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Indian Panorama 2017

IFFI 2017 -  48th International Film Festival of India

Indian Panorama 2017 announces its final selection of Feature & Non-Feature films to be screened in Goa at 48th International Film Festival of India, 2017.

The Jury for Feature Films was headed by acclaimed film director, actor and screenwriter, Shri Sujoy Ghosh. The Jury previewed 153 eligible entries. The Jury was comprised of the following Members:

  1. Shri Suresh Heblikar, Filmmaker, Director & Actor
  2. Shri Rahul Rawail, Film Director
  3. Satarupa Sanyal, Film Director, Producer, Actress, Poet &Social Activist
  4. Ms Gopi Desai, Film Director & Actress
  5. Shri Nishikant Kamat, Filmmaker
  6. Shri Gyan Correa, Film Director
  7. Shri Merlvin Mukhim, Actor & Producer
  8. Shri Nikkhil Advani, Film Producer, Director & Screenwriter
  9. ShriApurva Asrani, Film Maker, Film Editor & Screenwriter
  10. Shri HariViswanath, Film Director, Screenwriter & Producer
  11. Shri Sachin Chatte, Film Critic
  12. Ruchi Narain, Film Director & Screenwriter

As per Clause 8.6 of the India Panorama 2017 Regulations the Best Feature Film of 64th National Film Awards 2016, titled “Kaasav” directed by Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar is included in Indian Panorama 2017 by virtue of direct entry.

The Opening film of the feature film section of Indian Panorama is Pihu directed by Vinod Kapri. In addition to this, five Mainstream films are also selected under Indian Panorama Section of 48th International Film Festival of India, 2017.

26 Feature films selected for the Indian Panorama 2017 is as follows:



The Non – Feature Film Jury was chaired by well-known film director and screen writer Shri Sudhir Mishra. The Jury previewed 154 eligible entries. The Jury comprised of the following Members:

  1. Shri Tuhinabha Majumdar, Film Director and Film Writer
  2. Shri Shankhajeet De, Film Maker
  3. Shri Mithuchandra Chaudhari, Film Director
  4. Shiny Jacob Benjamin, Film Producer, Film Director and Writer
  5. Tinni Mitra, Film Editor
  6. Shri K.G Suresh, Journalist & Columnist
Indian Panorama Section, 2017 at  48th International Film Festival of India

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As per Clause 8.6 of the India Panorama 2017 Regulations the Best Non-Feature Film of 64th National Film Awards 2016, titled “Fireflies in the Abyss” directed by Chandrasekhar Reddy is included in Indian Panorama 2017, by virtue of direct entry.

The Opening film of the non-feature film section of Indian Panorama 2017 is Pushkar Puran directed by Kamal Swaroop.

16 Non – Feature films selected for the Indian Panorama 2017 is as follows:


Source: IFFI Goa Blog


Pablo César’s film on Rabindranath Tagore to close IFFI 2017

IFFI 2017 -  48th International Film Festival of India

The Indo- Argentine film by Filmmaker Pablo César’s set to be the closing movie of IFFI 2017. The film Thinking of Him, which revolves around the relationship of legendary poet and intellectual Rabindranath Tagore, played by Victor Banerjee, will be screened at IFFI on the 28th of November.The film captures the magic of Rabindranath Tagore’s relationship with Argentine feminist, writer and activist Victoria Ocampo in a brilliant manner.


The movie has scenes in both B&W and Colour. The black and white scenes portray the life of Tagore and his time spent with Ocampa who is played by the talented Eleonora Wexler. The color portions of the movie follows Felix, a geography teacher who becomes fascinated by Tagore’s work and travels to Shantiniketan to learn more about him.

Hector Bordoni plays Felix while Raima Sen plays Kamali, a young woman whom Felix meets on his journey.

“This film is not about what you and I think of Tagore. It is about what she [Ocampo] thought of Tagore and what Argentine people think of him,” Victor Banerjee had said in an interview in 2016. Pablo César conceived the idea of making the film back in 2008.


This is not director Pablo César’s first time at IFFI. In 1994, he was invited to screen his 3rd feature film ‘Grey Fire’. For this years edition of IFFI, he is coming back with his 11th film that is close to the heart of every Indian. The film will be screened after the red carpet closing ceremony on the 28th of November.

1 Intro Collage.jpg

Source: IFFI Goa Blog


‘Beyond the clouds’ by Majid Majidi to open IFFI 2017 on 20th November

IFFI 2017 -  48th International Film Festival of India

The film by legendary Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi is set to be the curtain raiser at the 48th International Film Festival of India in Goa on the 20th of November, 2017. The two hour Indian Masterpiece was also Nominated for the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival 2017. Apart from marking the official debut of the young talent Ishaan Khattar into the world of cinema, this film is also the first Indian film by Majid Majidi. Beyond the Clouds also features the South Indian actress, Malavika Mohanan in one of the lead roles.

This might perhaps be the first time that an international film maker of repute and acclaim, has shot and produced his entire film in India with an Indian producer and a complete Indian cast & crew.


Beyond The Clouds revolves around the adoration of love, life and human relationships between a brother and sister  which takes place  the ever bustling city of Mumbai. This particular film, is a trilingual one, i.e. it will have dialogues in three languages which are English, Tamil and Hindi. Bollywood veteran and seven time National Film Award winner Vishal Bhardwaj handled the scripting for the hindi dialogues. He is known for working on scripts for some acclaimed films like Talvar, Kaminey and Haider in the past. He applauded Mr Majid’s understanding of cinema and respect to the language.

Majid Majidi is a prominent Iranian film director who has an illustrious career with a long list of awards and nominations like the 1998 Oscar nomination for the best film and the Grand Prix Des Ameriques award at the 25th Montreal Film Festival, 2001. His movie, The Song of Sparrows won the Special Award for Best Foreign Language Film National Board of Review, New York 2008. Other than these, he is best known for films like Children of Heaven & Children of Paradise which are loved by crowds all over.

Oscar winner A.R Rahman was roped in to compose the music for the film. Rahman and Majid have worked together previously on the film ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God’, which won the Cinematographer-Director Duo Award at the The International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage 2015.

The film will be have its India premiere post the Inaugural ceremony on the 20th of November. Majidi, along with the lead actors, Oscar winning music director A.R. Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj is expected to attend the premiere on November 20th .

Celebrate Films, Celebrate Goa, Celebrate IFFI 2017

Courtesy: IFFI Goa Blog

A Year After Demonetisation

Arun Jaitley arun1

November 8, 2016 would be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of Indian economy. This day signifies the resolve of this Government to cure the country from “dreaded disease of black money”. We, the Indians, were forced to live with this attitude of “chalta hai” with respect to corruption and black money and the brunt of this attitude was faced particularly by the middle class and lower strata of society. It was a hidden urge of the larger section of our society for a long period to root out the curse of corruption and black money; and it was this urge which manifested in the verdict of people in May 2014.


 Immediately after taking up responsibility in May 2014, this Government decided to fulfil the wish of the people in tackling the menace of black money by constituting SIT on black money. Our country is aware that how even a direction from the Supreme Court on this issue was ignored by the then Government for number of years. Another example of lack of will to fight against black money was the delay of 28 years in implementation of Benami Property Act.

This Government took decisions and implemented the earlier provisions of law in a well-considered and planned manner over three years to meet the objective of fight against black money. These decisions span from setting up of SIT to passing of necessary laws for foreign assets to demonetisation and to implementation of GST.

Corruption Image

 When the country is participating in “Anti-Black Money Day”, a debate was started that whether the entire exercise of demonetisation has served any intended purpose. This narrative attempts to bring out positive outcomes of demonetization in short-term and medium-term with respect to stated objectives.


RBI has reported in their Annual Accounts that Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) of estimated value of Rs.15.28 lakh crore have been deposited back as on 30.6.2017. The outstanding SBNs as on 8th November, 2016 were of Rs.15.44 lakh crore value. The total currency in circulation of all denominations as on 8th November, 2016 was 17.77 lakh crore.

One of the important objective of demonetisation was to make India a less cash economy and thereby reduce the flow of black money in the system. The reduction in currency in circulation from the base scenario reflects that this intended objective has been met. The published figure of “currency in circulation” for half year ending September, 2017 is Rs.15.89 lakh crore. This shows year on year variation of (-) Rs.1.39 lakh crore; whereas year on year variation for the same period during last year was (+) Rs.2.50 lakh crore. This means that reduction in currency in circulation is of the order of Rs.3.89 lakh crore.

Why should we remove excess currency from the system? Why should we curtail cash transactions? It is common knowledge that cash is anonymous. When demonetization was implemented, one of the intended objectives was to put identity on the cash holdings in the economy. With the return of Rs.15.28 lakh crore in the formal banking system, almost entire cash holding of the economy now has an address. It is no more anonymous. From this inflow, the amount involving suspicious transactions based on various estimates ranges from Rs.1.6 lakh crore to Rs.1.7 lakh crore. Now it is with the tax administration and other enforcement agencies to use big data analytics and crack down on suspicious transactions.


 Steps in this direction have already started. Number of Suspicious Transaction Reports filed by banks during 2016-17 has gone up from 61,361 in 2015-16 to 3,61,214; the increase during the same period for Financial Institutions is from 40,333 to 94,836 and for intermediaries registered with SEBI the increase is from 4,579 to 16,953.

Based on big data analytics, cash seizure by Income Tax Department has more than doubled in 2016-17 when compared to 2015-16; during search and seizure by the Department Rs.15,497 crore of undisclosed income has been admitted which is 38% higher than the undisclosed amount admitted during 2015-16; and undisclosed income detected during surveys in 2016-17 is Rs.13,716 crore which is 41% higher than the detection made in 2015-16.


Undisclosed income admitted and undisclosed income detected taken together amounts to Rs.29,213 crore; which is close to 18% of the amount involved in suspicious transactions. This process will gain momentum under “Operation Clean Money” launched on January 31, 2017.

 The exercise to remove the anonymity with currency has further yielded results in the form of

  • 56 lakh new individual tax payers filing their returns till August 5, 2017 which was the last date for filing return for this category; last year this number was about 22 lakh;
  • Self-Assessment Tax (voluntary payment by tax payers at the time of filing return) paid by non-corporate tax payers increasing by 34.25% during April 1 to August 5 in 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.

With increase in tax base and bringing back undisclosed income into the formal economy, the amount of Advance Tax paid by non-corporate tax payers during the current year has also increased by about 42% during 1st April to 5th August.


The leads gathered due to data collected during demonetisation period have led to identification of 2.97 lakh suspect shell companies. After issuance of statutory notices to these companies and following due process under the law, 2.24 lakh companies have been de-registered from the books of Registrar of Companies.

 Further actions were taken under the law to stop operation of bank accounts of these struck off companies. Actions are also being taken for freezing their bank accounts and debarring their directors from being on board of any company. In the initial analysis of bank accounts of such companies following information has come out which are worth mentioning:

  • Of 2.97 lakh struck off companies, information pertaining to 28,088 companies involving 49,910 bank accounts show that these companies have deposited and withdrawn Rs.10,200 crore from 9th November 2016 till the date of strike off from RoC;
  • Many of these companies are found to have more than 100 bank accounts – one company even reaching a figure of 2,134 accounts;

Simultaneously, Income Tax Department has taken action against more than 1150 shell companies which were used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries to launder more than Rs.13,300 crore.


Post demonetization, SEBI has introduced a Graded Surveillance Measure in stock exchanges. This measure has been introduced in over 800 securities by the exchanges. Inactive and suspended companies many a time are used as harbours of manipulative minds. In order to ensure that such suspicious companies do not languish in the exchanges, over 450 such companies have been delisted and demat accounts of their promoters have been frozen; they have also been barred to be directors of listed companies. Around 800 companies listed on erstwhile regional exchanges are not traceable and a process has been initiated to declare them as vanishing companies. Demonetization appears to have led to an acceleration in the financialisation of savings.

In parallel, there is a shift towards greater formalisation of the economy in the near term aided by the introduction of Good and Services Tax (GST). Some of the parameters indicating such shift are given below:

  • Corporate bond market has started reaping the benefits of additional financial savings and transmission of interest rate reduction. The corporate Bond market issuance grew to Rs. 1.78 lakh crore in 2016-17, the year on year increase was Rs.78,000 crore. With other sources of issuance in capital market the incremental variation is almost Rs.2 lakh crore in 2016-17 while that was Rs.1 lakh crore in 2015-16.
  • This trend is further substantiated by the surge in primary market raising through public and rights issues. There were 87 issues of public and rights for raising equity involving amount of Rs.24,054 crore during FY 2015-16; in the first six months of 2017-18 itself there are 99 such issues amounting to Rs.28,319 crore.
  • Net inflow into Mutual Funds during 2016-17 increased by 155% during 2016-17 over 2015-16 reaching 3.43 lakh crore; Net inflows in mutual funds during November 2016 to June 2017 was about Rs.1.7 lakh crore as against Rs.9,160 crore during the same period in the year before;
  • Premia collected by life insurance companies more than doubled in November 2016; the cumulative collections during November 2016 to January 2017 increased by 46 per cent over the same period of the previous year. The premium collections witnessed 21% growth for year ending September 2017 over the corresponding period of previous year.

With a shift to less cash economy, India has taken a big leap in digital payment during 2016-17. Some of the trends are given below:

  • 110 crore transactions, valued at around Rs.3.3 lakh crore and another 240 crore transactions, valued at Rs.3.3 lakh crore were carried out through credit cards and debit cards, respectively. The value of transaction for debit and credit card was Rs.1.6 lakh crore and Rs.2.4 lakh crore respectively during 2015-16.
  • Total value of transaction with Pre-Paid instruments (PPIs) have increased from Rs.48,800 crore in 2015-16 to Rs.83,800 crore in 2016-17. Total volume of transactions through PPIs have increased from about 75 crore to 196 crore.
  • During 2016-17, National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) handled 160 crore transactions valued at Rs.120 lakh crore, up from around 130 crore transactions for Rs.83 lakh crore in the previous year.

With higher level of formalisation, it has brought out related benefits to workers who were denied of social security benefits in the form of EPF contribution, subscription to ESIC facilities and payments of wages in their bank accounts. Large increase in opening of bank accounts for workers, enrolment in EPF and ESIC are added benefits of demonetisation. More than 1 crore workers were added to EPF and ESIC system post-demonetisation which was almost 30% of existing beneficiaries. Bank accounts were opened for about 50 lakh workers to get their wages credited in their accounts. Necessary amendment in Payment of Wages Act was done to facilitate this.

The reduction in incidences of stone pelting, protests in J&K and naxal activities in LWE affected districts are also attributed to the impact of demonetisation as these miscreants have run out of cash. Their access to Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) was also restricted. During 2016-17, the detection of FICN for Rs.1000 denomination increased from 1.43 lakh pieces to 2.56 lakh pieces. At the Reserve Bank’s currency verification and processing system, during 2015-16, there were 2.4 pieces of FICNs of Rs.500 denomination and 5.8 pieces of FICNs of Rs.1000 denomination for every million pieces notes processed; which rose to 5.5 pieces and 12.4 pieces, respectively, during the post-demonetisation period. This shows almost doubling of such detection.


In an overall analysis, it would not be wrong to say that country has moved on to a much cleaner, transparent and honest financial system. Benefits of these may not yet be visible to some people. The next generation will view post November, 2016 national economic development with a great sense of pride as it has provided them a fair and honest system to live in.


Shri Arun Jaitley is the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India

Patel: Life, Message and His Eternal Relevance

“Work is worship but laughter is life. Anyone who takes life too seriously must prepare himself for a miserable existence. Anyone who greets joys and sorrows with equal facility can really get the best of life.”

i2017103014 *Guru Prakash

This statement can easily be mistaken as a thoughtful musing of a spiritual saint who has renounced the world, and has dedicated his life to a greater cause. It is difficult to believe that the aforementioned is one amongst many non-political quotes of the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.


Born as one amongst five brothers and sisters in a peasant family of Ladbai and Jhaveribhai Patel in village Nadiad in Kaira district of Gujarat, Vallabhbhai was set for a far greater cause of independence and integration of independent India. In his formative years, his mother has had a profound impact on his psychology. Like in a normal rural setting, the mother would gather all her children and narrate stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.  While it impacted the spiritual quotient of young Patel, it was his father who introduced him to the world of peasantry. Young Vallabhbhai used to accompany his father to the fields and eventually became an expert in land tilling and cattle tending, two important aspects of cultivation. Such was his affection to his peasant ancestry that once an American journalist asked him about his cultural activities, to which he retorted, “Ask me another. My culture is agriculture”.


The first spate of struggle that brought Patel to public life was primarily his journey as a peasant leader. His foray into public life and eventually into the freedom movement was possible through successful satyagrahas in Barod and Kheda, wherein he through his exceptional skills in leadership and consensus building brought the British government on knees to agree to the demand for the withdrawal of exorbitant increase in revenue.

 Statesmanship and Political Acumen

Sardar Patel belongs to the legion of leadership who effectively contributed both to the freedom struggle, and guided the project of national reconstruction following independence.

We worked hard to achieve our freedom; we shall have to strive harder to justify it”.


Patel was clearly conscious of the fact that independent India needed a steel frame to run its civil, military, and administrative bureaucracy. His faith in institutional mechanisms like having an organized command based army and a systemized bureaucracy proved to be a blessing. It was Patel who sent Indian navy to the port of Lakshadweep at an appropriate time, as Pakistan was equally keen to occupy the strategically important islands. One can only imagine what would have been the plight had our neighbours succeeded in her plans. He also pre-empted the relevance of Independent Tibet as a buffer state between India and China, as can be found in his correspondence with Pt. Nehru.

 RSS and Sardar Patel

In a letter dated July 16th, 1949 to TR Venkatarama Sastri, Sardar Patel says, “I was myself keen to remove the ban at the earliest possible opportunity…. I have advised the RSS in the past that the only way for them is to reform the congress from within, if they think the congress is going on the wrong path”.

789_Sardar_PatelIn another correspondence the second sarsanghachalak of RSS MS Golwalkar writes to Sardar Patel, “I have decided to meet friends like Venkatarama ji etc. After meeting him and after attending to preliminary details with regard to our work, I shall do my best to call on you. I have learnt with sorrow that there has been some deterioration in your health. This indeed has given me much anxiety. The country is in so much need of your able guidance and service. I pray god to grant you long and healthy life. I hope till the time I shall be able to meet you; you would have much improved in your health. Some innermost feelings of heart are inexpressible through the medium of language. I am having such experience while I am writing this letter to you.

The communication establishes the fact that Sardar was open to the idea of ‘conversation without confrontations’. There is a pertinent need to move beyond rhetoric; which can only be made possible through independent research on the subject.


“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is perhaps the only pragmatist in the Gandhi, Nehru, Patel trio who were the most important people especially in the run-up to independence and immediately afterwards. Most Indians do not realize that the map of India would not look anything like it does today had Patel not contributed to it. Without him, large chunks of India would have broken away through malicious intent. He almost single-handedly prevented this balkanization from happening. The one place where Patel could not entirely implement his wise policies is Kashmir, and we are paying the price for that even today. Next to Gandhi, and sometimes even better than the Mahatma, Patel understood the grassroots ethos and culture of India. If he would have lived even for a decade after independence, possibly many of India’s persistent issues would have been resolved”, observes Hindol Sengupta, author of the upcoming Patel biography The Man Who Saved India.



* The author is working as a Senior Research Fellow at India Foundation, New Delhi. Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.

Sardar Patel: The Man who United India

i2017103013 *Aaditya Tiwari

Sir  John  Strachey, a British Indian civil servant used to address his civil servants-in-training by saying, “The first and most important thing to learn about India is that there is not and never was an India.” Historian David Ludden in his book 1186.jpgContesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India writes ‘the territory that we use to describe the landscape of Indian civilization was defined politically by the British Empire. India was never what it is today in a geographical, demographic, or cultural sense, before 1947.’ Many like Winston Churchill had predicted that post independence, India would disintegrate and fall back into the Middle Ages.

India, after attaining independence faced massive challenges. One of the biggest tests the leaders of the time faced was to have a defined boundary of the land whose geographical sense had flowed among the masses through ages. Diana L Eck in her book, India-A Sacred Geography describes this land of Bharata to have been “enacted ritually in the footsteps of pilgrims for many hundreds of years.'” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru writes about this sense of unity of India as an emotional experience. In Discovery of India, he explains the experience of instilling sense of oneness among the peasants of India, “I tried to make them think of India as a whole…the task was not easy; yet it was not so difficult as I had imagined, for our ancient epics and myths and legends, which they knew so well, had made them familiar with the conception of their country.”

The task of reconstructing India – territorially and emotionally – was immense. Entire nation was going through a period of mayhem. There were forces at play which wanted a divided nation. The big question for leaders like Mahatma Gandhi at the time of partition was whether there will be two nations once British are gone or 565 different nations. At such a time, responsibility of reconstruction of India fell in the able hands of Iron Man – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.


Sardar Patel, despite his falling health and age, never lost sight of the larger purpose of creating a United India. VP Menon who ably assisted Sardar Patel in this enormous task writes in The Story of the Integration of the Indian Sates, “India is one geographical entity. Yet, throughout her long and chequered history, she never achieved political homogeneity….Today, for the first time in the country’s history, the writ of a single central Government runs from Kailas to Kanyakumari, from Kathiawar to Kamarupa (the old name of Assam).” Sardar Patel played an instrumental role in creating this India.

Congress had given its assent to the June 3 Plan which was about partitioning India into two territories – India and Pakistan. India was then a mosaic of British occupied territory and 565 princely states. The princely states had to choose between joining either of the two nations or remain independent. A few princely states like Travancore, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Bhopal and Kashmir were averse to joining the state of India while others like Gwalior, Bikaner, Baroda, Patiala and others proactively joined India.

Sardar Patel was aware that “you will not have a united India if you do not have a good all-India Service;” therefore before embarking on reorganization of States, he build confidence in the ‘Steel Frame’ or the Indian Civil Services. Sardar Patel worked tirelessly to build a consensus with the princely states but did not hesitate in employing methods of Sama, Dama, Dand and Bhed wherever necessary. Sardar Patel along with his aide VP Menon designed ‘Standstill Agreements and Instrument of Accession’ accommodating requests and demands from various rulers.


Approach of Sardar Patel and VP Menon was more conciliatory as compared to the approach of Pandit Nehru, who in May 1947, had declared that any Princely State that refuses to join the Constituent Assembly would be treated as an enemy state. The official policy statement of the Government of India made by Sardar Patel on July 5, 1947 made no such threats. It reassured the princely states about the Congress’ intentions, and invited them to join independent India “to make laws sitting together as friends than to make treaties as aliens.” He stitched the princely states along with British Indian territory, and prevented the balkanization of India.

Somnath-current.jpgSardar Patel was also conscious of the fact that mere political reorganization of this land was not enough. He was aware that the wounded civilization of India needed to be stirred to its core and woken up from the past slavery and misery. There was an urgent need to rekindle among the people of India the bond they shared with their diverse cultures. On November 13, 1947, Sardar Patel, the then deputy Prime Minister of India, vowed to rebuild Somnath Temple. Somnath had been destroyed and built several times in the past and the story of its resurrection from ruins this time would be symbolic of the story of the resurgence of India. The then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad speaking at the inaugural ceremony at the temple said, “It is my view that the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple will be complete on that day when not only a magnificent edifice will arise on this foundation, but the mansion of India’s prosperity will be really that prosperity of which the ancient temple of Somnath was a symbol.” He added, “The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction.”

Sardar Patel played a heroic role in the reconstruction of the Indian civilization, and at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a call for ‘New India’, Patel’s words in a letter to Princely rulers are more relevant than ever, “We are at a momentous stage in the history of India. By common endeavour, we can raise the country to new greatness, while lack of unity will expose us to unexpected calamities. I hope the Indian States will realise fully that if we do not cooperate and work together in the general interest, anarchy and chaos will overwhelm us all great and small, and lead us to total ruin….let it be our proud privilege to leave a legacy of mutually beneficial relationship which would raise this sacred land to its proper place amongst the nations of the world and turn it into an abode of peace and prosperity.”


*The author is currently a Senior Research Fellow at India Foundation.

Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.

भारत के एकीकरण में सरदार पटेल के अतुलनीय योगदान को चिन्हित करने के लिए जन अभियान

                               राष्ट्रीय एकता दिवस (31 अक्टूबर) सरदार पटेल की जयंती

55*दीपक राज़दान

     भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के लौह पुरुष सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल ने स्वतंत्रता के पश्चात् भारत की एकजुटता के लिए पुरजोर तरीके से पूरी मज़बूती के साथ काम किया। जिससे एक नए राष्ट्र का उदय हुआ। देश की एकता की

रक्षा करने के समक्ष कई चुनौतियां स्पष्ट रूप से विद्यमान थीं। सरदार पटेल ने लाजवाब कौशल के साथ इन चुनौतियों का सामना करते हुए देश को एकता के सूत्र में बांधने के कार्य को पूरा किया और एकीकृत भारत के शिल्पकार के

19रूप में पहचान हासिल की। ऐसे में 31 अक्टूबर के दिन उनकी बहुमूल्य विरासत का जश्न मनाने के लिए देश उनकी जयंती को राष्ट्रीय एकता दिवस के रूप में मनाता है।  

    हाल के वर्षों में इस जश्न को आगे बढ़ाते हुए, इस वर्ष राष्ट्रीय एकता दिवस और अधिक व्यापक में आयोजित होने जा रहा है। इस दिन को भारत के इतिहास में सरदार पटेल की महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका को उजागर करने के लिए देश की एकता की शपथ लेने, जन अभियान चलाने, अर्द्धसैनिक मार्च पास्ट, रन फॉर यूनिटी, पोस्टर और प्रश्नोत्तरी प्रतियोगिता और प्रदर्शनियों के रूप में चिन्हित किया जाएगा।

   इस अवसर पर राष्ट्रीय स्तर के साथ-साथ देशभर में समारोह आयोजित किए जाएंगे। केन्द्रीय गृह मंत्री श्री राजनाथ सिंह ने इस अवसर पर कार्यक्रम आयोजित करने के संबंध में उपयुक्त व्यवस्था करने के लिए राज्यों के मुख्यमंत्रियों को पत्र लिखा है। यह अवसर वाकई काफी पवित्र है, क्योंकि देश को न सिर्फ भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के साहसी व्यक्ति के प्रति सम्मान व्यक्त करना है, बल्कि इसी समय पर नई पीढ़ी को उनके बारे में शिक्षित एवं जागरूक भी करना है।

   सरदार भारत के राजनीतिक एकीकरण के पिता रूपी नायक का नाम था। उन्होंने भारतीय संघ में कई छोटे राज्यों के विलय की व्यवस्था की। उनके मार्गदर्शन और सशक्त निश्चय के अंतर्गत कई राज्य संयुक्त रूप से बड़ी संस्थाओं में तब्दील होने के बाद भारतीय संघ में शामिल हुए। क्षेत्रवाद ने राष्ट्रवाद का मार्ग प्रशस्त किया, क्योंकि उन्होंने लोगों से बड़ा सोचने और मज़बूत बनने का आह्वान किया। आज भारत का प्रत्येक हिस्सा आज़ादी के बाद के शुरुआती दिनों में सरदार पटेल द्वारा किए गए कार्य का महोत्सव मनाता है।

   राष्ट्रीय राजधानी में राष्ट्रीय एकता दिवस का शुभारंभ संसद मार्ग स्थित सरदार पटेल चौक पर स्थित सरदार पटेल की प्रतिमा पर प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी द्वारा पुष्पांजलि अर्पित कर होगा। इसके बाद प्रधानमंत्री मेजर ध्यानचंद नेशनल स्टेडियम में रन फॉर यूनिटी को हरी झंडी दिखाकर रवाना करेंगे, जिसमें करीब 15,000 छात्र और पूर्व सैनिक, सुप्रसिद्ध एथलीट एवं एनएसएस स्वयंसेवकों सहित विभिन्न क्षेत्रों के लोग हिस्सा लेंगे। रन फॉर यूनिटी को हरी झंडी दिखाने के दौरान सुश्री पीवी सिंधु (बैडमिंटन), सुश्री मिताली राज (क्रिकेट) और सरदार सिंह (हॉकी) सहित खेल के क्षेत्र की विभिन्न जानी-मानी हस्तियां मौजूद रहेंगी।

     रन फॉर यूनिटी दौड़ नेशनल स्टेडियम से शुरू होकर सी-हेक्सागन मार्ग, इंडिया गेट – शाहजहां रोड रेडियल – इंडिया गेट से गुजरेगी और कुल 1.5 किलोमीटर की दूरी तय करेगी। भारतीय खेल प्राधिकरण के अनुभवी प्रशिक्षक इस दौड़ की निगरानी करेंगे।

रेलवे, संस्कृति, पर्यटन, सूचना एवं प्रसारण और आवास एवं शहरी कार्य मंत्रालय के साथ-साथ केन्द्र सरकार के कई अन्य मंत्रालय एवं विभाग एकता का संदेश लोगों तक पहुंचाने के लिए विभिन्न कार्यक्रम आयोजित करने के कार्य में संलग्न हैं। राजधानी के दिल यानी कनॉट प्लेस स्थित सेंट्रल पार्क और चाणक्यपुरी के शांति पथ पर रोज़ गार्डन में सरदार पटेल पर प्रदर्शनी आयोजित की जाएगी। सरदार पटेल को अपने संकल्प की शक्ति के लिए जाना जाता है। कार्यक्रम को महोत्सव का रंग देने के लिए इस अवसर पर शहनाइयां बजाई जाएंगी।

     इस दिन को चिन्हित करने के लिए आकाशवाणी और दूरदर्शन पर विशेष कार्यक्रम आयोजित किए जाएंगे और दूरदर्शन पर सरदार नामक एक विशेष फिल्म दिखाई जाएगी। सरदार पटेल पर लिखी छह पुस्तकों के नवीन संस्करणों का विमोचन भी किया जाएगा और ये पुस्तकें ई-पुस्तक के रूप में उपलब्ध होंगी।

     सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल की जयंती मनाने के लिए सरकार राष्ट्र की एकताअखंडता और सुरक्षा को संरक्षित और मज़बूत करने के प्रति सरकार के समर्पण को दर्शाने के क्रम में 31 अक्टूबर को देशभर में एक विशेष अवसर के तौर पर राष्ट्रीय एकता दिवस (नेशनल यूनिटी डे) के रूप में मनाती है। सरदार पटेल गणतंत्र भारत के संस्थापकों में से एक हैं, जिन्होंने अपने जीवनकाल में भारत के उप प्रधानमंत्री और गृहमंत्री जैसी अहम जिम्मेदारियों का निर्वहन किया है।

      पिछले वर्ष 31 अक्टूबर 2016 को रन फॉर यूनिटी के अवसर पर प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा था कि आज हम कश्मीर से कन्याकुमारी, अटक से कटक और हिमालय से महासागर तक हर तरफ तिरंगा देख रहे हैं। आज हम देश के हर एक हिस्से में तिरंगा देख सकते हैं और इसका पूरा श्रेय सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल को जाता है। इसी दिन श्री मोदी ने नई दिल्ली में प्रगति मैदान के पास सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल के जीवन पर बने एक स्थायी डिजिटल संग्रहालय का उद्घाटन भी किया। प्रत्येक भारतीय को एकता की शिक्षा देने के लिए उन्होंने भारत के विभिन्न राज्यों के लोगों के बीच घनिष्ठ एवं मज़बूत संबंध स्थापित करने के अंतर्गत एक भारत, श्रेष्ठ भारत पहल का शुभारंभ किया। प्रधानमंत्री ने सरदार पटेल की जयंती के उपलक्ष्य में एक डाक टिकट भी जारी की थी। सरदार के असाधारण दृष्टिकोण और सामरिक कुशाग्रता का जश्न मनाते हुए, एक वर्ष पूर्व रन फॉर यूनिटी 2015 के दौरान प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा था कि चाणक्य के बाद, केवल सरदार पटेल ही वह व्यक्ति थे, जो देश को एकता के सूत्र में बांध सके।

    गुजरात के आणंद के पास स्थित करमसाद गांव के एक साधारण भूस्वामी के यहां 31 अक्टूबर 1875 को जन्मे सरदार का नाम वल्लभभाई ज़वेरभाई पटेल रखा गया था। एक युवा वकील के रूप में अपनी कड़ी मेहनत के ज़रिए उन्होंने पर्याप्त पैसा बचाया ताकि वह इंग्लैंड में उच्च शिक्षा प्राप्त कर सकें। आगामी समय में वह एक निडर वकील के तौर पर बड़े हुए, जिसे जनहित के मुद्दों पर कड़े एवं निडर अधिवक्ता के रूप में जाना जाता था।


    राजस्व दरों को लेकर 1928 में प्रधान कमांडर के रूप में बारदोली किसान आंदोलन के आयोजन के दौरान उन्होंने किसानों को कहा कि वे लंबे समय तक परेशानियां सहने के लिए तैयार रहें। अंततः सरदार के नेतृत्व में चल रहा यह आंदोलन सरकार पर दबाव बनाने और परिवर्तित दरों को वापस कराने में सफल रहा। एक ग्राम सभा में एक किसान ने सरदार पटेल को संबोधित करते हुए कहा कि आप हमारे सरदार हैं। बारदोली आंदोलन ने सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल को राष्ट्रीय परिदृश्य पर पहचान दिलाई।


   img2014102902 भारत की एकता के निर्माता को सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि देने के लिए गुजरात के वडोदरा के नज़दीक साधु बेट नामक द्वीप पर 3.2 किमी की दूरी पर नर्मदा बांध की ओर सरदार पटेल का 182 मीटर ऊंचा (597 फीट) स्टैच्यु ऑफ यूनिटी निर्माणाधीन है। सुप्रसिद्ध मूर्तिकार राम वी. सुतार द्वारा डिज़ाइन की गई इस प्रतिमा को करीब 20,000 वर्ग मीटर क्षेत्र में फैलाने की योजना है और इसके आसपास करीब 12 किलोमीटर के क्षेत्र में एक कृत्रिम झील होगी। इस प्रतिमा के निर्माण कार्य का शुभारंभ 31 अक्टूबर 2014 को किया गया था। निर्माण कार्य शुरू होने से करीब एक वर्ष पूर्व इस परियोजना की औपचारिक रूप से घोषणा की गई थी। निर्माण कार्य संपन्न होने के बाद, यह दुनिया की सबसे ऊंची प्रतिमा होगी।


*दीपक राज़दान वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हैं और वर्तमान में नई दिल्ली स्थित द स्टैट्समैन के संपादकीय सलाहकार हैं।

लेख में व्यक्त विचार लेखक के अपने हैं।


Sardar Patel’s Economic Ideas

*Puja Mehra  aa.jpg

Sardar Patel dominated Indian politics from 1917 to 1950. First, he was at the forefront of the freedom struggle. Then, after Independence in 1947, as Deputy Prime Minister, he held the crucial portfolios of Home, States and Information and Broadcasting. The ‘Iron47.jpg Man’ and a founder of modern India, he restructured the Indian bureaucracy after the transfer of large number of officials to Pakistan, integrated the princely States into the Indian union, and had an important role in shaping the Indian Constitution.

Following territorial consolidation, the immediate goal was for the Government, industrialists and labour to participate in a great national effort for recovery and reconstruction. The objective was to bring an improvement in the living standards of countrymen. The British had taken what they had to, leaving behind, in his words, only their statues. Many of the instruments of economic control that had been put in place by the British government to gear the Indian economy towards the war effort were still operating. So, imports remained severely restricted, and foreign currency earned from India’s exports for the war had still not been transferred by the Bank of England to the Reserve Bank of India. As a result, a sizeable sterling balance had accumulated, but war-damaged England was in no position to settle the dues. Inflation had spiralled out of control. Speaking at the meeting of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) at Indore in May 1949, Sardar Patel declared his intention of rejuvenating the Indian economy. He said, “Our long period of slavery and the years of the recent war have drained the life-blood of our economy. Now that we have taken over power, onus is on us to rejuvenate it; new blood has to be poured in drop by drop,”


Partition added to the vulnerabilities and thus restoring business confidence was paramount. Ahead of Partition, Calcutta’s worried businessmen had wanted to move out of the city that they had operated out of for generations. Sardar took the lead in dissuading them and asked them to stay on. He said in Kolkata, “I advised them to stay on because I was certain that no power on earth could take Calcutta away from India.” The factories there had been dependent on jute grown in what was now Pakistan. The neighbour refused to honour agreements; even jute that had been paid for in advance was not delivered. Sardar Patel realised that India had no time to lose and gave a call for self-sufficiency. Speaking at a public event in Delhi in January 1950, he asserted, “If they cannot guarantee to implement agreements, we had better not depend on them. Let us grow the jute and cotton and the food grains we need.”

Sardar Patel’s thoughts and approach to India’s economic challenge were shaped, to a great extent, by the historical setting at that time and also by his role of a nation-builder and a founder of India’s political democracy. Self-reliance was among the chief tenets of his economic philosophy, on which, his views were closer to those of Pandit Nehru than Mahatma Gandhi’s, who championed self-sufficiency at the village level.


The role he envisaged for the government was that of a welfare state, but realised that other countries had taken up the task at more advanced stages of development. He was unimpressed with the slogans raised for socialism, and spoke often of the need for India to create wealth before debating over what to do with it, how to share it. Nationalisation he rejected completely; clear that industry ought to be the sole preserve of the business community. Nor was he a great believer in planning, especially of the kind practised in the developed and industrialised countries.

He was not for controls. The indifference was, in part, because there simply wasn’t enough staff to implement them. He was working with an administration capacity depleted owing to the departure of a disproportionate number of officers that had opted to go to Pakistan and the posting of senior civil servants in the newly-established embassies across the world. Addressing the Chief Ministers of the States in April, 1950 he said, “We run the administration of the country with one-fourth of the service which was in existence when we took over. Fifty percent of the people whose presence was enough to keep law and order and make subordinates work with efficiency, and even overtime, are gone.”


To him, the profit motive was a great stimulant to exertion, not a stigma. He wholly approved of it, and advocated it for even the non-capitalist classes, the middle classes, the labour and even the agriculturists. That does not mean he did not recognise concentration of wealth as a social problem and unethical. He did, and in fact, appealed for a higher sense of civic consciousness and national duty to transcend all motives. His argument was that it was not merely ethical and patriotic, but even economically pragmatic, to channelise hoarded wealth in economic undertakings, where the returns were certain to be richer. Besides, what good could the stashes be if the country’s economic problems led to chaos. He constantly advised against greed. To the labour, he said, participate in creating wealth before claiming a just share, and advocated Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy on labour- employer relationships. The Mahatma’s methods, he said, could bring labour its legitimate reward through constitutional means.

He wanted to see India industrialise quickly. The imperative being to reduce dependence on external resources. A modern army required equipment that only machines could produce: apart from arms and ammunition, uniforms and stores, jeeps and motor cars, aeroplanes and petrol. But machinery was not going to solve the “great disease” of idleness in the thickly populated country. “Millions of idle hands that have no work cannot find employment on machines”, he said while while addressing the Chief Ministers’ meet in April 1950. Being primarily a farming country, agricultural revival was of primary importance. His promise to industry was for no “impediments, bottle-necks or red-tape” as he said in a radio broadcast on Pandit Nehru’s birthday 0n 14th November 1950.


In the same broadcast, he championed investment-led growth and said, “Spend less, save more, and invest as much as possible should be the motto of every citizen.” He appealed to every segment of the society – lawyers, farmers, labours, traders, businessmen and government servants for saving every ‘anna’ that could be spared and to place their savings in the hands of the government for utilisation in nation-building enterprises. In the same address, he emphasised on saving every spare penny and said, “We must have capital, and that capital must come from our own country. We may be able to borrow from international markets here and there, but obviously we cannot base our everyday economy on foreign borrowing.” This was a call for voluntary savings, and for savers to choose their preferred means of investment.

Sardar Patel’s approach was balanced, pragmatic and liberal. Economics was an “intensely practical science” for him. Short cuts and arbitrary policies of temporary palliatives or artificial reductions in prices or stimulation of investment were not acceptable to him.  He wanted Indian economy built on surer foundations of increased production, industrial and agricultural, and increased wealth.


*Puja Mehra is a Delhi-based journalist.

रो-रो फेरी सेवा और परिवहन एवं लॉजिस्टिक्सय पर उसका प्रभाव

i2017102301अमिताभ कांत*

प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी ने द्वारा दक्षिण एशिया की सबसे बड़ी एवं अत्याधुनिक रो-रो परियोजना का उद्घाटन सौराष्ट्र के भावनगर जिले में घोगा से दक्षिण गुजरात में भरूच जिले के दहेज को जोड़ने की दिशा में महत्वपूर्ण अध्याय का शुभारंभ हुआ है। हजीरा परियोजना के दूसरे चरण की शुरूआत भारत के परिवहन क्षेत्र में उल्लेखनीय बदलाव का सूचक है। इस जलमार्ग की पूरी क्षमता का दोहन करने से लोगों, वस्तुओं और वाहनों की आवाजाही को एक बड़ी रफ्तार मिलेगी। माल ढुलाई के लिए समय और लागत की बचत का भारत के विनिर्माण एवं निर्यात क्षेत्र पर लाभकारी असर पड़ेगा। अब तक सौराष्ट्र के घोगा से दक्षिण गुजरात के दहेज तक जाने के लिए 360 किलोमीटर की सड़क यात्रा करनी पड़ती थी। इसे तय करने में लगभग 8 घंटे का समय लगता था। समुद्री मार्ग से यह दूरी अब मात्र 31 किलोमीटर रह गई है।

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भारत में लगभग 14,500 किलोमीटर नौगम्य अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग और करीब 7,517 किलोमीटर समुद्र तट है जिन्‍हें परिवहन को सुगम बनाने के उद्देश्‍य से प्रभावी तौर पर विकसित किया जा रहा है। इससे सड़क एवं रेल नेटवर्क पर भीड़भार कम करने में मदद मिलेगी और क्षेत्रों के समग्र आर्थिक विकास को कई गुना बढ़ाया जा सकेगा। समुद्र तटीय नौवहन और अंतर्देशीय जल परिवहन के ईंधन कुशल, पर्यावरण के अनुकूल एवं कम लागत वाले साधन हैं, विशेष रूप से थोक वस्तुओं के लिए। मालवाहक जहाजों से उत्‍सर्जन 32-36 ग्राम कार्बन डाईऑक्‍साइड प्रति टन-किलोमीटर तक होता है जबकि सड़क परिवहन के भारी वाहनों के मामले में यह 51-91 ग्राम कार्बन डाइऑक्‍साइड प्रति टन-किलोमीटर के दायरे में होता है। इसके अलावा सड़क परिवहन की औसत लागत 1.5 रुपये प्रति टन-किलोमीटर और रेलवे के लिए यह 1.0 रुपये प्रति टन-किलोमीटर है जबकि जलमार्ग के लिए यह महज 25 से 30 पैसे प्रति टन-किलोमीटर होगी। एक लीटर ईंधन से सड़क परिवहन के जरिये 24 टन-किलोमीटर और रेल परिवहन के जरिये 85 टन-किलोमीटर माल की ढुलाई हो सकती है जबकि जलमार्ग के जरिये इससे अधिकतम 105 टन-किलोमीटर तक माल की ढुलाई की जा सकती है। इन आंकड़ों से इस बात को बल मिलता है कि भूतल परिवहन के मुकाबले जलमार्ग परिवहन का कहीं अधिक किफायती एवं पर्यावरण के अनुकूल माध्‍यम है। यदि लॉजिस्टिक्‍स लागत को जीडीपी के 14 प्रतिशत से घटाकर 9 प्रतिशत तक घटा दी गई तो देश को प्रति वर्ष 50 बिलियन डॉलर की बचत हो सकती है। माल ढुलाई की लागत कम होने पर उत्‍पादों के मूल्‍य में भी गिरावट आएगी।

भारत में कुल नौगम्‍य अंतर्देशीय जलमार्गों में से करीब 5,200 किलोमीटर (36%) प्रमुख नदियां और करीब 485 किलोमीटर (3%) नहरें हैं जो यांत्रिक जहाजों की आवाजाही के लिए अनुकूल हैं। अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग अपनी परिचालन लागत कुशलता (60-80% प्रति टन किलोमीटर कम), कम पर्यावरणीय प्रभाव, सुविधाजनक अंतरसंक्रियता और भूमि अधिग्रहण एवं बुनियादी ढांचे के विकास से संबंधित कुछ मुद्दों के कारण रेल एवं सड़क परिवहन के मुकाबले कहीं अधिक फायदेमंद है। वर्तमान में केवल 4,500 किलोमीटर अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग का व्यावसायिक रूप से उपयोग किया जा रहा है और भारत में 1% से भी कम घरेलू कार्गो की ढुलाई जलमार्ग के जरिये होता है।

अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग परिवहन के विकास एवं परिचालन के लिए नोडल एजेंसी के रूप में भारतीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग प्राधिकरण (आईडब्ल्यूएआई) राष्ट्रीय जलमार्ग अधिनियम 2016 के तहत इस क्षमता के दोहन के लिए काम काम कर रहा है। भारत के तटवर्ती क्षेत्रों के समग्र विकास के लिए सरकार ने मार्च 2015 में ‘सागरमाला कार्यक्रम’ शुरू किया था और भारत के तटवर्ती क्षेत्रों के व्‍यापक विकास के लिए इसके तहत राष्‍ट्रीय परिप्रेक्ष्‍य योजना (एनपीपी) तैयार की जा रही है।

रोल-ऑन व रोल-ऑफ (‘आरओ-आरओ’) जलमार्ग परियोजनाओं में रो-रो जहाज/नौकाएं शामिल होती हैं जिन्‍हें कारों, ट्रकों, सेमी-ट्रेलर ट्रकों, ट्रेलरों और रेलरोड कारों जैसे पहिये वाले कार्गो की ढुलाई के लिए डिजाइन किया जाता है जिन्‍हें उनके पहियों पर चलाते हुए अथवा किसी प्‍लेटफॉर्म वाहन के जरिये जहाजों पर चढ़ाया अथवा उतारा जाता है। इसमें संबंधित पोर्ट टर्मिनल और संबंधित कनेक्टिविटी बुनियादी ढांचे के साथ जेट्टीज (घाट या सेतु) भी शामिल होते हैं। यात्री जेट्टीज का इस्‍तेमाल पूरी तरह से यात्रियों के नौकायन के लिए किया जाता है लेकिन रो-रो जेट्टीज इस तरीके से निर्मित होते हैं अथवा उनमें किनारा आधारित रैंप होते हैं ताकि बंदरगाह पर जहाजों में माल की लदान एवं उठाव कुशलता से किया जा सके। गुजरात में रो-रो परियोजना दो टर्मिनल के बीच 100 तक वाहनों (कार, बस और ट्रक) और 250 यात्रियों को ले जाने में समर्थ होगी। ऐतिहासिक तौर पर सीमित विकल्‍प उपलब्‍ध होने के कारण इस क्षेत्र में सड़क परिवहन में अक्‍सर काफी भीड़ और जाम का सामना करना पड़ता है। साथ ही रो-रो फेरी ऑपरेटर ने जो किराये का प्रस्‍ताव दिया है वह प्रचलित बस किराये के बराबर है। इसलिए इस सुविधा से इस क्षेत्र के यात्रियों को बहुप्रतीक्षित राहत मिल जाएगी।

भारत में असम, गुजरात, कर्नाटक महाराष्‍ट्र और केरल में विभिन्‍न रो-रो परियोजनाओं में भौगोलिक दृष्टि से प्रतिकूल भारत के आंतरिक इलाकों में आवाजाही के लिए अपार संभावनाएं मौजूद हैं। उन्‍हें जलमार्ग से जोड़कर इस विषमता को व्‍यापक फायदे में बदला जा सकता है।

भारत में इस प्रकार की अधिकतर रो-रो परियोजनाओं को राज्‍य सरकार द्वारा परिचालन एवं रखरखाव के साथ ईपीसी मोड अथवा निजी कंसेस्‍नायर द्वारा निर्माण और परिचालन एवं रखरखाव के साथ सार्वजनिक निजी भागीदारी (डीबीएफओटी) मोड के तहत लागू की गई हैं। हाल में ऐसी एक परियोजना महाराष्‍ट्र में शुरू की गई है।

वस्तुओं के मूल्य निर्धारण में वैश्विक प्रतिस्‍पर्धा और विभिन क्षेत्रों में सामाजिक एवं आर्थिक समृद्धि लाने की आवश्यकता को ध्यान में रखते हुए यह जरूरी है कि सरकार कई स्तर वाली परिवहन की एकीकृत एवं कुशल व्‍यवस्‍था विकसित करे जिनमें से प्रत्येक स्‍तर को जीवंत एवं कुशल तरीके से विकसित करने की आवश्‍यकता है। परिवहन का ऐसा ही एक स्‍तर जलमार्ग है।

जल आधारित परिवहन में निवेश की एक प्रमुख विशेषता यह है कि कई भूमि आधारित परिवहन व्‍यवस्‍था, जिसमें जटिल भूमि अधिग्रहण, मार्ग के अधिकार, पुनर्वास एवं अन्‍य मुद्दों से निपटने की आवश्‍यकता होती है, के विपतरीत जल अधारित परिवहन परियोजना प्रस्‍ताव अपेक्षाकृत सरल कदम है। यह कई कानूनी, नियामकीय, सामाजिक और पर्यावरणीय मुद्दों से भी मुक्‍त है जो आमतौर पर अन्य परिवहन परियोजनाओं को प्रभावित करते हैं। इसके अलावा एक सार्वजनिक-निजी भागीदारी-डीबीएफओटी मॉडल के तहत फेरी ऑपरेटरों से बर्थिंग शुल्क और टर्मिनल पर पार्किंग राजस्व भी प्राप्त होगा। भारत में बुनियादी ढांचे का अभाव और समग्र आबादी एवं आर्थिक विकास में कमी के कारण रो-रो परियोजना से 10% से अधिक की एक परियोजना आईआरआर सृजित होती है और इसलिए यह एकल स्तर पर आर्थिक रूप से व्यवहार्य है। हालांकि इन परियोजनाओं में व्‍यापक गुणक प्रभाव मौजूद होते हैं और इसलिए इसे आर्थिक एवं सामाजिक विकास दर के संदर्भ में देखा जाना चाहिए। यही कारण है कि राज्‍य सरकारों ने पीपीपी-डीबीएफओटी मॉडल के तहत निजी भागीदारों को नई रो-रो परियोजनाएं आबंटित करने पर विचार कर सकती हैं जबकि मौजूदा चालू परियोजनाओं को पीपीपी-रिवर्स-बीओटी मॉडल के तहत आवंटित किया जा सकता है। उपयुक्‍त पीपीपी मॉडल के तहत सरकार स्‍वामित्‍व और अहम राष्‍ट्रीय बुनियादी ढांचे पर नियंत्रण बरकरार रख सकती हैं जबकि दूसरी ओर इससे सरकार पर वित्तीय बोझ को भी हल्‍का किया जा सकता है और परिसंपत्ति की परिचालन कुशलता में भी सुधार लाया जा सकता है। नई परियोजनाओं में टर्मिनल का निर्माण सरकार द्वारा करने की आवश्‍यकता है ताकि परिचालन को निजी क्षेत्र के लिए वाणिज्यिक रूप से व्‍यवहार्य बनाया जा सके।

रो-रो सेवाओं को रेलवे में भी भारतीय रेल द्वारा लागू करने की योजना बनाई गई है। भारतीय रेल ने कार्गो वाहनों के लिए बिहार में और पेट्रो उत्‍पादों के लिए त्रिपुरा में रो-रो सेवाएं शुरू की है। कुल मिलाकर सरकार इन सभी रो-रो परियोजनाओं के लिए एक साथ योजना बना रही है और इस निवेश के लिए उचित मात्रा में यातायात होने के बाद एक मजबूत पुल अवसंरचना के प्रावधान के लिए भी खुद को तैयार कर रही है।

लॉजिस्टिक परफॉर्मेंस इंडेक्स (एलपीआई) पर नवीनतम वर्ल्‍ड बैंक रिपोर्ट 2016 में भारत अब 35वें स्‍थान पर पहुंच चुका है जो 2014 के आरंभ में प्रकाशित पिछली रिपोर्ट में 54वें स्‍थान पर रहा था। इसके एलपीआई रैंकिंग में सुधार के लिए विभिन्‍न माध्यमों के तहत एकीकृत गतिशीलता के प्रावधानों को प्राथमिकता दी जा रही है। साथ ही बेहतर मानक के साथ इंजीनियरिंग परामर्श सेवाएं लेने और परियोजना के कार्यान्‍वयन के लिए उपयुक्‍त मॉडल चुनने का भी प्रस्‍ताव है ताकि हितधारकों के बीच जोखिम और लाभ को बांटा जा सके। इसके साथ ही सरकार देश भर में परिवहन परियोजनाओं के कार्यान्‍वयन कुशलता में सुधार लाने में समर्थ होगी। प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी ने इस योजना के शुभारंभ के अवसर पर कहा भी है कि इससे बंदरगाह समृद्धि के प्रवेश द्वार बनेंगे और पेट्रोल व डीजल के आयात पर भारत की निर्भरता घटेगी और भारत को विकास की एक नई राह पर अग्रसर होगा। इससे एक करोड़ से अधिक रोजगार के अवसर मुहैया कराए जा सकेंगे और पर्यटन एवं परिवहन क्षेत्र में नये आयाम खुलेंगे।


* लेखक नीति आयोग के सीईओ हैं। लेख में व्यक्त विचार उनके निजी हैं।


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