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Escalating protest against Citizenship Bill

Nearly 200 political parties and organizations have started vehemently opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in many forms after JPC set up to study the controversial Bill approved it to submit before Lok Sabha on Monday.

The All Assam Students Union along with 30 other ethnic pressure groups are holding a huge rally in the capital city of Guwahati on Sunday opposing the Bill that would give citizenship to the non Muslim immigrants.

The influent peasant body along with 50 other organizations are holding sit in strike demanding halt in the move.

The main opposition Congress will protest the Bill both inside and outside the Parliament. Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia has slammed the central and state governments and dared AGP to pull out of the coalition.

Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi said they would go to any extent to stop the move.

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AASU to move SC on refugee move

30 Sep 2015 - 6:39am | AT News

In a damage repairing move, All Assam Students' Union threatens to move the Supreme Court alleging the Centre’s move to give refugee status for the non Muslim Bangladeshi   nationals fearing that Assam will have to bear the brunt.Talking to reporters in Jorhat on Tuesday, AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said that they are discussing the issue with a team of legal experts to move the country’s apex court for intervention. Flanked by president Dipankar Nath and general secretary Lurinyoti Gogoi, the AASU adviser said that they won’t allow the Centre to make Assam a grazing ground for the Bangladeshi immigrants. Bhattacharjya along other central leaders were in Jorhat to stage a rally against the Centre’s move on the refugee status for the non Muslim Bagladeshi and Pakistani refugees.

 

After 1.5 years, RTI provided NREGS documents to Unnao residents

29 Apr 2008 - 1:43am | bobbyramakant

After ten hearings at the Uttar Pradesh (UP) State Information Commission and 1.5 years from first filing the Right to Information (RTI) application to seek documents related to National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in Miyaganj block of Unnao district in UP, the people of Miyaganj are finally relieved to get those documents pertinent to the NREGS work done in their block.

The RTI application asking for information (like muster rolls and measurement books) under the RTI Act, 2005, was filed on 4 December 2006 by Miyaganj block resident Yeshwant Rao at the local Block office. He received a reply after more than six months (June 2007) asking him to submit Rs. 1,58,400 (at an arbitrarily fixed rate of Rs. 2,400 per village panchayat for 66 panchayats of the Miyaganj Block).

This followed a long battle in the State Information Commission of UP where after more than ten hearings ultimately an order was passed directing the Block officials to provide information free of cost. The people of Miyaganj finally started getting the documents on 6 April 2008.

After a year and a half of struggle residents of Miyaganj Block of Unnao led by Asha Parivar local activists Yeshwant Rao and Virendra Singh, have been successful in obtaining documents related to implementation of NREGS in their Block.

Now the people of Miyaganj block are going a step further. During 20-28 May 2008, they will be conducting a social audit based on the information provided by the block authorities on NREGS implementation. The people will go to each one of the 66 village panchayats, document and verify the NREGS records themselves. Earlier similar social audits of NREGS have been conducted in Bharawan, Sandila and Behender Blocks of neighbouring district of Hardoi.

Social Audit is a process where in an open meeting of the village physical verification of the records is done with the help of officials, people's representatives and the people. In fact, the citizens of the Gram Sabha are supposed to perform this audit. In addition to the verification of financial details it is also ensured that other provisions of the NREGA are being followed. It is an opportunity for the people to evaluate the entire scheme and also determine the quality of development works in their village. In a new democratic culture building up in the country since the Right to Information Act has been implemented, it is a chance for citizens to intervene and check the rampant prevalent corruption and irregularities in the system.

Also in February 2006, the Rural Development Department of the Andhra Pradesh Government had conducted the social audit of the Andhra Pradesh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which was being implemented under the NREGA which had come into force from 2 Februray 2006.

Andhra Pradesh was probably the first state in the country where such a process took place and the credit for this goes entirely to the then Principal Secretary of the Rural Development Department, K. Raju. It is normally unheard of that any government department would subject its performance to public scrutiny, especially a department dealing with development works where huge siphoning off of resources has become the norm rather than exception. Fake muster rolls are one of the biggest sources of corruption in this country.

"By mentioning fictitious names, names of upper caste people who never perform manual labour, names of people who have migrated to cities long time back, names of people who are too old to work or exaggerating the number of days of work for labourers who have performed work, it is a common practice to withdraw huge sums of money from the government exchequer. In addition to the abovementioned discrepancies, it might also be the case that the work being shown on paper was never actually performed. In Hardoi District of U.P., recently is was discovered that a canal was being de-silted on paper in 2004-05 by using the funds of Bharawan Block Panchayat whereas the Irrigation Department had taken a decision five years back not to release water in this canal. Over Rs. 3 lakhs were embezzled in this instance" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee (2002) for emergent leadership and National Convener of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).

"However, if the initiative of social audit remains in the hands of the government or administration, there is a danger that ultimately it'll be subverted. How many cases of corruption do we know where an enquiry was set up and because the individuals who were conducting the investigation were from the same class of people as they were investigating, the results of such exercises did not yield the desired result and the matters were covered up? We would not like to see the social audit process currently being undertaken in A.P. to degenerate to a state where the social auditors develop vested interests shared with the people responsible for implementing the APREGS. Hence it is very important that the initiative of the social audit process remains in the hands of common people. The Gram Sabha is the appropriate body to conduct this exercise and not some externally chosen professionals" cautioned Dr Sandeep Pandey.

Those interested in seeking part in this social audit exercise (20-28 May 2008) in Unnao district of UP, are welcome to contact Dr Sandeep Pandey at: ashaashram@yahoo.com .

SSB Volunteers verification

15 Jun 2015 - 4:02pm | Hantigiri Narzary

Thousands of volunteers from Sasastra Seema Bal(SSB) who were imparted Internship Training Volunteers(ITVs) and Women Advance Training School(WATS) thronged the Sahitya Sabha Bhawan to get physical verification today in Kokrajhar.

 Long queue both from male and female were saw since morning and entered the verification room conducted by SSB authority under Ministry of Home Affairs,Govt of India,sub area organiser,SSB,Bhuyanpara,chairman of Assam camp in Assam state.

The verification has been conducted in Kokrajhar for Dhubri and Kokrajhar district  for two days June 15 and 16 as per order of Director General,SSB,East Block,VRK Puram,New Delhi,Vide No.VI/8/ITVs/SSB/Pers-II/2015/2435-39,dated 27-02-2015 for trained volunteers of ITVs and WATS.

The volunteers who were imparted training since 1962 till 2008 in various levels were not given SSB jobs and hence they seeking intervention from Supreme Court filed petition and the Board of Officers from SSB took verification of Physical and documents during the day.

Most of the volunteers in both category were retired persons who were given training on ITVs and WATS in 1962,1972,1986 and rest are in various session at Haflong and Tejpur centres.

The volunteers expresedd their hope that they would be given proper facilities by SSB authority in their living and their aspirations be made fruitful.

According to volunteers apirations the SSB authority is promising to give SSB jobs who are still have jobs’ age and those who are crossed of jobs’ age be given pension and exgratia awards from concern department.

The verification session was saw in progress across the state following pressure and demanded from All Assam SSB Association and All India SSB Volunteer Association.

There are around 32,000 volunteers across the state who ad obtained training,of which three thousand volunteers are in Kokrajhar and Dhubri district itself.

A female volunteer who had trained in 1972 told that she had imparted in training in Tejpur under SSB for one and half months,but no any job was rewarded since then and today SSB authority is organising verification is a hope of ray of job or pension in life.She expressed her hope that if SSB can complete all these verification it will help in building of financial sound in living.

A male volunteers from Gossaigaon said that he had got training in 1962,but no any job or exgratia was awarded after completion of training and this kind of verification will give ray of new life among training holders.

Pranay Kumar Brahma,President of All India All India SSB Volunteer Association told that the training holder of Assam and India jointly pressed the SSB authority to give job opportunity or ex-gratia so that peoples can get healthy living among society.There are over 32,000 training holders of ITVs and WATS in Assam and many thousand volunteers are still have no records of registration.They urged that govt should provide  job or ex-gratia to the training holders across the state.