Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003: An Overview And The Need To Give It More Teeth

first_imgColumnsCentral Vigilance Commission Act, 2003: An Overview And The Need To Give It More Teeth Abhishek Gupta12 April 2020 9:51 PMShare This – xThe Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (“CVC Act”) was enacted by the Parliament in 2003 and received the assent of the President on 11th September 2003. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Vigilance Commission (“CVC”) to inquire or cause inquiries to be conducted into the offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“POCA”)…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (“CVC Act”) was enacted by the Parliament in 2003 and received the assent of the President on 11th September 2003. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Vigilance Commission (“CVC”) to inquire or cause inquiries to be conducted into the offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (“POCA”) by certain categories of Public Servants of the Central Government, corporations established by or under any central Act, government companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The object and purpose of the 2003 Act is to have an integrity institution like CVC which is in charge of vigilance administration and constitutes an anti-corruption mechanism. The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action. It is not an investigating agency, and either gets the investigation done through the CBI or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in the government offices. Similar integrity institutions exist in US, UK, Australia, Canada and Hongkong to safeguard against corruption. History of the Act CVC, as an integrity institution was set up by the Government of India in 1964 vide a Government Resolution pursuant to the recommendations of Santhanam Committee. However, it was not a statutory body at that time. According to the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee, CVC, in its functions, was supposed to be independent of the executive. The sole purpose behind setting up of the CVC was to improve the vigilance administration in the country.[1] The Genesis of the CVC Act lies in the 1997 Report of the Independent Review Committee set up by the Government of India in September, 1997 to monitor the functioning of CVC and to examine the working of CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. It was suggested in this Report that CVC be given a statutory status. This was followed by the judgement dated 18.12.1997 delivered by the Supreme Court of India in Vineet Narain vs. Union of India[2] (commonly known as the Havala case), wherein the Supreme Court deplored the shoddy investigation conducted by the CBI and other investigating agencies in matters where accusations were made against high dignitaries wielding power and influence, and issued directions to the Government to establish institutional arrangements aimed at insulating the CBI from outside influences. The directions, inter alia, included conferring statutory status upon the CVC and the transfer of superintendent powers[3] over the CBI’s functioning from the Central Government to the CVC. The Government responded by convening a cabinet meeting on 8th April, 1998, and decided to ask the Law Commission of India for a report. The Law Commission submitted its report[4] to the Government on 13th August, 1998 along with a draft of the CVC Bill. However, on 25th August, 1998, the then Government hurriedly promulgated the Central Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 1998 as per the draft prepared by the Secretaries, thereby overlooking the recommendations contained in Vineet Narain (supra) and the Law Commission Report. The most notable difference, among others, was that while the judgement entrusted the responsibility of exercising superintendence over the CBI’s functioning to the CVC, the Ordinance laid down that the CVC would exercise such superintendence over the Special Police Establishment only in respect of the cases under POCA. On 27th October, 1998, another Ordinance was promulgated, called the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 1998 (No. 18 of 1998), whereby certain amendments were made in the principal Ordinance. Then on 12th December, 1998, the Government introduced the Central Vigilance Commission Bill, 1998 (Bill No. 149 of 1998) in the Lok Sabha to replace the Central Vigilance Commission Ordinance, 1998 and the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 1998. However, with the dissolution of the 12th Lok Sabha, the Bill lapsed. The Bill was re-introduced, mostly as a verbatim copy of the old bill, in the next session of the Lok Sabha and was passed by the Lok Sabha on 26th February, 2003 and by the Rajya Sabha on 7th August, 2003. Scheme of the Act Section 3 provides for the constitution, composition and qualifications of the CVC. The words “who have been or who are” appearing in Section 3(3)(a)[5] refer to the person holding office of a civil servant or who has held such office. These words came up for consideration by the Supreme Court in the case of N. Kannadasan v. Ajoy Khose and Others[6] in which it has been held that the said words indicate the eligibility criteria and further they indicate that such past or present eligible persons should be without any blemish whatsoever and that they should not be appointed merely because they are eligible to be considered for the post. Section 4 provides for the appointment of the Vigilance Commissioners (“VC”) by the President, and Section 5 provides for their Terms and Conditions of Service including their tenure of appointment and the salaries and allowances. Section 6 provides for the removal of the Vigilance Commissioners by an order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity on the report of the Supreme Court in this regard. Section 9 specifies the manner in which the proceedings of CVC shall be conducted and states that all business of the Commission shall, as far as possible, be transacted unanimously.CVC has also been entrusted with recommendatory powers for appointment of Director of Enforcement[7], Director of Delhi Special Police Establishment and Superintendent of Police[8].It is the duty of CVC to present annually to the President a report as to the work done by the Commission with a separate chapter dedicated on the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment[9]. Section 8 – Legislative Mandate and Judicial Interpretation Section 8 forms the cornerstone of the Act providing for functions and powers of the CVC. The functions primarily focus on the offences alleged to have been committed under POCA or an offence with which a public servant specified in Section 8(2)[10] may be charged under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 at the same trial. These functions include exercising superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) w.r.t. the investigation of alleged offences under POCA and issuing necessary directions to them[11], reviewing the progress of the investigation, conducting or causing an inquiry or investigation to be made into any complaint, tendering advice to the Central Government, and exercising superintendence over the vigilance administration of various ministries of the Central Government, central statutory corporations, Government companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government. Section 8 is a stark dilution from what was envisaged under the Apex Court judgment in Vineet Narain (supra) and the recommendations given in the 161st Law Commission Report. The scope for the CVC to exercise superintendence over the functioning of the CBI has been drastically curtailed by restricting the definition of the word ‘public servant’ to mean only the civil servants of certain categories. The superintendence over the work of the CBI in respect of offences committed by other categories of public servants as defined in Section 2(c) of POCA, including the politicians, would remain outside the purview of the CVC’s charter of responsibilities. Hence, this effectively means that there is a system of dual control over the CBI – one exercised by the CVC in respect of corruption cases registered against certain categories of public servants mentioned in the Act and the other by the Central Government in respect of its other cases. Section 26(c) of the Lokpal Act – Reintroduction of the Single Directive The Apex Court in Vineet Narain(supra) dealt with the validity, legality and propriety of the Single Directive No. 4.7(3) issued by the Central Government which mandated the prior sanction of the Secretary of the Ministry/Department before initiation of investigation by SPE against officers of the Government and the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), nationalized banks above the level of Joint Secretary or its equivalent. The Single Directive is a consolidated set of instructions issued to the CBI by various Ministries/Departments regarding modalities of initiating an inquiry or registering a case against certain categories of civil servants. It was first issued in 1969 and thereafter amended on several occasions. The Supreme Court in Vineet Narain(supra) declared that the “Single Directive cannot, therefore, be upheld as valid on the ground of it being permissible in exercise of the power of superintendence of the Central Government under Section 4(1) of the Act”, and held the provision unconstitutional and violative of Article 14. However, in 2003, the Single Directive declared invalid earlier by the Supreme Court was reintroduced as part of the CVC Act. Section 26(c) of the Act inserted Section 6A in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, which made it mandatory for CBI to seek prior sanction from the Central Government before inquiry or investigation into any alleged offence under POCA against officers of joint secretary level and above. Soon thereafter, Mr. Subramanian Swamy and the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), in a series of PILs, challenged the constitutional validity of Section 26C of the CVC Act and Section 6A of the DSPE Act. A five-judge constitution bench of the Apex Court was constituted to decide these petitions, and vide judgment dated 6th May 2014 in Subramanian Swamy & Ors. vs. Director, Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors.[12], the Single Directive was held invalid and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution for the second time. The Court, inter alia, held that, “The provision in Section 6A, thus, impedes tracking down the corrupt senior bureaucrats as without previous approval of the Central Government, the CBI cannot even hold preliminary inquiry much less an investigation into the allegations. The protection in Section 6A has propensity of shielding the corrupt. The object of Section 6A, that senior public servants of the level of Joint Secretary and above who take policy decision must not be put to any harassment, side-tracks the fundamental objective of the PC Act, 1988 to deal with corruption and act against senior public servants. The CBI is not able to proceed even to collect the material to unearth prima facie substance into the merits of allegations. Thus, the object of Section 6A itself is discriminatory. That being the position, the discrimination cannot be justified on the ground that there is a reasonable classification because it has rational relation to the object sought to be achieved.”. This victory for the detractors of ‘Single Directive’ sailed a short span, as the legislature, by way of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, yet again launched the ‘Single Directive’ in a new avatar as Section 17A in the amended POCA. With the insertion of Section 17A in POCA, every police officer was mandatorily required to procure the prior approval of the Central-State Government, or the competent authority, as the case may be, before conducting any enquiry, inquiry or investigations into any alleged offence committed by a public servant under the Act. The revamped umbrella covers not only the present and serving bureaucrats, but also the retired ones. Further, the investigations by CBI now needs prior sanctions at two stages – inquiry and prosecution. While it can be argued that Section 17A brings in a layer of check and due diligence that might prevent undue harassment of honest officers, curb red tapism, curtail procedural bottlenecks and fasten decision making, however it is likely to compromise secrecy of probe and cause unnecessary delays in investigation. The CVC had recently stated that the stipulated time for sanction to prosecute nearly 100 government officials for their alleged involvement in corruption was over sans the obtainment of requisite approval and sanction by the concerned authority.[13] Changes brought in by the Lokpal Act The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (“Lokpal Act”, for short) has amended some provisions of CVC Act, 2003 whereby the Commission has been empowered to conduct preliminary inquiry into complaints referred by Lokpal in respect of officers and officials of Group ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D'[14], besides Group ‘A’ officers who were already covered u/s 8(2)(a) of the CVC Act, for which a Directorate of Inquiry[15] for making preliminary inquiry is to be set up in the Commission. The preliminary inquiry reports in such matters referred by Lokpal in respect of Group A and B officers are required to be sent to the Lokpal by the Commission[16]. The Commission is also mandated under the newly inserted Sections 8A and 8B of the CVC Act, 2003, to cause further investigation into such Lokpal references in respect of Group ‘C’& ‘D’ officials and decide on further course of action against them. Post the commencement of the Lokpal Act and the corresponding amendment brought to the CVC Act, the Lokpal has been given the powers of superintendence over, and powers to give direction to DSPE in respect of the matters referred by the Lokpal for preliminary inquiry or investigation to the DSPE under the Act. Further, it is made incumbent on CVC to send a statement [17] to the Lokpal in respect of action taken on complaints referred to it under the second proviso to Section 20(1) and on receipt of such statement, the Lokpal may issue guidelines for effective and expeditious disposal of such cases. Therefore, the murky only gets murkier. There is no gainsaying that the legitimate expectation from the newly incorporated statute, the Lokpal Act, would have been to refine the process of inquiry and investigation into the corruption cases, however, the Lokpal Act has only compounded the extant pandemonium and lead to greater obfuscation. There are certain areas (offences committed by Category ‘A’ officers, for instance) where there is an overlap of jurisdiction between CVC and Lokpal, as has already been communicated by CVC to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice[18]. It is submitted that for the two acts to function in harmony and cohesion, the domain of each should be independent and there must be a clear-cut division of the jurisdiction and powers. Conclusion The CVC has been accorded a step-motherly treatment by the legislature hitherto and has been made to play a second fiddle in the investigation and prosecution of POCA offences. The wings of the CVC were clipped further with the introduction of Section 17A in POCA by the legislature causing avoidable delays in the investigation, and at times, even lapse of recommendations made by the CVC. Now, with the neoteric appointments of the CVC being questioned and shrouded in dubiety and suspicion, it is time to frame guidelines for handling grievances/complaints against the CVC/VCs, revamp the role and appointment process of CVC and streamlining of the CVC Act and the corresponding provisions of the Lokpal Act and POCA to confer some clarity on the functioning of Commission, do away with the overlapping jurisdictions of CVC and Lokpal and equip the CVC with some powers to expedite the sanction for investigation and prosecution. As regards Section 17A of POCA, the challenge to its constitutional validity is pending before the Supreme Court in ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation Vs. Union of India; W.P. (C) No. 1373/ 2018’ and any comment/observation thereon would not be warranted Views Are Personal Only [1] Center for PIL & Anr. Vs. Union of India & Anr., (2011) 4 SCC 1 [2] (1998) 1 SCC 226 [3] The superintendence of the CBI, according to Section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 vests in the Central Government. The Court directed that this superintendence should be exercised by the CVC. [4] Report on CVC and Allied Bodies – 161st Report of the Law Commission of India, 1998 [5] Section 3(3) of CVC Act – The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners shall be appointed from amongst persons: (a) who have been or are in an All-India Service or in any civil service of the Union or in a civil post under the Union having knowledge and experience in the matters relating to vigilance, policy making and administration including police administration; [6] (2009) 7 SCC 1 [7] Section 25 [8] Section 26 [9] Section 14 [10] Section 8(2)- The persons referred to in clause (d) of sub-section (1) are as follows:- (a) members of All-India Services serving in connection with the affairs of the Union and Group ‘A’ officers of the Central Government; (b) such level of officers of the corporations established by or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies and other local authorities, owned or controlled by the Central Government, as that Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf: Provided that till such time a notification is issued under this clause, all officers of the said corporations, companies, societies and local authorities shall be deemed to be the persons referred to in clause (d) of sub-section (1). [11] Section 8(1)(a) and Section 8(1)(b)- This is to be read in conjunction with the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in ‘Center for PIL & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors., (2012) 3 SCC 104’, wherein it was held “However, in view of proviso to Section 8(1)(b) of the 2003 Act the Central Vigilance Commission cannot, while exercising the power of superintendence under clause (a) or giving directions under clause (b), direct Delhi Special Police Establishment to investigate or dispose of any case in a particular manner. In other words, the power of superintendence cannot be used by the Central Vigilance Commission for interfering with the manner and method of investigation or consideration of any case by the CBI in a particular manner.” [12] (2014) 8 SCC 682 [13] https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/stipulated-time-over-for-sanction-to-prosecute-nearly-100-government-officials-cvc/article29943572.ece [14] Section 8(2)(c) of CVC Act – “on a reference made by the Lokpal under proviso to sub-section (1) of section 20 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, the persons referred to in clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall also include— (i) members of Group B, Group C and Group D services of the Central Government; …..” [15] Section 11A of the CVC Act [16] Proviso to Section 20(1) of the Lokpal Act- Provided that the Lokpal shall if it has decided to proceed with the preliminary inquiry, by a general or special order, refer the complaints or a category of complaints or a complaint received by it in respect of public servants belonging to Group A or Group B or Group C or Group D to the Central Vigilance Commission constituted under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (45 of 2003): Provided further that the Central Vigilance Commission in respect of complaints referred to it under the first proviso, after making preliminary inquiry in respect of public servants belonging to Group A and Group B, shall submit its report to the Lokpal in accordance with the provisions contained in sub-sections (2) and (4) and in case of public servants belonging to Group C and Group D, the Commission shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (45 of 2003): [17] Section 25(2) of the Lokpal Act [18] Para 1.9, Page 2 of the Central Vigilance Commission, Annual Report – 2016 Next Storylast_img read more

$1M in grants to support 10 climate research projects

first_img Support for seven from president’s climate fund Belching smokestacks and idling cars may be the typical scapegoats for climate change, but millions of other factors contribute — sometimes ones we never think twice about, like cracking a window because the heat is too high or small leaks from old gas lines.As communities around the globe move to dramatically reduce emissions in an effort to curb the impact of climate change, researchers across Harvard are developing new energy technologies and promoting changes large and small to speed solutions on the local, regional, and global levels.Ten research projects driven by faculty collaborators across six Harvard Schools will share over $1 million in the second round of grants awarded by the Climate Change Solutions Fund, an initiative launched last year by President Drew Faust to encourage multidisciplinary research around climate change.The projects sound as futuristic as shooting reflective particles into the atmosphere to deflect the sun’s rays — and as down-to-earth as grassroots community campaigns to spark behavior changes at home. But the common threads are creativity and collaboration across a wide range of disciplines, forging an effort in which nontraditional factors of climate change are examined from multiple viewpoints in order to contribute inspired solutions.“This research wouldn’t happen in our silos,” said Holly Samuelson, an assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, who is working with researcher Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The pair will use Harvard’s campus as a “living laboratory” to find a better way to measure the overall climate impact of existing buildings, leveraging data from occupant behavior to improve construction and renovation planning tools for the indoor spaces where we spend most of our time. $20M initiative to accelerate clean-energy solutions announces inaugural grants Cedeño Laurent has developed a way to passively gather data on occupant behavior through an algorithm that correlates environmental measures like temperature, noise, and carbon dioxide levels with activity data collected from wearable devices — in this case, donned by volunteer Harvard undergrads. The refinements in understanding of occupant behavior are critical to help building professionals design infrastructure that reduces environmental impact and offsets the challenges of changing climate.“Our goal in life is not to build buildings, but [to] produce some kind of output in those buildings,” said Samuelson. “It’s possible to have very energy-efficient buildings that are very unhealthy, and also it’s possible to waste a lot of energy striving toward health goals in some buildings.”With the more nuanced occupant behavior data, Cedeño Laurent and Samuelson can develop and test a framework to assess a building’s performance on indoor environmental quality as well as energy use, metrics that tend to be evaluated separately today to the detriment of the green building movement. Using that framework, they will be able to improve the accuracy of the energy models used to evaluate building performance. Through the gathering of human and operational data, patterns emerge — and from patterns, more accurate predictions on occupant behavior and its prompts. Applying these patterns and predictions into energy modeling software could provide new insights for creating eco- and user-friendly spaces.Currently, energy models are not used as much as they could be due to the costs of customization to each particular design project.“Out of the box, there are just so many thousands of knobs to turn in these energy simulations. They’re accurate enough to aid in certain design decisions, but to combat climate change, we need a more dependable way to predict the results of riskier investments in building design and operations,” said Samuelson. “We know that our buildings in the developed world operate very poorly across the board, but the problem is that every building is different.”Samuelson hopes an improved modeling system will become a standard part of design decision-making, not just in new construction but in retrofits and operational decisions. She cited once finding annual savings of $120,000 for a building just in changing operations of the cooling system. Multiply those energy savings times the millions of existing buildings in the country, and the environmental gains and financial payoffs could be huge.While Samuelson is working on realizing potential energy savings that enhance human well-being, other researchers are trying to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy. Alan Aspuru-Guzik, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology, will focus on lowering the costs of solar cells by exploring the use of commercially available organic dyes as the solar energy conversion component.Aside from their extraordinary adaptability, organic solar cells also carry greater potential for material application — like fabric. Think jackets that could charge your smartphone, or tarps covering rooftops in the developing world.“Since we started our search for organic solar materials, many things have changed. Manufacturers have lowered the cost for silicon, and a new class of materials has taken the world by storm,” said Aspuru-Guzik, saying that although the market has improved, “organics still have a niche. Where 2 billion people have no access to electricity, their costs will matter a lot.”Some costs have no dollar amount. Widely touted as more environmentally friendly than other energy sources, new hydroelectric sites release large pulses of the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, where it persists for between 10 and 30 years, with global effects.Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Professor Elsie Sunderland, Daniel Jacob, also of the Paulson School, and James Hammitt of the Chan School are looking at the impact of methane released from dams to try to identify feasible alternatives. The project will track present methane releases, making use of satellite imagery, to help raise awareness of the issue among policymakers and inform decision-makers about future hydroelectric dams.Sunderland echoed a sentiment from many of the fund’s winners, saying, “That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited that this research has been funded: This will do a lot in terms of starting that dialogue.” Relatedlast_img read more

Dean wins in Baku

first_imgDean defeated his Italian opponent and progresses to be in with a chance of a medal.The inaugural European Games  continue today with a raft of Irish athletes involved in the action.Katie Taylor fights for a quarter final spot in the Women’s lightweight competition. She’s up against Bulgaria’s Denitsa Eliseeva at 2.30.last_img

Apple’s iOS 8: What You Need To Know About Its New Features

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts Tags:#Apple#iOS 8#Tim Cook#WWDC#WWDC 2014 center_img Apple today announced iOS 8 beta, the newest operating system that runs iPhones and iPads. The release of iOS 8 starts a summer of building for Apple developers, culminating in the release of the new iPhone later this fall.See also: What Apple Announced At WWDC 2014: iOS 8, Mac OS X Yosemite, HealthKit And MoreiOS 8 is full of new features and functions for users and developers centered around health and fitness, messages and notifications and iCloud integration.HealthKit And FitnessSee also: Apple Launches HealthKit To Share Vital Stats With Nike, Mayo CliniciOS 8 includes a bevy of new health and fitness features for consumers. Health is a single place on an iDevice that is a composite of all your health activity. The Healthkit comes with a new iOS app called “Health” that aggregates all of your health data, including third-party fitness apps like RunKeeper or Nike. Apple has also teamed with the Mayo ClinicNotification Center And MailThe dropdown notifications in iOS 8 now work in the lockscreen on iPhones and iPads as well as in-line reply straight from the Notification Center from any app that you are using at the time. Apple described the new user experience as “actionable notifications.” Frequently used contacts will also be shown in the new Notification Center.Apple also changed the Mail app so that you can both compose a mail and see the rest of your inbox at the same time. New mail experiences include the ability to swipe to delete or mark as read as well as an easier email delete function.MessagesSee also: 6 Things Apple Should Fix In iOS 8Group messaging has been improved in iOS 8 with the ability to name messaging threads and the ability to kick somebody off a messaging thread. Messages also has a “Do Not Disturb” mode for specific threads.Messages will be able to know your location and will be able to show images from those specific threads. Messages also has new push-to-talk Walkie Talkie-like audio message capability along with video and “selfie” messaging capabilities. SpotlightSpotlight—traditionally a Mac OS X feature—is not much more robust on iOS 8. Spotlight “suggestions” are now available iOS 8.iCloud DriveSee also: Apple Introduces iCloud Drive With Document Sync And StorageApple’s new iCloud Drive personal online storage feature comes to iOS 8 in addition to Mac OS X Yosemite. Users can save documents from apps across Macs, iOS devices and Windows devices. Keyboard QuickTypeSee also: Apple To Support Third Party Widgets, Keyboards For The First TimeThe keyboard in iOS 8 has been improved with a new predictive typing suggestion feature. QuickType will be able to suggestion responses to questions in your messages. QuickType learns how you type and how you respond to specific individuals and will suggest certain words for certain people.Enterprise Device Enrollment ProgramApple has introduced a new authentication program for enterprise business users that will automatically set up all your corporate accounts and apps when unboxing new iOS devices. iOS now supports S/MIME messaging, third party device management.Family SharingiOS 8 now has the ability to share content like apps, books and movies between family members. So, if you buy an app once, you can share it among up to six family members (that all share a common credit card). Family sharing also allows for parents to track their kids devices and integrates the “Find My Friends” feature introduced in earlier versions of iOS.PhotosSee also: Apple Unveils OS X Yosemite, Uniting iOS And The Mac At LastApple is bringing its Photos app to iCloud so that you can share your pictures among your other Apple devices like a Mac or an iPad. If you edit a photo on an iPhone, that edit will be saved through iCloud to your Mac as well. New editing controls like cropping, straightening and lighting are also available in iOS 8 Photos.Photos also has new search capabilities for time, location and albums. SiriSiri has new voice-activated car capabilities as well as new voice streaming recognition. Siri now has 22 new dictation languages along with Shazam music streaming recognition.SafariMobile Safari now has a new browser tab user interface that is much like the new card-like tabs introduced in Mac OS X Yosemite. Airdrop, Handoff And ContinuityApple’s wireless document sharing function is now compatible between Mac computers and iOS devices like iPads and iPhones. If you are working on one device, like an iPad, you can swipe and send it to your Mac and keep working from exactly where you were. Apple also announced a similar feature called Handoff that will switch mail, documents and phone calls from an iOS device to a Mac.  Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces dan rowinskilast_img read more

Chiragh Kumar starts BILT Open golf title defence on home course

first_imgChiragh Kumar will start his title defence at the Rs 1 crore BILT Open golf, starting on his home course, the Delhi Golf Club, on Wednesday.The tournament will also have the likes of Jyoti Randhawa, an eight-time winner on the Asian Tour, stalwarts Mukesh Kumar and Ashok Kumar, as well as Harendra P Gupta, Rashid Khan and Shamim Khan, the top three players on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), in a field of 125 players.Chiragh has a special connection with the DGC as other than being his home course, it’s the venue where he won the Rs 1crore LG Masters event in 2010 and shot into limelight after finishing second at the Asian Tour’s Indian Open last year.He clinched the BILT title last year at the Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida, but wants to cash in on the home advantage this time.”It’s my home course and I want to make the most of it. But at the same time, I don’t want to be complacent because it’s such a tough course that even a single error can cost you the title. My aim will be to remain error-free in order to finish on a high,” he said at the launch of the tournament here on Tuesday.”It’s good to be a defending champion in any tournament but it is not putting any pressure on me. I want to play good game and finish on a high,” he said.Also in the field is Sri Lankan Mithun Parera, who won the first PGTI tournament in Sri Lanka – the Standard Chartered Open in August. As one with experience of playing in India since his amateur days, Parera is known for his accurate hitting off the tee, which is useful due to the tight fairways at the DGC.”The course suits my style as I hit straight. I find fairways more often than on the other courses. If I play to potential, I could be in the mix in the money rounds,” said Parera, who was tied 15th at the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open at the DGC in March-April.About the course conditions, Chiragh says, “It is playing well. The speed of the greens is good which could make scoring easier.”But Parera added that wind could be a factor.”I played a practice round today and there is a lot of wind on the course. If it stays during the tournament, it could be the deciding factor. I am guessing anyone who scores 10-under will take the trophy,” he said.Meanwhile, Yogesh Aggarwal, MD and CEO of BILT group, said that the company has renewed its contract with the PGTI to run the tournament for three years.”We are renewing our contract with the PGTI for the tournament for three more years (2013-2015). However, there will be no increase in prize money in those years,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more

Toe injury costs Sachin Tendulkar a Test series in 12 years

first_imgNAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out,NAILED: Sachin Tendulkar’s rare injury can also affect ballet dancers and high jumpersIf there’s a body part more obsessed over than the prime minister’s knee, it must be Sachin Tendulkar’s toe.Already foreheads are furrowed as India’s most popular athlete has gone missing from action, a fractured toe taking him out of the three-Test series against Sri Lanka. Injuries to athletes are part of their job profile but every time Tendulkar winces, it would seem all of India feels the pain.As the team began its first Test tour in 12 years without the 28-year-old Mumbai batsman, he appeared on television asking for all Indians to “pray” for him, little knowing that cricket-crazy citizens are already halfway through their Hail Marys.It has been a worrying few weeks for Tendulkar and his doctor Anant Joshi, with the clamour for information growing: what exactly is the injury, how long will it take to heal, will he be the same player again? “Sachin is just another human being. Your fracture and mine take six weeks to heal. So will his,” Joshi wearily says.But Tendulkar’s injury is not any routine fracture, not only because it has affected the cricketer. The problem began on July 4, during the last league match of the triseries in Zimbabwe. When Tendulkar struck the ball and set off for a run, he heard a “click” in his right toe and felt a pain. It was forgotten quickly and he scored an unbeaten 122, leading India to a six-wicket victory.Later that day Tendulkar had the foot X-rayed, but the results showed nothing. He was then cleared to play the final, which India lost. On his return to Mumbai, when the pain persisted, Tendulkar went to sports medicine specialist Joshi. On July 17, Joshi took the player for an isotope bone scan of his foot at Hinduja Hospital. The scan detects fractured bones by showing them as “hot spots”.Tendulkar’s bone scan lit up an area the size of a 25 paise coin on his toe – and a CT scan of the foot revealed a horizontal crack in the medial sesamoid bone, a tiny structure around the size of the nail of the little finger. The bone, embedded inside the muscle tendons at the base of the great toe, acts like a lever arm for the tendons to flex the toe.The fracture took place when Tendulkar heard the “click” – the sound, most likely, was the tiny bone snapping. Tendulkar himself suspects there could have been more pressure on the area due to the spike-studded sole of his custom-made Adidas shoes.advertisementOne of the seven spikes in the shoe is located directly below the sesamoid bone of the great toe. The pressure from the take-off for the run, which experts reckon puts between three to five times the body weight on one foot, could have been centered on the tiny bone and fractured it.The sesamoid bones, strictly speaking, are not even bones. Made up of thick cartilaginous tissue, sesamoid bones are mostly found in the lower limbs and are not included among the 206 bones of the human body. Injuries to these bones are rare and given only a passing mention in medical tomes – even the best podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons come across only four or five cases.Injuries usually occur after an activity where tremendous pressure is placed on the feet and toes –  ballet dancers and athletes like high jumpers and basketballers are more prone. What has puzzled many people is the time taken between the first sign of trouble and the first scan – nearly two weeks. Says Dr P.S.M. Chandran, director of sports medicine, Sports Authority of India: “A negative X-ray is not an indication that all is well. You shouldn’t leave anything to chance with a top-class sportsman.”Click here to EnlargeTendulkar’s doctors, suspecting sesamoiditis (the inflammation of the sesamoid), decided to give the injury three more weeks to heal before delivering a verdict. The hope was that the foot would have healed enough to give Tendulkar the chance to play the Test series. “I don’t mind missing the one-dayers, but please ensure I can make it for the Test series,” he told Dr B.A. Krishna, chief of nuclear medicine at Hinduja Hospital.The second round of scans, however, showed an inflammation around the affected area with little sign of healing. Moreover, Tendulkar winced in pain when Joshi probed the area near the toe. The verdict was out.”Sachin could have played the Test series only at the risk of further injury. And even then he wouldn’t have been able to give a hundred per cent,” says Joshi. For India’s most prolific run-getter in both forms of the game, the injury now means completely resting the toe for between six to eight weeks, to allow the bone to heal completely. “He won’t be playing cricket at least until the end of September,” says Joshi. Surgery, the final option, isn’t being thought of just yet.Tendulkar now has to wear cushioned sandals and can walk and drive his Mercedes without pain. Experts in the US are being consulted for designing rigid-soled orthotic footwear. All his footwear – from sneakers to ordinary slippers – will be retrofitted with these devices, most of them fitted internally to lift the injured area off the floor.advertisementHe will have to wear this special footwear for at least six months after he resumes playing. Joshi has also devised an an “active rest” exercise regimen, for every part of his body, excluding the lower limbs. “Sportsmen like him cannot afford to rest completely for so long,” Joshi says. The good news, he says, is that once the fracture heals, chances of a recurrence are slim.In recent weeks, Tendulkar was surrounded by plenty of conspiracy theories about a difficult relationship with current captain Sourav Ganguly and his wish to regain the captaincy. They have all been driven underground and rendered unimportant for the time being as the only current cricketer in Sir Donald Bradman’s all-time World XI begins his fight for fitness and the chance to return to the field to do what he did best: go out and bat for India.last_img read more

Pakistan win 5th World Cup Hockey Championship, display perfect traditional playing style

first_imgThe victorious Pakistani players with the trophy: A dazzling line of forwardsWhen Pakistan annexed the 5th World Cup Hockey Championship in Bombay, its win was undoubtedly a triumph for the Asian style of hockey. Playing their traditional game of short passes building up an attack, Pakistan walked away with the,The victorious Pakistani players with the trophy: A dazzling line of forwardsWhen Pakistan annexed the 5th World Cup Hockey Championship in Bombay, its win was undoubtedly a triumph for the Asian style of hockey. Playing their traditional game of short passes building up an attack, Pakistan walked away with the trophy for the third time. The team’s superiority was never in doubt. West Germany and the other strong European and Australian teams with their emphasis on defensive play, looked ineffective by comparison.At the beginning of the tournament it was by no means certain that Pakistan would dominate it so effortlessly. The team had suffered a reverse in the Pakistan International Airlines tournament early in 1981. In the final itself West Germany led 1 0 during the early stages of the match. Pakistan however was quick to retaliate with some of the most exhilarating hockey of the tournament and put in three goals to win the handsome trophy.Positive Attitude: Part of the reason for Pakistan’s success is its positive attitude towards the game. Says Islahuddin Siddiqui a former Pakistan captain who led his team to victory in Buenos Aires: “Our players are told to assume that we begin the match two goals in arrears and so play attacking hockey even if the rival team scored first as West Germany did.”But besides this commentators also point out that another reason for Pakistan’s success is the fact that it has stuck with total dedication to the traditional style of playing. Pakistan has organised itself so that it is able to pick the best players who can continue playing this kind of hockey. Says Siddiqui who was a commentator for Radio Pakistan at the Wankhede stadium: “We have tended a wealth of talent capable of facing an international challenge.” Even in this tournament Pakistan was able to play four under-21s.Pakistan’s performance was a perfect lesson in the traditional playing style. Its superb forward line dazzled throughout the tournament: Samiullah and Kalimullah on the flanks combined perfectly with inside forwards Abdul Hanif Khan, Hassan Sardar and Manzur Hussain. They were fed intelligently by skipper and centre-half Akhtar Rasool. Says Rasool: “Attack is the best form of defence. The forward surge makes all the difference between victory ayid defeat. The accent on defence of the European teams takes away the artistry and dynamism.”Accurate Analysis: Rasool’s analysis hits the mark. The Europeans play a drab workman-like game which is unexciting compared to the verve of the Asian style of play. The European style requires vigour and stamina and needs tight man-to-man marking, sheer pace and persistence. If the teams are evenly matched or somewhat similar, the game swings from end to end as it did for the full 100 minutes of the Australia-West Germany semi-final before the outcome could be resolved by the tie-breaker.But the Asian style of play shows up weaknesses more mercilessly. With the emphasis on attacking play any poverty of talent can be disastrous, as is now India’s predicament. Says M.H. Atif, the tall and dignified manager of the Pakistan team: “No team can hope to win with a non-scoring spearhead. If we give you Hassan Sardar and with Rajinder Singh to score the penalty corners India could have made it.” Soon after the tournament some people were attributing India’s weaknesses to the fact that the switch to synthetic surfaces from natural grass is sounding the deathknell for Asian artistry.Atif disagrees and explains: “Europeans may have an initial advantage because of their physique but with better toned muscles any Asian player can outplay and outmanoeuvre them by clever body dodges and efficient passes. Astroturf is more even than a grass surface and conducive to ball control and dribbling. One only has to get used to playing on it.”However others point out that astroturf is more demanding and playing spans are reduced such that many will have to quit after a three or four-year career. Says the Indian team manager Jhamanlal Sharma: “With the systematisation of training and building up of a team India can certainly put a number of players in the cauldron of international competition in the next few years.”Only India and Pakistan still play aggressive hockey. The other teams have settled comfortably into the mould of defensive play. The Asian Hockey Federation has at last become active and the eight-nation Asia Cup hockey tournament at Lahore in March may well effectively promote the Asian style of play. But India needs to expand its skills if it is not to come to grief once again.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Ecologists protest against govt’s plan to turn Pichavaram mangrove forests into a resort

first_imgThe Pichavaram tourist complex: battlegroundEcologists in Tamil Nadu have declared war on the state Government. The battleground is Pichavaram, 200 km out of Madras, one of the best preserved mangrove forests in the country. The state Government is keen on developing this magnificent 5,000-acre forest into a tourist resort with,The Pichavaram tourist complex: battlegroundEcologists in Tamil Nadu have declared war on the state Government. The battleground is Pichavaram, 200 km out of Madras, one of the best preserved mangrove forests in the country. The state Government is keen on developing this magnificent 5,000-acre forest into a tourist resort with boating, surfing and water-skiing facilities along with cottages located in the area.To fight this, the Tamil Nadu Science Forum and the Madras Naturalists Society recently convened a meeting of prominent biologists, zoologists, naturalists and marine biologists who have cried halt to the project and want the setting up of an expert committee on how to best utilise this “natural laboratory”.Mangrove forests are found only in the tropics where they grow by the seaside and along river banks where the water is brackish. The vegetation is distinctive as it is able to take root in the loose and highly saline soil. India has an estimated 20 lakh acres of mangrove forests, the largest ones being in West Bengal and the Andamans.The reason why Pichavaram has so many crusaders is that it is one of the few left where the complete sequence of mangrove zonation is in evidence from dense foliage with stilted roots on the banks to sparse vegetation at the edge.Increased Erosion: Another factor that has contributed to the lushness of Pichavaram is the three rivers that flow through its 10 km long and 3 km wide area. The rivers form a maze of shallow channels which are so numerous and tricky that the local populace jokingly remarks that even the egrets which are familiar with the waterways get lost in Pichavaram. However, studies done by the French Institute indicate that the development work has already increased coastal erosion.Said Professor V. M. Meher Homji, a botanist at the Institute: Pichavaram must be preserved not only because it is a natural laboratory but also because it has been an important factor in stabilising the shifting coastline. The felling of trees has also led to salt encrustment on the soil thus preventing any new vegetation in the denuded sections.advertisementThe location of the cottages within the wooded area will lead to other problems: ecologists feel that with a growing tourist trade the populace would soon start plundering the forests for fuel and fodder.The repercussions are likely to extend beyond the ecological field. Reports from the Centre for Advanced Studies in Marine Biology of the Annamalai University at Perangipettai reveal that Pichavaram is a rich breeding ground and nursery for such lucrative seafood as prawns, lobsters and crabs.With building activities as well as the introduction of water sports once the resort is completed, the shallow channels which criss-cross the forest will no longer be able to harbour the varied marine life. Warns Meher Homji: Any further disturbances to the delicate balance of the eco-system will lead to the rapid deterioration of the mangrove forests.Limited Success: The ecologists have now asked the Government to stop all further construction in Pichavaram. They suggest that the cottages and the resort area be located in Chidambaram, a tourist centre just 11 km away, and groups be brought to the mangrove forests for day trips.After repeated letters to the Tamil Nadu Government, the Department of Environment and the prime minister, Meher Homji was asked last fortnight to meet the Committee on Tourist Excursions, chaired by V. Chandralekha, collector of Cuddalore district under which Pichavaram falls.The meeting was partly successful with the members agreeing to recommend to the Government a proposal to drop water sports and prohibit motor boats in the channels. Only row boats would be allowed. No decision, however, was taken on the shifting of the cottages. Chandralekha told India Today in Cuddalore: We have no intention of clashing with the ecologists.We are equally keen on preserving Pichavaram and will try our best to implement their suggestions. But with construction of the cottages proceeding briskly, the mangrove forests of Pichavaram may soon become a thing of the past.last_img read more

BoC survey finds business sentiment down slightly but remains positive

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — A new survey by the Bank of Canada suggests overall business sentiment has weakened slightly, but continues to be positive.The central bank’s business outlook survey indicator decreased slightly, but remains elevated as responses to almost all the survey questions were holding above their historical averages.The survey results come ahead of the central bank’s next interest rate decision set for Jan. 9 when it will also release its updated outlook for the economy.Over the next 12 months, the survey suggested that firms expect sales growth to stabilize, while those linked to western Canadian oil prices and to housing in some regions expect demand to weaken or remain subdued and sales growth to moderate.The indicator of investment spending on machinery and equipment pulled back slightly, but the survey found intentions are still solid.On balance, plans to hire more workers continue to be widespread and similar to the previous survey.The survey based on interviews with senior managers of about 100 firms was done from Nov. 5 to Nov. 28.last_img read more