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Friday, December 16, 2011

Kashmir cleric demands probe in Delhi’s funding to madrasas

Maulana Hami: We never applied for grants. It’s a plot to ban genuine madrasas. List includes non-existent schools. Govt officials have swindled Crores

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Dec 15: Promoters of hundreds of madrasas receiving Government of India’s funding to operate their schools in Jammu & Kashmir are tightlipped over the disclosure made by the state government. An alliance of Islamist organizations has, however, demanded thorough investigation into the entire episode while leveling allegations that officials of the state Education Department had obtained money without applications from many of the schools even as a number of the beneficiary madrasas did not exist anywhere in J&K.

Within a day of the sensational disclosure that New Delhi had already released Rs 3.47 Cr in favaour of 362 Islamist madrasas in J&K for current year, Muttahida Ahl-e-Sunnat (MAS) today held an emergency meeting for a detailed discussion. The list of the beneficiary madrasas includes a number of schools operated by senior MAS functionary Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami’s organisation Karwaan-e-Islami.

What precisely prompted Omar Abdullah government to make the list public through Commissioner-Secretary School Education, Mrs Naseema Lankar, is still unclear but it has clearly stirred a hornets’ nest as the beneficiaries include clergymen who have been issuing anti-Delhi statements on daily basis. At the end of today’s deliberations, MAS held a news conference and alleged that Government officials had swindled Crores of Rupees in the name of providing financial support to madrasas in J&K.

Head of MAS and Karwan-e-Islami, Maulana Hami, alleged that disclosure of the list of 362 beneficiary schools was a “sinister plot” to close down genuine Islamist schools in Jammu & Kashmir. He claimed that his Karwan-e-Islam had neither applied for Government funding for its madrasas nor planned it for the future. According to him, many of the madrasas figuring in the list had neither applied for the state or central funding nor received it. He complained that a number of schools, shown as the beneficiaries in the list, did not exist anywhere in Jammu & Kashmir.

Maulana Hami demanded thorough investigation into the entire episode but made it clear that his organisation would not object to the madrasas who believed in seeking and accepting funding from the state or the central government. However, he said, his organisation would approach J&K High Court to seek justice and get itself cleared from the highest judicial forum. He said that the organisation would engage a prominent Kashmiri lawyer to pursue its case assiduously in the court of law.

“As a matter of fact, fake Darul Ulooms have been provided Central Government grants through State Education Department. But we have never taken any money, even a single penny in past nor do we intend to seek it in future” Hami asserted. He said law should take its course against the “fake madrasas” not existing anywhere but taking government funding in league with officials. He said that money worth around Rs 7 Cr was believed to have been already withdrawn and swindled. “Government is bound to order and conduct a thorough investigation”, Hami said.

Maulani Hami urged the state and the central governments to also release the list of the madrasas who had already grabbed funds worth Rs 7 Cr in Jammu & Kashmir.

While the clergymen have tossed the ball back in the state government’s court and a clarification from Commissioner-Secretary School Education is still awaited, authoritative sources insisted that forging documents of the centrally sponsored scheme was “impossible”. They made it clear to Early Times that the applicant madrasas were bound to sign and file as many as eight different sets of forms while seeking Government of India’s funding under the Scheme for Providing Quality Education to Madrassas (SPQEM). These sources maintained that the grants had been sanctioned after a laborious official procedure for over seven months and same had been released with publicly notified terms and conditions.

Sources said that only the Minister and Commissioner-Secretary of School Education Department were authorized to explain as to how SPQEM funds had been sanctioned without constituting State Madrassa Board and seeking its mandatory recommendations. They claimed to have no knowledge when it was pointed out that villages like Ichhikoot (Budgam) and Kreeri (Baramulla) had just one or two madrassas but the state government’s list had shown six to eight madrassas functioning in each of such villages.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beaten up ruthlessly by stone pelters, shopkeeper dies at SKIMS

CM’s Twitter silent but traders register protest, strike against stone pelters

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Dec 14: In their first ever public assertion against stone pelters in downtown Srinagar, traders today called for two-day shutdown after one of their colleagues, who had been mercilessly beaten up on December 3rd, succumbed to injuries at SKIMS, Soura. Police have registered a murder case and arrested four of the accused persons in the current year’s first civilian death allegedly caused by stone pelters.

Authoritative sources told Early Times that 30-year-old shopkeeper Tariq Ahmad Bhat S/o Abdul Salam Bhat R/o Ranga Hamam (Nowhatta), who ran a jute-mating shop between Nowhatta Chowk and Gojwara Chowk in the core of downtown Srinagar, succumbed to injuries at Surgical Intensive Care Unit of SKIMS today. According to eye-witnesses, Police and family members, Tariq had been beaten up into his head ruthlessly with a cricket bat by a group of stone pelters who were forcibly imposing shutdown in the area on December 3rd. The group of stone pelters was reportedly demonstrating against introduction of “chilly grenades”, a non-lethal anti-riot tool, by Police.

Doctors who attended on the patient at Surgical ICU of SKIMS said that Tariq Ahmad Bhat breathed his last at 3.00 pm today. He was under treatment and observation for eleven days. “He was operated for contusion”, records said. Recordings on his death certificate mentioned ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) with sepsis with refractory hypotension with cardiac arrest” as the cause of death. Doctors from the Department of Neurosurgery, who had admitted Tariq on December 3rd and looked after him, told Early Times that the patient had sustained very critical head injury as he had been beaten up with a hard object.

SKIMS authorities handed over dead body to Police which arranged the post mortem with the cooperation of family members and traders at another hospital. Sources said that the detailed report of autopsy would be available in a few days and the medico-legal opinion could be framed accordingly.

SHO Nowhatta, Inspector Mohammad Iqbal, said that Police had already registered case FIR No: 84 of 2011 under sections 307 (attempted murder), 148, 149, 336 (rioting) and 336 RPC (collective intention of causing death) and arrested four of the key accused. He said that the FIR was converted into murder case with addition of section 302 RPC after Tariq died at SKIMS today. He identified the detainees as Suhail Ahmad Bhat S/o Maqsood Bhat, Rayees Ahmad Bhat S/o Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Haroon Bhat S/o Ab Rashid Bhat and Ghulam Hassan Bhat S/o Ab Wahab Bhat, all residents of Rajouri Kadal.

Even as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is known for his habit of posting Tweets quickly on such incidents, chose to remain a mute spectator, visibly outraged traders downed shutters in protest immediately after their colleague’s dead body reached Nowhatta Chowk for funeral prayers. Eyewitnesses said that over a thousand traders and residents participated in the mass funeral prayers. Later today, Central Traders & Manufacturers Association called for two-day long shutdown on Thursday and Friday in entire Nowhatta-Gojwara belt.

Speakers at the funeral and later at a condolence meeting with the bereaved family asserted that killing of the poor shopkeeper by urchins and stone pelters was “completely unacceptable” for the traders community. They strongly condemned the innocent civilian killing and demanded “strong and quick action” by Police. Some of them went to the extent of hanging the killers of Tariq Bhat to death at Nowhatta Chowk.

Tariq was from a poor family of nearby Ranga Hamam locality with his elderly parents, two unmarried brothers and a married sister. “He was the sole bread-earner for the family. We are completely shattered”, his bother Showkat Ahmad exclaimed in grief. He revealed to Early Times that sometime back he had been operated upon and a valve had been put into his heart. He too worked as a vendor at the marketplace beside Jamia Masjid but his earnings were too meager.

Tariq had set up a shop of jute mating in Nowhatta area. Two months back, he had been engaged to 27-year-old Lali Jan of nearby Bahauddin Sahab locality. Showkat said that Tariq’s wedding had been fixed in July next year. He observed that enforcing hartal, beating up poor traders and killing innocent civilians was not justified under any circumstances. “We demand Police to act and ensure exemplary punishment to the hooligans who have ruined our family”, he said.

Asked if anybody from Government, mainstream political leaders or separatist politicians had called on the bereaved family with expression of solidarity, Showkat said: “We have absolutely nothing with politics. We are not in favour of making it a political issue. It is reassuring enough for us that the traders community and leadership has outrightly condemned this barbaric incident, demanded action against the killers and expressed solidarity with us”.

SSP Srinagar, Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, said that Police would arrest everybody who figured as an accused and the prosecution would be taken to its logical conclusion. He said that almost all the participants in the group had been already identified. While as four of them had been arrested, search was underway to take others into custody.

SHO Nowhatta said that the group of hooligans had marched to Gojwara Chowk after enforcing shutdown in Nowhatta and Rajouri Kadal on December 3rd. For over an hour, they even detained a busload of the students of Oak Hill School. When a student began trembling with cold and seemed to be dying, some residents forced the group to let the bus proceed to its destination. Thereafter, the hooligans struck with a cricket bat on the head of Tariq who had put up a mild resistance and was not inclined to shut his shop.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kashmir wants Azadi and Delhi’s funding for Madrasas too

Govt releases list of 362 Madrasas receiving Rs 3.47 Cr in year 2011

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Dec 13: Government of India’s funding to 362 Madrasas, that has already stirred a hornets’ nest in Valley, became public for the first time today when Commissioner-Secretary of School Education, Naseema Lankar, released complete list of these religion-based educational institutions for publication in newspapers today. Even as many people here suspect that the financial support to the non-state schools in the Valley has been introduced by India as a tool to neutralize the separatist ideology, a number of religious leaders sought an investigation and alleged that the funding has been conducted scandalously. According to them, many of the empanelled Madrasas do not exist anywhere in the localities mentioned by the government.

According to the details made public by the state government today, an amount of Rs 3,47,85000 has been released in favour of 362 madrassas who had applied for the funding under the centrally sponsored scheme in current year. Government Order No: 692-Edu of 2011 Dated 09-12-2011 makes it clear that the funding has been provided by Government of India vide GOI No:- F.8-9/2010-E.E.19 Dated:-28-03-2011 & Finance Deptt. U.O. NO:-FD/Res/17/SPQEM/2011-12/265 dated:-06-07-2011.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the release of central assistance of Rs3,47,85,000.00(Rupees Three Crore,Forty Seven lac and Eighty Five Thousand only ) in favour of Directors of School Education of Kashmir/ Jammu for further release to 362 madrassas of Kashmir and Jammu Province as Grant-in-aid under  centrally sponsored Scheme for providing of Quality Education in Marassa(SPQEM) for incurring expenditure on salary, Teaching learning material, establishment of library  and Science/Computer labs/workshops”.

Of 362 madrassas in 17 districts of Jammu & Kashmir, highest number of the beneficiaries,71, are situated in the hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s home district of Baramulla, followed by 44 in Anantnag and 41 in Srinagar. In addition to these, funding from New Delhi has been released in favour of 30 madrassas in Budgam district, 14 in Kulgam, 12 in Pulwama, 11 in Ganderbal, 7 in Kupwara, 6 in Shopian and one in Bandipore. Jammu division has been a reasonable beneficiary with 35 madrassas in Rajouri, 33 in Doda, 21 in Ramban, 11 each in Jammu, Poonch and Kishtwar districts and 2 in Reasi.

Commissioner-Secretary School Education, Mrs Naseema Lankar, elaborated to Early Times that the scheme had been introduced by Government of India in 2010-11. She said it was for the first time that the Centre had released funds under this scheme in favour of beneficiary madrassas in Jammu & Kashmir. Thereafter, she dropped the line and informed by text that she could ‘call later’.

Knowledgeable sources in the state bureaucracy, however, informed that under the Centrally sponsored Scheme for Providing Quality Education to Madrassas (SPQEM) as many as 712 teachers of the 362 madrassas were being provided monthly remuneration of Rs 6,000 (Rs 72,000 per year) from current year. Maximum of three teachers of a particular madrassa are entitled to this benefit. While as Rs 1.28 Cr is being provided as salary of the teachers, they are additionally getting a total of Rs 26 Lakh for acquisition of study material. Besides, Rs 1.14 Cr is being provided for acquisition of science kits and books for libraries.

Precise reason behind Government’s decision to make these details public is not known. It is, however, significant that the state government has released this information at a time when a number of Valley’s religious leaders and organizers of Islamic educational institutions are accusing one another of “making comprises on freedom struggle” and receiving Government of India’s funding “secretly” for imparting “controlled education” to Muslim students in Kashmir.

One particular cleric, who has been professing Sufi-orientation of Islamic education and has firmly asserted under violence but has lately issued strongly anti-Indian statements over liquor and cinema promotion, has become key target of critics. In the last few days, he had been demanding an inquiry into the alleged Central funding to madrassas and claiming that he or his organization had neither sought nor received any such assistance from the state or the central government.

However, when the list became public by way of an official press release today, a number of schools run by this particular cleric’s establishment were found in it. He issued a fresh statement, admitted to the funding but alleged that a number of such madrassas, which according to him did not exist anywhere, had been favoured by the government.

Without mentioning any names, Geelani has been charging “Sarkari Maulvis” with working contrary to the interests of Kashmiris’ “freedom struggle”. Frequency of the Hurriyat hawk’s statements against state-funded educational institutions has remarkably increased in recent past. Government has now, wittingly or unwittingly, provided him a tool to strongly assert against the madrassas running on Government of India’s “secret funding”.

Officials in Department of School Education refused to accept that there was anything “secret, surreptitious or scandalous” in releasing of Central funding to 362 madrassas in Jammu & Kashmir. They insisted that the funding was being provided under a national scheme for madrassas throughout the country.

A senior official, however, admitted on the condition of anonymity that “a lot of politics” was attached to this scheme in J&K. He revealed that the list included dozens of unnamed madrasses and mentioned only the name of locality like Chrar-e-Sharief, Numbalhar etc. He claimed that the funding was supposed to be granted on recommendations of State Madrassa Board (SMB) and State Grant-in-Aid Committee (SGIAC) but neither of two existed in J&K.

Sources said that an expert committee of National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education (NMCME), constituted by Government of India in 2004, had suggested that madrassas be provided a linkage with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to provide for certification of academic levels, linkages with vocational education, improving the quality of education in modern subjects, introduced teacher training, enhancement of teacher salaries, strengthening of State Madarssa Boards for monitoring and raising awareness about education programmes for the Muslim community.

An amount of Rs 325 crore has been proposed for the scheme as per budget
provision made by Planning Commission in the 11th Five Year Plan in India. It will cover a total of 4,500-6,000 Madrassas and provide honorarium to about 13,500--18,000 teachers in Madrassas all over the country during the 11th Plan period.

Graduates engaged for teaching Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Languages, Computer Application and Science, subject to availability of
a minimum of ten students in each subject, will be paid salary for 12 months @ Rs.6000/-p.m. and post Graduate/B Ed. Rs 12000/- For strengthening the libraries/book banks and providing teaching learning materials at primary/middle/Secondary and senior secondary levels, one time assistance upto Rs 50,000/-followed by an annual grant of Rs 5,000/- will be provided to each Madrassa. Upto Rs 15,000 is being paid to each beneficiary madrassa on account of purchasing Science kits, Maths kits, and other essential pedagogical equipment for teaching modern subjects.

Financial assistance will also be provided for establishment of
Science/Computer Labs/work shops in Madrassas at the Secondary/Senior
Secondary levels upto the a maximum of Rs 100,000 for each of the labs followed by an annual grant of Rs 5,000 for maintenance/ purchase of consumables.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sagar has close shave in militant strike at Zaldagar

PSO killed; 3 escort cops, civilian injured in firing at Minister’s old home

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Dec 11: Senior National Conference (NC) leader and Minister for Rural Development, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Mohammad Sagar, had a narrow escape when militants attacked his cavalcade at his old residence of Zaldagar in Srinagar downtown. One of the Minister’s Personal Security Officers (PSOs) got killed and three more escort personnel and a civilian sustained injuries in the guerrilla attack that happened in this capital city after a long spell of peace.

Informed sources told Early Times that Ali Mohammad Sagar reached Zaldagar, in densely populated Nawab Bazar area of Srinagar downtown at arounf 7.00 p.m this evening to attend the engagement ceremony of his niece. Even as Sagar traveled alongwith his PSOs and escort and many of his relatives were waiting for his arrival, he had informed neither District Police nor Security Wing of J&K Police about his scheduled programme in the evening.

While the Minister was busy inside his brother’s house and was about to leave back for his secured official residence at Church Lane, Sonwar, some unidentified militants came close to his parked cavalcade and fired bursts of AK-47 gunfire. Four of his PSOs and escort personnel sustained injuries. Minutes after the guerrillas vanished into dark alleys, Police and civilians present on the spot evacuated the injured. All the four injured Police personnel and the civilian were rushed to nearby SMHS Hospital where Sagar’s PSO, selection grade constable Gulzar Ahmad (610/JKAP 12th Bn) succumbed to injuries. He was a resident of Gulgam village of Kupwara district.

Official sources identified the injured Police personnel as Constable Yaqoob, Constable Hashim (residents of Kupwara) and Constable Feroz Ahmad of Chadoura, Budgam. The injured civilian, reportedly a driver, was identified as Ali Mohammad of Haihama, Kupwara. Sources said that Constable Yaqoob, who sustained critical injuries, was referred to SKIMS and subjected to surgery at the tertiary care hospital. Remaining two personnel and the civilian were under treatment and declared out of danger at SMHS Hospital.

Sagar is a resident of Zaldagar, near SMHS Hospital, who has been living at protected official houses in Civil Lines since his return from Jammu in 1995. He had migrated to Jammu in the face of secessionist militancy and termination of Dr Farooq Abdullah’s NC-Congress coalition government in January 1990 where he stayed for the next over five years. However, two of his brothers and other relatives have been continuously staying at Zaldagar, Nawab Bazar.

A senior official in CID of J&K Police, SSP Srinagar Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari as well as SSP Police Control Room Srinagar Sheikh Mehmood confirmed to Early Times that the authorities, including all wings of state Police, had no knowledge of Minister’s visit to Zaldagar, Nawab Bazar. They invariably maintained that nobody in Police had been informed about the Cabinet Minister’s visit.

SSP Bukhari said that Police rushed to the spot within minutes of learning about the guerrilla strike and got the injured evacuated. He said that the Minister, alongwith his aides and associates, was escorted to his official residence at Church Lane, Sonwar. Sagar’s Public Relations Officer, Mohammad Illyas, said that everybody was shocked and surprised over the attack. He said that the Minister escaped unhurt as he was inside his brother’s house. He said that the attack happened at around 7.35 p.m and the Minister reached his Church Lane house safely at around 8.00 p.m.

Present in the capital city and holding official meetings here since Wednesday last, Sagar was scheduled to attend the engagement ceremony of his niece at Zaldagar this evening. Earlier today, he attended a lengthy meeting with senior officials at Deputy Commissioner’s office. He was scheduled to fly from Srinagar to Rajouri in helicopter on Monday. However, official sources said that the programme was unlikely and Mr Sagar would continue to stay in Valley for the next one or two days.

SSP Bukhari said that Police learned from its sources and residents that two to three militants emerged from a dark and narrow lane and they fired three AK-47 bursts on the Minister’s parked cavalcade. According to him, the Minister’s cavalcade comprised an escort Gypsy, a bullet-proof Ambassador car and a Scorpio. He said that the VIP was properly protected and escorted on his visit but extraordinary security arrangements were not in place as Police had no information about the programme.

Known for his exceptional courage to visit hypersensitive downtown interior, Sagar has seldom entertained advice from Police or security agencies in touring Srinagar localities. Even while staying at a protected house in the high security Sonwar, he has been frequently visiting every nook and corner in Srinagar. On account of his audacity, he has been a special target of militants ever since he successfully contested Assembly elections and was inducted as Minister of State for Home in Dr Farooq Abdullah’s NC government in October 1996. In 1989, Dr Abdullah had inducted him as MoS Information. During his extensive traveling, official and political activity, Sagar has been attacked by suspected militants over a dozen times in the last 15 years.

Over a decade ago, militants did not spare him even when his father’s funeral prayers were in progress at a community graveyard in Karan Nagar area. Nobody was, however, killed or injured in the broad daylight guerrilla strike. Later, militants planted a huge IED inside a three-wheeler and detonated it yards away from Sagar’s official residence at Gupkar Road. The deafening explosion that day happened near a security barrier, a stone’s throw from what is now Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s house. Later, Sagar had another narrow escape near Bijbehara in Anantnag when suspected militants targeted his car with grenades and firing while he was returning from inauguration of a bridge and a public meeting.


PSGA too a non-starter in J&K

Public and public servants equally ignorant about CM’s most referred achievement

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Dec 10: March 17th this year became a historic day of Omar Abdullah-led coalition government when Cabinet accorded its sanction to the draft of a revolutionary legislation called Jammu & Kashmir Public Services Guarantee Bill. Until that day, just a couple of states in India had introduced the law. On July 30th, 2010, Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s government in Madhya Pradesh had pioneered the legislation and Nitish Kumar had made it a key election promise in Bihar.

Even as Omar’s Cabinet drastically reduced the number of services to be brought under its purview, this legislation was widely appreciated as an effective tool---like Right to Information Act---to eradicate red-tapism and to ensure quick delivery of ordinary services to the people. The law was passed in Budget session but it did not come into force for the next five months. Its rules were notified vide SRO No: 223 and SRO No: 224 on July 21st and finally the Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) of 2011 came into force on August 10th.

On August 23rd, Commissioner-Secretary of General Administration Department, Mohammad Sayeed Khan, issued Circular No: 25-GAD, making it clear for all public servants, as well as the people at large, that the law had taken effect and any state subject could take its benefit. The circular made it adequately clear that the concerned departments would have to designate appellate authorities and those failing to issue documents like Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) and Income Certificate would be liable to punishment like under RTI Act.

According to the state Information Department’s news releases, Chief Minister, his colleagues in the Council of Ministers and other senior functionaries of the government have over a hundred times in the last four months claimed credit for creating the pro-people law. Statistics on the graph of implementation, however, do not support their claims.

Well placed authoritative sources insist that not a single public servant has received any application or issued receipt thereto under the new law. The decades-old system of paying fixed amounts of bribes to the public authorities, mostly through their orderlies and clerks, is continuing intact. A survey through three revenue districts in Kashmir valley fails to find even a single applicant who has sought and obtained justice or a single public servant who has been punished on account of delinquency under PSGA since August 10th, 2011. And hold your breath, not a single appellate authority has been designated by any of the government departments.

“PSGA rules make it clear as to who are the appellate authorities. For example, if a Tehsildar (Territorial) is accused of violation, the Assistant Commissioner Revenue in his district automatically happens to be the appellate authority. It is a little different from the Public Information Officers under RTI Act”, said a middle-ranking official at GAD. He attributed zero-action under PSGA in the last four months to “lack of awareness” among the people as well as the public servants.

Nevertheless, another higher ranking official has no hesitation to admit it off-record that either the regime was deficient either in delivery or its will. He illustrated that Government of Punjab had floated this law months after Omar Abdullah piloted it in Assembly. “We have few services in few departments here under PSGA. Government of Punjab has brought as many as 65 services under its purview. Appellate authorities have been notified there by name and in many cases action has been taken against the defaulters”, he added.

Under SRO-224, Government has specifically mentioned several common services under PSGA’s ambit in departments of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (ration card, shifting of Fair Price shop from one place to another), Power Development (domestic and commercial electricity connections), PHE (domestic water connection), Revenue (Permanent Resident Certificate, Reserved Category Certificate, Dependent Certificate, Income Certificate, extracts of Fard Intikhab, Girdawari, Akas masavi/ latha, mutation, inheritance mutation, tatima shajra, chula, demarcation of land), Transport (Learners License, Driving License, Registration of Vehicles) and Housing & Urban Development (Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, NOCs for Construction of house from concerned departments, Building Permission).

Under PSGA officials are bound to issue such documents and provide the specified services within a particular timeframe and their default makes them liable to punishment, including fine and compensation to the aggrieved applicant, by appellate authority much like RTI Act. As of now, none of the officials even entertains an application under the law that is being mentioned every second day by Ministers and bureaucrats as a key achievement of the coalition government.