The government may make tall claims about providing basic infrastructural facilities to the people but in reality things are quite different. The latest government figures on power consumption in the country reveal a dark picture. According to the Central government, the per capita annual consumption of the country was 592 kwh during 2003-04. The lowest was in Laluland (Bihar) where the per capita annual consumption was 75.44 kwh. It is an irony that RJD'selection symbol is a lantern which actually represents the deteriorating state of Bihar. In West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep per capita annual consumption is below the national average. Just in Punjab, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Delhi, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haweli the consumption is in four figures. Compared to this in the US, the per capita annual electricity consumption in 2002 was 13,228 kwh, in Australia 10,502 kwh, UK 6,158 kwh and China 1,208 kwh.
With increasing terrorist activities in J&K in the 90s, Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were displaced and migrated from the Kashmir Valley to other parts of the country. Repeated initiatives to settle them in Jammu and Kashmir failed. As per government figures there are 55,476 registered Kashmiri migrant families, out of whom 34,088 families are residing in Jammu, 19,338 families in Delhi and 2,050 families in other states. A total of 5,778 families in Jammu and 230 families in Delhi are staying in government camps. In the name of support and help, a monthly cash relief of Rs 3,000 per family and basic dry rations are provided by the government to 14,869 families in Jammu whereas in Delhi, 4,100 families are being provided monthly cash relief of Rs 3,200 per family for non-camp migrants and Rs 2,400 per family along with basic dry rations for those living in camps.
The Election Commission has stated that in Bihar, at least 70,000 names are illegally listed in the voters? list and that number could go as high as two lakh upon thorough investigation. Last week, EC'slegal advisor K. J. Rao ordered the Patna district administration to furnish a list of all those polling booths where 400 or more new names had been added. In the state'scapital Patna district alone, there are more than 28,000 voters whose whereabouts are not known. Obviously they are bogus voters. Furthermore, over 18,000 voters have not lived at their registered domicile and nearly 1,800 registered voters are suspected to be below the age of 18. Strangely, over 15,000 people who have long died, also figure in the voters? list in Patna. And now the Rashtriya Janata Dal has started making noises once again by accusing the EC of trying to deny voting rights to thousands of bonafide voters in the name of voters? ID card.
Recently, the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad studied the origin of the six Vanvasi populations of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, of which four were Negroid (Onge, Jarawa, Great Andamanese and Sentinelese) and two were Mongolid (Nicobarese and Shompens). In this excercise, CCMB Scientists collected blood samples from 47 Onge, 20 Great Andamanese and 25 Nicobarese; and the buccal swab from four Jarawa Vanvasis and initially analysed the samples with the paternally inherited Y chromosome markers to trace their paternal lineage. The study revealed that the Onge and Jarawa fell in a genetic group closely related to the African. However, none of the Great Andamanese, although phenotypically similar to Onge and Jarawa, showed close affinities with modern human populations, suggesting that the original chromosomes of the Great Andamanese have been replaced by the recently evolved Y chromosome.
In the same study CCMB scientists analysed very small region of the maternally inherited DNA (from mitochnodrial DNA) and found that they showed close affinities with the Asian populations. On complete squencing of the mitochondrial DNA of five Onge, five Great Andamanese and five Nicobarese, several novel mutations (changes in DNA sequence) were found in Onge and Great Andamanese, which have not been identified either in any of the world populations or in the 600 Indian samples screened by them.
Based on the mutations in mitochondrial DNA of these populations, CCMB scientists estimated that they are the descendants of the group of people, who first migrated out of Africa about 50,000-70,000 years ago, taking the southern route of migration by sea route via India to populate Southeast Asia and Australia, in contrast to the Nicobarese who migrated from Southeast Asia, about 18,000 years ago, as these samples showed affinity with populations found in China, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries.
In the nominated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh'sUPA regime, the whole working of government is marred by ad hocism. It is the public sector which is paying a heavy price for the government'sindecisiveness and slow going. This was accepted by none other than the Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Santosh Mohan Dev in Parliament. Out of a total 210 posts of chief executives and 460 posts of functional directors in various public sector enterprises, 30 posts of chief executives and 65 posts of functional directors are vacant. With such headless public organisations how can the country expect to achieve the target of eight percent growth, only economist Manmohan Singh can tell.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in his report has adversely commented on the lack of proper standards or norms for acquiring, collecting and preserving art objects in the Indian Museum, Asiatic Society and Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. The report raised the question of the absence of standards or norms in the four functional areas of acquisition, documentation, preservation/conservation and safe custody of artifacts. It also underlined the inadequacy of security systems in these institutions. Last year, an idol of Lord Buddha was stolen.
Two weeks ago, in their excitement to welcome the Congress President in Kerala, the State unit of the party published full page advertisements, full of errors, to highlight the achievements of the Kerala Congress depicting Sonia Gandhi as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)! The advertisement was released to all newspapers in the state on the occasion of Sonia'svisit to Kerala.
The error occurs in the last sentence of the ad, which glorifies Gandhi as one who gave up the post of prime minister. It goes on to say she leads the ?NDA? in New Delhi, something even the Left Front should be proud of.
Whereas Sonia is the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA is in the Opposition. When this was pointed out to the State Congress no one was ready to take the responsibility for this goof-up. Even M.M. Hassan, the media committee chairman of the Congress party in Kerala blamed the media for this with a comment, ?You media people have no other work but to find fault.