Saturday, May 16, 2015

The amazing story behind Ratan Tata buying Jaguar

When someone is insulted, anger is the only outcome. However, great people can use this anger to plan business policies and goals.
Tata group launched its passenger car Tata Indica in year 1998. The group was led by Ratan Tata and it was his decision to enter in the passenger car business.
Tata Indica was a failure in its first year and the experiment seemed to be failing. Many people started advising Ratan Tata that he should sell the passenger car business. Ratan Tata also agreed to this and a proposal was given to Ford, they showed interest too. Ratan Tata, along with his close team members reached Detroit to discuss the same. Detroit hosts Ford headquarter and considered and the automobile hub of United States.
While the meeting went on for 3 hours, it seemed that the behaviour of Ford people was insulting toward Tata group representatives. In the meeting, chairman of Ford (Bill Ford) said to Ratan Tata, “why did you enter in the passenger car business when you were not knowing of it. It will be favor if we buy this business from you”.
Ratan Tata decided to move back home. While travelling, he was very tense as the feeling of being insulted was on his mind.
After earlier failures, Tata Motors did well with its business of passenger cars but in the same period, Ford did very bad. In 2008, when Ford was on its way of bankruptcy, Tata Group offered Ford to buy their luxury car brand Jaguar-Land Rover. Bill Ford, along with his team, reached “Bombay House”. “Bombay House” is the headquarter of Tata Group.   The deal was finalized for 2.3 billion US $, which amounted to 9300 crore Indian Rupees at that time. Ford was incurring heavy losses from Jaguar – Land Rover division.
In the meeting, Bill Ford said to Ratan Tata, ” You are doing a big favor for us by buying Jaguar- Land Rover”.Jaguar- Land Rover is now owned by Tata Group and is currently making profit.
This incidence was first disclosed by Pravin Kadle, who is the head of Tata Capital and was part of the team which had visited Ford headquarter along with Ratan Tata. Pravin Kadle told this story while receiving Y.B.Chavan award on behalf of Ratan Tata in Mumbai on 15thMarch 2015.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Perverts run wild in the name of Govinda

Below is the news mentioned in the Mirror why blame only Dahi Handi all festivals be it Ganpati, Navratri, Mohraam, Chat Puja etc whenever the mob gets chance to assemble for religious purpose they take advantage and take people walking on road for granted. Bet it women, young girl , men , children no one is spare. HOLI is the festival when girls are the prime target for throwing balloons.

Traffic problem caused is never mentioned why someone should waste his petrol and time for group of few people who want to enjoy on expense of others.

Since it is a religious festival police and other authorities play only the role of mute spectator.

Mirror should report during HOLI and other festivals also.

Mirror Test Drive reveals how no woman who steps out on Dahi Handi day is safe


It is ironical that the city drops its pretence of being women-friendly on festive days when celebrations spill on to the streets, providing an excellent cover for perverts on the loose. And while on December 31st the offenders can blame it all on short skirts, there are no excuses for the harassment women and girls are subjected to on Dahi Handi days.

No woman is safe from the thousands of govindas on making lewd gestures, cat call and comments. They are brazen enough to grope women in public, make explicit sexual gestures and don't really care if you are alone or with others. Some boys –they are barely teenagers- even target girls with anything they can lay their hands on.

Mumbai Mirror team went around the city and witnessed the horror unfold. Without any exception our reporter was harassed by almost every group we encountered on the roads. Whether it was sponsored by MNS MLA Ram Kadam, Shiva Sena Vibhag Pramukh Bhau Korgaonkar, or Congress Corporator Ravi Raja, they went out of their way to make the reporter feel sorry about being a woman and making the mistake of stepping out on a day when men.

When confronted, Ravi Raja, he said, "I sponsor around 2,000 boys from various Mandals in my ward. I was not aware that they harass women. I will have a meeting with heads of these groups and ask them to bring in discipline even stop sponsoring for the culprits," he said.

Korgaonkar said, "I do not sponsor any Govindas in the city but some local Shakha Pramukh must have put my name on the T shirts worn by the boys. I will tell my Shakha Pramukhs to pull up such groups who misbehave and make women feel uncomfortable," he said.




Some boys threw water bottles, leaves and paper chits from the truck at our reporter


4.30 PM SION

Bikers and men loaded on trucks whistled and hooted as our reporter walked by



Several bikers screamed and passed lewd comments as they raced by

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gas-cutters ready to rip off 400 illegal cabs

Mumbai: The regional transport office (RTO), which has impounded more than 400 old and illegal taxis from across the city over the past three days, now plans to shred the vehicles to pieces with gas cutters.

“We want these old, illegal and unwanted vehicles off the streets,’’ said Vikas Pandkar, regional transport officer from the eastern suburbs. The RTO has already issued showcause notices to the drivers whose vehicles have been seized and the officials will take a month to destroy the old vehicles.

“However, if we destroy the vehicles, most taxi drivers and owners said they would be rendered jobless. So, we have decided to rehabilitate them, helping them get soft loans and procure new vehicles at affordable prices. We want to encourage them to buy new vehicles and so are offering the loans,’’ said Pandkar.

Even Mumbai Taximen’s Union president A L Quadros seemed to be glad that the RTO was cracking a whip on old and illegal vehicles. “I submitted a memorandum to the transport department on Wednesday, requesting them to offer a ‘two-in-one’ status to new black-and-yellow taxis,’’ Quadros said. “Every new car has an AC. So, to make good use of that, a scheme should be started in which, a passenger can have the AC switched on but have to pay an extra 10%. Otherwise, he can take a drive at the normal fare.’’

Pandkar added that they had taken the decision to rehabilitate the affected drivers after taxi unions requested him to help these people, who would be left with no means to earn a living. “We have decided to help cabbies. But they will have to buy new cars that will comply with the pollution norms and the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rules,’’ Pandkar said.

Pandkar said that the RTO could help the taximen choose the right car, and for that, would liaison with automobile manufacturing companies, like Maruti and Tata. “We can help them get a 100% loan on cars. For bulk bookings, they could get the maximum discounted price,’’ he said. The RTO would also expedite the process of registering the new vehicles for these drivers.

At present, the main hurdle for taxi union leaders is to convince the drivers, whose cars have been confiscated, to buy new vehicles.

Taj mosque imam gets just 15/month

Shahjahan Paid 15 Gold Coins Worth 2.7L, But Present Pay Barely Gives Cleric 1 Meal

Lucknow: Syed Sadiq Ali can literally blow up his monthly salary on a modest breakfast—one cup of chai and bun-makkhan. “That is all Rs 15 will get you and no more... not even an extra piece of khaara,’’ Ali morosely declares. The only thing ‘shahi’ (royal) about this 40-year-old Shahi Imam of Mumtazee Masjid, the imposing red sandstone mosque on Taj Mahal premises, is the title that his family has been holding for past 350-odd years.

Ali claims to be the seventh generation of the first Imam emperor Shahjahan transported from Bukhara. But then those were the days, he wistfully says, when the badshah salamat had, by a Shahi ‘farman’ (royal decree), sanctioned the imam 15 gold asharfis a month in lieu of upkeep of Mumtazee Masjid and conducting namaz five times a day therein.

From 15 gold coins to 15 one-rupee coins, it has indeed been a headlong fall for his descendants. Ali has it all neatly worked out. “Ten grams of gold—weight of a mohar—at the current market price is Rs 18,000, so 15 mohars would total up to Rs 2.7 lakh... and to think that the Taj Mahal is the biggest money spinner for the government of India,’’ Ali said.

In fact, his father—an imam for 40 long years—had tried hard to get a raise. “He would send letters to everyone, right from the DM to the PM or the President. Things at one point of time even looked quite bright when Ghulam Nabi Azad, during a trip to Agra, promised a respectable remuneration. But, apparently he forgot all about it,’’ he recalled.

Adding insult to injury is the realisation that even fourth class employees at Taj get between Rs 15,000 and Rs 18,000 a month, says Munawwar Ali, convener of National Monuments Protection Committee, Agra and Ali’s first cousin. Accredited members of All India Imam Association, he claims, are entitled to Rs 10,000 as monthly salary. “The least the ASI could do was to bring it on a par,’’ he suggests. The ASI, however, refuses to accord the Shahi Imam a permanent status on the rolls. On record, he is only a part-time employee, Munnawwar claims.

WONDER OF WONDERS: Even Class IV employees at Taj get between Rs 15,000 and Rs 18,000 a month, but Syed Sadiq Ali, the Shahi Imam of the red sandstone mosque on Taj Mahal premises, gets a pittance that does not provide for anything more than one modest breakfast of chai and bunmakkhan every month

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wave of optimism for sea transport

Upto 30,000 City Commuters Expected To Use Western Seafront Daily

Mumbai: After several hitches, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials are saying that the west coast Passenger Water Transport (PWT) project is finally sailing along. The two technical bids of Pratibha Constructions, the only bidder in the latest round, have been opened and the financial bid will be matched with government estimates next week. The number of years the bidders expect to operate the project before returning it to MSRDC will also be looked into.

Commuters in the western suburbs and island city are staring at the possibility of using the sea route within a year to two years if the latest attempt to kickstart the project, estimated to cost Rs 1,200 crore, goes ahead. An earlier contract was cancelled and the second round of bidding saw three extensions.

The first six terminals for the catamarans and hovercraft would be at Nariman Point, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve and Borivli. Work is expected to begin after the monsoon, said MSRDC officials.

The state government has environmental clearances from the Centre and also encroachment-free lands at points where the PWT terminals would be built. As per the blueprint finalised by the MSRDC, the average travel time between Nariman Point and Borivili would be 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the speed of the catamaran or hovercraft used. Tickets between the two jetties would cost Rs 50 to Rs 150 depending on the vessels’ speed. Hovercraft are generally faster than catamarans.

A one-way journey on the Bandra-Worli sea-link costs Rs 50, while a two-way pass is Rs 75.

“None of the six coastal lands we have received from the Mumbai Maritime Board for the terminals are encroached. All environmental clearances are ready. The only thing remaining is the issuance of work orders. Work can start after the monsoon,’’ said a senior state government official.

The service is expected to be ultimately used by 25,000 to 35,000 passengers daily. “Though tickets will be on the higher side, it will reduce the number of cars on the western road corridor of the city, pollution and fuel consumption,’’ said an MSRDC official. According to him more than 1.5 lakh vehicles travel on the western corridor daily.

MSRDC sources said around 35 to 40% of the total investment would be spent on buying catamarans and hovercraft, while the remaining would be spent on infrastructure at terminals. The Nariman Point terminal would be behind the NCPA.

In the initial phases, seven catamarans and five hovercraft would be run. Catamarans have 100-passenger capacities, while hovercraft can accommodate 25 to 50 passengers. Eventually, a total of 20 vessels would be used.

According to Pratibha’s proposal, services would run 15 hours a day from Monday to Friday. Vessels would run at 15- to 30-minute intervals during morning and evening peak hours and 30-to 60-minute intervals at other times. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, vessels would run every two hours.

The east and west coast water transport projects were transferred from the Mumbai Maritime Board to MSRDC in 1994-95.



Technical bids have been opened and the financial bid will be opened next week. Final decision will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure after scrutiny by the MSRDC board MSRDC expects work to begin on the Public Water Transport project in October For the first 22 to 24 months, the Nariman Point to Juhu section would be built

In the next 30 months, the Juhu to Borivli section would be completed

In 2008, a contract was awarded to Satyagiri Shipping for the west coast transport project. But it was cancelled by the state after legal controversies and consortium issues

In 2009, MSRDC invited new bids. Around 26 leading companies, including Tata Infrastructure, India Bulls, D B Realty, Reliance and Pratibha Constructions, bought applications and demanded extensions on deadlines thrice

The last deadline was in July 2010 and only Pratibha Constructions gave bids

Delhi Police logs on to Facebook to nail errant drivers

THIS city is famous for its snarled traffic and infamous for its unruly drivers — aggressive rule-breakers who barrel through red lights, ignore crosswalks and veer into bicycle or bus lanes to find open routes.

Now, the city’s overburdened traffic police officers have enlisted an unexpected weapon in the fight against dangerous driving: Facebook. The traffic police started a Facebook page two months ago, and almost immediately residents became digital informants, posting photos of their fellow drivers violating traffic laws. As of Sunday, more than 17,000 people had become fans of the page and posted almost 3,000 photographs and dozens of videos.

The online rap sheet was impressive. There are photos of people on motorcycles without helmets, cars stopped in crosswalks, drivers on cellphones, drivers in the middle of illegal turns, and improperly parked vehicles. Based on the pictures, Delhi Traffic Police have issued 665 tickets, using the licence plate numbers shown in the photos to track vehicle owners, said Delhi’s joint commissioner of traffic, Satyendra Garg.

Despite some concerns about privacy, and the authenticity of the photos, the public’s response has been overwhelmingly positive, he said. Mr Garg said the Facebook page never instructed people to take pictures of lawless drivers. “We wanted a forum where people could express their views and suggest changes,” he said on Friday.

With just 5,000 traffic officers in this city of 12 million people, the social networking site is filling a useful role, he said. “Traffic police can’t be present everywhere, but rules are always being broken,” Mr Garg said. “If people want to report it, we welcome it. A violation is a violation.”

Mr Garg acknowledged that it was possible photos could be manipulated to incriminate someone who was not actually breaking the law. But, he said, drivers can contest the tickets if they feel they were wrongly issued. The police advise residents not to let personal animosity influence their photo-taking.

Some city residents have applauded the effort. “This is a good use of police resources,” said Vijyant Jain, a 27-year-old manager with Orange Business Services, who drives a minivan.

(New York Times News Service)

Encroachers ‘take over’ government property all over city

Mumbai: When chief minister Ashok Chavan asked municipal commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya to launch a demolition drive against all illegal structures in the city, he perhaps did not realise that several plots owned by different government departments were being fast encroached upon.

The government has extended the deadline for illegal slums from 1995 to 2000.

According to official records, the are 6,720 slums in Goregaon’s Aarey Colony. The officials had sought Rs 20 crore to construct a protection wall, but their proposal hasn’t been sanctioned by Mantralaya.

Land owned by the revenue department has also been heavily encroached upon. In 2005, Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was the chief minister at that time, had ordered a crackdown on encroachers and several tracts of land at Kandivli, Gorai, Manori, Mankhurd and Govandi were cleared by the then suburban collector S S Zende Patil.

But soon, politicians, cutting across party lines, joined forces and demanded that the drive be stopped. A few Congress MPs and MLAs also approached the party high command and managed to bring the drive to a halt. The then Mhada chief T Chandrashekhar had demanded plots from this land bank for low-cost housing. In 2007, these plots were encroached upon again.

At Sanjay Gandhi National Park, forest officials removed tracts of slums after a high court court ordered them to do so on May 7, 1997. But of late, 20 to 30 slums have been springing up at the park on a daily basis.

In Colaba, the Navy recently complained that the number of hutments along the coast was rising. “The city collectorate is supposed take action against people who encroach on the coasts,’’ said a Coast Guard official who also pointed out that encroachments from Sewri to Mazgaon docks were not being tackled by the collectorate.

Encroachments on several plots of Mhada in Mumbai also continue. In the eastern suburbs, a police station has encroached on a Mhada plot meant for petrol pump.

Housing expert Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, “ I am quite happy that the government has woken up. But to my surprise, I found slums at Girgaum Chowpatty (revenue land) on Wednesday.’’ Kshatriya said that he would plan a demolition drive after monsoon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The kick’s out of Wagah

The choreographed hostility between India and Pakistan at Wagah border is reportedly being toned down. Here's a look at what has made the 45-minute drill such a big tourist attraction and what you will miss

The India-Pakistan dialogue may have collapsed as of now, but things have mellowed a bit along what is known as the Berlin Wall of Asia. A ritual zealously followed by the Indian and Pakistani armies, the daily Change of Guard Drill at the Wagah-Attari International border near Amritsar is being toned down following complaints of leg injuries suffered by army men on both sides.

Started in 1959, the choreographed aggression has been a huge draw with curious onlookers and patriots, who cheer and raise slogans as the soldiers high-kick, stomp, wave their fists and speed march their way through the 45-minute drill. The routine, which may seem both genuinely hostile and comical to outsiders, ends with a lowering of the respective flags and a slamming of the gates amidst much shouting and jeering from crowds on both sides.

The decision to change the tone of the drill from one of aggression to that of friendliness has been mutual, say some reports, after the high-kicks left even the toughest of men painfully hamstrung. One look at the routine and you will know why.

Certain sections of Pakistani media, however, quoted their army personnel as refusing to do away with the exaggerated kick and foot stomp, much to the delight of those who travel all the way from Amritsar and Lahore to watch the stunts. They may, however, have to do without the staring and the shadow punches.

But fans of the drill are questioning if the emotionally charged ritual will retain its appeal after the soldiers open up their fists to shake hands.


» Pakistan Rangers and BSF men approach the ceremonial border between India and Pakistan dressed elaborately with crisp turbans

» A part of the routine involves vigorous foot stomping, which the Pakistani army is allegedly desirous of continuing, while the BSF says no

» The wildly popular high-kick sees the soldiers kicking over their heads menacingly close to the rival’s nose. This, say reports, has injured most of our men

» The stares and the angry glares with nostrils flared is on its way out

» The shadow punches, displayed for obvious reasons at safe distances, come with an arrogant shrug of the shoulders. Will this be replaced with a polite handshake?

» The speed march sees the men literally rush at each other, heels digging into concrete. Guess, doc’s just advised them to slow down a bit

SC slams govt for clubbing hookers and housewives

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has slammed the government for clubbing housewives with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners in the Census as an economically non-productive category, saying it betrays the “totally insensitive’’ and “callous’’ approach of statutory authorities.

The stinging observation came from Justice A K Ganguly, who, along with Justice G S Singhvi, agreed to hike the compensation awarded to a man whose wife had died in an accident.

“This bias is shockingly prevalent in the work of the Census. In the Census of 2001, it appears that those who are doing household duties like cooking, cleaning of utensils, looking after children, fetching water, collecting firewood have been categorised as nonworkers and equated with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners who, according to the Census, are not engaged in economically productive work,’’ Justice Ganguly said.

Surprisingly, the description of home-makers as part of the non-productive category had so far gone unnoticed. This flies in the face of the recognition that household chores performed by home-makers is of considerable economic value. In fact, there is a demand to compute the value of services provided by home-makers.

‘Amend motor act to respect housewives’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has frowned upon the low compensation awarded to the family of Renu Agarwal after her death in a road accident, on the grounds that as a housewife, she had no income. Under the Census, housewives are clubbed with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners as economically nonproductive. The bench felt that the time had come for Parliament to realise the invaluable service rendered by housewives and amend the Motor Vehicle Act to give them their due.

Both judges in the bench agreed the compensation paid by a tribunal (Rs 2.40 lakh) to Arun Agarwal for the death of his wife Renu was too low as under Act, the family was entitled to Rs 6 lakh. The Allahabad HC had upheld the tribunal’s award, and the family then moved the apex court.

Terming the work of housewives as invaluable for the family, the bench said, “The gratuitous services rendered by wife with true love and affection to the children and her husband and managing the household affairs can’t be equated with the services rendered by others. “A wife/mother does not work by the clock. She is in constant attendance of the family throughout the day and night unless she is employed. She takes care of all the requirements of husband and children including cooking of food, washing of clothes, etc. She teaches small children and provides invaluable guidance to them for their future life,’’ the bench said.


‘There are many whose careers ended because of Shivaji’

At his novel launch, author Bhalchandra Nemade was at his acerbic best

From Aurangazeb to James Laine there are many whose careers ended because of Shivaji Maharaj,” remarked maverick author Bhalchandra Nemade at the release of his quartet novel Hindu.

He was responding to a question on the controversial book Shivaji: A Hindu King in Islamic India which has raised many hackles. “Laine has been forced to abandon his research as he cannot come back to Maharashtra,” said the author who in his signature style, took on “the rabid right.”

“Destroying our own property because we are angry with someone abroad doesn’t come across as too intelligent,” he advised and added, “We need to work on our intolerance.”

While attacking the right wing for its anti-Muslim bias he said, “Vinayak Sawarkar too was in favour of Pakistan.” When a member of the audience asked him to qualify his statement, he said, “Come for my lectures and we’ll talk.”

Stalwarts like Mahesh Elkunchwar say Nemade, “changed the face of the Marathi novel with his first book Kosla (Cocoon).” He has been working on his seminal novel from 1973. The first part was released today. The story begins with the origins of Hindu religion from pre-Harappan times and moves on to the present day. According to Nemade, his research showed how literature had been tampered with, and later, history too, to suit the interest of Brahmins.

Excerpts from his unpublished have appeared in a few Marathi magazines. Ravindra Natya Mandir was packed with who’s who from the world of literature, theatre and cinema and the first print has already sold out.

While his critical works are in English, Nemade’s creative work in fiction is only in Marathi. This Sahitya Akademi awardee has taught English and comparative literature, linguistics, anthropology and Marathi literature in various universities, colleges and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) London.

Born in 1938 in a village in the Satpudas, north Maharashtra, Nemade’s first exposure to literature was in the folk-tribal tradition. Exposure to what he calls “Anglicised culture” during his college stint in Pune greatly annoyed him and was expressed in his poems. Nemade’s own experience becomes the experience of Pandurang Sangvikar (the hero of Kosla) who epitomises the fate of “many village boys who end up half frustrated, half degenerated in the face of a sudden “modern” set of values.” Nemade always equated this with a loss of culture in India, which is his essential argument in Desivad.

Ref: Mumbai Mirror


For ages, water has been revered as a powerful healing agent. Water, it is said, has a potency for dispersing bitterness or anxiety that lingers in a space after an emotional outburst. Here is a simple ritual that uses water to heal/ cleanse your home.

To begin with, you will need to charge the water. To do so, fill a bowl with ordinary tap water. Then, either leave it exposed to sunlight for three to four hours, or place a clear quartz crystal in the bowl and let it remain for a day. The crystal should be the one that has been appropriately cleansed and charged for the specific use. Now, the water is charged and ready for the ceremony.

Take the bowl of charged water and holding it in your hand, pray to the power you believe in and set your intent for healing and clearing the space. If you know any relevant mantras or chants, you may recite them. Walk clockwise from the door, around the room and sprinkle the water from the bowl with a sprig of fresh leaves as you go around. Sprinkle more water into dull and dark corners. Continue with your religious chanting or singing, as you go around the room. Listen to your inner voice and it will guide you to the part of the room where stale or negative energy seems trapped. Sprinkle more water into this spot, even as you continue with your chanting for a few minutes or till you intuitively feel that it is time to stop. Repeat the process in all the other rooms that need cleansing, or whenever you feel that you need to repeat this ritual.

Ref: Mumbai Mirror

Monday, July 5, 2010

Catholics did not get British boost

Mumbai: “A common misconception is that Christianity in Mumbai followed the entry of colonial powers. However, records indicate that Christians inhabited the region almost 200 years before the Portuguese came as rulers,’’ said Fr Larry Pereira who has done research on the history of the Church in the city.

The Archdiocesan Heritage Committee of Mumbai has taken an initiative to undertake the preservation and promotion of the architectural and historical patrimony of the Church by undertaking tours to places of historical importance and organising seminars. It has also drawn up plans to set up a museum of Christian artifacts in Goregaon.

While giving a talk on the ‘History of Christians in Mumbai,’ Fr Pereira, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem, gave some interesting nuggets about the Christian community in Mumbai, Kalyan, Vasai and Thane.

“As far back as the sixth century, Cosmos Indico Plestus, an Alexandrian merchant, mentioned in his writings that in the year 525 AD, a bishop in Kalyan was appointed from Persia. This means that the region had a well-established diocesan,’’ he said. Fr Pereira also referred to the Gazetteer of India to emphasise his point. “It is mentioned in the records that between 800 AD and 1,200 AD, Muslim rulers destroyed churches and temples, implying the presence of a Christian population,’’ he added.

Historical records are available, which state that in 1321, four missionaries were killed in Thane and buried in St Thomas Church, Sopara, whereas Portuguese merchant Vasco Da Gama discovered India in 1498 and came to Bombay in 1534, said Fr Pereira.

Portugal ruled the Mumbai Metropolitan Region only from 1534. The territory was under the control of the Sultan of Gujarat who sought protection from the Portuguese against attack by the Mughals in exchange for the territory.

Under Portuguese rule, missionaries got protection and infrastructure to carry out evangelism. “They built large churches, whose ruins can still be found in Chaul (currently Rev Danda), Thane and other places to project their greatness. The Portuguese could not come to terms with a Christian having a local name. Hence, they started assigning Portuguese names to the newly converted groups. Names like D’Souza, D’Silva and Pereira were given based on the names of priests or sponsors who carried out the conversions,’’ added Fr Pereira. The policies of the Portuguese rulers resulted in the latter’s eviction by the Marathas who won a war against them in 1739.

Fr Pereira does not agree that Catholics got a fillip under the British rule. “In fact, the British were Protestant and therefore anti-Catholic. Moreover, they took away large tracts of land belonging to local Catholic populations. Importantly, the local Christian population also disliked the Portuguese as they were laid-back rulers.’’ He also touched upon modern history by mentioning how Cardinal Valerian Gracious was the first Indian to head the Bombay Archdiocese in 1950. “After Independence, then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided that no outside power would decide the appointment of a religious head in this country.’’

Manthan K Mehta -TNN

How many officers have been punished with dismissal for allowing encroachments to come up on public land

Court raps civic bodies for failing to remove squatters
Mumbai: The failure of the authorities to take action against illegal hawkers and unauthorised construction earned the wrath of the Bombay high court. The court’s admonition came in three separate cases being heard by different benches of the high court on Thursday.

One concerned illegal hawkers on Linking Road in Bandra before a division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice R V More. The other two related to largescale illegal constructions and hawking menace in Thane, being heard by a bench of acting chief justice J N Patel and Justice S C Dharmadhikari.

“It is high time that the corporation takes steps to remove encroachments and unauthorised constructions,’’ said Justice Patel. By the government’s own admission, there are over 4.95 lakh unauthorised structures in Thane district. The authorities have been able to remove just 11,000 such structures. “How many officers have been punished with dismissal for allowing encroachments to come up on public land,’’ asked the judge.

The state’s claims that it had initiated departmental inquiry against officers did not impress the court. The HC has asked chief secretary J P Dange to set a time frame for removing all unauthorised structures in Thane. The court also asked Thane municipal commissioner to file an action-taken report on the problem of illegal hawking.

The bench headed by justice Rebello rapped the authorities for failing to make available pavements for the public while proposing to build sky walks.
Shibu Thomas -TNN

MBMC razes cellphone towers near CRZ land

Mumbai: The Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) demolished the mobile towers of two service providers located near the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) land in Bhayander (W) on Tuesday. According to civic officials, the towers were illegally installed near CRZ land and were brought down by a demolition squad.

MBMC commissioner Shivmurti Naik said that the service providers would be fined for installing mobile towers near CRZ land. During investigations, it was found that one Pappu Singh, a resident of the Jai Ambe Nagar, had signed a one year contract with a company to instal the

towers on his roof. Since December last year, the civic administration had started sending letters to the service providers to remove the two towers. The MBMC also directed Reliance Energy to discontinue power supply to mobile towers that were on CRZ plots.

Civic sources said that mobile towers were put up near CRZs as it helps getting good signal. A number of cellphone companies are installing mobile towers in Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar following complaints of poor network.

In Bhayander (W), too, the civic authorities have identified mobile towers that are located near CRZ land. Action will be taken against them for violating the CRZ rules, said civic officials.

Sandhya Nair -TNN

Sunday, June 6, 2010

‘We were better under the British’

Mumbai: More than six decades after Independence, freedom fighters who helped overthrow foreign rule are struggling against the bureaucracy of modern India.

“We were better under British rule,’’ wrote 82-year-old S J Chughani, president of the Mumbai Freedom Fighters Sabha, in recent letters to the state and central governments to express the sabha’s frustration at the slow pace at which applications for freedom fighter status, under the Centre’s Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme, are approved.

Thousands across the nation still await ‘freedom fighter’ status and the pension and benefits that come with it. This includes at least 350 people from Mumbai and hundreds more across Maharashtra, which was a hotbed of the freedom movement.

Speaking of the Mumbai sabha’s experience, Chughani said, “I have exchanged innumerable letters with the President and written to various chief ministers of Maharashtra, but they do not even bother to reply.’’ The Mumbai sabha has around 380 members, but only 30 or so are recognised as patriots. The other 350 have been writing to officials for 20 years.

“I am sorry to say that in my last letter to the government I went to the extent of saying that we were better under British rule,’’ Chughani told TOI.

In fact, as recently as May 2010, the Bombay High Court had to tell the state government not to be unfair to Namdeo Gaikwad, whose plea for a pension had been pending before a state panel for several years. Gaikwad, in his 90s, fought for the liberation of Goa.

Pension Pain
400 people killed at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919, were recognised as martyrs only in December 2008, 89 years after their death

The Goa and Hyderabad liberation movements were included as part of the freedom struggle in 2003—43 years and 62 years, respectively, after the events

But many of the Goa and Hyderabad freedom fighters are yet to receive their pension

Torture bill has escape hatch

New Delhi: Under the guise of making its law conform to the UN convention against torture (CAT), India has actually increased scope for impunity by imposing a special sixmonth limit within which one can complain against a pubc servant for committing such an offence.

This provision figures in the Prevention of Torture Bill Lok Sabha passed on May 6. Though debated briefly before passage, no opposition MP participated. The bill goes to RS in the next session.

Rather than tightening existing law against torture, the bill sneaks in a concession to security personnel accused of causing grievous hurt to suspects in custody. The stipulation that courts can take cognizance of a torture complaint against public servants only within six months of the alleged offence is contrary to CAT and the general scheme of Indian criminal laws.

Besides defining torture in terms of grievous hurt, the bill makes public servants liable to imprisonment up to 10 years, maximum penalty under IPC for grievous hurt inflicted by anybody. The six-month limit is a departure from CrPC, which says that for offences punishable with sentences exceeding three years there shall be no limit on when the cases can be booked.

The government pushed the bill around the time SC likened forcible narcoanalysis to torture. So, the pains taken by the government to exempt ‘‘any pain, hurt or danger ... inflicted in accordance with any procedure established by law’’ from the purview of the torture bill seems out of tune with SC’s verdict.

The bill seems to be designed more to address diplomatic embarrassment over delay in ratifying CAT than increasing accountability of law enforcers for resorting to torture. Human rights defenders are disappointed the bill failed to provide a means to monitor detention centres where suspects are vulnerable to torture.

Another omission relates to the government’s failure to adopt a Law Commission recommendation that the burden of proof in torture cases be on the accused police officials, something the security lobby is vehemently opposed to.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Budget 2010 Updates

* 1.29 pm

Service tax not being raised as stimulus rolled back

* 12.51 pm

Rs 2,500 crore net revenue gain for FY11

* 12.51 pm

FY11 net service tax gains seen at Rs 3,000 crore

* 12.51 pm

Net rev gain of Rs 43,500 crore from custom, excise proposals

* 12.51 pm

Services tax retained at 10%

* 12.50 pm

Service tax to GDP ratio 1%

* 12.45 pm

Excise on locally refined gold at Rs 280/gram

* 12.45 pm

Basic customs duty on gold ore reduced

* 12.45 pm

5% duty, project import status for MSOs

* 12.43 pm

Not to levy import tax on some equipment in road proj

* 12.42 pm

Uniform, concessional 5% duty on all medical appliances

* 12.42 pm

Customs duty rationalized on music, gaming, software

* 12.39 pm

Businesses with Rs 60 lakh turnover have to audit a/c

* 12.37 pm

Excise duty on CFL halved to 4%

* 12.36 pm

Central excise on LED lights cut to 4%

* 12.35 pm

Rs 50/t cess on Indian coal

* 12.34 pm

To raise central excise on non-petro products to 10%

* 12.28 pm

Increased excise duty on all non-smoking tobacco

* 12.28 pm

Excise on cigars, cigarettes to go up

* 12.27 pm

CET on petro products hiked by Re 1

* 12.27 pm

Partial rollback of excise duty on large cars

* 12.27 pm

Partial rollback of excise duty on cement, cement products

* 12.24 pm

Excise duty hiked to 10% vs 8%

* 12.23 pm

Professionals with Rs 15 lakh income need account audit

* 12.22 pm

Weightage deduction on R&D increased to 200%: Ernst & Young

* 12.18 pm

Weighted deduction from 150% to 200% for in-house R&D

* 12.17 pm

Surcharge for companies reduced to 7.5% from 10%

* 12.17 pm

MAT increased to 18%

* 12.16 pm

10% tax for income between Rs 1.6-5 lakh

* 12.16 pm

Nil tax for Rs 1.6 lakh income

* 12.10 pm

Borrowing plan to be decided in consultation with RBI

* 12.09 pm

FY11 net market borrowing pegged at Rs 3.45 lakh crore

* 12.09 pm

To continue with practice of oil, fert subsidy in cash

* 12.08 pm

FY10 fiscal deficit revised to 6.9% of GDP

* 12.07 pm

FY13 fiscal deficit pegged at 4.1%

* 12.07 pm

FY12 fiscal deficit pegged at 4.8% of GDP

* 12.07 pm

FY11 fiscal deficit pegged at 5.5% of GDP

* 12.06 pm

Total expenditure this fiscal at Rs 11.87 lakh crore

* 12.05 pm

Revised estimate for tax collection at Rs 7.47 lakh cr

* 12.02 pm

Defence allocation at Rs 1.47 lakh cr

* 12.02 pm

To soon finalise symbol for Indian Rupee

* 12.02 pm

Allocated Rs 1,900 cr for UID project

* 12.01 pm

UID authority to issue 1st set of ID's in FY11

* 12.00 pm

To set up financial sector legislative reforms panel

* 11.59 am

Allocated Rs 5,000 cr to Social Justice ministry

* 11.58 am

Allocated Rs 2,600 cr for Minority Affairs ministry

* 11.58 am

Launched women farmer fund scheme with Rs 100 cr

* 11.56 am

Propose to launch skill development programme for textile sector

* 11.56 am

Village & child development outlay up 50%

* 11.55 am

Allocation for renewable energy at Rs 1,000 cr

* 11.54 am

Unorganised sector social security fund at Rs 1,000 crore

* 11.54 am

Health insurance extended to NREGA beneficiaries

* 11.53 am

National Security Fund allocated Rs 1,000 cr

* 11.52 am

Micro finance & equity fund doubled to Rs 400 cr

* 11.51 am

Allocated Rs 2,400 cr for micro, SME's

* 11.50 am

Allocation for slum redevelopment increased to Rs 1,270 crore

* 11.50 am

To extend 1% interest subsidy scheme for affordable housing to Mar 2011

* 11.48 am

Allocation for urban development at Rs 3,500 crore

* 11.48 am

Indira Aawas Yojana allocation at Rs 10,000 cr

* 11.47 am

Bharat Nirman FY11 plan outlay at Rs 48,000 crore

* 11.46 am

Rs 40,100 cr for NREGA

* 11.46 am

Rs 61,000 cr for rural infra development

* 11.45 am

Banking for all villages with population of 2,000

* 11.44 am

Allocation to Health Ministry at Rs 22,300 cr

* 11.43 am

FY11 education plan outlay at Rs 31,030 crore

* 11.43 am

Spending on social sector upped to Rs 1.37 lakh cr

* 11.42 am

Ready with draft Food Security Bill

* 11.41 am

One time grant of Rs 200 cr to Tamil Nadu for textile

* 11.41 am

Clean Ganga Mission allocated Rs 500 crore

* 11.40 am

Allocated Rs 200 cr to Goa to restore beaches

* 11.40 am

To set up 20,000 mw of solar power by 2022

* 11.40 am

Allocated Rs 500 cr to set up solar, small hydro power units

* 11.39 am

Micro power project in Ladakh at Rs 500 crore

* 11.38 am

To launch competitive bidding for captive coal mining

* 11.37 am

To set up coal regulatory authority

* 11.36 am

To loan Rs 16,752 cr to rail development projects

* 11.36 am

IIFCL to double re-finance to banks for infra

* 11.36 am

Road development allocation hiked to Rs 19,894 cr

* 11.35 am

To construct 20 km of national highway each day

* 11.34 am

Allocation for road transport raised by 13%

* 11.34 am

ECB's now available for food processing sector

* 11.33 am

To set up 5 more Mega Food park projects

* 11.32 am

To provide 2% loan subsidy to farmers

* 11.32 am

Interest rate subvention for farm loans hiked to 2%

* 11.32 am

FY11 bank farm loan target raised to Rs 3.75 lakh crore

* 11.31 am

PDS suffering from shortage of storage facilities

* 11.30 am

Rs 200 crore for climate resilient agri initiative

* 11.30 am

Propose Rs 300 cr for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

* 11.29 am

Rs 400 crore to extend green revolution to Eastern India

* 11.28 am

Committed to SEZ plans to boost exports, employment

* 11.27 am

Extend 2% interest subvention on export credit for 1 year

* 11.27 am

Capital for banks to help meet CAR aim

* 11.26 am

Company's Bill to address regulation in corporate sector

* 11.26 am

RBI to give additional banking licenses

* 11.26 am

FY11 capital for PSU Banks at Rs 16,500 crore

* 11.25 am

RBI mulling banking license for pvt & NBFC players

* 11.25 am

Status paper on domestic debt/GDP ratio in 6 months: BMR

* 11.24 am

Working towards making FDI regime simple

* 11.24 am

$20.9 bn FDI inflows during Apr-Dec '09

* 11.24 am

Will reduce fertiliser subsidy

* 11.23 am

Divestment proceeds budgeted higher in FY11 vs FY10

* 11.23 am

NBS will lead to agri productivity

* 11.22 am

PSU divestment mop-up seen at Rs 25,000 cr in FY10

* 11.22 am

Actively engaged in finalizing structure of GST rollout

* 11.21 am

Finance panel has proposed withdrawal of stimulus

* 11.20 am

Since December, signals of food inflation spilling over

* 11.19 am

Have acted on recommendations of 13th Finance Commission

* 11.19 am

Need to better manage supply-demand mismatch

* 11.19 am

Process of building a simple tax system is near completion

* 11.19 am

Need to strengthen local macro-economic situation

* 11.17 am

Efforts on to lower inflation in the next 2 months

* 11.16 am

Need to review stimulus and get back to fiscal consolidation

* 11.16 am

High fuel prices added to inflationary pressures

* 11.16 am

Should bring down inflation in the next few months

* 11.15 am

10% growth mark is not too distant in future

* 11.14 am

Focus to improve food security and healthcare systems

* 11.13 am

Govt must enable enterprise

* 11.13 am

Focus of economic activity shifted to non-govt factors

* 11.12 am

Some sectors have helped improve economic condition

* 11.12 am

FY10 was a challenging year for the economy

* 11.11 am

Budget will also signal policy for future

* 11.11 am

Second challenge is to make development more inclusive

* 11.10 am

First challenge is to return to high GDP growth of 9%

* 11.10 am

Budget cannot be a mere statement of government account

* 11.09 am

Thrust for infrastructure in rural areas

* 11.08 am

GDP growth hitting double-digit remains 1st challenge

* 11.07 am

Confident now economy in far better position

* 11.07 am

First challenge is to quickly revert to high GDP growth

* 11.07 am

Short-term global outlook bleak during FY10 Budget

* 11.06 am

Southwest monsoon undermined kharif crop

* 11.06 am

Averted crisis, Indian economy far better situation

* 11.05 am

Business sentiment weak at the time of last Budget

* 11.03 am

Finance Minister presents Union Budget 2010

Before Tendulkar there was Belinda

If records aren’t sexist, then it was Australian cricketer Belinda Clark and not Tendulkar who made the first double hundred in an ODI
Gentlemen dislike blondes. Or at least so it seems in the cricket world. How else could the pundits and fans rave about Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 on Wednesday when Australian cricketer Belinda Clark had beaten him to the double hundred record at least 13 years ago?

Incidentally, Clark’s feat was accomplished in Mumbai during the 1997 ICC Women’s World Cup ODI played between Australia and Denmark. She scored an unbeaten 229 in 155 balls at the breathtaking strike rate of 147.74 to take Australia to 412. Australia went on to win the match and that edition of the world cup.

A record is a record, and the fact that the pundits didn’t even bother to mention it only highlights the sexist bias.

Clark was voted Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1998. Born in the ‘70s, she entered international cricket in 1990. She went on to become captain of the Australian team and led them to three world cup finals, with two wins. Clark played 15 Test matches and 118 ODIs. Wisden Australia proclaimed her Australia’s “finest batswoman to date” with “her free-flowing, classical style, technical brilliance and aggressive attitude to scoring runs”.

In 2000, Clark was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia “for service to cricket, particularly through the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, and to the promotion and development of the game for women and girls.” With that she became a role model for women cricketers across the world.

Source :Times of India

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have you ever dismissed any municipal commissioner or CEO of municipal council for encroachments

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday suggested that special units -on the lines of police control rooms — could be set up to receive complaints regarding encroachments and unauthorised constructions.
“The government should have a control room or cell where any citizen can lodge complaint about unauthorised construction in his area,’’ observed a division bench of acting chief justice J N Patel and Justice B R Gavai. The judges said that the problem of encroachments were a result of inaction by civic officers. “Have you ever dismissed any municipal commissioner or CEO of municipal council for encroachments?’’ the judges asked.

The court has asked the authorities to furnish details of action taken against slumlords by April 7. The court was hearing a PIL on the mushrooming illegal structures in Thane.

The judges remarked sarcastically that if civic officials had managed to rid any area in Thane of unauthorised constructions, they deserved “the Maharashtra Bhushan or Bharat Ratna”. The court pointed out that six months after the state’s assurance that it would set up a special force to tackle encroachments, it remained on paper.

Source : Times of India