of measures,” the statement said.

According to the statement, proposed improvements include the removal of heat sources such as a transformer station, tunnel and the construction of drainage ditches on the side of the mountain to prevent accumulation of the water melting around the entrance. In addition, the waterproof walls were built inside the tunnel. Finally, being “better than cure” said Statsbygg researchers will monitor the development of permafrost in Svalbard.

“The seeds are safe and sound,” wrote the Crop Trust, an international non-profit group that helped establish Svalbard’s vault in 2008.

So who is it? Is that part of the water leaked in a safe “to safety test” is not serious? Or are we as a human race condemned to die, starve and cross, in case of global catastrophe?

The answer is measured. Representatives of Statsbygg and Crop Trust did not immediately respond to an interview request via e-mail Saturday. However, Confianza crops resumed an article twice in Popular Science magazine on Saturday, which seemed to indicate that the situation was not as serious as initially reported.
“In my experience, it was not the water intrusion into the face of the tunnel every year,” said Cary Fowler, an American farmer who helped create the seed vault. Although he was not in the vault watching the incident, he noted that “flooding” was probably not the most accurate word to describe what happened.

“The tunnel was never designed to be water resistant in the front because I do not think we would need it,” Fowler said in Popular Science. “What happens in the summer, the permafrost melts and the water, and when it goes, it freezes. Usually, it is not far.”

However, this does not mean that the underlying cause of warming of permafrost temperatures – should be ignored.

“At the end of the day, we have to realize that, in a sense, everything is relative to this initiative,” Fowler magazine said. “This whole planet is warming up, and that includes Svalbard.”

Global warming has been particularly notable in Arctic regions, and the melting of permafrost is only one consequence; The other includes the melting of larger glaciers, which could result in a dramatic rise in sea level, as reported by Chris Mooney of the post.

On Friday, a multitude of alarming newsletters emerged on Svalbard’s Global Seed Vault. Apparently, the water had violated this type of “security” of the planet’s seeds that are supposed to protect the food supply of the earth in the case of a “judgment day” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep in the Arctic slope, occurred after warmer than usual temperatures, which caused the formation of a permafrost layer, “sending cast water that gushes into the entrance tunnel” and Assuming the collection of the world’s most diverse crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“The seeds of the Arctic fortress of the world flooded after permafrost pétrissement,” the newspaper said.

“Doomsday dome of Arctic Seeds flooded. Thank you, global warming,” said Wired.

Although the water has exceeded the threshold of the vault, no seeds were damaged. However, a spokesman for Statsbygg – a group advising the Norwegian government, which owns the safe – warned that it would be a matter of time before they were.

“A lot of water occurred early in the tunnel, then it froze on the ice, so it was like a glacier when it arrived,” said spokesman Statsbygg, Heja Njaa Aschim in The Guardian of the Water Rape.

Saturday Statsbygg looked back at some of these comments in a statement posted on the secure website. Yes, there was a “water intrusion depending on the season” on the outside of the seed vault, but the group was already taking precautionary measures to improve the external tunnel to prevent future events.

“The seeds in the seed vault were never threatened and will remain safe during the implementation of measures,” the statement said.

According to the statement, proposed improvements include the removal of heat sources such as a transformer station, tunnel and the construction of drainage ditches on the side of the mountain to prevent accumulation of the water melting around the entrance. In addition, the waterproof walls were built inside the tunnel. Finally, being “better than cure” said Statsbygg researchers will monitor the development of permafrost in Svalbard.

“The seeds are safe and sound,” wrote the Crop Trust, an international non-profit group that helped establish Svalbard’s vault in 2008.

So who is it? Is that part of the water leaked in a safe “to safety test” is not serious? Or are we as a human race condemned to die, starve and cross, in case of global catastrophe?

The answer is measured. Representatives of Statsbygg and Crop Trust did not immediately respond to an interview request via e-mail Saturday. However, Confianza crops resumed an article twice in Popular Science magazine on Saturday, which seemed to indicate that the situation was not as serious as initially reported.
“In my experience, it was not the water intrusion into the face of the tunnel every year,” said Cary Fowler, an American farmer who helped create the seed vault. Although he was not in the vault watching the incident, he noted that “flooding” was probably not the most accurate word to describe what happened.

“The tunnel was never designed to be water resistant in the front because I do not think we would need it,” Fowler said in Popular Science. “What happens in the summer, the permafrost melts and the water, and when it goes, it freezes. Usually, it is not far.”

However, this does not mean that the underlying cause of warming of permafrost temperatures – should be ignored.

“At the end of the day, we have to realize that, in a sense, everything is relative to this initiative,” Fowler magazine said. “This whole planet is warming up, and that includes Svalbard.”

Global warming has been particularly notable in Arctic regions, and the melting of permafrost is only one consequence; The other includes the melting of larger glaciers, which could result in a dramatic rise in sea level, as reported by Chris Mooney of the post.

COVERSTORY BSNL/Bharti Reliance Tata Reliance Vodafone Idea Aircel Trik

more evolved for 4G, while Jio ini­tially took on 2,300 MHz. Only later did Jio apply and securel,800 MHz in the auction of February 2014 by paying Rs 11,100 crore as spectrum fees. In the auction this year in March, Jio secured spectrum in the 800 MHz band for another Rs 10,100 crore. The spectrum auction fees are not paid in one go, but is spread over the licence period. And yet, it is still a substantial cost to op­erators and the reason why their in­vestment in infrastructure is low.

Jio employees say they have been able to integrate the 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz bands for rolling out their services. Industry sources say this integration is not easy and is a technology challenge. Industry ob­servers say the company is still work­ing on the integration of800 MHz, while the 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz integration is complete. This means the rollout will not be a big one of both voice and data across the country. The first phase will be in those 13 circles in which Jio has both 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz. This will be followed later with a rollout in circles where Jio has just 800 MHz.

Data Is King

Jio may roll out over the coming years and cover 800 cit­ies, but it is not seen as a challenge for voice services. Its biggest advantage is that it is a data network and offers far superior speed than anything else (The Thrills of Speed).

Data revenues are growing fast for all the operators. In

RISING RETURNS

Data revenues are growing fastforalloperators

fact, the smaller operators with lim­ited circles sell more data packages than voice. For instance, if you notice the advertising of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which sells telecom ser­vices under the brand name MTS, you would think it is an Internet ser­vice provider, selling dongles. Simi­larly, Tata-DoCoMo also positioned itself as a data service provider. Air- tel’s data revenue as a percentage of total mobile revenue is in the range of 16 per cent to 17 per cent and growing much faster than its voice revenues. Every operator is witness­ing a similar growth in data volumes and revenues. This is the low hang­ing fruit that Jio is expected to capture by becoming the second SIM in existing handsets. Consumers may con­tinue to use voice with their existing providers, but for heavy data usage they will shift to a Jio SIM.

Which is why one of the first apps that Jio launched is a WhatsApp clone called, uninspiringly, Jio Chat. The app allows users to video chat, besides a few other bells and whistles. It may not have caught popular attention but it did trigger an action from operators, who first began fa­vouring some apps and choking bandwidth for others. While the issue was labelled as a Net Neutrality battle, it was really more of a peremptory strike by incumbents against Jio’s app-based strategy.

Jio’s strategy is not just about apps; it includes a combi­
nation of products and services. Jio Chat is an example of one such product, which can be downloaded on any phone and can work with any operator, though to realise its true potential you might need a second SIM card from Jio.

Breaking Out In Hotspots

A similar product is offering broadband wi-fi services in select locations. Jio has been studying user behaviour pat­terns in Ahmedabad by offering broadband wi-fi services in six-eight locations. These services are in malls and open public spaces. The company may offer more such hotspots to let people experience Jio services.

Wi-fi is an important area for all telecom operators. Vodafone, Airtel and even Idea seem to be developing hot­spots or working with wi-fi operators. Jio is using a blend of LTE and wi-fi networks to provide connectivity in select spots, but this will only proliferate. It is working with state governments and city authorities to provide wi-fi services, according to the Reliance Industries annual report for 2014-15.

 

RAMPING UP APPS        Another product that Jio is

Jio s WhatsApp clone, Jio planning to launch is My-fi, a Chat, triggered action       „              …             , . , , .

from rival operators               small credit card-sized device

that one can carry to create small wi-fi zones. This is a product for todays digital connected- everywhere generation. Jio officials confirm the device ex­ists and there are pictures of it floating online. The pricing for My-Fi is said to be Rs 1,800-2,000 but this is conjec­ture. Technically, people could use their existing phones combined with My-Fi to make voice or video calls, pro­vided the data charges are low; so low that users won’t think about their consumption patterns while using it.

High-speed broadband connectivity over fibre and wireless-to-home is another product that the company is developing, according to its annual report and other
sources. One of its breakthrough products uses a micro base station installed outside the home. This will provide a number of services. Technically, this base station can provide video content for IP-enabled TVs and of course, broadband into the house. This is expected to disrupt DTH service providers, who are the only HD quality TV services providers.

Jio has also developed a bigger version of its micro base station to service a whole colony. This unnamed station can also function as a wi-fi hub like the GBM towers. It is small enough to be placed on an electric pole and has been developed by Cisco under its small cell network. It covers a radius of50-60 metres.

Within its content services, Jio is also planning to launch a set-top box that can replace existing DTH boxes. With these, one can watch the past seven days of pro­gramming from the cloud. It also allows people to buy and download movies and keep them in the cloud to watch later. To make this possible the company has invested in a data centre to host these services. While the size and ca­pacity of the centres is not known, its existence gives Jio a big edge and pitches them against not just telecom opera­tors, but also digital services providers like Googles You­Tube or even Facebook’s WhatsApp Messenger. Both these Internet companies are not able to offer high quality HD content as their data centres are outside the country.

The data centre is also important as Jio is offering VoLTE that perforce requires a telecom cloud. Sandeep Girotra of Nokia says, “For VoLTE to successfully take off in India, an underlying IMS (IP multimedia systems) net­work is a must. This also requires a gradual shift towards Telco Cloud, where many of the IMS infrastructure can be on a cloud platform, making it faster and easier for new applications like VoLTE to be deployed.”

As for Airtel’s plans to bundle content along with its 4G service, Srini Gopalan says: “Differentiating telecom ser­vices using content is old school. There are obvious limita­tion of both content and bandwidth here. There is a short­age of spectrum and till it is resolved it is not possible to realise the potential of mobile broadband.”

Airtel is not the only sceptic. Other companies like Vodafone and Idea are also not following a strategy to seed the market with both content and devices. Jio, as a pioneer, has to create the market and has no choice but to shoot the arrows and scare away competition. It is also hoping that the seeds it has been sowing for so long, will give it a rich harvest soon. ED

  1. Yatish Rajawat is a smiorjournalist based in Delhi

& @yatiskrajawat For more on telecom, visit www.businessworld.in

HE ROLLOUT OF RELIANCE JIO’S 4G SERVICE this time may cause ripples, but not waves or a tsunami as the entry of Reliance Infocomm had caused in 2001, supported by distortions in policy framework then. There have been massive expectations in the tele­com sector ever since Reliance Industries (RIL) acquired a majority stake in Infotel Broadband, which won pan-India broadband wireless access (BWA) licenses in the 2010 auction. The expectations have hinged on Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance’s re-entry into the telecom space through Reliance Jio Infocomm. The Reliance group’s foray into the mobile segment in 2001 via Reliance Infocomm had challenged and practically trans­formed the country’s telecom landscape through its market-disruptive strategies through blatant policy manipulations and large-scale operations. Back then, Reliance was instru­mental in introducing various offerings at dirt-cheap prices, which went on to revolution­ise wireless growth in India. The industry, experts and users are now expecting a very similar wave to sweep the broadband segment.

Coming to the positive side, Reliance Jio does have several inherent strengths as a com­pany. It always had the financial backing of RIL, one of the largest business entities in the country. Due to this, the company always had sizeable resources and in the past, it has been a market changer with disruptive marketing strategies. That is no longer a plus

point, when incumbents too are well entrenched, tech­nologically and financially. In the past three to four years, Reliance has managed to build up significant ca­pacity. It has a fairly large and geographically well- spread network and Reliance has always seemed to maintain cordial relations with top government offi­cials. Somehow, whenever someone decides to analyse its history, they realise that various policies were tweaked to favour them from time to time.

Reliance Jio aims to become India’s largest telecom player within three years of its service launch and to break even by the end of the third year of operations, many believe that Reliance Jio can change the pecking order in the world’s second-largest telecom market. But personally, we feel there are some major obstacles that Reliance Jio might be facing at the entry level. The po­tential challenges are very basic in nature, i.e. a weak device ecosystem, lack of backhaul network support and issues related to the low density of 4G networks. The al­ready saturated urban voice market and the incum­bents’ underutilised 3G networks will definitely pose challenges. Passive infrastructure sharing with existing incumbents will help Reliance Jio in the short-term only, but pan-India service strategy will require the es­tablishment of new towers and cables, leading to huge capital expenditures.

We believe that while the company may want to adopt the strategy of disruptive pricing again, the scenario has changed significantly over the past decade or so. Cus­tomers are more educated and spoilt now. They would need a strong reason to switch from one operator to an­other. Either the quality of service being offered by Reli­ance Jio has to be the key differentiator or the price strategy of the service has to be extremely attractive for majority Indians. However, this doesn’t seem to be an easy task in the ruthless telecom market that currently