Wednesday, 11 May 2016



It seems that Modi Govt. is not in favour of a negotiated settlement on the 7th CPC related issues with the staff side. The Seventh CPC report was submitted on 19th November 2015. Six months are almost over since then. Till date the Govt. has not come forward for a negotiated settlement.

Instead, Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary conducted a meeting with the staff side on 1st March 2016. In the meeting Govt. did not disclose its mind on any of the demands raised by the staff side in the charter of demands submitted to Govt. Staff side explained the justification for each demand but official side didn’t make any comment, either positive or negative. The concluding paragraph of the minutes of the meeting reads as follows:

“After hearing the participants, Cabinet Secretary observed that the deliberations have helped ECoS in understanding the major concerns of the staff side and said that all issues have been taken note of. He assured that fair consideration will be given to all points brought out by JCM before taking final views. He further stated that the ECoS needs to examine the Report of the Commission in entirety as well as the issues raised by JCM in consultation with all other stake holders. As such, it may take some time to take a final call on the recommendations of the Commission.”

It may be seen that, neither did the Govt. side made any commitment on any demands, nor did they indicate in the minutes that further discussion will be held with the staff side to arrive at a negotiated settlement on each demands. It seems that the Modi Govt is moving ahead to issue unilateral orders taking the staff side for a ride.

The JCM staff side Secretary, in his letter dated 2nd May 2016, addressed to Cabinet Secretary, has made the stand of the staff side clear, without any ambiguity. The letter reads as follows:

“I have been directed to draw your attention towards minutes of the Standing Committee of National Council JCM held on 7th May 2008 and our rejoinder submitted to Govt. in the matter of Report of 6th CPC.

You will kindly find that it was not only a general discussion, but also official side explained their views on each and every issue.

I would therefore request your good self to kindly arrange for similar type of meeting for bi-lateral settlement on each of the issues raised by the staff side, NC/JCM before the Empowered Committee of Secretaries.”

Thus the picture is clear now. The Govt, it seems, has a hidden agenda to take the staff side for granted without giving any further opportunity for a negotiated settlement. The staff side on the other hand has taken a position that if unilateral orders are issued, without taking the staff side into confidence, the NJCA shall go ahead with the indefinite strike from 11th July 2016 as already informed to the Govt. Employees have faith in the NJCA and they believe that the NJCA leadership shall assert itself and shall not compromise on major demands.

The coming days are crucial. If the Govt. adopts delaying tactics or issue unilateral orders rejecting our demands, then confrontation shall become inevitable. The stand taken by the then Nehru Govt. that “Pay Commission report is an award and is not negotiable” has resulted in the historic indefinite strike of 1960, which commenced on July 11th midnight.

The NJCA leadership should be ready for a showdown, if Modi Govt refuse to arrive at a negotiated settlement with the staff side as demanded by Secretary, JCM(NC) staff side.

Secretary General,CCGEW
(Confederation Of Central Government Employees & Workers)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Reorient DRDO, focus on key technologies: Parliamentary Standing Committee

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has called on the Defence Research and Development Organisation to reorient itself with a technology road map, focussing its energy on developing certain key technologies.

‘No road map yet’

“The Committee, while appreciating the work done by DRDO, nevertheless, also feels concerned to note that even after 58 years [after establishment], there is no clear-cut technological road map prepared,” it said.

It has called for scientific, technical and concurrent audit of all on going DRDO projects by an independent agency, expressing its dismay over the closure of several projects at the initial stage itself.

“The committee expresses its concern on the wasteful expenditure incurred by DRDO on closure of major projects like Airborne Surveillance Platform, Cargo Ammunition, GPS based system as an alternative to fire direction radar” and several air-defence gun systems, the panel said.

The committee criticised the DRDO for the delay in major projects.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The 2016 Transit of Mercury

Transit of Mercury can be seen on May 9 from 4.41 PM onward in all parts of India. If missed, one will be able to witness after 16 years on November 13, 2032.

A rare celestial event that will take place on May 9 could be seen from India for maximum about 2 hours and 45 minutes from 4.41 PM onward. On Monday, Mercury - our solar system's smallest planet - will journey directly in front of the Sun, offering a rare viewing opportunity for professional astronomers and backyard sky watchers alike.

The planet mercury will pass across the face of the Sun and as a dot on solar disc. This transit of 7 hours and 30 minutes might be visible from most parts of Asia except Japan and south-eastern parts of the continent.

Depending upon the sunset time of different places in India, the observers located in the extreme east of the country (Port Blair) will see the event for about one hour from the beginning (4.41 PM) while the ones located in the extreme west (Dwarka in Gujarat) will be able to see it for about 2 hours and 45 minutes from 4.41 PM onwards.

It would be difficult to see the transit without optical magnification. This event can be viewed with the help of binocular or telescope attached with proper solar filter or by making projection of the Sun's image on a white board by telescope. Such a transit of Mercury over the disc of the Sun happens only when the Sun, the Mercury and the Earth are lined up in one plane. It appears as a dot (black spot) on the solar disc because its angular size is very small compared to that of the Sun as seen from the Earth.

The event can be seen from 4.41 PM onward in all parts of India. In Delhi, for a duration of about 2 hours 20 minutes from 4.41 PM onward, in Kolkata for 1 hour and 26 minutes, in Mumbai for 2 hours 24 minutes and for about 1 hour 45 minutes in Chennai. If missed, one will be able to witness after 16 years on November 13, 2032.

Such astronomical event had last occurred on November 6, 2006 and only end of the event was visible from the extreme north-eastern parts of India. While, the next transit of Mercury will take place on November 11, 2019, the event will not be seen from India as it will begin after the sunset time of all places in the country.

The transit of Mercury will thus be visible next time from India on November 13, 2032.The phenomena is a relatively rare one which occurs 13 or 14 times in a century. It occurs in the month of May and November. The interval between one November transit and next November transit may be 7, 13 or 33 years whereas the interval between one May transit and the next May transit may be 13 or 33 years.

Besides Asia, the transit of Mercury will also be visible from Europe, Africa, Greenland, South America, North America, Arctic, North Atlantic Ocean and most of the Pacific Ocean.

The entire transit,from beginning to end, will, however, be visible from eastern North America, north South America, the Arctic, Greenland, extreme north-western Africa, Western Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean.