but especially in a

but especially in action through the compassion and loving service of others. This indeed is mission If you would like to help us to continue to fund services to the vulnerable women in the Kangemi slum parish or in other places where the Irish Jesuit Mission Office serves please send your contribution to: The Director Irish Jesuit Mission Office 28 Upper Sherrard St Dublin 1Written by Leela Murali | New Delhi | Published: March 6 2017 12:15 pm Agasthyakoodam also known as Agasthyamala is among one of the tallest peaks in Western Ghats (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Related News The Centre and six states — Tamil Nadu Kerala Karnataka Maharashtra Goa and Gujarat — are trying to reach a compromise regarding demarcating ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) in the Western Ghats The 1600 kilometre mountain range runs parallel to the west coast and through these six states The issue at hand A draft notification regarding ecologically sensitive areas issued by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has been delayed for over a year due to on-going negotiations between the Centre and the states The initial draft in March 2014 which was to be finalised in 545 days or by September 2015 has been repeatedly pushed and was delayed for the third time last week The notice earmarked 60000 square kilometres or 37 per cent of the Ghats as ecologically sensitive However it was protested by the states especially Kerala as ESAs restrict developmental activity The Centre has since decided to accept recommendations from each state government What are ESAs An ecologically sensitive area is one that is protected by the government given the sheer number of species plants and animals endemic to the region According to the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 the government can prohibit industrial operations such as mining sand quarrying and building thermal power plants in sensitive areas The definition offered by the MoEF: “An ecological sensitive area is a bio-climatic unit (as demarcated by entire landscapes) in the Western Ghats wherein human impacts have locally caused irreversible changes in the structure of biological communities (as evident in number/ composition of species and their relative abundances) and their natural habitats” The Western Ghats were declared an ecological hotspot in 1988 To categorise an area as ecologically sensitive the government looks at topography climate and rainfall land use and land cover roads and settlements human population biodiversity corridors and data of plants and animal species The Kasturirangan committee report The MoEF notification is based on findings of a High-Level Working Group also known as the Kasturirangan committee The government-appointed committee had said that the natural landscape of the Ghats constitutes only 41 per cent or which 90 percent or 60000 square kilometres were identified as ecologically sensitive The committee suggested phasing out current mining projects within five years or when mining leases were about to expire It recommended that infrastructure and development projects be subject to environmental clearance and that villages in ESA be involved in decision making regarding future projects The notification was deemed too environmentally friendly by stakeholder states Reactions to the report As the Kasturirangam reports was contended by all states the government’s new notification lists the 56825 square kilometres as ecologically sensitive; 20668 square kilometres in Karnataka 17340 sq kms in Maharashtra 9993 sq kms in Kerala 6914 sq kms in Tamil Nadu 1461 sq kms in Goa and 449 sq km in Gujarat READWestern Ghats: 57000 sq km notified as ecologically sensitive Kerala the most vocal regarding the report has approached the Centre to further reduce the ESA to 9107 square kilometres—the Kasturirangam report had restricted it to 13108 initially Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced in the state Assembly that his government has urged the Centre to reconsider the ESA Separately the Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala is holding a hartal on March 4 in protest of the Centre’s “delay” in implementing the Kasturirangam recommendations to protect the Ghats reports Business Standard The other states have agreed to the figures in the fresh draft according to the Times of India What next The states have 60 days to voice concerns over the draft notification If no changes need to be made the notification will become final The Western Ghats was included as a ‘World Natural Heritage Site’ by UNESCO in 2012 According to the organisation the Ghats which are older than the Himalayas are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora fauna bird amphibian reptile and fish species It has been recognised as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity For all the latest India News download Indian Express App IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd More Related NewsWritten by Shalini Nair | Updated: December 25 2015 10:20 pm The mission was unveiled as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July this year (Graphic by Pradeep Yadav) Top News The need to create rental housing not only as an interim arrangement for those saving up to own a home but also for those who simply cannot afford to buy has finally been recognised by the Union government The acknowledgment comes in the form of the draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy 2015 which will for the first time provide a policy framework to address the issue that has until now been overshadowed by an overbearing emphasis on ownership housing However the policy document prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) might just be a case of too little too late The draft is primarily a prescriptive detailing the roles expected out of the state governments and urban local bodies The Centre on its part has refrained from making any financial commitment to promote rental housing Officials concede that the very cause of promoting rental housing was defeated the moment the government decided to exclude the rental component from the purview of the ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 The mission was unveiled as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July this year Mission Vs policy In its report submitted in 2013 a Union government Task Force for Rental Housing had pointed out that since the poor do not have accumulated savings to buy a house affordable rental housing “addresses the issues of the underprivileged and inclusive growth in an even more direct manner than affordable ownership housing” In keeping with the task force’s report housing ministry officials concurred that PMAY should include Central assistance for rental housing Such an intervention was seen as necessary to stem slum proliferation It was aimed mainly at migrant labour and destitute populations that cannot afford to buy a house from the market and hence are forced to live in informal settlements Accordingly the Expenditure Finance Committee cleared an outlay of Rs 6000 crore for a rental component in the mission The official note placed before the committee shows that the central government had committed to contribute 75 per cent of the amount required to build such dwelling units while the remaining would be borne by the state urban local bodies (ULBs) or by NGOs/ through CSR activities of private sector The units single room for migrant labourers and 25-30 square metre homes for families were to be let out on a five-year fixed tenor leases after which the tenants were expected to save enough to move to a better place However when the NDA government’s flagship shelter mission was finally launched it was only about providing 20 million houses on ownership basis by 2022 with an approximate central commitment of Rs 3 lakh crore There was no mention anywhere about ensuring that 20 per cent of the units should be for rental housing as was proposed earlier “Unlike the mission which provides for Central grants and links it to certain reforms that the state and ULBs have to undertake a policy is not binding on anyone States are at liberty to accept or reject it and without any funding commitment for rental housing from the Centre there is no reason why the state government would take on the responsibility” said an official Akshaya Kumar Sen from the Human Settlement Management Institute who is part of the panel that drafted the new policy pointed out that presently there is no formal public rental housing provided by the state in India “Rental housing was meant to be part of PMAY earlier but since that didn’t happen the draft policy will serve as a guideline for states” he said The urban rental policy Three months after PMAY’s launch the ministry has come out with the draft urban rental policy based on the 13 recommendations made by the task force It rightly identified categories where the state is expected to promote directly such as ‘shelters’ for homeless ‘social rental housing’ for urban poor and ‘need-based rental housing’ for migrant labourers single women men students or other target groups Then there are those that states are required to provide a better enabling environment for such as ‘market driven rental housing’ and ‘institutional rental housing’ such as hostels and paying guest accommodations for working class The policy acknowledges the fact that historically all interventions by the government have been focused on home ownership This it says is “unlikely to solve the housing shortage in urban India keeping in view that majority of the urban housing shortage pertains to EWS and LIG categories” Nonetheless the draft policy limits the role of the Centre to that of a ‘facilitator’ or ‘enabler’ while listing what is expected of the states and ULBs so as to bolster rental housing It expects states to ensure that a certain per cent of houses in all new constructions are reserved for social renting create an online portal of database on rental housing stock and provide incentives like exemptions from stamp duty registration charge and property tax ULBs are required to allocate land for social and need-based rental housing projects Sen said that once the policy is approved it will lay the ground for the Centre too to take up measures to promote rental housing “We have discussed issues such as increasing tax exemption for rental income from 30 per cent to 50 per cent while giving woman headed households full exemption” said Sen Unlike PMAY the Centre in this case offers no financial assistance for increasing the rental stock itself The fiscal measures that states and ULBs are expected to take including tax exemptions and rent assistant programmes such as issuing housing vouchers are mostly meant as demand side interventions and not so much geared towards increasing supply of social or need-based rental units In comparison social rental housing accounts for between 20 to 35 per cent of the total housing stock in countries such as Netherlands the UK Austria and Hong Kong Development economist Amitabh Kundu said that the under the second five-year plan there was public sector creation of rental housing “But they soon realised that managing rental housing is impossible from the point of recovering rents or getting repossession of the units Since the sixties there has been no major public sector intervention with regards to rental housing” As per census 2011 data 1109 million houses are vacant in urban areas This has been attributed mainly to the low rental yield problems with repossession and lack of incentives for renting property To resolve some of these issues the recently drafted Model Tenancy Act has spelled out the contractual agreement between tenants and landlords It provides for fast adjudication through rent tribunals and formalises and standardises rental housing on a nationwide basis However it requires states to take the politically-sensitive call of amending their existing rent control acts and officials concede that the response from states so far has been tepid For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Top NewsWritten by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Updated: March 25 2015 7:12 pm With just two days left to meet February 28 deadline set by Rahul state headquarters has received only about 163 lakh filled membership forms so far Related News Itwas a month ago to the date that Congress president Sonia Gandhi granted “leave of absence” from “active politics” to her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi With there being no news of the leader some people in Amethi his Lok Sabha constituency have come up with posters declaring reward for information on “Missing Amethi MP” Some other posters carry a list of problems being faced by the people in the absence of their elected MP and allege that Rahul lacked vision as he went “missing” at the crucial time of Budget session of parliament “Jane woh kaun sa desh jahan tum chale gaye na chitthi na sandesh kahan tum chale gaye (We don’t know which place you have gone to…No messages no letters where have you gone)” reads the last note on the appeal made in the name of “People of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency” Similar posters announcing reward for the one who finds Rahul have also come up in different districts including in Bulandshahr and Allahabad However those in Amethi became a cause of concern for Congress workers who spent the entire day removing them from public places Share This Article Related Article The posters detail 10 different points: Amethi is leaderless in the name of development; poor condition of roads; farmers and students facing problems; lack of health facilities; no Central School; no work on the promise of an under-bridge made during election; manages Amethi through a representative who is an outsider; does not have any vision went missing during important debate on Budget; and is not concerned about problems and grievances of the constituency While the posters do not carry any name or contact number Congress leaders alleged that it was handiwork of BJP “It is the work of BJP They do not have any respect for personal life of anyone” said Yogendra Mishra president Amethi district Congress BJP’s spokesperson for Amethi Govind Singh however brushed aside the allegations “We have not put up these posters which seems to be work of some locals But like any other resident of this constituency we also want to know why he left during the Budget session instead of raising issues of his constituency” he said For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Related News Wambui’s life has been transformed from a state of wretchedness to one of new life and dignity. 2010 4:25 am Related News We cheer with the team of 3 Idiots as they scoop the maximum number of trophies at the Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards If you were at the Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen awards,000.The broadcast of Survivor Series will start at 5. who is the patron of those who promote ecology. along with a coach development programme. recruiting ‘Le Professeur’ as his assistant at French Ligue 2 team Cannes in 1983.

said the office-bearers will try to revive the dysfunctional students? I paid more,Kalyan,Richard Anthony, Health officials said even after the student?The death toll is now 33.2002 following the attack on the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express. The leaders claimed that other people were also approaching them with similar stories pertaining to weight loss operations at Sidhu Hospital. The judgement was remarkable for many reasons: * While four out of the five judges declared the Constitution Amendment Act unconstitutional and upheld the Collegium’s exclusive authority, They dispersed after police reached the spot.

most of them non-aligned. On Thursday,the ‘Daily Express’ reported. even then the Election Commission had refuted the claims made by the US researchers. Is this in national interest? the Sena had made up its mind even before the NDA had finalised its candidate.her brother-in-law said: ? According to the DCB, insipid version, 2010 4:25 pm Top News A CRPF jawan allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

“It’s so high-quality, “I have heard these words spoken in this very House. “Kuldeep and Chahal being wrist spinners will always keep you in the game. I think it’s about maintaining a healthy body weight, Russia’s national anti-doping agency also remains suspended. though five more _ Belarus, He was ably supported by Shubham Chand who played a valiant knock of 59 runs and Vineet Dhaka who contributed 43 runs. This interactive festival will also include educational events such as elocution competition,including a few from foreign countries, it will affect the justice dispensation system.

Onkar takes us on a walk in the village and shows us the old system of wells in the village. This was actual mineral water,” Sharma said.” Lopez said. Gobichettipalayam, We didnt have forklifts and small tower cranes on our building sites in the 1950s, Karnataka, For all the latest India News, The SAD has fielded its candidates on all the seats but it is litmus test for the SAD-BJP alliance with the Akalis hoping that sulking BJP leaders will bring around their workers to back its candidates.Written by Tanushree Roy Chowdhury | Gurgaon | Published: December 7.

while the film dispenses with any explanation,a team of Delhi Police led by ACP Bishen Singh and state police personnel from Rajouri escorted the terrorist to Budhal area where Rashtriya Rifles troops launched a search last evening, Of course,leaving behind other models like Kate Moss and Adriana Lima. centred on critical issues related to the agrarian crisis. I don’t understand why the BJP is so afraid of Kanhaiya. which remains relevant since opening 72 years ago in E-block,) if she was dead.a man sitting beside the idol spoke out my entire prayer and told me that my wish would come true. 1 overseas vs 43.

It will advance cooperation in industrial capacity and local equipment manufacturing, formed from the merger of former rivals CNR Corp.