Less Educated Indian MPs in 16th Lok Sabha


In the 16th Lok Sabha election, the percentage of MPs with below matriculation education qualification has increased to six in this year’s election, compared to three percent in the previous Lok Sabha election, said a Policy Research Studies.

Uma Bharti

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Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti is one such strong woman political leader who proved that despite low educational qualification, are still a great leader.

A firebrand leader and Hindutva mascot, Uma Bharti has studied only till the 5th standard mainly because of poor family background.
This is the second time that the saffron clad leader, often referred to as ‘sadhvi’, has become a Union minister in an NDA government. Bharti came to prominence during the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi movement. She had served as Minister both in the state of Madhya Pradesh and as Union Minister in the Cabinet.

Lalubhai Babubhai Patel

Lok Sabha BJP MP from Daman and Diu state, Lalubhai Babubhai Patel is just 8th Pass and failed SSC Exam from Shree Somnath Kelvani Mandal High School Debhel in Daman. An active member of All India Backward Classes Employees Federation and Cultural Secretary, he was appointed to the Committee on Home Affairs. He has visited many countries like Dubai, Singapore and Thailand.

Jual Oram

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Hailing from a poor tribal family at ‘Kendudihi’, a village in Orissa’s Sundargarh district, Jual Oram created history by becoming the first union Tribal Affairs minister of India.

Oram was a face-saver for BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls being the party’s lone winner from Odisha. Coming to his educational qualification, this Union Minister has just completed his Higher Secondary education and a Diploma in Electrical Engineering. A lover of sports who always remained concerned for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden, Oram had worked for about six years in a public sector company with his diploma in electrical engineering before he decided to join politics. He had also played a significant role in strengthening BJP’s organization in Odisha during his tenure as the state party unit president.

Kanwar Singh Tanwar

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The Super-rich MP in 16th Lok Sabha, Kanwar Singh Tanwar, is one among the less educated parliamentarian who studied only till the 7th standard. A dropped out of Government Secondary School Fatehpur Beri, New Delhi, he is known to ride the “wave”. He joined Bahujan Samaj in 2008 when Mayawati was the soaring high in her political career and jump to Congress in 2012. With the UPA government going hayward and a Narendra Modi wave sweeping across the country, Tanwar switched himself to the BJP in February and landed a party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Amroha in UP with yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s backing.  With assets worth 150 crore, Tanwar is one of the richest MPs in India.

Innocent

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An actor—cum comedian and parliamentarian, Innocent who studied till 8th standard from SN School, in Kerala is one of the least educated politicos.

He won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency (comprising of 3 assembly constituencies in Thrissur district and 4 assembly constituencies of Ernakulam district) in Thrissur district as an independent candidate supported by the Left Democratic Front. Apart from being a politician, he is one of the most successful and leading comedy actors of Malayalam cinema. He is noted for his witty mannerisms and dialogue delivery in the typical Thrissur accent that easily grabbed the attention of the masses.

Gopal Chinayya Shetty

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BJP MP from Mumbai north Constituency Gopal Chinayya Shetty completed his education only till the 7th grade from Lady of Remedy High School, Poinsur, Mumbai in 1969. In the 16th Lok Sabha, he wins with a margin of 446582 against his immediate rival Sanjay Brijkishorlal Nirupam of INC. Shetty has 10 cases pending against him, including that of criminal intimidation, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property and rioting. Prior to venturing into politics, Gopal Chinayya worked in Municipal Corporation.

Source – IndiaTV

75 Percent MPs Are Graduate In 16th Lok Sabha


About 75 per cent of MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha have at least a graduate degree, while 10 per cent are only matriculates.

This is slightly less than the 15th Lok Sabha in which 79 per cent had a bachelor’s degree.

At the same time, the number of MPs with just a matriculate degree has decreased to 10 per cent from 17 per cent in preceding Lok Sabha, according to a report by PRS Legislative Research.

The number of members with a doctoral degree has increased to six per cent in 2014 polls from three per cent in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Interestingly, the percentage of MPs elected in the 2014 general elections who do not have a matriculate degree is significantly higher in comparison to the 15th Lok Sabha.

“75 per cent of the 543 MPs elected in the 2014 general elections have at least a graduate degree. This is slightly lesser than the 15th Lok Sabha in which 79 per cent of MPs held at least a graduate degree,” the report noted.

Also, in the 16th Lok Sabha, 27 per cent of MPs elected have listed agriculture as their primary occupation, followed by political and social work and business.

In comparison, in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, 28 per cent MPs had listed political and social work as their occupation, 27 per cent had listed agriculture, while 15 per cent had listed business.

Going back to the very first Lok Sabha that was formed in 1952, the single largest occupation of members was that of lawyers, followed by agriculture and business.

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Four Decades On, India Still Struggling To Empower Women Voters


India still witnesses imbalanced sex ratio when it comes to registration of voters. Recently, the Election Commission brought out some pretty surprising statistics which shows India’s continuing story of gender inequities since 1971, during the time when the gender break-up of electorates was first recorded, reports Tina Edwin of IndiaSpend.

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Out of the overall 23.16 million first-time voters enrolled voters for the 16th Lok Sabha polls,  just 41 percent of the 18-19 year-olds registered voters are women, 96 lakh of them as against 1.4 crore new male voters. In India, states like Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chandigarh and Gujarat have the most skewed electoral sex ratios.

Ashok Jain, chief electoral officer, said, “We have been consistently motivating and encouraging women voters by engaging them in several SVEEP (Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation) activities,” reports TOI.

Though the time has changed with improved literacy, intervention of government agencies and aggressive efforts of political parties to bring more people to vote, it is the patriarchal nature of Indian society that fails to bring in more female voters.

With a motive to engage more women, the EC has launched various campaigns like appealing to them to vote through household items like gas cylinders and advertisements on all means of media. Not just this, even while registration, the election officers ensured that more women participate in the process by asking men to come with their wives so that they too receive voter ID cards.

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Laws needed to give lokpal teeth


“This is not about one Bill; this is about the framework and we would like to deliver that framework to the country.” Rahul Gandhi said so, in a rare intervention in LS before the Lokpal Bill’s passage. It was an appeal to the 15th LS that, besides Lokpal, it should “consider and enact all six pending anti-corruption Bills before its term expires”.

He proposed that the winter session be extended “to complete our unfinished work in our fight against corruption”. Law minister Kapil Sibal made a similar request in RS, “Let’s try and work extra hours to bring these Bills to the House and to have them passed.” Though the House has been adjourned indefinitely, the proposal of reconvening it merits serious consideration, as demanded by Aruna Roy on behalf of civil society — more so because there is apparently a political consensus in favour of these legislations.

Since the term of the 15th LS has been marred by scams, there cannot be a more fitting way of signing off than carrying out this “unfinished work” to complement the Lokpal legislation. Consider the difference each of these Bills could make once passed.

Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011: As Arun Jaitley pointed out in RS, Parliament was obliged to pass this Bill to honour its 2011commitment before Anna Hazare broke his fast. One of the three clauses of the Sense of the House resolution passed then was a promise to enact a citizen’s charter for every public authority. This Bill subsequently introduced seeks to create a mechanism under which the charter will detail goods and services to be provided and their delivery timelines.

The proposed mechanism will have to redress within 30 days grievances related to the charter, functioning of the public authority and violations of a law or policy. It provides for the appointment of central and state public grievance redressal commissions, which will fine errant officers up to Rs 50,000. While Lokpal will deal with corruption, this Bill is about grievances like potholed roads or failure to supply ration cards.

Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2011: The government came up with this Bill to strengthen safeguards for whistleblowers. It widened the whistleblower definition to include not just a conscientious public servant exposing corruption but also “any other person” including NGOs so that even RTI activists get similar protection. Disclosures of whistleblowers could be about an act of corruption, misuse of power or any criminal offence by public servants.

Under this, whistleblower can make his disclosure in confidence to the central or state vigilance commission. Anyone disclosing the complainant’s identity will be penalized. It imposes a penalty on whistleblowers if they knowingly make false complaints.

Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill 2010: This lays down enforceable standards of conduct for SC and HC judges. Sixteen of the 18 enumerated standards are derived from SC’s code of conduct for judges and requires judges to declare their and their kin’s assets and liabilities. Given the need to maintain judicial independence, it creates three mechanisms to deal with complaints on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity. Once a complaint is filed, the proposed Judicial Oversight Committee will serve as first check. It will be a five-member body comprising two serving judges, a retired judge, attorney general and an eminent person. In keeping with the practice in countries like UK and US, this panel will allow non-judicial members to evaluate complaints.

If the complaint is in order, the oversight committee will forward it to the Scrutiny Panel comprising judicial members. Two of the three members will be judges sitting in the same court as the judge against whom there is a complaint. If the scrutiny committee is convinced of the complaint’s truthfulness, it will be referred to the Investigation Committee, which will have civil court powers. Penalties that may arise from this network of committees could range from an advisory to public censure of a sitting judge. This may also lead to a recommendation to the President for a judge’s removal.

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2013: After the coal scam, the government came up with a radical proposal scrapping the notion of punishing somebody for corruption even when there is no quid pro quo or bribery. The proposed amendment seeks to delete the clause in the corruption law against “misuse of official position to extend undue favours”. This will ensure that a public servant isn’t booked for a judgment error on his part unless there’s evidence of graft.

This introduces the need for sanction to prosecute retired bureaucrats, joint secretary and above and strengthens the investigating agency’s power to go after bribe givers.

The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials Bill: It penalizes Indian companies and individuals bribing foreign state or international agency officials.

Public Procurement Bill: It seeks to ensure transparency in procurement by the Central government and its entities. It exempts procurements for disaster management or strategic purposes, and those below Rs 50 lakh. It sets open competitive bidding as preferred procurement method and mandates publication of all information on a portal.

122SOURCE : TOI

 

 

Online Campaigns, the New Tool for Political Parties to Woo Netizens


Which strategy have the Indian politicians and political parties not applied to win the hearts of their voters? There are hardly any. With the advancement in the information technology, now the political parties are not just confined to their political campaigns through rallies, rath yatras, TV appearances, full page advertisements, posters and pamphlets but have also employed the new media platform like the internet and social networking sites for the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as reported by Kim Arora for Times Of India.

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Most of the political parties have their own IT cells in order promote their party manifestos and contribute through the online medium. Recently, the netizens of the country were the most targeted masses through digital medium as the political parties believe it will easily help garner voters, mostly the youth. Arvind Gupta of BJP‘s IT cell said, “We’ve built a strong base of volunteers through our online outreach, who are well-informed about the party policy and its activities. Our social media guidelines, which are up on the party website, were crowd-sourced,” reported TOI.

The digital age has changed the game and this seems evident even among politicians, as they are involved in their digital campaigns. Kumar Vishwas of Aam Aadmi Party said “Not just our central team, even our candidates have online support groups they interact with regularly. When a five-year-old’s rape case wasn’t being registered by the police, the candidate from the area got people together with a single message. They picketed outside the police station until an FIR was filed.”

Though, social media and new technology was also employed during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the last two years have witnessed a massive increase in the practice of digital tools by political leaders and parties. This was started with several “official” Twitter and Facebook pages of the leaders, and now the policy makers are reaching out to the masses via videoconference too.

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According to the study by the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI), social media is most likely to impact 160 Lok Sabha seats.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that acts as the watchdog of political parties is also in the digital race as they introduced a mobile app known as Election Watch Reporter. It was first launched in Karnataka to help people report violations of the election code of conduct with the help of mobile phone pictures, and soon a Delhi-specific version of the app will also be launched.

The internet medium which is considered as the fastest mode of deciphering information might indeed serve as a successful medium to political parties to get the maximum votes.

Karunanidhi warns of pulling out of UPA over Sri Lanka


DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday warned his party will pull out of the UPA government if India does not press for an independent international probe against those responsible for the genocide in Sri Lanka in the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC against the island nation.

In a statement issued here late night, Karunanidhi, referring to the US sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said: “India should take steps to amend the American resolution to include thatt those war criminals responsible for the genocide in Sri Lanka be identified, hold a free international enquiry against them and take time bound appropriate action.”

“If this request is not heeded, it will be meaningless for the DMK to continue in the central government,” he added.

DMK, with 18 members in the Lok Sabha, is a key constituent in the central United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

IANS

I’m not interested in becoming PM: Rahul Gandhi


Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he was not interested in becoming the prime minister and wants to focus on his party instead.

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“The party is my priority. I believe in long-term politics,” Gandhi was quoted by TV channels as saying in Delhi.

“I am not interested in becoming the prime minister,” he was quoted as saying.

Gandhi, who is the second-in-command in the Congress, told reporters there was a need to end the “high command culture” in the party.

The Congress party has not announced a prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but Gandhi is a clear favourite.

Gandhi has been working on improving the party’s grasroots and has convened a meeting of all general secretaries and central leaders in charge of states on March 6.

Sissa’s request and Chess


Among the fascinating legends told about the origin of chess is the story of Sissa, a scientist and the inventor of the game. In western India, Raja Balhait had asked his advisers to create a game that demonstrated the values of prudence, diligence, foresight, and knowledge. Sissa brought a chessboard to the raja and explained that he had chosen war as a model for the game because war was the most effective school in which to learn the values of decision, vigor, endurance, circumspection, and courage. The raja was delighted with the game and ordered its preservation in temples. He considered its principles the foundation of all justice and held it to be the best training in the art of war.

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The raja said to his subject Sissa, “Ask any reward. It will be yours.” Being a scientist, Sissa felt rewarded by the pleasure his invention was giving others; but the kind insisted, and finally Sissa said, “Give me a reward in grains of corn on the chessboard (ashtapada). On the first square one grain, on the second two, on the third four, on the fourth double of that, and so on until the 64th and last square.”

The raja would not hear of it. He insisted that Sissa ask for something of more worth than grains of corn. But Sissa insisted he had no need of much and that the grains of corn would suffice. Thereupon the raja ordered the corn to be brought; but before they had reached the 30th square, all the corn of India was exhausted. Perturbed, he looked at Sissa, who laughed and told his raja that he knew perfectly well he could never receive the reward he had asked because the amount of corn involved would cover the whole surface of the earth to a depth of nine inches.

The raja did not know which to admire more: the invention of chess or the ingenuity of Sissa’s request. The number involved is 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains. This number had been previously calculated by the early Indian mathematicians, who incidentally, had invented the decimal system long before it reached the Arabs and Europe.

DMK against FDI but ‘very strongly’ backs government


Government ally DMK Thursday said it was against foreign investment in multi-brand retail but “very strongly” supports the ruling UPA and wants it to complete its full term.

DMK’s Tiruchi Siva told the Rajya Sabha that his party “finds it essential that the government should go for its full term for the progressive measures it has been taking.. and we want to keep away communal forces”.

The DMK spoke against allowing foreign investment in retail in the Lok Sabha but voted for the government Wednesday. It has 18 MPs in the lower house and seven in the upper house.

In a repeat of its stand, Siva said in the upper house: “DMK very strongly supports the government, but opposes the motion for FDI.

“The DMK has never let its friends down midway.. We started with a mission and the DMK will always be with the UPA.”

Terming FDI a “foreign invasion” by multinationals, Siva said: “FDI giants will eat the small farmers and shopkeepers.”

He urged the government to start a farmers market instead of bringing in FDI. “Through such a market, farmers can bring their produce directly to the market, such things can be done.”

Siva said the government should have gone in for consensus “to assuage the fears in the minds of the people” about FDI.

IANS

Team Anna, BJP Rejects Lokpal Bill Tabled in Parliament.


The Congress-led UPA government has tabled the Lok Sabha 2011 in the Lok Sabha only to be welcomed by severe criticisms and opposition, both from the civil society and the political parties. 

Team Anna has mocked the Lokpal bill prepared by the Government and called it “anti-people, dangerous and useless.” The Bharatiya Janata Party condemned the unconstitutional” minority quota provision in the legislation and demanded the government to withdraw the bill immediately.

The Congress-led UPA

BJP leader and leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj objected this particular provision and told, “We are disappointed. This is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has given dozens of rulings stating that any reservation should not be more than 50 percent.” “It is important we make a law that is not patently unconstitutional and later rejected in the court of law,” she said.

In a strong counter attack, Finance Minister and Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, said, “This is not just a piece of law. There is an agitation on in the country for the Bill and a committee has been working to bring this Bill. If a bill is struck by courts it doesn’t mean that Parliament doesn’t pass the bill. It is for the courts to judge the constitutional of a bill. Our job is to make and pass the bill. Let the court do their job, we will do our job.”

Anna Hazare rejected the bill saying “it is a betrayal of the people and the legislation would not provide for a strong anti-graft institution.” Anna challenged Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi for a public debate to justify the proposed bill as a strong one. Anna said that the new bill is useless as it does not have direct control over CBI and the lower bureaucracy. He was also quoted saying “Sonia Gandhi says the bill is strong. If it is so, let she come out and debate with us in front of media. Let people see it. Convince the people of the country that it is strong. We will explain how it is not strong.”

Kiran Bedi, member of Team Anna said, “The draft prepared by the government should be rejected and condemned in the strongest terms. This draft has several loose ends and due to this, the rational of the anti-graft legislation has been lost completely.”Referring to CBI being controlled by the government, she also was quoted saying “Of what use has a body’s power to merely inquire ever been, if the investigation that follows the inquiry will be controlled by the government?”

Anna and his team do not want CBI out of the administrative control of the bill as he says that the biggest victims of corruption are the poor who have to pay bribes to get any work done and that the ‘weak’ bill will not help the poor in their fight against corruption.

Team Anna also says the Prime Minister is provided with too many safeguards from investigation by the Lokpal and any inquiry against him would need a sanction of three-fourth of the Lokpal members in non-public proceedings and they would have no access through the Right to Information Act.

As the bill is tabled in the Lok Sabha, the anti-graft legislation will now be discussed during Parliament’s extended session on December 27.