Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three Tier Panchayati Raj System

Union Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh March 03, informed the Rajya Sabha that where Part IX of the Constitution applies, States are required to constitute Panchayats at three tiers, i.e., Village, Intermediate and District except the States having a population of less than 20 lakhs, which may not constitute a Panchayat at Intermediate level.
Replying to a written question the Minister said Elections to Panchayats have been held in all the States as mandated in Part IX of the Constitution except Jammu & Kashmir which has its own Panchayati Raj Act. Detailed information is at Annex.
As per Article 243M of the Constitution, State of Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sixth Schedule Areas and hill areas of Manipur are exempted from application of Part IX of the Constitution.

State-wise details of elections to Panchayats
Number of tiers of Panchayats
Election held (Y/N)
Arunachal Pradesh
Jammu & Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal
A&N Islands
D&N Haveli
Daman & Diu

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J&K: Politics in the Labyrinth

Ajai Sahni 
Institute for Conflict Management

A 'political solution', every political actor in Srinagar and Delhi faithfully parrots, is required to resolve the unending crisis of violence and terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The evidence, however, suggests that the very people who are loudest in their proclamations of the ‘political solution’ are often the fountainhead of problems in the State, at a time when extraordinary gains have, in fact been registered on a wide range of security parameters.

Thus, a major breakthrough was secured – entirely without the mediation of the State’s principal political formations, or the Centre and its 'interlocutors' – when moderates within the separatist constituency broke rank to speak out for the first time, with exceptional courage and candour, against the terrorists who had hijacked the movement in Kashmir, and who had murdered some of the State’s most notable leaders. Most conventional political players, however, continue to pander to the extremist political formations and constituency, while others remain simply disruptive.

On January 2, 2011, the chief spokesman of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, Abdul Ghani Bhat, broke through the conspiracy of silence and terror that had enveloped J&K for over two decades, to declare:

Lone Sahib, Mirwaiz Farooq and Professor Wani were not killed by the Army or the police. They were targeted by our own people... The story is a long one, but we have to tell the truth. If you want to free the people of Kashmir from sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth.... Here I am letting it out. The present movement against India was started by us killing our intellectuals... wherever we found an intellectual, we ended up killing him...

Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, father of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the current chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference-Mirwaiz (APHC-M), was killed on May 21, 1990; Abdul Gani Lone was killed on the same date in 2002, while participating in a programme commemorating the late Mirwaiz’s death anniversary; Professor Abdul Ahad Wani was killed on December 31, 1993; each of them by "unidentified gunmen".

Other voices quickly echoed Ghani Bhat’s sentiment, albeit more guardedly, including Gani Lone’s sons, Sajjad and Bilal Lone, who regretted their own past failure to expose their father’s assassins, because of "an element of fear".

Ghani Bhat's offensive went further, to directly attack the campaign of stone pelting and disruption that had enveloped the Valley through the summer of 2010 under the principal leadership and direction of the rival Tehrik-e-Hurriyat chairman, Syed Ali Shah Gilani. "There was a hartal (shut down) for five months and 112 people died," Ghani Bhat argued, "And at the end of it there is nothing by way of achievement. This is what happens when there is no thinking, no strategy."

In this declaration, Ghani Bhat was articulating a widespread sentiment that had been actively, and often violently suppressed through the stone pelting campaign. Any failure to follow Gilani’s ‘calendar’ of disruption ordinarily met with swift reprisals; shop keepers who failed to down shutters were thrashed, their shops vandalized; special buses transporting children to school were stopped and burned; trucks and cars moving along highways were forced to stop on the roadside for hours on end, and those who argued or protested would have their screens, and sometimes more, smashed.

Despite the intimidation, resistance to the unending strikes and stone-pelting was not unknown. There were numberless cases of non-cooperation, particularly of what became known as the ‘half-shutter phenomenon’, where shops and businesses operated with their shutters only half open, to quickly evade reprisal in case a wandering gang of separatist ‘enforcers’ came by. Indeed, on September 1, 2010, at the height of the campaign, activist Farooq Ganderbal had organized a small protest demonstration at Residency Road. Again, on November 7, 2010, activists of the Jammu & Kashmir Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) Forum managed to stage a small 'peace rally' in Srinagar, against the shut-downs.

It is crucial to note, in this context, that the entire protracted stone-pelting campaign was directly backed by Pakistan and by Pakistan-based terrorist formations, in a strategy to offset declining capacities for terrorist action. Masarat Alam, chief of the Muslim League, a constituent of the Geelani’s Tehrik-e-Hurriyat, who had engineered and enforced the 'calendars' of shut-downs and stone pelting from the underground, was arrested in Srinagar in the night of October 18, 2010. In his disclosures to the Police, he admitted that he had received INR 4 million from Geelani through different channels to fuel the protests and incite the stone-pelters. Disclosing details of Alam’s confession, J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldip Khoda stated that Pakistan had been using different channels to fund the separatists, including Geelani, to sustain the stone-pelting campaign, as part of its ‘new strategy’. He added, further, "It was not that everybody engaged in protests was paid. The organizers had been paid and they incited the people to hold protests and subject security forces and Police to stone pelting. The militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) had also been working behind the scenes to fuel the protests.’’

Given the atmosphere of enveloping terror and intimidation the open voicing of dissent against the dominant, terrorist-backed, separatist position in J&K was unprecedented, and was quickly seized upon – but just as quickly relinquished – by the media. Despite the sea change in the ground situation that these tentative developments indicate (and they can easily be reversed at the cost of a few bullets), no constitutional political formation, and neither the State Government nor the Centre, appear to have significantly accommodated these changes within their current policy framework. Indeed, the unsettling nonsense that has been the essence of the political discourse, and of various ‘peace-making initiatives’ in J&K, and the relentless appeasement of the most extreme voices, remains the hallmark of all policy and pronouncements.

Ignoring the turmoil of the preceding year, and the abject failure of state agencies to bring the orchestrated disorders under control till the Valley’s unforgiving winter froze them out, Union Home Secretary thus announced, on January 14, 2011, "As a CBM (confidence building measure) in J&K, the strength of the Security Forces [SFs] would come down by 25 per cent." Troop reduction has been the most strident of separatist demands, even through periods of extreme disorder and significant terrorism. The fact that this is part of the strategy of appeasement of extremist elements, and not an initiative based on a considered security assessment, is borne out by the immediate response from both the Army command and the Ministry of Defence. Even as speculation on troop reduction mounted in Delhi, Army Chief General V.K. Singh had cautioned, on January 13, 2011, that care had to be taken to ensure that "extra pressure" was not put on the "already stretched" troops in J&K, and that only the Forces which were ‘dispensable’ were removed. On January 15, 2011, General Officer Commanding (GOC) in Chief, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik cautioned, "I don't think it is the right time to go for troops reduction in J&K. It may be somebody's opinion or perception but we think there is no scope for reduction of troops at this moment." Defence Minister A.K. Antony added that the Army had already reduced nearly 30,000 Army troops in the State and that there was no proposal to reduce the number further.

The lack of a tangible Kashmir Policy in Delhi is further manifested in the activities of the weak group of interlocutors who have been appointed by the Centre to find a "political solution" in J&K. On October 13, 2010, the Union Government appointed journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and former Central Information Commissioner M. M. Ansari, as its interlocutors for the State. On December 9, 2010, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, with Panglossian optimism, assured the nation that the "contours of a political solution to the Kashmir problem are likely to emerge in the next few months." His interlocutors, however, have failed to speak to a single prominent separatist leader till date, including ‘moderate’ factions of the Hurriyat, and their most significant achievement is that they have prevailed upon Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and some leaders of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to speak to one another. Beyond this, they have regurgitated tired proposals for administrative relief and CBMs, including ‘demilitarization’ proposals that have led to the Home Ministry’s hasty announcement of troop withdrawal. They have also intervened to secure the release of 66 youth and the withdrawal of 22 cases under the Public Safety Act.

The situation has been muddied further by conflicting and ambivalent political postures. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, on June 30, 2010, had claimed that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was fuelling the unrest of the stone pelting campaign in J&K. On December 9, 2010, he shifted positions to distinguish between ‘two types of violence’ in the State, arguing, "The violence perpetrated by militants and infiltrators must be dealt with in a strong and resolute manner. On the other hand, the violence witnessed during protests by residents of the State requires deft and sensitive handling."

Chief Minister Abdullah added to the muddle, insisting that the stone-pelting campaign had no correlation with militancy and, at one stage, raised a question mark on Kashmir’s accession to India. He has also chosen to add his voice to the separatist clamour for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), ignoring the vehement opposition of the Security Forces to any such move and, more significantly, the fundamental conundrum that the Army cannot perform internal security duties without the legal mandate that this Act provides.

It is useful, in passing, to record here the mischief a Bharatiya Janata Party initiative to engage in a highly publicised flag-hoisting campaign at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, January 26, 2011, not in any meaningful assertion of a long-standing and substantive engagement with the State, but rather as a red rag to the separatists and ambivalent elements within the larger population. While the constitutional legitimacy of such a move is beyond doubt, its political sagacity and strategic utility is far from evident, outside a framework of competitive political communalisation and electoral brinkmanship.
All these positions have been held and articulated with little or no reference to the situation on the ground. Crucially, a trend of dramatically declining terrorist activities in J&K, commencing 2002, appears to have stalled in 2010. Total fatalities in 2010 stood at 375 – the same number as the previous year (all data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal database). 2008 had witnessed 541 terrorism-related fatalities, 2007, 777, and, at peak, 2001, at 4,507. There was, however, a significant increase in terrorist fatalities, at 270 in 2010, as against 242 in 2009, while fatalities in both the civilian and SF category fell, from 55 and 78 in 2009, to 36 and 69 in 2010, respectively.


1. India is the seventh largest country in the world in terms of area.

2. Indian mainland extends between latitudes 8 degree 4' and 37 degree 6' north, longitudes 68 degree 7' and 97 degree 25' east and measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes.

3. India has land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.

4. Countries having common border with India are: Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

5. Aravalli, Vindhya, Satpura, Maikala and Ajanta are prominent hill ranges that lie between the Peninsular India and the plains of Ganga.

6. The Eastern and Western Ghats meet at the southern part of the Indian Peninsula which is formed by the Nilgiri Hills. .

7. Ghagra, Gomti, Gandak, Kosi and Yamuna are the major Himalayan rivers that join the Ganga. Chambal, Betwa and Sone are major rivers flowing north from central India that join Yamuna/Ganga.

8. After Ganga, Godavari has the second largest basin covering 10 per cent of the area of India. Next to it is Krishna, followed by the Mahanadi basin.

9. The climate of India can be described as Tropical monsoon type.

10. India is in tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity.

11. Botanical Survey of India, (BSI), Kolkata is the nodal agency that is studying the flora of the country. BSI brings out an inventory of the endangered plants in the form of a publication titled "Red Data Book".

12. The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata and its 16 regional stations are responsible for surveying the faunal resources of India.

13. India has a great variety of fauna, numbering 89,451 species.

14. The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22,1947.

15. The State emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capitol of Ashoka. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capitol is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dizaram Chakra). There are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion, separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus.

16. In the State emblem, adopted on January 26,1950, only three lions are visible. The bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words, Satyameva Jayate, from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning 'truth alone triumphs', are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagiri script.

17. The song Jana-gana-mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly, as the National Anthem of India, on January 24, 1950. It was first sung on December 27, 1911, at the Calcutta session of Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem.

18. The national calendar of India is based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month. A normal year of 365 days was adopted from March 22, 1957, along with the Gregorian Calendar for the following purposes: (1) Gazette of India; (2) news broadcast by All India Radio; (3) calendars issued by Government of India; and (4) Government communications addressed to the members of the public.

19. Agriculture sector of India contributes 25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 70 per cent of the population is dependent on it.

20. There are three main crop seasons in India, namely, kharif, rabi and summer.'

21. Major kharif crops are: rice, jowar, bajra, maize, cotton, sugarcane, soyabean, and groundnut.

22. Major rabi crops are: wheat, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed, and mustard. Rice, maize and groundnut are grown in summer season also.

23. In Indian agriculture, oilseeds are next to food grains in area coverage, production and value. India is,one of the largest oilseeds growing countries, contributing about 15 per cent to the acreage under oilseeds in the world.

24. The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, set up a Technology Mission on Oilseeds in May 1986 with the objective to increase the production of oilseeds, reduce the import of edible oils and to achieve self-sufficiency in edible oils.

25. India is the third largest producer and consumer of fertilizers in the world, after China and USA. It contributes to 9.5 per cent of world production and 10.6 per cent of world consumption of NPK nutrients, but sustains one-sixth of the world population.

26. The National Biofertiliser Development Centre is located at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Its six regional centres are located at .labalpur, Nagpur, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Hissar and Imphal.

27. The Central Fertiliser Quality Control and Training Institute is located in Faridabad, Haryana. Its three regional centres are located at Mumbai, Chennai and Kalyani.

28. India accounts for about 10 per cent of the production of fruits in the world.

29. Mango is the most important fruit produced in India, covering about 39 per cent of the total area used for fruit production and accounting for 23 per cent of total fruit production of India.

30. India occupies first position in the total production of banana in the world.

31. India is next only to China in the area and production of vegetables. India contributes about 13 per cent of the world vegetable production and occupies first position in production of cauliflowers, second in onion and third in cabbage in the world.

32. India is the largest producer, processor, consumer and exporter of cashew nut in the world. India produces 45 per cent of the global production of cashew.

33. The Centrally-sponsored scheme of soil conservation in the catchments of River Valley Project (RVP) was started in the third Five-year Plan. Another scheme of FloodProne Rivers (FPR) was started in the sixth Plan. Both the schemes were clubbed during the ninth Plan and further subsumed under Macro Management Mode in November 2000.

34. The Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) is located in Jodhpur.

35. Seed sector in India consists of two national level corporations: National Seed Corporation (NSC) and State Farm Corporation of India (SFCI). The Seeds Act, 1966 provides for the legislative framework for regulation of quality of seeds sold in India.

36. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) launched a Central Sector Scheme during the ninth Plan to make available seeds for any contingent situation arising out of natural calamity.

37. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) advises the Central and State governments on agricultural marketing policies and programmes. It is located in Faridabad, Haryana.

38. The National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) is located in Jaipur.

39. Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes are located at Budni (Madhya Pradesh), Hissar (Haryana), Garladinne (Andhra Pradesh) and Biswanath Chariali (Assam).

40. India accounts for 57 per cent of the world's buffalo population and 15 per cent of the cattle population. India possesses 27 acknowledged indigenous breeds of cattle and 7 breeds of buffaloes.

41. The present availability of animal protein in an Indian diet is 10 gm per person per day, as against a world average of 25 gm.

42. India is the largest producer of milk in the world and ranks fifth in egg production.

43. Central Sheep Breeding Farm is located in Hissar.

44. Reishi or Ling Zhi is a medicinal mushroom which has been successfully grown in India.

45. For rehabilitation of calcareous soils Tamarix articulate, Acadia nilotica, Prosopis Juliflora, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Acacia tortills, Cassia siamea and Feronia limonia have been found promising for plantation with furrow planting methods in arid and semi-arid regions. Salvadora persica proved the ideal species for soil and water management in saline black soils.

46. Karzat 4, Indryani, Panvel 2, Palgarh 1 and 2 are names of various rice varieties sown in India.

47. Kankrej, Ponwar, Gangatiri and Kherigah are names of various cattle breeds in India.

48. Jalauni, Kheri, Mandya, Hassan and Mecheri are names of various sheep breeds of India.

49. C-ELISA is an indigenously developed kit for rinderpest which has been validated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.

50. Feedbase-2001 is a data base that provides information on feed resources and feed balance sheet.

51. Okara is a by-product of soymilk.

52. Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan is located in Almora, Uttaranchal.

53. The Lalit Kala Academy (National Academy of Fine Arts) is located in New Delhi. It has regional centres, called Rashtriya Lalit Kala Kendras, located at Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Garhi(New Delhi) and Bhubaneswar.

54. Bharata Natyam is a dance form of Tamil Nadu. Kathakali is a dance form of Kerala. Kathak is a classical dance form revitalised as a result of Mughal influence on Indian culture. Manipuri is a dance form of Manipur, while Kuchipudi owes its origin to Andhra Pradesh. Odissi, once practised as temple dance, has its origins in Orissa.

55. Kathak Kendra, Delhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal, are training institutes run by Sangeet Natak Academy, the National Academy of. Music, Dance and Drama. The Academy also supports training programmes in Chhau dance of Mayurbhanj and Seraikella, as also Koodiyattam of Kerala.

56. The National School of Drama (NSD) is one of the foremost theatre institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by Sangeet Natak Academy in 1959 and in 1975 it became an autonomous organization.

57. The Theatre-in education Company (renamed as Sanskar Rang Toli was founded by NSD in 1989. Since 1998, NSD has organized National Theatre Festival for Children, christened Jashne Bachpan, every year.

58. The first-ever National Theatre Festival, christened Bharat Rang Mahotsav, was held in March-April, 1999 to commemorate the 50th year of India's Independence.

59. Sahitya Academy has its Head Office in New Delhi. Besides, it has four offices in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. It also has four translation centres at Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, besides a project office at Vadodra for promotion of oral and tribal literature and an Archives of Indian literature. It also maintains a multilingual library at New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata, stocking books in over 25 languages.

60. The highest honour conferred by Sahitya Academy on a writer is by electing him/her its Fellow. The honour is limited to 21 at any given moment.

61. The Sahitya Academy holds a 'Festival of Letters' every year, usually in February.

62. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) functions as an attached office of the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

63. The National Museum was established on August 15, 1949 in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.It was formally inaugurated on December 18, 1960 on its present premises.

64. The National Council of Science Museums is located in Kolkata.

65. The Allahabad Museum is famous for its collection of Bharhut, Bhumara and Jamsot sculptors and for the terracotta from Kausumbi, Bhita, Jhusi, Patliputra, Sarnath, Rajghat and Ahichhatra. The Museum also has paraphernalia and family heirlooms of Nehrus, including manuscripts of' An Autobiography' by J.L. Nehru.

66. The National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) is located in Lucknow.

67. The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) was founded in 1954 to promote and develop contemporary Indian Art.

68. The National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi, known until independence as Imperial Record Department, was originally established in Kolkata in March 1891. It is the official custodian of all non-current records of permanent / value to the government of India and its predecessor bodies. It has a regional office at Bhopal and three record centres at Bhubaneswar, ]aipur and Pondicherry.

69. Marine Archeology Centre has been established in the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. Major exploration are being undertaken in the waters of ancient Dwarka, Poompuhar waters (Tamil Nadu) and around Lakshadweep.

70. National Library, Kolkata serves as a permanent repository of all reading and information material produced in India, as well.as printed material written by Indians and concerning India written by foreigners, wherever published and in whatever language.

71. Under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, four libraries-National Library, Kolkata, Central Library, Mumbai, Connemara Public Library, Chennai, and Delhi Public Library, Delhi-are entitled to receive a copy of new books and magazines published in the counuy.

72. Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna has a rich collection of over 20,000 'Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Pali and Sanskrit manuscripts.

73. The Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji's Saraswati Mahal (TMSSM) Library, Thanjavur is one of the few medieval libraries that exist in the world.

74. The Rampur Raza Library, housed in Hamid Manzil in the fort of Rampur, is a treasure house of Indo Islamic learning and art.

75. Asiatic Society in Kolkata was founded by Sir William Jones in 1784, with the objective of inquiring into the history, science, arts and literature of Asia.

76. The Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies is located in Varanasi. It was established with the objective of preservation of Tibetan culture and tradition, restoration of ancient Indian literature preserved in Tibetan language and to provide higher education in Buddhist studies.

77. The Central Institute of Buddhist Studies is located, in Leh.

78. The Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology is located in Sikkim. It has done significant work in promoting research in CHHO (Tibetan for Dharma).

79. Anthropological Survey of India is located in Kolkata.

80. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sanghrahalaya (National Museum of Mankind) is located in Bhopal. It is dedicated to the depiction of an integrated story of humankind in global perspective, with special focus on India.

81. The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) has its headquarters in New Delhi and two regional Centres at Udaipur and Hyderabad.

82. With the aim of projecting in India cultural kinships transcending territorial boundaries, seven zonal cultural centres have been established at Patiala, Kolkata, Thanjavur, Udaipur, Allahabad, Dimapur and Nagpur.

83. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is a premier national institute engaged in the pursuit of knowledge on arts and culture. It is also the nodal agency for the setting up of a national data bank on arts, humanities and cultural heritage.

84. Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti has been set up primarily to maintain and look after the national memorial where Gandhiji was assassinated, now called Gandhi Smriti, and a permanent photo exhibition at Rajghat, called Gandhi Darshan.

85. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) is responsible for formulation and maintenance of statistical standards, work pertaining to national accounts, industrial statistics, consumer price indices, conduct of economic census and surveys and liaising with international agencies in statistical matters. It is located in New Delhi.

86. National income is defined as the sum of incomes accruing to factors of production, supplied by normal residents of the country before deduction of direct taxes. It is equal to net national product at factor-cost.

87. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has been set up to conduct large scale surveys to meet the data needs of India as also for the estimation of national income and other aggregates. It has four divisions: (i) Survey Design and Research Division (SDRD), with headquarters in Kolkata; (ii) Field Operations Division (FOD) having its headquarters in Delhi; (iii) Data Processing Division (DPD) with headquarters in Kolkata; and (iv) Coordination and Publication Division (CPD), located in Delhi.

88. Summary results of NSSO surveys are published in the biannual technical journal Sarvekshana.

89. India has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million sq km. The EEZ provides India with more than 60 per cent of its oil and gas production and fishing valued at $ 1.15 billion.

90. The Army War College, earlier known as College of Combat, is located in Mhow.

91. The Infantry School, Mhow is the largest and oldest military training centre of Indian Army. This institute also trains the National Shooting team, under the aegis of Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU).

92. The Institute of Defence Management is located in Secunderabad.

93. The Defence Services Staff College is located in Wellington. It imparts training to middle level officers (Major and equivalent) of Army, Air Force and Navy.

94. The High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) is located in Gulmarg.

95. The National Defence College is located in Delhi. It is the only institute of India that imparts knowledge on all aspects of national security and strategy.

96. Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, located in Hyderabad, was incorporated with the primary objective of ushering in self-reliance in special metals and alloys for strategic sectors like Defence, Space and Atomic energy.

97. The 86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002, makes elementary education a Fundamental Right for children in the age-group of 6-14 years.

98. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme evolved I from the recommendations of the State Education Ministers' Conference held in October 1998. The main goals of SSA are: (a) All 6-14 age children complete five-year primary education by 2007; (b) Bridge all gender and social category gaps at primary stage by 2007 and at elementary education level by 2010; (c) Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life; and (d) Universal retention by 2010.

99. The National programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education is commonly known as Mid Day Meal Scheme. It was launched in August 1995.

100. Operation Blackboard was launched in 1987 with the aim of improving human and physical resources available in primary schools of India.

101. Janshala Programme is a collaborative effort of the government of India, and five UN agencies-UNDP, UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF and UNFPA-to provide programme support to the ongoing efforts towards achieving Universal Elementary Education (UEE).

102. The National Council for Teacher Education was established by an Act of the Parliament in August 1995.

103. The University Grants Commission (UGC) serves as a coordinating body between the Union and State governments and the institutions of higher learning.

104. The National Literacy Mission (NLM) aims to attain a sustainable threshold level of 75 per cent literacy by 2007, by imparting functional literacy to non-literates in the age-group of 15-35 years.

105. The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages is located in Hyderabad.

106. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) system was introduced in India in 1985 by the Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Agency for ISBN. ISBN is a unique international publisher's identifier number.

107. Administering the Copyright Act, 1957 is the responsibility of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Secondary and Higher Education.

108. The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was the first multipurpose river valley project to be undertaken after Independence. It was set up in July 1948.

109. The National Power Training Institute (NPTI) is located at Faridabad.

110. The Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) has its headquarters located at Bangalore. Other units are located at Bhopal, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ghaziabad, Thiruvanthapuram and Raichur.

111. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is the nodal agency to promote efficient use of energy and its conservation in all sectors of economy of India.

112. Coal is the main source of energy in India and account for about 67 per cent of India's commercial requirement.

113. The coal reserves of India, as on January 1, 2003 were 2,40,748 million tonnes.

114. The Botanical Survey of India and the Zoological Survey of India both have their headquarters in Kolkata.

115. The Forest Survey of India has its headquarters in Dehradun and has four regional offices at Bangalore, Kolkata, Nagpur and Shimla.

116. Biosphere reserves are multi-purpose protected areas to preserve the genetic diversity in representative ecosystem. 13 Biosphere reserves have been set up in India. These are: Nilgiri, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Great Nicobar, Gulf of Mannar, Manas, Sundebans, Similipal, Dibru, Daikhowa, Dehong Deband, Pachmarhi, Kanchunjunga and Agasthyamalai. Out of these, Nilgiri, Sunderbans and Gulf of Mannar have been recognized on World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO.

117. India is one of the 12 mega-biodiversity countries of the world.

118. The forest cover of India constitutes 20.55 per cent of its geographical area. Of this, dense forest constitutes 12.68 per cent and open forest 7.87 per cent. The mangrove cover occupies 0.14 per cent of geographical area. The total tree/forest cover is estimated as 81,472 sq km or about 2.48 per cent of the country.

119. G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development is located at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttaranchal.

120. The Environmental Information System (ENVIS) network brings out a quarterly journal, Paryavaran Abstracts, which contains information about environmental research in the Indian context.

121. The ENVIS has been designated as National Focal Point (NFP) and Regional Service Centre (RSC) for South Asia sub-regional countries by INFOTERRA (a global information system on environment) of UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

122. The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) consists of nine main divisions, namely, (i) Economic; (ii) Banking; (iii) Insurance; (iv) Budget; (v) Foreign Trade and Investment; (vi) External Finance; (vii) Capital market; (viii) Fund Bank; and (ix) Currency and Coinage.

123. All revenues received, loans raised and money received in repayment of loans by the Union government form the Consolidated Fund of India. No money can be withdrawn from this Fund except under the authority of an Act of Parliament.

124. The Indian Constitution provides for the establishment of a Consolidated Fund, a Public Account and a Contingency Fund for each State.

125. The first bank of limited liability, managed by Indians, was Oudh Commercial Bank. It was founded in 1881. Punjab National Bank was established in 1894.

126. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was established under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 on April 1, 1935 and nationalized on January 1,1949.

127. RBI is the sole authority for issue of currency notes in India, other than one-rupee coins and subsidiary coins and notes.

128. India ranks third in the world, after China and USA, in terms of production of coal.

129. The three important gold fields of India are: Kolar (Karnataka), Hutti in Raichur district (Karnataka) and Ramgiri in Anantapur district (Andhra Pradesh).

130. Mains reserves of Tungsten are located at Degana, Rajasthan.

131. The Mangampet deposits, occurring in Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh is the single largest deposit of Barytes in the world.

132. The main diamond-bearing areas in India are Panna belt in Madhya Pradesh, Munimadugu-Banganapalle conglomerate in Kurnool district, Wajrakarur Kimberlite pipe in Anantapur district and Krishna river basin in Andhra Pradesh.

133. Orissa is a major producer of Graphite in India.

134. Judges of the Supreme Court of India hold office until they attain the age of 65 years. Judges of the High Court hold office until they attain the age of 62 years.

135. The National Judicial Academy is located in Bhopal with its registered office in New Delhi.

136. V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Noida, is an autonomous body under the Union Ministry of Labour. It is engaged in research pertaining to labour and training of labour administrators, trade unions, public sector managers and other government functionaries concerned with labour.

137. The first radio programme was broadcast in India in 1923 by the Radio Club of Bombay.

138. All India Radio (AIR) operates on motto Bahujana Hitaya; Bahujana Sukhya (to promote the happiness and welfare of the masses through information, education and entertainment.

139. Cyan Darshan is the educational channel run by Doordarshan.

140. Press Trust of India (PTI) is India's largest news agency.

141. United News of India (UNI) became the first agency in India to launch a full-fledged Hindi wire service Univarta in 1982. In early 1990s, it launched the first-ever wire service in Urdu.

142. The Press Council of India has been established under the Act of Parliament for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press, and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.

143. India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 3.3 million kilometres.

144. Golden Quadrilateral comprises of National Highways connecting the four metro cities.

145. Shipping Corporation of India Limited (SCI) is the biggest shipping line of India.

146. Indian Institute of Maritime Studies (IIMS) is located in Mumbai.

147. India has 12 major ports and about 184 other ports.

148. Mumbai, Nhava Sheva, Kandla, Mormugao, New Mangalore and Cochin are the major ports on west coast.

149. Kolkata/Haldia, Para dip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin are major ports on the east coast.

150. Command Area Development (CAD) Programme was launched in 1974-75 with main objective of improving the utilization of created irrigation potential and optimizing agriculture production and productivity from irrigated lands on sustainable bases.