Thursday, 29 January 2015

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Make in India - Defence Sector

Make in India - Defence Sector
-       *Manohar Parrikar

 Achieving self-reliance and reducing dependence on foreign countries in defence is a necessity today rather than a choice, both for strategic and economic reasons.  The Government in the past has created production capabilities in defence in form of Ordnance Factories and Public Sector Undertakings to cater to the requirements of our Armed Forces. However, there is a need to enlarge the role of Indian private sector as well to develop capabilities and capacities for production of various defence equipments. 
            Our Prime Minister has taken a very important initiative in form of ‘Make in India’ to promote and encourage domestic manufacturing of various items.  The requirement for domestic production of defence equipment is more than for any other sector because it will not only save precious Foreign Exchange but will also address the national security concerns.
            Government being the only consumer, ‘Make in India’ in defence sector will be driven by our procurement policy.  The Government policy of promoting domestic defence industry is adequately reflected in the Defence Procurement Policy, wherein preferential treatment is given to ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categories of acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’.  In the days to come, import is going to be the rarest of the rare option and first opportunity would be given to the Indian Industry to develop and manufacture the required systems.  As Indian companies presently may not have adequate capabilities in terms of technology, they are encouraged to partner with foreign companies for joint ventures, technology transfer arrangements and tie-ups.
            If we look at the profile of Acceptance of Necessity (AONs) granted by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in the last couple of months after the new Government has come to power, proposals worth more than Rs.65,000 crores have been categorized under ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’. The process of further orienting the Defence Procurement Procedure towards procurement from domestic industry will continue in future as well.  The procurement process would be made more efficient, time bound and predictable so that the industry can plan its investment and R & D well in advance to meet the requirement of our armed forces.
            Till now, there were many entry barriers for the domestic industry to enter into defence sector in terms of licensing, FDI policy restrictions etc.  In the last six months, the Government has taken several policy initiatives to ease the process of entry into defence manufacturing.  The most important is the liberalization of the FDI policy regime for Defence sector to encourage foreign investment in the sector.  FDI up to 49% is allowed through Government route (with FIPB approval).  FDI above 49% is also allowed on a case-to-case basis with the approval of Cabinet Committee on Security wherever the proposal is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology in the country. Restrictions in earlier policy related to Foreign Institutional investment (FII) and majority shareholding to be held by single Indian shareholder have been removed.
            Even though private sector industry was allowed to enter in defence manufacturing since 2001, after obtaining industrial licence under IDR Act, the process of obtaining industrial licence was very cumbersome and used to act as a major road block for the industry, particularly small and medium industry, who were in the business of making part, components, sub systems and sub-assemblies.  The Government liberalized the licensing policy and now most of the components, parts, raw materials, testing equipments, production machinery, castings, forgings etc. have been taken out from the purview of licensing. The companies desirous of manufacturing such items no longer require industrial licence and will also not be subjected to FDI ceiling of 49%.  A comprehensive Security Manual indicating the security architecture to be followed by various class of industries has been put in public domain, so that companies could easily access the same and follow it accordingly. The initial validity of industrial licence has been increased from two to three years.
            For the first time, a Defence Export Strategy has been formulated and has been put in public domain. The strategy outlines specific initiatives to be taken by the Government for encouraging the export of defence items. It is aimed at making the domestic industry more sustainable in the long run as the industry cannot sustain purely on domestic demand. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for issue of NOC for export of military stores has been finalised and has also been put in public domain. Requirement of End User Certificate (EUC) to be signed and stamped by Government authorities has been dispensed with for most of the defence items, particularly parts, components, sub-systems and sub-assemblies. This will largely ease out the export by the domestic industry. A web-based online system to receive applications for NOC for export of military stores has been developed and has been put in place.
            There is a big opportunity in the defence sector for both domestic and foreign investors. We have the third largest armed force in the world with an annual budget of about US$ 38 billion and 40% of this is used for capital acquisition. In the next 7-8 years, we would be investing more than US$ 130 billion in modernization of our armed forces and with the present policy of MAKE IN INDIA, the onus is now on the industry to make best use of this opportunity for the benefit of both the business as well as the nation. Besides, under offset more than Rs. 25000 crore obligations are to be discharged in next 7-8 years.
            While on the one hand, Government is making necessary policy changes with regard to procurement, investment including FDI, licensing, export etc., the industry also needs to come up and accept the challenge of up-gradation in terms of technology and required investments. Defence is the sector which requires huge investments and technology and is driven by innovation. The industry, therefore, has also to change its mindset and think for long term rather than temporary gains. We need to focus more on Research and Development and state of the art manufacturing capabilities. The Government is fully committed to create an eco-system for the domestic industry to rise and to provide a level-playing field to all sectors of industry, both public and private.

*Shri Manohar Parrikar is the Union Minister for Defence (Raksha Mantri) Government of India

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Legal Provisions Concerning Sexual Violence against Women and Children in India

Legal Provisions Concerning Sexual Violence against Women and Children in India


On 14th November, 2012, a new law was enacted, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which brought in major changes in the law related to sexual violence, as far as children below 18 years are concerned.
The aims and objectives of this Act were:
To secure a child’s right to safety, security and protection from sexual abuse.
To protect children from inducement or coercion to sexual activity
To prevent exploitative use of children in prostitution and generation of pornographic material.
To provide a comprehensive legislation to safeguard the interest of a child at every stage  reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences.
To provide for establishment of special courts for sensitive and speedy trial

It made the law gender neutral and brought within its purview sexual assault of both girls and boys below the age of 18 years. It also widened the definition of sexual violence beyond the conventional peno-vaginal penetration to include crimes which did not amount to rape under the IPC. It also prescribed stringent punishment and many procedural safety measures to protect the child during investigation and trial. 

But this statute received hardly any media attention and the police continued to use the existing IPC sections in most cases of sexual assault on children. Things began to change only by January, 2013, when, after the gruesome gang rape and murder of a 23 year old para-medic in Delhi, there were widespread protests and international attention was drawn to the issue of sexual violence against women in India and the question whether we have adequate and stringent laws in place to address the issue became the point of debate in the media.  In response, the government set up a committee headed by late Justice J.S. Verma to make recommendations for formulating a new law to deal with sexual violence.  As per these recommendations a draft Bill was submitted to the Parliament, and without much delay, on 3rd April, 2013, the Amended law came into effect which changed the relevant sections in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act (IEA).  With these changes the definition of sexual violence and the procedural aspects to provide safety to women and children are more or less, similar.

The same are provided here below in a tabular form for easy reference.

Important provisions under the POCSO Act, 2012

Victim under the Act: Any person, both male and female, below the age of 18 years.
Accused under the Act: Any person, either male and female, adult or child.

Note: As far as the offence of sexual violence against children is concerned, the law is gender neutral.  Also note that the POCSO Act does not use the word “rape” and uses instead the word “sexual assault”. The definition is very wide and includes a range of offences including non-penetrative sexual abuse and also oral and anal sex and insertion of objects into the vagina, anus or other body orifices. If grave harm is caused to the victim or if the offence is committed by a person in authority, the offence is termed as “aggravated” offence.

S. 3
Penetrative Sexual Assault: Insertion, penetration, manipulation with the penis, any body part, or any object into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child.
S. 5
Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault: ‘person in authority’ and/or if additional harm and injury is committed.
S. 7
Sexual Assault: touching a child with sexual intent (non penetrative). (Touching vagina, penis, anus, breast or any body part of a child)
S. 9
Aggravated Sexual Assault: ‘person in authority’ and/or  if additional harm and injury is committed.
S. 11
Sexual Harassment: Word, sound, gesture, exhibiting any body part, showing pornography with sexual intent. Making a child exhibit any body part, stalking the child, threatening the use of pornographic media                                    
S. 13
& S. 15
Pornography: use of a child for pornographic purposes. Storing pornographic media of a child for commercial use.
S. 19-21
Mandatory Reporting:
S.19 (1) any person who has knowledge of sexual offence committed or likely to be committed on a child
S.20 management and staff of media, Hotels, lodges, hospitals, clubs, studios and photographic facilities
S.21. Failure to report or record is punishable
S.21 (3) However, a child who fails to report not punished.

All offences under the POCSO Act are considered as grave offences.  Hence they are non-bailable and cognisable and the trial are to be conducted by the Court of Sessions.

Amended provisions under the Indian Penal Code

S. 376
Insertion, penetration, manipulation with the penis, any body part, or any object into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman.
S. 376 (2)
Special circumstances
S. 376 A 
Injury which causes the death or persistent vegetative state
S. 376 B
By husband upon his wife during separation
S. 376 C
By a person in authority
S. 376 D
Gang Rape
S. 376 E
Repeat Offenders

These are serious offences and hence they are non bailable and cognisable and the trial is to be conducted by the Court of Sessions.
S. 354
Assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty: If a man assaults or uses criminal force on any woman with the intention of outraging her modesty
S. 354 A
Sexual Harassment: If a man makes physical contact and advances, demands or requests for sexual favours, shows pornography against the will of a woman or makes sexually coloured remarks
S. 354 B
Assault or criminal force with intent to disrobe: If a man assaults or uses criminal force against a woman with the intention of disrobing her
S. 354 C
Voyeurism: If a man watches or captures the image of a woman in a private act or disseminates such an image
S. 354 D
Stalking: If a man follows or contacts a woman despite a clear indication of disinterest
S. 509
Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman: If a man utters any word, sound, gesture, exhibits any object with the intention that it is heard or seen or intrudes the privacy

These are considered to be less serious offences and hence the trial is to be conducted by the
Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) or the Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) of the area. Some of these are bailable and the others are non-bailable.

Procedural Safety Measures:
The present law for sexual violence upon women and children provides for several safety measures for protecting the victim / survivor right from the time of lodging the FIR till the end of the trial. Some of them are summarized below.

While Lodging the First Information Report (FIR) at the police station:
A victim need not come to the police station to lodge the FIR.  The same can be given to the police by a relative or a friend who will be the complainant. 
The FIR shall be recorded in writing and shall be read over to the complainant and a copy of the same shall be provided free of cost to the complainant.
Failure to record an FIR is a cognizable offence.

While recording the statement of the victim:
After the FIR is lodged, the police will record a detailed statement of the victim regarding the crime. The same shall be recorded in a simple language
The police shall not reveal the identity of the victim to the media or to the public.
A woman or a child shall not be detained in a police station overnight.
If the victim needs a translator the same shall be provided.
Within 24 hours of receiving information the victim shall be taken to the nearest hospital for medical examination and care
If the victim has any other special needs, the same shall be met.

If the victim is a child,
The statement shall be recorded at a place where the child resides or where the child feels comfortable.
The officer recording the statement shall not be below the rank of sub inspector and should preferably be a woman officer.
The police officer shall not be in uniform.
The child shall not come in contact in any way with the accused
A person who the child trusts shall be present
 For mentally or physically (temporary or permanent) disabled child, a special educator / expert may be called
If possible, the statement of the child may be recorded using audio-video electronic
If required, the police shall take the child to the nearest shelter home for emergency shelter and produce the child before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC)
The Police shall report all cases of child sexual offences to the Child Welfare Committee and Special Court within 24 hours

Medical and Forensic Examination:

A person who the victim trusts shall be present at the time of medical examination
A female victim shall be examined only by a lady doctor
The police shall ensure the samples collected from the hospital are sent to the forensic laboratory at the earliest
The medical practitioner shall treat the child for cuts, bruises, bodily and genital injuries, exposure to STDs & HIV. S/he shall discuss possible pregnancy and emergency contraceptives with the child or the person who the child trusts. Rule 5 (4)
The victim may be referred for mental, psychological or other counselling.
Non treatment of a victim by a Hospital is an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or fine or both under S. 166B Cr. P C
The medical and forensic examination shall be conducted as per the Central guidelines or the guidelines issued by the respective state.  

Scheme for Financial Support and to provide support to overcome and physical and mental trauma caused by the incident:
Many states have introduced schemes for either compensation or financial support to the victim. There are different models for the same.
The Maharashtra state has introduced the Manodhairya Scheme for victims of rape and acid attacks, where the compensation has to be paid within a few weeks of lodging the FIR.
Legal assistance during the trial is also provided as per this scheme.

During the Trial
The POCSO Act provides for setting up of special child friendly courts to conduct the trial.
Many states have also set up special courts for all cases of sexual assault concerning women and children.
All trials concerning sexual assault will be conducted in camera.
The victim shall be allowed to have a support person inside the court during the examination and cross examination.
Questions regarding the past sexual history of the victim or child, or any other humiliating questions which cause the victim trauma shall not be asked during cross examination. 
If the child I below 7 years, there cannot be direct cross examination.  The lawyer would have to give the questions in writing to the judge and the judge shall explain the same to the child.


If all the protective measures are stringently followed, the investigations and trial will not be a harrowing experience for the victim and this will in turn provide for maintaining the dignity of the victim, which in turn will improve conviction rates in the country.

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Voters Participation: Soul of Democracy

Voters Participation: Soul of Democracy

Louis L’Amour has rightly said that to make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain. Democracy can be seen as an extension of people’s participation. It is a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a representative system of elections. Democracy will collapse without proper and fair participation of its citizens. Every vote reassures our democracy and makes it stronger.

In this context, general elections 2014 were proved to be historic. 66.44 percent voters comprising of 554.1 million people have accessed their franchise to vote. Prior to this, the highest turnout was recorded as 64.02 percent in 1984. Not only this, the gender gap between the male and female turnout was reduced by 1.55 percentage points in Lok Sabha elections 2014. 16 States and UTs recorded a higher women turnout. To add to the glory, women voters surpassed men for the first time ever in any Lok Sabha elections in nine States or Union Territories. The credit for achieving such figures lies with the efforts of Election Commission of India. No doubt engaging with and motivating such a large and diverse population to cast their vote was a gigantic task with myriad range of complexities and challenges.
Election Commission of India adopted Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme to increase voters’ turnout both in terms of quality and quantity. SVEEEP formulates policies, lays down the framework, plans interventions and monitors implementation besides carrying out continuous interaction with voting publics, civil society groups and media. They broadly include situation analysis; systematic planning and implementation of targeted interventions (on IMF model) based on the situation analysis, mid programme review and monitoring and end term review. The communication interventions include multi-media and inter-personal communication, physical events and innovative activities for mobilization of people/community and voter Facilitation.
National Voters Day is one such initiative which was adopted in 2011 to reach out to masses of the country. Since then it is being observed every year with the objective to increase enrolment of voters and to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality. A series of mass interactive activities like symposiums, cycle rally, human chain, folk arts programmes, mini-marathon, competitions and awareness seminars will be organized on the fifth National Voters Day which will be celebrated on 25th January 2015 across the country. 25th January is also the foundation day of the Commission, which came into being on this day in 1950.The theme for NVD 2015 is ‘Easy Registration; Easy Correction’. The Booth Level Officers (BLOs) in over 6 lakh (0.6 million) Polling Station areas will felicitate the newly registered voters in a brief ceremony and hand over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to give the younger generation a sense of responsible citizenship. They will also be given a badge with the slogan “Proud to be a Voter – Ready to Vote”.
      It took a lot of convincing on part of civil societies and NGOs in sensitizing people to exercise their valuable right. Several campaigns were launched to encourage masses especially the young generation, women and transgenders for leading them to polling booths. . They acted as a catalyst to spread voter education. It was due to combined efforts of NGOs, Civil Societies, Election Commission of India, etc that India is touching new heights of voters’ turnout.
            Free and fair elections are the life force of democracy. Credible elections at stipulated intervals have ever since enabled India’s peaceful transformative journey for inclusion and empowerment of common citizen. The justification of election as a key anchor of democracy comes from the fact that it translates the idea of people’s power to a physical reality. This can effectively happen only when people are able to exercise such power through informed participation.

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but when you learn to share it, you will realize how big and precious it is.

Monday, 26 January 2015

General Knowledge-Current Affairs-Legendary Cartoonist R K Laxman passes away

Legendary Cartoonist R K Laxman passes away

Legendary cartoonist R K Laxman passed away at a hospital in Pune on 26th January 2015 after a prolonged illness. He was 94.  Laxman, was admitted to the hospital on January 17 for urinary infection. Laxman, brother of late novelist RK Narayan, is survived by wife Kamala and son Srinivas, a former journalist. Laxman was famous for his 'You Said It' pocket cartoon, featuring the most identifiable ‘common man'.

R K Laxman immortalised the passive, hapless 'common man' with an uncanny perception and sarcasm in a daily commentary on his life that brought smiles to millions. Every morning for over five decades, his fans waited for the Common Man who, with his signature checked jacket, dhoti, Gandhi-glasses and twin tufts of gravity-defying hair, watched life and politics in India. With his masterful strokes using the space of couple of inches, he exposed the hypocrisy in politics, leaving many a politician red-faced. The son of a school teacher --- Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman- who rose to become India's best known political cartoonist, was born in Mysore on October 24, 1921. 

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but when you learn to share it, you will realize how big and precious it is. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Life is a race between cat and rat.
Rat mostly win, because cat runs for food and rat runs for life.
" Purpose is more important than need " 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

1. Never think and speak about the third person.

2. Never think what the third person thinks and speaks about you.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-India’s Quest to Seek Synergy in Energy on The Heels of Low Crude Prices

India’s Quest to Seek Synergy in Energy on The Heels of Low Crude Prices

The dramatic plunge in the global crude price from a high of 111 dollars a barrel in June 2014 to its lowest level of 45 dollars on January 13 awhile, registering nearly 60 per cent tumble in a shot span of a few months was unprecedented in the more than half a century annals of the world’s much-feared commodity cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). With global economic recovery not gaining substantial momentum across the continents to ensure higher energy consumption even at reduced growth prospects, no one is sure as to how far the crude Oil price will go down or how long it will take to balance demand-supply mismatch so that prices can regain lost or losing ground.
Energy experts recall that the diminution in OPEC’s omnipotence could be traced to 1985 when Britain’s North Sea and the US Alaskan oil flooded the global Oil Market, resulting in a shift from monopolistic to competitive pricing. But that period petered out in 2005 when escalating Chinese energy demand triggered off a temporary global oil paucity, letting OPEC’s price ‘discipline’ weapon to get redeployed to the detriment of oil-importing emerging economies such as ours. But in recent years particularly after the financial crisis of 2008 when the global economy in general and the advanced countries in particular suffered low or no growth, the world’s fossil fuel energy demand fell woefully short of supply. Add to that, the United States was able to succeed in the production of shale oil which has begun to play a key role when small and medium-sized producers in the US successfully thrashed out in 2009-10 as to how to apply to oil production the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that had already been spectacularly successful for natural gas. As a result, US oil production soared from about five million barrels a day (mb/d) in 2008 to 9.1 mb/d in December 2014. In sum, the reasons for the steep drop in crude prices owed itself to a host of favorable factors that covered among others, growing supply from non-OPEC countries, particularly the US, a halting recovery in global demand and Saudi Arabia’s resoluteness not to continue acting as OPEC’s and the world’s swing producer, particularly when the US production threatens to outrun the Kingdom’s substantial and substantive share in the global oil market. 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is of the view that “overall, lower oil prices due to supply shifts are good news for the global economy, obviously with major distribution effects between oil importers and oil exporters”. But with the share of oil consumption in GDP that determines the energy intensity being high at 7.5 per cent in heavily oil-importing countries such as India and Indonesia, against 5.4 per cent in China and 3.8 per cent in the United States, the authorities may have to keep an unrelenting vigil to avert the painful possibility of how the lower crude prices would work its way into retail inflation if the consumption of oil also goes up on a faster clip. Already, the pump prices of petrol and diesel in the country had fallen sharply.  While petrol prices are now Rs 12.27 per litre lower than August last, diesel prices were down Rs 8.46 a litre since October with another round of cuts expected in mid-January.  Lest the persistent fall would accelerate pent-up demand for non-renewable and import-intensive fuel like crude oil and its derivative products, the authorities are cautious in calibrating the requisite adjustment in whatever feasible manner they can under the new dispensation of decontrol of prices of petrol and diesel. That is partly the reason why the government effected hike in excise duty during November and December in two tranches in 2014 to mop up a huge Rs 10,000 crore in the remaining part of the current fiscal in a bid to shore up its revenue to meet the budget deficit without burdening the consumer but by making the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to take the tab.
 Ever since the decontrol of the prices of petrol first and diesel later, OMCs were given the elbow-room to adjust selling price of petrol and diesel on import parity cost to leave them with some leeway to help upstream (production) companies to invest more in exploration and production so that domestic supply of oil and natural gas could also gather traction. This is particularly important because persistently lower oil prices might reduce exploration and production spending and heighten risk for offshore oil companies. Energy analysts argue that if the government is able to keep in leash any abrupt upsurge in oil consumption close on the heels of its drastic price fall in the global market for the past several months by fostering diversified sources for energy, it can also build a strategic reserve for energy security in the event of future spike in crude prices which are likely given the geopolitical stark realities in West Asia and non-OPEC producers such as Russia. Already, the Government of India, through Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) is setting up strategic crude Oil reserves with storage capacity of 5.33 million tonnes at Visakhapatnam, Mangaluru and Padur. In order to bolster the strategic crude oil storage capacity, ISPRL through Engineers India Ltd, has prepared a detailed feasibility study for construction of additional 12.5 million tons of strategic crude oil storage in Phase II at Bikaner, Rajkot, Chandikhol and Padur.  Using the extant soft global crude prices, the construction of oil storage caverns need to be fast-tracked so that storage capacity is suffice for securing energy security. As they say the best time to fix the roof is when sun shines and so is the best time to build supply stocks is now and here when imported crude price is cruising downhill for a few more months.
Since the country had been spending precious foreign Exchange of the massive order of 160 billion dollars annually on oil imports, the soft crude price now prevailing in the global market would enable India to save at least 50 billion dollars in a year, provided there is no massive import volume to cater to the insatiable appetite for oil by domestic users, individuals as well as industry. Alternatively, the authorities could broad-base recovery techniques in the existing oil wells of national oil companies such as ONGC, OIL and GAIL, both onshore and offshore, making ample use of the slack in the oilfield service companies (OFS) which must perforce have to renew contracts on their existing rigs at markedly lower rates.   This is also an opportune time for upstream oil companies to aggressively step up production of oil and gas. It is no wonder that Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Saurabh Chandra told a partnership summit under the umbrella of CII and the Ministry of External Affairs recently that the government is working on a renewed bid to promote exploration activities in the country’s oil and gas sector. He said in the last couple of months, the government has taken several steps to augment “activities in exploration including a reassessment of the hydrocarbon potentials in the country, putting in place a plan to survey all sedimentary basins at a cost of Rs 6000 crore and framing a transparent extension policy for the pre-NELP (New Exploration Licensing Policy) fields”.
Alongside, using the drastic cut in oil import bill due to the decline crude Oil prices, the country should seize the opportunity to step up generation of renewable energy as this promises to stem, if not stop the massive drain on foreign exchange reserves entailed in the import of oil, gas and coal. The current installed renewable capacity will need to go and grow manifold for the country to move to 15 per cent of energy by 2020. As the initial cost of funding these unconventional sources of energy such as solar, wind, water and biomass are quite expensive with their sale price for users pegged quite high, efforts need to be stepped up by the authorities of the Ministry of Non-Conventional & Renewable Sources of Energy to redouble the gains from this source of unpolluted energy for ecological balance and to keep India’s eco system undefiled by noxious fuels. The Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s ambition of building 100 smart cities cannot be easy in the absence of due focus on fostering alternative transportation fuel options that range from gas, ethanol, methanol to suitable electric power at a time when crude  oil prices are on the wane and offering immense possibilities to explore and exploit. With over 70 per cent of the consumption being diesel, the highly-polluting and costly fuel, by the transportation sector mostly heavy duty trucks crisscrossing the country, it is time India plumped for introducing more and more flexi-fuel vehicles that are run on a medley of compressed natural gas, diesel, ethanol, petrol and methanol.     
For home consumption of electricity too, the time has come to go in for conserving precious power by opting for LED bulbs with the Prime Minister Mr. Modi recently launching a scheme for LED bulb distribution under Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) and a National Programme for LED-based Home and Street Lighting. The country needs more such initiatives to solve its myriad energy needs capitalizing on the recent bonanza being bestowed upon us by the fortuitous fall in the global crude prices, energy experts assert.  There is synergy in energy if only we use innovation and ingenuity.

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Excellent Definition For Life:
"Life"-"Missing the expected & facing the unexpected"... 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Swami Vivekananda - the Spiritual Scientist

Swami Vivekananda - the Spiritual Scientist

Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest sons of India is always remembered all over the world for his address at the World’s Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in 1893, which made the western intelligentsia to turnaround to recognise the great culture and tradition India had since time immemorial. His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’. After the Parliament, he spent nearly three and a half years, spreading Vedanta philosophy as taught and practised by Sri Ramakrishna Paramhans, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and London.
Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendranath Datta, was born in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history.
One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra about the existence of God, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Sri Ramakrishna instilled in him the spirit of renunciation and brotherly love for others. In August 1886, Sri Ramakrishna gave up his mortal body. After the Master’s passing away, his disciples formed a new monastic brotherhood and took the formal vows of sannyasa, thereby assuming new names. Narendra thus became Swami Vivekananda. In the middle of 1890, after receiving the blessings of Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, known to the world as Holy Mother, Swamiji embarked on a long journey of exploration and discovery of India.
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He immediately understood that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses that had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot as a result of centuries of oppression. First of all, it was necessary to infuse into their minds, confidence and faith in themselves. For this they needed an inspiring message that can energise them into lead a life full of activity for their own betterment. Their faith in religion but with no understanding of the Vedanta philosophy and its practical application showed Swamiji the light amidst darkness. The masses needed two kinds of knowledge: secular knowledge to improve their economic condition and spiritual knowledge to infuse in them faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense. Education was the answer that Swamiji found. To carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. It was for this purpose Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later. Thus began the social engineering with a touch of spiritualism. In response to the enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country. Through these inspiring and profoundly significant lectures, Swamiji attempted to rouse the religious consciousness of the people and create in them pride in their cultural heritage; to bring about unification of Hinduism by pointing out the common bases of its sects; to focus the attention of educated people on the plight of the downtrodden masses, and to expound his plan for their uplift by the application of the principles of Practical Vedanta.
Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission on 1 May 1897, in which monks and common people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centres etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries. In early 1898, Swami Vivekananda acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur where he established a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal illumination and social service, and which is open to all men without any distinction of religion, race or caste. 
Swami Vivekananda’s contribution to India’s renaissance including its emergence as an independent nation is profound. But his contribution to World culture and philosophy can be summed up as follows
·         One of the most significant contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the modern world is his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of transcendent Reality, common to all humanity. This universal conception frees religion from the hold of superstitions, dogmatism, priest craft and intolerance, and makes religion the highest and noblest pursuit of supreme freedom, supreme Knowledge, supreme Happiness that is accomplished by realising one’s ATMA as part of PARAMATMA.
·         Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation, divinizes human relationships, and makes life meaningful and worth living. Swamiji has laid the foundation for current interest in meditation/pranayama, all over the world.
·         Our morality in both individual life and social life is mostly based on fear of societal censure. But Vivekananda gave a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the intrinsic purity and oneness of the Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman. Similarly, we should love and serve our neighbours because we are all one in the Supreme Spirit known as Paramatma or Brahman.
·         Another great contribution of Swami Vivekananda was to build a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He did it by interpreting Hindu scriptures and philosophy and the Hindu way of life and institutions to the Western people in an idiom which they could understand. In this way he was instrumental in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West.
Swami Vivekananda gave Indians proper understanding of their country’s great spiritual heritage and thus gave them pride in their past and strengthened the sense of unity as a nation. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose wrote: “Swamiji harmonized the East and the West, religion and science, past and present. And that is why he is great. Our countrymen have gained unprecedented self-respect, self-reliance and self-assertion from his teachings.”At the end of the 19th century, India in general, and Hinduism in particular, faced grave challenges from Western materialistic life, the ideas of Western free society, and the proselytizing activities. Vivekananda met these challenges by integrating the best elements of Western culture in Hindu culture.
During his later part of life Swamiji spent on inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay. His health deteriorated and the end came quietly on the night of 4 July 1902. Before his Mahasamadhi, he had written to a Western follower: “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God.” The world still needs his guidance in its pursuit of establishing a Global village of peace and prosperity.