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Sunday, December 16, 2012

600 per month enough to buy dal, roti and chawal for family of five, says Sheila Dikshit

Rs.600 per month enough to buy dal, roti and chawal for family of five, says Sheila Dikshit.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has argued thatRs.600 - the cash subsidy- was adequate for buying the monthly "dal, roti and chawal" for a poor family of around five.

Launching the UPA's new food security scheme Dilli Annashree Yojna on Saturday, Dikshit said, "InRs.600, he would get dal, rice and wheat. A family of five can easily complete their needs."

Sheila Dikshit and Nandan Nilekani
Sheila Dikshit with Nandan Nilekani during the launch of the service

Under the scheme,Rs.600 per month would be transferred directly to the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the senior-most women member of poor families.

The beneficiaries of the scheme need not be below poverty line(BPL) or Antodaya Anna Yojana(AAY) card holders. However, they must hold an Aadhaar Unique Identification(UID) card, the official added.

A total ofRs.4,800 will be deposited per account, as the scheme, which was announced in city's budget 2012-13, will be effective from April 1, 2012.

The Delhi government has tied up with the six major banks to implement the scheme.
Sheila Dikshit, Sonia Gandhi and Nandan Nilekani
Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dikshit and Nandan Nilekani giving away an Aadhar-enabled card in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Dikshit's statement has left the Opposition aghast.

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Hundred years back, people may be able to meet their needs in 600. But, in the present age when you don't even get a single meal inRs.600, the Congress is insulting the poor by launching such schemes."

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev also criticised the statement saying, "I would want to say that Rahul Gandhi's single meal's worth would be more than 600."
Sheila Dikshit, Sonia Gandhi and Nandan Nilekani
Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dikshit and Nandan Nilekani during the launch of 'Dilli Annashree Yojana'.

Earlier on Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched the Delhi government's food security programme for two lakh poor families that are not getting benefits under other welfare schemes.

"The Delhi government's move is an important step in the direction of becoming a hunger-free state," Gandhi said.
-With Agency inputs

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards awards announced

Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards awards announced

NEW DELHI: The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards for service to children were announced on Sunday for persons who have made contribution in the field of child protection and welfare.

The Women and Child Development Ministry announced the awards for 2011 for R Ravi Kumar, Swami Japananda and N Thungdemo Kikon.

While Kumar is the president of Sri Gayatri Welfare and Cultural Youth Academy, Visakhapatnam, Japananda is the chairman of Swami Vivekananda IRHC, Pavagada. Kikon is the founder secretary of Wondang-Ki-Charitable Foundation in Dimapur, Nagaland.

The Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award is conferred on three individuals who make outstanding contribution in the field of child protection, child development or child welfare for over ten years. The Award carries a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a citation to each awardee, an official statement said here.

The award was instituted on August 20 1994, the 50th birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to honour individuals who have made outstanding contribution towards the cause of children.

Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary prompts government ads worth crores

New Delhi: A galaxy of ads - colour, black-and-white, half-page and smaller - all starring Rajiv Gandhi were nestled, many of them adjacent to each other, in today's newspapers. They varied in cost between one and four crores each, depending on whether the ad  was created and placed by a private ad agency or by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), which coordinates the advertising needs of  different government departments. At the former prime minister's samadhi (memorial) in Delhi, Mr Gandhi's wife, Sonia, who is the Congress president, was seen along with her daughter, Priyanka, at a service that was also attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The government has not been unaware of the irony of PR campaigns having the opposite effect. So the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recently suggested that on special occasions, there should be just one ad placed on behalf of all ministries, and that the government's DAVP should coordinate its placement, because it is entitled to discounts from newspapers. The Finance Ministry is meant to drive home this point to other departments. The steel, commerce and power ministries are allegedly the worst offenders, often hiring private ad agencies to design and run their ads. Written rebukes from the Cabinet Secretary have been ignored, say sources, by ministries who like to prove to the party's leadership that their loyalty to the top rung, past and present, remains unshaken.

Today's expansive and expensive ad campaign appears just days after the government was taken to court by an NGO over its habit of spending taxpayers' money on self-promotion. Last week, the Foundation for Restoration of National Values, a non-profit that has industrialist Ratan Tata on its board, filed a Public Interest Litigation or PIL in the Supreme Court. The petition says that governments must be stopped from using public funds for "eulogising" and "glorifying" their achievements. "This wasteful and wholly unnecessary exercise, cannot be justified in any manner, particularly at a time when various development and beneficent schemes are not able to reach the masses and the unprivileged, owing to either paucity of funds or infrastructural deficiencies," the NGO said. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear this appeal, along with an older petition that objects to the government spending crores on the birth and death anniversaries of political leaders.

The gloomy financial climate has compelled the government to officially announce that it's in austerity mode; as part of its attempts to check expenses, five-star hotels are off-limits for seminars and official lunches; new parameters for foreign travel have also been mapped. In May, a Right to Information application filed by NDTV established that the Central government has spent Rs. 58 crore on ads in the last three years. Rs. 15 crore were spent on ads honouring Mahatma Gandhi; another Rs. 12 crore were used for ads in honour of BR Ambedkar.

Ads on the Gandhi family (Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi) added up to roughly Rs. 22 crore, and that did not include today's campaign.

The RTI also reveals that state governments are equally generous with their advertising expenditure - Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand are the big spenders. In Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 8 crore have been spent in three years on ads for former chief minister YSR Reddy who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.
News NDT

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