Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PM launchesNational Waqf Development Corporation

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated National Waqf Development Corporation (NAWADCO) in New Delhi. Government has established NAWADCO for the development of waqf properties for the benefit of the Muslim community.

This Corporation has been established with an authorized share capital of Rs.500 Crore. It will facilitate and mobilize financial resources for setting up of facilities like schools, colleges, hospitals on waqf properties for community purposes in a transparent manner.

NAWADCO will facilitate and mobilize financial resources for the development of Waqf properties for community development purposes in a joint venture with the State / Union Territory Waqf Boards and the Mutawallis. The Waqf Boards and the Muthawallis were not having the financial resources to develop the properties leading to encroachments.

There are more than 4.9 lakh registered waqf properties in India today which fetch an annual income of about Rs.163 crore. Many of these properties have the potential of generating considerable returns, which in turn could be used for the socio-economic development of the Muslim community. As per the estimates of the Sachar Committee, if these properties are properly developed, they could fetch an annual income of about Rs. 12000 crore, assuming an annual return of 10 percent on the value of the property. It is this vast potential that NAWADCO will strive to realize.

Government has also recently amended the Waqf Act. The amendments are expected to bring transparency in administration of waqf properties and provide an enabling environment for the development and utilization of waqf lands to the benefit of the Muslim community.

The amended Act has particularly strengthened the role of Central Waqf Council (CWC), which was established to advise the Government on matters pertaining to the working of State Waqf Boards and proper administration of waqf properties. The Council is now empowered to issue directives to State Waqf Boards on their performance, particularly on their financial performance, survey of waqf properties, maintenance of waqf deeds, and prevention of encroachment of waqf properties.

Keeping in view the need to prevent their alienation, ‘Sale’, ‘Gift’, ‘Mortgage’ and ‘Exchange’ of waqf properties have been made void ab initio. The process of leasing of waqf properties has been made transparent.

UNESCO released 11th EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013-14

UNESCO released the 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013 – 14 on 28 January 2014. The theme of the report was Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for all. 
The report warns that despite advances made in education, not a single goal laid down in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 will be achieved globally by 2015.
The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013-14 vividly underlines the fact that people in the most marginalized groups have continued to be denied opportunities for education over the decade. The Report has advocated to put in place a robust global post-2015 education framework to tackle unfinished business while addressing new challenges. 
It further said that post-2015 education goals will only be achieved if they are accompanied by clear, measurable targets with indicators tracking that no one is left behind, and if specific education financing targets for governments and aid donors are set.

The Main Highlights of the Report
Goal 1: Pre-primary Education: Despite improvements, far too many children lack early childhood care and education. In 2012, 25% of children under-5 suffered from stunting. In 2011, around half of young children had access to pre-primary education, and in sub-Saharan Africa the share was only 18%.
Goal 2: Universal Primary Education: Universal primary education is likely to be missed by a wide margin. The number of children out of school was 57 million in 2011, half of whom lived in conflict-affected countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 23% of poor girls in rural areas were completing primary education by the end of the decade. If recent trends in the region continue, the richest boys will achieve universal primary completion in 2021, but the poorest girls will not catch up until 2086.
Goal 3: Lower Secondary Education: Many adolescents lack foundation skills gained through lower secondary education. In 2011, 69 million adolescents were out of school, with little improvement in this number since 2004. In low income countries, only 37% of adolescents completed lower secondary education, and the rate is as low as 14% for the poorest. On recent trends, girls from the poorest families in sub-Saharan Africa are only expected to achieve lower secondary completion in 2111.
Goal 4: Adult Literacy: Adult literacy has hardly improved. In 2011, there were 774 million illiterate adults, a decline of just 1% since 2000. The number is projected to fall only slightly, to 743 million, by 2015. Almost two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. The poorest young women in developing countries may not achieve universal literacy until 2072.
Goal 5: Primary Education Gender Disparity: Gender disparities remain in many countries. Even though gender parity was supposed to be achieved by 2005, in 2011 only 60% of countries had achieved this goal at the primary level and 38% at the secondary level.
Goal 6: Lower Secondary Education Gender Parity: Poor quality of education means millions of children are not learning the basics. Around 250 million children are not learning basic skills, even though half of them have spent at least four years in school. The annual cost of this failure is around 129 billion dollars. The key to improve gender parity in lower secondary education is investing in teachers. In around a third of countries, less than 75% of primary school teachers are trained according to national standards. And in a third of countries, the challenge of training existing teachers is worse than that of recruiting and training new teachers.

Global Monitoring Report and India
According to the Report, in India there are two issues i.e. access and quality. While the Right to Education (Act) has almost taken care of the access part, the government next target is to now focus on improving quality.

The main highlights of the Report in context of India are:
•    In India, education accounts for 10.5% of the total government expenditure which is 3.3% of the GNP (gross national product). 
•    The expenditure on education was below the target of 6%. In fact the spending on education has declined over the period 1999 – 2011. The decline was witnessed in both terms, that is, as a percentage of budgeted expenditure an as a percentage of GNP. In 1999, the spending on education was 13% of the total budgeted expenditure and 4.4% of the GNP.
•    India has the highest population of illiterate adults, 287 million which is 37% of the total population of such people across the world.
•    In India, even after completing four years of school, 90% of children from poorer household remain illiterate. 
•    The UN body has advised countries including India to improve their tax regimes so as to provide more funds to the education sector.
•    In India, rich young women have already achieved universal literacy but the poorest will only do so around 2080.
•    Allocation for education in India varies widely across states. The expenditure of Kerala on education on per pupil was about 685 dollar per year while in Himachal Pradesh it was 542 dollar. In contrast, in West Bengal it was 127 dollar and in Bihar 100 dollar.

An Analysis
This 11th EFA Global Monitoring Report provides a timely update on progress that countries are making towards the global education goals that were agreed in 2000. It also makes a powerful case for placing education at the heart of the global development agenda after 2015. In 2008, the EFA Global Monitoring Report asked – ‘will we make it?’ With less than two years left before 2015, this Report makes it clear that we will not.
In this light Report calls on Governments to redouble efforts to provide learning to all who face disadvantages – whether from poverty, gender, where they live or other factors. Besides, governments must step up efforts to recruit an additional 1.6 million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015.  Consequently the Report has identified four strategies to provide the best teachers to reach all children with a good quality education.
First, the right teachers must be selected to reflect the diversity of the children they will be teaching.
Second, teachers must be trained to support the weakest learners, starting from the early grades.
Third, overcome inequalities in learning by allocating the best teachers to the most challenging parts of a country.
Fourth, governments must provide teachers with the right mix of incentives to encourage them to remain in the profession and to make sure all children are learning, regardless of their circumstances.
But teachers cannot shoulder the responsibility alone. The Report shows also that teachers can only shine in the right context, with well-designed curricula and assessment strategies to improve teaching and learning.
These policy changes have a cost. This is why we need to see a dramatic shift in funding. Basic education is currently underfunded by 26 billion dollars a year, while aid is continuing to decline. At this stage, governments simply cannot afford to reduce investment in education – nor should donors step back from their funding promises. This calls for exploring new ways to fund urgent needs.

About the Global Monitoring Report
The Education for All Global Monitoring Report was established in 2000 at Dakar in Senegal. The main objective of the Report is to inform, influence and sustain commitment to achieving the Education for All goals by 2015.
At the UNESCO Summit in April 2000, 1100 participants from 164 countries adopted the Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments. These participants agreed upon six wide-ranging education goals to be met by 2015.

India ranked lowest in International Intellectual Property Index

US Chamber of Commerce released the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index on 28 January 2014. In the IP Index, India has scored a low seven point out of maximum 30 points. India continues to have the weakest IP environment of all countries included in the GIPC Index for the second consecutive year.
The continued use of compulsory licenses, patent revocations, and weak legislative and enforcement mechanisms raise serious concerns about India’s commitment to promote innovation and protect creators.
Other highlights of the IP Index:
• The United States received the highest (28.5 percent) overall score, but came in third after the United Kingdom and France in the enforcement category.
• China IIP environment continued to see challenges (trade secret protection and enforcement) and it shows improvements in certain aspects of its patent regime.
• Canada’s treatment of pharmaceutical patents, copyright laws, and unwillingness to ratify international IP treaties resulted in significantly lower scores than other upper-income economies.
International IP Index is prepared by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce which maps the IP environment of 25 countries from around the world utilising 30 factors, which are indicative of an IP environments that fosters growth and development.
Comment:
In 2010, the then-President of India declared the next 10 years to be India’s “Decade of Innovation.” Promoting innovation means protecting domestic innovators and creators, attracting world-class research and development, and creating and sustaining high-quality future jobs through a robust intellectual property (IP) system. However, recent policy, regulatory, and legal decisions have deteriorated IP rights in the country, making India an outlier in the international community.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Padma Awards 2014

The President of India has approved conferment of 127 Padma Awards including one duo case (counted as one) as per the list below. The list comprises two Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan and 101 Padma Shri Awardees. 27 of the Awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and Posthumous Awardees.
Padma Awards, the country’s highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. The awards are conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan sometime around March/ April.
Padma Vibhushan
Sl No.
Name
Discipline
State/ Domicile
1.      
Dr. Raghunath A. Mashelkar
Science and Engineering
Maharashtra
2.      
Shri B.K.S. Iyengar
Others-Yoga
Maharashtra
Padma Bhushan
Sl No.
Name
Discipline
State/ Domicile
  1.  
Prof. Gulam Mohammed Sheikh
Art - Painting
Gujarat
  1.  
Begum Parveen Sultana
Art - Classical Singing
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri T.H. Vinayakram
Art - Ghatam Artist
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Shri Kamala Haasan
Art-Cinema
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Justice Dalveer Bhandari
Public Affairs
Delhi
  1.  
Prof. Padmanabhan Balaram
Science and Engineering
Karnataka
  1.  
Prof. Jyeshtharaj Joshi
Science and Engineering
Maharashtra
  1.  
Dr. Madappa Mahadevappa
Science and Engineering
Karnataka
  1.  
Dr. Thirumalachari Ramasami
Science and Engineering
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Vinod Prakash Sharma
Science and Engineering
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Radhakrishnan Koppillil
Science and Engineering
Karnataka
  1.  
Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Ms. Anita Desai
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Dhirubhai Thaker
Literature and Education
Gujarat
  1.  
Shri Vairamuthu Ramasamy Thevar
Literature and Education
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Shri Ruskin Bond
Literature and Education
Uttarakhand 
  1.  
Shri Pullela Gopichand
Sports - Badminton
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Shri Leander Paes
Sports - Tennis
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri Vijayendra Nath Kaul
Civil Service
Delhi
  1.  
Late Justice Jagdish Sharan Verma
Public Affairs
Uttar Pradesh #
  1.  
Late Dr. Anumolu Ramakrishna
Science and Engineering
Andhra Pradesh #
  1.  
Prof. Anisuzzaman
Literature and Education
Bangladesh*
  1.  
Prof. Lloyd I. Rudolph
Literature and Education
USA*$
Prof. Susanne H. Rudolph
Literature and Education
USA*$
  1.  
Dr. (Smt.) Neelam Kler
Medicine - Neonatology
Delhi
Padma Shri
Sl No.
Name
Discipline
State/ Domicile
  1.  
Shri Mohammad Ali Baig
Art - Theatre
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Ms. Nayana Apte Joshi
Art -
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri Musafir Ram Bhardwaj
Art - Instrumental Music - Pauna Manjha
Himachal Pradesh 
  1.  
Ms. Sabitri Chatterjee
Art - Film
West Bengal
  1.  
Prof. Biman Bihari Das
Art - Sculptor
Delhi
  1.  
Shri Sunil Das
Art - Painting
West Bengal
  1.  
Smt. Elam Endira Devi
Art - Manipuri Dance
Manipur
  1.  
Shri Vijay Ghate
Art - Instrumental Music - Tabla
Maharashtra
  1.  
Smt Rani Karnaa
Art - Kathak
West Bengal
  1.  
Shri Bansi Kaul
Art - Theatre
Jammu & Kashmir
  1.  
Ustad Moinuddin Khan
Art - Instrumental Music-Sarangi Player
Rajasthan
  1.  
Ms. Geeta Mahalik
Art - Odishi Dance
Delhi
  1.  
Shri Paresh Maity
Art - Painting
Delhi
  1.  
Shri Ram Mohan
Art - Film Animation
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik
Art - Sand Artist
Orissa 
  1.  
Shri Paresh Rawal
Art - Cinema and Theatre
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri Wendell Augustine Rodricks
Art - Fashion Designing
Goa
  1.  
Prof. Kalamandalam Sathyabhama
Art – Mohini Attam
Kerala
  1.  
Shri Anuj (Ramanuj) Sharma
Art - Performing Art
Chhattisgarh
  1.  
Shri Santosh Sivan
Art - Film
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Ms. Supriya Devi
Art-Bengali Cinema
West Bengal
  1.  
Ms. Sooni Taraporevala
Art- Script Writing
Maharashtra
  1.  
Ms. Vidya Balan
Art-Cinema
Maharashtra
  1.  
Smt. Durga Jain
Social Work
Maharashtra
  1.  
Dr. Rama Rao Anumolu
Social Work
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Dr. Brahm Dutt
Social Work
Haryana
  1.  
Shri Mukul Chandra Goswami
Social Work
Assam
  1.  
Shri J.L. Kaul
Social Work
Delhi
  1.  
Shri Mathurbhai Madhabhai Savani
Social Work
Gujarat
  1.  
Shri Tashi Tondup
Public Affairs
Jammu and Kashmir
  1.  
Dr. Hasmukh Chamanlal Shah
Public Affairs
Gujarat
  1.  
Shri Sekhar Basu
Science and Engineering
Maharashtra
  1.  
Shri Madhavan Chandradathan
Science and Engineering
Kerala
  1.  
Prof. Sushanta Kumar Dattagupta
Science and Engineering
West Bengal
  1.  
Dr. Ravi Bhushan Grover
Science and Engineering
Maharashtra
  1.  
Prof. Eluvathingal Devassy Jemmis
Science and Engineering
Karnataka
  1.  
Shri Ramkrishna V. Hosur
Science and Engineering
Maharashtra
  1.  
Dr. Ajay Kumar Parida
Science and Engineering
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Dr. Malapaka Yajneswara Satyanarayana Prasad
Science and Engineering
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Shri Kiran Kumar Alur Seelin
Science and Engineering
Gujarat
  1.  
Dr. Brahma Singh
Science and Engineering
Delhi
  1.  
Prof. Vinod Kumar Singh
Science and Engineering
Madhya Pradesh
  1.  
Dr. Govindan Sundararajan
Science and Engineering
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Ramaswamy R. Iyer
Science and Engineering
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Jayanta Kumar Ghosh
Science and Engineering
West Bengal
  1.  
Shri Ravi Kumar Narra
Trade and Industry
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Shri Rajesh Saraiya
Trade and Industry
Maharashtra
  1.  
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan
Trade and Industry
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Shri Pratap Govindrao Pawar
Trade and Industry
Maharashtra
  1.  
Dr. Kiritkumar Mansukhlal Acharya
Medicine - Dermatology
Gujarat
  1.  
Dr. Balram Bhargava
Medicine - Cardiology
Uttar Pradesh
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Indra Chakravarty
Medicine - Health & Hygiene
West Bengal
  1.  
Dr. Ramakant Krishnaji Deshpande
Medicine - Oncology
Maharashtra
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Pawan Raj Goyal
Medicine - Chest Disease
Haryana
  1.  
Prof. Amod Gupta
Medicine - Opthalmology
Haryana
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Daya Kishore Hazra
Medicine
Uttar Pradesh
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Thenumgal Poulose Jacob
Medicine - Vascular Surgery
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Shashank R. Joshi
Medicine - Endocrinology
Maharashtra
  1.  
Prof. Hakim Syed Khaleefathullah
Medicine - Unani Medicine
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Dr. Milind Vasant Kirtane
Medicine - ENT Surgeory
Maharashtra
  1.  
Dr. Lalit Kumar
Medicine - oncology
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Mohan Mishra
Medicine
Bihar 
  1.  
Dr. M. Subhadra Nair
Medicine - Gyneacology
Kerala
  1.  
Dr. Ashok Panagariya
Medicine - Neurology
Rajasthan
  1.  
Dr. Narendra Kumar Pandey
Medicine - Surgery
Haryana
  1.  
Dr. Sunil Pradhan
Medicine - Neurology
Uttar Pradesh
  1.  
Dr. Ashok Rajgopal
Medicine - Orthopaedics
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Kamini A. Rao
Medicine - Reproductive Medicine
Karnataka
  1.  
Dr. Sarbeswar Sahariah
Medicine - Surgery
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Prof. Om Prakash Upadhyaya
Medicine -
Punjab
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Mahesh Verma
Medicine - Dental Science
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. J.S. Titiyal
Medicine- Opthalmology
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Nitish Naik
Medicine- Cardiology
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Surbrat Kumar Acharya
Medicine- Gastroentrology
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Rajesh Kumar Grover
Medicine-Oncology
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Naheed Abidi
Literature and Education
Uttar Pradesh
  1.  
Prof. Ashok Chakradhar
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Shri Chhakchhuak Chhuanvawra
Literature and Education
Mizoram
  1.  
Shri Keki N. Daruwalla
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Prof. Ganesh Narayandas Devi
Literature and Education
Gujarat
  1.  
Prof. Kolakaluri Enoch
Literature and Education
Andhra Pradesh
  1.  
Prof. (Dr.) Ved Kumari Ghai
Literature and Education
Jammu and Kashmir
  1.  
Smt. Manorama Jafa
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Prof. Rehana Khatoon
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. Waikhom Gojen Meeitei
Literature and Education
Manipur
  1.  
Shri Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri
Literature and Education
Kerala
  1.  
Prof. Dinesh Singh
Literature and Education
Delhi
  1.  
Dr. (Mrs.) P. Kilemsungla
Literature and Education
Nagaland
  1.  
Ms. Anjum Chopra
Sports - Cricket
Delhi
  1.  
Ms. Sunil Dabas
Sports - Kabbadi
Haryana
  1.  
Shri Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu
Sports - Mountaineering
Delhi
  1.  
Ms. Dipika Rebecca Pallikal
Sports - Squash
Tamil Nadu
  1.  
Shri H. Boniface Prabhu
Sports - Wheelchair Tennis
Karnataka
  1.  
Shri Yuvraj Singh
Sports - Cricket
Haryana
  1.  
Smt. Mamta Sodha
Sports - Mountaineering
Haryana
  1.  
Ms Parveen Talha
Civil Service
Uttar Pradesh
  1.  
Late Dr. Narendra Achyut Dabholkar
Social Work
Maharashtra#
  1.  
Shri Ashok Kumar Mago
Trade and Industry
USA*
  1.  
Dr. Siddharth Mukherjee
Medicine-Oncology
USA*
  1.  
Dr. Vamsi Mootha
Medicine - Biomedical Research
USA*
  1.  
Dr. Sengaku Mayeda
Literature and Education
Japan*

Note* indicates awardees in the category of Foreigners / NRIs/ PIOs.
            # indicates awardees in the posthumous category.
            $ indicates one duo case. (treated as one award.)