Articles by: E A S Sarma

CPSE disinvestment- Valuation approach flawed, Imprudent to ignore R&D effort in CPSEs at the cost of self-reliance

CPSE disinvestment- Valuation approach flawed, Imprudent to ignore R&D effort in CPSEs at the cost of self-reliance

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, I refer to my letter dated January 15, 2022 on the imprudence of listing LIC in the stock market and the misleading valuation approach adopted by the government (https://www.moneylife.in/article/lic-ipo-gross-underestimated-valuation-put-it-on-hold-says-eas-sarma/66146.html). As the single largest social security provider in the country for the economically weaker sections, the social value of the LIC[Read More…]

by 24/01/2022 0 comments India
Coronavirus structure. Credit: https://www.scientificanimations.com / CC BY-SA

Setback to India’s Covid Genome Sequencing Efforts- 5 Labs Shut- A cause for concern

To Shri Mansukh Mandaviya Union Health Minister Dear Shri Mandaviya, At a recent meeting to review the Covid containment effort, the Prime Minister was reported to have said, “There is a need for continuous scientific research… including genome sequencing, given that the virus is evolving continuously.” Contrary to what he had said at the meeting, it has been reported (“Blow To[Read More…]

by 21/01/2022 0 comments India
Valuation of LIC- Need for transparency

Valuation of LIC- Need for transparency

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, I understand from news reports that the LIC IPO is going to be issued shortly. Keeping in view the fact that it is the millions of policy holders of the LIC who have contributed to the Corporation’s phenomenal growth over the decades, some of us feel that relegating their interests[Read More…]

by 15/01/2022 1 comment India
Attempt to bypass PESA Act in Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh

Attempt to bypass PESA Act in Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh

Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh proposing to extend urban authority laws to the Scheduled Areas to bypass the PESA legislation To Shri Ram Nath Kovind President of India Respected Rashtrapati Ji, Under Article 244(1), read with the provisions of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution, areas predominantly inhabited by the adivasis have been notified by the President as “Scheduled Areas” where there[Read More…]

by 14/01/2022 0 comments India
Pegasus: CAG should exchange information with Poland

Pegasus: CAG should exchange information with Poland

To Shri G C Murmu Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) Dear Shri Murmu, I invite your attention to the following report on an ongoing investigation by the Supreme Audit Office of Poland into the alleged purchase of the controversial Pegasus software by the government of that country and its possible misuse for illegally exercising surveillance over Poland’s opposition[Read More…]

by 05/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Call off all rallies in the poll-bound States in view of the Omicron wave

Call off all rallies in the poll-bound States in view of the Omicron wave

Shri Sushil Chandra Chief Election Commissioner   Shri Rajiv Kumar Election Commissioner   Shri A C Pandey Election Commissioner Dear S/Shri Sushil Chandra, Rajiv Kumar and Pandey, I had earlier requested the Union Home Secretary, under intimation to you, that political parties should not be allowed to hold rallies in view of the impending Omicron crisis. My letter dated 22-12[Read More…]

by 05/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
The Jekyll-and-Hyde Character of India’s Political Leaders

The Jekyll-and-Hyde Character of India’s Political Leaders

R L Stevenon’s classic of 1886, “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, described the duality of character in the same person, manifesting itself in strange ways that were difficult to understand. Had Stevenson been alive today to witness the happenings in Indian politics, he would have found the present day political leaders having attributes similar to Dr Jekyll[Read More…]

by 04/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Not in the national interest to weaken the ONGC

Not in the national interest to weaken the ONGC

  To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of India   Dear Shri Gauba, I have come across a news report (https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/ongc-without-a-chairman-as-subhash-kumar-retires-no-replacement-appointed-122010100678_1.html) about the casual manner in which the concerned Central Ministries have been dealing with ONGC, India’s premier hydrocarbons exploration and development agency, which is the country’s main plank for self-reliance in the sector. Apparently, the concerned Ministries have[Read More…]

by 03/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Impending Omicron crisis- Why are political rallies and other large gatherings being permitted?

Impending Omicron crisis- Why are political rallies and other large gatherings being permitted?

To Shri A K Bhalla Union Home Secretary Dear Shri Bhalla, We are once again facing a steep surge of the Covid virus; this time it is the new mutant, Omicron looming large. This Covid variant is reported to be three times more infectious than its Delta predecessor, which wreaked havoc on the people during the second wave. In order[Read More…]

by 22/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Preserve the independence of the Election Commission of India

Preserve the independence of the Election Commission of India

 To Shri Ram Nath Kovind President of India Respected Rashtrapatiji, I refer to the reported meeting taken by an official of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on December 16, 2021 with the Election Commission of India (ECI), ostensibly to discuss certain matters relating to electoral reforms, already cleared by the Union Cabinet by then. For the executive, particularly the PMO, to[Read More…]

by 19/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A coal mine in Dhanbad, India

 Auction of 88 coal blocks requires prior discussion and consent by the Adivasi Gram Sabhas under PESA And FRA

To Shri Anil Kumar Jain Union Coal Secretary Dear Shri Jain, I find from your Ministry’s portal that the enclosed list of coal blocks are being put to auction shortly. Most of these coal blocks are located in States such as Jharkhand, MP, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, AP and Telangana and many among the blocks are located in the areas notified[Read More…]

by 17/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Private control over Public Goods- Disastrous outcomes, The case of Covid mismanagement and others

Private control over Public Goods- Disastrous outcomes, The case of Covid mismanagement and others

In common parlance, a “public good” refers to a commodity or service that becomes available to all members of a society with equal access, without discrimination. There are more rigorous definitions of this in economics. However, one simple way to describe a public good is to say that it is not possible to prevent individuals selectively from consuming it, unless[Read More…]

by 11/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Large election rallies in UP- Endangering the lives of the people in view of the Omicron fears

Large election rallies in UP- Endangering the lives of the people in view of the Omicron fears

  To   Shri Sushil Chandra Chief Election Commissioner Election Commission of India (ECI)   Shri Rajiv Kumar Election Commissioner Election Commission of India (ECI)   Shri A.C.Pandey Election Commissioner Election Commission of India (ECI)   Dear S/Shri Sushil Chandra, Rajiv Kumar and Pandey, In view of the imminent outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid, it is well recognised[Read More…]

by 08/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Privatisation of two PSUs counter to the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar effort

Privatisation of two PSUs counter to the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar effort

 Letter to Prime Minister Privatisation of Central Electronics Lt. (CEL) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) runs counter to the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar effort To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister of India Dear Shri Modi, You have launched the Atma Nirbhar idea with the intention of building self-reliance in the different sectors of the economy. It is indeed a[Read More…]

by 01/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Sale of CEL is not justifiable

The Sale of CEL is not justifiable

  To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, I understand from news reports (https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/government-clears-sale-of-central-electronics-for-rs210-crore-11638195251682.html) that the PSU, Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) is about to be sold to a private financial intermediary company, Nandal Finance & Leasing Pvt ltd for an amount of Rs 210 Crores. By any stretch of logic, the manner in which CEL is being[Read More…]

by 30/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Omicron: Take Precautions!

Omicron: Take Precautions!

To Shri Rajesh Bhushan Union Health Secretary Dear Shri Bhushan, While we are about to conclude that we longer have to feel concerned about a Covid surge for the third time, the discovery of Omicron and its own mutants with high rates of transmission in many parts of the world has put to rest any such feeling of comfort. Are[Read More…]

by 29/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The government’s latest decision to hive off ONGC’s prime oil/gas fields to foreign companies highly imprudent

The government’s latest decision to hive off ONGC’s prime oil/gas fields to foreign companies highly imprudent

To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modi, I understand that the government has recently directed ONGC to hive off 60% of its Mumbai High, Bassein & Satellite oil/gas fields to foreign oil companies (https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/x-121110100853_1.html), ostensibly to enhance hydrocarbons production from those fields. The proposal, in my view, is highly imprudent for the following reasons. Mumbai High, Bassein[Read More…]

by 23/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Meeting commemorating Banda Bhadur Singh on June 7th

A “Relli” poet’s tribute to the Farmers

Dear Shri Yogendra Yadav, Let me first convey my solidarity and compliments to you and your compatriot farmers for the historic victory against what can be termed as an “anti-people”, undemocratic attempt on the part of today’s political elite to suppress dissent and take unilateral decisions! In a way, the farmers’ victory shows that no power on the earth should[Read More…]

by 20/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Should The All India DGP Conference Be Held In A Poll Bound State?

Should The All India DGP Conference Be Held In A Poll Bound State?

To   Shri Sushil Chandra Chief Election Commissioner   Shri Rajiv Kumar Election Commissioner   Shri A C Pandey Election Commissioner   Dear S/Shri Sushil Chandra, Rajiv Kumar and Pandey, A Press release by PMO on November 18, 2021 (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1772883) indicates that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister will be holding the 56th All India DGP Conference at Lucknow during[Read More…]

by 20/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Not in the national interest to permit private companies to extract and trade atomic minerals in the beach sands of AP, Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Not in the national interest to permit private companies to extract and trade atomic minerals in the beach sands of AP, Tamil Nadu and Kerala

 To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of IndiA Dear Shri Gauba, I have come across disturbing reports (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sand-minerals-mining-modi-govt-private-sector-7585816/) that the government is making moves once again to permit private companies to mine and trade atomic minerals located in the beach sands of AP, T. Nadu and Kerala. It appears that this step is a part of a 60-point “Action Plan”[Read More…]

by 16/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Extension of the tenure of Director of CBI & ED to five years should be made applicable only in the case of future appointments

Extension of the tenure of Director of CBI & ED to five years should be made applicable only in the case of future appointments

 To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of India   Shri Rajiv Gauba, I understand (https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/centre-brings-ordinance-to-extend-tenure-of-cbi-ed-chiefs-up-to-5-years-121111400884_1.html) that the government has issued an Ordinance extending the term of the Director of CBI and Director of Enforcement to five years. If such a decision has been taken, in my view, it is an imprudent one. Making the benefit of the extended term of the[Read More…]

by 15/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
National Tribal Day: The Centre and the States should “walk the talk”!

National Tribal Day: The Centre and the States should “walk the talk”!

Letter to the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Janjatiya Gaurav Divas (national Tribal Day) on November 15, 2021 To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modi, Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on November 15, 2021 The Centre and the States should “walk the talk”! I understand (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pm-modi-to-lead-first-tribal-day-celebrations-7620370/) that you will be leading the first-ever Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on[Read More…]

by 13/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Exempting mine expansion projects from public hearing for environment clearance is illegal

Exempting mine expansion projects from public hearing for environment clearance is illegal

To Shri Bhupender Yadav Minister Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri Yadav, I refer to your Ministry’s recent decision (https://moef.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/scan_1_20211021165307682.pdf) to exempt mine expansion projects from the mandatory requirement of public hearing as a condition precedent to granting statutory environment clearance. In my view, your Ministry’s decision is highly imprudent, as it violates the letter and the[Read More…]

by 29/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
“Undertrials” for how long? Guilty till proven innocent?

“Undertrials” for how long? Guilty till proven innocent?

The plight of the undertrials in the jails: The majority of the undertrials in India belong to the disadvantaged sections of the society. The offences alleged to have been committed by them may be minor ones but they are forced to languish in jails without a trial for years, as the criminal justice system in the country is a slow-moving[Read More…]

by 19/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
E A S Sarma questions the rationale of coal block allocations

E A S Sarma questions the rationale of coal block allocations

E A S Sarma, Former Secretary to Govt of India has raised serious concerns about the coal block auctions. He raised strong reservations about allocating coal blocks to Adani Power.  In a series of letters, he questioned the rationale behind the allocation of coal blocks. To Shri A K Jain Union Coal Secretary   Dear Shri Jain, Please refer to my[Read More…]

by 09/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Courtesy : DOMINIC XAVIER / Rediff.com

Compensation for Covid victims- The government ought to revisit its plea before the apex court

To Shri Sanjeeva Kumar Union Home Secretary Dear Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, I had earlier written to the Union Finance Minister in my letter dated 21-6-2021 on inaccuracies in the affidavit filed on behalf of the government before the apex court on the quantum of compensation payable to the victims of Covid virus. I forward here a copy of that letter[Read More…]

by 05/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Need for reservations in Judiciary for women/SCs/STs/OBCs

Need for reservations in Judiciary for women/SCs/STs/OBCs

To Shri Ram Nath Kovind President of India Respected Rashtrapati Ji, It has been widely reported ( https://indianexpress.com/article/india/cji-50-womens-reservation-judiciary-7535963/) that Shri N V Ramana, Chief Justice of India (CJI) has recently made a statement on the need for 50% reservation for women in the judiciary. He is reported to have made the following observations on the subject, while addressing the Lady Advocates[Read More…]

by 27/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
 Promote decentralised solar electricity generation

 Promote decentralised solar electricity generation

  Letter to the Prime Minister  Subject: Promotion of decentralised solar electricity generation, in preference to large centralised solar generation projects To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modi, Over the last few years, as a part of the global effort to mitigate the effects of climate change, India has rightly taken conscious strides towards a shift from fossil[Read More…]

by 25/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Sports strategy- Mere lip service will not suffice

Sports strategy- Mere lip service will not suffice

 To Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modi, Sports strategy- Mere lip service will not suffice- Some suggestions on a sports strategy It is an extraordinary effort put in by the Indian athletes and sportspersons at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics which has brought laurels to India and united the entire nation with a collective sense of pride. It is[Read More…]

by 07/08/2021 1 comment India
Appointment of R K Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner- Does it comply with the norms set by the apex court?

Appointment of R K Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner- Does it comply with the norms set by the apex court?

To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of India Dear Shri Gauba, The website of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) emphasises the need for transparency in governance in the following words. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi firmly believes that transparency and accountability are the two cornerstones of any pro-people government. Transparency and accountability not only connect the people closer to the[Read More…]

by 29/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pegasus Spyware: Need For Thorough Investigation

Pegasus Spyware: Need For Thorough Investigation

To Shri A K Bhalla Union Home Secretary Dear Shri Bhalla, Kindly refer to my letters dated 31-3-2019, 31-10-2019 & 19-7-2021 addressed to you (copies forwarded here) on the possible use/misuse of Pegasus in India. I wish to draw your attention to a press conference held by the Chattisgarh Chief Minister, as indicated in a news report, “Pegasus: Chhattisgarh CM[Read More…]

by 22/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Some suggestions to enhance the credibility of Environment Impact Assessment

Some suggestions to enhance the credibility of Environment Impact Assessment

 To Shri Bhupender Yadav Minister Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri Yadav, Rarely do persons with such credible professional background as you have, especially in the highly specialised field of environmental jurisprudence, are asked to preside over the MEFCC. Let me welcome you to your new assignment, with the earnest hope and belief that you[Read More…]

by 20/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Fr Stan Swamy has expired: But, his questions haven’t

Fr Stan Swamy has expired: But, his questions haven’t

In the death of Fr Stan Swamy on July 5, 2021, who was an “under trial” detainee languishing in the custody of the authorities, India has lost a courageous campaigner for adivasi rights. The manner in which the 84-year old Jesuit priest was forced to die has shaken the conscience of the nation. What hurts the feelings of any one[Read More…]

by 07/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Appeal to NCST for suo motu intervention under Article 338A(9) of the Constitution in the case of Lakshadweep

Appeal to NCST for suo motu intervention under Article 338A(9) of the Constitution in the case of Lakshadweep

To Hon’ble Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Hon’ble Chairman, I enclose here a copy of a representation dated 8-6-2021 submitted by me to Rashtrapatiji on the concerns I have on a range of statutory regulations proposed to be adopted by the Administrator of Lakshadweep Union Territory (UT), which will have a significant impact on the lives of the[Read More…]

by 03/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Plight of migrant workers in Gujarat during April-June, 2021 lockdown

Plight of migrant workers in Gujarat during April-June, 2021 lockdown

To Shri Apurva Chandra Union Labour Secretary   Dear Shri Apurva Chandra, The preamble to the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 defines its primary objective to be “to regulate the employment of interstate migrant workmen and to provide for their conditions of service and for matters connected therewith“. This Act is by and large[Read More…]

by 24/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Annihilate Caste, India
Compensation for Covid victims- The government ought to revisit its plea before the apex court

Compensation for Covid victims- The government ought to revisit its plea before the apex court

 To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, I understand from recent news reports (https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/mha-tells-supreme-court-ex-gratia-payment-rs-4-lakh-covid-19-deaths-affordability-states) that the Centre has contended before the apex court that it would not be able to pay an ex-gratia relief of Rs 4 lakhs to Covid victims for the reason that “utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health[Read More…]

by 21/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Appeal To President Of India: Refer The Lakshadweep Issue To National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Appeal To President Of India: Refer The Lakshadweep Issue To National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Prior consultation with the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) mandatory for policy changes in Lakshadweep- Appeal for intervention` To Shri Ram Nath Kovind President of India Respected Rashtrapatiji, I understand that that the Administrator of Lakshadweep has formulated a number of far reaching regulations, such as the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation,[Read More…]

by 08/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Private hospitals fleecing the people by overcharging for vaccines

Private hospitals fleecing the people by overcharging for vaccines

  To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of India Dear Shri Gauba, The  Pricing and Accelerated National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy 21-4-2021 (PANCVS) notified by the Union Health Ministry has given a free license to the vaccine manufacturers to set prices arbitrarily, ostensibly in a transparent manner, as indicated in Para 8(ii) below. “Manufacturers would in a transparent manner make[Read More…]

by 04/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Summary transfer of West Bengal Chief Secretary to the Centre: MHA’s double standards in applying Disaster Management Act

Summary transfer of West Bengal Chief Secretary to the Centre: MHA’s double standards in applying Disaster Management Act

On May 31, 2021, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reported to have served a show- cause notice on the former West Bengal Chief Secretary, Alapan Bandopadhyay, for not attending a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act that entails imprisonment up to two years. Bandopadhyay had been found fault[Read More…]

by 02/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Revoke proposal to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel plant

Revoke proposal to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel plant

  To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modiji, I enclose here copies of my letter dated 26-2-2021 addressed to your office and my letter dated 28-2-2021 addressed to the Finance Minister, expressing my concerns about the proposed divestment of government stake in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) in favour of a foreign company, POSCO and another private company,[Read More…]

by 31/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Letter to the Prime Minister: Lack of Transparency in Governance

Letter to the Prime Minister: Lack of Transparency in Governance

To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Subject:- Transparency in governance- Recent instances of extending the tenure of senior civil servants run counter to norms of good governance Dear Shri Modi, The website of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) rightly emphasises the need for transparency in governance in the following words. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi firmly believes that transparency and[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Cooperative Federalism to “Competitive” Cooperative Federalism, The case of Covid vaccination – Who gains? Who loses?

Cooperative Federalism to “Competitive” Cooperative Federalism, The case of Covid vaccination – Who gains? Who loses?

“However good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot “ “A serious complaint is made[Read More…]

by 23/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A national Covid Strategy, the Need of the Hour- Not Knee-jerk responses

A national Covid Strategy, the Need of the Hour- Not Knee-jerk responses

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister With the daily new Covid cases exceeding 4 lakhs and the daily number of deaths exceeding 4,000, with nationwide shortages in terms of ambulances, hospital beds, ICU facilities, ventilators, Oxygen and even cremation space, and in view of the nationwide shortage of vaccines, people are losing their patience, looking for immediate corrective steps[Read More…]

by 09/05/2021 1 comment India
The Second Wave of Covid: The role of the political leaders – Has self-interest superseded people’s welfare?

The Second Wave of Covid: The role of the political leaders – Has self-interest superseded people’s welfare?

While triumphantly launching the roll out of India-made vaccines on January 16, 2019, with a view to drive home his point of helping others selflessly, the Prime Minister quoted the following words of Gurajada Apparao, the eminent Telugu writer. “Sontha labham kontha manuko, porugu vadiki thodu padavoy. Desamante matti kadoyi, desamante manushuloy” The above verse, which was written more than[Read More…]

by 06/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Election Commission of India (ECI): The making and unmaking of its “reputation”

Election Commission of India (ECI): The making and unmaking of its “reputation”

As I write this article, results of the Assembly elections in the five States are trickling in, diverting the public attention from the tragedy that India is today, with Corona patients waiting in queues and dying helplessly in ambulances, unable to get hospital care, critical patients gasping for oxygen and breathing their last, the kith and the kin of the[Read More…]

by 02/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Covid Crisis- Second wave: Is it an act of God, or is it man-made?

Covid Crisis- Second wave: Is it an act of God, or is it man-made?

My wife and I have just got our second dose of Covid vaccine. It was a triumphant moment, because there seemed to be an acute vaccine shortage in the country causing fears of its non- availability, coupled with new mutants of Covid spreading the virus like never before. The fear of those who got the first dose not being able[Read More…]

by 24/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Inadequate funding of gene sequencing effort by the scientists at a time when the COVID crisis needed it most

Inadequate funding of gene sequencing effort by the scientists at a time when the COVID crisis needed it most

 To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, We are passing through a debilitating second wave of COVID, with new mutants evolving rapidly and the country facing a severe shortage of healthcare infrastructure facilities, acute shortage of vaccines, even cremation facilities for the deceased, across the country. Many of us, senior citizens, are waiting for a second dose of[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 1 comment India
Kumbh Mela: A Super Spreader?

Kumbh Mela: A Super Spreader?

To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Dear Shri Rajiv Gauba, Enclosed are my two letters dated 12th & 13th April, 2021 addressed to the Union Home Secretary, on the responsibility for spreading COVID by permitting Kumbh Mela to take place at Haridwar in Uttarakhand. I had requested the Union Home Secretary to intervene in the matter urgently and stop the[Read More…]

by 15/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Democracy and the Rule of Law: A lesson from Norway

Democracy and the Rule of Law: A lesson from Norway

The head of the Norwegian police, Ole Saeverud imposed a fine of $2,352 on Erna Solberg, the two-term Prime Minister of the country for violating the COVID rules in a private party held by her. While doing so, what Ole Saeverud said is significant . “Though the law is the same for all, all are not equal in front of[Read More…]

by 12/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
 Violation of COVID norms- Endangering of human lives- Take action against political parties and their leaders under IPC

 Violation of COVID norms- Endangering of human lives- Take action against political parties and their leaders under IPC

To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Dear Shri Gauba, I write this letter in continuation of my earlier letter dated 30-3-2021 (copy forwarded) addressed to the Union Home Secretary on the potential danger of the huge election rallies being held in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam becoming super-spreaders of COVID. I had earlier requested the Union Home[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
 Violation of COVID norms: Take action against political parties and their leaders under IPC

 Violation of COVID norms: Take action against political parties and their leaders under IPC

  To Shri A K Bhalla Union Home Secretary Dear Shri Bhalla, It is unfortunate that we have not been able to contain the COVID virus spread and many States including the capital city of Delhi are witnessing an unusual spurt in virus cases of different mutants, some potentially dangerous. Your Ministry and several States have rightly tightened the COVID[Read More…]

by 31/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Proposed amendments to Forest Conservation Act imprudent

Proposed amendments to Forest Conservation Act imprudent

To Shri R P Gupta Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri Gupta, I understand from a Down to Earth news report (https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/forests/draft-amendment-to-forest-conservation-act-may-dilute-protection-to-forests-76145) that your Ministry is about to issue several crucial amendments to the Forest Conservation Act which exempt from its purview a wide range of projects (“strategic”, “linear” projects) and introduce[Read More…]

by 26/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Post-facto CRZ clearance: Environmental Justice Goes For A Toss

Post-facto CRZ clearance: Environmental Justice Goes For A Toss

To Shri R P Gupta Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri Gupta, Please read this letter in continuation of my earlier letter dated 19-3-2021 on imprudence on the part of your Ministry allowing ex-post facto approvals for projects coming up in violation of the CRZ notification. I have had an opportunity to[Read More…]

by 20/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Post-facto CRZ clearance- Violates the principles of environmental justice

Post-facto CRZ clearance- Violates the principles of environmental justice

  To Shri R P Gupta Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India   Dear Shri Gupta, I have just come across a disturbing news report that your Ministry has issued orders permitting industrial projects to obtain post-facto CRZ clearances (https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/mar/18/centre-allows-projects-to-obtain-post-facto-coastal-regulation-zone-clearance-2278359.html). If this report is factually correct, I am afraid that, by issuing such a[Read More…]

by 19/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Modi’s picture on the COVID vaccination certificates!

Modi’s picture on the COVID vaccination certificates!

To Shri Rajiv Gauba Cabinet Secretary Govt of India Dear Shri Gauba, It is the collective effort and a culmination of the human endeavour at the global level that has enabled the country to launch the ongoing national campaign, including the vaccination drive, against COVID. The credit should rightly go to the scientists across the world who studied the virus[Read More…]

by 06/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Open Letter To Prime Minister Modi On The Sale Of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant

Open Letter To Prime Minister Modi On The Sale Of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant

To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister of India Dear Shri Modiji, I write this letter to express my anguish as a concerned citizen of north Andhra Pradesh at the decision taken by the Central Government to privatise Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL)’s steel plant at Visakhapatnam by divesting 100% of its equity to private agencies. From a statement made[Read More…]

by 26/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Assam: Violation of human rights of detainees under The Foreigners Act

Assam: Violation of human rights of detainees under The Foreigners Act

To Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Sir, I refer to my letters dated 4-1-2021 & 16-1-2021 on violation of human rights of the detainees under the the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Foreigners (Tribunals For Assam) Order, 2006 and the other related laws in force in Assam. I have enclosed here copies of the two letters for your ready reference.[Read More…]

by 21/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Violation of the human rights of an innocent family in Assam

Violation of the human rights of an innocent family in Assam

To Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) N.Delhi Sir, Kindly refer to my attached letter dated 4-1-2021 on arbitrary detention of Mohammad Nur Hussain, 34, a rickshaw puller in Guwahati who hails from Lawdong village in Assam’s Udalguri district, his wife Sahera Begum, 26, and their two minor children (Ages 7 & 5 years). In June, 2019, on a false charge[Read More…]

by 17/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Violation of the human rights of an innocent family in Assam

Violation of the human rights of an innocent family in Assam

   To Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) N.Delhi Sir, I refer to the distressing news report (https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/assam/assam-nrc-detention-centre-7128303/) on how four members of a rickshaw puller’s family in Assam, unable to secure ready legal assistance, suffered gross violation of their basic human rights, when they were erroneously called “foreigners” in Assam under the Foreigners Tribunal Act, 1941, Foreigners Tribunal Order, 1964 and[Read More…]

by 04/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Need to update EIA norms for preserving biodiversity

Need to update EIA norms for preserving biodiversity

 To   Shri R P Gupta Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Government of India   Dear Shri Gupta, The National Environment Policy, 2006 (NEP) emphasises the need to conserve the rich biodiversity heritage of the country in the following statements. “Pay explicit attention to the potential impacts of development projects on biodiversity resources and natural heritage.[Read More…]

by 26/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Plight of small businesses- COVID19

Plight of small businesses- COVID19

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Stharaman, Kindly refer to my letter dated 10-9-2020 regarding the problems faced by small businesses in repaying loans taken from NBFCs as a result of the lockdown restrictions and the fall in demand for services, an inevitable consequence of the COVID19 crisis. I have enclosed a copy of that letter for your[Read More…]

by 10/10/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Need for enhancing old age pension and other pension benefits under NSAP

Need for enhancing old age pension and other pension benefits under NSAP

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, Articles 21 and 41 of the Constitution cast an obligation on the State to ensure that the aged and other vulnerable sections of the citizens are provided adequate assistance to be able to live in dignity. Right to adequate old age pension is one of the basic universal and justiciable economic[Read More…]

by 24/09/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Need for a law to regulate the use of groundwater

Need for a law to regulate the use of groundwater

Letter to the Prime Minister E.A.S.Sarma Maharanipeta Visakhapatnam To Shri Narendra D Modi Prime Minister Dear Shri Modiji, India’s groundwater resources have come under severe stress as a result of increasing pressure on the same for urban water needs in cities and towns and from irrigation requirements in the rural areas. In many parts of the country, the rate of[Read More…]

by 15/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
COVID protocol violation at foundation-laying ceremony for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya

COVID protocol violation at foundation-laying ceremony for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya

To Shri A K Bhalla Union Home Secretary Dear Shri Bhalla, I write this in continuation of my previous letter dated 26-3-2020 regarding the need to comply with the lockdown restrictions in order to prevent the spread of COVID. It is unfortunate that several persons occupying high positions have time and again violated the lockdown restrictions laid down by your[Read More…]

by 21/07/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Another Gas Leak In Visakhapatnam Kills Two

Another Gas Leak In Visakhapatnam Kills Two

To Shri Neerabh Kumar Prasad Spl CS (Environment & Forests) Govt of AP Dear Shri Prasad, I write this close on the heels of my letter dated 29-6-2020 about one more ghastly gas leak accident, this time, in the infamous Pharmacity of Parawada in Visakhapatnam district. The accident took place at the Pharmacity unit of Sainor Life Sciences Pvt Ltd[Read More…]

by 30/06/2020 Comments are Disabled India
PM CARES Fund- Need for transparency

PM CARES Fund- Need for transparency

Letter to the Prime Minister To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister of India Dear Shri Modiji, I refer to my letters dated 9-4-2020 & 5-5-2020 (enclosed) on the modalities of creating the PM CARES Fund (hereafter referred as PMCARES) and the need to ensure utmost transparency in its utilisation. I understand that the Trustees of PMCARES under your stewardship have[Read More…]

by 28/06/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Modiji, Do Not Let The Migrant Workers Die In Summer Heat

Modiji, Do Not Let The Migrant Workers Die In Summer Heat

 Letter to the Prime Minister To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister Dear Shri Modiji, I forward here a copy of my last letter dated 15-5-2020 and copies of the previous letters addressed to you on the excruciating problems faced by crores of the migrant workers across the length and the breadth of the country. I am not sure whether my letters have[Read More…]

by 23/05/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Don’t  condone the violations committed by LG Polymers

Don’t  condone the violations committed by LG Polymers

To Members of the Expert Appraisal Committee Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India   Dear Members of the EAC, I understand from the enclosed Agenda notice that the EAC will be holding its 33rd meeting on 18th–19thMay, 2020 for considering the proposals involving violation of EIA Notification. I further understand that Item No 33.4.4 concerning a proposal submitted by LG Polymers[Read More…]

by 17/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Visakhapatnam Accident: Time For Strict Action

Visakhapatnam Accident: Time For Strict Action

To Shri C K Mishra Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri Mishra, You are aware of the ghastly gas leak accident that took place at LG Polymers unit near Visakhapatnam in the early hours of 7-5-2020. Several persons in the vicinity of the accident site could not escape to safe places and got[Read More…]

by 12/05/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Don’t Suspend Labour Laws

Don’t Suspend Labour Laws

To Shri A K Bhalla Union Home Secretary Shri Heeralal Samariya Union Labour Secretary Dear S/Shri Bhalla and Samariya, I understand that several important labour laws, meant to safeguard the welfare of the workers and to ensure industrial safety, have been “suspended” for three years in UP, MP and Gujarat. I hope that the Union Home Ministry and the Labour[Read More…]

by 10/05/2020 Comments are Disabled India
PM CARES fund: Need for a full public disclosure

PM CARES fund: Need for a full public disclosure

 Letter to the Prime Minister   To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister of India Dear Shri Modiji, I refer to my letter dated 9-4-2020 (enclosed) on the modalities of creating the PM CARES fund (hereafter referred as PMCARES) and the need to ensure utmost transparency in its utilisation. PMCARES was set up towards the end of March, 2020, more than a[Read More…]

by 05/05/2020 Comments are Disabled India
COVID19- Do not bail-out businesses that violate the law of the land

COVID19- Do not bail-out businesses that violate the law of the land

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, Your Ministry has already announced concessions/ procedural relaxations etc. for business enterprises and industries in the context of COVID19 crisis. There are businesses who have violated the laws that provide social security to the workers. There have been instances of some enterprises guilty of non-payment of past wages, contributions to provident[Read More…]

by 29/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Discriminatory treatment against migrant workers during the lockdown

Discriminatory treatment against migrant workers during the lockdown

 Letter to the Prime Minister To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister Dear Shri Modiji, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued elaborate instructions to the States to observe a national lockdown by invoking the legal provisions under the Disaster Management Act. The Home Ministry has been admonishing all those States that have violated those instructions. The States in turn have been prosecuting[Read More…]

by 22/04/2020 1 comment India
 Provide Food Grains And Financial Assistance To The Marginalised

 Provide Food Grains And Financial Assistance To The Marginalised

 Letter to the Prime Minister To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister   Dear Shri Modiji, The sudden announcement of the lockdown three weeks ago has left lakhs of migrant workers helpless. It has deprived almost all marginal families across the country of their livelihoods. They need urgent help, care and succour. While some of those workers have ration cards and[Read More…]

by 13/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
PM CARES And Discrimination Against The States

PM CARES And Discrimination Against The States

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Minister for Corporate Affairs Govt of India Dear Smt Sitharaman, I write this letter in connection with the way your Ministry has interpreted Schedule VII under Section 135 of the Companies Act to arrive at the conclusion that the funds contributed by corporates to any Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) do not come within the ambit[Read More…]

by 13/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Amendment To CSR Rules Is Detrimental To The Interest Of States

Amendment To CSR Rules Is Detrimental To The Interest Of States

To Shri I Srinivas Secretary Ministry of Corporate Affairs Govt of India Dear Shri Srinivas, I am grateful to you for so promptly responding to my letter issued today on the apparent injustice meted out to the States by your Ministry in issuing a clarification to the effect that the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) does not qualify for receiving[Read More…]

by 12/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Corporate donations to Chief Minister’s’ Relief Fund qualify for CSR benefits under the Companies Act- Discriminatory to disallow the same

Corporate donations to Chief Minister’s’ Relief Fund qualify for CSR benefits under the Companies Act- Discriminatory to disallow the same

  To Shri I Srinivas Secretary Ministry of Corporate Affairs Govt of India   Dear Shri Srinivas, I have come across a news report today (https://thewire.in/business/corporate-affairst-ministry-csr-pm-cares-cm-relief-fund) that your Ministry has issued a “clarification” to the effect that corporate contributions under Section 135 of the Companies Act to the State Chief Minister’s Relief Fund shall not qualify for benefits applicable to[Read More…]

by 12/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
PM CARES Fund- Need for transparency

PM CARES Fund- Need for transparency

 Letter to the Prime Minister   To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister of India   Dear Shri Modiji, From PMO’s website, it is evident that PM CARES Fund has been set up under your chairmanship as a public charitable trust,  “keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency[Read More…]

by 09/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Provide Protective Gear To Heath Care Workers

Provide Protective Gear To Heath Care Workers

   To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister   Dear Smt Sitharaman, Kindly refer to my letter dated 23-3-2020 on the subject. Recently, you announced several relief measures to counter the spread of COVID19. In particular, you had announced that an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person would be provided to frontline health workers – sanitation staff, paramedics and nurses, ASHA[Read More…]

by 31/03/2020 Comments are Disabled India
epa06747281 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), attends a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 18 May 2018. The WHO Director-General answered questions ahead of the World Health Assembly and following the meeting of an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  EPA-EFE/VALENTIN FLAURAUD

Letter to the Director General of WHO

To Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General WHO Dear Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, I am writing this letter as a concerned senior citizen from India, at the manner in which COVID19 is sweeping across the planet, raising questions about the global community’s ability to contain the spread of the virus. It is ironic that the country which hosts WHO should[Read More…]

by 29/03/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Migrant workers- A humanitarian crisis triggered by the lockdown

Migrant workers- A humanitarian crisis triggered by the lockdown

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister Dear Smt Sitharaman, I have suggested several measures to be taken by the government to counter the spread of COVID19 and the relief to be provided to the vulnerable sections of the population affected by the lockdowns imposed initially by the States and the nationwide lockdown announced later on the 24th by the[Read More…]

by 27/03/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Yogi Adityanath In The Time Of Lockdown

Yogi Adityanath In The Time Of Lockdown

 Letter to the Prime Minister   To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister   Dear Shri Modiji, You have rightly announced a nationwide lockdown, invoking powers under the National Disaster Management Act and asked the citizens of the country not to stir out of their houses and maintain “social distancing”, which is the only way to fight the scourge of COVID19.[Read More…]

by 26/03/2020 Comments are Disabled India
 Prime Minister’s initiative on Corona- Political parties & Corporates too have to act fast

 Prime Minister’s initiative on Corona- Political parties & Corporates too have to act fast

To Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Union Finance Minister   Dear Smt Sitharaman, Kindly refer to my letter dated 20-3-2020 addressed to the Prime Minister on the ongoing fight against COVID19. I have enclosed a copy of that letter for your reference. The campaign against COVID19 is assuming urgency in view of the rapidly increasing rate at which the States have been[Read More…]

by 23/03/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Wedding In Corona Times: No Restriction On Karnataka CM? Letter to the Prime Minister

Wedding In Corona Times: No Restriction On Karnataka CM? Letter to the Prime Minister

To Shri Narendra Modiji Prime Minister   Dear Shri Modiji, I compliment your government, especially Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Health Minister and Dr S. Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister for the commendable effort they have put in to stem the tide of Corona Virus within the country and for airlifting hundreds of stranded Indians from  Wuhan, Naples, Teheran and so on. This[Read More…]

by 17/03/2020 1 comment India
 Relaxing The Environment Impact Appraisal Norms For Bulk Drug Units A Health Hazard

 Relaxing The Environment Impact Appraisal Norms For Bulk Drug Units A Health Hazard

To Shri C K Mishra Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MEFCC) Govt of India Dear Shri  Mishra, It is reported widely that your Ministry is thinking of relaxing the environment impact appraisal norms for bulk drug units. I sincerely hope that these reports are incorrect. From what I have observed over the last decade or so, in[Read More…]

by 16/03/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection