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February 27, 2005
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February 27, 05

Page: 10/50

Home > 2005 Issues > February 27, 05

At Random
?By Rambler

Mission impossible
Bihar has been witnessing all senseless and baseless talks in state election campaigns. First, In a TV interview, RJD president and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav called Rabri devi a gentlewoman! Second, Congress president Sonia Gandhi declared in her election campaign that if Congress came to power the first priority would be to improve law and order situation. But someone in the party should tell her that in Bihar it is a hopeless situation, for which credit goes to secular parties only. It is better that Sonia makes promises that can keep or that are possible, because Congress promise to improve law and order in Bihar seems to be impossible.

Manuscripts galore
Four medieval Oriya literary works, namely, Jayadev?s Geet Govind, Madalapanji, Chikitsa Manjari and Chausathi Ratibandha are expected to be declared the manuscripts of national importance. The last three manuscripts have been written on palm leaves whereas Jayadev?s Geet Govind has been composed on elephant teeth. All these manuscripts are believed to be of around 12th century. At present, the Bhubaneshwar state museum has over 30,000 manuscripts whereas according to a survey conducted by the museum, state has about 3,40,000 manuscripts in museums and with private owners which is the highest number so far known for any Indian state. India has the largest collection of manuscripts in the world composed in different languages and on materials such as birch bark, palm leaf, cloth, wood, stone and paper. The rich literary wealth, however, is under threat with sufficient information not available on them. Many are in a state of decay. Keeping this in view, the previous BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had founded a National Manuscripts Mission to locate and preserve the rare manuscripts in the country.

Covert infiltration
The official claim of Indian government that infiltration from Pakistan has decreased is half-truth because for time being the terrorist infiltration may have gone down but in Jammu and Kashmir Pakistani nationals are covertly acquiring Indian citizenship, which could prove to be a major threat to Indian security in region. At least half a dozen such cases have been traced in the state?s Mendhar town of the border district of Poonch. The Pakistani nationals entered legally in India via the Wagah border post in Punjab using Pakistani passports and then reached Kashmir and obtained fake Permanent Resident Certificates and purchased land, (ironically due to Article 370 no Indian citizen can purchase property in J&K) to establish themselves as permanent residents of the state. Due to its closeness to the Line of Control (LoC) Mendhar is strategically important and this town is one of the major routes used by terrorists sneaking across the ceasefire line from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Although Ministry of External Affairs is aware of the fact but it is silent on the issue of the efforts of the Pakistanis to blend with the local population in J&K. Last year, a Pakistani national Zulfikar, who had crossed over to India and settled in Salwa village of Poonch, even entered the fray in the Lok Sabha elections.

Furore among officers
The Maharashtra?s Indian Forest Services officials are up in arms against an Additional Chief Secretary, in-charge of forest department, due to his baseless and provocating speeches to frontline staff in forest department. These IFS officials are likely to meet Chief Minister, Forest Minister and Chief Secretary to lodge complaint against this officer?s style of working.

Shrinking wetlands
In last decade, India has lost about 38 per cent of its wetlands and in some districts this loss is up to 88 per cent. Not only this, majority of the wetlands of 14 states are polluted and in many cases due to the high level of heavy metals or pesticides the fishes are not fit for human consumption. This fact is disclosed in a study done by Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. The study says that not even one of the over 1700 fishes studied from 170 wetlands in the country is free from pesticides/ heavy metal. The wetlands have become the most preferred landfills for dumping solid wastes from a variety of origins and an ultimate end point for discharging industrial and domestic untreated effluents. Apart from filling the wetlands and contaminating the water body, such wastes pollute the air also.

Downward march
The thinning shine of public sector in the country is a public fact but now their contribution is also reducing in the national income. The recent released government data has revealed the fact that the share of public sector in national income has gone down by 1.5 per cent. According to Quick Estimates released by the Central Statistical Organisation, the share of public sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2003-04 (at current prices) has declined from 24.7 to 23.2 in comparison with the previous year (2002-03). In quantitative terms, during 2003-04, the public sector accounted for Rs 5,85,196 crore of total GDP in comparison to Rs 5,57,368 crore for 2002-03. On the contrary, the private sector accounted Rs 19,34,589 crore in 2003-04 and Rs 16,97,520 crore during 2002-03 of the total GDP.

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