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Dandi March Micro Sculpted in the Eye of a Needle

Micro Sculptor by passion Ajay Kumar Mattewada Micro Sculpted – in the Eye of a Needle: the Dandi March Scene with Mahatma Gandhi Leading a Group of Seven People. This micro sculpted creation has been donated by Ajay Kumar to the historic National Salt Satyagraha Memorial dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at Dandi in Gujarat; and had found a place at the memorial. Prime Minister Modi exclaimed ‘amazing!after seeing the sculpture under the microscope.

  • Micro Sculpted Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s struggle for freedom is a wax depiction that Ajay Kumar micro sculpted on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Gandhi.
  • Replica of the statue originally on a ceramic base built in Delhi, has been micro sculpted by carving Gandhi and his seven followers inside the eye of a sewing needle!
  • It is not visible to the naked eye and requires a microscope to view it.
  • Each of the eight models, built between the dimensions of 0.18mm and 1.09mm in length and 0.21mm to 0.18mm in width, have been given finesse from the intricate fold on Gandhi’s dhoti to the wisp of hair on the woman following him.
  • It took 30 hours through 11 days for Ajay to complete the Dandi March models.

“It’s a lot of strain to look through a microscope and carve models. Hence, I do not work more than 4-5 hours on a sculpture in a day. The Dandi statues are a tribute to my father who was also a freedom fighter,” said Ajay Kumar who learnt the art of micro-sculpture from his father Mattewada Venkatachary, also a goldsmith

 “I began doing micro-art on rice granules where I painted faces of famous personalities on grains of rice. Later on, I started experimenting with matchsticks and then started sculpting with gold.” “It takes hours to create a micro sculpture. I can work for two hours at a stretch before taking a break as the eyes strain so much. The work demands holding of breath at times as finer details cannot be achieved even with a small disturbance.” The works demands absolute attention and one has to forget the surroundings. “The tools I work with are so delicate that if you blow air, they will bend. You can understand the dexterity involved in it,” explained Ajay the Micro Sculptor.

Ajay Kumar Mattewada, aged 45, a Goldsmith by profession of Warangal city in Telangana, has been into making miniature items since his childhood and has been practising micro-art for the past 28 years. He holds several records including an entry in the Limca Book of Records for his amazing micro items that are functional and made of gold such as the world’s smallest fan, a pair of miniature scissors, and violin.  For the last few years, he had taken up creating sculptures in the eye of a needle and on a pin head with a specially made wax.

Ajay Kumar Mattewada stands ‘tall’ amongst a very few micro artists in the world who create micro statues and is the third micro artist in the world after 61-year-old Willard Wigan and 46-year-old Yury Deulin to sculpt inside the eye of a needle.

Combining the patience of Job and concentration of a rishi, Ajay has created objets d’art that include: Ganesha, Jesus, Horse rider with the national flag, Statue of Liberty, Elephant, Gautama Buddha, Mountaineer, Camel herder, Bird and are some his works done in the eye of a needle.

Portraits Abdul Kalam, PV Narasimha Rao and Vajpayee painted on rice granules were sent by Ajay Kumar to them and for which he received appreciation from these personalities.

  • Gautama Buddha statue carved by Ajay in the eye of needle is 0.52 mm tall and 0.16 mm wide. It has a 24 carat gold chain and features such as eyes, mouth and nose are clearly distinctly visible.
  • Bird in the eye of needle is 0.41 mm tall and 0.18 mm wide and a 0.3 mm tail with all features clearly visible including eyes and feathers.
  • Statue of Liberty created in the eye of needle is 0.92 mm tall and 0.24 mm wide. The folds of the dress, crown with seven sharp needles, flame and book in the hand are all distinctly visible.

India’s Self-Propelled, Fastest Train Vande Bharat Express Flagged Off

“Vande Bharat Express”, India’s first semi-high speed train, that will ply between Delhi and Varanasi, with halts at Kanpur and Allahabad, was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its maiden run at the New Delhi railway station on Friday 16 February 2019. This train is a ‘Make-in-India” Success Story as its major systems have been designed and built in India. It meets global standards of performance, safety and passenger comfort; yet costing less than half of global prices. It therefore has the potential to be a game-changer in the global rail business. The train’s interiors have the look and feel of a commercial airplane and aims to provide a totally new travel experience to passengers.

  • Vande Bharat Express is culmination of ‘Make in India’ effort of Indian Railways into India’s fastest train to date, capable of commercial speeds up to 160 km per hour.
  • Named ‘Train 18’ at the concept stage, it is a self-propelled train set and doesn’t have a locomotive.
  • Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, a Railways Production unit, has been the force behind a completely in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working with a large number of suppliers for system integration in just 18 months.
  • Vande Bharat Express has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which 2 are executive class coaches, with a total seating capacity of 1128 passengers.
  • Speed, Safety and Service are the hallmarks of this train.
  • All coaches are equipped with automatic doors, a GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system and on-board hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes.
  • The lighting is dual mode, viz. diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat.
  • Every coach has a pantry with facilities to serve hot meals and hot or cold beverages.
  • Toilets are bio-vacuum type, similar to those on airplanes.
  • The coaches have insulation is meant to keep heat and outside noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort.
  • The train has regenerative braking system in the coaches which can save up to 30% of electrical energy.
  • It will complete the 780-km journey between Delhi and Varanasi in eight hours, slicing off 180 minutes from the current travel time of 11hours and 30 minutes.
  • Its top speed would initially be restricted to 130 km per hour on the Delhi-Varanasi route.
  • It will have two travel classes similar to the Shatabdi but with better facilities: the plush executive class seats that can rotate 180 degrees and chair car with adequate leg space.
  • From Delhi to Varanasi, an executive class fare will be ₹3310 and air-conditioned chair car ticket will cost ₹1760.
  • From Varanasi to Delhi, the executive class fare will be ₹3260 and air-conditioned chair car ticket will cost ₹1700.
  • The fares are inclusive of catering charges.
  • Train will Run on all days Except Mondays and Thursdays

According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tendering process for manufacture of 30 more semi-high speed trains like Vande Bharat Express, has already begun and Prime Minister’s approval has been sought for 100 more such train sets.

Odisha Government’s KALIA with Scholarship Scheme

KALIA: Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation scheme, the ₹10000-crore scheme for the overall development of farmers in Odisha state launched by its Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 31 December 2018 has an added component of a Scholarship Scheme for children of beneficiaries of KALIA under the KALIA Chhatra Bruti programme for pursuing higher education, announced Patnaik on Sunday 3 February 2019; addressing a farmers’ conclave in Keonjhar district of Odisha. Patnaik added that he had launched the scholarship programme under the popular KALIA scheme as he wanted the children to pursue higher studies in disciplines such as medicine, engineering, management and law. The State government will bear the educational expenses of the children of KALIA beneficiaries who are studying in government professional colleges on merit basis.

KALIA is a Government of Odisha progressive and inclusive farmers’ welfare programme that aims to empower small, marginal farmers and landless and covers 92% of the cultivators, loanee as well as non-loanee farmers, share croppers (actual cultivators) and landless agriculture labourers.

Odisha Chief Minister said that though the scheme did not have provision of farm loan waiver: “all the small and marginal farmers of the state (over 30 lakh) will be covered under the scheme”. This apart, the KALIA scheme also has a component for livelihood support for landless households.

“There are about 32 lakh cultivators in the state: Out of this about 20 lakh have availed crop loans. The remaining 12 lakh have not availed crop loans.” “Further the entire gamut of share croppers and landless labourers will not be covered under a loan waiver scheme.” “This component is not linked to the extent of land owned. It will greatly benefit share croppers and actual cultivators most of whom own very small extent of land. This assistance is for five crop seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22, so as to ensure comprehensive coverage.”

KALIA to provide:

  • Financial assistance of 10000 to each farmer before the sowing seasons: ₹5000 before Kharif season and ₹5000 before Rabi season.
  • Financial support to cultivators for cultivation: for purchasing seeds & fertilizers.
  • Livelihood support for landless agricultural households: “Ten lakh landless households will be supported with a unit cost of 12500 to take up activities like goat rearing units, mini layer units, duckery units, fishery kits for fishermen and women, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping,” the landless households will have the option of selecting any of the units.
  • The scheme, among others, will particularly benefit scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
  • Financial assistance to vulnerable agricultural households: an annual financial assistance of 10000 per household to take care of sustenance of farmers not able to take up cultivation due to old age, disability, disease or other reasons. Deserving families will be identified and selected by gram panchayats. About 10 lakh households will be covered over two years under this scheme at a cost of 100 crore.
  • Life insurance cover of 2 lakh and additional personal accident cover of 2 lakh to both cultivators and landless agriculture labourers covering about 74 lakh households, and
  • Interest free crop loans up to ₹50000.

The Statue of Unity – A Tribute to the “Iron Man” of India

The history of India’s struggle for freedom is not a one-man saga but an epic with numerous dedicated freedom fighters who are heroes in their own right. Honoring one of the stalwarts of the Indian Independence movement, the Statue of Unity is built in dedication to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who played a decisive role in country’s unification following independence from British rule.

The 182-metre effigy of India’s first deputy Prime Minister is the world’s tallest statue at Sadhu Bet, a river island near the Sardar Sarovar mega-dam and towers nearly twice the height of New York’s famous Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Unity is a breathtaking sight set against the glistening basalt rocks of the Vindhya and Satpura hills of the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 31st of October 2018 coinciding with the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

The foundation stone of this project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 31st of October 2013 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The Loha (iron) campaign was the first step towards connecting the entire nation with the statue, in which scrap iron was collected from around 700000 villages across India, in reference to Patel’s nickname of India’s “Iron Man”. In this way 135 tons of iron was donated by Indian farmers to support the project. The slogan for this noble project was Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (One India, Noble India). In tandem with this idea, there is a Shrestha Bharat Centre at the feet of the statue to house a research facility for agriculture and tribal development.

The unique sculpture is designed by the Padma Bhushan awardee Ram V Sutar and depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl with expression, posture and pose that justify dignity, confidence, iron will that his persona exuded.

The Statue of Unity is a mega project built within a period of three-and-a-half years by about 3000 workers, including 300 engineers from infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The statue is spread over 20000 square meters and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. The total cost of the project is estimated to be 2989 crore.

The iconic structure has a three-layered structure with the innermost layer made of reinforced concrete cement, the middle layer is a steel structure and the outermost layer is 8 mm bronze cladding. The statue also has two lifts near the legs of the statue which can carry 26 people each. There also is a visitor’s gallery at the height of 157 metres, which can accommodate around 200 people at a time and offers a magnificent view of the Satpura and Vidhyanchal mountain ranges and provides a bird’s-eye view of the iconic Sardar Sarovar Dam. Other major tourist attractions are the light and sound shows and a museum on the life and times of Sardar Patel. The project includes a 52-room 3-star hotel, and an auditorium.

The Statue of Unity is a befitting tribute to the Iron Man of India. A symbol of the country’s engineering and technical prowess, the Statue of Unity is not only the tallest in height, but it also stands tall for historical, academic, national and spiritual values.

Carnot Prize of Kleinman Center for Energy Policy to Piyush Goyal

Carnot Prize, the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice, the most prestigious award in the energy sector, was formally presented to Piyush Goyal, presently Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India, in recognition of the path-breaking transformations in India’s energy sector, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 30 January 2019. Goyal had previously been unable to accept the award in the United States of America, due to the unfortunate train tragedy that took place in Amritsar on Friday 19 October 2018

It is both a personal honour as well as a tribute to the efforts of all involved in this great work throughout India to be recognised with the Carnot Prize by the University of Pennsylvania”, stated Piyush Goyal, who has decided that the award money of $25,000 as part of the 2018 Carnot Prize, will be donated to the International Solar Alliance to institute the Diwakar Award. The Diwakar award will recognise, every year, an outstanding organisation that has been working for special children and maximising the use of solar energy.

Carnot Prize is named in memory of French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, which became the basis for the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those who have revolutionized our understanding of energy policy.

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania awards 4th annual Carnot Prize – 2018 to Union Minister Piyush Goyal. The 1st recipients of Carnot Prize in 2015 was Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit and founder of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a leading authority on energy, geopolitics, and the global economy, bestselling author, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The 2nd recipient of Carnot Prize in 2016 was Faith Birol, Executive Director International Energy Agency; and the 3rd recipient of Carnot Prize in 2017 was Gina McCarthy, Former Administrator Environmental Protection Agency.

The 2018 Carnot Prize is an acknowledgement of India’s climate conscious, and development driven energy governance that is fuelling the aspirations of 125 crore people; and recognises India’s efforts towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions by transformational changes in its power sector during Goyal’s tenure as Union Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, including:

  • Fast-track electrification in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the country, as India eliminated decades of darkness in more than 19000 villages as on 28 April 2018.
  • Rural electrification drive helped in achieving ‘24×7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all’.
  • Saubhagya Programme was the last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages.
  • In the last four years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme, along with private sector participation, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided.

Mark Alan Hughes, founding faculty director, Kleinman Center, commended India’s electrification drive – “Providing power to the world’s energy poor turns on the lights – and also empower education, sanitation, and health care. It closes the gap between the haves and have nots.

India’s Prime Minister has called climate conservation an article of faith for India. The massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, which is the world’s largest renewable expansion programme.

Prime Minister gave the vision of “one world, one sun, one grid” while addressing the member nations of the International Solar Alliance, and India is playing its role as a committed solar leader through steady progress on all green energy goals.

Carnot Prize recognises India’s “solid footing to reach a 40% renewable mix by 2030”, stated Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.


Khelo India to Create Conducive Environment & Culture for Sports

Mission Olympics Sports Meet-2019, Sports meet in six different disciplines held at six different locations in Delhi, organized by Police Families Welfare Society (PFWS) of Delhi Police on 3 & 4 January 2019, culminated with the closing ceremony at Ambedkar Stadium graced by Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd), Minister (I/C) of Youth Affairs and Sports & Information and Broadcasting, where Col. Rathore elaborating several steps being taken by the Government to promote sports culture in the country, said:

  • Government is trying to identify the sportspersons at very young age so that they can be trained and nurtured to become world class champions.
  • Soon physical test for 2 crore youngsters of age between 8 and 12 will be started, and on the basis of data, 1000 of them will be selected for further training.
  • By the time, they reach the age of 18; they will be ready for participation in international events.
  • Second Khelo India Games will be held in Pune in 2019 from 9th of January in which over 9500 young athletes will take part.
  • There is now an enabling and conducive environment for them to show their talent and the opportunities for sportspersons are galore.
  • Youngsters of India should become good citizens and good human beings, this requires healthy body and sharp mind, and sport fields give them good exposure and experience.

Col. Rathore lauded efforts of Delhi Police in arranging Mission Olympics Sports Meet-2019, and congratulated PFWS for having undertaken its social responsibility for the nation in forthcoming Olympics Games-2020 through a sustainable sporting programme. A highlight of the sports meet was inclusion of Paralympics to promote Divyang players which was participated by Ms Sangeeta Bhandari in shot-put & discuss-throw event at J.L.N. Stadium.

Khelo India School Games were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday 31 January 2018 as the first step towards making the country a strong contender at the Olympic level. A revamped version of the original National School Games, Khelo India is the U-17 events which feature only 16 disciplines identified as most likely to win medals at the Olympic Games. “The best athletes will be given the best training and the best coaches. If needed we will send them abroad for better training,” Modi said at the launch of the tournament. The best 1000 athletes at the Khelo India Games will get scholarship of 5 lakh every year for a period of eight years. “This is to ensure that sportspersons from poor backgrounds are not forced to give up sports due to lack of funds,” the Prime Minister said. The events are archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, football, gymnastics, hockey, judo, kabaddi, kho-kho, shooting, swimming, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

Revamped Khelo India Scheme was launched with the vision to infuse sports culture and with a view to achieve the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports. The mission is to encourage sports for all thus allowing the population across gender and all age groups to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence, namely, holistic development of children & youth, community development, social integration, gender equality, healthy lifestyle, national pride and economic opportunities related to sports development.

  • Under the Khelo India identified sports talents will be given option to join SAI National Sports Academies, State Sports Academies or Sports Academies established by private sector.
  • Grants-in-aid will be provided for establishment, operation and maintenance of sports academies in respect of identified disciplines to Sports Authority of India, State Governments or to private sector or sports person under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for facilitating and supplementing Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) programme for 8 years.
  • The best academies might be at National, Regional or State level, both in public and private sector.
  • Academies will be identified for need-based support, both recurring and non-recurring, by inviting proposals from suitable entities.
  • A system would be developed for rating of academics to facilitate selection of appropriate academics for support.
  • At least one academy for Para Athletes will be supported.

The importance of sports and fitness in one’s life is invaluable. Playing sports inculcates team spirit, develops strategic & analytical thinking, leadership skills, goal setting and risk taking. A fit and healthy individual leads to an equally healthy society and strong nation.

Sports are an extremely important component for the overall development of our nation. India, in the last few years has made steady progress in the field of sports. This tremendous potential needs to be showcased at a global platform. It’s time we inspire young talent, give them top-notch infrastructure and training of the highest level. We need to inculcate a strong spirit of participation in sports that enables players to demonstrate their true potential. Only then can India realise its dream of becoming a sports super power.

Eruption of Anak Krakatau Volcano triggered Indonesia tsunami

Anak Krakatau Volcano erupted in the Sunda Strait dividing Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra just after 9 p.m. and triggered a deadly tsunami at around 9.30 p.m. on Saturday 22 December 2018. The tsunami was caused by “an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau” and was exacerbated by abnormally high tide because of the full moon. The death toll climbed to 429 by Tuesday 25 December with search and rescue teams struggling to find survivors and bodies due to heavy rain. The most affected area is Java’s Pandeglang regency, where many were celebrating the holiday period when they were hit by waves 2 to 3 meters high in the absence of emergency warnings.

Ben van der Pluijm, an earthquake geologist and a professor in the University of Michigan, said the tsunami may have been caused by a “partial collapse” of Anak Krakatau and added “Instability of the slope of an active volcano can create a rock slide that moves a large volume of water, creating local tsunami waves that can be very powerful. This is like suddenly dropping a bag of sand in a tub filled with water”.

Indian Ocean tsunami or Boxing Day tsunami triggered by an earthquake had hit northern Sumatra and 14 countries, leaving 226500 dead including more than 120000 in Indonesia over the Christmas holiday season on 26 December 2004.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17000 islands and home to 260 million people, sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken every year by some 7000 earthquakes, most of them moderate. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas of the disaster-prone country, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

  • Indonesia’s proximity to the junction of three continental plates, which jostle under immense pressure, makes it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and eruptions.
  • The archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes, forming part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.
  • Krakatau, previously known as Krakatoa, had violently erupted on August 27, 1883 and shot a column of ash more than 20 kilometres into the air in a series of powerful explosions that were heard in Australia and up to 4,500 kilometres away near Mauritius.
  • The massive cloud of ash had plunged the area into darkness for two days. The dust had given rise to spectacular sunsets and sunrises around the world the following year and disrupted weather patterns for years.
  • A series of tsunamis triggered by the eruption had in 1883 killed more than 36000 people in one of the world’s worst natural disasters.
  • Anak Krakatau, the “Child of Krakatau”, is the island that emerged from the area once occupied by Krakatau, a volcanic island. It first appeared in 1927 and since its birth has been in a “state of semi-continuous eruptive activity”, growing bigger as it experiences eruptions every two to three years.
  • No one lives on the island, but the peak is popular with tourists and is a major study area for volcanologists.
  • The island is part of the Ujung Kulon National Park, “demonstrating on-going evolution of geological processes”, since the Krakatoa eruption, UNESCO says on its World Heritage site listing for the area.

Annual Conference of Director Generals of Police Under the shadow of Statue of Unity

Sardar Patel’s message of National Unity was the underlying theme of this year’s Conference of Director Generals of Police that focused on improving cyber security in the country and on preparing the police forces to prevent and investigate cyber-crimes and financial frauds Police, held a special significance because it was organized at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat, under the shadow of the Statue of Unity and was inaugurated on 20 December 2018 by Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, after offering floral tributes to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel at the Statue of Unity. It is worth mentioning that it was Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who, as Home Minister of the Country, had inaugurated the first Conference of Inspector Generals of Police in Delhi in 1948.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his inaugural address congratulated the assembled heads of State Police and DGs of Central Armed Police Forces on maintaining the safety and security of citizens and for bringing about significant improvements in the law & order situation in the country during last 12 months.  He also honoured the SHOs of the best Police stations in the country.

Prime Minister arrived on 21December, and along with assembled DGs and senior officials of MHA, attended the colourful and well-coordinated “Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat Parade” at the Statue of Unity where the flags of all security forces were carried and displayed by the Police Officers representing different States, Union Territories and Central Armed Police Forces.  Mahila Battalion of CRPF and Commandos of NSG and CRPF also gave a stirring performance at the parade on the theme of National Unity.

Sardar Patel Award for National Integration that would be given for outstanding efforts to further national integration was announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the conclusion of DGPs/IGPs Conference at Kevadia on Saturday 22 December, saying, “Sardar Patel devoted his life towards unifying India. The Sardar Patel Award for National Integration would be a fitting tribute to him and will inspire more people to work towards furthering India’s unity and national integration.”

Drawing inspiration from Sardar Patel’s contribution to National unity, institution of this new national honour for National Unity is on the pattern of Padma Awards.  This will be awarded once every year and would be open to every Indian who has contributed to national unity in any manner.

Prime Minister:

  • Released a Commemorative Postal Stamp on the National Police Memorial.
  • Released a special issue of Indian Police Journal on Police Martyrdom, published by the BPR&D.
  • Suggested that a National Level Parade as demonstration of Police capabilities, may be organized by Police forces of about 3-4 States near the Statue of Unity every year on the 31st October, the birthday of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, also observed as National Unity Day.
  • Launched website of the Cyber Coordination Centre, a one stop shop on all cyber related issues, whether it is cybercrime or cyber security, which would also act as bridge between law enforcement agencies on the one hand, and academia and private cyber security professionals on the other.
  • Lauded contribution of Police forces in maintenance of internal security scenario, while concluding the 3-day Conference.
  • Directed Heads of Police forces to take steps towards creating a more responsive and sensitive Police force.
  • Emphasized that coordination of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and central agencies with the State Police forces and coordination amongst neighbouring States was absolutely essential for successfully dealing with complex issues of crime prevention and management of law & order in the country.
  • Advised DGsP to make imaginative use of information technology to reach out to all sections of society through websites and apps to provide various Police related services and safety advisories.
  • Highlighted misuse of social media by anti-national forces for creating mass unrest and for radicalizing vulnerable youth in this context.

At the Conference a large number of issues concerning internal security, Criminal Justice System, terrorism, Left Wing Extremism and bridging the gap between Police and public were discussed.  The focus of the Conference was on achieving better coordination amongst all the Police forces.

The   Conference entailed deliberations on need to reform the criminal justice system of the country by bringing about necessary changes in Police training and preparedness to investigate new age crimes.  Capacity building of Police forces in investigation, cyber-crimes and crime against women were also discussed at the Conference.  The Director Generals and other Senior Police officials highlighted challenges being faced by law enforcement agencies due to misuse of social media to spread terror and child porn. They emphasized the need to improve compliance of the existing legal provisions with the help of all the stakeholders.

Jayant Kaikini’s “No Presents Please” Wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 has been won by “No Presents Please” – originally written in Kannada by noted poet and short story writer Jayant Kaikini and translated into English by eminent translator Tejaswini Niranjana. The $25,000 DSC Prize, announced at Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet in Kolkata on 25 January 2019, awarded to Jayant Kaikini and Tejaswini Niranjana, along with a unique trophy in a glittering ceremony by eminent writer Ruskin Bond, will be split equally between author and translator. The DSC Prize has always encouraged writing in regional languages and translations, and this is the first time that a translated work has won the prize.

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010 with a vision to showcase and reward the best writing about South Asian region and bring it to a global audience, is an international literary prize awarded annually to writers of any ethnicity or nationality writing about South Asia themes such as culture, politics, history, or people. It is for an original full-length novel written in English, or translated into English. The award is for novels published in the year preceding the judging of the prize. DSC prize has been won in the past by authors including Jeet Thayil and Jhumpa Lahiri.

  • Jayant Kaikini’s “No Presents Please”, a collection of stories set in Mumbai, ‘A city where the surreal meets the everyday’.
  • Kaikini has beaten internationally acclaimed writers including Kamila Shamsie, whose, “Home Fire”, a modern take on Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, won the Women’s prize for fiction in 2018, and
  • Mohsin Hamid, whose, “Exit West”, which explores global migration through a series of mysterious doors, was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Chair of the judges, hailed Kaikani’s “quiet voice”, and added, “The Mumbai that came across through the pen of Kaikini was the city of ordinary people, who inhabit the bustling metropolis”. “It is a view from the margins and all the more poignant because of it.”

“No Presents Please” tells the stories of people from across the city of Mumbai, according to its publisher, HarperCollins India: “[It] is not about what Mumbai is, but what it enables … From Irani cafes to chawls, old cinema houses to reform homes, Kaikini seeks out and illuminates moments of existential anxiety and of tenderness. In these 16 stories, cracks in the curtains of the ordinary open up to possibilities that might not have existed but for this city where the surreal meets the everyday.”

This magnificent book gives us a protagonist that is vivid yet full of contradictions, spirited yet lonely, embattled yet big-hearted – the city of Mumbai. Empathy and survival are the constant, co-dependent themes that unify every strand of this extraordinary book, creating a shimmering mosaic of a conflicted city that is as kind as it is, at times, cruel. The cracks in the curtains of the ordinary open up to possibilities that might not have existed, but for this city where the surreal meets the everyday.

Collegium System for Appointments/Elevation of Judges/Lawyers

Supreme Court Collegium, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices A. K. Sikri, S. A. Bobde, N. V. Ramana and Arun Mishra, as per its resolution – having taken into consideration combined seniority on all India basis of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts, eligible for elevation to the Supreme Court, apart from their merit and integrity, keeping in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the High Courts; resolved on 10 January 2019 to recommend that Mr Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna be appointed as Judges in the Supreme Court of India. The Collegium was of the considered view that these persons are more deserving and suitable in all respects than others.

Supreme Court was functioning with 26 Judges against the sanctioned strength of 31 Judges. The Collegium unanimously resolved to fill up two of the five existing vacancies of Judges in the Supreme Court. Mr Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna were sworn-in on Friday 18 January 2019, taking the number of sitting judges of the Supreme Court to 28, still leaving 03 clear vacancies.

The collegium’s recommendation for their elevation created controversy as Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari stands at Sl. No. 21 and Mr. Justice Sanjiv Khanna at Sl. No. 33 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-India basis.

The collegium’s controversial decision to elevate Justice Sanjiv Khanna from the Delhi high court to the Supreme Court may have reportedly been driven by a desire to ensure continuity in the top court’s leadership, as going by seniority Justice Khanna, aged 58, is in line to become chief justice of India (CJI) in November 2024 for a term of seven months.

Supreme Court of India was inaugurated on January 28, 1950. It succeeded the Federal Court of India which was established under the Government of India Act, 1935.

Article 124 to 147 in Part V of the Indian Constitution envisages the powers, independence and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

  • Collegium System is a system under which appointments/elevation of judges/lawyers to Supreme Court and transfers of judges of High Courts and Apex Court are decided by a forum of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Collegium System does not find mention either in the original Constitution of India or in successive amendments.
  • Collegiums System of appointment of judges was born through “three judges case “which interpreted constitutional articles on 28 October 1998.
  • Collegium sends the recommendations of the names of lawyers or judges to the Central Government.
  • Central Government also similarly sends some of its proposed names to the Collegium.
  • Central Government does the fact checking and investigate the names and resends the file to the Collegium.
  • Collegium considers the names or suggestions made by the Central Government and resends the file to the government for final approval.
  • If the Collegium resends the same name again then the government has to give its assent to the names. But time limit is not fixed to reply. This is the reason that appointment of judges takes a long time.

Government in the year 2014 had tried to bring a new system known as National Judicial Appointments Commission but was declared as unconstitutional by the SC as it was against the power of separation which is a basic structure of the constitution.

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