Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cabinet Meet 22.02.201

A push to make farming profitable

BANGALORE: In order to create an environment for robust growth in the agriculture sector, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved an integrated Karnataka agri-business development draft policy.

"The policy will dwell on an integrated agriculture development scheme to assure benefits of different schemes to farmers, on time making agriculture a profitable proposition," higher education minister V S Acharya told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

If the policy comes through, Acharya said, integrated farming techniques that connects livestock management with crop production will give rural development and agri-business in the state, the much-needed boost.Stating that farmers are key contributors and stake holders in sustainable rural development, the minister said an integrated approach that enables optimum use of resources, can change their (farmers) destiny.Acharya said the government will also ensure that funds available under various agriculture schemes and projects are spent properly, in the larger interest of farmers.

WHAT IT HOLDS: Develop a good institutional model to support both agriculture production and the agro-processing sector, to address the entire value-chain. To develop good business models and address the value chain through a public-private partnership (PPP) model, instituting a synergic and end-to-end model to attract more private investments. To develop a mechanism to reallocate agriculture workforce, who are involved in primary production to the agri-service sector by encouraging entrepreneurship

Other decisions:

The state cabinet on Tuesday approved introduction of the new draft policy to promote Kannada film industry which is going through troubled times for the past few years. "We will further fine-tune the draft policy before tabling it in the House," higher education minister V S Acharya told reporters after the cabinet meeting here. The new policy will facilitate improving the sagging image of the industry, with innovative measures and will also provide subsidies in a big way. The government will also bring some form of regulations to curb dubbing and remake of cinemas.

The cabinet also approved setting up of the Sahyadri Heritage Development Authority and an action plan to develop heritage centres at Shimoga, Uttara Kannada and Chikmagalur districts with a fund of Rs 9 crore. The cabinet also gave its nod to the draft copy of the Karnataka Public Trust Act for extending jurisdiction and services of public trusts in Mumbai-Karnataka region. "A new charity commission for the region will also be set up with a retired judge heading it," Acharya said. It was also agreed that two new members Abhijit Das Gupta and Musa Kui Nayar Mule will be selected as members of Karnataka Administration Tribunal. The duos' names have been sent to President Pratibha Patil for approval. Enhancement of retirement benefits to Anganwadi teachers and helpers with honorary retirement benefits of Rs 60,000 and 30,000 respectively and honorary retirement pension of Rs 500 and Rs 350 respectively, with extension of retirement age to 60 years Rs 25.32 crore for diverting water from other sources to Jambadahalli dam near Tarikere.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who sponsored Church Attacks (and the events thereafter)?


Need for reforms in BU guidelines

The higher education minister feels the existing model adversely affects the quality of education as backlog is permitted without a cap. Statistics reveal hundreds of final year graduate students haven’t cleared a single paper in the first two years
Higher education minister V S Acharya has shot off a letter to BU asking it to check the current model, where a student can study for three years without passing a single subject.

In his letter, the minister referred to the deteriorating quality of education because of the carry-over system. He pointed out that while technical and medical education had a cap on the carry-over system, there were no checks and balances in degree education.

There are five papers in the first semester and another five in the second. A student can easily go to the second year without clearing any of the ten papers. Similarly, a student is also eligible to move to the third year with a backlog of another 10 papers (including the third and four semesters).
Bangalore Mirror/ Sridhar Vivan

Sources say hundreds of students are studying in the third year with a backlog of 20 papers.

The minister’s letter comes at a time when BU’s semester system has been targeted by educationists. BJP MLC and educationist M R Doreswamy Naidu too had asked Acharya to review the BU model sometime ago. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Doreswamy said, he had raised the issue in the legislative council as well, but he did not receive a convincing answer.

He had seen many students suffer because of the existing pattern. “I have seen students go to college everyday and their parents have no clue that their children have actually failed in all the subjects. A student who failed in all the 20 subjects in both the years was struggling to write 32 papers in one year. This type of system only serves to bring down the quality of education.

It is high time we changed the system”, he said, adding that the huge backlog generally made students desperate.

BU vice-chancellor N Prabhu Dev said he had indeed received a letter from Acharya. “We have constituted a committee of deans to look into the issue. Based on their recommendation, we will decide on the future course of action.” Meanwhile, Doreswamy has suggested that BU should impose a cap on students to complete all the papers in the first two years before they actually enter the third year. “Similarly, a student should be allowed to enter the next year only if he clears a minimum of two subjects.”

But students think otherwise. Anand Raj, a third year BA student, said, “This will affect students adversely. Unlike VTU, BU does not have a supplementary exam system. This means a student will have to sit at home for one year if he fails in his exam. So, the varsity needs to look into all aspects before modifying the existing system.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cabinet Meet 17.02.2011

The Karnataka government Thursday extended the Unique Identification (UID) number project Aadhaar to the remaining 28 districts of the state following its successful implementation in Tumkur and Mysore districts.

'The cabinet has decided to implement Aadhaar in all districts to ensure every citizen residing across the state has a UID number, which will be helpful in establishing one's identity for several benefits,' the state's Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya told reporters here.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), set up by the central government under the chairmanship of Nandan N. Nilekani, co-founder of IT bellwether Infosys Technologies Ltd, is the implementing agency in coordination with the state's e-governance department.

'The process of registering will be taken up in phases beginning with Bangalore Rural district on April 1 and in the city in May. We propose to cover the entire state by December,' Acharya said.

According to the state's e-governance Principal Secretary M.N. Vidashankar, citizens above 15 years of age have to furnish documentary evidence prescribed by the authority as proof of identity, home address and date of birth under 'know your resident information'.

'Biometric details such as photograph, fingerprints and iris (prints) will be taken during registration for preparing the UID number card. For children below 15 years, a number will be given on the basis of birth certificate and their number will be part of the parental card,' Vidyashankar said.

The UID project was initiated in the state on a pilot basis in October 2010 and has covered about 650,000 people in Tumkur and Mysore districts till date.(Sify)

Polytechnic teachers, rejoice! The state cabinet on Thursday decided to implement the Sixth Pay Commission report for teachers of state government and aided polytechnics across the state. This decision will double their salaries. Besides, it will also attract quality lecturers.

Higher education minister V S Acharya said the new pay scales will cost the exchequer Rs 71 crore more. The cabinet also cleared the National Ayurvedic Food Technologies Research Centre and Hospital at Uttarahalli in Bangalore South.

Ban on endosulfan: The state government banned the use of endosulfan across Karnataka, after considering reports of its disastrous effects on the health of villagers in Dakshina Kannada district. The problems ranged from neurological disorders to asthma, cancer and mental retardation. (TOI)

Hindu minorities react: On Thursday, the government brought the accounts of Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists under the muzrai department, evoking mixed reactions from these religious minorities. The government offered no explanation for its move

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Protocol, not allergy

Mediamen seem to be judgemental, when it comes to few issues. Entry to the media is restricted for brainstorming sessions, policymaking meetings. However the media release by a responsible spokesperson is always available.

It would be timely to recall
"“People like me, who should be giving you the right information are under pressure to hype up the information”.

“During this process they [young journalists] forget what is right and wrong. It is imperative to respect the individuals, their privacy and most important the story should be accurate. More often television channels use words like “first on”, “exclusive”, which have no meaning. Getting the story right is very important,”

Rajdeep Sardesai
President, Editors’ Guild of India
(The Hindu/ Mediamirchi)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remembering Bannanje Ramacharya

Pic: Janardan Kodavoor

Udupi, Feb 2: “Many have risen to fame by using Kannada daily, ‘Udayavani’ as a platform. But, Bannanje Ramacharya was a unique personality, who made ‘Udayavani’ famous,” said district in-charge minister, Dr V S Acharya. He was speaking at the Bannanje Ramacharya Memorial Felicitation Function organized on Tuesday February 1 at the auditorium of Hotel Kediyoor here.

The function was organized under the aegis of K Satischandra Hegde Memorial Green Park Central School, Car Street Friends, and Kaup Vidyaniketan Group of Educational Institutions. It was presided over by Bannanje Govindacharya. Owner of Hotel Kediyoor, Bhuveanendra Kediyoor, and Sarvanjna Bannanje of Padumannur Publications, participated as chief guests. Acharya said Ramacharya deserves full credit for introducing quality language and attractive presentation techniques, through ‘Udayavani’. Hailing Ramacharya as a person who steadfastly followed a task once he takes it up, Acharya termed him as a progressive thinker, secularist, and revolutionary with a liberal outlook.