Monday, March 28, 2016

Arun Jaitley: A STATE WITHOUT A BUDGET

President’s Rule has been imposed in the State of Uttarakhand. Article 356 of the Constitution can be invoked only if the President is satisfied that there are grounds for believing that the governance of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution.
The Congress party in the State of Uttarakhand split after a section of the leadership alleged that they were dis-satisfied both with the Chief Minister and the central leadership of the Congress party. The split was on account of reasons internal to the Congress party. Nine Members of the Congress party in the Legislative Assembly decided to vote against the Appropriation Bill which provides for the budget of the State. On 18th March 2016, it appears that 35 Members voted against the Appropriation Bill and 32 in favour. These 35 Members comprised of 27 from the BJP and 9 rebel Congress men. There is documentary evidence both prior and subsequent to the Assembly Session to suggest that these 35 Members asked for a Division of Votes. The proceedings of the Assembly circulated in writing establishes the charge that a Division was asked for and yet it was claimed that the Appropriation Bill has been passed without a vote.
There are strong facts to suggest that the Appropriation Bill was actually defeated. As a consequence, the Government had to resign. Two further consequences flow out of this. Firstly, the Appropriation Bill sanctioning expenditure from 1st April 2016 was not approved and, secondly, if the Appropriation Bill was defeated, the continuation of the Government subsequent to 18th March 2016 is unconstitutional. It is to be noted that till today, neither the Chief Minister nor the Speaker have forwarded a certified copy of the Appropriation Bill to the Governor. Obviously, there is no assent of the Governor to the Appropriation Bill.
In any case, all facts surrounding the alleged discussion and passage of the Appropriation Bill clearly indicate its non-passage. There is a cloud and a serious doubt about the Appropriation Bill. There is a complete breakdown of the Constitutional machinery in as much as the Government, which should have resigned on the 18th of March with the failure of Appropriation Bill, has decided to continue. As of today there is no Appropriation Bill certified by the Speaker which has received assent of the Governor. If it is Speaker’s case that the rebels voted in favour of the Appropriation Bill and, hence, it has been passed, then the rebels could not have been disqualified.
Having plunged the State into a serious Constitutional crisis by continuing a Government which should have quit after the failure of the Appropriation Bill, and further complicating the crisis the Chief Minister started allurement, horse-trading and disqualification with a view to altering the composition of the House. After the Assembly has been put under suspended animation and the decision has been made public, the Speaker has decided to disqualify some Members. The Constitutional breakdown has been compounded further by this action. On 18th March the majority was declared to be a minority and vice versa, and on 27th March the composition of the House was attempted to be changed in violation of the Constitution to convert a minority into a majority. This is an unprecedented case of a Speaker declaring a failed Appropriation Bill as passed and then failing to certify falsehood. This leaves the State without any approved financial expenditure with effect from 1st April 2016. What better evidence do we need of a breakdown of Constitution? The Congress Government of Uttarakhand was murdering democracy every day from the 18th of March till the 27th of March. It is now incumbent upon the Central Government to ensure that steps are taken under Article 357 to authorise expenditure of the State with effect from 1st April 2016.
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UNESCO and L’Oréal Foundation launch manifesto to promote gender parity


UNESCO and L’Oréal Foundation launch manifesto to promote gender parity in the sciences
Paris, 25 March—A manifesto for women in science was launched in Paris at the close of Thursday’s L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award ceremony, which recognized five outstanding scientists and 15 your researchers. The Manifesto aims to draw attention to the need to ensure gender parity in science.

The Manifesto sets out to improve women’s access to science at all levels and in all disciplines. Its first signatories were Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal and head of the L’Oréal Foundation, and Elizabeth Blackburn, President of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Jury.

“The UNESCO Science Report shows that the disparities between men and women are still very considerable,” said Ms Bokova. “More equality and parity in the sciences would create more opportunities to attain scientific excellence, which is part of UNESCO’s mission.”
“Women and their discoveries are needed in our fast changing world as never before,” said Mr Agon. “With the For Women in Science programme, the L’Oréal Foundation is committed to promoting women scientists who will change the world. We are determined to fight on their side, for science, to build a better world.”
The Manifesto @4womeninscience promotes a six-point agenda:
  1. Encourage girls to explore scientific career paths,
  2. Break down the barriers that prevent women scientists from pursuing long term careers in research,
  3. Prioritize women’s access to senior positions and leadership positions in the sciences,
  4. Celebrate with the general public the contribution that women scientists make to scientific progress and to society,
  5. Ensure gender equality through participation and leadership in symposiums and scientific commissions, such as conferences, committees and board meetings,
  6. Promote mentoring and networking for young scientists to enable them to plan and develop careers that meet their expectations.
Over the past 18 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has been celebrating women scientists from all over the world. Each year, it distinguishes five women researchers from every part of the globe for their exceptional discoveries and awards 250 fellowships to women researchers from 112 countries who are in the early stages of their careers.
To sign the Manifesto: http://www.fwis.fr/en/manifesto
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Media contacts:
L’Oréal Foundation: Ludivine Desmonts-Mornet, ludivine.desmonts-mornet@loreal.com, +33 (0) 1 47 56 77 47
Agence Matriochka, Delphine Hilaire, delphine.hilaire@mtrchk.com, +33 (0) 6 22 68 29 64 or Carly Newman,carly.newman@mtrchk.com, +33 (0) 6 65 00 41 66.
UNESCO: Agnès Bardon, a.bardon@unesco.org, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64.
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28 March 2016
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Modinomics at two
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Robert Fisk: Why is David Cameron silent on the recapture of Palmyra?
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Esta semana en FIFA.com…
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Mexico alone on top, USA adrift
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Nehru-Gandhis and poverty:

Nehru-Gandhis and poverty: Dynastic politics is largely responsible for India lagging East Asia
March 28, 2016, 1:07 AM IST Sadanand Dhume in TOI Edit Page | Economy, Edit Page, India, World |TOI
Has dynastic politics kept India poor? This appears to be an unstated assumption of a speech earlier this month by BJP president Amit Shah to the party faithful, and the stated view of many in his party. As the formulation goes, after being ruled by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty for most of the past seven decades India remains poor. Give BJP 25 years and it will turn India into “Vishwa Guru”, or teacher to the world. Take BJP boasts with a large grain of salt, but there’s more than a kernel of truth to the idea that the Nehru-Gandhis are responsible for India lagging much of East Asia. The continued hold of the dynasty prevents Congress from fully owning the reform programme that it authored in 1991, and inclines the party towards political postures that hinder development. As long as Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi remain at the helm, the odds of Congress emerging as a champion of> reforms remain exceedingly slim.
In the fever swamps of the far right, many people believe that the Nehru-Gandhis deliberately kept India backward in order to nurture a poor and ignorant vote bank. But you need not buy crackpot conspiracy theories to make a more prosaic point. Between them, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv gandhi, who ruled India for 37 of its first 42 years of Independence, presided over one of Asia’s great economic flops. In contrast, neither of post-1991India’s
reform heroes – P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee – belonged to the dynasty. Indeed, in practice, if not always in rhetoric, both Rao and Vajpayee generated prosperity by dismantling the economic pillars of the Nehruvian project: mistrust of trade, contempt for the profit motive, and faith in state planning rather than in the invisible hand of the market.
Nehru’s flawed ideas – in particular his infatuation with Soviet-style planning – ended up doing India grave harm. But though a few prescient gadflies, most famously the classical liberal B R Shenoy and future Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, raised early alarms about India’s chosen path, for the most part Nehru
was simply following the conventional wisdom of his time. As New York University professor William Easterly details in ‘The Tyranny of Experts’,
it took decades to discredit the statist development model touted by such luminaries as Gunnar Myrdal and Arthur Lewis. Indians were not alone in suffering. Millions of Africans, Latin Americans and fellow Asians kept us company. The true villain of modern Indian history, dooming millions of Indians to poverty, was Indira Gandhi. Instead of acknowledging a flood of evidence that state planning was not working, Gandhi doubled down on her father’s dubious legacy.
In 1966, the year Gandhi took power, the average Indian earned about fourfifths as much as the average Indonesian and about half as much as the average South Korean. By 1990, on the eve of the balance of payments crisis that forced India to reform, the average Indian earned only half as much as an Indonesian and less than one-sixth as much as a South Korean. More than half of India’s then 870 million people lived on less than the World Bank’s current estimate for extreme poverty of $1.90 a day. Why does this potted history still matter? After all, since 1991India has gone from being seen as a black hole of despair to a bright spot in the global economy. Thanks to the growth spurred by reforms, only about one-fifth of Indians live in extreme poverty today. Soon
enough, that figure will likely be reduced to zero.
In a normal political system, Congress would have elevated Rao to sainthood and quietly banished the discredited ghosts of the Nehru-Gandhis. Instead, party leaders twist themselves into pretzels to retroactively give the dynasty credit for reforms, or pretend that the economic disaster they presided over was in
fact a great launch pad for what followed. To be fair, the current crop of Nehru-Gandhis no longer quotes Lenin, as Nehru did when he famously
declared that the public sector would occupy the “commanding heights” of the economy. But in general the family’s impact on economic policy remains negative. Contrast, for instance, Manmohan Singh’s record under Rao with his record under Sonia Gandhi. As Rao’s finance minister, Singh boldly unshackled the Indian elephant. As Gandhi’s prime minister, he burdened it with too many wasteful welfare programmes and too few growth-inducing policies.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi’s somewhat forgettable political career has been marked by consistently anti-business rhetoric. In 2010, he scuttled Vedanta’s $1.7 billion bauxite mining project in Odisha. The young Gandhi’s rhetoric about “two Indias” and bizarre animus towards people who “drive big-big cars” suggest a dilettantish preoccupation with inequality rather than a serious focus on eradicating poverty. Though the Modi government is responsible for its own tepid reform effort, there’s no question that Rahul’s jibe about the prime minister heading a “suit-boot ki sarkar” has helped vitiate the policy-making atmosphere. So yes, the critics are right about dynastic politics helping keep India poor. Without the Nehru-Gandhis in charge, Congress would
> have no need to deify some of the worst economic managers in post-colonial history. India would find it easier to get on with the important work of catching up with all those that have left it behind.
>
> The writer is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC

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