Friday, July 6, 2012

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Chameli Revolution of India

Reality TV: Reality Shows In India-Reality television - Love it or hate it but you just cannot ignore it

Reality TV: Reality Shows In India

Reality television - Love it or hate it but you just cannot ignore it
Siemens answers: the world's toughest questions.

Indian Idol

Bigg Boss 4 Official Site Contestants Photos, Videos, News Hosted by Salman Khan BB4.In.Com/Bigg-Boss-4

Imagine Paris Hilton slogging it out on the farm…Or Heidi Klum having a discussion with you about your upcoming fashion line? These are just a few instances, which might have seemed next to impossible a few years back. Welcome to the era of reality Television, a place where fiction meets reality.

The advent of reality shows can be traced back to the forties with shows like Allen Funt’s Candid Camera that captured candid reactions of people to humorous tricks and prank. TV shows without stringent story-lines, soon became increasingly popular with the audience. Ordinary people captured in real-life situations seemed to amuse the audience, which was hitherto bombarded with ultra-dramatic soaps and movies.

Reality television broke the monotony to create interesting scripts and out-of the box ideas that made them stand out from the run-of-the-mill shows. Although drama-lovers are still glued to their idiot boxes at prime time, reality shows are hogging the limelight big time.

Some of these reality shows are talent hunts, game shows, celebrity shows, documentary-style shows, makeover shows, or some of them are just plain voyeurism personified. However different their concepts might be, all the reality shows, intrinsically run on the same path. They put ordinary people or celebrities in real-life situations and allow peeping toms to enjoy the thrill of watching them!

Besides giving the audience the thrill and excitement of live un-edited action, reality television allows the audience to be a part of the show. Take for example The American Idol, or the moviemakers’ favorite reality show- On the Lot, these shows allow the audience to choose the winner through a voting system. Although the credibility of these voting systems is debated about forever, the interactivity factor definitely fetches the show a lot of following.

Types of Reality Shows

Celeb-Reality: Reality shows with celebrities are a rage with the audience.
Examples: Dancing with the Stars, The Simple Life, and Big Brother

Prank-Reality: Reality shows that involve pranks played on ordinary people and capturing their candid reaction.
Examples:Candid Camera, Punk’d (Ashten Kuthcher)

Game Shows: Reality shows that are based on games.
Examples: Who wants to be a Millionaire?" Hollywood Blocks, Weakest Link

Talent Hunts: Reality shows that are looking for talented people be it singers, dancers or even actors.
Example: American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Star Search

Job-hunts: Shows that are synonymous with live on air interviews are listed under this category.
Example: The Apprentice, On the Lot (Directors), Project Runway (For fashion Designers), The Runway (Tommy Hilfiger), Hell’s Kitchen (Chefs)

Makeovers: Reality shows with make over stories. Be it a personal makeover or a home make over, these shows are very popular with the audience.
Example: Monster House, What-not-to-wear, While You Were Out

Dating-Shows: Reality shows that gave a platform for dating men and women on air.
Example: For Love or For Money, Perfect Match New York

Social Experiments: A relatively new genre of reality television that involves interaction of distinct social groups.
Example: The Beauty and the Geek, Wife Swap, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé.

Adventure/Fear based shows: A genre of TV shows that challenges the participants with difficult and weird tasks.
Example: Fear Factor, Who Dares Wins

Some reality shows provide artists a good platform to get noticed, some shows help people win money and fame but almost all of them keep the audience hooked on to the action and craving for more!

Some Popular Reality Shows

Candid Camera
Allen Funt’s one of its kind reality show that targeted easy victims with wise pranks is legendary. Till date Candid Camera re-runs are fun to watch!

The Apprentice
Donald Trump’s famous quote "You are fired", never fails to grab the audience attention. This one of its kind job interview on air is always packed with exciting tasks and rewards for the participants.

The American Idol
The hunt for America’s best singers with the three popular judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul has perhaps been one of the most popular shows in America.

The Simple Life
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie definitely garnered a lot of attention with this reality show as they tried their hand at various professions.

Fear Factor
The ultimate show that shocked the audience with horrendous tasks for its participants, and allowed them to face their worst night-mares and fears. Fear factor is known for its disgusting tasks that often involved eating bugs or worms.

Big Brother
The reality show that created ripples when Indian actress Shilpa Shetty accused fellow contestant Jade Goody of making racist remarks. The controversy generated made the show even more popular than it previously was.

Reality Shows on Indian Television

Studying the international television scenario, the Indian counterpart has promptly caught-up with the latest trends. Reality Television has arrived in India and is here to stay !

Reality shows in India date back to the Channel V’s talent hunt for making of a musical band. The band of girls called Viva that emerged from this show enjoyed short-lived popularity but marked the beginning of reality shows in India. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, which was the Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire, was a major hit with the audience in India. What followed next was a flood of reality shows, many of them being adaptations of the pre-existing western versions.

Reality shows in India are a welcome break for many of the audience who were tired of cribbing about the Ekta Kapoor's saas-bahu series that were (and some of them still are) pre-dominant on Indian television. Indian Reality TV is however in its nascent stage and mostly includes desi-versions of the reality shows abroad. However these shows are enjoying tremendous popularity and will definitely give way to more innovative concepts on air.

Most Popular Reality Shows on Indian Television

MTV Bakra
No one can ever forget Cyrus Broacha’s grinning face and the confusion and bewilderment created amongst his victims. A wicked show with witty pranks followed by loads of laughter.

Kaun Banega Crorepati
Amitabh Bachchan’s stint on television that was perhaps the first reality show on Indian television to garner humongous audience response. The second season of the series was hosted by Shahrukh Khan but did not seem to fare just as well.

Indian Idol
This show has been one of the most popular reality shows on Indian television and perhaps due to the voting factor. With boys next-door turning into ultimate singing sensations, this show already has completed three seasons.

Sa Re Ga Ma
What started as a humble talent show hosted by Sonu Nigam soon metamorphosed into an ultra-glam, uber-dramatic reality show with the various celebrity judges like Himesh Reshamiya, Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet and Ismail Darbar constantly at loggerheads with each other.

Big Boss
The Indian version of UK’s Big Brother was the most sensational and controversial reality show in India. Although long forgotten Actor Rahul Roy emerged as the winner, it was people like Anupama Verma, Aryan Vaid (due to their on-air love-affair) and Rakhi Sawant (due to her in-your-face attitude) who got instant recognition from this show.

The Great Indian Laughter Challenge
This hunt for India’s biggest comedian created a laughter riot on air with almost all its contestants enjoying tremendous popularity. Star Judges Shekhar Suman and Navjyot Singh Siddhu enjoyed great following too.

Nach Baliye
An original concept that involved celebrity couples trained by their choreographers battling against each other in an entertaining dance competition. The show has celebrity judges like Saroj Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Kunal Kohli, David Dhawan, Isha Koppikar and Vaibhavi Merchant. The first season was extremely popular ans so was the second one, however the third season seems to be losing its charm.

Jhalak Dikhlaja
This was the Indian version of the hit show Dancing With the Stars, which was also very popular. The first season had celebs like Mona Singh, Mahesh Manjrekar and Shweta Salve as participants and Farah Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shilpa Shetty on the judges panel. The show is currently in its second season with Shiamak Davar, Urmila Matondkar and Jeetendra on the judging panel whereas the participants include celebs like actress Sonali Kulkarni, anchor Mini Mathur and singer Mika.

Reality shows seem to be a huge trend on television, but anything that is popular has to bear the brunt of constant criticism and analysis. Controversies about these reality shows being 'planned and scripted' or the voting lines being a hoax continue to rise every now and then. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction, they say! Well as for television, don’t be surprised or shocked as of yet…something far more real and far more strange might be on its way…till then...Enjoy Reality TV!
By Uttara Manohar
Item number
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Item number
Cultural origins Bollywood songs
Regional scenes
Indian cinema
Local scenes
Hindi, Tamil and Telugu cinema
Other topics
List of item numbers in Indian cinema

An item number or an item song, (Hindi: आइटम नंबर, Tamil: குத்தாட்டப் பாடல்) in Indian cinema, is a musical performance that has little to do with the film in which it appears, but is presented to showcase beautiful dancing women in very revealing clothes, to lend support to the marketability of the film.The term is commonly used in connection with Hindi, Tamil and Telegu cinema, to describe a catchy, upbeat, often sexually provocative dance sequence for a song in a movie.However, the term as understood in Bollywood parlance has entered the Kathmandu entertainment industry scenario as well.Item numbers are usually added to Indian movies in order to generate publicity by featuring them in the trailers. Item numbers are favoured by filmmakers for the reason that since they do not add to the plot, they afford the filmmakers with the opportunity to pick potential hit songs from the stocks.It is thus a vehicle for commercial success which ensures repeat viewing.

A female actor, singer or dancer, especially someone who is poised to become a star, who appears in an item number is known as an item girl. There are item boys as well.[1] However, second generation South Asian females are more commonly featured in item numbers than males.[5][6] Item numbers usually feature one or more persons other than the lead actors. Sometimes established female and male actors will lend a "special appearance" to an item number.

Although, the origin of the term "item number" is obscure, it is likely that it derives its meaning from objectification of sexually attractive women. This is because item in filmy Mumbai slang is a sexy woman.The classic meaning of "item number" refers to highly sexualized songs with racy imagery and suggestive lyrics. The "item number" would feature an "item girl" who appeared in the film as a dancer, usually in a bar or nightclub, and was only in the film for the length of that song. It was often frowned upon at that point in time.


* 1 History
* 2 Recent developments
* 3 Criticism and controversies
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links


Item number was introduced in Bollywood by Vyjayanthimala and Padmini, however the former was the one who establish the item numbers in films.She introduced semi-classical dance in her film that featuring her. Some of her famous songs which predated the concept of item number are "Man dole mera tan dole" from Nagin, "Ab Aage Teri Marzi" and "O Jaanewale Ruk Jaa" from Devdas,"Kaho Ji Tum Kya Kya Kharidoge" from Sadhna,"Chadh Gayo Paapi Bichhua" from Madhumati, "Neele Gagan Ki Chaoon Tale" from Amrapali and "Hothon pe aisi baat" from Jewel Thief. Besides that, her dance number with Padmini in "Kannum Kannum Kalanthu" and "Aaja To Aaja" from Vanjikottai Valiban and Raj Tilak respectively were critically acclaimed, where the popularity of the songs surpasses the popularity of the films and was regarded as the best dance sequence in Indian cinema,similarly her dance number with Helen in "Aaye Haaye Dilruba" and "Muqabala Humse Naa Karo" from Dr. Vidya and Prince respectively was also popular. Her dance number was still adored by actresses, such as Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit,choreographers, such as Prabhu Deva and Saroj Khan.

Up to the 1970s, Bollywood often relied on the figure of the vamp, usually a cabaret dancer, or a tawaif (prostitute) or a gangster's moll, to provide sexually explicit musical entertainment. While the heroine too did sing and dance, it was the vamp who wore more revealing clothes, smoked, drank and sang in bold terms of sexual desire.She was portrayed not as being wicked but as the naughty, sexually alluring, immodest woman, erotic in her dance performances. The trend was started by Chuckoo in films like Aan (1952) and Shabistan (1951).

Helen was by far the most popular vamp of that era,having had performed in scores of item numbers including such popular songs as "Mera Naam Chin-Chin Choo" from the film Howrah Bridge (1958), "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" from Caravan (1971), "Mehbooba Mehbooba" from Sholay (1975) and "Yeh Mera Dil" from Don (1978). In films like Gunga Jumna and Zindagi the actor performed semi-classical Indian dances in songs like "Tora man bada paapi" and "Ghungarwa mora chham chham baaje". A desi bar number, "Mungra Mungra" from Inkaar was also immensely popular. In addition to her skillful dancing, her anglicised looks too helped further the vamp image.

Zeenat and I had full-fledged roles right from our first films. They might not have been pivotal roles, but they weren't item-songs and dance numbers either. We were the only ones who broke the trend of the archetypal heroine's role, and even carried off roles of modern dancers in clubs during an age where the audiences' weren't exposed to such things.

Parveen Babi

In the early part of the 1970s actresses Bindu, Aruna Irani and Padma Khanna entered into what was Helen's monopoly. Thereafter, Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi too entered the arena.Both Aman and Babi have been credited for bringing the Western heroine look to Hindi cinema.Female actors such as her have brought about modernity with their portrayal of westernised liberated young women. Another noted feature of this era was the "tribal and banjara" item numbers such as the one in the Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman and Rex Harrison starer Shalimar. Such songs provided the necessary settings for the lead couple's love to bloom.

Actress Madhuri Dixit is a formally trained dancer,who has numerous hit item numbers to her credit.

Around the 1980s the vamp and the heroine merged into one figure and the lead actress had begun to perform the bolder numbers. The vampy item girls were thus outpaced by the heroines performing item numbers. This eventual demise of the vamp marked the increasing social acceptance of sexually explicit dancing for the morally respected heroine.

The craze for "tribal and banjara" item numbers were soon gave way to slick choreography.In the late 1990s, with the proliferation of film songs based television shows, film producers had come to realise that an exceptional way to entice audiences into theaters was by spending excessively on the visualization of songs. Hence regardless of the theme and plot, an elaborate song and dance routine involving spectacularly lavish sets, costumes, special effects, extras and dancers would invariably be featured in a film. It was asserted that this contributed highly to the film's "repeat value".

Madhuri Dixit is often considered to be the pioneer of the modern trend. In the late 1980s, the song "Ek Do Teen" was added to the movie Tezaab as an afterthought, but it transformed Dixit and made her a superstar.Her partnership with choreographer Saroj Khan has resulted in numerous hits including the controversial "Choli ke peeche kya hai" and "Dhak dhak" (Beta).Soon after the release of the film Khalnayak, there were press reports stating that people were seeing the film again and again but only till the song "Choli ke peeche kya hai" that featured Dixit.

Although there have been many songs that fit the descriptions of item numbers in the early and mid-1990s, the term itself was coined when Shilpa Shetty danced for "Main Aai Hoon UP Bihar Lootne" in the movie Shool. This is perhaps the first time the media actually referred to Shetty as an "item girl" and the scene as an "item number".

Recent developments

Many top stars in Bollywood now do item numbers, and many new women entering Bollywood find item numbers a more amenable shortcut to success, as opposed to more traditional roles with no guarantee of eventual stardom.Former item girls in pop songs outside films, Rakhi Sawant and Meghna Naidu, for example, are now quite in demand and very popular. Today, they are even being given lead roles in commercially successful movies.[as of?] As of 2007, Mallika Sherawat has become the most expensive "Item Girl", as she charged Rs. 15 million (roughly US$375,000) for the song "Mehbooba Mehbooba" in Aap Ka Suroor - The Real Love Story.Actress Urmila Matondkar is one of the most successful item girls.[original research?] She was featured in "Chamma Chamma" in the 1998 film China Gate. Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film musical, Moulin Rouge! used a westernized version of this song.

Model-actress Yana Gupta in an advertisement poster that concedes her recognition as an item girl.

Malaika Arora Khan and Yana Gupta are "official" item number dancers. They have said they don't want to act in movies since they earn sufficient amount of money by just doing one song.

Abhishek Bachchan became the first "item boy" with his performance in Rakht; Shahrukh Khan also performed an item number during the opening credits of Kaal but had an item number in the true sense of the word with "Dard-e-Disco" in the Farah Khan directed Om Shanti Om, where he was shot in typical "item girl" manner with bare six pack abs. However the number did have a meaning within the plot.[original research?] He also performed an item number for the recently released movie Krazzy 4. Also in Krazzy 4, Hrithik Roshan has an item number during the end credits. Now, the son of legendary Bollywood stars Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, is making his debut in an item number in the 2011 movie, Chillar Party. The song draws inspiration from Rishi Kapoor's Quawalli song "Parda" from Amar Akbar Anthony.

Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are featured in three different songs in Red Chillies Entertainment's 2009 film Billu. The items are justified as part of a film within a film.

In Slumdog Millionaire, an item number featuring A. R. Rehman's music was picturised on Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.The song, "Jai Ho", went on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

In the 2007 film Om Shanti Om, the song "Deewangi Deewangi" had guest appearances by over 30 Bollywood stars. In 2008, the makers of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi featured Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, Priety Zinta, and Rani Mukerji playing as five classic leading ladies, opposite Shahrukh Khan on the song "Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte".

In 2010, Katrina Kaif featured in "Sheela Ki Jawani" in Tees Maar Khan, and Malaika Arora Khan featured in "Munni Badnam".

In 2011, Mallika Sherawat featured in "Jalebi Bai" in "Double Dhamaal" and "Razia" in "Thank You", while Deepika Padukone featured in "Mit Jaaye Gham" in "Dum Maaro Dum" and "Zarine Khan" had "Character Dheela" from "Ready" to her credit. Yana Gupta also made a guest appearance in "Murder 2" with the item number "Aa Zara".

Criticism and controversies

Item numbers have been criticized for their gratuitous objectification of the female body.Item numbers have also been imitated in Mumbai's bar dancers. In respect of the ban on bar dancers in Mumbai, it has even been argued that the morality of bar dancer's imitation of item numbers cannot be questioned without questioning the morality of screening of item numbers in a film in public theatres. It has been argued that the two are equally amoral as both objectify women for commercial gain.

Khalnayak was controversial right from the day it released. While the lyrics of "Choli ke peeche kya hai?" (translation: "What's beneath the blouse?") were considered vulgar by some, others defended the song on the ground that it was based on folk traditions. The song eventually set off protests all over the country and a potential ban on the song was debated in the Indian Parliament. Such turn of events, however, only helped the song and the film become more popular, as many came to the movie just to see Madhuri Dixit perform the song.

* List of item numbers in Indian cinema


1. ^ a b c Barrett, Grant (2006). The official dictionary of unofficial English: a crunk omnibus for thrillionaires and bampots for the Ecozoic Age. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 2006. ISBN 0071458042.
2. ^ Journals : Item number defined
3. ^ a b c d Morey, Peter; Alex Tickell (2005). Peter Morey and Alex Tickell. ed. Alternative Indias: writing, nation and communalism. Rodopi. p. 221,178. ISBN 9042019271.
4. ^ Bhattacharya Mehta, Rini; Rajeshwari Pandharipande (2010). Bollywood and Globalization: Indian Popular Cinema, Nation, and Diaspora. Anthem Press. p. 42. ISBN 1843318334.
5. ^ Gera Roy, Anjali. The Body of New Asian Dance Music. SSRN. SSRN 1471101.
6. ^ Ghosh, Biswadeep (15 December 2010). "Biggest item numbers ever!". Times of India. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
7. ^ a b Dinesh Raheja (2002-05-06). "Bollywood's Dancing Queen". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
8. ^ Dinesh Raheja (2002-02-07). "An eternal love story: Devdas". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
9. ^ Dinesh Raheja (2002-06-29). "Sadhna : a reformist tale". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
10. ^ a b Randor Guy (2011-03-23). "Vanjikottai Vaaliban 1958". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
11. ^ Randor Guy (2006-09-09). "Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
12. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (2006-10-10). "Dance was my main inspiration to make films, says Sanjay Bhansali". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
13. ^ "Hema lauds Vyjayanthimala". The Times of India. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
14. ^ "'Hrithik dances like poetry'". Rediff. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
15. ^ S. R. Ashok Kumar (2006-06-26). "Prabhu Deva: From his father's shadow to the limelight". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
16. ^ Rajul Hegde (2010-11-17). "'Till date I don't think any actress has reached Vyjantimala's level'". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
17. ^ "Bollywood item numbers: from Monica to Munni". 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
18. ^ Anandam P, Kavoori (2008). Global Bollywood. NYU Press. p. 187. ISBN 081474799X.
19. ^ a b c Mukherjee, Madhurita (3 February 2003). "Revamping Bollywood's sexy vamps". Times of India. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
20. ^ Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterji, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 108. ISBN 8179910660.
21. ^ "Parveen Babi dies, alone in death as in life". Times of India. 22 Jan 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
22. ^ a b Deshpande, Anirudh (2009). Class, Power And Consciousness In Indian Cinema And Television. Primus Books. p. 49. ISBN 9788190891820.
23. ^ "Dance me no nonsense". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
24. ^ Shresthova, Sangita. "Strictly Bollywood? Story Camera Movement in Hindi Film Dance". MIT. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
25. ^ a b c d Ganti, Tejaswini (2004). Bollywood: a guidebook to popular Hindi cinema. Routledge. p. 254. ISBN 0415288533.
26. ^ Bhattacharya, Roshmila (21 November 2010). "Our heart goes dhak dhak again". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
27. ^ Outlook 48 (40): 51. October 2008.
28. ^ Agnes, Flavia. "Hypocritical Morality: Mumbai’s Ban on Bar Dancers". Manushi. Retrieved 10 November 2010.

External links

* Rajshri's list of top 10 item girls
* Bhojpuri item numbers, 13 February 2011
* History of Item Girls in Tamil Cinema
List of item numbers in Indian cinema
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2011)

An item number or an item song, in Indian cinema, is a musical performance that has little to do with the subject of the film in which it appears. The term is commonly used in Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood, to describe a catchy, upbeat, often sexually provocative dance sequence for a song in a movie.
Year Name of the item number Film Actors Notes References
1954 "Man dole mera tan dole" Nagin Vyjayanthimala [1]
1955 "Jise Tu Kabool Kar Le" Devdas [1]
1957 "Eena Meena Deeka" Aasha
1958 "Kaho Ji Tum Kya Kya Kharidoge" Sadhna [2]
1958 "Chadh Gayo Paapi Bichhua" Madhumati [1]
1958 "Mera naam Chin Chin Chu" Howrah Bridge Helen
1960 "Itni Badi Mehfil Aur Ek Dil Kisko Doon" Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai
1964 "Main Ka Karoon Ram" Sangam Vyjayanthimala [1]
1966 "Neele Gagan Ki Chaoon Tale" Amrapali [3]
1966 "Kaise Samjhaoon" Suraj
1967 "Hothon Pe Aisi Baat" Jewel Thief [1]
1968 "Tasveer-E-Mohabbat Thee Jis Me" Sunghursh
1969 "Muqabla Humse Na Karo" Prince Vyjayanthimala and Helen [4]
1969 "Aa Jaane Ja" Inteqam Helen
1971 "Typewriter Tip Tip Tip" Bombay Talkie
1971 "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" Caravan
1973 "Aaj Ki Raat" Anamika
1975 "Mehbooba Mehbooba" Sholay
1978 "Yeh Mera Dil" Don
1982 "Jawani Jaaneman" Namak Halaal Parveen Babi
"Raat Baki"
1988 "Ek Do Teen" Tezaab Madhuri Dixit
1992 "Dhak Dhak" Beta
1993 "Choli Ke Peeche" Khalnayak
"Chikku Bukku" Gentleman (film) Gouthami TadimallaPrabhu Deva and Raju Sundaram
1994 "Sexy Sexy" Khuddar Karisma Kapoor
"Ruk Ruk Ruk" Vijaypath Tabu
"My Adorable Darling" Main Khiladi Tu Anari Raveena Tandon
"Tip Tip Barsa Paani" Mohra
1995 "Hamma Hamma" Bombay Sonali Bendre
1996 "Aaj Ghar Mein Akele" Rakshak Karisma Kapoor
"Shahar Ki Ladki" Raveena Tandon
"Ikrar karna mushkil hai" Agni Sakshi Manisha Koirala
1997 "Naan Keelnaatu Cleopatra" Kodiesvaran Karisma Kapoor Unreleased
1998 "Chamma Chamma" China Gate Urmila Matondkar Also featured in Moulin Rouge!
"Chaiya Chaiya" Dil Se Malaika Arora Khan
"Khali Dil Nahi" Kachche Dhaage Simran Bagga
1999 "Maine Aai UP Bihar Lootne" Shool Shilpa Shetty
"Kaali Naagin Ke" Mann Rani Mukherjee
"Shakalaka Baby" Mudhalvan Sushmita Sen
"Jawani Se Ab" Vaastav: The Reality Kashmira Shah
Ravoyi Chandamama Aishwarya Rai
Sirf Tum Simran Bagga
"Thottu Thottu Pesum" Ethirum Pudhirum
2000 Khauff Simran Bagga
"Ek Ladki Hai" Raveena Tandon
"Mere Yeh Jawaani" Ghaath
"Macarena" Kushi Shilpa Shetty
"Mehboob Mere" Fiza Sushmita Sen
"Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar" Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar Kashmira Shah
Anthapuram Simran Bagga
2002 "Aa Hi Jaiye" Lajja Urmila Matondkar
"Mahi Ve" Kaante Malaika Arora Khan
"Chalka Chalka" Aankhen Kashmira Shah
2001 Rahul Isha Koppikar
"Shakalaka Baby" Nayak: The Real Hero Sushmita Sen
2002 23rd March 1931: Shaheed Aishwarya Rai
"Ishq Kamina" Shakti Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan
"Khallas" Company Isha Koppikar
"Ishq Samundar" Kaante Mumaith Khan
"Sharara Sharara" Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai Shamita Shetty
"Chori Pe Chori" Saathiya Shamita Shetty
"Khullam Khulla" Road Koena Mitra
"Ada Althottha Boopathy" Youth Simran Bagga
2003 "Old Songs Remix" Pithamagan Simran Bagga
"Mohabbat Hai Mirchi" Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne Rakhi Sawant
"Maahi Ve" Kal Ho Naa Ho Kajol
Alai Kim Sharma
"Dekh Le" Munna Bhai M.B.B.S Mumaith Khan
"Ishq Samundar" Kaante Isha Koppikar
LOC Kargil Isha Koppikar
"Maahi Ve" Kal Ho Naa Ho Rani Mukherji
"Babuji Zara Dheera Chalo" Dum Yana Gupta
"Thoodhu Varumaa" Kaakha Kaakha Ramya Krishnan
"Pothu Thaaku" Kuththu Ramya Krishnan
"Dilli Ki Sardi" Zameen Amrita Arora
2004 "Dhoom Dhoom" Dhoom Tata Young
"Aisa Jadoo" Khakee Lara Dutta
"One Love" Rakht Abhishek Bachchan
Jairam Simran Bagga
"Saaki Saakhi" Musafir Koena Mitra
"Mashuqa Rubi" Asambhav Mumaith Khan
"Loot Gaye" Hulchul Mumaith Khan
"Oh! What A Babe" Rakht Yana Gupta
"Manmadhan" Manmadhan Yana Gupta
"Ishq Khudai" Rudraksh Negar Khan
"Chal Hat" Shaadi Ka Laddoo Negar Khan
"Mujhe Tumse" Tumsa Nahin Dekha Dia Mirza
"Cham Cham Karta" Aga Bai Arrecha Sonali Bendre
"Saiyaan Mora Saiyaan" Garv Shilpa Shetty
2005 "Kaal Dhamaal" Kaal Malaika Arora Khan and Shahrukh Khan
"Kajra Re" Bunty aur Babli Aishwarya Rai
"Chilman Uthegi Nahin" Kisna Sushmita Sen
"Chadti Jawani" Dhadkanein Mumaith Khan
"Jhuki Jhuki" Chocolate Mumaith Khan
Chatrapathi Mumaith Khan
"Naan Puttham Pudhiya" Inidhu Inidhu Kaadhal Inidhu Simran Bagga
"Kodambakkam Area" Sivakasi Nayantara
Chatrapati Ramya Krishnan
"Kadhal Yaanai" Anniyan Yana Gupta
"Ankhiyan Na Maar" Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena Rakhi Sawant
2006 "Kurrallu" Devadasu Shriya Saran [5]
"Kismat Se Chalti Hai" Malamaal Weekly Rakhi Sawant
"Rock 'n' Roll Soniye" Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Kajol
"Subah Subah" I See You Shahrukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan
"Jab Kabhi" 36 China Town Tanushree Dutta
"Sabse Alag" Alag Sushmita Sen and Abhishek Bachchan
Bhagam Bhag Tanushree Dutta
"Sabse Alag" Alag Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta
"Yeh Mera Dil" Don: The Chase Begins Again Kareena Kapoor
"Sabse Alag" Alag Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra
"Pyaar Ki Chatni" Phir Hera Pheri Dia Mirza
Saamaanyudu Mumaith Khan
"Ippati Kinka" Pokiri Mumaith Khan
"Neruppe Sikki Mukki" Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu Mumaith Khan
"Beedi" Omkara Bipasha Basu
"Crazy Kiya Re" Dhoom 2 Aishwarya Rai
2007 Vijayadasami Simran Bagga
"Chammakkuro" Munna Shriya Saran [5]
"Ne Chuku Chuku Bandiroo" Tulasi Shriya Saran [6]
"Dard-e-Disco" Om Shanti Om Shahrukh Khan
"Mast Kalandar" Heyy Babyy Shahrukh Khan
"Mehbooba Mehbooba" Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag Urmila Matondkar and Abhishek Bachchan
"En Chella Peru Apple" Pokkiri Mumaith Khan
"O Baby" Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule Mumaith Khan
"Orori Yogi" Yogi Mumaith Khan
"Baalam Tera Nakhra" Big Brother Mumaith Khan
Sri Mahalakshmi Mumaith Khan
"Balleilakka" Sivaji: The Boss Nayantara
"It's Rocking" Kya Love Story Hai Kareena Kapoor
"Mayya Mayya" Guru Mallika Sherawat
"Mehbooba Mehbooba" Aap Ka Suroor - The Real Love Story Mallika Sherawat
Nehlle Pe Dehlla Neha Dhupia
"Heyy Babyy" Heyy Babyy Malaika Arora Khan, Celina Jaitley, Minissha Lamba, Tara Sharma, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Ameesha Patel, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Amrita Arora, Kim Sharma, Koena Mitra, Shamita Shetty and Riya Sen
"Mehbooba Mehbooba" Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag Urmila Matondkar
"Rathraina" Athidhi Malaika Arora Khan
"Hoth Rasiley" Welcome Malaika Arora Khan
"Deewangi Deewangi" Om Shanti Om Rani Mukherji, Vidya Balan, Shabana Azmi, Urmila Matondkar, Shilpa Shetty, Rekha, Tabu, Preity Zinta, Kajol, Lara Dutta
2008 "Mallika Sherawata? Marilyn Monroea?" Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan Shriya Saran [7]
Deshdrohi Kim Sharma
"Break Free" Krazzy 4 Shahrukh Khan
"Nobody Like You" Mission Istaanbul Abhishek Bachchan
"Krazzy 4" Krazzy 4 Hrithik Roshan
"Manzar" Sunday Tusshar Kapoor
"Bang Bang" Hello Salman Khan
"Dekhta Hai Tu Kya" Krazzy 4 Rakhi Sawant
"Bichua" 1920 Rakhi Sawant
Haal-e-dil Kajol
"Phoonk De" No Smoking Bipasha Basu
"Ya Baba" "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves" Hrishitaa Bhatt
"Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte" Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Lara Dutta, Preity Zinta, Bipasha Basu, Kajol and Rani Mukherji
"Lazy Lamhe" Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic Ameesha Patel
"Kashmakash" Sunday Esha Deol
"Shut Up & Bounce" Dostana Shilpa Shetty
"Zara Zara Touch Me" Race (2008 film) Katrina Kaif
2009 "You Get Me Rocking & Reeling" Billu Barber Priyanka Chopra
"Bangaru Kodi Petta" Magadheera Chiranjeevi
"Jalwa" Wanted Govinda, Anil Kapoor and Salman Khan
"Love Mera Hit Hit" Billu Barber Deepika Padukone
"Hotty Naughty" De Dana Dan Neha Dhupia
"Marjaani" Billu Barber Kareena Kapoor
"Daddy Mummy" Villu Mumaith Khan
"Bangaru Kodi Petta" Magadheera Mumaith Khan
"Bambara Kannalei Remix (En Peru Meenakumari)" Kanthaswamy Mumaith Khan
"The Night Is Still Young" Muthirai Rakhi Sawant
"Bhangra Bistar" Dil Bole Hadippa! Rakhi Sawant
"Jorsey" Magadheera Kim Sharma
Anjaneyulu Kim Sharma
"Honey Honey" Ayan Koena Mitra
2010 "Dochey" Puli Shriya Saran
"Aap Ka Kya Hoga (Dhanno)" Housefull (film) Jacqueline Fernandez
"Parda" Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Gauhar Khan
"Munni Badnam" Dabangg Malaika Arora Khan
"Shelia Ki Jawani" Tees Maar Khan Katrina Kaif
"Neeyat Kharab Hai" Teen Patti Maria Gopez
"Tere Ishq Se Meetha" Aakrosh Sameera Reddy
2011 "Mit Jaaye Gham" Dum Maro Dum Deepika Padukone
"Razia" Thank You (2011 film) Mallika Sherawat
"Tinku Jiya" Yamla Pagla Deewana Madhuri Bhattacharya
"Chamki Jawani" Yamla Pagla Deewana Mahek Chahal
"Laila O Laila" Chalo Dilli Yana Gupta
"Do Dhaari Talwaar" Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Katrina Kaif
"Character Dheela" Ready (2011 film) Zarine Khan
"Shallu Ke Thumke" Bin Bulaye Baarati Mallika Sherawat
"Jalebi Bhai" Double Dhamaal Mallika Sherawat
"Chhammak Chhallo" Ra.One Kareena Kapoor To Be Released
"Aa Zara Karib Se" Murder 2 Yana Gupta
"Main Chandigarh Di Star" Bbuddah... Hoga Tera Baap Raveena Tandon
"Motiyon Ki Kangana" Chatur Singh Two Star Ameesha Patel
"Bodyguard" Bodyguard Katrina Kaif
"Shake It Saiyaa" Rascals Lisa Haydon To Be Released
[edit] Reference

1. ^ a b c d e Dinesh Raheja (2002-05-06). "Bollywood's Dancing Queen". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
2. ^ Dinesh Raheja (2002-06-29). "Sadhna : a reformist tale". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
3. ^ Sukanya Verma (2004-03-04). "What if Amrapali were remade today?". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
4. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (2006-10-10). "Dance was my main inspiration to make films, says Sanjay Bhansali". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
5. ^ a b "Shriya to do an item number!". Sify. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
6. ^ "Shriya-An item girl in Telugu?". Sify. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
7. ^ "Shriya-Back as Ajit’s heroine?". Sify. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2011-05-20.

Artist assaulted for exhibiting gay works

Artist assaulted for exhibiting gay works

Shreya Roy Chowdhury, TNN | Jan 6, 2012, 01.04AM IST

NEW DELHI: An artist holding an exhibition in the capital on the theme of homosexuality was on Thursday attacked and abused by an unidentified assailant, who also damaged one of the paintings on display.

The artist, Balbir Krishan, said the attacker entered the solo exhibition space at Lalit Kala Akademi with his face covered by a handkerchief. He pushed and kicked Krishan, a double amputee who has lost both his legs, while hurling insults all the while.

Krishan, 38, from a village called Bijrol in Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh, had received several threats over phone on Wednesday. The calls -- made from phone booths - accused the artist, himself homosexual, of "spreading" homosexuality in the country. According to Krishan, the caller said, "Tuney Hindu dharam ko bigarne ka theka laga rakha hai (You are determined to ruin Hinduism)." Before that, posters advertising his exhibition at Garhi studios and near Jamia Milia Islamia, were ripped and burnt.

Balbir and a few of his friends had come to the gallery at about 10.30am to shoot a video of the exhibition and pack the paintings. He was standing by the door of the second room of the gallery "giving bites" for the video when a big-built man (as per the group's estimate, he was about 5'10") pushed him from behind.

A train accident in 1996 had claimed both of Balbir's legs from knee down and he uses prosthetic legs. He fell forward. The assailant next smashed the frame of a small work closest to the door, damaging the artwork in the process, and proceeded to kick Balbir in the side. He also spouted hateful lines including, "Hussain go bhaga diya, tu kya cheez hai? (We chased Hussain away, you are nothing)."

Krishan has been painting male nudes from the start. His paintings had created a furor at Bijrol at first but are now tolerated. This was his first exhibition on the subject.

"I never thought something like this could happen here," said an injured Balbir later, "If my paintings offend anyone, they are welcome to discuss it with me."

As those in the room reacted, the attacker fled, with Krishan's companions - participating artists present for another exhibition happening on the ground floor and a security guard - in pursuit. The attacker gave the main gate a miss - two guards were posted there - choosing instead to jump over the iron railing on the side. He fell once too but still managed to give the pursuers the slip.

He got away but Vivek Sharma, also of Baghpat, who was shooting the video, kept the camera rolling when the attack happened and managed to capture the masked assailant in action. The police visited the gallery at that time and once again in the evening. The footage was handed over to them.

Krishan filed a complaint with the police and he got a medical examination conducted. The paintings have been moved from the venue; the same exhibition will be on at Triveni Kala Sangam from Friday.

Bizarre case of India versus the Internet-

Bizarre case of India versus the Internet

Prasanto K Roy, IANS

New Delhi: It isn't just one angry Indian against Google and Facebook. Internet freedom is on trial in India! The ham-handed, state-backed censorship of Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Literary Festival earlier this month grabbed headlines - "The Republic bows before the Mob".

Yet, a far more serious free-speech drama was quietly playing out. It started with Vinay Rai, editor of a little-known Delhi-based Urdu daily called Akbari, filing a criminal complaint in a district court in New Delhi.

Rai had been busy scouting the internet for dirt. Surprise - he found it! On Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, BlogSpot and on smaller services and blogs: Broadreader, Mylot, Zomie Time, Shyni Blog,, and IMC India.
Bizarre case of India versus the Internet

And so he filed a criminal complaint against - hold your breath - Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Larry Page of Google, Donald Edward Graham, chairman of Facebook and the Washington Post, Yahoo chairman Roy J Bostock, the Indian country heads of those organizations, and other named and unnamed persons.

He did so "in public interest and as an affected person who believes in a secular India." (Oddly, he missed out Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.)

Why? "These accused persons knowingly well these facts that these contents and materials are most dangerous for the community and peace of the harmony," says Rai's criminal complaint (language unedited), "but with common and malafide intention and hands under glove with each other failed to remove the same for the wrongful gain."

In my first and only meeting with Rai on a recent prime-time show, Rai sounded placative. He wasn't trying to get anything "banned". He merely wanted removed from the internet all content that offended him.

So would he be the sole arbiter of offensive content? How would India's jurisdiction cover all these sites in the US and Europe? Questions like these got his goat, and at one point he snapped out to a fellow panelist that he was trying to instigate riots. The show host asked him about his remarkable coincidence of timing, language and intent with those of the government, and minister Kapil Sibal: Was he their agent? No, he said. I am an agent of the People.

I had not read the complaint submitted before the district court in Delhi. I did so, two days later. The "agent of the people" was being economical with the truth. Nowhere in his plaint did he seek removal of content. Instead, he outlined a conspiracy between authors and the respondents to "malice [sic] and defame India with intention to spread communal violence to destabilize the country with".

His goal is modest: That Ballmer, Page, et al, be summoned, brought from across the world to the courts in Delhi, charged, prosecuted, and punished under the Indian Penal Code sections 153(A), 153(B), 292, 293, 295(A), 298,109, 500 and 120B.

Anyone remotely familiar with the internet would dismiss this as bizarre: Extremism for shock value. But the issue goes beyond that. This petitioner indeed has remarkable coincidence with the views and intent of -- and thus, likely, the support of -- the establishment. So even if the present complaint is unlikely to find favor with the high court, or, worst case, the Supreme Court, this could be the shape of things to come in India - an India which aspires to be China.

India cannot pick out pieces of China that it wants to be like. There is a total picture that ensures that that regime endures, including not just infrastructure and industrial progress but also a totalitarian regime, an opaque justice system, a filtered internet, and overall, blanket media censorship enforced by extreme punishment. India isn't China, and simply cannot be.

But Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal may have rejoiced the order of Delhi High Court Justice Suresh Kait Jan 12, who cleared the decks for the prosecution of Facebook, Google, et al. He said those who do not remove offensive content "like China, we could block all such websites".

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow IBNLive on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

‘We did it!’ remarked Gitika Debnath waving her hands up, with a sigh of relief and joy after the three hours event. Well, the three hours event felt like a few moments of ecstasy that had been backed up by over twelve hours of careful planning and incessant publicity (in parks, notice boards and variety of hangout areas).
Held on 4th March 2012, ‘Chalo Gauraiya Ke Liye Ghar Banaye’ was a workshop for children of grade 4th to grade 7th and the target was to introduce them to the most common family of bird, the House Sparrow. The event was conducted by Rakesh Khatri and was organized by a team of three young adults, namely, Gitika Debnath, Jithin Chandran and Sahana Rajan. We were helped by over four teenagers of the locality in arranging the venue for the program. The event on Bird House was a sudden one and the doubt about the turnout was lingering. Moreover, this was the first event of its kind in our locality. Well, over forty five kids joined us in this endeavor. To generate enthusiasm among the children, the prime method used were educational interaction and ‘work with hands’ strategy.

Educational Interaction: Rakesh Khatri gave a kick-start to the event with a fun question-and-answer communication with the children. The children were asked about the ten kinds of birds they knew, except for Pigeon and Crow. The next query bounced on other bird-related topics and we were taught to make the bird house. With activity supported by entertaining contact, the children grasped the making of the bird house quickly and the next five bird houses constructed by them rolled in quickly.

Work with Hands: The generation of the bird house was an exciting task. From the settling of newspaper inside the shell (the moist bedding for the little sparrow) to the roping the dry grass around the shell to set seal to the bird house, the kids eagerly waited for their chance to do their allotted task. Working with Hands helped them to have fun and allowed us to subtly drop in data about the environment. In this way, while promoting crafts as an art, we succeeded in teaching children to reach out to the nature in new ways.
Empowering the environment through the youngsters of today is the prime task of nature-lovers. This event is an opening to a plethora of more effective and successful programs, which will not only spread love for the nature but will powerfully, enrich the mind of the children towards self-development.
Report · March 6 at 8:35pm
Bilal Khan likes this.

Nature Forever Society helps people conserve sparrows

By Rama Menon

10 Mar 2012

On March 20, when World Sparrow Day is celebrated, Nashik-based environmentalist Mohammed Dilawar can tell himself: ‘Well, I have done it’. For, his Nature Forever Society has succeeded in raising awareness among the common man from every nook and corner of the country on the need to conserve sparrows.

It has been few years now since Dilawar realized the importance of including the common man in sparrow conservation given the fact that sparrows are not found in the wilderness but live in homes and the immediate surroundings of humans.

Mohammed Dilawar's efforts to save the sparrows is showing encouraging results
The new urban architecture that is not bird-friendly, the mushrooming microwave towers, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and the introduction of exotic plants in gardens, have all taken a toll on these hapless creatures. Once ubiquitous, they are now found in select pockets.

However, it is too early to lose hope. There are still some people who want to desperately invite the sparrows into their homes. The feeders and nest boxes made by Nature Forever Society (NFS) have come in handy for bird lovers.

My fourth floor apartment in Hyderabad boasts of five nests - two NFS nests, two natural nests and one Nike shoe box-turned nest. The millets (bajra) in the feeder has to be replenished every two weeks!

Subha Nair's 12th floor apartment in Malad, Mumbai, is testimony to the success of the nest box. She has a pair of sparrows nesting in the NFS nest box.

Vijayta Gupta has birds of all kinds flocking to her home in Gurgaon, including peacocks, parakeets, mynahs, and of course sparrows. She says, "I feed so many species in my balcony,” adding, “but my neighbours are particularly unhappy with squirrels because they feel -the once-slim and sleek squirrels now look like fat rats!"

Oan Dilawar of NFS adds, "may be your neighbours are not aware of the beautiful species residing in and around their homes. But it feels great to know that you are there to support all species right from a squirrel to a peacock."

The water-bath in Dushyant Parasher's Noida home invites not just birds but also squirrels. And they all live in peaceful co-existence!

Karthik Vallioor is not so lucky though. He says, "Chennai seems to have lost its sparrows. I installed my nest almost 3 months ago, but haven’t yet spotted any sparrows.”

"I had not seen a sparrow for a long time but surprisingly saw a lot of them at the Bangalore Airport and that too in the crowded restaurant. They were happily pecking at the leftover food in the floor and table," says D. Madan Mohan of Coimbatore.

At Nin Taneja's New Delhi home, bulbuls come and check out the feeder he has installed. He says there are squirrels and sometimes mynahs and doves, and Nin is still hoping that sparrows will come calling some day.

Pushpa Anand says her Dallas, Texas home has plenty of sparrow visitors. The rangoli (kolam) drawn with rice flour attracts scores of sparrows and she is always worried what will happen to them when she is out of town.

David Bale of the UK sums up the sentiments of sparrow lovers, "Thanks to Mohammed Dilawar and the Nature Forever Society for opening my eyes to the worldwide problem of declining sparrow populations.

“I feel most people in the UK think it's a problem only in London or only in some of UK's large cities. I work as a volunteer warden at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve in rural Cambridgeshire, 60 miles north of London. Two years ago we re-sited the feeding table at our Visitors Centre and since then we have had an increasing number of house sparrows visiting the centre."

Dilawar says he feels the happiest when he receives feedback from people about the sparrow visits to their homes. He rightly believes that it is difficult to convince people to save the tiger when they are unable to do anything to save the flora and fauna in their immediate surroundings.

Saving the sparrow could be just the right beginning to a more vibrant wildlife protection movement. To adopt a nest box or a feeder from NFS, you can check out:

Put the cartoon back on the front page: Kalam to media/"On the first page, when you see a cartoon, it puts a smile on your face.

Put the cartoon back on the front page: Kalam to media

Last Updated: Sunday, June 24, 2007, 00:00

New Delhi, June 24: Put the cartoon back on the front page of newspapers and bring a smile to the face of the reader. This is President A P J Abdul Kalam's advice to the Indian media.

"On the first page, when you see a cartoon, it puts a smile on your face. The rest of the news is about things like rape, theft and killing. The man or the child or the woman is happy to see the cartoon. You must bring back the cartoon on the first page," Kalam said during an interaction with journalists at its headquarters here.

"A man or a woman should smile in the morning. Don't make him or her unhappy," he said.

The President recalled that as a young person, the first thing he would look at when he picked up a newspaper would be the cartoon on the front page. "What I loved on the first page was the cartoon," he said.

Kalam said the editors might love political news, but people hate it.

The President also said mediapersons need to see beyond the capital for news. "Delhi is not the only place where things are happening," he said.

Bureau Report

IBNliveMore on: Khap panchayat, honour killing, murder, inter-caste marriage, IPC


All comments will be published after moderation.
from subrata.datta01 at 15:29, Jul 08, 2010

And the President of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi wants 30 % reservation for women in parliament when the govt headed by her party does not have the guts to deal with the khap panchayat killers with stringent laws. What a fraud in the name of votes. Truly the Congress has degenerated into a party of opportunism. I hope the Supreme Court will crack the whip on the govt.

Subrata Datta
from neeraj_n at 14:44, Jul 08, 2010

To politicians from Haryana: This is not about 'marriage laws and its guidelines' in the Republic of Haryana, it is simply about 'right of living' in Republic of India.

from majjiraj at 14:04, Jul 08, 2010

It is such a shame that our elected members are not wanting to pass a law against the Khaps just because they might lose some votes. It is high that a law is passed and curbed at the root by all including public and the officials. India would become another Taliban land if we don't stop it now. And all those MPs who are against a strict law should be barred from contesting any future elections and they should be suspended immediately without any fail.

from jazz..2811 at 13:53, Jul 08, 2010

Having reservations for woman in the parliament will not improve their plight. We all need to create an environment where woman are treated as humans and not animals.

Punishing the guilty in the honor killing case will be a step in the right direction. At this moment of time people think that they can continue with the crimes just because they have "links " or "money".

Our judiciary should act before the people forget that they exist also

* Cabinet approves new symbol for Indian Rupee
* First flight touchdown at IGI airport's T3
* RSS under the scanner for links to Hindu terrorists
* NCW slams MP govt for forcing virginity test
* Curb terror against India: US NSA warns Pak

Most Shared

* Cabinet approves new symbol for Indian Rupee
* Shipping Ministry asks for report on chlorine leak
* Andhra protester dies in police-farmer clash
* Farmers, police clash in Andhra, one dead
* Court rejects CBI plea to conduct narco tests

Most Discussed

* Cabinet approves new symbol for Indian Rupee
* RSS under the scanner for links to Hindu terrorists
* Curb terror against India: US NSA warns Pak
* Andhra protester dies in police-farmer clash
* First flight touchdown at IGI airport's T3

UPA'S -5POINT PLAN...OLD NEWS REFRESHING FOR G.K...VQ: Give me an illustration?After the great election verdict last weekend, it has been a week of great expectations. Fiscal stimuli, relaxing foreign direct investments (FDI) limits, energy policy reform, rationalization of subsidies, fiscal responsibility, taxation changes, infrastructure building, judicial and police reforms, banking and insurance liberalisation, education reform, job creation among others. The list of demands facing the Manmohan Singh government has now gone into many pages and may need many terms to fulfil.IBHA

UPA agenda: The five point plan! Published on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 15:13 | Source : CNBC-TV18 Updated at Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 14:01 UPA agenda: The five point plan! Nifty BSE | NSE 06/07/12 Are Mutual Funds betting on Nifty? After the great election verdict last weekend, it has been a week of great expectations. Fiscal stimuli, relaxing foreign direct investments (FDI) limits, energy policy reform, rationalization of subsidies, fiscal responsibility, taxation changes, infrastructure building, judicial and police reforms, banking and insurance liberalisation, education reform, job creation among others. The list of demands facing the Manmohan Singh government has now gone into many pages and may need many terms to fulfil. Cyril Shroff of Amarchand Mangaldas and Bharat Vasani, Corporate Counsel at the Tata Group, draw up a list of achievable targets in corporate law. Here is a verbatim transcript of the exclusive interview with Cyril Shroff and Bharat Vasani on CNBC-TV18. Also see the accompanying video. Q: What would you like to see this government adopt as its priority agenda when it comes to the space of corporate law and regulation? Shroff: There is a historic opportunity for legal and policy reforms both at a legislative level as well as at a regulatory level. I don�t think we should miss that. This can be used to drive many agendas forward. The way I look at it is this should be a comprehensive view on what is required for growth and for driving business forward to look at it from a correct process point of view as well as from a quality of regulation point of view. I would like to see this both in a long-term, medium-term and a short-term context and lay down four-five key themes around which this effort should be structured where there is a risk of trying to do too much and in that process not achieve anything at all. I look at it from the point of view of business � what is it that they actually require in order to get going to create a more conducive atmosphere. So my five themes which I thought would be relevant are firstly entire area of entry into India and establishment of a new business which applies equally for Indian businesses as well because to have to get something going, we know how difficult it is. So the entire area of business establishment and organization would be my first theme. Within this theme one would capture the things like FDI regulation, business organization principles such as Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) law - things of that nature. That is theme number one. My theme number two would be issue surrounding the normal governance and administration of enterprises once they are up and running that would pick up various aspects of corporate governance - clause 49, things of that nature as well which deal with the normal day-to-day business. The third big area which requires to be properly thought risk capital formation and that covers the entire area of our securities market. The issuance procedure � are we on the right track on all of them, are principles of market integrity being properly observed or not, new classes of investors, new instruments, things of that nature would be picked up within that bucket as well. The fourth theme would be the entire area of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity because we know as market gets more sophisticated and as economies grow, M&A activity is very critical in achieving both the health of the market and to make sure that investor interest is actually protected. There are lots of hurdles in smooth M&A activity both in the public as well as on the private side. So that entire area requires to be thought through in a very strategic kind of way. Lastly, bankruptcy and insolvency � the true test of capitalism is the bankruptcy regime because a bankruptcy regime ensures that risks lie where they should fall. If you would have an inefficient bankruptcy regime, you have an incentive to be inefficient so that is one big area which requires to be properly thought through and we need a world class bankruptcy regime. Continued on next page ... UPA agenda: The five point plan! Published on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 15:13 | Source : CNBC-TV18 Updated at Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 14:01 UPA agenda: The five point plan! Nifty BSE | NSE 06/07/12 Are Mutual Funds betting on Nifty? Q: What you are saying is what you don�t want is any sort of knee-jerk broad policy action in the next two-three months in fact you would rather have them move within time period of 10 months or a year or a year and a half but move with a well thought out policy response to these four-five issues that you have led out? Shroff: Completely because we know as practitioners that poorly thought-out and badly drafted regulation leaves long-term damage on the country and it takes generation sometimes to reform this. So I would like to see something more deeply thought through and implemented because we have this historic opportunity to do it right once and for all. Q: Corporate India is very impatient, you have seen CEO after CEO come on to our channel in the last one week and lay out this long list of demands. So how would you reconcile what India Inc needs and the speed in which it needs it to what Mr Shroff is saying which is �don�t move too fast, don�t come out with half baked policy measures, take your time, take a year, think about it and come out with well thought-out policy moves, would you agree? Vasani: Completely, I would like to emphasize one aspect which bothers investors whether domestic or international and that is the clarity on the rules of the game. I think this is one fundamental area where we have not come out very prominently in the past. In fact the certainty of the regime and the clarity of the rules of the game that what is written we will get is one area government should think of seriously and when it comes to press note 2, 3 and 4, there is a serious apprehension that there will be one more clarificatory note and many of the things which have been promised, some of them maybe taken away. So if the government can seriously decide on a regime which is stable, consistent not necessarily a knee-jerk reaction as Mr Shroff says but a regime where everybody knows what are the rules of the game whether it is in terms of entry into India, exit from India, M&A, capital raising whichever is said I think this is a kind of a fibre on which the government of India should work. Q: Starting with Mr Vasani - I think on the issue that Mr Shroff made on the entry and establishment of businesses in India both domestic and foreign. What do you think needs to be addressed in a longer-term policy? Vasani: Any foreigner when he enters the country he wants to see the ease of entry as also the ease of exit. While I think as far as the first part is concerned - the ease of entry � the government has done considerably over the last few years. Q: The ease of exist still seems to be sticky issue? Vasani: Very sticky issue and there is absolutely no clarity on that and I think any good country should have a good provision for very safe and easy exit for any foreign company which is trying to setup a big place in India and that is one part which is not addressed. Second thing is that even at the time of entry or exit Reserve Bank of India still regulates the pricing for the foreigners. Do we need to now -with a comfortable foreign exchange reserves that we have and that�s a very source of irritation to most of the investors that � why do we need to have a pricing. I know that I can�t get a handsome margin because ultimately the pricing, the cap is decided by the Reserve Bank of India and I cannot get more than the cap. So these are some of the areas where I think the government needs to seriously think through the FDI policy regime entirely which deals with the entry and exit of the foreigners as also the corporate regime. Shroff: There is lot of it is just process irritation because you can just streamline processes in terms of simplification. For instance if one want to form a company one would think that one could do it in a matter of a week. We know that very often it takes six-eight weeks to get a company form with all the processes that are involve. These are fairly simple procedural things which nobody should swath about but can be just simplified in order to ease the entry process. Q: What is it? Shroff: Exactly and just at the bureaucratic level there are still a lot of hurdles. I think they are working in the right direction but I think we now need to set an agenda and achieve certain measurable benchmarks that a company formation shouldn�t take more than a week and it should be a fairly straightforward process - this is just an illustration or the whole bunch of approvals that are required for so many fairly simple things that need to be done. Those are areas where procedurally as well as substantively a lot can be done. We have made good progress, I agree with Bharat on the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) regime. If you take a historical perspective, we are far more liberal than many other countries. UPA agenda: The five point plan! Published on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 15:13 | Source : CNBC-TV18 Updated at Wed, Jul 08, 2009 UPA agenda: The five point plan! Nifty BSE | NSE 06/07/12 Are Mutual Funds betting on Nifty? Q: I won�t ask you to elaborate on that but the whole issue of FDI caps also needs considerable rethinking really how open do we want to be and if we decide to be partially close than lets freeze that for a period of a few years so that there is clarity on that entire process, its not back and forth and left to bureaucratic interpretation? Shroff: On that point the conceptual change made in Press Notes 2, 3, 4 on FII (Foreign Institutional Investor), FDI and all other firms of investment being in the same bucket, that I think is a fundamental mistake. We need to get that thought through properly in terms of whether these are on the same variety, the equal or not. I don�t think they are. Q: The second point that you brought out and this could be very broad, it could go back to some of the motherhood issues that we have been talking about in the last three-four years which is governance and administration. To me the most immediate thought that comes to mind is the fact that for instance independent directors, the whole institution of independent directors � that concept needs rethinking in this country because at one level we have not put in any roles or responsibilities on the other there are very high expectations and definitely very high legal liabilities as we have discussed in detail. So are those the points that you are talking about? Shroff: That�s a very good example of that and all sorts of administration issues which impact a company in its normal day to day operation, there is so much irritation there. Q: Give me an illustration? Shroff: I saw so many forms that had to be filed for no purpose at all and it�s not an easy process many of them of course have been converted into e-format so it has got better but it still not � and there is a whole industry surrounding these forms and processes some of which is completely futile. Vasani: Just to supplement his point, one classic example �for 20 years we have been debating that whether the directors who are residing outside should be allowed to participate through video conference in the board meeting � nothing has happen. Q: They are allowed to participate through video conferencing, right? Vasani: No. It�s a mistake. That�s a proposal pending before the Parliament. Q: Is that right because in the last two Satyam board meetings in December? Vasani: That�s not counted for the purpose of quorum. You can participate but you are not counted as the legal process is not changed. So, something as simple as that needs correction. Shroff: This is an illustration of the normal stuff that needs to be fixed on corporate law. Q: The third point that you brought up was capital formation and efficiency of market � again this can be a very large issue but specifically in that what are the action points that you would like to see being tackled both in a thought process and then finally culminating in a policy process? Shroff: I think you should look at more varieties of instruments. We have too few in the menu of options that are available even this discussion on non-voting and differential rights that has gone on for too long. I do not know why the debate is still taking place. Sophisticated economy you should have a range of options in terms of instrument and so long as you have a good disclosure and enforcement regime let the market decide what they want. It should not be so prescriptive. So more varieties of instruments, a greater variety of investors� for instance family offices � that�s a huge area of capital, huge source of capital and I think we need to have some view on that on long-term basis as to whether we are going to allow them and in so and what terms for e.g. I think we need more reform in terms of market integrity principles. Q: Doesn�t this all fall under the purview of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)? Shroff: I am looking at capital market; I am not looking at this only as a company law and also securities market. Q: But can we break this up on what we need the government to do because Sebi�s business continues day after day irrespective to who is in power so to speak and we do know that they are looking at insider trading norms and all of that they had come out with new rules in last two years or so? Shroff: I do not want to look at it only in terms of what the government of India can do but really what the system can do and when it has a right political backing from the government, it�s easier to implement a lot of these things. Q: Diversity of instrument, diversity of investors and then basic ease of market principles and then like you said market integrity systems? Shroff: Correct and insider trading is a good example where we have rules where � if you are due diligence for instance on a large M&A (Merger and Acquisition) transaction you could be hit under the insider trading level. So that doesn�t make sense at all. UPA agenda: The five point plan! Published on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 15:13 | Source : CNBC-TV18 Updated at Wed, Jul 08, 2009 at 14:01 New Projects in Noida Best Properties to Live in Noida. Great Location to Invest. Like this story, share it with millions of investors on M3 UPA agenda: The five point plan! Nifty BSE | NSE 06/07/12 Are Mutual Funds betting on Nifty? Q: Let me come to company�s bill: two-three changes that you would like to see in the bill that you would like to see in the bill that was introduced then lapsed and will now be introduced again eventually? Vasani: Yes, the first part classic one is the non-voting shares. I don�t know why they want to delete it in � in fact it was recommended by Dr. Irani Committee that this would be there. Q: I think one of the Tata Group companies already has one DVR (Differential Voting Rights) Vasani: Tata Motors� has already in the market. The second major change is � I think the entire process of M&A which I believe needs a kind of fast track approach. Nowhere in the world holding a subsidiary companies M&A will require a court approval. So contractual mergers we need to allow and that part needs to be properly articulated in the new company�s bill. In the minority squeeze out they have brought the provisions but I do not think they are adequately drafted well. Q: The minority squeeze out again goes into the delisting provisions because they are all part of the same. Vasani: They are interlinked but company�s act provision also should be there � if minority squeeze out today is almost impossible. We tried in one case and we failed. So these are some of the key issues which they need to change and also the entire gamut of this Inter corporate Investment Laws Section 372A. Today you do a cross border deal and you have to use a route of a subsidiary to go overseas and then do the transaction because you require a shareholders approval, you have to disclose everything in the explanatory statement which your competing bidders from other jurisdiction are not required to disclose. So these are whole host of reforms. Q: Would you like to add anything to that or should I come to the next issue which needs immediate attention which is competition, the competition bill. I think there have been lots of concerns on behalf of corporate India when it comes to the merger control aspect. You would like a rethink on that before it get action? Shroff: Yes and I hope it�s not too late already. Q: No, it hasn�t been action as yet? Vasani: My view is slightly different. I feel that industry does need two year moratorium. The current global economic crisis we have a very serious situation that Indian industry would need to consolidate. Q: A two year moratorium on the competition bill, is it � merger control not dominance? Those have come into force this week. So it is basically merger control that you think needs - I think maybe companies are asking easier way out that. What do you say? Shroff: At least we need clarity over there, may not go to the same extent that Mr Vasani went but probably lot more procedural clarifications, thresholds should be more reasonable looking at what has happened to the economy. Vasani: Why I am recommending the moratorium is that today there are many attractive targets availability at very attractive price because of the current global meltdown and you would be depriving an Indian corporate from acquiring those targets by putting one more gatekeeper in India which would take 210 days. Q: I am surprised that Tata Group still has an appetite for M&A. Vasani: I am talking for corporate India. I think it is very attractive and why not if some target is available at a good price. Q: Three things, competition commission and merger control, company�s bill and a re-look at some of the clauses and a quick clarification on press note 2,3 and 4 when it comes to the FDI policies. Shroff: I think something on governance and independent directors. Q: Mr Parekh of the primary market advisory committee at SEBI said that they are re-looking at the entire concept of independent director. So hopefully something should come out of that in the next 2-3 months. Vasani: But it is not easy to fix because you may fix it under company�s act but there are a whole host of other laws where the liabilities fixed on the directors and they need to bring out something which is a kind of an umbrella legislation which deals with this issue. Shroff: All independent directors are running away from their directorships.


NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE An Agenda for Development, Good Governance, Peace, and Harmony Elections to the 14th Lok Sabha April-May 2004 Introduction The first National Democratic Alliance Government was elected to office in 1998. It was re-elected in 1999. Under Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visionary leadership, the NDA is seeking a renewed mandate, in the 2004 General Election, to serve the nation for another five years. The NDA had promised to end political instability created by the Congress party's dangerous destabilizing tactics. We have done so by giving India a stable and purposive government under an able leader. Adhering to the canons of "Coalition Dharma"mutual trust, regular consultation, consensus building, and acceptance of a common approach, the NDA has shown how a coalition can work unitedly to fulfill the people's aspirations. We have lived up to our 1999 manifesto declaration: "The NDA is a representative of both national interests and regional aspirationsthe NDA is … the mirror-image of our nation's unity in multifaceted diversity, rich pluralism, and federalism." The NDA Government has taken India forward on all fronts during the past five years. Our common manifesto in the 1999 elections was called, "An Agenda For a Proud, Prosperous India". Today, India is more prosperous than ever before. There is greater pride, hope, and self-confidence among Indians than ever earlier. Today, India stands tall on the international stage, with greater prestige and recognition. In five years, our country has demonstrated its ability to overcome the legacy of past problems and to embrace the opportunities of the 21st century. There is peace on the Indo-Pak border, entirely due to the Government's firm but bold efforts to enable bilateral relations to move from seemingly never-ending enmity to amity. An atmosphere has been created for resolving all outstanding issues through dialogue. This positive development is pregnant with possibilities not only for India and Pakistan, but also for the future of South Asia. Jammu & Kashmir basks again in the sunshine of regained peace, well set now on the road to development. The holding of free and fair elections in 2002, and the commitment to a dialogue process, has generated new hope in the State. Troubled parts of the North-East are seeing fruits of the NDA Government's consistent pursuit of peace and conflict-resolution through dialogue. The NDA Government is now resolving the problems left in these regions as legacies of long Congress misrule. We have finally left behind our years of stagnation and slow economic growth that marked most of the first fifty years of our independence. A GDP growth rate of 8%, which our opponents had cynically derided as "Mungeri Lal ke haseen sapne", has become real and will be exceeded, despite the country having faced a string of natural calamities. Last year, our efficient and effective management, of severe drought situation in fourteen States, was without precedent. Prices of essential commodities remain under control. Agricultural production will surpass all previous records. Our forex reserves exceed the $ 110 billion mark. Many areas of India's manufacturing sector, earlier written off by critics, have now attained global competitiveness. The past five years have not only brought pride to the "Made in India" label, but have also made "Served from India" the first choice of global companies. This sunrise sector has generated new employment. This new offshoot of the Knowledge Economy complements India's globally recognized strengths in software exports, which have grown more than five times in the last five years to cross Rs. 48,000 crore. Poor and inadequate infrastructure, which was the debilitating legacy of the Congress years, has been replaced by a world-class infrastructure for India, built by Indians, in India. We have set in motion what the Prime Minister has aptly termed as a "Connectivity Revolution". Telecom connectivity, Internet connectivity, highway connectivity, and rural roads connectivity are just the initial, visible successes of this revolution. We are determined to replicate these successes in other critical areas of infrastructure power, railways, airports, ports, irrigation, etc. where bottlenecks have severely constrained economic growth and employment generation. The past five years has seen a huge boom in housing construction. We have over-fulfilled our promise, made in 1999, of facilitating construction of twenty lakh new houses each year. We take pride in the fact that the Vajpayee Government built more houses for the rural poor under the Indira Awaas Yojana in the last five years than the Congress or Congress-supported governments did in the previous fourteen years since the inception of the scheme. "Our common manifesto in the 1999 elections was called, 'An Agenda For a Proud, Prosperous India'. Today, India is more prosperous than ever before. There is greater pride, hope, and self-confidence among Indians than ever earlier. Today, India stands tall on the international stage, with greater prestige and recognition." Creating one crore additional employment opportunities a year was an important promise contained in our 1999 manifesto. We have substantially fulfilled that promise. Between 2000-2003, 82 lakh employment and self-employment opportunities were created on average each year. The Rs. 1,000-crore Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana, started by our Government, is the biggest food-for-work program since Independence. Our Government launched some of the biggest-ever social development initiatives in the world. These include the Antyodaya Anna Yojana and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The coverage of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), which is the world's largest early childcare program, was greatly expanded. Major initiatives, such as establishment of a separate ministry for tribal affairs, were taken to promote the cause of social justice. We now seek a renewed term to carry forward our agenda. Responding to the aspirations and expectations of the people, the NDA has made "Development", "Good Governance", and "Peace", as the main issues for Election 2004. Our commitment to these issues is further affirmed in this Manifesto. India is prosperous, and developing. Millions of Indians have got employment, bought houses, use cell phones, and are getting better education for their children. Yet, millions more still await their chance of benefiting from and contributing to the Great Indian Dream. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's advocacy of "Antyodaya", the NDA Government is committed to reaching the fruits of development to all; for we believe that the deprived and the denied have the first call on the resources and the attention of the Indian State. Our vision India as a Developed Nation Our Goal: 8 to 10% GDP growth rate on a sustainable basis over the next five years, with eradication of poverty by 2015. Clear five-yearly milestones for economic growth and social development will be set for each State and district Our Guiding Principle: Faster growth with employment, equity, social justice, reduction in regional imbalances, and the urban-rural divide The NDA believes that GDP growth, at an annual rate of 8 to 10% on a sustainable basis, is achievable. This will realize our strategic vision of making India a Developed Nation. We have full faith in the capacity of our hardworking kisans and workers, enterprising businessmen and traders, innovative managers, professionals, talented scientists, and dedicated administrators to achieve this goal. The NDA is committed to making India an economic superpower through a seven-pronged strategy of: 1) India as the food factory of the world. 2) India as the global manufacturing hub. 3) India as the service provider to the world. 4) India as the centre of the knowledge economy. 5) India as the global tourism destination. 6) India as the global healthcare destination. 7) India as the global higher education destination. Agriculture The NDA Government gives highest priority to agriculture, since it is the mainstay of India's overall development. Our main objectives are: 1) Bring vibrancy to the rural economy. 2) Make agriculture remunerative even to small and marginal farmers by doubling the income of kisans by 2010, reducing the cost of cultivation, enhancing yields, and increasing prices receivable by farmers. We have, for the first time since Independence, set up a National Kisan Commission to address these imperatives. 3) Double the rate of growth of public and private investment in agriculture. 4) Make India's eastern States, which have fertile land and plenty of water, a new food basket of India. 5) Increase the access of our farmers to markets, to competitive sources of finance, and to knowledge that allows them to compete in a global economy. 6) Increase value addition and reduce wastage at every stage in the food chain linking the kisan to the consumer, so that both benefit. 7) Make India the "Food Factory" of the world by producing high quality processed foods for global markets. For achieving these objectives, the Prime Minister will formally launch the Second Green Revolution on August 15, 2004. Since agriculture is a state subject, the NDA will make efforts to secure the participation of States in implementing the following tasks under the Second Green Revolution, which will lead to an "Ever Green" Revolution. Land, Water, and Power 1) Work will commence on the River-Linking Project, whose principal beneficiaries will be our farmers in water-scarce areas. 2) Completion of all the ongoing irrigation projects (major, medium, and minor) within five years to create irrigation for an additional 35 million hectares of land. 3) A Master Plan for ground water recharge will be implemented throughout the nation. 4) Mandatory community participation in planning, execution, and maintenance of irrigation projects through mechanisms such as Water Users' Associations. 5) Every district will draw up a comprehensive water management and soil enrichment strategy. 6) A campaign will be launched to encourage drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and greenhouse technology. Land under these water-efficient systems will be increased five-fold in five years. Our slogan for this campaign would be "More Crop per Drop". 7) A National Mission for Rainfed Agriculture will be launched to benefit two-thirds of India's cropped area, and 80% of small and marginal farmers who are dependent on rains. It will focus on the watershed approach, use of better seeds, dissemination of relevant farm technologies, soil enrichment, and commercialization of everything that grows on arid lands, including weeds and wild plants. 8) Adequate supply of quality power will be ensured to all farmers by 2009. 9) Wasteland development for agriculture, horticulture, afforestation, bio-mass production, cultivation of bamboo and bio-fuels, and other productive uses will be taken up on a mission mode. All programs, currently under different ministries, will be brought under a single agency. The National Wasteland Development Board will be reactivated to put at least 25 million hectares of wasteland to productive use by 2009 that is, by doubling the rate of coverage under all the existing programs. The Centre will draw up a model law for better management of land and other natural resources through community participation, private investments, corporate-cooperative collaboration, and by making landless laborers, small farmers, ex-servicemen, and unemployed youth partners in every initiative for wasteland development. The model law will be commended to State Governments to pass similar legislations and set up suitably empowered authorities to implement this important mission. 10) Organic farming will be promoted to reverse soil degradation produce "natural" foods that are becoming popular the world over. Fiscal and other forms of support will be given for production of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides. 11) Leasing in and leasing out of lands within farmers would be permitted through enabling legislation. 12) With the cooperation of the State governments, all revenue records and land transfer systems will be computerized and linked to a Geographical Information System. Finance and Insurance 1) Greater Plan Funds shall be earmarked for agriculture, irrigation, rural development and allied areas. 2) A Task Force will be set up to recommend, within the first six months, policy and institutional measures to promote private sector investment in agriculture, especially in small and medium-scale irrigation projects, farm R&D, human resource development, post-harvest management, and marketing. Public and private investments, as well as investments by farmers themselves, will be synergized through partnerships. It needs to be underscored that private investment in agriculture does not mean corporate farming. 3) Timely and adequate farm credit to kisans is as important as timely and adequate water for his crops. Therefore, steps will be taken to ensure enhanced credit flow to the sector, make credit affordable at interests lower than prime lending rates (PLR), eliminate procedural delays, and introduce greater competition in credit delivery. The process of giving all eligible farmers a Kisan Credit Card will be completed before August 15, 2004. Card-holders will be able to use ATM facility wherever it exists. Our aim will be to create a well-developed farm credit system, which will end the need for farmers to go to money lenders. 4) Projects under the newly announced Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Fund of Rs. 50,000 crore for agriculture infrastructure and credit will be given fast-track clearance. 5) The Government will give priority attention to strengthening cooperative banks and other cooperative credit institutions. The Rs. 15,000-crore fund announced for this purpose in the interim budget will be made operational. Necessary steps will be taken to ensure that cooperative institutions are run on professional and sound commercial lines, while retaining their democratic character. 6) All States will be encouraged to bring their cooperative laws in conformity with the Multi-State Cooperative Act passed by the Centre. 7) Full support will be provided for setting up cold storages, godowns, grain banks, and fodder banks. Kisans keeping their produce in accredited godowns/grain banks will be entitled to avail bank credit with the introduction of Negotiable Warehouse Receipts. 8) The comprehensive crop insurance scheme and the newly launched farm income insurance scheme will be more intensively and efficiently implemented. Technology, Training, and Extension Services 1) Launch of a national program to use bio-technology for evolving plants that consume less water, are drought-resistant, contain more nutrition, give higher yield, and are environmentally safe. 2) Resources for agricultural R&D will be trebled in the next five years. Its focus on new yield-enhancing and cost-reducing agriculture practices, new seeds, etc. To close the gap between "Lab to Land", multiple kinds of partnerships will be established between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Krishi Vigyan Kendras, agriculture universities, agri-business companies, and farmers' organizations. 3) Agriculture extension and consultancy services will be made a thrust area, with private sector participation. Necessary bank credit and institutional support will be made available for the establishment of at least one "Krishi Seva Kendra" in every village. The "Kisan Call Centre" service (which uses a nationwide toll-free telephone number 1551) will be made operational nationwide and in all local languages. Besides benefiting farmers, these agri-consultancy services will create employment and income-enhancing opportunities for over five lakh educated youth and local agriculture experts. 4) Opportunities for education and training in agriculture and allied activities will be vastly expanded. Our aim will be to ensure that every farmer undergoes some training or participates in some farm-education program every year. 5) A comprehensive, countrywide program will be launched for the technological improvement of farm machinery, implements, and tools. Agricultural Markets 1) States will be given incentives to amend the Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and abolish mandi taxes. This will enable farmers to access competitive markets, sell their produce directly to processing industries and to consumers, thus realizing better prices. 2) All the remaining restrictions on the free movement of agricultural goods across any part of the country will be removed within one year. The Essential Commodities Act will be revised. 3) A Rs. 1,000 crore Mandi Development Fund will be created to support modernization of agriculture markets. 4) Commodity exchanges will be encouraged to reach futures trading services to all farmers through smaller contract sizes and by covering a wider range of crops. This will lessen the dependence on Minimum Support Prices. 5) The present system of setting Minimum Support Prices by the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices will be reviewed to further benefit all kisans. 6) The present system of procurement through the Food Corporation of India will be revamped to make it cheaper to buy, store, transport, and export food grains. 7) A chain of farmers' haats (markets), on the pattern of "Ryuthu Bazaar" in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, will be established throughout the country, where farmers can sell directly to customers. Food Processing 1) The NDA believes that the food processing industry can make our rural economy vibrant in the same manner that IT has made our national economy prosper. Currently, we process only 2% of the value of our agricultural produce. A Task Force shall come up with an action plan to raise this to 10% in five years. It will comprehensively address the main problems facing India's food processing industry: size, fragmentation, inefficiency, low value-addition, low quality standards, and inadequate logistical support. It will enable the industry to meet the needs of Indian consumers both at the low end and the high end. It will enable industry to access agriculture produce directly from farmers, and suggest ways to step up exports, including to organized retail outlets abroad. 2) Tariff and investment support for setting up food processing industries, especially in backward regions, will be stepped up. 3) The foremost task in food processing in India is to reduce the distance between production and processing. Therefore, every rural branch of a bank will be required to identify agro-processing potential in its region and finance such enterprises. Local administration will be required to provide necessary infrastructure support. We shall set up a chain of Primary Processing Centres close to the farmers. These will sort, grade, process, store, and pack agricultural and horticultural produce for shipment to markets and further value-addition. 4) A Unified Food Law, the lack of which is a critical impediment in the faster development of food-processing industries, will be enacted within the first six months. 5) An independent Food Regulatory Authority will be set up within six months. This shall be responsible for setting and enforcing standards for all food products. 6) A Task Force will be set up, within first three months, to recommend short-term and long-term measures to address the problems faced by sugarcane growers and sugar mills, and to enable Indian sugar industry to become a major player in global markets. Production of ethanol and power through co-generation plants will be stepped up. 7) India is the largest milk producer in the world. Yet, less than 5% of milk production is processed. A Dairy Industry Development Plan will be drawn up, within the first six months, with the principal aim of enhancing rural incomes and employment generation. It will provide increased fiscal and investment support for dairy units, especially in northern and eastern States. The focus of this plan will be doubling capacity in five years, technology upgradation, expansion of the domestic market, and realization of the industry's full export potential. It will also address the downstream side of the industry better species, fodder, veterinary services, credit needs of kisans, etc. 8) Major thrust will be given to the poultry industry to double egg production, quadruple poultry meat production, and increase exports from Rs. 250 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore. This is expected to increase employment in poultry from the current 20 lakh to 50 lakh in five years. Poultry farming will be recognized as an agricultural activity and all benefits applicable to agriculture will be extended to it. 9) An experts' committee will be set up, within thirty days, to recommend measures to minimize wastage and damages along the food chain. Crops 1) An action plan for massive crop diversification, multi-cropping, and doubling per-acre yields of all crops will be prepared. Every village will be encouraged to set its own yearly targets. Successful farmers will be suitably recognized. 2) Efforts will be intensified to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oil-seeds in five years. 3) Horticulture and floriculture production will be doubled in five years. Vegetable cultivation and mushroom farming, especially near towns and cities will be promoted. 4) Additional measures will be initiated for addressing the problems faced by growers of plantation crops-tea, coffee, coconut, areca nut, rubber, cashew and spices, for enabling India to retain its leadership position in these crops. 5) The national missions for development of bio-fuels and bamboo, which were launched last year, will be made operational. Cultivation of medicinal plants and aromatic plants, which have considerable export potential, will be further promoted. 6) A Technology Mission for improving jute production and value-addition will be launched. Animal husbandry and Fisheries 1) Animal husbandry, which provides full and partial employment to over two crore Indians, will be fully promoted to achieve the ends of rural prosperity and social justice. A National Cattle Development Board will be set up with adequate budgetary support. Among other things, it will prepare a program for improvement of livestock breeds, with a major thrust on genetic improvement of indigenous cattle, buffalo, and other animals linked to the rural economy. Establishment of Goshalas and Pinjrapoles will be encouraged. Efforts will be made to evolve consensus for passing a Central legislation for protection of cow and her progeny. Recommendations of the newly-established National Cattle Commission will be implemented. 2) A National Commission for Fisheries and Aquaculture will be set up for promoting all-round development of marine and inland fisheries, and speedy socio-economic progress of fishermen. Deep sea fishing industry will be developed to take advantage of India's long coastline and its exclusive economic zone. Fishermen's cooperatives will be helped to modernize their trawlers, set up cold storages and processing plants, and establish direct linkages with domestic and foreign markets. 3) India is the second largest wool producer in the world. However, our wool industry is by and large at a low level of quality and value realization. An action plan will be prepared for its modernization and expansion. The newly established Development and Finance Corporation for the Shepherd Community will be made operational. Agricultural Workers Effective steps will be taken to ensure sustainable year-long employment, with minimum wages for agricultural workers. They will be brought under the social security scheme for unorganized workers and the proposed Antyodaya Swasthya Yojana. They will be given priority in rural housing. Training programs for raising their productivity and skills will be encouraged. Other issues 1) Women play a major, albeit unrecognized, role in Indian agriculture. A special scheme will be launched to empower women in kisan families, enrich their capabilities, and augment their incomes. 2) An extensive campaign will be launched to educate Indian kisans about the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, the challenges and opportunities in global trade in agriculture after the removal of Quantitative Restrictions, and how a partnership between the government, businesses, cooperatives, and kisans can help the country meet the challenges and capture the opportunities. The "Second Green Revolution" will follow a strategy distinctly different from the one that defined the First Green Revolution. The latter focused mostly on the popularization of high-yielding crop varieties to overcome food shortage. In contrast, the Second Green Revolution will embrace the entire Agro-Economy, from the farmer to the consumer. It will harness a bouquet of new technologies, space, IT, BT. It will also focus on water-efficient irrigation systems, environment-friendly pesticides, precision agriculture, agriculture markets, food processing, rural infrastructure, etc. Many of the activities mentioned above are looked after by different Departments and Ministries. For better coordination, a Cabinet Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development will be set up. Rural Development The Government's main thrust in the coming five years will be to bridge the rural-urban divide through implementation of the PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) program. Under this program, to be implemented in ten thousand rural clusters across the country in five years, every cluster will be provided with four types of connectivities: (a) physical connectivity, which includes good roads and power supply; (b) digital connectivity, which includes modern telecom and IT services; (c) knowledge connectivity, which includes good schools and vocational training centers; and (d) market connectivity, which includes good market infrastructure. Specifically, Village electrification will be completed by 2007 through an accelerated implementation of the program to cover 1 crore households and 1 lakh villages. All villages will have primary health centers within the village, dispensaries within five to eight kilometers, and referral hospitals within twenty kilometers. PURA will be launched before August 15, 2004. Rural Sanitation Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is the cause of 80% of all diseases and ailments. 67% of India's rural population and 22% of our urban population has no access to toilets. This is a source of embarrassment and discontent among the youth, especially young women. The NDA is committed to changing this sad reality. The Total Sanitation Campaign, launched by the NDA Government in 1999, has been a remarkable success. Necessary funds will be mobilized to ensure that all the TSC projects will be fully implemented in five years, ensuring that all the 8.4 crore uncovered rural households will have access to basic sanitation either their own or community-owned. There shall be no Anganwadi centre or rural/urban school without water and toilet facilities by 2005. Priority will be given to girls' schools and schools in tribal and remote areas. Drinking water More than Rs. 40,000 crore have been invested in the rural water supply sector during the last five decades by the Central and State Governments. However, the results have not been commensurate with this investment, primarily because the schemes did not have an in-built mechanism for people's participation, panchayat ownership, and bureaucratic accountability. The NDA Government removed this shortcoming by launching the "Swajaldhara" program in December 2002. Under this, 90% of funds on capital cost would be given by the Centre directly to Panchayats. The remaining 10% of the capital cost and full Operation and Maintenance (O&M) responsibility will be borne by the community. All the existing rural drinking water supply schemes would be brought under the reforms agenda of "Swajaldhara"-making them "demand-driven" rather than "supply-driven" to ensure their long-term sustainability. Adequate funds will be mobilized for its enlarged implementation with the following commitments: (a) Every rural habitation in the country, including those that have slipped back into the Partially Covered or Non-Covered status, will be provided an assured source of drinking water supply by 2007; (b) A community-based program for water quality monitoring would be initiated; (c) Water supply departments and nigams of State Governments would be reformed; (d) Panchayats would be given incentives for rainwater harvesting, raising ground-water levels, and augmentation and cleaning up of water sources such as village ponds, wells, rivulets, etc. Infrastructure The Connectivity Revolution, which was launched by the NDA Government, and has already yielded visible results in several sectors, will be further accelerated. Specifically, our Government will do the following in the coming five years: Roads 1) Timely completion of the National Highway Development Project (nearly 15,000 km): Phase 1 (Golden Quadrilateral) by 2005; Phase 2 (East-West and North-South Corridors) by 2008; Pradhan Mantri Bharat Jodo Pariyojana (additional 10,000 km, linking all those State capitals not covered by NHDP, as well as important commercial centers in all the States, to NHDP with 4/6 lane highways) by 2009. 2) Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana: Linking all rural habitations with a population above 1,000 by 2005; linking all rural habitations with a population above 500 by 2007. 3) Private investment in public transport systems will be encouraged. States will be given incentives to speed up restructuring of their road transport corporations. At least five thousand new buses will be added to their fleets every year through a special fund. A separate fund for improvement of all the Inter-State Bus Terminals and District Bus Stations will also be set up. 4) In addition to road construction, a program for creation of road services like parking facilities, hotels, shops, medical facilities, business centers, food kiosks, etc. in a well-planned manner, will be taken up. 5) Road safety has not received adequate attention in India. As many as 78,000 people die in road accidents each year. The Government will start a National Road Safety Mission, with necessary legal, regulatory, technology and mass awareness measures. "Sampoorna Sadak Connectivity" A new program called the "Pradhan Mantri Pradesh Sadak Yojana" (PMPSY) will be launched to improve all the State Highways and district roads in the country. These are the weak link in our road network that includes world-class national highways on one end and rapidly improving rural roads on the other end. The blueprint of this program, including its funding and monitoring, will be prepared after detailed consultation with State Governments. Reform of State PWDs and participation of the private sector will be the highlights of this new project. PMPSY will provide the missing link in the comprehensive road connectivity revolution, to be called the "Sampoorna Sadak Connectivity" initiative, whose other three links are already being implemented by our Governmentnamely, National Highways Development Program (NHDP), Pradhan Mantri Bharat Jodo Pariyojana (PMBJP), and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Railways Railways are the lifeline of our nation. They are also the most important logistical support system for the Indian economy. Unprecedented expansion and modernization of India's railway infrastructure over the next five years will be our commitment. 1) Implementation of works under the Rs. 15,000-crore National Rail Vikas Yojana, launched in December 2002, will be completed in time. 2) Implementation of the Rs. 20,000-crore Remote Area Rail Sampark Yojana, which was announced in the interim railway budget in January 2004, will start this year. Under this ambitious new initiative, all incomplete railway projects in remote and backward areas of our country, whose completion by the earlier "Congress speed of implementation" would take 20 to 25 years, will be completed within the next five years. 3) We shall complete the rail connectivity from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, to complement the completion of the four-lane highway connectivity from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, by speedily implementing the Udhampur-Katra-Baramulla railway line. The first ever train will roll into Kashmir Valley before August 15, 2007, carrying the Prime Minister as its first passenger. 4) Implementation of works under the Rs. 17,000-crore Special Railway Safety Fund, set up by the NDA Government in 2002, will be completed in time. The Technology Mission for Railway Safety will be made operational in 2004. Our aim will be to reach standards of railway safety in advanced countries by 2008. 5) Speed of goods trains on important lines will be increased to over 100 kmph. 6) The Railway Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) will be completely overhauled to make it a world-class R&D organization, with strong external linkages, capable of infusing new technology, which our railway network requires. 7) Operation Cleanliness will be completed by 2007 to give a new image to Indian Railways. 8) Metro rail projects will be started in many more cities. The "Skybus" system shall be promoted on a pilot basis. 9) At least one bullet train project will be initiated. 10) A Rs. 5,000-crore Railway Station Improvement Fund shall be set up to improve passenger amenities in all important railway stations over five years. The fund will be raised from railway users and augmented by public-private partnerships. Railway Reforms Long-overdue reforms in the structure and functioning of Indian Railways, its finances, tariff fixation, investment plans, and project implementation will be speedily implemented. All non-core activities will be corporatized with their own effective board management. Critical projects will be re-designed to attract non-budgetary and private investments. The huge value hidden in the assets of Indian Railways, and in its under-utilized capacities, will be realized. Devolution of powers to zonal and lower levels will be effected. An independent Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority will be set up on the lines of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Ports and Shipping 1) "Sagar Mala", conceived by the NDA Government in 2003, is the most ambitious ever program for development and modernization of India's ports, shipping, shipyards, and inland navigation. Its aim is to make India a major maritime nation in the world, harnessing the long coastline that our country is blessed with. To be completed in ten years, it envisages new investments of over Rs. 100,000 crore, coming mostly from private and foreign investors. "Sagar Mala" will be launched before August 15, 2005. 2) The operational efficiency of all major Indian ports will be raised to global standards within five years. Towards this end, the Government will effect complete overhaul in the management of Indian ports, including corporatizing each port and bringing private investment and management skills. 3) Sethusamudram project in Tamil Nadu will be speedily completed. 4) Rail and road connectivity to ports will be further improved. 5) The value of unused and under-used land and production assets in ports will be realized. 6) Major boost will be given to global shipping under the Indian flag. 7) Employment potential in seafaring will be fully harnessed through a National Maritime University of India with associated training colleges. Airports and Civil Aviation 1) The proposed new "Open Skies" Civil Aviation Policy will be adopted within the first thirty days. 2) Ten Indian cities, designated to be developed as Global Cities, will have world-class airports. 3) Planned fleet acquisition program of Indian Airlines and Air India will be completed before the end of 2004. Air India will be promoted as India's proud national carrier. 4) All airports in the country will be brought under the framework of public-private partnerships. 5) Air connectivity to remote areas, such as in the North-Eastern States, will be further strengthened. 6) New international airport projects for Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad will be completed within the next three to four years and the Prime Minister will inaugurate them before August 15, 2008. 7) One hundred small airstrips across the country will be activated for daylight flying of small passenger and cargo planes. This will bring air connectivity to many district centers in remote and backward areas. Telecom and IT infrastructure 1) Further accelerating the revolution in telecom connectivity, which began in 1999, the number of telephones will be increased from 7 crore at present to more than 30 crore by 2009. This will ensure that, on average, every alternate Indian family will have a telephone. 2) No Indian village will be without telecom services after 2007. Rural teledensity will be increased more than five-fold in five years. 3) The number of Internet connections will be increased five-fold from 40 lakhs at present to 2 crore. 4) PCOs will be encouraged to become multi-purpose IT kiosks and serve as the e-interface between citizens and providers of services, including government services. These will create several lakh new employment opportunities. 5) Broadband communication can revolutionalize all sectors of the Indian economy. It can also bring about a paradigm change in the content and delivery of education and entertainment. Therefore, a comprehensive policy will soon be formulated to promote affordable broadband connectivity. This will embrace all the landline and wireless phone users, cable TV homes, and cinema halls. Promotion of state-of-the-art wireless technologies will be a key part of this policy. 6) India's economy, government and education will be IT-enabled at all levels. Implementation of a national E-Governance strategy will begin before August 15, 2004. E-Seva will be made the common platform for citizens to pay bills for electricity, telephone, water, etc., register property, procure and submit government forms, etc. We will drastically reduce the need for citizens to go to a government office for services which can rendered electronically. 7) IT in Indian languages, including in the area of content creation, will be given special thrust. 8) Postal services will be revamped, modernized, and IT-enabled to provide a range of commercial and governmental services to the people. 9) Every high school and every college in the country will be given access to a high-speed Internet connection with access to rich educational content in local languages. Meeting The Challenge Of Water 1) The River-Linking Project will be launched before August 15, 2004. An initial set of identified schemes will be implemented, with public participation, by 2015. An effective rehabilitation package for the project-affected persons shall be finalized and implemented. 2) Massive encouragement and legislative backing for local and micro initiatives such as watershed management, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, de-silting of tanks, lakes and reservoirs, restoration of wells, recycling of water, etc. 3) Cleaning up of rivers and traditional water bodies, with community participation, will be supported. 4) Desalination plants will be set up in coastal towns. 5) An independent Water Tariff Authority will be set up in each State to decide the water tariffs for industrial, commercial, residential, and agricultural usage. 6) A campaign will be launched to make people aware of the need to conserve every drop of water. In view of the utmost importance and urgency of this issue, a "National Drinking Water Program" will be launched within the first thirty days. The Ministry of Finance will be directed to provide all required resources to implement this program in a time-bound manner. A Task Force will be set up to work out the modalities of this program, including innovative ways of financing it. Power In 1998, the NDA Government inherited not only an extremely difficult power situation, but also a defective power policy and a flawed sector reform program. We took immediate steps to change the direction of reform and reorient the policies and programs with a view to setting right the situation. Priority was given to reforms in distribution by providing Rs. 20,000 crore for improving the distribution network and another Rs. 20,000 crore for giving SEBs incentives to reduce their losses. By enacting the Electricity Act, 2003, the NDA Government gave a big push to power sector reforms. Our future commitments in this critical sector will be: 1) Elimination of electricity shortages by 2012; significant reduction by 2009. 2) At least 50,000 MW of additional generation capacity will be created over the next five years. Work on projects with a combined capacity of 12,000 MW (of which 8,000 MW in the private sector) will start before the end of 2004. 3) Robust National Grid - 25,000 MW of power transfer capability by 2009. 4) SEB losses to be reduced to less than Rs. 5,000 crore by 2009 from the current figure of Rs. 24,000 crore. 5) T&D losses shall be significantly reduced. 6) Power sector reforms, envisaged in the Electricity Act, will be completed before end of 2004. 7) Every consumer of electricity in India, including farmers, would be connected through digital, tamper-proof meters in the next three years. 8) Implementation of the 50,000 MW Hydroelectric Initiative. 9) Implementation of the 100,000 MW Thermal Power Initiative. 10) A major push for harnessing non-conventional energy sources. A National Program for biomass-based decentralized power generation in rural areas will be started. 11) Energy conservation campaign will be intensified by promoting energy saving technologies. We promise that the above tasks, when accomplished, will create not only a vibrant and healthy power sector, but the country will experience the benefit of power sector reforms, in the same manner as is being experienced in the Telecom Sector. Industry 1) An action plan will be drawn up, within six months, to make India a global manufacturing hub in areas where we have established our competitive strengths: pharmaceuticals, automobiles, auto-components, engineering goods. New industries, especially in hi-tech areas, will be identified for development of such strengths. 2) In view of the good results achieved by industrial units that restructured themselves in recent years, this process will be further facilitated to cover all the remaining units. Our aim will be to eliminate all idle or grossly underutilized capacities in Indian industry in five years. 3) Indian capital goods industry, automobile industry, pharmaceutical industry, chemicals and petrochemicals industry, gems and jewelry industry will be encouraged to move up the technology ladder and value chain and to become global players. 4) Restructuring PSUs will be speeded up to enhance their profitability. Public sector executives will be empowered to have greater operational freedom and flexibility. Effective measures will be taken to stop losses incurred by ailing government undertakings. The process of disinvestment, which yielded good results this year, will be continued primarily to enhance and realize the hidden wealth in PSUs. 5) Out of the 461 projects being monitored by the Department of Programme Implementation, 100 will be taken up for fast-track completion in two years. 6) The Centre will facilitate the creation of a world-class industrial park in every State that is ready to lend necessary support. 7) We shall facilitate the creation of world-class Indian multinationals. Coal 1) New coal mining projects will be started in 2004 to enhance existing capacity by 50 million tonnes. Focus will be on coking coal required for steel plants, and on coal for thermal power stations. 2) Necessary legislation will be introduced for encouraging private initiatives in the coal sector. 3) Restructuring of coal PSUs to make them more efficient and profitable. Oil & Natural Gas 1) Enhanced oil production through increased exploitation of own resources as well as purchase of ownership in oil fields overseas. 2) Dependence on fossil fuels to be lessened through a concerted drive for harnessing non-conventional energy sources. 3) Competition in the oil and natural gas sector will be promoted through introduction of multiple players in the supply of products. 4) Commercial exploitation of discovered gas fields will begin by 2005. 5) Gas grid quadrilateral covering the entire country will be completed by 2007. 6) The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Bill will be enacted. Steel & Aluminum 1) Policy and fiscal support will be provided for doubling steel production capacity in five years. 2) Improvement in technology for production of special and high-value steels. 3) Aluminium plants will be encouraged to become global players. Mines 1) Policy will be reoriented, within three months, to encourage private investment in the mines sector. 2) Single-window clearance for harnessing of mineral resources such as iron ore, limestone, bauxite, and precious metals in an environmentally sustainable manner. 3) A raw material use policy will be unveiled in the mines sector. Textiles 1) The government will launch a new initiative, to be called the Kabir Integrated Handloom Development Project, with an initial allocation of Rs. 1,000 crore. To be implemented in all the nearly two hundred plus handloom clusters in the country, it will have five growth objectives: (a) to sustain and further increase the domestic market for handloom products. (b) to boost handloom exports from the current Rs. 3,000 crores to Rs. 10,000 crore in five years. (c) to lift every handloom weaver's family above poverty level. (d) to create sustainable employment for at least 10 lakh more people in the handloom sector. (e) to help handlooms move up the value chain. Necessary fiscal and other support will be given to achieve the above objectives. 2) The end of the Multi-Fibre Agreement and the quota regime in 2005 presents an opportunity to India's textile industry. The Government will assist the industry to reap this opportunity. Specifically, (a) The powerloom industry will be helped to move up the value chain by upgrading technology, adopting shuttleless looms and becoming integrated textile units. (b) Units in the mill sector will be enabled to become total textile solution providers. Consolidation and aggregation will be encouraged. (c) India's strength in being the largest producer of yarn will be innovatively harnessed. (d) Cotton growers' problems will be comprehensively addressed. 3) A Task Force for Garment Industry will be set up to catalyze a ten-fold increase in investment in making garments for both the domestic and export market. Globally, stitching garments is the fastest way to create medium-skilled jobs, especially jobs for women. India, which is among the most efficient suppliers of yarn, will be made the biggest garment maker in the world by 2009. Small & Medium Enterprises 1) The focus of our effort will be to facilitate SMEs becoming thriving businesses in a sustainable way, with a strong presence in global markets. Towards this end, we shall enact a SME Development Act and back this up with other regulatory reforms. 2) The Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme will be restructured by lowering its fees to 1% and by increasing the limit to Rs. 50 lakh. 3) A Rs. 1,000 crore Infrastructure Incubation Development Fund will be set up for incubating technocratic entrepreneurs in the SME sector. 4) Strong measures will be initiated, within six months, to put an end to the tyranny of the Inspector Raj, which breeds, corruption, drains the growth potential and demotivates our entrepreneurs in this sector. The cost of complying with regulation, and the time that SSI entrepreneurs have to spend in dealing with government authorities will be reduced to the barest minimum. Cottage Industries 1) A National Policy on Cottage Industries will be unveiled before the end of 2004. Its focus will be to ensure that this sector, which is crucial from the point of view of poverty alleviation, employment generation and social justice, is placed on a sustainable high-growth path in the fast-changing external environment. Provision of necessary infrastructure and credit support, strong linkages with domestic and export markets, product innovation to meet customer demand, technological upgradation, training and professional management will be comprehensively considered in the new policy. 2) Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and its affiliate bodies, which have done remarkable work in the past five years, will be given greater support. Specifically, the large network of KVI outlets across the country will be innovatively leveraged to strengthen this sector. 3) In particular, KVIC's Rural Employment Generation Program (REGP) will be fully supported to realize its target of creating 25 lakh additional employment and self-employment opportunities in the next five years. 4) It will be made obligatory for government offices, undertakings and government-supported business establishments to procure a certain percentage of products from the KVIC sector. 5) The "Khadi" brand will be repositioned domestically and popularized globally, in view of the recent success of KVIC's products bearing this name. 6) A "Vishwakarma Initiative" will be launched for craftspersons and rural artisans to preserve their traditional skills and knowledge, upgrade them, and adapt to new challenges. It will especially support the youth in artisan families to bring new technology and management practices to age-old family skills. Knowledge Economy The NDA is committed to making India as the Centre of the Knowledge Economy. 1) India's IT industry would be fully supported to reach the goal of $ 50 billion exports by 2008 by consistently moving up the value chain. Advanced IT applications will be encouraged. 2) India has a unique opportunity to become the "back office" service provider to the world. India's opportunity in the Call Centre business and BPO enterprises will be fully harnessed. Comprehensive measures will be taken to rapidly expand employment potential in these IT-enabled services, especially in high-value services that can be rendered by our talented professionals, teachers, doctors, lawyers, managers, accountants, consultants, scientists, etc. 3) Fiscal and policy support will be given to enable India to become a major manufacturer of telecom, IT hardware, and consumer electronics products both for domestic and export markets. Foreign companies will be encouraged to set up fabrication facilities for chips. 4) Government will strengthen support for the biotech industry through a variety of measures, including greater funding for development of world-class R&D capabilities. Besides supporting private R&D projects, greater public-private partnership between industry and academic institutions will be encouraged. The patent regime will be strengthened. 5) Licensing procedure for biotechnology industries will be streamlined and delays in clearances will be eliminated by completely overhauling existing regulatory agencies. There will be a single-point clearance for biotech products, to be issued within sixty days. 6) An action plan will be prepared to make India a global platform for research, design, and development. The Government will give incentives foreign companies that spend huge amounts on R&D to set up their R&D centers here. Our target is to see that at least 50% of the "Fortune 500" companies have a sizeable part of their R&D facility located in India. 7) The NDA Government is proud that a reversal of "brain drain" -"brain gain" -has started in recent years, for the first time in Independent India. We will convert this "trickle" into a "torrent" by creating attractive conditions for the best Indian talent abroad to return to India or to participate in collaborative work. We will also encourage foreign scientists and professionals to come and work here in big numbers. The time has come to declare India as the land of opportunity for top-order talent in diverse fields. Science & Technology The NDA believes that science and technology have a vital role in the success of almost every initiative that figures in this Agenda-from the Second Green Revolution to raising India's social development profile. We are proud that our Government not only checked declining support to India's science and technology establishment, but placed spending on S&T on an upward curve. 1) Our focus in the coming five years will be three-pronged: (a) further encourage public and private spending on S&T. (b) further improve the outcome and output of this spending to match global standards. (c) further integrate the activities and goals of our S&T institutions with India's overarching goal of becoming a Developed Nation by 2020. 2) The Science and Technology Policy will be vigorously implemented. 3) Space research, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and civilian applications of defense research will be further promoted, building on India's self-reliant strides in these areas. Partnership between CSIR, DRDO, ICAR, ICMR, ISRO, BARC, IITs, universities, and other government-supported research institutions with Indian industry will be speedily expanded. 4) ISRO's ambitious "Chandrayan" program, which aims to send India's first space mission to the moon before 2008, will be fully supported. 5) Further steps will be taken to remove bureaucratism in the functioning of our S&T institutions. Each of them will be encouraged to develop a bold vision for their future growth to achieve dominance internationally. 6) Fundamental research in diverse fields will be promoted. 7) Recent efforts to preserve, catalogue, and develop India's indigenous traditions in science and technology will be further encouraged. 8) Efforts at creating a scientific temperament in society, raising popular awareness about science, and promoting the spirit of innovation will be both recognized and supported. Trade & Commerce 1) Big changes have come about in the global trade environment in the past decade or so. Simultaneously, India's ambition to become a major player in global trade is being matched by growing domestic capability. In response to these two trends, a separate Ministry for International Trade will be created to deal with the challenges and to capture opportunities in global trade in a focused way. 2) Special Economic Zones will be promoted as vehicles for overall growth. An SEZ Promotion Council, with wide industry participation, will be created in the Ministry of Commerce as an apex body. 3) Multi-commodity exchanges-both in the private sector and through-public-private partnerships will be promoted. Our focus here will be to secure for India leading positions in global trade in agricultural commodities, metals, and a wide range of other commodities. 4) Organized retail trade on the international pattern will be promoted as a new engine of growth for trade and employment through appropriate legal and fiscal measures. 26% FDI in retailing will be allowed. Sourcing of Indian products by foreign retail chains will be encouraged. 5) India's vast market has potential for generating high growth and thereby reducing poverty and economic inequalities. Internal trade barriers hamper growth. They will be identified and removed. 6) EXIM Bank's capital base will be strengthened to enable it to lend more to exporters. "Behtar Bazaar Plan" Bazaar has always been at the center of India's social life and played a crucial role in driving the economy. Removing inefficiencies in our markets from the village haat to wholesale markets in cities and introducing new efficiencies into them will be our priority. The Centre will work closely with State Governments on a time-bound plan of action, to be called "Behtar Bazaar Action Plan", which will include the following initiatives: (a) Every city and tehsil town in the country will draw up its own "Behtar Bazaar Action Plans", with people's participation, identifying problems and solutions thereof. (b) Strengthening the connectivity to markets and provision of adequate infrastructure facilities power, water, telecom and IT services, parking lots, etc. and redevelopment/relocation where necessary, will be at the core of these action plans. (c) HUDCO and commercial banks will be encouraged to fund this initiative, to be implemented through public-private partnerships. For markets that mainly support agriculture and the rural economy, this will be considered priority sector lending. (d) Traditional trading communities in Indian society, who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field, will be suitably encouraged. Globalization 1) The NDA Government will continue to defend India's interests, especially the interests of our kisans, at the World Trade Organization. Along with other developing countries, we shall work towards restraining developed nations from securing unfair advantages in global trade, investments, agriculture, and services. 2) The NDA Government will prepare India to take advantage of the big shift that is currently taking place in the global economy. This shift favors a low-cost economy like India's, which has developed sufficient competitive strengths in cost, quality and technology, over high-cost economies in manufacturing and services. Our Government will enlarge these strengths by further reforming our economy, modernizing our infrastructure, enriching India's human resources, and augmenting our capabilities in science and technology. Housing The NDA Government remains committed to the goal of "Housing for All by 2010". 1) Encouraged by the success of our program to facilitate construction of twenty lakh additional houses each year, we propose to raise the target to thirty lakh each year. The additional one million houses will be meant exclusively for weaker sections of society. 2) Banks will be encouraged to extend housing loans with low interest rates to rural populations. 3) A new national program will be launched to enable people with kutcha houses in rural areas to upgrade them into pucca houses. 4) Cities will be encouraged to take up large-scale mass housing projects for the poor and middle classes. 5) States will be encouraged to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling Act, amend the Rent Control Act, and reduce stamp duty on property transactions and lease agreements. 6) The stock of rented houses will be vastly increased and renting a house will be made easier by providing a strong, but simple legal framework that protects the interests of both landlords and tenants. 7) Incentives will be given for investments in repairing dilapidated buildings. Urban Renewal The Government will launch a major national program for slum improvement and rehabilitation, based on a progressive national policy that harmonizes the basic living and livelihood rights of the urban poor with the imperative of planned urban development. Towards this end, the Valmiki Ambedkar Aawas Yojana (VAMBAY), which has met with enthusiastic response, will be redesigned and its scope will be widened to cover integral development of slum habitations. Innovative ways will be evolved for raising finances, maximizing people's participation, and strengthening the commitment of municipal bodies for the success of this initiative. The long-term aim of this initiative is to make Indian cities slum-free by 2020. 1) Municipal governance will be strengthened. 2) A model central law will be enacted to stop illegal encroachments. States will be encouraged to pass similar legislation. 3) HUDCO's lending for urban renewal projects will be further enhanced. Municipal bodies will be enabled to raise resources from the bond market for their urban renewable needs. 4) The size of the City Challenge Fund will be raised from the present Rs. 500 crore. 5) At least ten Indian cities will be developed as Global Cities, with world-class airports, efficient mass transportation systems, high quality of social infrastructure, vibrant cultural life and a dynamic environment for economic growth with strong global linkages. 6) The infrastructure and other urban renewal needs of Mumbai, the country's commercial capital, will be addressed. 7) We recognize that municipal bodies have become the weakest link in our system of governance. Also, the problems and needs of big cities have become too complex to be handled in old ways. Therefore, the NDA proposes to elevate municipal corporations in the ten proposed Global Cities to the level of City Governments, within their respective States. These would be vested with requisite financial, judicial, planning, and law-enforcement powers. After evolving a political consensus on this issue, necessary legislative and administrative changes will be introduced. 8) At least twenty new cities and satellite towns will be developed on completely futuristic lines. 9) An Urban Road Development Fund on the lines of the fund for NHDP will be set up. This will fund two hundred flyovers a year in smaller cities and big towns, as well as pedestrian subways and widening of roads. 10) We shall create a state-facilitated, but privately funded and implemented program of urban mass housing for lower and middle classes. 11) The "Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan" program will be redesigned with enlarged scope and enhanced resources to make our cities cleaner. It will be turned into a people's campaign with strong government support at all levels. Adequate number of community toilets, run on the pay-and-use principle, will be constructed within three years in every city. Efficient collection and productive utilization of garbage will be made mandatory. Cities and neighborhoods that demonstrate success stories will be suitably recognized. Informal Sector A National Policy for promotion of the Informal Sector will be unveiled before the end of 2004. It will provide livelihood protection to millions of people engaged in this sector, by freeing them from the scourge of extortion and harassment. Legal recognition will be accorded to entrepreneurs and self-employed people in the informal sector and their assets, so that they can enter into contracts, avail bank loans, benefit from various government schemes, and get better market access for their products and services. These and other measures will help them thrive in their myriad occupations, and create more employment opportunities. Self-help Groups Self-Help Groups in India are already a big success story. Over 15 lakh SHGs have been formed so far, providing bank-supported micro-finance to their members. Women's SHGs, under the "Swashakti" program, have been particularly successful in increasing family incomes of the rural and urban poor and in advancing the cause of women's economic empowerment. They also have the best record in repaying bank loans. Building on the experience so far, our Government will prepare an action plan to promote SHGs as a people's movement for participatory economic development. Innovative partnerships between SHGs, NGOs, banks, and markets will created. The private sector will be involved in a big way. Special incentives will be provided for women's SHGs to be formed in every neighborhood. This is possible in a wide variety of occupations such as SHGs of handloom weavers that enable them to access yarn, improve designs, and bypass market intermediaries to get better value for their products; or women's marketing co-operatives in vegetables, fish and other agro-products. Northern States, and in other areas where SHGs are still weak and fewer in number, will be specially targeted. We will give a formal, legal framework to SHGs. A suitable law, enabling micro-credit operations and nurturing them to be scaled up, will be enacted. Tourism An action plan will be prepared within the first six months for developing India as a major tourism destination in the world. One of its important milestones would be to increase foreign tourist arrivals from 30 lakh now to 1 crore by 2009, and 2 crore tourists by 2015. Its other features would be: 1) A strategic marketing plan (such as the "Incredible India!" campaign) with adequate funding will be implemented to achieve a strong India tourism brand. 2) Higher earnings from tourism from US $ 3 billion at present to US $ 10 billion by 2009. 3) Creation of 1 crore additional employment by 2009, and 2.5 crore by 2015, based on the multiplier effect of tourism on various economic activities. 4) Establishment of five world-class Indian Institutes of Travel and Tourism on the lines of IIMs, with private investment. 5) Visa on arrival; common tourist visa for SAARC countries; simplify visa requirements; reduce visa fees and grant visas within 24 hours. 6) Integrated development of India's 6,000 km-long coastline through cruise and beach tourism. 7) The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) provisions will be relaxed for tourism and critical urban development projects. 8) Rationalization and simplification of taxes; Tax holidays on large capital investments in tourism. 9) Creation of at least two world-class theme parks based on India's civilizational and spiritual heritage. 10) The North-East will be promoted in a special way to create new tourism destinations for foreign tourists. Domestic Tourism A similar focused approach will be adopted for promoting domestic tourism. Every district will be encouraged to prepare a District Tourism Development Plan, harnessing its own unique attractions, setting targets, and offering good infrastructure and affordable amenities. A new thrust will be given to developing adventure tourism and rural tourism. A Pilgrimage Tourism Development Fund will be created to improve infrastructure, amenities, and cleanliness standards at 100 important centers of pilgrimage across the country in five years. Substantial contribution to the fund will come from pilgrims themselves, through a user charge mechanism. Media and Entertainment 1) The entertainment industry occupies an important place in the cultural and social life of our nation. Its size, reach, recognition, and influence have grown remarkably in recent decadesboth nationally and internationally. The decisions taken by our Government have greatly helped India's film and TV industry in recent years. Both have a huge potential for further growth, including in the area of employment generation. A National Policy for India's Entertainment Industry will be prepared, within six months, to realize its growth potential. 2) A broad-based committee will be set up to formulate a National Media Policy that would comprehensively address all the complex issues that have emerged in recent years. Labour 1) The NDA Government has recently unveiled a progressive social security scheme for 37 crore people in the unorganized sector, the first of its kind since Independence. Its speedy and effective implementation will be our priority. 2) We recognize that in a labor-rich society like India, our strategy for achieving 8 to 10% GDP growth rate will have to rest primarily on boosting labor productivity. Therefore, a nationwide program will be launched to raise labor productivity by increasing the percentage of trained manpower in India's workforce from less than 10% at present to at least 50% by 2020 with five-yearly milestones. 3) The working of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will be reviewed and necessary steps will be taken for its improvement. 4) Recommendations of the Second Labor Commission will be implemented with necessary modifications to further strengthen welfare, training, and employment creation provisions. Environment Protection The NDA views the depletion of India's precious environmental assets with great concern. We believe that sustainable development is possible with the effective protection of all our environmental assets. We shall: 1) Building on the recent achievement in increasing India's forest cover, further measures will be taken to promote afforestation, social forestry and agro forestry. States where depletion has reached critical levels will receive greater attention. Joint Forest Management, which institutionalizes community partnership, will be further strengthened. 2) Vehicular pollution will be controlled by stringent standards on all motor vehicles at the manufacturing stage itself and by promoting the use of clean fuels. 3) Environment impact assessment of for development projects and industrial clusters will be strengthened. 4) Development of "Green" technologies will be further encouraged. 5) Regulation of pollution control norms will be decentralized to States and local self-government bodies so that the people suffering from pollution have a say in the mitigation process. Employment Generation Strategy The NDA is committed to the goal of eradicating unemployment. Our Government will continue to follow a strategy of accelerated economic growth, which is capable of generating gainful employment for all those who can work. An essential aspect of this strategy is the recognition that the nature of employment generation in India, in line with trends in many other countries, has changed with the changing nature of our economy. Employment generation in government offices and in the capital-intensive segment of industry has a reduced role in this strategy. However, employment and self-employment opportunities are coming up on a large scale in services and in the unorganized sector whose relative weightage in the Indian economy is steadily growing. This new trend of employment generation is already visible in many parts of India. Many young people are finding jobs and self-employment in different service sectors in not just big cities but also in small towns. These are not jobs in the traditional sense, but they offer opportunities and new challenges for personal growth. Our Government will fully support this trend through necessary policy and institutional measures, including through provision of social security to people in the unorganized sector. In the NDA's common manifesto in 1999, we had promised to create one crore additional employment and self-employment opportunities each year. This commitment shall continue. We will follow a three-pronged strategy to fulfill this promise: (a) Sustaining a high GDP growth rate of 8 to 10% yearly; a fast growing economy will create more employment and self-employment opportunities; (b) Raising the employment-elasticity of the economy by focusing the growth in the employment-generating sectors of the economy; (c) Enlarging the scope of scope of government schemes that create employment, such as the food-for-work Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana. Such schemes will receive greater budgetary support in 100 backward districts. As has been indicated in this document, our Government will continue to promote many initiatives that have considerable potential for employment generation for different sections of our society. In rural areas these are: agriculture and agro-processing, wasteland development, agro-forestry, social forestry, dairy, poultry, animal husbandry, agriculture extension services, cottage industries, self-help groups, housing and road construction, transportation, etc. In urban areas, we will promote employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in retail trade, housing and construction, food, transportation, tourism, services in the informal sector, telecom and IT, manufacturing, garments, entertainment, financial services, education and training, etc. Enhancing the employability of employment-seeking youth, in line with the changing needs and opportunities in the economy will be made a priority. Employment is fundamentally linked with education. Therefore, we have affirmed our commitment to carry out a major overhaul of our school and college education. Training in skills will begin in secondary schools. When a student matriculates, she/he will have acquired some job-oriented skills. The University Grants Commission is redesigning college curriculum to enable students to have greater flexibility in the choice of subjects and pursue multiple job-oriented diploma courses simultaneously. Colleges will be encouraged to offer-singly or collaboratively-a variety of subjects and courses in areas that need skilled manpower. There are as many as 2,800 diverse trades in India, each requiring a sound domain knowledge and good skills. Knowledge and skills in these can be upgraded in a scalable fashion through IT-based distance learning, television, and broadband internet connectivity. Our Government will promote these new technologies in affordable ways. We will encourage creation of educational content in local languages to be used on these platforms. We will also promote new well-regulated certification mechanisms. We will give incentives to the private sector to participate in job-oriented education and training in a big way-both in urban as well as in rural areas. There would be no age barriers to admissions for pursuing these courses. We are confident that all these new initiatives would touch the lives of millions of our young women and men, raise their skills and productivity, provide them with fulfilling employment opportunities and improve the quality of products and services in India beyond recognition. Economic Reforms 1) The tax to GDP ratio will be improved through further widening and deepening of the tax base. 2) Rationalization and simplification of tariffs and removal of most exemptions within two years. 3) States will be given incentives to switch over to VAT. The Centre will ensure a hassle-free transition to the new tax regime, especially for small traders and businesses. 4) Tax evasion and corruption will be reduced through administrative measures and end-to-end computerization of the entire tax system. All shops and commercial establishments will be encouraged, through appropriate incentives, to make their transactions computer-based in three years. 5) There shall be a single destination to electronically pay all taxes and regulatory charges-whether Central, State, or local-for all classes of business. 6) Pension reforms will be speeded up. The Pension Regulator shall be mandated to come up with a scheme that creates an individual but portable pension-fund account for all workers, whether in the private sector or in the public sector, in the organized or in the unorganized sector. Financial Sector Reforms 1) All currently proposed financial sector reforms in banking, insurance, foreign investment, and capital markets will be completed within the next six months. 2) The principal aim of reforms in the banking sector will be to bring efficient banking services to the doorstep of every customer. To achieve this, greater competition will be created by extending the reach of PSU banks and expanding the activities of private banks. 3) Consolidation of PSU banks will be encouraged. 4) Indian banks will be encouraged to enlarge their footprint overseas. 5) The role of development banks and financial institutions will be enlarged to provide necessary funds for projects. 6) The reach of insurance will be considerably enhanced in the next five years. 7) FDI limit in insurance will be revisited to further widen India's insurance sector, and to strengthen its global linkages. 8) We will take steps to make it easy for smaller firms to raise moneys from the stockmarkets as well as for small investors, especially from smaller towns to invest in the stock market. We shall double the number of individuals who own shares in the next five years. State Finances 1) Restructuring of debts by State governments will be further encouraged and pursued. 2) States will be encouraged to carry out fiscal reforms and to reduce revenue deficit in every State to zero by 2006. 3) Political consensus will be evolved to reduce unproductive expenditure and enhance States' own resource mobilization. Balanced Development 1) A Monitoring Committee for Elimination of Regional Disparities will be set up to focus on developmental imbalances between and within States. 2) Accelerating economic growth and all-round social development in the northern and eastern States, where a majority of India's population lives, will be our priority in the coming years. 3) Additional, dedicated budgetary resources will be provided for faster development of backward areas in each state. Social Justice And Empowerment 1) A Monitoring Committee for Elimination of Social Disparities will be set up to focus on social and economic justice for SCs, STs, OBCs, denotified and nomadic tribes, and the poor among forward classes and minorities. States will be encouraged to set up similar committees. 2) A National Tribal Policy will be enunciated for the all-round socio-economic development of our vanvasi brethren. 3) Regularization of land rights of tribals living on forest land and promotion of their livelihood activities based on forest produce, if necessary by suitable amendments in the forest laws. 4) Provisions of the policy on reservations will be strictly implemented. A major drive will be launched for filling up all backlogs in jobs and promotions for SCs and STs. Private sector enterprises will be given incentives for creating more educational, training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for SCs and STs. 5) Functioning of various Commissions and Finance Corporations for the development of SCs and STs will be improved. 6) Laws to check atrocities against SCs, STs, and other weaker sections will be strictly enforced. 7) The newly announced Commission for Nomadic and Denotified Tribes will be made operational. 8) Reservations for the poor among "Forward Classes" will be introduced after receiving recommendations of the Commission set up for this purpose. 9) Special encouragement will be given for preservation of the artistic and cultural traditions of SCs and STs, and for honoring their heroes. Minorities 1) A Minorities Development Agenda will be unveiled within the first six months to focus on a 3-E program: Education, Economic upliftment, and Empowerment. 2) The Agenda will especially address the needs of those belonging to poor and backward families, ensuring that they get an equitable share in government-supported schemes in education, housing, etc. 3) The working of the Minorities Commission will be reoriented to address their developmental and welfare issues. 4) The NDA Government gave unprecedented encouragement to the promotion of Urdu language and to the modernization of Madarasa education. This will continue. 5) A concerted effort will be made to increase minorities' representation in administration and public bodies. Social Development Our goal in Social Development will be to bring about all-sided improvement in the quality of life of all Indians by fulfilling the basic needs of every citizen in education, healthcare, nutrition, drinking water, housing, sanitation, and cultural development. To achieve this overarching objective, and to reverse the previous trend of inadequate investment in this sector, the Government will create a special "Social Development Fund" of Rs. 100,000 crore to be invested over five years. Education for All 1) Total spending on education will be raised to 6% of the GDP in five years, with enlarged public-private partnership at every level of the educational pyramid. 2) Literacy rate of 85% will be achieved in five years. Our vision is to see that Indian society becomes fully literate by 2015. For this, we will launch a multi-pronged campaign to ensure that every child goes to school, every school is made accountable to the community, and every village and town is made accountable for its quality education status. Appropriate resources both from Government and non-government sources will be mobilized to match our ambitious goals. Innovative tools like computer-based and TV-promoted functional literacy will be employed. The 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' will be made into a people's movement. 3) Spread of education among SCs, STs, OBCs, and minorities, and activities aimed at removing gender disparities in education at all levels, will receive increased support. 4) A special fund of Rs. 1,000 crore a year will be created, partially through a cess on all non-needy students, to improve all primary school buildings in rural areas in five years. 5) "Akshaya Patra", as a national mid-day meal program, will be made operational. 6) The entire school and college education system will be overhauled and made employment-oriented. Opportunities for skill development and vocational training will be maximized. 7) A Standards Improvement Campaign, to be named after Dr. Syama Prasad Mookherjee (who became the youngest ever vice-chancellor of the prestigious Calcutta University), will be launched to raise the quality of education in colleges and universities. Institutions that perform well will be suitably recognized. 8) No student would be deprived of access to higher education for lack of resources. Scholarships and soft loans would be made widely available to all needy students. A National Education Development Fund will be established for this purpose. 9) While encouraging private investment, effective steps will be taken to curb commercialization of education. 10) The focus on Indian culture, heritage, and ethical values in syllabi will be strengthened. Character-building and all-round development of the student's personality will be emphasized. Sports, physical training, and social service will be mainstreamed into the educational system. 11) The growing de-emphasis of Bharatiya languages in school and college education will be checked. Teaching in the mother tongue will be encouraged. 12) Efforts will be intensified for the propagation of Sanskrit. 13) Establishment of hostels, especially for women's education, will be encouraged. 14) Administration of our educational institutions will be freed of bureacratism. Community participation in managing their activities and monitoring their performance will be encouraged. 15) Centers of excellence in higher education are India's pride. They will have requisite autonomy to become the best in the world. 16) Five new IITs will be established before 2005. 17) Our vision is to make India a global hub for higher education and regain the glory of the Nalanda era. For this, an action plan will be prepared to elevate at least 25 Indian universities and 100 colleges to international standards in every respect. All our IITs, NITs, IIMs, IIScs, AIIMS-like medical institutes, and other reputed higher educational institutions (both existing and proposed) will be further supported. Public-private participation will be fully activated to realize the above vision, which would not only raise India's stature globally but also enable our country to earn significant foreign exchange. Health for All For the NDA, "Health For All" is not a mere slogan. It is our avowed objective, a cherished goal; indeed, a commitment to our people, which we will strive to fulfill. Access to affordable healthcare is a basic need, which must be provided for. 1) Total public spending on healthcare at present is 2% of the GDP. This figure will doubled in the next five years. Our Government has already taken an important step in this direction by setting up the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, which is co-chaired by the Finance Minister and the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Investment by the private sector, including by NRIs, for providing healthcare in India will be encouraged. Public-private partnerships will be enhanced. 2) We will implement in a time-bound manner the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana under which six new hospitals on the pattern of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi are being set up in fix under-served states and six existing hospitals in other states are being upgraded to the level of AIIMS. This is a part of our commitment to provide affordable super-specialty healthcare to the needy in different parts of the country, within or near their own states. 3) An insurance-based health security scheme, called Antyodaya Swasthya Yojana, will be started to cover two crore poorest among the BPL families, who are currently beneficiaries of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana. 4) We will strive towards zero incidence of polio by the end of 2004 and for keeping this zero status for the next three years, so that India can be certified polio free by 2007. 5) The National TB Control Program will cover the entire population by the end of next year. Sufficient funds will be allocated for this purpose. 6) All efforts will be made for the eradication of filariasis within five years. 7) We will revitalize the existing Primary Healthcare system in coordination with the state governments. Linkages between safe drinking water, sanitation, nutrition, family welfare services, women and child services, and primary education will be strengthened through appropriate coordination mechanisms at the Central, State, and village levels. 8) The Government will set up a Rs. 1,000 crore fund, through public-private partnerships, to improve the infrastructure of primary healthcare centers in backward areas. 9) Infant and maternal mortality levels will be reduced by half. The newly launched "Vande Mataram" scheme of gynecologists in private practice for care of pregnant women will be strengthened. The "Janani Suraksha Yojana," already envisaged by us, will be implemented with the aim of establishing linkages between a health center and the mother-to-be. To meet the expectation of the nutrition of the mother, a sum of Rs. 500 will be given to her after the birth of a baby boy and Rs. 1,000 for a baby girl. 10) The "Save the Girl Child" campaign will be further popularized. 11) The spread of HIV/AIDS will be checked on a war footing. Care and support for AIDS patients will be undertaken hand-in-hand with efforts for the prevention of the disease. 12) We are committed towards strengthening the National Programs on malaria, blindness, leprosy, and mental health. 13) The ageing population needs special care. The government hospitals will have special facilities for healthcare of senior citizens. 14) We will promote our traditional systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, and Naturopathy, as also homeopathy. Different systems will be synergized in the delivery of healthcare and in medical education. 15) We will encourage the production and exports of pharmaceutical products from India, including Ayurvedic and herbal products. 16) The nearly six lakh providers of traditional medical services in villages have remained unrecognized and unsupported, in spite of catering to the needs of those sections of our population, which are underserved by the formal system. They will be suitably assisted to play a bigger and more effective role in improving the health profile of the rural poor. 17) Working of regulatory bodies , which oversee medical education in the country, will be reviewed to improve standards. 18) We shall make India a preferred global destination for healthcare. Our large reservoirs of skilled doctors, nurses, and other paramedical staff along with the state-of-the-art facilities in our hospitals have a huge potential, which will be nurtured and realized in the next five years. Simultaneously, steps will be taken to improve the standards of excellence in medical education, nursing, and other areas. An Action Plan will be drawn up before end of 2004 to pursue this goal, with suitable encouragement to the private sector. 19) The menace of spurious drugs shall be controlled. 20) A mass movement will be launched for increasing awareness about health issues and making citizens take good care of themselves by cultivating healthy habits and lifestyles; towards this end, a strong physical and sports culture will be promoted among people of all age-groups. Food Security 1) Coverage of the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana" (which provides wheat at Rs. 2 a kg and rice at Rs. 3 a kg) will be will be increased from 2 crore to 5 crore poorest families in five years. Its implementation will be decentralized. 2) All beneficiaries under this scheme will be given an "Antodaya Card" that would also entitle them to Health Security, Social Security, Shelter Security, Educational Guarantee, and priority attention in government offices and police stations. 3) A well-run supply chain involving the private traders, community, and Panchayats will be established to ensure food availability in normal times as well as during natural calamities. 4) The public distribution system would be revamped with people's participation to make it efficient and accountable. It would also be used to deliver other goods and services. Women's Empowerment 1) A National Policy on Women's Economic Empowerment will be unveiled before end of 2004. It will aim at ensuring that every woman has some means of livelihood and, additionally, at enhancing the incomes of all categories of working women. It will propose strategies to enable women in balancing work and family by introducing a national childcare plan, workplace flexibility, greater career opportunities, hostels for working women in every town, and removal of gender disparities in education, wages, and property rights. 2) Support for programs like "Swavalamban" and STEP (Support to Training and Employment Program for Women), which promote self-employment and entrepreneurship for needy women, will be greatly enhanced. Technical and management services for those engaged in handicrafts, food processing, handloom, garments, etc., will be strengthened. Added focus will be provided for implementing these programs in the North East, J&K, and areas affected by left-wing extremism. 3) Enterprises promoted by women, or employing a large number of women, will be given "fast track" facilitation. 4) Laws to check female foeticide, dowry, child marriage, trafficking, rape and family violence will be strictly enforced. Societal efforts to curb these ills will be encouraged. 5) Support for the Swadhaar program and Women Helplines for abandoned widows, victims of trafficking, mentally challenged women, and victims of calamities will be greatly expanded with private and philanthropic participation. 6) The Bill for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures will be introduced in the very first session of Parliament. The NDA will work for speedy passage of this progressive legislation based on a consensus. Care of the Disabled Disabled people constitute about 5% of India's population. Years of neglect have delayed their large-scale integration into the social mainstream. Their welfare and rehabilitation is integral to our vision of a caring society and a responsive government. The newly-established Commission for the Disabled will draw up a Charter for the Disabled, which will have the following points: 1) Ensure and implement the right for education and vocational training for the disabled. 2) Ensure disabled-friendly access to public utilities, public buildings, and transports. 3) Ensure maximum economic independence of the disabled by creating more income generation models for the disabled. 4) Facilitate establishment of an Institute of Vocational Training for the Disabled in every district with public-private partnership. 5) Provide special incentive for the adoption of a disabled child. 6) Voluntary organizations working for the care of the disabled will be fully supported. This charter will be implemented. Children The NDA is committed to securing a bright future for India's children. A National Commission for Children will be set up to comprehensively address the issues of education, healthcare, nutrition, recreation, removal of gender disparities, elimination of child labor, integrated care and rehabilitation of orphans and street children, etc. It will put the aspirations and rights of children at the heart of our development agenda. The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), the world's largest early childcare programme, will be further strengthened. Its implementation will be communitised. Youth India, an ancient civilization, has become a young nation demographically. 65% of our population is below 35 years. These young men and women have soaring aspirations for themselves and a burning desire to see India emerge as a strong and prosperous country. The NDA commits itself to helping our youth realize their dreams. 1) We shall strive for "Education for All" and "Employment for All". 2) We shall strive to create an environment in which young Indians find many avenues to contribute to nation-building and to their own all-round development. 3) The National Cadet Corps shall be strengthened. The National Service Scheme shall be made more innovative to nurture the spirit of voluntary service among the youth. Encouragement for talented youth in arts and other cultural pursuits will be stepped up. 4) We will promote the Youth Hostel movement by facilitating the construction of new youth hostels in major cities and tourist centers, with private sector participation. 5) Recommendations of the National Youth Commission will be given serious consideration. Sports The NDA Government aims to make India a major sports power in the world. 1) Towards this end, the Prime Minister's Ten-Point Program for the Development of Sports will be vigorously implemented. 2) A National Sports Development Fund will be set up with a yearly allocation of Rs. 500 crore. Citizens and business houses will be encouraged to contribute to it. 3) A Rashtriya Khel Rozgar Yojana will be launched to encourage talented sportspersons to set up sports clubs, gymnasiums, and training centres, thereby creating employment and self-employment opportunities. 4) Greater support will be provided for the promotion of traditional Indian sports and rural transports. Senior Citizens Respect for elders has always been at the center of India's social traditions and cultural ethos. Being repositories of knowledge and experience, they are a precious asset to society. However, they have been facing many problems with rapid urbanization and changes in the traditional joint families. Our Government will set up a National Commission for Senior Citizens to comprehensively address their needs, problems and potential to further contribute to the nation's development. Population Control 1) A people's movement will be launched to realize the goals and targets set in the National Population Policy. It will particularly focus on those States that are lagging behind 2) The Government will introduce a set of non-coercive disincentives for a two-child norm, and incentives for a girl child. The two-child norm will be made a qualification, on a prospective basis, for contesting any election. Governance Reforms The NDA Government will unveil, before the end of 2004, comprehensive Good Governance Reforms, which will focus on: 1) Administrative reforms to check corruption, promote transparency and accountability, remove delays in decision-making; and to make government employees treat the people as their masters. 2) Electoral reforms to check the unhealthy influence of money power and prevent criminalization of politics. 3) Judicial reforms for speedy and affordable justice. 4) Political reforms to raise the standards and efficacy of Parliament, State Legislatures, and other elected bodies. 5) Reform of ministries to speed up decision making and develop better capabilities for policy formulation and implementation. 6) Good Corporate Governance reforms to ensure lawful and ethical business practices, protection of shareholders' interests, and consumer protection. Judicial Reforms 1) A Rs. 1,000-crore Fund for Modernization of Courts will be set up to improve the physical and operational infrastructure of courts. This will receive partial contribution from the legal community. Judicial officers will be empowered to involve the community in improving the facilities in a transparent manner. 2) The number of courts and the number of judges will be doubled in five years for quicker judicial process. 3) A separate class of courts will be set up for cases involving specified commercial laws such as the Contract Act, Negotiable Instruments Act, and other business laws. These would deliver quicker justice to aggrieved businesses, and would be partly funded by charging both litigants a "Fast Track" fee. 4) Reform of the criminal justice system to make dispensation of justice simpler, quicker, and more effective. 5) Courts all over the country will be computerized and networked for improving their efficiency. 6) Extension of Fast-Track Courts to all layers of the judiciary. 7) Expansion of alternative dispute redressal mechanisms through Lok Adalats and Tribunals. 8) Setting up a National Judicial Commission for appointment of judges and ensuring judicial ethics. 9) A Judicial Procedural Reforms Committee will suggest, within six months, how to halve the time taken to conduct every trial, civil or criminal. The aim would be to ensure that three-fourths of all court cases are completed in twelve months. 10) The number of cases in which the Government is a litigant will be halved in the next three years. Administrative, Police, Civil Service and other Reforms 1) An Administrative Procedural Reforms Commitee will suggest, within six months, how to eliminate unnecessary procedures and simplify others. Efficiency, accountability, responsiveness, and a pro-poor attitude will be the hallmark of the administrative system in the years to come. 2) The Civil Service, the steel frame of India's administrative system, would be reformed and strengthened. New cadre system and modern service code will be adopted to enable professionalism at all levels of administration. Senior officers will be suitably empowered to take timely and bold decisions. Responsibility and accountability will be fixed for fulfillment of goals and targets. Officers will be allowed to work in the private sector. Similarly, lateral entry of talented professionals from the private sector at senior levels will be encouraged. 3) Discretionary powers vested with public authorities will be reduced. Objective criteria will be laid down for the exercise of such powers. 4) Delays in environmental clearance for development projects will be removed. It will be mandatory for authorities to clear or reject a proposal within 45 days. 5) A Fund for Modernization of District and Sub-District Administration will be set up for better office amenities and public interface; computerization, communication, and networking; better grievance redressal mechanism; and mobility to enable improved outreach to the public. Administration will be empowered to raise resources from the local community and to involve it in improving the amenities in a transparent manner. 6) The Planning Commission will be reformed and reorganized in light of the changing developmental needs of our country. 7) In order to improve efficiency of budgetary resources and public assets, we will work towards convergence of Centrally sponsored schemes, transfer of certain schemes to States based on suitability. Electoral Reforms 1) Consensus will be evolved to prevent entry of criminal elements into politics. 2) In cooperation with all political parties, the NDA will work towards raising the standards of Parliament and State Legislatures. 3) A National Institute for Training Elected Representatives will be established. India to be ruled by Indians Legislation will be introduced to ensure that important offices of the Indian State can be occupied only by those who are India's natural citizens by their Indian origin. Centre-State Relations The NDA Government's achievement in this regard can be judged by the fact that Centre-State relations are no longer a subject of political debate. They are marked by harmony and cooperation, which were sadly missing in previous decades. Our Government has not discriminated against any State on political grounds. This shall continue to be our approach in the coming five years. On the issue of Article 356 of the Constitution, we remain committed to the consensus reached at the Inter-State Council meeting in Srinagar in 2003. Empowerment of Panchayats 1) The NDA Government will work for effective financial and administrative empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies in respect of three Fs: "Funds", "Functions", and "Functionaries". Suitable judicial, executive, financial, and geographical layout planning powers will be devolved to these bodies. The Constitution would be amended for this purpose. 2) The institution of the Gram Sabha will be strengthened to discuss every developmental work, scrutinize the allocation and spending of funds, and evaluate the performance of panchayat and government functionaries. Cultural and Spiritual Heritage 1) Ours was the first government to launch national missions for the preservation of manuscripts, monuments, and other facets of India's cultural, artistic and spiritual heritage. States will be encouraged to set up similar missions. Every town will prepare a heritage conservation mission. These will be effectively implemented, with extensive participation of communities, business houses, professional bodies, and NGOs. 2) Support for expanding India's cultural relations with all countries in the world will be considerably enhanced, with private participation. 3) A National Commission for promotion of Bharatiya languages will be established. It will make a comprehensive study of the challenges before our Bharatiya languages in the modern era and recommend tasks for their consistent development. 4) Upkeep of places of spiritual importance. Civil Society Empowerment 1) The NDA recognizes that maximizing people's participation in the implementation of all policies and programs of the government is the key to India's rapid and all-round development. Towards this end, a National Council of Voluntary Organizations will be set up. States will be encouraged to establish similar Councils. 2) Involvement of religious establishments of all denominations, which are active in the social field, will be encouraged in areas like mass-feeding for the poor, care of orphans and destitutes, campaign against social evils like female foeticide, environmental protection, etc. 3) Civil Society will be suitably empowered to help in achieving dispute resolutionranging from local disputes over minor issues to major ones over contentious issuesoutside the realm of the judiciary and government. Its cooperation will be sought in strengthening civic discipline, adherence to law, tax compliance, and care for public property. National Security The NDA Government took historic initiatives in the last six years to strengthen India's defense capability and preparedness. We pledge to carry forward this imperative. Our priorities will be: 1) Speedy implementation of all the current programs for modernization, acquisition, and capability enhancement; 2) Making operational the Rs. 25,000-crore Defense Modernization Fund, which was announced in the Interim Budget; 3) Minimizing delays and procedural bottlenecks, which push up costs and cause obsolescence; 4) Achieving greater efficiency in defense spending; giving a further boost to indigenization of defense production and encouragement to private sector participation; and making defense exports a thrust area. 5) In addition, the Government will continue to further augment welfare measures for ex-servicemen and war widows. We shall create adequate opportunities for retired officers to contribute to development activities where they can put their skills and training to productive use. Necessary measures will be taken to make service in the Armed Forces an attractive career option for the educated Indian youth. Internal Security 1) Cross-border terrorism will be eliminated. 2) There has been a significant reduction of communal and caste violence in the past five years. Our government shall further strengthen and stabilize this trend, and work towards realizing our vision of a riot-free India. 3) Ongoing programs for modernization of our police and paramilitary forces will be intensified. 4) We will build political consensus to enact a Central law, and constitute a federal agency to deal with federal crimes. 5) The multi-pronged strategy to eliminate the growing menace of left-wing extremism, which extends from the Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh, will be more effectively implemented. The Government will encourage the misguided youth who have joined various naxal organizations to give up the path of violence. Development activities in affected areas will be intensified, with people's participation. 6) The long pending police reforms will be taken up to synchronize with the ongoing scheme for modernization of state police forces. Investigation functions would be separated from law & order functions. Number of police stations will be doubled over the next five years. Mobile police stations, better communications, community friendly approach, highway police stations, better public interface and independence of police will be established through necessary legal and executive means. Partnership between police and community will be institutionalized. Police and security forces will be made more people-friendly, and more sensitive towards the grievances of the poor, weaker sections of society, and women. Jammu & Kashmir Building on the positive turnaround in the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, the NDA Government will continue its efforts to eliminate terrorism and further strengthen the Centre's cooperation with the State government to consolidate peace, normalcy and development in the State. Together with the State Government, efforts will be made to ensure early return of Kashmiri Pandits and other displaced people to their native places. The NDA Government will work for balanced development of all the three regions of the State- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. To ensure this, steps will be taken, based on consensus, for: 1) Autonomous Regional Councils for Jammu and Ladakh with adequate financial and administrative powers; 2) Protection of the original demographic identity of the three regions. 3) Equitable distribution of funds from the Centre. North-East The NDA Government has given unprecedented attention to the development of the North-Eastern States in the last five years. These gains will be consolidated and placed on a stable footing. Our priorities in the coming five years would be: 1) Restoration of peace and normalcy in all the disturbed regions by dialogue with all groups who are willing to give up the path of violence, and by firmly dealing with those who continue on this path. 2) Ensuring that the ethnic identities of all the people in the North-East are protected. 3) Repeal of the IMDT Act for putting an end to infiltration from Bangladesh. 4) Accelerating economic development that provides growth opportunities to all. 5) Development of the communication infrastructure to overcome the constraints of physical distance. 6) Making all Indians more aware of the rich history and cultural heritage of our North-Eastern States, including Sikkim. 7) Expanding regional economic cooperation with countries in our eastern neighborhood and in South-East Asia. Other Commitments 1) The NDA Government shall continue to strengthen the ideal of secularism enshrined in India's Constitution. 2) The NDA believes that an early and amicable resolution of the Ayodhya issue will strengthen national integration. We continue to hold that the judiciary's verdict in this matter should be accepted by all. At the same time, efforts should be intensified for dialogue and a negotiated settlement in an atmosphere of mutual trust and goodwill. 3) Our Government will create a "National Integration Quota" of 2% for students from Jammu & Kashmir, North-East, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep Islands in educational institutions across the country. 4) A National Disaster Prevention and Management Authority will be set up, with a fund of Rs. 1,000 crore. States will be encouraged to set up similar authorities. 5) The Government will implement decisions taken at the last meeting of the Island Development Authority, and will continue to attend to the needs of the people of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshwadeep Islands. 6) Consumer protection movement will be further strengthened. 7) The NDA government is committed to giving corruption-free governance at all levels. India and the World India's aim in foreign policy has always been to secure for itself a steadily broadening role in international affairs, so that we can contribute meaningfully to the global community's collective ability to deal with the challenges of today and tomorrow. The NDA Government is proud of its foreign policy achievements in the last five years. We will build on these successes to focus on the following objectives in the coming five years. 1) Continue the dialogue process with Pakistan for a lasting solution to all the outstanding issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, on the basis of the Joint Statement issued in Islamabad in February 2004. 2) Further strengthen the SAARC process; implement free-trade in South Asia; and work towards realizing the vision for a South Asian Economic Union with a common currency for the region. 3) Further strengthen our Look-East Policy to deepen the India-ASEAN relationship; initiate the BIMST-EC process; activate the Mekong-Ganga cooperation initiative; deepen our economic cooperation with Koreas; and enrich our strategic partnership with Japan. 4) Further consolidate our strategic partnership with Russia, with a stronger underpinning of economic cooperation. 5) Broaden and deepen our multi-dimensional relations with USA. 6) Expand our economic cooperation with China. Continue the dialogue process with China to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution of the boundary issue, which is an objective of strategic interest for us. 7) Intensify our cooperation with the European Union. 8) Rejuvenate our traditional bonds with countries in West Asia; 9) Reestablish our age-old ties with countries in Central Asia; 10) Develop extensive relations with all countries in Africa, Central America, Latin America, and Pacific Ocean countries like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc. Energy security will continue to be a key objective of our foreign policy. Therefore, we will intensify our efforts to establish suitable alliances to secure access to new energy sources around the world. The NDA Government envisions a future that rests on a cooperative multipolar world order, with India as one of the poles. We will continue our efforts to secure permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The NDA is proud of the shining achievements of NRIs and PIOs around the world. We attach great strategic importance to strengthening India's multi-dimensional links with the Diaspora Community. Our Government took many historic initiatives in this direction in the last five years for example, granting dual citizenship to PIOs from a select group of countries. Our commitment to this deeply cherished cause will continue. Conclusion In our common Agenda for elections in 1999, we had said, "The NDA came into being because of an historic need and realization amongst us that our young democracy cannot bear the fits and tremors of frequent elections, which will undermine the people's faith in the democratic process." That phase of instability is now history. The NDA has taken India into a new orbit of accelerated development, coupled with peace on our borders and harmony within. As we seek a renewed and bigger mandate in 2004, we ask to be judged by our performance in the last five years as well as by the vision and programme that we have laid out in this Agenda. We are proud to have raised the bar of performance higher, and are keenly aware that the Indian voter now expects more. We believe in the principle of accountability. We promise to give a six-monthly report on the status of implementation of the commitments made in this Agenda. Prime Minister Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee has placed an energizing vision of India as a Developed Nation. The NDA rededicates itself to realizing this vision in partnership with the people of India.