Ross University to spend over 100 million dollars in reconstruction works

first_img 65 Views   one comment Share EducationLocalNewsTertiary Ross University to spend over 100 million dollars in reconstruction works by: – August 25, 2011 Tweet Photo credit: imed.zotters.orgThe government of Dominica will soon sign a new agreement with the Ross University School of Medicine to increase the number of students at the Portsmouth based educational facility.Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says the school of medicine is expected to spend over one hundred million dollars in redeveloping the campus.He says this will significantly boost economic activities in the north.“We are still in negotiations with Ross University. Ross has at present about 1300 students and we will soon be signing with them, a new charter that we are now negotiating with them. This is going to be a very positive sign for the people of Dominica and Portsmouth as well,” he said.Skerrit told the Next Level Program that the new contract is seeking to increase the number of students from 1300 to 1510 by next year.“By 2015 we want to increase the number of students to 2000. Over the next four years, the Ross University will spend over 100 million dollars to re-develop the campus,” he added.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Sharelast_img read more

Makati matches win-run mark

first_imgGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history “We really needed this win,” said Quezon City coach Vis Valencia, whose team tightened its grip on sixth spot in the North division with an 11-11 record. “We can still improve heading into the playoffs.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Senators, congressman laud law to create nat’l training center The Super Crunch climbed to second spot in the North division with a 20-4 card as they matched the Bataan Risers’ 14-game winning streak earlier this season. Makati hopes to break the record in Valenzuela on Monday when it clashes with Quezon City, which will be looking to seal a playoff spot in their clash.Villanueva also had 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals in an all-around performance, while Jeckster Apinan and Ced Ablaza finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively, for the Super Crunch.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe Capitals leaned on Jay Collado and Hesed Gabo to bounce back with an emphatic 80-71 victory over the Imus Bandera in the second game.Collado delivered 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Gabo tallied 14 points and issued 11 assists. Mon Mabayo also stepped up for the Capitals with a season-high 13 points. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Unheralded guard John Rey Villanueva scattered 22 points as Makati thumped Laguna, 76-65, on Wednesday night at Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City to match the longest winning streak in the MPBL Datu Cup.Villanueva, who struggled to make the varsity teams of San Beda and Perpetual Help in recent years, spearheaded the Super Crunch’s ferocious showing against the Heroes, whose playoff aspirations are now hanging by a thread.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazilcenter_img Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief DOT assures PH ‘very safe’ for tourists amid alleged abduction in Makati PLAY LIST 01:08DOT assures PH ‘very safe’ for tourists amid alleged abduction in Makati01:12Abductors of Chinese woman in Makati could also be Chinese — police00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Pensioner confesses to raping 4-year-old

first_img…jailed for 20 yearsJustice Simone Morris-Ramlall on Monday handed down a 20-year imprisonment sentence to a 63-year-old man, who on his first court appearance admitted to the offence of rape committed in 2016.The charge against Gregory Ramkissoon also known as “Skeage” stated that on January 4, 2016, in the county of Demerara, he engaged in sexual penetration with a four-year-old child.Presenting the State’s case in the Sexual Offences Court of the Demerara High Court were Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy in association with Sarah Martin. Meanwhile, the now convicted man was represented by Attorney Ravindra Mohabir.Before handing down the sentence, Justice Morris-Ramlall took into consideration the nature and gravity of the offence, the manner in which it was committed, and the fact that Ramkissoon took an early plea and did not waste the court’s time.He was given a total of 20 years’ imprisonment and will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.Ramkissoon was also convicted of indecent assault and sexual assault committed on the same victim.last_img read more

Win sparks US football frenzy

first_imgThe outcome of the 2009 FifaConfederations Cup is now an Americanaffair.(Image: Wikimedia Commons) reporterFind out more about using materialThe US football team’s entry into the Confederations Cup final after their shock win over heavyweights Spain has sparked enormous American interest in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, according to officials.“There is huge demand for World Cup tickets. Already 93 000 have been sold and the response since last night’s victory has been incredible,” Jermaine Craig, the 2010 Local Organising Committee’s media officer, said at a media briefing at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium on Thursday.“There’s phenomenal excitement from the US,” he added.The initially disregarded US team trounced European champions Spain in a 2-0 victory in the Confederations Cup semifinal at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.The win would do much to boost football in the US, said Nicolas Maingot, Fifa’s head of media, pointing out that the sport had been developing there for many years. “A result like this can only help,” he said.The US media spared no adjectives in its reaction to the victory. The prestigious New York Times ran with the story in its digital edition almost as soon as the final whistle had blown. Under the headline “US Victory Was a Miracle on Grass”, the newspaper compared the win to the “Miracle on Ice”, the famous victory by its amateur ice-hockey players over the mighty Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics.Reporter George Vecsey ranked the win as “Probably the greatest victory by the men’s national soccer team”, before going on to compare the result to some of the greatest performances in US soccer history.“But for these 90 minutes on Wednesday, the Americans were better than the Spaniards – brave and smart and lucky, too. And they will always have this result, like the Americans who shocked England in the 1950 World Cup, a simpler time, and the Americans who demoralised Mexico and then nearly beat Germany in the giddy quarter-final in the World Cup in 2002.”Putting the shock scoreline into perspective, Vecsey wrote: “Nobody in the American soccer federation will dare to claim that this was the day the country came of age in the world’s most important sport.“But this was a step.”Meanwhile, South Africa coach Joel Santana has said his team could take much encouragement from their semifinal performance against Brazil on Thursday night, despite being knocked out of the tournament by the 1-0 score.Bafana Bafana looked inspired at a packed Ellis Park Stadium, with their determination and creative midfield play causing the Confederations Cup defending champions plenty of trouble. But home hearts were broken two minutes before the end when substitute Daniel Alves rifled in a free kick to silence the near 50 000 crowd and book the South Americans a date with US in Sunday’s final.“My players looked very balanced for most of the game,” Santana said. “They looked very calm and relaxed without much nervousness. It seemed like we would hold on, but Brazil used their experience in the set-piece at the end and won the game.“The important thing is that we are very proud to have played in the way we did against a national team that is recognised as one of the best in the world. We were able to hold our own, which was quite noteworthy. With the World Cup in mind, we should remember that we still have another year to prepare ourselves.”Santana, a Brazilian, said he enjoyed the “emotional night” of his players taking on his fellow countrymen, but preferred to focus on his newly adopted country, which he believes has the potential to make further headway in 2010.Do you have queries or comments about this story? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]last_img read more

JamiiX: from the Cape Flats to the world

first_imgJamiiX allows users to manage all theirsocial media accounts from one interface. (Image: JamiiX) MEDIA CONTACTS • Marlon ParkerRLabs+27 21 699 1453RELATED ARTICLES • Low-cost phones for Africa • Fight HIV with your phone • Skills via phones for rural women • Mobile internet booms in South AfricaJanine ErasmusNew social media aggregator JamiiX, which was developed in the Western Cape’s impoverished Cape Flats, is set for a global launch in June 2010.JamiiX works by bringing social media and instant messaging functionality into a single application, allowing users to manage many accounts, and carry on several conversations at the same time, using a computer or mobile phone.JamiiX developer and CEO Marlon Parker describes himself as a social entrepreneur. An avid blogger and tweeter, he holds a masters degree in Information Technology (IT) and is working on with his PhD at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where he has lectured in IT since 2000.Parker’s thesis, due for completion in 2010, focuses on the use of technology to facilitate change in communities.The new media specialist and his team have worked for almost three years to develop JamiiX, and their efforts come to fruition on 8 June when the site goes live.The tool gets its name from the Swahili word “jamii”, which means “social” or “community”. The x represents an exchange between users.“[We hope that JamiiX] will prove to be more than just an average aggregator for social networks and instant messengers,” wrote Parker on his blog, “but will come with a little dash of colourfulness that will certainly change communication channels using Web 2.0.”The JamiiX team identified a desperate need in their community for affordable and accessible communications, especially in terms of social services. Many people need support but can’t afford to run up big bills on a landline, likewise small organisations and service providers also have to keep an eye on the phone budget ‒ they turn instead to the cheaper alternatives of social media sites, text messages, and instant messaging.At the same time, the team was aware that mobile phones are the most commonly used piece of technology in communities. Building on this realisation, they designed an application that provides a single interface for all these services.The application is aimed at individuals and organisations alike, and has been tested by NGOs such as the National Aids Helpline and the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.Developing organisations especially, that provide support services such as counselling, information and education, marketing, and call centre operations, will benefit as they need dedicate just one adviser to handle multiple conversations.JamiiX has partnered with South African success story MXit to make its interface available through a special gateway on the popular instant messaging application.The project received funding from the South African Finland Partnership, and consequently has been able to set up operations in the UK, Finland and Malaysia.Passion for community developmentParker is deeply committed to community development and upliftment through the innovative use of technology – this gives direction to his research.Two years ago he pioneered a MXit drug counselling service known as the Advice Support Network. This innovative mobile platform enables South Africans to receive online counselling on substance abuse, domestic violence and HIV/Aids. In April 2010 it surpassed the 50 000-conversation mark.He founded RLabs, or Reconstructed Living Labs, in the Cape Flats community of Athlone with the aim of “reconstructing communities through innovation”. Focusing on the areas of health and social care, the team’s mission is to empower the community through education and training.A living lab is an open innovation environment that is led by a community of users, and development takes place in real-life settings.The RLabs initiative is the first Western Cape-based project, out of 10 around the country. Partners in the venture include the Cape Peninsula’s technology university, the Athlone-based Bridgetown Civic organisation, and faith-based community organisation Impact Direct Ministries, also based in Athlone.Among RLabs’ numerous activities are the Reconstructed project, which rehabilitates former gangsters and drug-users through mentoring and training; Mom 2.0, which teaches women from the community how to use a computer and social tools such as Gmail and Facebook; and the Seniors Mobile Session, which teaches the elderly how to use their mobile phones efficiently.Parker’s PhD thesis is titled Using ICT as a change agent to empower citizens in a community in tension, and one of the initiatives that has arisen out of it is the Advice Support Network.Area of tensionDescribed by Parker in a 2008 technical report as a “community in tension” because of factors such as social inequality and lack of education and economic development, Athlone struggles with numerous social issues, including drugs and gangsterism.The area is situated on the Cape Flats close to Cape Town International Airport and is known for its football stadium, home to the Ajax Cape Town and Santos football clubs, and recently upgraded for its role as the city’s main training venue for 2010 Fifa World Cup teams. Its other distinguishing feature is the two cooling towers of the decommissioned Athlone power station, which loom over the N2 freeway.last_img read more

The Daily vs. Flipboard: One of These is The Future of Newspapers…

first_imgLast week Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper The Daily was launched. The Daily is a newspaper app available to U.S. users on the iPad for 99c per week (the first 2 weeks are free; non-U.S. people can download it for trial via this method). The Daily has been touted as the “future of the newspaper” by News Corp. Audrey Watters wrote our initial review of The Daily and she was underwhelmed. In my own testing, I’ve found The Daily to be inferior to my current iPad ‘newspaper’ of choice: Flipboard. Here’s how I came to that conclusion…In an informal breakfast news test, this morning I sat in bed with my coffee and peanut butter toast and browsed both The Daily and Flipboard. OK, it was also an excuse to lounge about in bed for an extra hour! But to the point: in both content and user interface, Flipboard served up most of the articles that I ended up consuming this morning. If it had been a paper product, I’d have flicked through The Daily in about 5-10 minutes and discarded the scrunched up newspaper at the foot of my bed.At first glance, The Daily has a few nice interactive touches – like 360° photos, a short 2-3 minute video review of the day’s big news, and other multimedia features. While it could be doing a lot more with the iPad’s interactive functionality, it’s a decent start and shows the promise of what’s to come with digital newspapers.Where The Daily mostly fails to deliver is with the content. There are two big issues: firstly a lack of choice for the consumer, and secondly the blandness of the content that is on offer. As we’ll see, Flipboard is able to deliver much more than The Daily on both fronts. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#New Media#NYT#web For other people, it’d be about reading the latest politics or sports news. Whatever your interests, you can plug in sections on Flipboard that give you a much wider and more interesting selection of news than The Daily offers up.The crux of The Daily’s problem is that it tries to deliver a general interest traditional newspaper, except in the iPad format. However, the future of the newspaper is about increased personalization, interactivity, social features, more choice of niche content. It’s no longer about serving up a selection of middle-of-the-road fare every day and hoping that satisfies a large chunk of the newspaper-reading population (which is of course in decline, too). There are ways that a newspaper, paper or digital, can still command interest and readership. Providing local news – like my city’s newspaper, which I read from time to time. Or in-depth, professionally reported features – such as most of the articles in the New York Times, Washington Post or USA Today. However, The Daily isn’t local enough and its articles seem light fare when compared to the three U.S. dailies I just mentioned.I’ll be sticking with Flipboard for my daily news, together with my favorite sources of local and in-depth news. The Daily just isn’t doing it for me. How about you? Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Much of The Daily’s content this morning was of little interest to me. I hadn’t expected the sports or gossip sections to appeal to me, but I’m very interested in the arts and The Daily has an ‘Arts & Life’ section. Today, Sunday in the U.S., there was an article about an iPad version of the bible, a feature on halftime shows at the Superbowl, a review of a movie called ‘The Roommate’, and a review of a book about Michelle Obama. All pretty standard mainstream newspaper fare. The bible app article was a nice touch, although oddly there was no interactivity on that particular article. The main issue on the content side is that there is no real choice of what content is served up. It’s middle-of-the-road fare, with a few seemingly token geek stories. For example in today’s issue there was a video story about live World of Warcraft. I can imagine the editorial discussion that produced that story: “Hey we need a story about nerds, because those people have iPads, right? World of Warcraft, you say… is that something nerds do? Well then, that’s perfect!” (if that story didn’t satisfy The Daily’s geek demographic, there was also a story today about what apps Buzz Aldrin uses.) I wasn’t even halfway through my coffee and toast when I got bored with The Daily and fired up Flipboard. If you’re unfamiliar with Flipboard, it’s a self-styled iPad “social magazine” that lets you select what content to follow. So if you want the latest news of the day, there are multiple ways you can get that. There’s a section called “FlipNews” that offers up the latest news headlines. CNN, Fox, USA Today and other news brands have their own sections. You can plug in a selection of your favorite news RSS feeds from Google Reader. You can add a Twitter list that gives you breaking news.Let’s take the arts example. As I mentioned, I follow the latest arts news regularly and one way I do that is via Flipboard. I have 3 different art sections in Flipboard: FlipArt (sources selected by the Flipboard editors), the ‘Art’ folder in my Google Reader (filled with my favorite art blogs and websites, such as Juxtapoz and FecalFace), and my art Twitter list (a private list filled with a bunch of my favorite art tweeters). This morning, I happened to be interested in reading up on the latest news and reviews in the art world (and by art, I include music and books). I spent a good 40 minutes browsing and reading stories via those 3 sections in my Flipboard. Reluctantly, I closed Flipboard after that time – as I had work to do! But my point is, that was essentially my morning newspaper.last_img read more

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Price Slashed

first_imgBlackmagic Design makes a bold move and drops the price of their popular Cinema Camera to $1995!Blackmagic Design aims to pick up a wider user base of their popular Cinema Camera – slashing the price from $2995 to $1995.  Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty recently told the Hollywood Reporter ““Too many manufacturers make products that are way too expensive or too complicated.” This move will certainly entice video pros who are currently debating on a DSLR or Cinema Cam purchase.With the recently released Blackmagic Production Camera and Blackmagic Pocket Camera, the price drop of this earlier model seems logical. When the camera was announced at the 2012 NAB show many video professionals couldn’t believe the almost 3K resolution for $3000. This recent price drops will sweeten that deal even more.Get the Blackmagic Cinema Camera over at B&H for $1995.last_img read more

Government to focus on tackling infiltration: Naik

first_imgUnion Minister of State for Defence Sripad Naik on Sunday said tackling infiltration and terrorism is one of the key areas of focus for the government. The North Goa BJP MP, who was speaking to reporters here on his return to Goa after being sworn in as minister, said, “The government has formed a strategy to tackle infiltration, especially in regions like Kashmir. The government wants to stop infiltration and eliminate divisive forces in the country.”Responding to a question about India’s neighbours, Mr. Naik said, “The Chinese aggression is to a lesser degree. But Pakistan and various terrorist groups are being tackled by the government.” Mr. Naik thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for appointing him as Minister of State for Defence, and said Mr. Modi had prioritised finding solutions to curb terrorism and infiltration.last_img read more

Canete makes good on promise to help save PH polo

first_imgWATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding The Philippines also had a help from the bench from Hungarian coach Eggidy Gabor. Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago View comments Read Next PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games “In Singapore we didn’t get a medal (and went home without a win) I heard they are going to disband the team if we lose here now,” said Canete. “So I decided to help.”Head coach Rey Galang lavished praise on Canete for taking care of the offense while team captain and goalie Tani Gomez Jr., was in charge of defense.READ: SEA Games special siteAlso scoring for the Philippines were Mico Anota, Reynaldo Salonga Jr., and Mummar Alamara.“I think we are in a much better shape now than when I came back,” said Canete. “We just need to sustain this and remain focused.”ADVERTISEMENT Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Cutting through the water with strong strokes and then rising for accurate shooting, Canete scored six points in the Philippines’ surprising 9-7 win over Thailand.Canete, a single parent with two teenaged boys, was working as a swimming instructor in Dubai for six years.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: PH opens SEAG bid on high note, nips Thailand in water poloBut last year, the team asked him to come back. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Thailand silences PH to advance to AVC semis PH water polo top scorer Roy Canete. Photo by Marc ReyesKUALA LUMPUR—Teodoro Roy Canete had to make a big decision to leave a lucrative job in Dubai to “help save” Philippine water polo.That started to pay off Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

2010: The year of treasure hunters

first_imgThe first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows,The first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows were virtually stolen by powerful politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers who abetted construction on disputed army land. Chavan’s relatives owned three flats in Adarsh. He was confident that his mentors – a guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and Rahul Gandhi – would save him. Chavan was self-delusional. It was the judiciary that forced the political class to move. On December 22, a division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice U.D. Salvi hearing the case noted, “Everybody who was supposed to clear a file has been gifted (a flat in Adarsh).”Adarsh was not the only scandal in the Year of the Treasure Hunter. The total loot of the public exchequer in 2010 is estimated to exceed Rs 4 lakh crore. An analysis reveals that real estate is corruption’s biggest cash cow. According to realtors, 60 to 70 per cent of the price of property transactions in all major Indian cities is in cash. A finance ministry report of December 2009 states: “Of the Rs 4,500 crore seized in income tax raids, around Rs 2,000 crore involves land. Politicians are earning money per sq ft of the floor space index awarded to construct buildings. This is a result of commercialisation of politics,” says former Mumbai High Court Judge B.G. Kolse-Patil. The CBI discovered that it was Chavan, who as state revenue minister in 2000 cleared the society’s ownership conditions to admit civilians along with defence personnel, thereby opening up a real estate gold-mine. “The Congress is the fountainhead of corruption in the country,” says BJP leader Rajnath Singh. advertisement Raja as telecom minister flouted rules to grant spectrum licences to select companies. Though Chavan’s declared income in 2009 was Rs 24.61 crore, in reality he owns assets worth hundreds of crores. He bent laws to get flats for politicians, bureaucrats and army officers in a housing society meant for Kargil heroes and widows.The BCCI accuses Modi of financial bungling and his relatives of making money through IPL bids.                      In 2010, allegations of corruption – referred to by Wharton academic Jitendra Singh as “a kind of shadowy market” – were made against the spectrum of the national establishment. Politicians like Chavan, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Suresh Kalmadi and Mulayam Singh Yadav; senior army officers like former army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Major General R.K. Hooda stole the headlines of the year with a glittering cast of friends, mentors and hangers-on from the media and bureaucracy.Chavan’s personal assets run into hundreds of crores of rupees. In his hometown Nanded, Chavan Inc owns dealerships, real estate worth crores, sugar mills and educational institutions. He insists that his commercial ventures are legal and he has done nothing wrong. For a politician who declared his net worth as Rs 24.61 crore in 2009, INDIA TODAY investigations revealed that the estimated worth of assets held by Chavan and his family amount to much more. “The politicians in the entire country are corrupt. Why talk only about Maharashtra?”says Kolse-Patil. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray says, “We are facing a challenge to cure the disease of corruption.” Chavan, however, is defiant. “The investigations will prove my innocence,” he says. The CAG report pointed out massive corruption in the CWG and claimed crores were stolen by officials and contractors. The Karnataka chief minister refused to resign over charges that government land was allotted to family members. This land was returned after a judicial inquiry was set up. When he was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2004-2007, foodgrain meant for the poor was diverted.The country has got used to the idea of corrupt politicians. It was shocked to learn that officers of the rank of general and admiral were involved in Adarsh. “Here is a man whom we trusted, here is a person on whose orders we were ready to go to battle,” said Chief of Staff General V.K. Singh about his predecessor General Kapoor. In his application for a Rs 80-lakh apartment, General Kapoor lied that his annual income was Rs 2.8 lakh while when it was actually around Rs 7.2 lakh. When this application was turned down, the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh used his arbitrary powers to clear it. Adarsh is not the only example of Kapoor’s real estate adventures. The Haryana Government gave him a Gurgaon plot for Rs 36 lakh with a lock-in payment period of five years – a knockdown price for land valued at Rs 7.5 crore. In Sukna, West Bengal, army land was allegedly given to builders at throwaway prices. The military court indicted two army officers for this deal – one of them was Kapoor’s staff advisor Lt. General Avdesh Prakash. Kapoor reportedly used his clout to save Prakash from a court martial. The armed forces have earned the unsavoury nickname, the “Harmed Forces”.advertisementReal estate besmirched the reputation of Karnataka’s Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as well. In June 2010, Yeddyurappa was preparing for a spotlight moment, ordering a bespoke Italian suit from Bangalore fashion designer Prakash Lamba as a change from his usual white safari suit to preside over the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore from which he expected to raise at least $66.3 billion as investments for Karnataka. In private, Yeddyurappa was taking decisions that would blow up in his face. On November 17, 2010, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde announced there was enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa.The Opposition released documents – around 2,000 of them – alleging that Yeddyurappa flouted rules to get prime land worth Rs 500 crore allotted to family members; his sons BJP MP B.Y. Raghavendra and Vijayendra became beneficiaries of state largesse after their father became the Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Raghavendra was allotted a government plot in Bangalore under the MP’s quota and paid Rs 10 lakh for the land whose market value was over Rs 2 crore. Yeddyurappa also denotified the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) land which his sons and son-inlaw Sohan Kumar allegedly grabbed at throwaway prices. Yeddyurappa’s daughter Umadevi was allotted two acres of government land to set up a BPO. Some of his family members were allegedly allotted five acres in Shimoga to build a hospital, and two acres for a factory in Bangalore. In March 2010, 11 more acres in Bangalore worth crores were denotified in Vijayendra and Raghavendra’s favour against the advice of the BDA and the Urban Development Department. Later, his kin returned the land following a judicial inquiry. Five previous chief ministers gave similar deals to their relatives including Dharam Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy who is yet to return the land allotted to him.”The names of my family members are being dragged into imagined corruption cases to cover up their (Opposition’s) own misdeeds,” says Yeddyurappa, responding to the Opposition’s charges of corruption.The Opposition also alleges that the chief minister took a bribe of Rs 20 crore from the Bellary-based South West Mining Ltd; supporting documents claim that the money was allegedly deposited into the bank accounts of Raghavendra, Vijayendra and Sohan Kumar. Graft FilesAccording to corruption watchdog Global Financial Integrity,Rs 20,79,000 crorewas transferred out of the country illegally between 1948 and 2008.That money could repeat the UPAI farm loan waiver scheme 35 times.************************************************In 2008, black money in India amounted to Rs 28 lakh crore. Just half of that could retire India’s foreign debt.The remaining would be enough to give every Indian Rs 14,000.advertisement************************************************The Swiss BankingAssociation Report of 2008 reveals that Indians hold $1,891 billion in deposits. That’s about Rs 8,50,950 crore; in Rs 1,000 notes laid end to end, this amount would girdle the globe more than 37 times.************************************************With the 2G money the Government lost thanks to Raja,8,800 crore solar power plants generating 1 MWeach could have been put up nationwide, enough to resolve our electricity shortage many times over.************************************************The estimated amount paid by Indians as bribes to the legal system is Rs 2,360 crore.If land was exploited by the corrupt, the skies were open to political plunder as well. On November 14, the DMK, unable to withstand the heat from a belligerent Opposition, a hostile Congress and an angry media, ordered Andimuthu Raja to resign as telecom minister. Raja was accused of favouring select telecom companies- Swan Telecom, Unitech, S-Tel, Datacom Solutions, Idea, Spice, Systema, Tata and Loop-in acquiring 2G spectrum licences in a valuation game which is estimated to have cost the country a notional Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “As a lawyer, I will abide by the law, not evade it,” Raja said. His slogan during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was “Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa” (One kg rice at one rupee, a hello on the phone at 50 paise).The Niira Radia tapes exposed how much his hellos cost the country. Veteran Congress leader of Tamil Nadu EVKS Elangovan says “Karunanidhi must’ve been aware of things.” In power, there is no free lunch. So what did the telecom companies give Raja and Radia in return of the favours? The CBI and the ED are investigating a money trail that leads to the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mauritius. “Raja represents a front for a number of undesirable organisations. He is a front for anti-national agents,” says Subramanian Swamy, Janata Party president. There may be political exaggeration in the accusation.Raja stuck to his chair for 400 days after the scam surfaced. A CBI official claims that the minister used this time to manipulate or destroy evidence. No incriminating documents were found when the agency raided his house on December 8. According to one source, documents were also destroyed at Radia-owned Vaishnavi Communications’s office in Delhi. Employees had burned thousands of documents to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CBI. “The Government should constitute an Integrity and Ethics Commission urgently to check corruption and initiate stringent action against corrupt practices,” says ASSOCHAM President Dilip Modi.The climate of venality spawned a variety of hunters who sought to seize what they could. Public anger began to mount. When Suresh Kalmadi, the most visibly tainted face of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, walked into a Delhi restaurant on a late October weekend, he was surrounded and heckled by diners who called him a thief. The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) estimate that the 66-year-old Congress Rajya Sabha MP caused a loss of Rs 5,000-8,000 crore of public money through financial and administrative malfeasance. In 2003, the Indian Olympic Association estimated the Games would cost the country Rs 1,620 crore. By 2010, the bill had risen to Rs 11,500 crore. With other additional expenditure, the Games expenditure was estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore, making the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive sporting event ever. CBI sources says that of the Rs 665 crore spent on overlays, around Rs 200 crore was stolen. Following the CVC report on financial misdemeanors, the CBI raided the IOA offices and arrested close Kalmadi aides T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahindroo and treasurer Jayachandran.Some of the statistics are stunning. The infrastructure cost for the CWG was Rs 2,904 crore but Rs 5,503 crore was released. Where did the extra money go? The CVC investigated 16 Games-related projects totalling Rs 2,477 crore and found that corrupt officials and contractors tampered with initially discounted tenders. The organising committee inflated bills by at least 30 per cent. The CBI raided Kalmadi’s residences in Delhi and Pune. “I am innocent till proven  guilty. I have not taken any decision alone,” Kalmadi says.Many more careers and reputations tumbled as other skeletons of corruption fell out of hidden closets. In Mumbai, private financier Rajesh Sharma, chief of Money Matters (India), and senior bank officials were arrested in a bribes-for-loans affair. The arrests have made corporate India uneasy. Though the licence raj has ostensibly ended, lobbyists are still needed for project clearances. “We need to be clear about what is defined as corruption. In an economy where competition and enterprise are driven by individual endeavours, and there is no strong government hand, these things flourish,” says P. Shankar Raman, executive V-P (finance), L&T. Following these arrests, the market value of LIC Housing Finance shares plummeted from Rs 10,159 crore to Rs 2,365 crore. Investors lost Rs 2,300 crore in a day. “There are enough regulatory bodies in the country but they don’t have the teeth to enforce regulations,” says Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG, one of the largest of audit, tax and advisory services firms in the world.There was one unusual instance of corruption. While Adarsh, the CWG and other scams largely involved powerful cabals, Ketan Desai, president of the Medical Council of India, was the lone ranger of graft. His modus operandi was to ask for bribes in return of government recognition for private medical colleges. After the CBI arrested him for accepting Rs 2 crore as payola for one such deal, raids conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Ahmedabad revealed that Desai and his family owned 10 houses, two commercial properties in Mumbai and gold worth Rs 39 lakh.During the Adarsh hearing, Justices Marlapalle and Salvi asked, “Why has no FIR been registered except the one on the missing files in the case? Don’t tell us committees will be formed to conduct inquiries. Committees are formed and dissolved, nothing happens.” Nothing happens because a corrupt system closes its ranks to protect its own. India remains stuck in the purgatory of corruption.- With Nivedita Mukherjee, Kiran Tare and Nirmala Ravindranlast_img read more