Aiyar attacks 'elitist bias' of UPA's policies
As the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) completes three years in power this week, Sports and Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has warned that the government badly needs a "midpoint course correction" as high economic growth has benefited classes rather than the masses to a "disproportionate" degree.
Reminding the government of its Common Minimum Programme of promoting the interests of "aam admi" (the common man), Aiyar said, "Alarm bells should be rung" as the government's economic policies have given "a disproportionate benefit to the classes".
In an interview with a private news channel, the minister warned that if the government does not correct course it would lose "the aam admi's support" in the next elections.
"There's a disproportionate benefit of the 9.2 per cent (economic growth) going to the classes. What I want to emphasise is not that there's no benefit going to the masses but that it needs to be much more consciously directed there," he said in an interview.
"I fear that a government that is attempting to have an economic policy for the aam admi may not get the aam admi's endorsement," he said.
In an unsparing critique of his own government, Aiyar contended that its policies do not reflect the real interests of the majority of people of India and alleged that the policies are heavily influenced by elite institutions like the industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
"We must resist the tendency to look at the interest of the classes and instead take into account the interest of the masses," he added.
The minister, known for his proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family, also claimed that his views had received "a very sympathetic response" from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who "absolutely" understands that the time for a course correction has come.
"To my fellow Congressmen, in cabinet and out of cabinet, I have been stressing the need for us to constantly keep this course correction in mind," Aiyar said.
The minister also claimed that his views have found vast support among his cabinet colleagues and not a single minister, except Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi criticised him, after he made a blistering speech to the CII on the pro-elite bias of the government's policies.
In a speech to the CII recently, Aiyar had said, "The masses determine who will form the government but the classes determine what the government will do.
Unemployed elementary teacher training (ETT) teachers on Tuesday held a protest over their longstanding demands pertaining to recruitment porcess. Speaking on the occasion, Unemployed ETT Teachers Union president Deepak Kamboj said they were demanding that the joining letter of ETT 6635 recruitment be issued at the earliest and the subsequent process be initiated.
A resident of Modern Housing Complex, Manimajra, was duped by an unidentified woman who impersonated a bank employee and cheated Dinesh Kumar Badhwar of ₹40,905. Badhwar alleged that the woman noted the one-time password shared with him and later completed a transaction of ₹40,905. A case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian penal Code has been registered at the cyber crime police station.
Police have arrested a Kharar resident for stealing a gold bangle from a Sector-22 shop where Singh is employed. Police said, the manager of Durga Trading Company in Sector 22, Bittu Verma, alleged that their employee, Baldeep Singh of MC Colony, Kharar, stole a gold bangle weighing 28.27 gm on July 25. On detecting the theft, he filed a police complaint. Following a probe, police arrested Singh on Monday.
Over 19,000 students have staked claim for the 13,570 Class-11 seats at Chandigarh's government schools as the online portal for submitting application forms was closed on Tuesday evening. As per data shared by the UT education department, 21,367 students registered online, of which, 19,271 submitted application forms. The portal remained open till 5.30 pm on Tuesday. “Counselling will be held to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance,” he said.
Cameras installed in electric buses or e-buses in Lucknow would now be linked to bus depot control room for efficient monitoring of passengers. “The cameras have been linked to our control room and monitoring has begun by control room staff. Now the acts of eve-teasing or theft would be efficiently checked,” said Pallav Bose, a senior official of Lucknow City Transport Services. There are 105 electric buses or e-buses in Lucknow, running on 22-routes.