Posts tagged ‘Andhra Pradesh’


Facts and figures for India’s 2014 general election | India Insight

Voting in the 2014 election begins on April 7. More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — will be eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.

Voting will be held in nine stages, which will be staggered until May 12, and results are due to be announced on May 16. Elections to state assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will be held simultaneously.

Around 930,000 polling stations will be set up for the month-long election using electronic voting machines, first introduced in 2004.

Uttar Pradesh has the most eligible voters (134 million); Sikkim the lowest (about 362,000). Male voters constitute 52.4 percent of the electorate but women voters outnumber men in eight regions — Puducherry, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Daman & Diu, Meghalaya, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh.

About 23 million eligible voters have been enrolled in the 18 to 19 age group, nearly 3 percent of India’s voters.

Of India’s 814.5 million eligible voters, 28,314 identify themselves as transgender and their gender is listed as “other”. There are 11,844 non-resident Indians registered to vote in the election this year.

Since introducing photo voter ID cards and electoral rolls in 2009, 98 percent of India’s eligible voters have the former, 96 percent have the latter.

Electronic voting machine security includes: transported under armed escort and stored in strong rooms, with a double lock system and guarded 24×7 by armed police, and CCTV coverage. Also, parties/candidates allowed to keep a watch on them.

Nearly 10 million officials (including police for security) will be deployed.

Uttar Pradesh has the most Lok Sabha seats (80) while the states of Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and the union territories have one seat each.

A candidate can spend up to 7 million rupees ($116,350) for his election campaign in Delhi and all states except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim. For these states and other union territories, the limit is 5.4 million rupees ($90,000).

A candidate for the Lok Sabha makes a deposit of 25,000 rupees ($415) at the time of filing the nomination. If the candidate fails to get a sixth of the total valid votes polled, this amount is forfeited. Nearly 85 percent of the candidates lost their security deposit in the 2009 election.

In the 15th Lok Sabha, around 78 percent of the members have a graduate, post-graduate degree or a doctorate.

Malkajgiri in Andhra Pradesh is the biggest Indian constituency in terms of voters with around 2.95 million electors; Lakshadweep is the smallest with 47,972 voters. In Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh, Hukani polling station has 22 registered voters. Officials travel 22 km on foot to get there.

In the 2009 election, 363 political parties took part. The Bahujan Samaj Party contested the maximum number of seats (500 out of 543), followed by the Congress (440) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (433).

The last general election had a voter turnout of over 58 percent. Nagaland (89.99 percent) had the highest turnout while Jammu & Kashmir (39.68 percent) saw the lowest.

Namo Narain of the Congress party beat his BJP rival by 317 votes in Rajasthan’s Tonk Sawai Madhopur constituency — the smallest margin of victory in the 2009 election.

“Basic Minimum Facilities” for polling stations include drinking water, shed, toilet, ramp for disabled voters.

Voters will have a “None of the Above” option on voting machines.

The indelible election ink that is applied while electors cast their votes is manufactured by Mysore Paints & Varnish Limited, a Karnataka government undertaking.

Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged as the favourite in opinion polls, which reflect waning support for Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party that wrested power from the BJP in 2004.

Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, will also be challenged by a clutch of regional parties that are vying for power as part of a “third front” opposed to both the Congress and the BJP.

Also in the race is Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which made a stunning debut in Delhi elections last year and is now eyeing a national presence on the anti-corruption plank.

via Facts and figures for India’s 2014 general election | India Insight.

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India Plans to Manufacture Equipment at Solar Park as Glut Eases – Businessweek

India plans to add solar-equipment manufacturing capacity at a new park in Andhra Pradesh state, saying demand from plants under construction will help the industry recover from a glut of panels.

Solar Energy Corp. of India, the state-run company spearheading the industry’s development, signed an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corp. for a solar park in the state that will have 1,000 megawatts of power capacity, as well as factories to produce modules and cells, Rajendra Nimje, managing director of SECI, said in an interview.

The plans come as panel prices appear to be bottoming out after falling more than 60 percent in two years amid a global supply glut. Local manufacturers, such as Indosolar Ltd. (ISLR), Moser Baer India Ltd. and Websol Energy System (WESL) Ltd., who idled about half of their 1,000 megawatts of production capacity, will get fresh orders as new projects are built, Nimje said.

via India Plans to Manufacture Equipment at Solar Park as Glut Eases – Businessweek.

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The Right to Inherit Isn’t Working for Indian Women, Says U.N. Study – India Real Time – WSJ

As their husbands, fathers, and brothers migrate to cities in search of work, women across India have become the backbone of the country’s agricultural sector.  Nearly 80% of all rural women in India labor in the fields.

A study released Sunday by United Nations Women India and Landesa, a  U.S.-headquartered nonprofit working to improve land rights for women and men, found that despite their time spent working in orchards, cotton fields, and rice paddies, and changes to inheritance laws, women rarely inherit the land that has sustained them and that they have sustained.

In 2005, the government of India amended its inheritance laws to ensure daughters enjoyed equal rights to inherit their parent’s land and property. But the law seems to be having little impact.

The survey of more than 1,400 women and 360 men in agricultural districts with large numbers of women farmers in three Indian states, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, found that just one in eight women whose parents own agricultural land inherit any of it.

This has significance far beyond intra-family squabbles over divvying up the family fortune. It is fundamental to India’s rural development and progress on a host of development indicators.

Simply, if women farm the land but don’t own it, they are little more than migrant laborers tilling fields owned by others. Without legal control over the land, or any documentation that they have rights to the ground they farm, they can’t access institutional credit, such as bank loans.  Nor can they take advantage of agricultural extension programs, such as government offers of subsidized seeds and fertilizers. All of this stymies agricultural development.

It also limits agricultural production. This doesn’t just mean women have fewer tools for climbing out of poverty, it can also mean that their children are stuck there too: Researchers have found that women simply direct more of their income than men towards their children’s education and nutrition, which in turn lowers child mortality and helps reduce diseases of poverty.

The 2005,  Hindu Succession Amendment Act giving sons and daughters equal rights to inheriting family land and property was heralded as an important step forward for India’s women.

The study published Sunday, is the first substantial evaluation of the impact of that amendment and indicates that many women have yet to benefit from the legal changes.

via The Right to Inherit Isn’t Working for Indian Women, Says U.N. Study – India Real Time – WSJ.

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After farmers commit suicide, debts fall on their families – The Times of India

Latha Reddy Musukula was making tea on a recent morning when she spotted the money lenders walking down the dirt path toward her house. They came in a phalanx of 15 men, by her estimate. She knew their faces, because they had walked down the path before.

After each visit, her husband, a farmer named Veera Reddy, sank deeper into silence, frozen by some terror he would not explain. Three times he cut his wrists. He tied a noose to a tree, relenting when the family surrounded him, weeping. In the end he waited until Musukula stepped out, and then he hanged himself from a pipe supporting their roof, leaving a careful list of each debt he owed to each money lender. She learned the full sum then: 400,000 rupees, or $6,430.

A current of dread runs through this farmland, where women in jewel-colored saris bend their backs over watery terraces of rice. In Andhra Pradesh, the southern state where Musukula lives, the suicide rate among farmers is nearly three times the national average; since 1995, the number of suicides by India’s farmers has passed 290,000, according to the national crime records bureau, though the statistics do not specify the reason for the act.

India’s small farmers, once the country’s economic backbone and most reliable vote bank, are increasingly being left behind. With global competition and rising costs cutting into their lean profits, their ranks are dwindling, as is their contribution to the gross domestic product. If rural voters once made their plight into front-page news around election time, this year the large parties are jockeying for the votes of the urban middle class, and the farmers’ voices are all but silent.

Even death is a stopgap solution, when farmers like Reddy take their own lives, their debts pass from husband to widow, from father to children. Musukula is now trying to scrape a living from the four acres that defeated her husband. Around her she sees a country transformed by economic growth, full of opportunities to break out of poverty, if only her son or daughter could grasp one.

via After farmers commit suicide, debts fall on their families – The Times of India.

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India investigates report of Huawei hacking state carrier network | Reuters

“An incident about the alleged hacking of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) network by M/S Huawei … has come to notice,” Killi Kruparani, junior minister for communications and information technology, said in a written reply to a question from a member of parliament.

BSNL logo

BSNL logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to investigate the matter,” the minister said on Wednesday, without giving details.

A senior government official said the decision to investigate came after a media report said Huawei had hacked a BSNL mobile base station controller. The official declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

BSNL declined to comment beyond the minister’s statement. A spokesman for the communications and information technology ministry said he did not have details of the allegation.

A spokesman for Huawei India denied any hacking.

via India investigates report of Huawei hacking state carrier network | Reuters.

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India Cabinet Approves Creation of Telangana State –

Yet another split amongst Indian states.  See also:

Andhra state marked in yellow which merged wit...

Andhra state marked in yellow which merged with Telangana in white to form the state of Andhra Pradesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Indian government on Thursday approved the creation of a new state of Telangana out of the larger southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, hoping to quell long-standing agitation by those who argue that the region needs more independence after suffering decades of neglect.


India‘s home minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, said Hyderabad will be a common capital for both states for 10 years. A panel of ministers will be set up to work out the details of the split, he said.”


via India Cabinet Approves Creation of Telangana State –



Food security law may leave out many dalits, tribals

Times of India: “A good number of dalits and tribals may be left out of the ambit of the ambitious Food Security Act, with the socio-economic caste census reporting lesser number of households of the two communities than found by the decennial census, a fraught prospect that has led to jitters in the government.

As per the preliminary figures of socio-economic caste census (survey),1702 tehsils across 27 states have fewer SCs and STs than found in the decennial population census 2011. The census figures of SC/ST population exceed the survey numbers by 1%.

It implies that fewer SCs/STs would be part of the poverty list to be shortlisted by the much-awaited survey. Once finalized, the survey is to serve as the blue book of poor households for entitlement schemes and its first big use would be in the implementation of food security scheme that Congress has called a “game-changer”.

The discrepancy has been found in the poorest states like Bihar (124 tehsils), Madhya Pradesh (163), Odisha (132) as also in Andhra Pradesh (450) and Maharashtra (154). However, the absolute number of households in Andhra is not high because the tehsils are small in size, sources said.

According to sources, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has shot off letters to 26 chief ministers and the administrator of Daman and Diu, seeking proactive initiative to detect omissions.”

via Food security law may leave out many dalits, tribals – The Times of India.

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Jairam blames ‘forcible acquisition’ for Naxal problem

The Hindu: “Coming down heavily on PSUs for displacing tribals, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday blamed their actions for growth of Naxalism in many areas and cautioned that the era of “forcible acquisition” was now over.

The Union Rural Development Minister said if the new Land Acquisition Act is implemented properly, it will put an end to “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests and check Maoist menace. File photo

The Union Rural Development Minister said if the new Land Acquisition Act is implemented properly, it will put an end to “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests and check Maoist menace.

“The record of public sector (PSUs) in displacements is worse than the record of the private sector. This is a sad truth… that more displacement has been caused by government and public sector projects than private sector projects…particularly in Naxal areas. And this is why Naxalism has grown in these areas,” the Minister said.

Mr. Ramesh slammed National Thermal Power Corporation for allegedly seeking police help for forcibly acquiring land in Keredari block of Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district, where a villager agitating against land acquisition was shot dead two months ago.

He was addressing Hindi and regional media two days after Parliament passed the path-breaking ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013’.

Criticising NTPC for the alleged forced acquisition, Ramesh said, “Companies must also learn to be sensitive, changing aspirations.”

“NTPC will face a challenge. If there is firing in an NTPC project and people get killed in that firing, they cannot acquire the land…Indian companies still believe that they can use government to forcibly acquire land. That era is gone. You cannot do forcible acquisition,” the Minister said when asked about the reported criticism by a top NTPC official of the new Land Acquisition legislation.

“If this (new) land acquisition law is properly implemented, it will defeat Naxalism,” he said, referring to incidents of “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests for various public and private sector projects in mineral-rich states like Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The new law will be notified in three months.

Mr. Ramesh said, “Land Acquisition is the root of the Maoist issue. If you have a humane, sensitive and responsible land acquisition policy, lot of your problems relating to Naxalism would go. Tribals will be with you.

“It is a fact that many of the tribals have been displaced and they have not got proper compensation, they have not got rehabilitation and resettlement…particularly in mining of coal and irrigation projects,” he added.

Mr. Ramesh, the architect of the new Land Acquisition Bill, said the 119-year-old Land Acquisition Act, 1894, had a “very important role” in encouraging Maoist activities in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, parts of tribal Maharashtra and tribal Andhra Pradesh.

When asked that 13 laws, including the Indian Railways Act, National Highways Act, Land Acquisition Mines Act and Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, under which bulk of the land acquisition takes place, are exempted from the purview of the Bill, the Minister said, “Within one year, all compensation, all rehabilitation and resettlement…all these Acts will come under the newly enacted legislation.””

via Jairam blames ‘forcible acquisition’ for Naxal problem – The Hindu.

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India coalition approves new state of Telangana

There were 14 states and six union territories when reorganised in 1956 after independence, totalling 20.  Now there are 35, with Telangana – if approved by parliament – becoming the 36th. And there are another six or so others lobbying for statehood. The primary reason is ethnic / language differences between different population mixes in the original / existing states. Given that there are 22 officially recognised languages, plus another c6 adopted by some of the new states, it would seem that the pressure for more sub-divisions is in sight.

Apparently, it is said that some Chinese strategist predicts there will be 40 Indian states! (

BBC: “India‘s ruling Congress-led coalition has unanimously agreed to the formation of a new state in the Telangana region of southern Andhra Pradesh state, officials say.

Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) activists demonstrate as riot police stand behind a barrier during a pro-Telangana protest in Hyderabad on June 14, 2013

With a population of 40 million, the proposed state comprises 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts including Hyderabad, India‘s sixth biggest city.

The state has seen protests for and against the proposal in recent years.

Backers of the new state say the area has been neglected by the government.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but now everyone has been heard and a decision has been taken,” senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told Indian media.

Opponents of the move are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, could become Telangana’s new capital.

Congress party spokesman Ajay Maken said that Hyderabad would remain the common capital for the two states for a period of at least 10 years until Andhra Pradesh develops its own capital.

“A resolution was passed in the meeting where it was resolved to request the central government to take steps to form a separate state of Telangana,” Mr Maken told a news conference in Delhi.

He said that the resolution was cleared “after taking into account the chequered history of the demand for a separate state of Telangana since 1956”.

The final decision on a new state lies with the Indian parliament. The state assembly must also pass a resolution approving the creation of what will be India’s 29th state.”

via BBC News – India coalition approves new state of Telangana.


* Indian government to deploy 10,000 more personnel in four states to fight Maoists

Times of India: “With the government moving towards a fight to finish war against Maoists in Red Zone, the Union home ministry has decided to deploy additional 10 bBattalions (10,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces in four highly naxal-affected states — Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar.

CRPF, Central Reserve Police Force (www.crpf.n...

CRPF, Central Reserve Police Force (, Group Centre Pune, at Talegaon, on Old Mumbai Pune Highway (NH4) (Photo credit: Ravi Karandeekar)

Five (5,000 personnel) out of the 10 battalions will be drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) while the remaining five will be spared by SSB, BSF and ITBP for anti-naxal operations.

Disclosing the decision in response to a Parliament question, the ministry said that the additional 10 battalions had been sanctioned on the basis of requests made by the respective state for stepping up operations against the Red Ultras.

At present, a total number of 532 companies (53,200 personnel) of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the seven Maoist-affected states — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.

Officials in the ministry said that Jharkhand — which is currently under the President’s rule — would see the maximum deployment where the security forces had already been engaged in intensive operations against the Red Ultras under the leadership of ex-CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar who is posted there as one of the advisors of the state governor.

“Idea is to continue the intensive operations against Maoists before the onset of Monsoon in these states”, said an official.”

via Government to deploy 10,000 more personnel in four states to fight Maoists – The Times of India.

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