Ayushman Bharat; Ride the healthcare wave -Gauri Chhabra

Ride the healthcare wave

By Gauri Chhabra

Recently launched Ayushman Bharat scheme seems to be one of the most aspiring and pioneering steps in healthcare, not only in India but across the world. While commenting on the scheme Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananth Kumar said that the scheme has the potential to “turn India into the largest pharma manufacturer of the world in about three years. There is no doubt that for successful implementation this scheme requires intervention in various spheres like management, delivery channels, healthcare investments etc. This step will undoubtedly, create a new spiral of jobs in pharmaceutical sciences that fringe on drug development, research, quality, clinical trials and management using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Emerging career options

Working for a pharmaceutical company is one of the more obvious options open to pharma graduates, but it also offers a huge variety of career paths. Particularly within global companies there are opportunities to explore new areas of expertise, develop strong business skills, and travel and work globally. You may be required to develop products as a Business Manager.

 Image result for Ayushman Bharat

Regulatory affairs

With Ayushman Bharat, the government needs to create a robust regulatory framework keeping in mind the interest of all stakeholders. This would increase scope of careers in Regulatory affairs. The work involves ensuring that a company and its products meet government regulations. A skilled Regulatory Affairs Officer can be the difference between an effective product reaching the market or not. Regulatory professionals are expected to know the ins and outs of the medical marketplace, and to understand how changing regulations will impact their industry. There is a growing need for qualified professionals who see regulatory oversight not as something that blocks progress but rather an opportunity to help bring more safe, affordable and efficient innovations to market.

Business development officer

With more and more pharma companies coming up with affordable drugs, the need for professionals to market these is going to peak. The best people for selling the benefits of a product are often those with the deepest understanding of how it works. For complex products developed and manufactured using pharmaceutical or chemical science, there is often a need for sales and marketing representatives able to talk with authority about the science behind the product.You can team up your degree in pharma sciences with an MBA to fit into this role.

Product developer/formulator

Product development scientists work in a variety of industries, including food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical science, and medical device manufacturing. They are typically based in the lab, developing new foods, drugs, and medical technologies or researching and developing ways to enhance existing products. They typically possess a bachelor’s degree, but a PG degree may be required for advancement.

Medicinal chemist

Medicinal chemistry is an inter-disciplinary science, drawing graduates from a range of different fields. A career in this area usually involves working on the development and testing of potentially therapeutic compounds. This might be within a company that is developing new products, for a research facility exploring new compounds, or at a regulatory agency testing pharmaceuticals for compliance. Medicinal Chemists can often find themselves working closely with Regulatory Affairs, both in the private and public sectors.

Patent attorney

Pharmaceuticals are big business. It’s not all about research; to be successfully taken to market, new discoveries need to be commercialised and a company’s intellectual property has to be protected. That’s where a patent attorney comes in. In the pharmaceutical sector, they will often come from a pharmaceutical sciences background. A patent attorney will, typically, work for a specialist consultancy, advising a range of clients within their field of specialisation.

Medical science liaison

The Medical Science Liaison (MSL) is a specific role within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other health-care industries. An MSL typically has advanced scientific and academic credentials, including a doctorate degree in life sciences. A medical science liaison usually concentrates on a specific therapeutic area, such as Oncology or Hematology, and works for a company developing pharmaceutical products for that therapeutic area.

Their primary purpose is to establish and maintain peer-to-peer relationships with leading physicians and opinion leaders at major academic institutions and clinics. They help ensure that products are utilised effectively and serve as resources for both the medical community and their internal colleagues.

Medicine adviser

For graduates with a desire to work in the the field of social advancement, one career path is to work with an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), like the World Health Organisation (WHO). With a goal to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people. As a Medicines Adviser, a pharmaceutical science graduate is able to be part of an important humanitarian mission and play a part in improving lives around the world.

Science writer

Completing any science-based degree requires you to learn how to write well about different scientific concepts and communicate your ideas and observations clearly. For some graduates, these skills can be the foundation of a career as a science writer.

Science writers research, write and edit scientific news, articles and features. If they work in the media, they can write for business, trade and professional publications, specialist scientific and technical journals, and the general media. If they work for non-media organisations, it is usually in a communications or marketing role, explaining scientific research to a professional or lay audience through articles, press releases and other written content.

Biomedical researcher

Biomedical researchers investigate how the human body works with the aim of finding new ways to improve health. Usually based in a laboratory, you will conduct experiments and clinical tests and record and report on the findings. In general, biomedical researchers within a university will tend to focus on improving tools and techniques, studying healthy biological processes and the causes and progress of diseases. It can be an extremely rewarding career path to follow, as the discoveries that you contribute can have a measurable and lasting impact on society.

In addition to research labs within universities, a pharmaceutical science qualification can also lead to a career in biochemical research within the private sector. This path would often take a graduate into the pharmaceutical industry, where their research focus would be on generating and evaluating possible treatments for diseases and medical conditions.One of the biggest advantages to a private sector research role is the resources available. Private sector labs are usually developing high value products that generate considerable income for the company. This means they can invest in state of the art facilities and equipment for their employees.

Due to the commercial nature of the job, private sector biomedical researchers don’t always enjoy the same autonomy as their academic counterparts.

The road ahead

With Ayushmaan Bharat, the future of pharmaceutical sciences is very positive. While the scheme would initially cover 10 crore poor families as per the socio-economic census of 2011, it will in the coming days also benefit the lower middle-class, middle-class and upper-middle class by way of jobs in the medical sector as new hospitals will open in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. The number of beneficiaries of the scheme would be almost equal to the combined population of USA, Mexico and Canada or of the European Union.

Thus, if you wish to explore this once-in-a-lifetime tectonic shift, tune in to a career in pharmaceutical sciences.

Quality assurance

The three As of Ayushman Bharat also hinge heavily on quality. The whole idea is to make healthcare affordable to the masses with no compromise on quality. This necessitates a systems-based career, often focused on designing, implementing and managing new systems for the manufacturing process. And it can be an extremely satisfying. By ensuring the quality of the products being produced, you are making an important contribution to your employer’s reputation and commercial success. With the continual development of superfoods, non-animal protein alternatives, dietary supplements and new therapeutic remedies, and the rise of new regulatory systems to cope.

Clinical research associates

Any new pharma product needs to go through clinical trials to ensure its safety and efficacy. As a Clinical Research Associate, you will use your experience in running experiments, gathering data and documenting the results during clinical trials. The typical employers for this role include Clinical Research Organisations (“CROs”), pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies or, less frequently, hospitals and universities. However there are many more responsibilities. For example, every trial is overseen by an ethics committee that ensures it is conducted in an ethical manner. A clinical research associate will need to liaise with this committee and keep them informed of how the trial is progressing. Depending on the trial, there can also be a high level of contact with trial participants, so good interpersonal communication skills can be valuable.

Scope for new skills

Careers in the pharmaceutical sciences till now required a strong interest in mathematics, biology, and the scientific process with a sharp focus on a specific phase of the drug-development cycle — research, testing, or manufacturing. With Ayushman Bharat, healthcare system will focus increasingly on the availability, authenticity and affordability of drugs without compromising on quality. Therefore, a candidate wishing to pursue pharma sciences would also need to develop a consumer focus with an error-free and efficient patient care using the latest technologies such as AI and ML to minimise TAT (TurnAround Time).

Institute scape

  • University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chandigarh
  • Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal
  • Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
  • Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune
  • Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University, Ahmedabad
  • Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi
  • Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi

The green state of mind-Narendra Modi

The green state of mind

The world needs to shift to a paradigm of environmental philosophy that is anchored in environmental consciousness rather than merely government regulations. India can be at the forefront of change.

By Narendra Modi   

Yesterday, the United Nations honoured me with the ‘Champions of the Earth Award’. While I was extremely humbled at receiving this honour, I do feel that this award is not for an individual. Instead, it is a recognition of Indian culture and values, which have always placed emphasis on living in harmony with Mother Nature.

It was a proud moment for every Indian to see India’s proactive role in mitigating climate change being acknowledged and appreciated by the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres and Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the UNEP.

Human beings and nature have a very special relationship. Mother Nature has nurtured and nourished us. The first civilisations were established on the banks of rivers. Societies that live in harmony with nature flourish and prosper.

Narendra Modi, PM Modi receives award, Modi UN award, swachh bharat, Champions of the Earth Awards, Antonio Guterres, Narendra Modi on climate change, Emmanuel Macron, India news, Indian express newsToday human society stands at an important crossroads. The path that we take hereon will not only determine our well being but also that of the generations who will inhabit our planet after us. The imbalances between our greed and necessities have led to grave ecological imbalances. We can either accept this, go ahead with things as if it is business as usual, or we can take corrective actions.

Three things will determine how we as a society can bring a positive change.

The first is internal consciousness. For that, there is no better place to look than our glorious past. Respect for nature is at the core of India’s traditions. The Atharvaveda contains the Prithvi Sukta, which contains unparalleled knowledge about nature and the environment. It is beautifully written in the Atharvaveda, “यस्यां समुद्र उत सिन्धुरापो यस्यामन्नं कृष्टयः संबभूवुः । यस्यामिदं जिन्वति प्राणदेजत्सा नो भूमिः पूर्वपेये दधातु ॥३॥ ” It means: Salutations to Mother Earth. In Her is woven together Ocean and River Waters; in Her is contained Food which She manifests when ploughed; In Her indeed is alive all Lives; May She bestow us with that Life.

The ancients write about the Panch Tatvas — Prithvi (Earth), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Akash (Sky) — and how our life systems are based on the harmonious functioning of these elements. The elements of nature are manifestations of divinity.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote extensively on the environment and even practised a lifestyle where compassion towards the environment was essential. He propounded the Doctrine of Trusteeship, which places the onus on us, the present generation, to ensure that our coming generations inherit a clean planet. He called for sustainable consumption so that the world does not face a resource crunch.

Leading lifestyles that are harmonious and sustainable are a part of our ethos. Once we realise how we are flagbearers of a rich tradition, it will automatically have a positive impact on our actions.

The second aspect is public awareness. We need to talk, write, debate, discuss and deliberate as much as possible on questions relating to the environment. At the same time, it is vital to encourage research and innovation on subjects relating to the environment. This is when more people will know about the pressing challenges of our times and ways to mitigate them.

When we as a society are aware of our strong links with environmental conservation and talk about it regularly, we will automatically be proactive in working towards a sustainable environment. That is why I will put proactiveness as the third facet of bringing a positive change.

In this context, I am delighted to state that the 130 crore people of India are proactive and at the forefront of working towards a cleaner and greener environment.

We see this proactiveness in the Swachh Bharat Mission, which is directly linked to a sustainable future. With the blessings of the people of India, over 85 million households now have access to toilets for the first time. Over 400 million Indians no longer have to defecate in the open. Sanitation coverage is up from 39 per cent to 95 per cent. These are landmark efforts in the quest of reducing the strain on our natural surroundings.

We see this proactiveness in the success of the Ujjwala Yojana, which has significantly reduced indoor air pollution due to unhealthy cooking practices that were causing respiratory diseases. Till date, over five crore Ujjwala connections have been distributed, thus ensuring a better and cleaner life for the women and their families.

India is moving at a quick pace in cleaning its rivers. The Ganga, which is India’s lifeline, had become polluted in several parts. The Namami Gange Mission is changing this historical wrong. Emphasis is being given to proper treatment of sewage.

At the core of our urban development initiatives such as AMRUT and the Smart Cities Mission is the need to balance urban growth with environmental care. The over 13 crore soil health cards distributed to farmers are helping them make informed decisions that will boost their productivity and improve the health of our land, which helps the coming generations.

We have integrated the objectives of Skill India in the environment sector and launched schemes including the Green Skill Development Programme for skilling about 7 million youth in environment, forestry, wildlife and climate change sectors by 2021. This will go a long way towards creating numerous opportunities for skilled jobs and entrepreneurships in the environment sector.

Our country is devoting unparalleled attention to new and renewable sources of energy. Over the last four years, this sector has become more accessible and affordable.

The Ujala Yojana has led to the distribution of nearly 31 crore LED bulbs. The costs of LED bulbs have reduced and so have the electricity bills and the C emissions.

India’s proactiveness is seen internationally. It makes me proud that India remained at the forefront of the COP-21 negotiations in Paris in 2015. In March 2018, world leaders of several countries converged in New Delhi to mark the start of the International Solar Alliance, an endeavour to harness the rich potential of solar energy and bring together all nations that are blessed with solar power.

While the world is talking about climate change, the call for climate justice has also reverberated from India. Climate justice is about safeguarding the rights and interests of the poor and marginalised sections of society, who are often the biggest sufferers from the menace of climate change.

As I have written earlier, our actions today will have an impact on human civilisation much beyond our time. It is upto us to take on the mantle of global responsibility towards a sustainable future. The world needs to shift to a paradigm of environmental philosophy that is anchored in environmental consciousness rather than merely government regulations. I would like to compliment all those individuals and organisations who are working assiduously in this direction. They have become the harbingers of a monumental change in our society. I assure them all possible support from the government in their pursuits. Together, we will create a clean environment that will be the cornerstone of human empowerment.

(The writer is Prime Minister of India)

-October 4, 2018, New Delhi

A glimpse of the new, liberal RSS -A Surya Prakash

A glimpse of the new, liberal RSS

By-A Surya Prakash

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ( RSS ) unprecedented outreach effort via well-planned and executed lecture series by its Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, before an invited cosmopolitan audience in the Capital should dispel much of the apprehensions that have been voiced about this organisation for many decades.

Having attended this event and heard Bhagwat as he touched upon a wide range of issues and chose to take the RSS’ opponents head on, I would say that his thoughts on core issues that are central to our democratic existence, like secularism, pluralism, diversity, rights of religious minorities, gay rights, the central ideas in our Constitution, the National Flag and the National Anthem, would have left most of the Sangh’s detractors speechless. Much of what has been said to condemn the RSS and to debunk the genuinely secular aspirations of the majority of citizens, was, to use a cricketing phrase, smacked out of the boundary and the stadium by the RSS chief.

Related imageWhile these assertions constitute the most significant outcome of this lecture series, what Bhagwat had to say about Guru Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts, clearly points to the Sangh’s harmony with India’s democracy, diversity and liberal values. Although Guru Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, saw Muslims, Christians and Communists as internal enemies, Bhagwat signaled that the RSS had decidedly chosen to move away from Golwalkar’s postulates. He said some things are said in a certain context. The RSS had now come out with a publication that had Golwalkar’s thoughts which were relevant at all times (Sadaa kaal ke liye upyukt vichaar) — this means that Golwalkar’s views on minorities, which are in conflict with India’s contemporary reality, have been edited out. Bhagwat said the RSS is not hidebound and that, as ordained by its founder, Dr Hedgewar, it had a duty to adapt itself to the changing times.

Here is a quick run down on the key issues he touched upon.

On the Constitution: Bhagwat spoke of the RSS’ unequivocal acceptance of and adherence to the Constitution of India. The Constitution represents national consensus. It is the duty of every citizen to respect and follow the Constitution. It had been drafted by persons of great calibre who took into account a variety of factors specific to Bharat. Everything was thought-through and every word was weighed before its incorporation and this includes the Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Rights. “It is our consensus. We believe we must all be bound by it.”

Talking about the Preamble, he specifically mentioned the reference to fraternity, dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. Fraternity encapsulated the idea of Vividhata Mein Ekta (Unity in Diversity). The thought of taking everyone along, which is embedded in the Constitution, makes it a liberal document espousing universal values. That is what Hindutva is about. The RSS supremo’s categorical remarks regarding the efficacy of the Constitution should silence those who believe that the Sangh is anti-Constitution.

On diversity: One of the oft-repeated accusations against the Sangh Parivar is that it is a Hindu communal organisation and that it abhors diversity. Bhagwat’s well-articulated position on this issue is probably the RSS’ first serious effort at the national level to challenge its accusers. He told his audience that diversity is a matter of celebration. One should not fear diversity. On the other hand, we must celebrate and respect diversity. This is what Hindutva is all about. “My welfare depends on the welfare of all, this is Hindutva.” For the RSS, no one is an outsider (paraay). The effort is to unite everybody (Sampoorn samaj ko jodna hai). We must work towards a society that is devoid of divisions (bhed rahit samaj).

On the fear among Muslims vis-à-vis the RSS: Bhagwat invited Muslims to come to RSS programmes and institutions, and see the RSS from inside and get a first-hand feel of what the organisation stands for. A memorable quote from the lecture series was that Hindutva does not mean there is no place for Muslims. “The day it is said so, it will not be Hindutva any more.”

On mob lynching: Mob lynching and such other acts of violence in the name of cow protection is an offence and is unacceptable. At the same time, one must also raise one’s voice in regard to cow smuggling because the Constitution accords cow protection.

On gay rights: They (LGBTQ community) are a part of society. They should not feel isolated.

On the Uniform Civil Code: Bhagwat said that the RSS believed in ‘one nation, one law’. But at the same time, one must be aware of how diverse society is. Even among Hindus, there is so much diversity in these matters. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that there is no conflict on this issue.

On building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya:  A grand temple must be built at that site. Lord Ram represents Bharatiya maryada. He was even called the Imam-e-Hind. There was a temple at that site before. It is a matter of faith for crores of people. The matter should not have dragged on so long. The temple should be built and when it comes up, “a big reason for tension between Hindus and Muslims will end.”

On reservations: The RSS supports all Constitutional provisions relating to reservations. Those who derive benefit from reservations must take a call on the continuance or otherwise of the policy of reservations. There is no problem in regard to reservations. The problem lies in the politics around reservation. Further, the law to protect Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes must be strictly enforced. It must also be ensured that the law is not misused.

As can be seen from these responses, except for the Ayodhya issue, much of what he said should be acceptable to individuals across the political spectrum. Interestingly, he told the packed hall that he was not there to either convert or convince anyone about the core ideals of the RSS. He was there only to convey and extend an open invitation to whoever was  interested to visit the Sangh and its Shakhas, and make their own assessment of what went on there. This is indeed the moment of truth. The Nehruvians and Marxists, who have viewed the RSS with utmost suspicion, must pick up the gauntlet and see the RSS from within and make their own assessment of what this organisation is all about. In other words, they too need to revisit their bunch of thoughts.

(The writer is Chairman, Prasar Bharati)

Courtesy: The Pioneer

SOURCE LINK- https://www.dailypioneer.com/2018/columnists/a-glimpse-of-the-new–liberal-rss.html

The one who reached out to China: On Atal Bihari Vajpayee- Sudheendra Kulkarni

The one who reached out to China: On Atal Bihari Vajpayee

By- Sudheendra Kulkarni

India-China relations have come a long way from the period of enmity and bitterness that followed the 1962 war. True, they have not returned to the cheery days of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai, but the maturity with which the leaders of both countries handled the Doklam crisis last year shows that the ties between New Delhi and Beijing are now based on a sound realisation that neither can ignore, much less antagonise, the other. Rather, comprehensive mutual cooperation between India and China is increasingly being seen as an imperative for peace, stability and progress in Asia and the world.

Change in attitude

In this evolution of India-China ties, one leader who made a seminal contribution was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A politician in the non-dogmatic mould, Vajpayee was open to learning the lessons of history and, thus, revising his own views from the standpoint of India’s national interests. As a swayamsevak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vajpayee’s views on Pakistan and China in the 1950s were quite negative. However, by the time he became the Minister of External Affairs in the Morarji Desai government, and particularly when he served as Prime Minister, Vajpayee was a changed man. He had come to firmly believe that for India to emerge as a major global power, it must normalise relations with Pakistan (which meant finding a permanent and amicable solution to the Kashmir dispute) and comprehensively improve relations with China (which meant resolving the vexed border problem in the spirit of mutual compromise).

Vajpayee’s visit to China in February 1979 ended the chill created by the 1962 war. It was the first high-level political contact between the two countries after 17 long years. His ice-breaking meeting with Deng Xiaoping, then China’s paramount leader, started a new chapter in India-China relations that has continued till date.

In a tribute to Deng on his birth centenary in 2004, Vajpayee recalled: “I have pleasant memories of my meeting with Deng Xiaoping. The unfortunate military conflict in 1962, caused by the border dispute, had left a scar on the centuries-old affinity between the two great nations of Asia and the world. I called on him in the Great Hall of People in February 1979. I must say that the genuine warmth with which Deng Xiaoping received me — I too reciprocated that warmth in equal measure — helped in overcoming the psychological barrier and looking forward with optimism to a positive new chapter in our bilateral relations.”

Deng told Vajpayee: “We do have some issues on which we are far apart. We should put those on the side for the moment and do some actual work to improve the climate to go about the problem. Our two countries are the two most populous countries in the world, and we are both Asian countries. How can we not be friends?”

The creative solution that Vajpayee and Deng discussed to resolve the vexed border dispute was, in a nutshell, this: Do not let normalisation of bilateral relations become a hostage to the resolution of the border dispute. Develop bilateral relations in an all-round manner. Simultaneously, try to resolve the border dispute through dialogue and by ruling out the use of force to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

In December 1982, when a delegation from the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research called on him in Beijing, Deng referred to his meeting with Vajpayee and reiterated his pragmatic view on the border problem: “When I met your former foreign minister in 1979, I put forward a ‘package solution’ to the problem. If both countries make some concessions, it will be settled… The problem between China and India is not a serious one… The problem we have is simply about the border. Both countries should make an effort to restore the friendship that existed between them in the 1950s. As long as we go about it in a reasonable way, I think it will be easy for us to settle our border question. Because this question has a long history, you have to take into account the feelings of your people, and we also have to take into account the feelings of our people. But if the two sides agree to the ‘package solution’, they should be able to convince their people.”

The next major milestone in India-China rapprochement was Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988. Deng told Gandhi, “Welcome… my young friend. Starting with your visit, we will restore our relations as friends. There was unpleasantness at each other. Let’s forget it. We should look forward. Do you agree with me?” Gandhi responded: “Yes.”

A different China

Vajpayee’s visit to China in June 2003, when I had the honour of accompanying him, witnessed a big breakthrough in bilateral relations. The China he saw this time was very different from what he had seen in 1979. Nowhere was this difference more striking than in the Shanghai skyline. Vajpayee and his delegation went on a boat ride along River Huangpu and what we saw on Pudong district, facing the historic Bund on the other side of the river, were glistening skyscrapers.

During this visit, India recognised for the first time that the “Tibet Autonomous Region is an integral part of the People’s Republic of China”. Some foreign policy experts, including some serving diplomats, were not in favour of this recognition. They felt it would prevent India from using the “Tibet Card” against China. But the realist in Vajpayee was convinced that his decision, apart from being in line with the unchangeable situation on the ground, was a helpful step towards improving bilateral relations. On its part, the Chinese side recognised Sikkim as a State of the Indian Union. The visit also saw an important breakthrough in trade relations — bilateral trade started rising rapidly thereafter.

An important upshot of the visit was the decision to fast-track the talks on the border dispute by initiating the framework of Special Representatives of the two Prime Ministers driving the dialogue. Accordingly, Vajpayee’s trusted National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo were appointed as the two special representatives. Vajpayee and Premier Wen Jiabao also agreed that the joint work on the clarification of the LAC should continue smoothly, which helped in maintaining peace along the LAC. After Vajpayee’s demise, Wen Jiabao sent a heartfelt condolence, calling Vajpayee an “outstanding politician”.

I met Mr. Dai in Beijing last year. He said, “Mr. Vajpayee was a leader with a vision and strategic thinking. He did not want the past to determine the present. He started a new era of cooperation in India-China relations. He had an open mind on the border issue and wanted it to be resolved soon on the basis of give-and-take. I was very hopeful about making progress.” He added: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to the same party as Mr. Vajpayee. He has an opportunity to become a New Vajpayee.” How true!

Sudheendra Kulkarni was a close aide of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Prime Minister’s Office between 1998 and 2004

Courtesy- The Hindu

Source Link-https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-one-who-reached-out-to-china/article24918999.ece?homepage=true

Congress Party’s Falsehood on Rafale – Arun Jaitley

15 Questions that Expose Congress Party’s Falsehood on Rafale

By – Arun Jaitley

Why these questions?

Considering the security environment around India, the highest standards of defence preparedness are required. After the Kargil experience, the Armed Forces and the Raksha Mantralaya were of the opinion that combat ability of the Indian Air Force to strike at targets needs to be radically improved.  This need was first recorded by the Raksha Mantralaya in the year 2001.

Considerations of the national security demanded that the IAF has the best available aircraft with the appropriate weaponry loaded on it. In principle approval for acceptance of necessity of procurement of 126 replacement aircrafts was recorded by the Raksha Mantri way back on 1st June, 2001.  After the UPA Government came into power, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for procurement of 126 medium multi-role combat aircrafts.  An aircraft without weaponry is of little use in a war.  It is only a flying instrument.  It adds to the combat strength of the forces only when it is loaded with the requisite weaponry, which enables it to strike targets.  The UPA Government issued a request for proposal on 28th August, 2007 and found two vendors, viz., M/s Dassault Aviation and M/s EADS to be compliant to the RFP requirements.  It took the UPA five more years to commence the negotiations and in January, 2012 the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) determined Dassault Aviation to be L1.

For reasons best known to the UPA Government, on 27th June, 2012, the deal was directed to be re-examined, which effectively meant that the entire eleven-year exercise was abandoned and the process was to be undertaken afresh.  India’s squadron strength was depleting because of age.  This slow and casual approach of the UPA Government seriously compromised national security requirements.

The NDA approach

On 10th April, 2015, the Government of India and the French Government issued a joint statement where India decided to procure 36 Rafale aircrafts from the French Government on terms better than the ones conveyed by Dassault in the L1 bid of 2007.  The same was approved by the DAC on 13th May, 2015 and finally the agreement, after a detailed procedure, was signed on 23rd September, 2016.

The false campaign

A false campaign based on untruth has been launched by the Congress Party casting a cloud on the Inter-Governmental agreement.  The principal arguments of this campaign are the following:

(i)  The NDA Government paid higher price than what the UPA would have paid if the deal would have completed on the basis of the 2007 offer of Dassault.

(ii) Proper procedures such as negotiations by the Contract Negotiation Committee and approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) were not obtained.

(iii) A private industrialist in India was favoured and the interest of public sector undertaking was compromised.

Each one of the above issues raised is based on complete falsehood.  It is expected from national political parties and its responsible leaders to keep themselves informed of the basic facts before they enter a public discourse on defence transactions.  The Congress Party and its leader, Shri Rahul Gandhi, are guilty on three counts:

(i)  The UPA delayed the deal by over a decade and seriously compromised national security.

(ii) Every fact that Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party has spoken on pricing and procedure are completely false.

(iii) Its effort of raising these issues is to further delay a defence procurement so that India’s defence preparedness further suffers.

The questions

            I have, therefore, decided to ask the following questions to the Congress Party and its President.  Needless to say that if replies are received in the public space or even if there is an issue diversion and no reply is received, I would be constrained to come out with further specific facts which establish truth as a victim of Shri Rahul Gandhi and his party merely peddling his falsehoods.  Needless to say that I am constrained by the secrecy clause, which exists in the Contract and whatever I ask or respond to would be constrained by that limitation.  My question to Shri Rahul Gandhi and his Party are as follows:

On Delay

(1)   The UPA was a Government which suffered from a decision- making paralysis.  Do you agree that the delay of over one decade was only on account of the incompetence and indecisiveness of the UPA Government?

(2)   Did this delay seriously compromise national security?  Is not the medium multi-role combat aircraft required by our forces to identify and strike at targets particularly when two of our neighbours have already enhanced their strength in this area?

(3)  Was this delay and eventual abatement of the purchase by the UPA based on collateral considerations as had been witnessed in earlier transactions such as the purchase of the 155 mm Bofors gun?

Unsure of facts

(4)  How is it that Shri Rahul Gandhi quoted a price of Rs.700 crores per aircraft in Delhi and Karnataka in April and May this year?  In Parliament, he reduced it to Rs.520 crore per aircraft, in Raipur he increased it to Rs.540 crores; in Jaipur he used the two figures – Rs.520 crores and Rs.540 crores in the same speech.  In Hyderabad, he invented a new price of Rs.526 crores.  Truth has only one version, falsehood has many.  Are these allegations being made without any familiarity with the facts of the Rafale purchase?

(5)  Is Mr. Gandhi or the Congress Party aware of price comparison?  Is Mr. Gandhi aware of the aircraft price, which was quoted in 2007 in the L1 bid?  Is he aware that there was an escalation clause, which by 2015 when the NDA struck the price deal, would have further escalated the price?  Would not the escalation clause have continued to escalate the price till each of the aircraft was supplied?  Have the significant exchange rate variations between Rupee and Euro during the same period been considered?

(6)  Is he aware of the fact that if the basic aircraft price on which UPA was to purchase the aircraft along with the escalation clause is compared at the price with the better terms on which the NDA Government signed the deal.  The basic aircraft price itself is 9% cheaper under the NDA than it was under the UPA?

(7) Can Shri Rahul Gandhi deny that when the add-ons such as India-specific adaptations, weaponry, etc. are installed on the basic aircraft, the UPA price, which was mentioned in the 2007 L1 offer, would be at least 20% costlier than the more favourable price negotiated by the NDA?

(8)  Can Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party deny if the total contract cost, that is, basic aircraft plus add-ons, including weaponry, etc., Indian adaptations plus future supplies and maintenance are all added, the NDA terms become far more favourable than the 2007 L1 offer?

Role of private industries

(9)  Can Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress deny that the Government of India has no contract whatsoever with any private industry in relation with the Rafale aircraft supplies?  In fact, 36 of the Rafale aircraft with their Indian adaptations are going to be sent to India and there is no manufacturing of these 36 aircrafts in India.

(10)  Any Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) under the offset policy of the UPA can select any number of Indian partners, both from the private sector and the public sector, for offset supplies?  This has nothing to do with the Government of India and, therefore, any private industry having benefitted from the Government of India is a complete lie.  Can Shri Gandhi and his Party deny this?

On procedure

(11)  Are Shri Gandhi and his Party aware of the fact that there are two ways of acquiring a defence equipment, i.e., either by competitive bidding or by an Inter-Governmental Agreement?

(12) Can Mr. Gandhi and his Party deny that the UPA Government in 2007 itself had shortlisted the Rafale as technically- acceptable and L1 in price competition?

(13) Can Shri Gandhi and his Party deny that considering the urgency of the defence requirement, the Government of India and the French Government agreed to execute the supply of 36 Rafale aircrafts at terms better than the 2007 offer of the UPA?

(14)  Can it be denied that both the Price Negotiation Committee and the Contract Negotiation Committee negotiated for 14 months before concluding the deal?

(15) Can it be denied that before the deal was executed, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the transaction?

I am asking the above questions and I hope Shri Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party would respond immediately.

(Writer is Union Finance Minister, GoI) 

Atalji’s way By- Ravi Shankar Prasad

Atalji’s way

By- Ravi Shankar Prasad 

Atalji’s way:  Atal Bihari Vajpayee left a profound imprint on the polity, public speaking and, above all, the democratic awakening of India. A leader who was away from the public gaze, who had not spoken or was not heard in public for many years, who left the office of prime minister more than 14 years ago, yet he could generate so much emotion, empathy and profound goodwill in his death — that is the true legacy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

After the death of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Atalji became the principal proponent of the ideology of the Jan Sangh and then the BJP. He travelled through the country, stayed in the homes of party workers, addressed public meetings and by the sheer strength of his persona and eloquence spread the message of the party. There will be hundreds of homes where Atalji stayed during his visits and developed family bonds. My home in Patna was one such home.

After Independence, the Congress led by Nehruji and Indiraji dominated the country’s politics. The left, of various shades, and socialists, had their own influence. It was a huge task to find space for the ideology of the Jan Sangh with its stress on nationalism, security of the country and proud adherence to our cultural and civilisational heritage, yet Atalji could manage to carve out that place.

Right from my childhood days I have heard him speak in Gandhi Maidan of Patna and I became mesmerised. It was not only the Jan Sangh or BJP supporters, but also people, including government employees and Opposition workers, who wanted to hear Atalji, not just for his Hindi or poetry but also on issues concerning the country. In some meetings people used to come with tape recorders. Ram Manohar Lohia was also a powerful speaker but both Lohia and Deendayal Upadhyay died young. In independent India, I have not the slightest hesitation to state that Vajpayee was the most powerful public speaker in Parliament or outside. Young people started emulating his style and there are hundreds of young workers who pride themselves as mini-Atals. In one public meeting in Delhi, a speaker in his presence emulated him very well. Atalji said, “if the duplicate is so good then why trouble the original?”

He always stressed on a few important principles. Be dignified in your utterances. “Rajneeti mein mat-bhed ho, man-bhed nahin hona chahiye”, he said. Have abiding trust in the heritage, and faith in the future of India. Proudly explain your ideology, criticise your opponents but don’t treat them as enemies. I remember when Indira Gandhi announced the election in 1977 (after Emergency), Atalji rang me up from Delhi and informed me that he was coming to Patna to meet Jayaprakash Narayan. From the airport I brought him to my house and during a conversation I said something in anger about Indira Gandhi, which was not very dignified. Being a product of the JP Movement and having fought during the Emergency and having seen the way political leaders including JP were treated, the anger was not unjust. But Atalji snubbed me and pointedly said that he did not expect this kind of language from me. Here was a man just released from prison, where he had undergone two surgeries, and yet he had no ill-will against Indira Gandhi. It left a powerful impact on me personally. During my parliamentary or public interventions at times I strongly criticise my opponents but once it is over, I never make it personal.

The sheer height to which he took parliamentary debate with the depth of his commitment, wit, humour and sarcasm, including the ability to laugh at himself, has become the stuff of legend. His speech in 1996 in the Lok Sabha just before he resigned after serving as PM for 13 days will remain one of the finest moments of Indian parliamentary debate. I still remember, while speaking in the Lok Sabha he said, “Somnath” and then paused and looking at the Opposition benches, said, “Somnath Mandir, Somnath Chatterjee nahin”. The late Somnath Chatterjee, a close friend of Atalji, laughed.

Apart from Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Vajpayee was the only PM popularly elected by the people of India. Rajiv Gandhi had won not on his own persona but because of the sympathy generated by the assassination of Indira Gandhi. As the first true non-Congress PM, Atalji led path-breaking initiatives for the country. The courage he showed when India undertook the nuclear tests and the way he held on against global pressure made us proud. He led the nation down the path of economic reforms, too, by choice and not under compulsion.

I had the privilege to serve in his council of ministers and for me it was a great moment that he had seen me as a child and also as minister in his government. He lent the weight of his personality to far-reaching reforms like the national highway programme, unleashing the mobile phone revolution, kisan credit card, higher spending on school education, rural roads etc. I still remember his prophetic words — “karna hai” — when there were some loud voices of dissent on the national highway project.

He had his own way of sending messages. There were baseless rumours in Lutyens’ Delhi about differences between Atalji and Advaniji. One day he suddenly rang up late Kamla Advaniji, said he was coming for lunch. A leading journalist, based upon information from a source in the PMO, wrote that Atalji will never make Advaniji the Deputy PM. On the same day, Advaniji was appointed as Deputy PM.

My father Thakur Prasad was a close associate of Atalji. He passed away in April 1994. Atalji had just returned from the US that evening and without even caring for jet lag he rushed to Patna to console my mother and attend his last rites.

During the Iraq war, it was widely expected that in view of the improving India-US relationship, some Indian forces would be sent to Iraq as well. Atalji put his foot down and refused to send Indian troops to Iraq. He told us, “If a soldier died defending India I would tell his mother that her son died for the country. If an Indian soldier died in UN peacekeeping mission, I would tell his mother her son died defending global peace. What would I tell a mother whose son died in Iraq?”

India has lost a great leader whose deeds will continue to inspire the coming generations. My respectful pranam to his soul.

Courtesy-indianexpress.com

Atal to Modi: Amazing continuity By-Sandhya Jain 

Atal to Modi: Amazing continuity

By-Sandhya Jain 

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was finally elected for a full tenure in 1999, his detractors began to acknowledge his virtues (liberal, poet, orator, consensus-builder) and denigrate his party and parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Yet the slogan, ‘right man in the wrong party’, was inaccurate as Vajpayee founded the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with LK Advani in 1980, after the Janata Party regime fell on the pretext of the Jan Sangh members’ affiliation with the RSS. From a nadir of two seats in 1984, the duo took the BJP to the top of the political pyramid in little over a decade; Modi led India’s first single party majority Government after 1984.

Vajpayee never wavered in his allegiance to the RSS. Handpicked by Deendayal Upadhyaya, Vajpayee’s potential as a non-Congress Prime Minister was recognised by Jawaharlal Nehru and he was nurtured by the parivar despite differences of perception (not substance) on some issues. Vajpayee may not have relished the forceful reclamation of the Ram Janmabhumi but he didn’t want Ayodhya to be relinquished either.

After his demise, some critics alluded to grave failings; many praised him while snidely demeaning Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This writer believes that in the broad contours of their leadership, there is far more continuity than difference between Atalji and Modi. We need to nail the canard that Vajpayee failed by letting Modi continue after the Gujarat riots. On January 26, 2001, a powerful earthquake struck Kutch district, flattening the town of Bhuj. Seeing Keshubhai Patel’s poor leadership, Narendra Modi was asked to takeover in October and focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The Godhra carnage of February 28, 2002, came out of the blue; the subsequent riots could hardly be called State-sponsored. Vajpayee would have had the sagacity to realise this and the wisdom to be silent through the orchestrated hysteria that has not subsided to this day. The fact that Parliament was attacked in December 2001 also needs to be factored into this equation.

Then, there is the allegation that the RSS’ worldview excludes Muslims. One writer claimed that Vajpayee told Indira Gandhi that the RSS wanted Muslims to “join the mainstream” and wondered what that means. The reply had been given by Narendra Modi: Not pandering to false emotions by wearing a skullcap; encouraging modern education; protecting personal dignity by tackling triple talaq, nikah halala, and female genital mutilation; and respecting Rifleman Aurangzeb’s murder by quitting the debilitating coalition in Jammu & Kashmir.

Many admire Vajpayee’s leadership during the Kargil intrusion, especially his decision to confine the conflict to the Line of Control. Yet Vajpayee stood by the Air Force’s shooting down Pakistan’s surveillance aircraft, Atlantique, over the Rann of Kutch on August 10, 1999, soon after the War. The then Congress president Sonia Gandhi had scoffed that Kargil was not a victory of the leadership (of BJP, Vajpayee). Time had made her more circumspect; the leader, who did not allow the body of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao into the party headquarters for public darshan, came to pay respects to Atalji; Rahul Gandhi attended the funeral.

Post-Kargil, despite anger with Gen Pervez Musharraf for the Kargil conflict, the October 1999 coup, continued sponsorship of cross-border terrorism and patronage of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that humiliated India in the episode of the IC 814 hijacking (December 24-31, 1999), Vajpayee made a grand gesture for peace by hosting Gen Musharraf at Agra in July 2001.

One reason was that in 1998, Vajpayee had undertaken a series of nuclear tests to which Islamabad responded with copycat tests. Hence, there was need to lower temperatures. Indeed, this likely influenced Vajpayee’s decision to meet the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Lahore in 1999, the potential of which was undone by Gen Musharraf. Anyway, the Agra summit ended in failure and in December, when Parliament was attacked, Vajpayee found the world far more responsive to the grim reality of cross-border terrorism against India.

Modi, too, has made grand gestures for peace, beginning his innings with an invitation to all heads of SAARC countries, plus Maldives, to attend his swearing-in ceremony, and attending Prime Minister Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding. But the military establishment did not allow any initiative to succeed. Oddly, Atalji and Modi have some mistakes in common, viz the unreciprocated Ramzan ceasefire of November 2000 and 2018 in Kashmir. Both men strove for an understanding with Beijing despite hiccups; China invaded Vietnam when Vajpayee made his maiden visit as a Foreign Minister. However, as a Prime Minister, he established the Special Representative mechanism to cool border tensions.

Vajpayee got the diaspora to support the economy in the wake of American sanctions after the nuclear explosions; Modi has made the diaspora a pillar of his foreign policy. Both men have invested in relations with Washington, Moscow, and the neighbourhood. Atalji reached out to the military regime in Myanmar and also Bangladesh, and got insurgent camps shut down in both countries. Our ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies are an extension of the ‘Look East’ policy. Above all, Vajpayee upgraded diplomatic ties with Israel, which have blossomed  under Modi.

Surprisingly, even critics acknowledge that Atalji’s economic initiatives paved the way for India to experience eight per cent growth; the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003 laid the basis for macroeconomic responsibility; disinvestment happened in redundant or losing enterprises; the mobile revolution took off; and the three-tier VAT that replaced excise duties was the precursor of the current GST regime. Moreover, the Modi Government is continuing Vajpayee’s highly successful programme of road connectivity, port connectivity and all weather rural roads. Despite sincere efforts, both regimes have failed to assuage the plight of farmers, largely due to reliance on urban ‘experts’ with little connection to village India and traditional farming methods.

Vajpayee overcame a humble background (his father was a school teacher) and became a popular leader on the strength of an organisation that has been vilified for decades by the Lutyens elite. Serving stalwarts like Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deendayal Upadhyaya, he rose through the ranks, ultimately leading India from the turn of the century into the 21st century. Modi’s origins are humbler (his father sold tea on a railway platform); his caste miniscule and virtually unknown. Rising without godfathers, he needed more grit and tenacity than charm and grace.

(The writer is Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library; the views expressed are personal)

Courtesy-  The Pioneer |21 August 2018

Veda and Yoga are One: Dr. David Frawley

Veda and Yoga are One: Veda is knowledge and Yoga is its practice

Dr. David Frawley

Veda is knowledge and Yoga is its practice. It is that simple. They are two sides of the same truth. Yoga not only leads us to Veda, but also expresses it. Veda embodies itself through Yoga as its manifestation.

Veda, from the root “vid” to know, refers to Knowledge in the highest sense as direct perception of the Eternal and Infinite Consciousness called Brahman. Brahman is present as the Atman or inner Self of all beings at an individual level.

The practice of Vedic knowledge is Yoga, meaning integration and unification. Knowledge of our true nature as pure consciousness beyond all limitations of time and space naturally brings us Yoga or harmony and oneness with all.Veda


Paths of Yoga

There are three primary traditional paths of Yoga. First is Jnana Yoga or the Yoga of Knowledge, which is the Yoga of Veda as the way of inner wisdom. It is the path of Self-knowledge, Self-realization and the unity of our inner most Self with all, the Universal Being, gained through mental purity, inquiry and meditation.

The second path of Yoga is Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of Devotion and Divine Love. Bhakti Yoga is the love of the Self in the form of the Universal Being and all of his/her formations and manifestations. It proceeds through surrender to the Divine Presence within the heart.

Third is Karma Yoga or the Yoga of right action, service and ritual, which is action in harmony with the Universal Being. It consists of aligning our outer lives with the inner reality that we access through knowledge and devotion. These three paths are interrelated, with Self-knowledge expressing itself as Divine Love and working through selfless service for all.

Out of these three primary paths, many other Yoga paths arise. Most known are Raja Yoga or the Yoga of meditation and samadhi and Hatha Yoga or the Yoga of psychophysical techniques. There are many other types of Yoga, such as Mantra Yoga, Nada Yoga and Laya Yoga that deal with cosmic sound, and Prana Yoga and Kundalini Yoga that deal with internal energies.


The Vedas as Yogic Teachings

The Vedic mantras, starting with the oldest Rigveda, form first of all, a path of Mantra Yoga. The Vedas are said to manifest from the cosmic sound, OM that is the foremost of all mantras, the very Divine Word itself. Hindus continue to chant mantras from the Rigveda after thousands of years, such as the Gayatri Mantra to Surya/Savitri, the solar Godhead and the Mrityunjaya Mantra to Lord Shiva in order to access the highest wisdom and grace. But, every one of the ten thousand verses of the Rigveda holds this mantric power.

Mantra is not only the language of the Veda, but also the language of the Yoga. Jnana and Bhakti or knowledge and devotion are the two ways of reading the Vedic mantras. The Vedas extol the Self as the Supreme Reality, which is Jnana, but also approach it through deities and devotional attitudes, which is Bhakti. The attitude of devotion or Bhakti Bhava takes us to knowledge or Jnana.

Vedic rituals arise from the Vedic mantras as Karma Yoga. Typical books on Karma Yoga in India have always dealt with the performance of Vedic rituals, including yajnas, havans and pujas, as well as daily lifestyle practices, according to the tenets of Dharma. Veda is the teaching of Dharma on all levels.


The Four Goals of Life

The Vedic tradition recognizes four great goals of human life: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma here refers to our true purpose in life, which is our inner work to manifest our higher spiritual potential. Artha is the goals that we need to achieve to fulfill our Dharma. Kama is the lasting happiness that we experience in rightly pursuing our Dharma. This takes us to Moksha or liberation. Yoga is said to be the primary means of achieving Moksha or liberation, the highest goal of life. So, all life is Yoga. That is why the practice of the eight limbs of Yoga begins with the dharmic values and disciplines of the Yamas and Niyamas, like ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truthfulness).


Yoga Darshana and Yoga Sutras

Apart from these general branches of Yoga is Yoga Darshana – Yoga as one of the schools of Hindu/Vedic philosophy, as explained in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, regarded as the prime text on Yoga.

Yoga Darshana has its roots in the Vedas as is explained in the Mahabharata. Its founder is Hiranyagarbha, often a name for Lord Brahma as the source of cosmic knowledge. The classical Yoga lineage is from Hiranyagarbha to the great Rishi Vasishta, who has the largest number of mantras in the Rigveda, which lineage eventually comes down to Rishi Patanjali.

Patanjali is the Sutrakara or compiler of teachings for the older Vedic Darshana, not its originator or founder, as some today wrong assume. He dates from the post-Vedic period, when the older teachings were being correlated and systematized. The darshanas are part of Hindu Smriti literature that rests upon the Vedas as Shruti or the source teaching. Yoga Darshana as a Vedic philosophy accepts the authority or Pramana of the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, in which Yoga and Veda, or the higher knowledge and its practice, are commonly discussed under different names, forms and approaches.

Patanjali describes Ishvara, which refers to Brahman as the Cosmic Lord, as the Adiguru, the first teacher, of Yoga [1]. We must note that in Vedantic metaphysical thought Ishvara is the Self of the universal causal body and Hiranyagarbha is the Self of the universal subtle body, or two aspects of the same cosmic reality.

Patanjali teaches us that Ishvara’s indicator is Pranava or Omkara, which is the main means of contacting his power within us [2]. Pranava or Omkara is also the origin of the Vedas, which are similarly said to be the word of Ishvara or the Supreme Divine. Patanjali was also well known as a Sanskrit grammarian, so was clearly aware of this fact. It again shows that Veda and Yoga are one. Veda is OM as knowledge and Yoga is OM as practice.


Krishna, the Gita and Manu

Another prime text of Yoga is the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is said to be Yogavatara, the avatar of Yoga. He says that he taught Yoga to Vivasvan, a form of the solar deity like Hiranyagarbha, who in turn taught it to Manu, who was also the original teacher of the Vedas [3].


Yoga and Hinduism

Some misinformed scholars today tell us that Veda and Yoga are different, that Yoga is pre-Vedic, Buddhist, anything, but Hindu, though all main Yoga groups in modern times follow traditions and practices based in the Hindu tradition. This idea reflects their inability to connect Yoga with the Upanishadic quest for the Supreme Self and to the older Vedic mantras that aim at the highest light of truth. It is not the view of the great Yogis of India, like Sri Aurobindo or Paramahansa Yogananda, who recognize the Vedic roots of Yoga.

As the Vedas are the prime scriptures or source books of Hinduism, Yoga is also the practice of Hindu Dharma. Yoga permeates every aspect of the Hindu way of life. Hindu rituals and temple worship are Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Hindu prayers, chants and songs are Mantra Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Hindu scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita are Yoga Shastras. Hindu dharmic values like truthfulness are yogic values. Yoga Sadhana is prescribed for every Hindu, according to his or her Ishta Devata or chosen form of the Divine that they are free to worship.

Yoga may be taken up by members of other religious communities or by atheists to some degree – but there is no community or culture that Yoga is such an integral part of, as it is of Hinduism.

There is no Yoga tradition apart from Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, from which it arises as way of spiritual practice. Whatever universality people find in Yoga rests upon the universality of Sanatana Dharma, not upon any single group or guru coming out of it. Veda is our natural universal Dharma and Yoga is its unifying expression. If we return to that unity of Veda and Yoga, there will be wisdom, peace and happiness for all.

References:

Yoga Sutras I.26
Yoga Sutras I.27
Bhagavad Gita IV.1

Link- https://www.vedanet.com/veda-and-yoga-are-one-veda-is-knowledge-and-yoga-is-its-practice/

Courtesy: www.vedanet.com/ JUNE 21, 2018

4 years of Modi government- Chennabasaveshwar

4 years of Modi government: India on track to become ‘Human Resources Capital’

By: 

The 4 years of Modi government completed on May 26. PM Modi envisioned that India can become the human resources capital of the world. “If China has emerged as the manufacturing capital of the world, India can become the human resources capital of the world,” the PM said while launching the ‘Skill India Mission’ in 2015. In this direction, the Human Resouce Development Ministry launched various scholarship schemes, higher education institutions and focused on promoting research and innovations in educational institutions.

UDAAN: This project was launched by CBSE in November 2014 under the guidance of Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Government aims to address the low enrolment of girl students in prestigious engineering institutions and the teaching gap between school education and engineering entrance examinations by addressing the three dimensions of education – curriculum design, transaction and assessment.

4 years of ModiThe project supports about 1000 selected meritorious girls from economically weaker section to prepare for the Engineering Examination while studying in class XI and XII. As a result they are able to compete confidently in the entrance examinations of technical education institutions and eventually become important stakeholders in the technical growth of the nation. Students were guided and assessed during online weekend classes held at 64 centers across the country on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • ln the year 2017, 632 girls out of 777 (session 2016-17, class XII) appeared in JEE (Mains) and 135 qualified for JEE (Advanced).
  • For the session 2017-18,1019 girls were enrolled for class XI while 516 girls continued from the previous year and were promoted to class XI.

National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS): In total, 3.81 lakh scholarshrps have been sanctioned during 2014-15 to 2016-17. In the year 2017-18 (as on 28.02 2018) 4.13 lakh scholarshrps have been sanctioned.

National Scheme of lncentive to Girls for Secondary Scholarship (NSIGSE):9.71 lakh incentive to girls have been sanctioned during 2014-15 to 2016-17. 9.73 lakh incentives to girls have been sanctioned during the current year 2017-18 (as on 28.02 2018).

SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN: Rs.22,500 Crore earmarked for this scheme in the budget. Under SSA. the Revised Estimate for 2016-17 was Rs 22500 crore out of which 96.35% was spent. The Revised Estimate for 2017-18 was allocated at Rs 23500 crore out of which 82.21% has been released as on 28 02.2018. The Budget Estimate for 2018-19 has been increased by 11.2% to Rs 26128.81 crore.

National Academic Depository (NAD): Launched in 2017 with objective to develop a Digital Depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of Higher Education Institutions, on the pattern of a Securities Depository in line with the vision of Digital India. The NAD is born out of an initiative to provide an online 24X7 store-house of all academic awards, viz. certificates, diplomas, degrees, mark sheets etc. of School Education Boards and Higher Educational Institutions on the pattern of a security depository in line with the vision of digital India and help in safe storage, easy retrival and validating the authenticity of academic awards.

As on 16th February, 2018, around 91.03 lakhs academic awards have been lodged on NAD. About 330 academic institutions including School Boards have on-boarded NAD and about 30,000 students have already registered on NAD.

Swachch Vidyalaya:

  • In response to the clarion call made by the Prime Minister on 15 August, 2014, the Department of School Education and Literacy launched the Swachh Vidyalaya lnitiative (SVI) for the construction and repair of separate toilets for girls and boys in every school within a year.
  • The targets were fully achieved with 4,17,796 toilets added to 2,61,400 government elementary and secondary schools during the year from 15.8.2014 to 15.8.2015.
  • This was achieved by a combination of effort from government, public and corporate sectors and private contributions. This includes schools in the most difficult to reach areas in the country such as districts facing Left Wing Extremism (LWE), in forests, remote mountainous terrain and in crowded slums. With this, all 13.77 crore children in 11.21 lakh government schools all over the country now have access to toilet facilities.

Scholarships: As per the record maintained by AICTE, a sum of Rs. 292.50 Crore (approx.) has been released to 11,862 GATE qualified M. Tech. students. In addition, Rs. 2.61 Lakh have been released under National Doctoral Fellowship Scheme. Overall, a sum of Rs. 1076 Crore have been released to GATE qualified M. Tech. Students in the last three year.

NEW IITs: Six new IITs at Jammu, Bhilai, Goa, Dharwad, Tirupati and Palakkad are fully functional. ISM Dhanbad has been converted into an IIT.

Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs): On the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Council to the then Prime Minister of India (SAC-PM), the Government of India initially established five Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Pune (2006), Kolkata (2006), Mohali (2007), Bhopal (2008) and Thiruvanantha-puram (2008). IISERs are declared as the Institutes of National Importance (INI) under the National Institutes Technology, Science Education & Research (NITSER) Act, 2007, as amended from time to time and are governed by their respective Boards of Governors as per provisions of the Act.

IISERs are envisaged to carry out research in frontier areas of science and to provide quality science education at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The central theme of the IISER is to integrate education with research so that under-graduate teaching as well as doctoral and post-doctoral research work, carried out in symbiosis. Students are encouraged to carry out research projects during the vacation periods in the first four years of their Masters programme in various research institutes outside IISER. In the fifth year the students are required to participate in a research seminar and also carry out a research project on which a thesis will have to be written.

Achievements:

  • 2015: As a sequel to the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act, 2014, bifurcating the then State of Andhra Pradesh to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, a new IISER was established at Tirupati in the residual State of Andhra Pradesh. IISER Tirupati has been functioning from its temporary / transit campus with effect from 10.08.2015. 
  • 2016: Similarly, consequent upon an announcement by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech (2015), another IISER was established at Berhampur, Odisha. IISER Berhampur is functioning from its temporary / transit campus with effect from 01.08.2016. The Union Cabinet, it its meeting held on 27.10.2016, inter alia approved incorporation of the two IISERs Tirupati and Berhampur in the NITSER Act, 2007.
  • 2017: Consequently, with the adoption of the NITSER (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha on 28.03.2017 and Rajya Sabha on 26.07.2017 and necessary notifications issued in the Gazette of India, the two new IISERs at Tirupati and Berhampur stood incorporated at Sl. Nos. 6 & 7 of the Second Schedule to the NITSER Act, 2007.

NEW IIMs: In the Budget speech 2014-15, six new IIMs were announced. Accordingly, during the year 2015-16, six more IIMs have been established at Amritsar (Punjab), Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Sambalpur (Odisha), Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh) and Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and commenced their academic session from 2015-16 from temporary campuses. The Ministry of HRD is providing funds to establish the IIMs for academic activities and setting up of temporary campuses and construction of permanent campuses. A total of Rs.79 crore per institute has been approved for their establishment and operation from the temporary campus during initial years.

The Union Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech (2015) had inter alia announced setting up of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Mentored by IIM Lucknow, IIM Jammu, has started its first academic session in 2016-17 with 54 students from Temporary / transit campus located at old Government College of Engineering & Technology (GCE&T), Canal Road, Jammu. An amount of Rs.61.9 crore per institute has been approved for its establishment and operation from the temporary campus during initial years.

Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN): It was launched on 30th November, 2015. The programme seeks to invite distinguished academicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, experts from premier institutions from across the world, to teach in the higher educational institutions in India.

  • No. of Courses approved till date: 1417
  • Courses already organized: 1037
  • No of host Institutions: 138

Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM): The Ministry of HRD has embarked on a major and new initiative called ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM), which will provide one integrated platform and portal for online courses, using information and communication technology (ICT) and covering all higher education subjects and skill sector courses. Till date, more than 28 Lakhs learners have been enrolled in 1000+ MOOCs courses that have been run through SWAYAM.

National Digital Library (NDL): Under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, the HRD initiated the National Digital Library of India (NDL India) project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility.

  • 1.5 Crore e-books and documents are available.
  • Content is available in English, Hindi and some other languages.
  • There are 160 Content contributor. There are 30 lakh users
  • 9 thousand educational institutions from where users registered.

NATIONAL RANKINGS FOR HIGHER INSTITUTIONS: National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was launched to help Indian Educational Institutions to participate in the world rankings with greater confidence.

Under National Institutional Ranking Framework-2018, 2809 institutions have participated in nine categories. This includes 301 Universities, 906 Engineering Institutions, 487 Management Institutions, 286 Pharmacy Institutions, 71 Law Institutions, 101 Medical Institutions, 59 Architecture Institutions and 1087 General Degree Colleges.

“India Rankings 2018” have ranked institutions in the disciplines/categories mentioned above, and provided a common overall rank across all disciplines for those institutions, which have more than 1000 enrolled students.

Smart India Hackathon: This is a unique IT Initiative under which students are encouraged to apply knowledge to the real life situations and to find innovative solutions to the day to day problems. Smart India Hackathon 2018 (SIH 2018) was launched on 16th October 2017. It includes 2 sub-editions – Software as well as Hardware: Software Edition- 36-hour software product development competition, similar in concept to SIH 2017. In the new Hardware Edition of the Hackathon, the teams work for 5 consecutive days and build their hardware solutions for the proposed problem statements. The Grand Finale of Software Edition SIH 2018 was held on 30th & 31st March, 2018.

RESEARCH &QUALITY HIGHER EDUCATION:

Research and Quality Higher Education: AICTE has released a sum of Rs. 11.77 Crore under Research Promotional Scheme in the current Financial Year. The scheme aims at promoting research in engineering sciences and innovations in established and newer technologies; and to generate Master’s and Doctoral degree candidates to augment the quality of faculty and research.

Under Modernisation and Removal of Obsolescence (MODROBS), AICTE has granted a sum of Rs. 16 Crore in the present financial year to the institutes for removing obsolescence in laboratories, workshops, etc. Rs.75 Crore approved for five New Research Parks at IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Hyderabad and IISc Bangalore.

IMPRINT: IMPRINT was launched in 2015 to channelize the research in premier institutions into areas that can have largest social and economic good for the country. Under this initiative, research projects under 10 selected domains are jointly funded by MHRD and other participating Ministries/Departments. These domains are: health care, energy, sustainable habitat, nano technology hardware, water resources and river systems, advanced materials, information and communication technology, manufacturing, security and defence, and environmental science and climate change.

About 142 research projects with an outlay of Rs. 323.16 crore for 3 years with joint funding from MHRD and participating Ministries in the ratio of 50:50 have been approved and currently under execution.

Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY): The scheme was launched in 2015 with a view to promote innovation of a higher order that directly impacts the needs of the Industry and thereby improves the competitive edge of Indian manufacturing. The projects envisages collaboration between the academia and industry – within or outside India. The overall annual investment would be limited to Rs. 250.00 crore each year. The funding pattern of the projects selected would be 25% by Industry; 25 per cent by participating Department/Ministry; and 50% by MHRD. 87 projects at a cost of Rs.265.59 crore with joint funding from MHRD, participating Ministries and Industry in the ratio of 50:25:25 have been approved and currently under execution. Under UAY Phase-II, 65 projects with a total cost of Rs.139.48 Crore for a period of 3 years have been approved by the Apex Committee.

Other new Initiatives by HRD Ministry:

1. National Testing Agency: In pursuance of the Budget Announcement 2017-18, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 10.11.2017 approved creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions in the country.

2. Improving Gender Balance: With a view to improving female enrolment in the B.TechProgrammes in IITs, a Committee under the chairmanship of Director, IIT-Mandi was constituted by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) to suggest suitable measures. The recommendations of the Committee were considered by the IIT Council in its 51st meeting held on 28.04.2017 and decided to increase female enrolment from the current 8% to 14% in 2018-19, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21 by creating supernumerary seats.

3. Project Monitoring Unit (PMU): In order to effectively monitor construction of campuses of all higher educational institutions under MHRD, a Project Monitoring Unit comprising experts in the field of construction has been set up. This will monitor the quality of the construction at the one hand and ensure that there is no time and cost overruns in these high value projects.

-www.oneindia.com / May 31, 2018

UNITED OPP FEATS CLOUD BJP’S PROSPECTS -Navin Upadhyay

UNITED OPP FEATS CLOUD BJP’S PROSPECTS

By-Navin Upadhyay

A week ago, in an informal chat with journalists about the party’s prospects in the bypolls, BJP president Amit Shah had predicted that the BJP will win in Palghar but may face tough contest in Kairana. Shah had rightly sensed that after four years in power, the BJP’s fortune now depended on the index of Opposition unity.

The bypoll results of 10 States covering four Lok Sabha seats and 10 Assembly seats show that the tide is turning against the BJP. The LS bypoll results were equally divided between the BJP-led alliance (two) and the Opposition parties (also two), but the outcome of the 10 Assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could win just one seat in Uttarakhand.

The Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab) and others got six —JMM 2 in Jharkhand; CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool 1 each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively. The Congress also won one Assembly seat in Maharashtra without contest after all other parties withdrew their candidates.

UNITED OPPThe results sent another interesting message that like Uttar Pradesh, the BJP could face serious trouble in Maharashtra if the Opposition, including the Shiv Sena, was able to ensure a one-and-one contest. This was clear in Bhandara-Gondiya, where NCP’s Madhukar Kukade defeated Hemant Patle of the BJP by 48,097 votes. At Palghar, BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won the seat defeating Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanaga.

The BJP may rejoice its Palghar victory, but the Sena came a close second and ensured that the saffron party’s victory margin came down from 2,00,300 to a mere 29,572 votes. The Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), which had won this seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but lost it to the BJP in 2014, also polled close to 2 lakh votes, while the Congress came a distant fourth with 40,000 votes. It’s clear like in Gondiya, where the Sena didn’t put up its candidate. If the NCP and the Congress were united, and there was no BVA in the race, the verdict could have been entirely different.

After the BJP lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls to the BSP-SP combine, the BJP put all its might to win Kairana. A victory here could have been a psychological booster for the party which is yet to recover from losing at the home turfs of the UP Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister only two months ago. The poll-eve roadshow held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and his public meeting in Baghpat was a clear attempt to send message to the voters in Kairana. The BJP had also fielded many of its stalwarts to regain the seat which its late MP Hukum Singh had won by over 2.5 lakh votes four years ago.

On the other hand, both SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati did not even campaign in Kairana. However, both these leaders were able to transfer their vote bank to the RLD candidate, Tabassum Hasan. This is something which the BJP should worry about.

The BSP and the SP have been bitter rivals for ages. If their vote banks could come together so spontaneously, UP would become a very dangerous terrain for the BJP in 2019.

While Tabassum Hasan won the Kairana seat by a margin of 44,618 votes, Naeemul Hasan of the Samajwadi Party bagged the Noorpur Assembly seat by a margin on 5,662 votes. Both seats were earlier held by the BJP. in Kairana. Tabassum polled 4,81,182 votes, while the BJP’s Mriganka Singh got 4,36,564 votes, the election office here said. Hasan (48) has now become the first Muslim face from Uttar Pradesh in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Kairana’s loss also shows that the BJP cannot hold against the united Opposition across the State, be it Gorakhpur in eastern UP, Phulpur in Central UP, and Kairana in Western UP. The Kairana verdict also shows that UP was ready to leave behind the communal hatred triggered by 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and attempts at polarisation may not work so effectively any more.

The outcome of Jharkhand also showed that the BJP stood no chance against a united Opposition. The JMM, which was supported by the Congress and other Opposition parties, retained both Silli and Gomia Assembly seats in the by-election.

The bypoll has also come as a rude shock to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The JD(U) suffered crushing defeat in the Muslim-dominated Jokihat Assembly bypoll. The ruling party, which had been winning this seat for 13 years, lost it to the RJD whose Shahnawaz Alam defeated JD(U)’s Murshid Alam by a margin of 41,124 votes. The top leaders of the JD(U) including party chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had campaigned and senior leaders of his party including Ministers had camped in the Muslim-dominated constituency in a bid to retain it.

The result shows that Muslims have abandoned Nitish Kumar after he joined hands with the BJP. The outcome showed that the way CBI and other agencies have gone against Lalu Prasad and his family is generating strong sense of sympathy towards the RJD.

As expected In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress registered an impressive victory in the Maheshtala Assembly bypoll defeating its nearest rival BJP by a margin of 62,765 votes. TMC candidate Dulal Das secured 1,04,818 votes as against 42,053 votes bagged by the BJP’s Sujit Ghosh, a senior EC official said. Left Front’s Prabhat Chowdhury was third with 30,384 votes.

The BJP had the consolation of retaining the Tharali Assembly seat in Uttarakhand by a slim margin. Its candidate Munni Devi Shah defeated Congress nominee Jeetram by 1,981 votes.

The Congress retained the RR Nagar Assembly seat in Karnataka by a huge margin in a triangular contest. The election here was counteredmanded after recovery of thousands of fake voter identity cards.

In Punjab, Congress’ Hardev Singh Ladi wrested Shahkot from the Shiromani Akali Dal. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hailed the victory as a “vindication” of the Government’s people-centric policies.

In Kerala, the CPI(M)-led LDF retained the Chengannur seat by a huge margin. LDF’s CPI(M) candidate Saji Cherian defeated his UDF rival, D Vijayakumar of the Congress, by a margin of 20,956 votes while the NDA suffered a big setback as BJP candidate PS Sreedharan Pillai came a distant third.

Six months ago, the BJP looked invincible under the Modi-Shah combine. But the coming together of Mayawati and Akhilesh proved a game-changer for the Opposition. Karnataka took the Opposition unity a notch further. If the Opposition was able to put up a united face, by all indication, the country will witness thriller of a general election next year.

-The Pioneer |01 June 2018 |New Delhi