Saturday, October 3, 2009

GC Educates...

How else can you help?

-Join GC in the campaign. Be a volunteer.
-Help get permission in schools, colleges, corporate offices, residential societies, or any other high crowd- pulling areas to stick the campaign poster.
-Help us get in touch with stationery stores or stationery and book companies to get sponsorships and/or donations.
-Help arrange for a venue (an auditorium or a hall) for free or at a discounted rate for the final campaign event on 14th November, 2009.
-Help get free media or advertising space to spread the campaign message.
-Spread the word. Encourage and motivate people to contribute in any possible way.
-Spread the joy of education!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Green Ganesha

Aala re Aaala Ganpati Aala… One of the most awaited festivals of India is back with a bang! And it arrives at a time when we are surrounded by the gloom of recession, drought and swine flu. However, none of that reduces the joy of bringing home the Vignaharta. We at GC sincerely pray that Ganesha gets us out of all this trouble.

With that sweet little wish, we introduce you to GC’s Green Ganesha Campaign 2009 – a chance for you to do your bit. We’re not asking for much. All you need to do is read through this blog and pass on some of the interesting wallpapers, ringtones and messages that we send across to you. We are sure Ganesha will bestow his blessings on each one who puts in efforts to ensure that not only is He brought home with dignity and respect, but also his visarjan is done in the same respectful manner. In a manner that does not harm the environment. In a way that does not harm the very humans that worship him for giving them a gift of life.

Steps to a Green Ganesha celebration:

1. Eco-friendly decorations: WHY eco-friendly? Everyone’s using normal decorations- ‘Ek jan se kya farak padta hai?’ At GC, we believe, each one can bring about a change. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. And so, we urge you to take these small steps towards making a big difference.

Let us scare you with some facts, which you may already know, but chose to ignore:

Plastic and Thermocol are:
Non-biodegradable- Because plastic and thermocol do not decompose, they keep accumulating. One plastic bag takes about 1000 years to decompose. Plastic and thermocol photo-degrade, which means they break up into smaller pieces of plastic until eventually becoming plastic dust Release poisonous gases on burning- Plastic and thermocol release poisonous gases on burning which cause respiratory problems when inhaled and can even be fatal

Difficult to recycle- Thermocol and plastic are extremely difficult to recycle as they cannot be broken down completely

Pollute water and spread diseases- Thermocol and plastic obstruct the flow of streams leading to floods during rains. Also, obstructed water turns stagnant, spreading diseases and health risks

Pollute the food chain- About 100,000 marine animals such as dolphins, turtles whales, penguins etc. are killed every year due to plastic bags. These animals ingest plastic bags, mistaking them for food, and therefore die. What’s worse, the ingested plastic bag remains intact even after the death and decomposition of the animal.

We, therefore, urge you to do away with these two substances. Having said that, we provide you with some simple alternatives that you can opt for, not only this Ganesh Ustav but for every celebration in your life.

For alternative decorations and more, click here

2. Clean disposal of the waste generated during visarjan
Why do we have to bother about this? BMC hai na?

Everyone celebrates and wholeheartedly throws garbage but only one body (with manpower of around 0.4% of the citizens of Mumbai) takes charge of cleaning. No wonder the city remains unclean! It’s not because BMC doesn’t do its job properly, it’s because it’s the citizens who don’t! So let’s stop blaming and let’s start doing.

Correct garbage disposal:

What’s disposed? - Flowers and offerings - Plastic bags containing flowers and offerings - Plastic bottles (mineral water bottles, etc.), eatables, etc.

What is the right place for disposal?

- Flowers and offerings – Use nirmalaya kalash or collection pots placed at every beach, exclusively meant for disposal of offerings for Ganeshotsav.

- Plastic bags - Carry your offerings in paper bags or wrap them in newspapers instead. Avoid plastic bags.

- Plastic bottles, eatables, etc. – Use dustbins to dispose off plastic bottles, eatables, wrappers, etc. If you can’t find a dustbin in your vicinity, keep it in your bag till you locate one

3. Eco-friendly immersion

Use artificial immersion tanks for immersion. This will help make sure that the sea water is not polluted and the marine life is saved.

To get a list of artificial immersion tanks in the city, click here
Easy, wasn’t it? Just a few simple steps to celebrate a clean and green Ganesh Ustav.
Help us reach out. Spread this message to one and all.

Now that you’re a step closer to celebrating an eco-friendly Ganesh Utsav, why not sport some interesting wallpapers and amusing ringtones. You can also download the video you just saw to your mobile phone and pass it on to others. Let’s put our online social networking to use and spread the goodness to many more.

And last but not the least, have a smashing Ganesh Ustav. If you do your bit, we’re sure you’ll be high in priority in Ganesha’s list of granting wishes.



Ringtones (for mobile phone download, click here)
Video (for mobile download-3gp file, click here)
Artificial immersion tanks in Mumbai

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lok Sabha Elections- Make an Informed choice.




Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha are to be held on the 30th April in Mumbai.


These are national elections.


While there will be regional, state-level and local issues that are important, we need to keep in mind that these elections are to choose the government at the Centre. Even though your selected candidate will represent your constituency in the Parliament, he will primarily address issues of national interest.


Since the party in majority will form the government, it is imperative that we choose a candidate whose party ideology matches ours and whose party has performed responsibly in the past.


So here’s where Gyaan Connect comes to your rescue!


Having gone through some really informative websites and some boastful ones, GC has compiled some valuable and unbiased information to help you become an informed voter.


So go ahead, read on. Make the right decision and make your vote count.











·         Hindutva -  a concern for the voice of the majority in India – the Hindus

·         Supporting nationalistic sentiments

·         Guided by Good Governance, Development and Security




·         Secularism, nationalism, social justice, and economic growth for all, especially for the Aam Aadmi.

·         Well being of the weaker sections / minorities of the society





·         Low tax, Low interest regime in order to increase the purchasing power of people

·         Arrest the loss of jobs by heavy investment in public sector

·         Support to Hindustan Diamond Corporation to revive the economic slump in diamond industry

·         Reduce interest rates for housing loans to boost the real estate market

·         Easing credit availabilities

·         Promoting SMEs and Retail Sector, boost to tourism sector

·         Impose restrictions on foreign companies that do not hire Indian nationals with valid work visas




·         Indian economy has shown considerable resilience under the most adverse international circumstances.

·         Economic Growth – Average rate of economic growth in BJP’s India Shining period – 5.8% vs. Congress’ 8.5% during 2005-09.

·         Focus – To stimulate demand in the domestic economy, to ensure more purchasing power in the hands of the people and more liquidity in the hands of companies. 

o        Three stimulus packages announced

o        Interest Rates reduced

o        Credit rates to industry encouraged

o        Further public investment in agriculture and infrastructure

·         Balance in public and private sector, rejects blind privatisation





·         Increase income tax bracket to Rs. 3,00,000 and a further exemption of Rs. 50,000 for women and senior citizens.

·         Exempt cooperative banks from income tax

·         Income of senior citizens by way of pension be declared tax free

·         All personnel of the Army, Air Force, Navy, as also paramilitary forces will be exempt from paying taxes on their salaries and perquisites

·         Income tax benefits will be offered at 60 years instead of the present 65 years

·         Interest on bank deposits of all other than corporates & business income will be tax free.

·         Goods and Services tax will be implemented at 12-14% and will abolish Central Sales Tax(CST) and Fringe Benefit Tax(FBT)

·         ESOPS and Minimum Alternative Tax(MAT) will be rationalised

·         Illegally stashed black money in Swiss bank accounts will be brought back and used for infrastructure development, housing, health and social welfare.

·         All Dharmik activities will be considered charity and will get tax incentives




·         Will implement Goods and Services Tax which will abolish all central and state level indirect taxes such as VAT, Excise Duty, Entertainment Tax, etc.







·         Boost opportunities for Entrepreneurship and Commerce among Dalits, OBCs and other weaker sections

·         Education and job quotas for the Economically weaker sections not affecting the present quotas for OBCs/SC/ST

·         Atrocities against the weaker sections will be firmly dealt with

·         In contrast to the UPA years, when an additional 55 million people were pushed below the poverty line, BJP will bring families above the poverty line through aggressive policies and targeted development programmes

·         Special  provisions  will  be  made  for  SC/ST/OBC  and  other  underprivileged  sections  of  the  youth  for  skill development with focus on web-based training.

·         Special focus to bring SC/STs/OBCs and women in the IT ambit development

·         Financially empower women from Below poverty line/SC/ST

·         National Policy on Women’s Economic Empowerment to enhance the income of all categories of working women. Remove gender discrimination in wages

·         Remove all gender disparities in property rights, martial rights and cohabitation rights

·         Promoting self employment and entrepreneurship for women

·         Focus on empowerment of the low income groups in the Muslim community, especially women, by means of capital assistance and cash incentives, based on performance and attendance.

·         Computer centres to be set up in rural and low income areas, Emphasis on crafts and small scale industries

·         Special programme to be launched for the security of women and increase in the number of working women’s hostels

·         Propose a Uniform Civil Code




·         Education at all stages — primary, secondary and university — will be free in all respects for boys and girls belonging to dalit and adivasi communities. 

·         Coaching fees for all entrance exams for at least one lakh SC/ST students every year will be paid by the Central Government, along with an increase in National Scholarships

·         Over 53,000 vacancies in government have been filled by SC/ST

·         Reservations for SC/ST in private sector

·         The Rajinder Sachar Committee was set up to look into the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community.

·         Introduced reservation for women in Panchayats and Nagarpalikas and proposed 33% reservation in the Lok Sabha.

·         Proposes to reserve one-third of all central government jobs for women.

·         Reservation for the economically weaker sections of all communities in addition to existing reservations for SC/STs and OBCs







·         Acquisition of military hardware will be expedited in a transparent time bound manner

·         The pending issues of pay and privileges will be revisited and resolved to the satisfaction of the defence forces. A separate PAY COMMISSION for them will be soon set up

·         Incentive based steps will be taken to make joining the defence forces an exciting proposition for the youth. This will include competitive pay and privileges, and pension benefits

·         Take stern steps against militants

·         Enhance naval security and Detect & detain illegal immigrants.

·         Introduce a National Identity Card for citizens.

·         Take Indian defence into a Super Computer era and increase scientific research & development in security

·         Use diplomacy to isolate and stop cross-border militant attacks and support for separatist groups and Wage war against Maoist groups throughout the country.




·         Plan to provide every Indian with a unique identity card by 2011.

·         Make defence forces technology-enabled and equip them with modern weapons, aircraft, ships and delivery systems to repel any threat from land, sea or air.

·         Better provisions and professionalized training to police forces

·         Comprehensive social security to those at special risk including

o        Single-woman headed households

o        Disabled and the elderly

o        Urban homeless

o        Released bonded workers

o        Members of primitive tribal groups and ‘most backward’ Dalit communities

o        Members of designated “most backward” Dalit communities








·         Central allocation to education raised to 6-9%

·         Content and process of education will be modified and the outreach of Information Technology to be extended to every child

·         Reforms in all levels of education, primary, secondary and higher education to make the education system stronger and up-to-date

·         A National Student Bank will be set up to meet the banking requirements including study loans of students for students at 4% interest rate.

·         Study loans will be made cheaper and more accessible by fixing student loan interest at 4%

·         National Knowledge Incubation programme will be launched for the meritorious students from all strata of the society and atleast 1% of the best brains will be deployed for mentoring at the incubation centre

·         Committed to massive expansion of modern education among Muslims, particularly for the girl child.

·         Ragging to be made a criminal offence with strict punishment, wherein school/college/university authorities will be help culpable failing to adhere to the law.

·         New National Commission on Education




·         Students admitted to any recognized course in any recognized college/university will be provided, on a need basis, either a scholarship or an educational loan without collateral repayable over a very long period.

·         Education at all stages — primary, secondary and university — will be free in all respects for boys and girls belonging to Dalit and Adivasi communities.

·         Reforms favouring education of girl child

·         A massive expansion in higher education has been undertaken in the past two years—8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, 5 new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, 30 new Central Universities, 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology and 374 new colleges in educationally-deprived districts

·         Training programmes for teachers will be initiated and focus on improving physical environment in schools







·         Propose to review, revive and relaunch the National Service Scheme(NSS) and National Cadet Corps(NCC) as effective vehicles to involve the youth in nation building and reinforcing their national spirit.

·         Framing policies keeping in mind the concerns of Young India

·         Encourage participation of the youth in decision making process and decision making bodies





·         SMEs and first generation entrepreneurs will be given access to collateral free credit, liberation from the multiplicity of laws and forms, and freedom them from the clutches of inspectors

·         The Indian National Congress will design and launch a voluntary national youth corps which would enable young men and women in the age group of 18-23 to serve up to two years in constructive nation-building activities for which they will be suitably compensated.

·         Will also make a beginning to induct youth into organs of government

·         Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI)

·         The Indian National Congress has always been the party that has reposed its confidence in youth. It was Rajiv Gandhi who gave all 18 year-olds the right to vote and it was he who declared Swami Vivekananda’s birthday on January 12th as National Youth Day.  The IT revolution that has spread in our country has opened up whole new avenues for our youth.






Will implement the following things within 100 days of coming into power:


·         Improve upon POTA to ensure it is more effective as an instrument of deterrence and as a tool to prosecute offenders without innocent people being harassed.

·         Modernize Intelligence Agencies so that they are better equipped to use technology and cope with rapidly changing trends of terrorism

·         National Security Council to be made accountable for real time intelligence dissemination

·         A Digital Security Agency will be set up to enhance cyber security

·         Reforms to be made to modernize police forces

·         Launch a massive programme to detect, detain and deport illegal immigrants. Border management will be reviewed.

·         National Maritime Authority to be set up to coordinate social security

·         Special courts to be set up for speedy prosecution of those involved in acts of terrorism

·         Better inter-state coordination and real time intelligence sharing to face the threats posed by Maoists.




·         Zero tolerance towards terrorism.

·         What India needs is an intelligent and wise foreign policy, unlike the BJP’s muscular foreign policy. India requires a foreign policy that is rooted in our traditions, gives us strength through our unity and common purpose, and radiates confidence. 

·         After the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai, the Congress-led UPA government mounted a forceful diplomatic campaign. It was this campaign that led to Pakistan admitting, for the first time, that Pakistani citizens were responsible for the attacks.





  • 3 new states- Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand- Formed in 2000
  • POTA evoked to fight terrorism
  • Centre gave Rs.1000 crore each year to states for police modernization.
  • Sanctions after Pokharan lifted.
  • Over 10 lakh new employment opportunities generated for the youth.
  • IT-enabled sector growth. Today over 2.2 lakh job opportunities are created in ITES.
  • Information Technology Act 2000 provides a legal framework for e-commerce and prevention of cyber crimes.
  • In 50 years only 2.3 crore telephone connections sanctioned. In the last 5 years, over 4.74 crore connections provided.
  • Mobile phones grew from 12 lakh in 1999 to 2.2 crore in 2004. Became affordable
  • 85% coverage of rural India through Village Public Telephones.
  • STD rates down from Rs. 24 per minute to Rs. 5 per minute
  • Internet Telephony permitted.
  • Successful implementation of disinvestment policy
  • Electricity Act 2003
  • Lower inflation rate during their tenure.



  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme - a great relief to common people
  • Right To information Act
  • Loan Waver for Rs 60,000 Crores for Farmers
  • Chandrayan-India Joined Elite Club
  • Railway in Huge profit
  • Anti Balistic Missile Sys developed
  • Brahmos Missile-the fastest in world
  • Agricultural Growth Improved
  • Defense Strategies Re-aligned with US
  • Emerged as the 2nd fastest growing Economy
  • More IITs
  • Infrastructure growth prioritized
  • Kashmir, no more inefficiencies as in Kargil, No more Coffin Biz, BJP's attempt to isolate Kashmir foiled
  • Metro rails
  • Pay Increment for central government employees






·         Hijack of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814, which forced the Indian govt to release three terrorists.

·         Reports of intelligence failures leading to the Kargil incursions going undetected

·         Allegations that the Defence Minister George Fernandes took bribes over the purchase of coffins for soldiers who died in the battle.



·         On 13 December 2001, five gunmen infiltrated the Parliament House and attacked the parliament

·         The Tehelka scandal exposed the BJP party chief taking unaccounted contributions in return for promised favours

·         CBI chargesheeted senior BJP leaders for inciting the demolition of the Babri mosque

·         1 October 2001 - militants carried out attack, using car bomb and four suicide bombers, in Srinagar killing 38



·         Communal clashes happened in Gujarat under BJP rule, after an attack by a Muslim mob on a train comprising mostly of Hindu pilgrims. The state government of Gujarat (BJP led by Modi) has been accused of helping the Hindu mobs, a charge that it denies. The National Human Rights Commission criticized the government, pointing to "a comprehensive failure on the part of the State Government of Gujarat to control persistent violations of rights”

·         22 January 2002 – Attack on American Cultural Centre in Kolkata killing 25

·         10 September 2002 – Rafiganj train disaster planned by the Maoist group killing 130+

·         25 September 2002 – attack on Akshardham temple carried by 2 terrorists killing 29 devotees 1 police officer and 1 NSG commando.

·         6 December 2002 - Bomb goes off in a bus in Ghatkopar killing 2




·         27 January 2003 - Bomb goes off on a bicycle in Vile Parle killing 1

·         14 March 2003 - Bomb goes off in a train in Mulund killing 10

·         28 July 2003 - Bomb goes off in a bus in Ghatkopar killing 4

·         25 August 2003 - Two Bombs go off in cars near the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar killing 50




·         Controversy over the India Shining ads concerning the use of taxpayer’s money by States or Central Governments for political gain of the ruling party. The BJP government spent approximately Rs. 500 crores for the advertisements campaign during 2004 Parliament elections.



The rise of anti-Christian violence has been directly linked to the ascendancy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Human Rights Watch pins the responsibility for much of the violence on the Sangh Parivar; an umbrella group for the three principal Hindu Nationalist organizations, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.



The Barak Missile Scandal is a case of defence corruption relating to the purchase of Barak Missile Systems by India from Israel. The case is currently under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation, and several people including the Samata Party ex-treasurer R.K. Jain have been arrested. Others named in the First Information Report include politicians George Fernandes and Jaya Jaitley, and arms dealer and ex-naval officer Suresh Nanda, who is the son of retired chief of naval staff S.M. Nanda.



The Hawala scandal or hawala scam was an Indian political scandal involving payments allegedly received by politicians through hawala brokers, the Jain brothers. It was a US$18 million bribery scandal that implicated some of the country's leading politicians. Those accused included Mr. L. K. Advani, Mr. Madhav Rao Scindia, Mr. Arjun Singh,and others.



The 2007 Gujarat Fake Encounter Controversy started when the police of Gujarat state in India admitted on March 23 2007 to the killing of an alleged extortionist "Sohrabuddin Sheikh" in a staged gun battle on November 26, 2005. The police at that time had claimed that the man, belonged to the Pakistan linked terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba and was planning to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to avenge the death of Muslims killed in the 2002 Gujarat violence. The government also admitted that Sohrabuddin's innocent wife Kausarbi had been killed by the police and her body burnt in an attempt to remove the traces of the crime. It has been alleged by the Union Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela that Sohrabuddin and several other persons were killed in a similar fashion at the behest of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


·         1984: Anti Sikh riots.

·         2005: Anti-Muslim riots of Mau, Uttar Pradesh.

·         2006: Hindu-Muslim Alighar riots

·         Terror strike in India in INC rule.

·         Bofors Scandal

·         Telgi Scam


·         Cash-For-Vote Scandal

Notes-for-vote or cash-for-votes scandal is an alleged scandal in which the United Progressive Alliance, the majority-holding parliamentary-party alliance of India, openly bribed Indian MPs in cash or currency-notes to the tune of multi-millions to survive its very first confidence vote on 22 July 2008 in the Lok Sabha after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front withdrew support from the government over India approaching the IAEA for Indo-US nuclear deal.








Oct 29, ‘05





July 28, ‘05

Juanpur, UP

Train Blasts



Mar 7, ‘06





Jul 11, ‘06


Train Bombings



Feb 18, ‘07


Samjauta Express Bombings



May 18, ‘07


Mecca Bombings



Aug 25, ‘07


Bomb blast



Nov 23, ‘07


6 Blasts in 3 places



May 13, ‘08


9 blasts in a span of 15 minutes



Jul 25, ‘08


9 Bombs explode



Jul 26, ‘08


21 bomb blasts in 70 minutes



Sept 13, ‘08


5 bomb blasts in few minutes



Sept 27, ‘08


One blast



Sept 29, ‘08

Gujarat & Maharashtra

Blast in Modasa and Malegaon



Oct 1, ‘08

Agartala, Tripura

Bomb Blast



Oct 21, ’08


Bike bomb



Oct 30, ‘08


18 bomb blast



Nov 26, ‘08


Bombing, Shooting and hostage crisis



Jan 01, ‘09


Low intensity blast









Congress Candidate

Dr. Manmohan Singh

BJP Candidate

Mr. L.K.Advani


77 years old

82 years old




PhD. in Economics from the University of Oxford Nuffield College

Graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai University


Doctor of Civil Law



Previous government positions/posts


Prime Minister of India: 2004-09

Union Information and Broadcast Minister in 1977-79


Worked Ministry of foreign trade and Finance Ministry of India: 1970s

Became the President of BJP:1986


Governor of Reserve Bank of India: 1982-85

Home Minister during Vajpayee’s PM tenure- 1988


Deputy chairman of planning commission: 1985-87

Deputy prime Minister: 2002-04


Finance Minister of India: 1991-96

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha: 2004-09


Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha: 1998-04



Worked for Institutions like the IMF and the UN



Noteworthy Achievements


Successfully salvaged the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal, a strategically important deal, at the risk of losing the PM post.

Joined RSS at the age of 14


Played a very important role in the Liberalization process of India.

Founded the BJP along with Mr. Vajpayee


Introduced several reforms to change the economy from socialist to capitalist economy

Advocated Hindutva and was responsible for making the BJP presence felt in an increasing number of states.


Has taught at university of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University

Known to have helped fuel BJP’s rise by instigating a Hindu campaign for a Hindu temple in Ayodhya



Infamous for:



It is believed that a criminal case from 1947 is still pending in Pakistan against Advani for allegedly conspiring to assassinate Pakistan's first Governor-General Mohammad Ali Jinnah and other leaders




Individual Qualities


A renowned Economist

Individual of great intellectual ability


A visionary

A good speaker


A skilled administrator

Experienced and mature


Reputed to be a man of Integrity and Honesty

A perseverant and hard working leader


Quiet, self-effacing man




What Opposition says about them


Weak and meek  PM

‘Person of the Past’- Rahul Gandhi


Puppet in hands of Sonia Gandhi

‘Advani talks rubbish’- Manmohan Singh


‘Except for Sonia Gandhi’s family, no one is rooting for him’- Narendra Modi

‘Some people within the country are more dangerous than terrorists’- Sonia Gandhi referring to the Opposition


India’s first elected PM bereft of power






For all those who have been on a long vacation, here’s the time to get back into action. It’s time we wake up and do our duties. It’s time we remember the promises we made post 26/11. It’s time to stop complaining and start making the right decisions. That’s right, it’s time we go out and VOTE.

What you just read covers the important details of the 2 major parties. However, the key is to make an informed decision. So whichever is the party you wish to vote for, make it a point to read their manifesto and review their past performance before you vote. Make the right choice, make your voice heard.