Bhopal: The credibility of the electronic voting machine has come under fire as the Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) printed the same “lotus” symbol of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party after the State Chief electoral officer Salina Singh pressed the button of an electronic voting machine during a trial casting of vote ahead of the coming bye-election to the Ater Assembly constituency in Bhind district.
Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record (VPR) is the method used for providing feedback of the electronic voting machines.
A VVPAT is a verification system for electronic voting machines and is intended to detect possible election fraud or malfunction. It contains the symbol of the party and individual candidate in the electoral fray and is a means to audit the stored electronic results.
According to available reports, during the dummy voting (trial of the EVM) in question, the BJP symbol was printed by the VVPAT when the fourth button of the EVM was pressed. Again the VVPAT printed the BJP symbol when another button was pressed. But the third time when the first button was pressed, it printed the Congress symbol. When questioned by media-persons, the State CEO lightly brushed aside the query stating “you would be sent to the police station if you publish this.” Later, at a press conference senior Congress leader Govind Singh accused the BJP and said that it will try to win the bye-election by tampering with the EVM.
Kelly Senecal, one of the original developers of the CONVERGE computational fluid dynamics software package has a case in point when he says that in order to go green we must keep improving the Internal Combustion engine.
The other day, Senecal made a presentation at TEDx Madison to counter “over-simplified statements” by those who were trying to convey that the internal combustion engine has already lived its life, just as typewriters, and the new age belongs to the electric vehicles.
Here is an excerpt from Senecal’s TEDx presentation:
Pop culture in the media has many of us believing that we are already on the cusp of a post-fossil fuel society but it is actually much further away than many of you might think.
In 2008 when a gallon of gasoline was about $4, President Obama set a goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2015. But actually only about 400,000 electric vehicles were sold in that time frame – why not more? Why not consumers were flocking to electric vehicles? Well the answer is pretty straight forward. Fuel prices came way down, electric vehicles cost more, they have a limited range, and there is a limited availability of charging stations. In fact the (US) department of Energy projects that in 2040 about 99 per cent of new cars sold in the US will still use the internal combustion engine. So think about that, in 25 years most of the cars on the road in the US will still use the internal combustion engine.
Now Prius and Tesla have become household names. and why wouldn’t they, they are green. But remember Prius uses what is known as a hybrid engine which is a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Now Tesla and other electric vehicles they aren’t in fact fully electric. The cars themselves produce zero emissions and zero greenhouse gases.
It’s not just about the car. There are a lot of other issues that should be considered when we thin about total emissions from a vehicle.
I’m going to focus on one of those – the energy sources for electricity. Where is the electricity that powers your electric vehicle come from? In 2015, about two-thirds of the electricity in the US came from fossil fuels. Guess what in 1985 about two-third of the electricity in the US also came from fossil fuels. We have definitely made a positive transition from coal to natural gas in that time frame and that’s great but the fact is on a percentage basis the amount of fossil fuels used to create electricity in the US has remained unchanged for the last 30 years.
Another example is China, 75 per cent of their electricity comes from fossil fuels -specifically coal in majority. But then you have country like Norway. In Norway, very little of fossil fuels is used to create electricity. About 90 per cent of their electricity comes from hydro-electric power which is powered by the potential energy of damned water. So in Norway for example, electric vehicles do in fact produce zero or near-zero emissions because fossil fuels don’t come into the play. So it is possible but the problem is that zero emissions vehicles – Green cars that are truly green – only make up a very small portion of the cars that are on the road today. To go green, we must keep improving the internal combustion engine.
Click here for Kelly Senecal’s TEDxMadison presentation In Defense of Internal Combustion
Every time the reservation in promotion case of Madhya Pradesh has come up for hearing in Supreme Court since May 2016, the matter has been adjourned for a later date and in this way more than 10 months have passed but the case has not moved forward.
Yeserday, when the case came up for hearing in Supreme Court, the advocates representing the State government once again urged the court to advance the date of hearing. Later a two Judge bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, ordered the listing of the matters before a Bench in which one of the Judges (Deepak Gupta) will not be a member. The order also said that this case be tagged with SLP(C) No.19765-19767 of 2015, which will come up for next hearing on August 10, 2017.
Those affected by the latest postponement of hearing in this case by about five months are not just sad or frustrated, they are feeling absolutely devastated. While there is a blanket stay on promotions, so many have already retired and many more would be retiring before regular hearing even begins in this case. They are pointing their fingers and asking why nobody is understanding their plight and recognising the urgency of the matter.
Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar has recognised the priority in the matter of “triple talaq”. Stating that it is an issue of grave importance, the Chief Justice today said that the Supreme Court is ready to wind up the summer vacation and sit even on Saturdays and Sundays to hear the matter.
Role of Madhya Pradesh Government
The State Government, which has gone in appeal to the Supreme Court against the Jabalpur High Court order which declared as null and void the provision for reservation in promotion, has shown gross disregard to the hopes and expectations of hundreds of thousand government employees, whose avenues for promotion have remained blocked by the 2002 Rules that provide for reservation in promotion for SCs and STs (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes), by repeatedly seeking postponement of hearing in this matter in the apex court.
The Madhya Pradesh Government has made it difficult for respondents and the “Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Adhikari Karmchari Sanstha” (SAPAKS) -the organisation formed by state government employees belonging to the unreserved category to defend their case in court – to remain focused in this case as they are finding it difficult to match the resources available with the government to pay a hefty fees to its lawyers. The State Government has sanctioned Rs 4 crore for this purpose and there are indications that the Government is even paying the fees for lawyers representing AJJAKS which is the short form for “Anusuchit Jati Jan Jati Adhikari Karmchari Sangh” (organisation of SC and ST government employees).
Bhopal: The Narmada ‘Seva Yatra’ – a Conservation of Narmada campaign of Madhya Pradesh Government started from Amarkantak on May 11. It will be a 144 day journey all the way till Sondwa and then back to Amarkantak by a core team of fifty persons.
Coinciding with this Yatra, special workshops and public meetings are being held to bring into focus the importance of afforestation, sanitation, soil and water conservation, pollution control measures and organic farming. The main idea behind this campaign is to make people aware of the need to conserve our rivers which is so essential for the survival of humankind.
Narmada River is the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It is the largest river of Madhya Pradesh and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. For the followers of the Sanatan Dharma, the Narmada is one of the holiest of river.
To increase awareness about the need for conservation of river Narmada and sustainable use of its resources.
Plantation at the banks of river Narmada for protection of riparian zone and reduction in soil erosion.
To suggest remedial action in the field of river conservation and promotion of eco friendly agricultural practices.
To identify various sources of river pollution and to resolve the same through public awareness and participation.
Duration: The ‘yatra began on November 11, 2016 from Amarkantak (Anuppur District). It will conclude on May 11, 2017 at the same place after covering both banks of the river.
Core Group: A core group of fifty people will lead the ‘yatra. The core group will comprise of experts in various fields such as river conservation, sanitation, agriculture, organic farming and forest and environment.
The ‘yatra: The Narmada River covers a distance of 1,077 km in Madhya Pradesh. It passes through 16 districts and 51 blocks from Amarkantak in Anuppur district to Sondawa in Alirajpur district. During the 144 days of the ‘yatra’, about 600 villages on the banks of the Narmada will be covered.