in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

India sleepwalks to Total Surveillance by GoI

 

The IT Act 2000, one of the crucial laws for security actions against cyber crimes, the first in Indian history was passed by the NDA government. NDA government also set the parameter stating as the cyber crime is highly dynamic and often complicated in nature, it would set up the panel to update the law to keep it relevant.

The amendment for the aforementioned bill, called as The IT Amendment Bill 2006, was passed by UPA government. The amendment was passed in a hurry on the December 22 2008 in less than 5 minutes without any debate which is regarded as one of the most controversial laws to have ever been passed in the nation India. Let me put it in simple terms, the amendment allows the government to intercept messages from mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices to investigate any offence, not serious offence of the grade of terrorist attacks, but any silly offence that you might negligently commit.

As one website puts it in more detail of the whole amendment,

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Any email you send, any message you text are now open to the prying eyes of the government. So are the contents of your computer you surfed in the privacy of your home.

Around 45 amendments have been made to the original Act, which now treats both publishers of online pornography and its consumers on equal footing. A law so sweeping in its powers that it allows a police officer in the rank of a sub-inspector to walk in or break in to the privacy of your home and see if you were surfing porn or not. It’s the personal morality of the official that will decide whether the picture/content you were looking at was lascivious or appeals to prurient interest.

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More info here.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Information Technology, Internet, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

MR. Manmohan Singh!

No wonder, when elders said during my childhood, constitution of India is quite complicated and you have not grown enough to understand that. Quite bemused I am, standing along with millions and millions of Indian today, trying to understand a novel concept; leader who not elected by even a single citizen directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, up close or remote leading all the way to a full term of prime minister and digging another. Manmohan Singh is a nominated leader and not an elected leader. Yes, you and I have not brought this up on ourselves, but someone decides which results in someone heading us.

In all his life, Singh has contested only one Lok Sabha election and he suffered a heavy defeat against BJP’s Vijay Malhotra. Countries like United States of America are following the presidential democracy where they even go to an extent of setting up a one-on-one debate among the leaders whom they wish to choose and see it all on their own helping them decide who fits the bill and who not.

It is perfectly appreciated, when LK Advani today called Singh for the TV debate second time in the month. It came no surprise when the man and his party, who had already decided upon the second time back door entry as nominated representative (Rajya Sabha) , turned down the offer and lamely trying to criticize the subject.

If Manmohan Singh, as looked upon as the man who resides in people’s heart, let him go to the people’s constituency, prove a worth or two there, and show that he really not a PM who safely chooses Rajya Sabha route. Else, as his party men around who keep playing foul since morning that Advani is not Obama, let him fill his presence on the screen. Let him sit opposite to LK Advani on a TV debate and talk his report card of 5 years and the disasters of BJP as his party perceives.

We, at the mercy of politician’s goodwill, are yearning for such debates, which would in all glory and honesty, drill both contestant into bits and offer a platter in front of us to choose upon. Wouldn’t that be a great offer for, we Indians, who would love to vote for our leader!

Manmohan neither goes to the people nor accepts to the debate with his rivalry, then how would he prove that he is fit to assume charge of the highest office of India as a man called Mr. Prime Minister.

As the above title says MR. Manmohan Singh it doesn’t stand for Mister but a Misunderstood Representative!

March 28, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian General Elections 2009, Issues, Politics | Leave a comment

Quiz of the day!

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He was the Finance Minister and I regret to say, when he was the Finance Minister, our securities(investments) were not safe and when he is the Home Minister, our security is not safe,” he said. (Link)

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Guess who are the people involved in the above statement. The speaker is Arun Jaitley and the one he speaks about is Chidambaram. Yes, indeed a strange co-incidence, as Jaitley mentions, for Chidambaram- simply the job is taking the better of him.

I am reminded a song of Kamal’s flick which says, “I was out to sell salt on a rainy day and flour on a windy day, my math went wrong and all messed up”.

Pheww! Home Ministry robs IPL of the home advantage! Now, IPL should deal with Ministry of External Affairs, if any more issues playing IPL.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, India, Politics, Polls, Sports | Leave a comment

AIG – to pay bonus to its top executives

 

You might read AIG as ‘American International Group Inc’, as they have stood for, else call ‘All Investments Gone’ as the reality calls for and read the title of this column.

Since few days, AIG has drawn lot of flak and public outrage, after the news poured in that AIG has paid its executives, bonuses amounting to $165 million. Obama has vowed that he would try every possible legal avenue to stop such bonuses being paid out.

AIG has 80% stakes of United States government, after receiving four bailouts totaling to $170 billion. AIG has been questioned on the transactions that were made with the tax payer’s money and finally it has listed the transactions with payee’s consent.

The largest single recipient was Goldman Sachs ($12.9 billion). Other recipients include 20 European banks that received a total of $58.8 billion and Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), Bank of America ($5.2 billion), Citigroup ($2.3 billion) and Wachovia ($1.5 billion).

Big foreign banks also received large sums from the rescue, including Société Générale of France and Deutsche Bank of Germany, which each received nearly $12 billion; Barclays of Britain ($8.5 billion); and UBS of Switzerland ($5 billion).

Altogether, the disclosures account for $107.8 billion in A.I.G. bailout money which leaves us wondering about the rest of the money. Another $30 billion was added to the A.I.G. bailout pot this month and must be accounted for as soon as it is spent. That leaves some $32 billion unaccounted for. Where did it go?

If you get a measure of how a certain $165 million spent out of that $32 billion, it sure does sting. A staggering $165 million handed out as bonuses for employees of a company that nearly took down the financial system. And heck, the taxpayers, own nearly 80 percent of A.I.G.

A senator was fuming hearing about the bonus payments,

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“A.I.G. has been trying to play the American people for fools by giving nearly $1 billion in bonuses by the name of retention payments,” Mr. Cummings said on Sunday. “These payments are nothing but a reward for obvious failure, and it is an egregious offense to have the American taxpayers foot the bill.”

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Obama On an interview,

The Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, appearing on “60 Minutes” on CBS on Sunday night, said: “Of all the events and all of the things we’ve done in the last 18 months, the single one that makes me the angriest, that gives me the most angst, is the intervention with A.I.G.”

He went on: “Here was a company that made all kinds of unconscionable bets. Then, when those bets went wrong, they had a — we had a situation where the failure of that company would have brought down the financial system.”

In deciding to rescue A.I.G., the government worried that if it did not bail out the company, its collapse could lead to a cascading chain reaction of losses, jeopardizing the stability of the worldwide financial system.

The list released by A.I.G. on Sunday, detailing payments made between September and December of last year, could bolster that justification by illustrating the breadth of losses that might have occurred had A.I.G. been allowed to fail. Some of the companies, like Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, had exposure mainly through A.I.G.’s derivatives program. Others, though, like Barclays and Citigroup, stood to lose mainly because they were customers of A.I.G.’s securities-lending program, which does not involve derivatives.

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AIG is the source of global financial disorder, as viewed by most experts across the world, for their risky financial practices and short term target achievements. Indeed, as the system, says what is your worth for this financial quarter and as it evaluates you on YoY basis, even the executives have just seen the quarters ahead of the decades. Consequence, he gets a performance bonus for the fiscal quarter whereas the entire world goes bust on YoY basis.

Should not the top executives of the firm apologize in front of the people, pleading guilty for their unpardonable acts rather than filling their pockets with the abuse of the entire world?

May be, is he rewarded for meeting his previous quarter’s target, in fact exceeding by far miles. What could one do if he chose to say that he is only answerable to his firm and not to the world outside the firm? It sure does sting, and leads to the inevitable question of who is accountable to whom?

Suddenly capitalism looks down at its depth !

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Business/Industries, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Finance/Markets, India, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies | 1 Comment

India – Take a deep breath

 

The merry days were gone. According to our registers, we have witnessed boom, prosperity and light, and now paralyzed to observe in this economic downturn, how we would keep the wheels moving as in the start of this millennia and get the mirth back on our faces.

But, there are also people, who are looking for some light and prosperity among this same crowd, which had never been witnessed or heard of. But, they are born with us; live among us and perish before us.

Malnutrition has always been our academic topic and rightfully left behind with old school days. As politicians turn blind eye to the global hard hitting problem, searching records to prove that we actually are not worse, reality amass all dust and hits across our face.

Somini Sengupta expresses that comparing the stats across the most populous states, China has sharply reduced child malnutrition, and now just 7 percent of its children under 5 are underweight, a critical gauge of malnutrition. In India, by contrast, despite robust growth and good government intentions, the comparable number is 42.5 percent. She further argues that the results showed points to the efficiency of an authoritarian state like China. India’s sluggish and sometimes corrupt bureaucracy has only haltingly put in place relatively simple solutions — iodizing salt, for instance, or making sure all children are immunized against preventable diseases — to say nothing of its progress on the harder tasks, like changing what and how parents feed their children.

The 2007 research paper puts that, Childhood anemia, a barometer of poor nutrition in a lactating mother’s breast milk, is three times higher in India than in China. 

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A World Food Program report last month noted that India remained home to more than a fourth of the world’s hungry, 230 million people in all. It also found anemia to be on the rise among rural women of childbearing age in eight states across India. Indian women are often the last to eat in their homes and often unlikely to eat well or rest during pregnancy. Ms. Menon’s institute, based in Washington, recently ranked India below two dozen sub-Saharan countries on its Global Hunger Index.

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Malnutrition

Malnutrition

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Health, India, Infra Structure, Issues, Living, Regional | Leave a comment