A study conducted by scientists worldwide, shows that 90% of bottled water contains tiny pieces of plastics. The study was conducted by the State University of New York. Leading Indian brands, including Aquafina and Bisleri, are found to be containing plastic pieces. The study found that one litre of Bisleri water at Chennai contained 5,000 microplastic pieces. The study has also stated that these plastic pieces are carcinogenic (which causes cancer).
[ source : Times of India dated 16-03-2018 ]
Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanidhi Maran were discharged by a CBI Special Court yesterday, from the “illegal telephone exchange” case. Together with them, former chief general managers of Chennai Telephones, K. Brahmmanathan and M.P.Velusamy, were also discharged from the case. The accusation against Dayanidhi Maran is that, he got an unauthorised telephone exchange installed at his residence at Chennai, and misused the BSNL lines for the Sun TV, owned by the Maran brothers, in collusion with the top BSNL officers of Chennai Telephones. The CBI Special Court judge Natarajan stated that, the CBI did not produce sufficient evidence, to prove the charges. Further, the judge also pointed out that the CBI did not even hand over to the Court, the CD containing the call records of the telephone lines that worked at Dayanidhi Maran’s residence. The CBI has to be given award for handling high profile cases so “seriously” !!!
In the meeting held on 24.02.2018, between Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications and the All Unions and Associations of BSNL, it was agreed that the wage revision issue of BSNL employees would be taken to the approval of the Cabinet. It is nearly three weeks, since the meeting has taken place. Hence, with a view to ascertain the progress on the issue, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Ramesh Chand, Org. Secretary (CHQ), met Shri Pawan Gupta, Director (PSU), DoT, today, and discussed the issue. It is learnt that the matter is being processed for the approval of the DPE. Many more procedures are involved, before the file is sent for the final approval of the Cabinet. Hence, the Union representatives urged upon the Director (PSU) to get the processings done expeditiously.
In a brief discussion held with Shri A.M. Gupta, GM (SR), today, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Ramesh Chand, Org. Secretary (CHQ), drew his attention to the following issues:-
The BSNL Casual Contract Workers Union of Andhra Pradesh conducted a successful March to CGM Office programme on 14.03.2018. On reaching the CGM Office, the participants of the March, conducted a dharna outside the CGM Office. They highlighted demands to put an end to the benami worker system, retrenchment of contract workers in STP and STR, etc. Com. K. Prabhakar Rao, CP, BSNLCCWF, presided. It was addressed by Com. P. Asokababu, CS, BSNLEU & Honorary President, BSNLCCWF, Com. M.V. Sudhakar, Secretary, CITU, Com. Umamaheswara Rao, CS, SNEA and Com.R.Maheswara Rao, CS, SEWA BSNL.
A circle level convention of West Bengal was organised on 14.03.2018, at CTO hall, Kolkata. A large number of BSNL employees, casual & contract workers and pensioners participated in this convention. It was addressed by Com. Animesh Mitra, CS, BSNLEU & Vice President (CHQ), Com. Tapas Ghosh, CS, SNEA, Com. Prakash Chandra Kar, VP, AIBSNLEA, Com. Partha Das, CS, SEWA BSNL and Com. Sameer Nandi, AIBDPA. Issues related to deterioration of BSNL services, drastic fall in revenue and retrenchment of contract workers in West Bengal circle were discussed. The convention decided to conduct a March to CGMT Office on 28.03.2018, on these issues.
The Central Public Sector Trade Unions (CPSTU), which is the umbrella organisation of the major public sector trade unions, is holding it’s National Convention at Ernakulam on 08.04.2018. The major issues to be discussed in this convention is the mad drive of the government, to disinvest and to privatise the public sector undertakings. Together with this, the wage revision issue of the public sector employees will also figure prominently in the discussions. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, will be representing BSNLEU in this Convention.
The Supreme Court has ordered yesterday that, the deadline for linking mobile phones with Aadhar is extended indefinitely. This applies to the linking bank accounts also, to Aadhar. Earlier the government has set 31st March, 2018 as the deadline for linking bank accounts, mobile phones, etc., to Aadhar. This judgement is delivered by a five judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. However, this order of the Supreme Court does not apply to the disbursing of subsidies by the Central and State governments.
Stephan Hawking, one of the brightest stars in the field of science, as well as a progressive intellectual, has passed away. He was 76. Stephen Hawking has immensely contributed to the science of cosmology. Even though he was crippled with a neuro disease at the age of 21, he continued to do researches in cosmology, sitting in a wheel chair. His fighting spirit is to be emulated by all those who wish to make achievements. The world has lost a great scientist. BSNLEU dips it’s banner and pay homage to Stephen Hawking.
BSNLEU, the vanguard of the united struggles in BSNL, will observe it’s Foundation Day on 22nd March,2018. This year’s Foundation Day should be celebrated with extra enthusiasm, in view of the fact that the united struggles of the employees have made a major achievement, by breaking the deadlock that prevailed not only on wage revision and pension revision issues, but also on important issues related to the revival of BSNL. Hence, CHQ calls upon the circle and district unions to celebrate this year’s Foundation Day in a befitting manner, with the hoisting of the Union Red Flag in all the places, combined with other special programme like blood-donation camp,etc.
The greatest hero of the Indian Freedom Movement, Bhagat Singh, together with Sukhdev and Rajguru, was sent to the gallows by the British imperialists on 23-03-1931. It is already 87 years since these great heroes attained martyrdom. However, still they continue to inspire all those who fight against exploitation and injustices. Despite the “Goebal’s lies” unleashed by the corporate media, the working class continues to launch heroic struggles against capitalist exploitations. It is also relevant to mention here that, Bhagat Singh was inspired by the Great October Revolution and the teachings of Lenin. BSNLEU has inherited the revolutionary spirit of these great heroes. As per the decisions of it’s CEC meetings, BSNLEU is observing the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru every year. Accordingly, CHQ calls upon the circle and district unions to observe this day, by conducting special meetings and other programme.
The kisan rally that ended in Mumbai yesterday, is unique in many ways. It was a grand success. The Maharashtra government agreed in writing, to settle their important demands, like giving lands pattas to the adivasis. But, the most important feature is that the kisans won over the hearts of Mumbaikars. On Sunday evening, the kisans reached the outskirts of Mumbai, after walking 180 Kms for 6 days in scorching Sun. They were completely exhausted. Still, they walked 20 Kms in the same night, and reached the Azad Maidan. This was to avoid any problem to the students on Monday, the day on which school public exam started. The kisans behaved in a very disciplined manner, which surprised the Mumbaikars. As a result, the people of Mumbai came out in support of the kisans. They offered food, water, medical treatment, and even chappals to those who were wearing torn chappals. This is a new experience. We, the working class, have to learn how the kisans won over the hearts of Mumbaikars and to follow it.
A rally of 50,000 farmers of Maharashtra, has reached Mumbai. NDTV described that it looked as if a red sea has entered Mumbai. Their rally started from Nashik, and the farmers walked all the way for six days in blazing sun and reached the outskirts of Mumbai yesterday. They were to March to the state assembly today. But, considering the school public exam that is going on now, and not to cause any inconvenience to the students, the farmers continued their March last night itself and reached Azad Maidan. The rally was absolutely peaceful, without causing any disturbance to the general public. It is appreciated by all. They demand farm loan waiver, remunerative price to their products, land to the Adivasis, etc. Many political parties have expressed their support to these farmers. BSNLEU heartily congratulates the farmers and urges upon the Maharashtra government to settle their reasonable demands.
At Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, the conductor of a school bus lost his leg in an accident. His leg got cut-off in the accident. He was taken to the Jhansi Medical College Hospital. There, he was made to lie down on a stretcher. His severed leg was used as pillow for him. Subsequently, the doctors found that the severed leg could not be stitched back, since the tissue was already dead. The patient’s family got him discharged and took him to a private hospital. Who is the culprit? It is the government and it’s neo-liberal policies. Year after year, the Central Government, as well as the State Governments, have cut down the fund allotments for health care, as per the dictates of the World Bank. As a result, government hospitals are being run with acute shortage of doctors, medicines, equipments, materials, etc. Whether Congress Party rules or the BJP rules, situation is the same.
[Source Times of India dated 11.03.2018]
As per the report submitted in the Lok Sabha, by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the number of people employed in the Khadi sector has come down from 11.6 lakh in 2015–16 to 4.6 lakh in 2016–17. Interestingly, between 2015–16 and 2016–17 the production of Khadi has increased by 31.6% and sales have grown by 33%. Still 7 lakh jobs are gone.
[Source Times of India dated 11.03.2018]
As per the reply given by the Hon'ble Minister of State for Communications in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, the consultant appointed by MTNL, for it's financial revival, has recommended the reduction of retirement age from 60 to 58. This recommendation is presently under the consideration of the DoT. At the same time, the Hon'ble Minister of State for Communications has told the All Unions and Associations of BSNL, in the meeting held on 24-02-2018, that there is no proposal to reduce the retirement age of BSNL employees from 60 to 58. It may be noted that only because of the severe protest of the All Unions and Associations of BSNL, combined with massive struggles, has pushed back the government's proposal to reduce the retirement age of BSNL employees.
In reply to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, with regards to the revival of BSNL, the Minister of State for Communications has replied that BSNL has been provided with government projects worth Rs.25,000 crores. This news is widely covered by the media also. It gives an impression to the general public that the government is spending Rs.25,000 crores for the revival of BSNL. Whereas, most of these projects give BSNL, the job of laying optic fibre cable, for which BSNL will be getting only a marginal amount as gain. These projects are really not going to help for the revival of BSNL. What the government needs to do for the revival of BSNL is, the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, as per the proposal already submitted by BSNL to the DoT. It may be noted that, in the meeting held with the All Unions and Associations of BSNL on 24-02-2018, the Hon'ble Mos (C) has assured that BSNL will be allotted with 4G spectrum soon.
The Joint Committee on PLI was scheduled to meet tomorrow the 09-03-2018. However, the same has been postponed, since Shri Saurabh Tyagi, GM (Estt.), who is the chairman of the Joint Committee, has gone on leave.