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July 2010

Scrap Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010 - Petitions


The maximum imprisonment for violating the provisions of the 1964 Act was 06 months whereas the 2010 Bill/Act prescribes imprisonment extending up to 07 years. It is this that has made people question the intentions of the State BJP (right wing) government as in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), imprisonment for such long terms is usually meant for crimes of a far more heinous nature.

The latest Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010 virtually equates the killing of a cow with the murder of a human. (It's only the economically weaker sections of the society who consume/eat beef in India.)

An offender may be imprisoned from 01-07 years and fined between Rs. 25,000-50,000 or Rs.1 lakh. Draws the lines - us and them, the beef-eaters and those who don't, the killers (bad ones) and the pious/good ones. Reinforces those lines with the draconian, absolute and brutal police power of the State behind one particular section. Removes any distinction between "cow" and "cattle".

Counting the poor - how many do we have?


Public Agenda dear, here is that intellectually ruminating discussion we said we will have soon. How many poor people do we have in our country? The debate, and understanding the number is important because the classic quote goes - "you can't fix what you can't measure". If you can't count your poor, you can't check how your poverty alleviation programs are working.

Two important things around which disagreements arise are 1) How do you define a poor household? 2) How exactly do you count people using the poverty definition you accept?

First of all, the two popular stats that are quoted to start a discussions like this

  • Arjun Sengupta - 77% of Indians lived on less than Rs 20 a day.
  • Suresh Tendulkar co. - Poverty ratio at the all India level ... 37.2% in 2004-05. Rural poverty ... 41.8% and urban ... 25.7%. Criteria, spend per person per month. Rs446.68 in rural areas. Rs578.8 in urban. (see

Some other notable stats:

Alternatives to Road-Widening

This post is in response to criticism that road-widening critics haven't provided alternatives to widening.

Two things.

1. Sorry for the extreme illustration, but suppose I find someone committing a murder. I'm not sure that I have to provide an alternative to him and only then try to stop him.

2. I think the people mentioned above have suggested various alternatives. The 'people' say that the problem is a unsustainable number of private vehicles on our roads. Following from that, they have likened road-widening to 'loosening the belt to cure obesity' and recognised that it is a unworkable response to traffic congestion. They have provided following alternatives to resolving traffic congestion. None of these may help by itself. But some combination of them should be tried. The list has been made from the following sources:

SBC's Convention invite

The Solution - CyBaNa

Stupidity of road widening

Right is there; but, no information


Following (in italics) are the relevant excerpts from the New Indian Express report:

The government may have enacted a law empowering citizens to demand information from public authorities, but five years later many government departments are yet to take the “first step” towards proactive disclosure. Section 4(1)(b) of the RTI act mandates that all authorities under the purview of the law must index, catalogue and computerise official records to be easily accessed by the people. So far, however, few departments have paid heed to the provision, says K A Thippeswamy, Karnataka State Information Commissioner. The progress, he said, has been “almost negligible”. “They (departments) do not even have a record room to keep  documents,” he said. “They were supposed to do it within six months of the Act coming into force. But it’s been five years and they are yet to do it.’’

Mobilicity 2010 with CiSTUP

15 Jul 2010 17:00
Commuter RailPublic Transport

Agenda: Discuss Mobilicity 2010 event which will have Commuter Rail and suburban connect as focus.

Venue: CiSTUP, IISC (18th cross mariamma temple circle entrance)

If interested you can show up at CiSTUP we will gather there before the meeting comment guidelines

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