Australia celebrates Australia Day & India celebrates Republic Day, 26th Jan, 2016

Sydney, NSW

26th Jan, 2016

Australia celebrates its national day, Australia Day, on 26th January, 2016. It is a big day for Australians. It is celebrated all over Australia with patriotism, fun and fervour.

It commemorates the day when First Fleet landed at Port Jackson in 1788.

Indian Republic Day is celebrated all over India on 26th January. This was 67th Reublic Day. It commemorates the date on which Indian Constitution came into force in 1950, replacing Government of India Act 1935.

In Delhi, there was a splendid Parade at the Rajpath, which is in the heart of New Delhi. French President, Francois Hollande, was the Guest of Honour for the Republic Day celebration this year.

Indian Australians celebrated both the National Days by joining in the Indian Flag hoisting by Consulate General of India followed by taking part in various Australia Day celebrations all over Sydney.

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Indian Republic Day!

 

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

 

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Crop insurance Scheme) is a life-saving plan for Indian farmers


Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), a new Crop Insurance Scheme, was announced in New Delhi on Makar Sankranti Day, 14th Jan, 2016. The Cabinet of Central Government gave its approval for the scheme a day earlier.

It is a life changing plan for Indian farmers.

It replaces NAIS (National Agriculture Insurance Scheme) and MNAIS (Modified National Insurance Scheme), which were not being utilized by farmers due to multiple inherent deficiencies.

PMFBY will be implemented from the coming Kharif (Monsoon) season. The premium rate for Kharif crops is 2% and for Rabi (Winter) Crops will be 1.5%. Commercial and horticultural crops will attract 5% premium.

Unlike previous schemes, where Premium could be as high as 15% and assured amount was capped, PMFBY is a boon for farmers not only because premium is very low but also because it mandates use of newer technology like Satellites and smart phones to make a more complete and accurate  assessment of the loss of crop in shorter period.

Beyond 2% and 1.5% premium rates for Kharif and Rabi crops respectively, the balance of the Insurance premium will be paid  by Central Government and State Governments on 50:50 basis.

Currently, only 23% of crops are insured. This is likely to go up significantly. Government’s goal is  50% in 3 years, but I suspect its acceptance among farmers will grow very quickly and it will reach much higher level soon.

Financial liability for the Govt for the current 23% crop coverage is Rs 31,000 crores. It will go up to Rs 57,000 crores when the crop coverage is 30%. At 50% crop coverage, this liability will Rs 88,000 crores.

India is predominantly an agricultural country, with about 60% of its people depending on agriculture for their living and income. Except for a few farmers, most of the people involved in farm-based activities have low and unpredictable income. Crop failure leads to destitution and precarious situation. Crops fail due to natural disasters including hail storms, excessive rains or droughts. They don’t seem to have a way out with failure of crops after they have invested in seeds, irrigation, insecticide and labour, and have hardly anything as a way of savings. The desperation and destitution end up forcing many farmers to commit suicide. It is reported that 3000 farmers in India have committed suicide over the last 3 years. Failure of crops affect them in multiple ways.

PMFBY is really a Life-saving scheme (Amrit Yojna) as stated by Agriculture Minister, Mr Radha Mohan Singh. It is indeed a historic scheme for farmers, as described by Home Minister, Mr Raj Nath Singh. I have no doubt that PMFBY will prove to be a boon for farmers.

PMFBY should be reviewed annually and deficiencies thus detected should be rectified quickly. Like the Uttar Pradesh Government’s scheme of Rs 5 Lacs insurance money for farmers if they die an unnatural death, PMFBY too should have some provision of this nature.

I come from a farmer’s family in a village in Bundelkhand part of Uttar Pradesh, which is notorious for unpredictable rains, droughts and farmers’ suicides. It has been reported that approx. 50 farmers have committed suicide there over the last 12 months. I was in the region just a few days ago. Things were not looking good there this year too, after crops’ failure over the last 2 years. There is an ongoing drought there this year too.

 

Village pond

Village Pond

 

Farmers everywhere generally, but Bundelkhan especially, will need significant support this year, before the PMFBY comes into the picture from Kharif season after August 2016. Needless to point out that crops will not be ready until December 2016. Farmers will need support for seeds, cultivation and insecticide etc this year.

I hope that Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and State Chief Ministers, especially Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Akhilesh Yadav, in case of Bundelkhand, will look after the farmers in the most compassionate way.

Farmers are our people too, and deserve to get full support for the sake of their and their families lives, health and well being.

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Note: A revised copy of this post was published in a US-based opinion site http://www.myind.net

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Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/22nd Jan, 2016

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

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Australia approves Visa for Hassan Asif’s family

Sydney, NSW                                                                                        23rd Dec, 2015

We are very pleased that Australia has approved temporary Visa to student Hassan Asif’s family, allowing them to be with Hassan, who is suffering from a terminal stage Cancer, and has weeks to live.

Hassan came to Australia last year to study in a Melbourne University. He is currently in the care of Melbourne City Mission. He has no family or community connections in Australia.

Hassan Asif holds a picture of his mother and brother, who are not allowed to come and see him in his last days. Picture: Mike Keating

(Pic by Mike Keating, News Corps)

(Pic by Mike Keating News Corps)

Immigration Minister, The Hon Peter Dutton MP outlined this Visa decision in a press conference today.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-23/visas-for-parents-of-hassan-asif-approved/7050822

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/hassan-asifs-family-is-not-allowed-into-australia-to-say-goodbye/news-story/f5bbe6828861bbb70adad2c613fa7126

There was some suggestions yesterday that Hassan should have gone to Pakistan, instead of subjecting his family for the expenses in travelling to Melbourne.

I want to clarify that Hassan too did want this to happen, but due to his health, no airline was prepared to fly him to Pakistan.

I wrote a Post on this subject yesterday, appealing the authorities to treat this case with compassion and kindness.

https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/hassan-asif-deserves-compassion-kindness/

There has been an extensive media coverage and a Change.org appeal too on this subject. Social media too played its role.

Our thanks are due to the Immigration Minister and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for their quick decision.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.Twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

 

 

 

Hassan Asif deserves compassion & kindness

Sydney, NSW                                                                                           22nd Dec, 2015

Hassan Asif is 25 years old student, who came to Australia from Pakistan in 2014 to study in a Melbourne University.

Hassan Asif

He is suffering from a terminal/advanced Cancer and is under the care of Melbourne City Mission. He is reported to have only weeks to live.

Hassan has no family in Australia and has no community ties or connections.

He was keen to have his mother and brother to come to Australia to be with him, but their temporary Visa applications have been rejected.

From reports, Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) has encouraged them to submit fresh applications.

Reading the reports, his situation is saddening and heart-wrenching.

I believe that Hassan’s case deserves to be treated with compassion and kindness.

I am hopeful that Pakistani Australian community members and many others, including members of Indian Australian community, will come forward to raise funds for Hassan’s family members’ living expenses.

One good friend of mine, Sydney businessman, Kashif Amjad, responded to my Facebook post just now with “I will follow up with Australian Ambassador in Islamabad and ppl here. I will give my personal assurance if they come i will ensure they comply with all visa conditions.”

I urge my friends, especially Pakistani Australians, to come forward and help us persuade DIBP and Immigration Minister, The Hon Peter Dutton MP to treat this case with deserved compassion & kindness, and review the case. Family members can be asked to resubmit the applications.

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Further info:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/dying-pakistani-student-denied-final-visit-from-family-by-immigration-department-20151222-gltoso.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-22/man-with-cancer-has-weeks-to-live,-family-denied-visa/7049116

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Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.Twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016

 

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016

 

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney, NSW/22nd Dec, 2015

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

This is simply ignorant and racist

Sydney, NSW
15th December, 2015

The Cartoon by Mr Bill Leak in The Australian newspaper on Monday, 14th Dec, 2015 is ignorant and racist.

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

Courtesy The Australian newspaper

It depicts a few poor Indians in India trying to eat the solar panels, with Mango Chutney. The message from the cartoon is that Indians don’t know what the Solar Panels are for or that Indians need to worry about Food, instead of high tech Solar Panels.

Bill Leak is wrong on both aspects.

Solar Panels are increasingly used in India, because of plentiful supply of sunshine, subsidy by the authorities and erratic supply of conventional energy. I know that a few people in my own village in Uttar Pradesh State have been using it for variety of purposes for many years.

Indians are fully capable of handling technology. Mobile Internet and Mobile Phones are every where, even in the remote parts of the nation. Social media is quite common everywhere.

India needs energy ie electricity. Coal-fire powered thermal power centres are the most common source for the energy, but India is making progress to diversify into Nuclear energy and Solar power. This is a responsible step because it will reduce pollution and help in climate change.

India is the fourth biggest source of global pollution. Anything which will reduce this undesirable contribution is a welcome step.

India is a developing economy but is not a economic backwater. It is 3rd biggest economy on PPP basis. It is a global leader in IT and is the fastest growing economy since last quarter of 2014, surpassing China. The days of primitive nature of economy are long gone, but people like Bill Leak seem to be stuck on the state of India in 1950s.

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Economic growth in India surpassed China this year

(Source: Charles Schwab, International Monetary Fund data as of 11/20/2015.

China’s growth rate is widely expected to decline. The IMF forecasts GDP will slow from around 6.8% in 2015 to 6.3% in 2016. However, the IMF forecasts India’s growth rate of about 7.3% in 2015 is expected to reach 7.5% in 2016 and continue to rise to 7.7% by 2020.)

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Undoubtedly, India has many poor people, but it also has approx. 300+ million strong middle class, which has the knowledge, money and interest in, and will happily benefit from, newer sources of electricity. After all, India has plentiful of sunshine.

Bill Leak probably does not know that Indians have been the number one source of migrants to Australia over last few years. They are coming as the skilled migrants too, thus contributing to the Australian economy.

There are about 450,000 people of Indian heritage currently in Australia.

I read the article in The Australian today (15th Dec, 2015). Like others, I felt offended with the inherent racist message in the Cartoon. Bill Leak has, in the past, claimed that freedom to express is a fundamental right and that right includes right to offend. It may be true on the theoretical basis, but it is equally stupid to say or convey something which is without sufficient basis or conveying something which is unwarranted.

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Yadu Singh@dryadusingh Dec 15 

, I hope you know about it.

, you are ignorant & racist. Please read up about India. should apologize.

Indian HC in Aus@navdeepsuri Dec 15

Fully aware and doing what is required. Thanks

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I remember a Cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) a few months ago, stereotyping Jewish people in a very adverse way, leading to significant outcry. This forced the SMH to apologise for the Cartoon.

Will Bill Leak and The Australian newspaper do the same in this case is something which we would wait and watch.

Further info:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/14/australian-newspaper-cartoon-depicting-indians-eating-solar-panels-attacked-racist?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/bleak-gallery/image-gallery/ee8a4ef1032a9da5a37c87ecb7f34c5c

Dr Yadu Singh
http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh
http://www.Facebook.com/dryadusingh

Lord Ganesh is a religious deity for Hindus, not a piece of decoration on the tables of events

Sydney, NSW

17th November, 2015

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On 30th October, 2015, IABCA (India Australia Business & Community Awards), were organised in Sydney.

Website of the Organisers’  is http://www.iabca.com.au

I don’t have any issues with these awards or the organisers specifically.

Many others and I however have serious concerns about use of the idols of Hinduism deity, God Ganesh, on the tables of the event.

I outline the concerns:

  1. God Ganesh is a religious deity of Hinduism, not a piece of decoration on the tables of the events,
  2. Non-veg food and Alcohol were served at the tables, which compounds the offense,
  3. Consul General (CG) of India, Mr Sunjay Sudhir, Multiculturalism NSW Chair, Dr Harry Harinath, and NSW Premier, Mr Mike Baird attended the event,
  4. Premier will obviously not know the significance and appropriateness of God Ganesh’s idols on the tables, but CG, Mr Sunjay Sudhir and Dr  Harry Harinath should have known about the importance and appropriateness of these idols on the tables, and should have acted then and there to get this rectified.

After I was contacted by several people, I wrote to the organisers.

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“Hi Sonia,

In your recent event, I understand that there were Lord Ganesha’s idols on the tables. I also understand that Alcohol and non-veg food were served for people at the tables.

Any reason or justification for these idols?

FYI, there are many Hindus who are unhappy with what they have seen in your event.”
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Their response is copied below.

“We appreciate the note below, valid point and we did not think of it like that at all. Thank you for taking time out to point this to us, we do about 35 events annually and sometimes these things in busy moment may get overseen.

It was a genuine mistake as you question below, in fact it was there as a sign of our culture. Apologies, we make note that this will never occur again and appreciate you reaching out.

Warm Regards

Sonia Gandhi Director, Gandhi Creations Pty. Ltd.

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Hindus in Australia have raised their concerns about inappropriate use of symbols and deities of Hinduism many times over the last several years.

It is not appropriate to use symbols and deities belonging to Hinduism, because such use is disrespectful and hurtful to Hindus.

Contrary to the claims by the organisers, I don’t believe it is a sign of culture or promotion of culture to put statues or idols of God Ganesh on the tables of the event.

My purpose to write this post is to make people aware about inappropriate use of symbols and deities of Hinduism, and encourage them to desist from using them inappropriately.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh