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Monday, October 31, 2011

Bring back black money from abroad: Advani

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, on Saturday, called upon the Central government to bring back black money stashed away abroad by Indians, and use it for the development of rural India.

He was addressing a public meeting here on Saturday organised as part of his 38-day ‘Jan Chetna Yatra,' an anti-corruption campaign touring the country.

“Three years ago, the BJP had set up a task force headed by R. Vaidyanathan [(of the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore)] to conduct a study of the how much money may have been stashed abroad by Indians. The task force approximated that nearly Rs. 25 lakh crore was stored in western banks. My suggestion to the government will be to invest this wealth in the villages of India. There are nearly 6 lakh villages in the country, most of which lack elementary facilities. If this wealth were to be used in these villages, not a single one would remain without electricity, drinking water, schools, hospitals, and roads.” he said.

Mr. Advani asserted that the yatra was not intended to topple governments, but to urge the common man not to make compromises with corruption.

India is not corrupt

Later, addressing a gathering at Pandalam, the BJP leader said that India was a not a land of corruption. “The government and certain people may be corrupt, but the country can never be termed corrupt. ‘We do not give bribe to anyone and we do not take bribe from anyone' is the slogan raised throughout the yatra,” he said.

The BJP leader said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's failure to deliver had led to people losing faith in the political system. “The poor are becoming poorer. Food has become costlier. Corruption is hurting the country badly,” he said. “Though we got ‘swaraj' we grossly lack ‘suraj' or good governance even 64 years after Independence,” he added.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Swamy files FIR against Sonia Gandhi for “inciting hatred against Hindus”

New Delhi: Subramanian Swamy has filed an FIR against the UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and members of the National Advisory Council (NAC), for “committing offenses of propagating hate” against the Hindu community of India, by drafting the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill 2011.

In his written complaint to the Station House Officer of Sector 18 Rohini, Crime Branch, New Delhi, Swamy has alleged that Mrs. Gandhi and the NAC members, through the bill, have sought to target Hindus of India by “inciting crimes against the Hindu with impunity.”

Swamy alleges that by aiming to incite hatred against the Hindu community, the NAC, with Ms Sonia Gandhi as Chairperson, and other members have jointly committed offences like 153A & B, 295A and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code.

Explaining his objections against the bill, the Janata Party chief has alleged that the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill is essentially a manifestation of the NAC’s views that the “majority community – read Hindus – are the perpetrators of communal violence in India and the minority – read Muslims and Christians – are the victims.”

This assumption has also been alleged by Swamy, to be an “incitement of religious and communal strife” which in turn is a crime under the IPC.

Terming the Bill to be a “threat” to national integration, social harmony and constitutional federalism, Swamy has accused the “scriptwriters of this bill” NAC in this case, of “religious bias” against Hindus.

The complaint specially mentions the All India Christian Council (AICC) and the Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations for Empowerment (JCMOE) as the organizations which pushed for the bill.

Referring to AICC and JCMOE, Swamy alleges that, these two organizations consider only the Christians and Muslims as the “generally targeted” victims of communal violence; and they wanted that the word ‘communal violence’ be re-defined in such a way that only the Muslims and Christians are treated as victims and Hindus as predators.

Swamy finds the Bill to be a ploy to empower the Central Government to invoke Article 355 and 356 of the Constitution against any state in the event of any communal violence.

Swamy has also alleged that the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill 2011, once passed, will only be exploited by organizations like LeT and HuJI.

In his complaint, Swamy has asked the authorities to do a through “investigation into the communal mentality’ of the NAC chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi and other members and take necessary action under the law to prosecute the offenders under the cited sections of the IPC.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No need to pass Telangana resolution in Assembly: Advani

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani has said that there is no need to pass a resolution in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly to form a new State of Telangana since it is neither mandatory nor obligatory under the Constitution.

“Under Article 3 of the Constitution forming a new State is the total responsibility of the Parliament. As the Union Home Minister in the NDA government, I had initiated the process of forming three new States after unanimously passing the Bill in the Parliament”, he said at a crowded press conference here on Wednesday.

“In respect of two of these States, I had to ask for passage of resolutions in their respective Assemblies as their Chief Ministers opposed division of their states and the NDA constituents were not in power there. Therefore, I asked them to consult the entire political set up in their states”, he added.

Emphatically supporting his party's stand in favour of smaller states, Mr. Advani said that if the Congress-led UPA government tabled a Bill for formation of Telangana State, the BJP would extend its full support. He went on to say that the demand for Telangana was genuine and it would be realised by January 1, 2012, if the Bill was introduced in the winter session of Parliament.

Appealing to the youth and students not to commit suicide, the senior BJP leader, who was on his second day of Jan Chetna Yatra in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, said he had never seen such a situation where so many youth sacrificed their lives for the realisation of their demand.

Coming down heavily on the UPA-II government, Mr. Advani said that in the last two years it was paralaysed by total indecisiveness and had became dysfunctional. Changing the stand within 15 days after making announcement (on Telangana) in both Houses of Parliament has never happened in the 60 years of Independent history, he said.

Asked whether the BJP understood the feelings of people of other regions of Andhra Pradesh for remaining united, he said that formation of smaller states was a necessity from the standpoint of administrative convenience. “Viability is size and Telangana has that. I was born in Sindh and then it was part of Bombay Presidency. How far is it correct if anyone says that it should not have been divided from Bombay Presidency”, he asked.

BJP leaders M. Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Sankar Prasad, Ch. Vidya Sagar Rao and the party's State president G. Kishan Reddy were present.

Monday, October 17, 2011

With four-zero score, electoral rout for Congress

New Delhi/Hisar: In a bruising electoral blow, India's ruling Congress Monday lost the deposit in the Hisar Lok Sabha by-election in Haryana, where Anna Hazare campaigned against it, and was also defeated in the three assembly by-polls in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.

It was a sorry nought for the Congress, which rules in all the states barring Bihar. And a moment to savour for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with three of the candidates it backed winning their Oct 13 elections.

In Hisar, the Haryana Janhit Congress' (HJC) Kuldeep Singh Bishnoi won with 355,541 votes while Ajay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal was 5,923 votes behind. Three-time Congress MP Jai Parkash finished a poor third with 149,785 votes and forfeited his security deposit.

In Maharashtra's Khadakwasla assembly, the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance lost to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine. In Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged Banswada. In Bihar, the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) retained Darounda.

Defeat is always "sad", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the national capital. "We shall have to analyse why we have lost."

The Anna factor was also under debate.

The Hisar seat, which fell vacant in June after three-time chief minister Bhajan Lal died, was the first time that Team Anna had actively entered the electoral fray.

But Bishnoi, Bhajan Lal's son who had welcomed the initiative, said he owed nothing to the anti-corruption crusader.

"I attribute it only to my father and the (alliance with) BJP," Bishnoi told reporters in Hisar.

The Congress also underplayed the Anna factor that had propelled Hisar on the national consciousness. Jai Parkash, who had come third in the last election as well though he had managed 2.04 lakh votes, denied that Hazare had anything to do with the result. "The caste factor undid me," he said.

Congress general secretary B.K. Hari Prasad added that Jai Parkash lost his deposit because of "sympathy for Kuldeep's father Bhajan Lal and the development work done by the former chief minister".

"Team Anna is shining on borrowed feather," Hari Prasad said.

As the debate intensified, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said: "We have no enmity with the Congress."

Activist Medha Patkar, however, insisted that the Anna factor had made an impact and cited Jai Parkash's diminishing vote share to back her point.

The sympathy factor that the Congress believes played out against it in Hisar did not work as anticipated in Maharashtra's Khadakwasla.

The Congress-NCP's gamble of getting the widow of the late Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislator Ramesh Wanjale did not pay off. Harshada Wanjale, the NCP candidate, was unable to get the sympathy vote and lost to the BJP's Bhimrao Tapkir, who also had the backing of Shiv Sena.

Wanjale had died three months ago, necessitating the by-poll. The MNS, which did not put up a candidate as a tribute to Wanjale's memory, said Harshada Wanjale lost the sympathy of the electorate.

In Andhra Pradesh's Banswada, the TRS rode on the demand for a separate Telangana and wrested the seat from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by nearly 50,000 votes.

The TDP did not contest in view of the Telangana sentiment but the Congress soldiered on. P. Srinivas Reddy, the TDP winner of 2009, was re-elected, this time as the TRS candidate, over S. Srinivas Goud of the Congress.

In a sense, the only saving grace was Bihar where the Congress is neither in power nor a main player.

The Darounda assembly seat went to JD-U's Kavita Singh, who defeated her nearest rival, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), by over 20,000 votes.

As the Congress counted its losses, the BJP labelled it a "victory of democracy".

"The results show the people of India have voted against corruption and the Congress... It indicates which way the political wind is blowing," he said.

Opposition shocks Congress-NCP in Maharastra -B.J.P wins

Pune: Maharashtra's ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was Monday defeated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena combine in the keenly contested Khadakwasla assembly by-election.

The BJP's Bhimrao Tapkir, supported by all the opposition parties, trounced his main rival, the Nationalist Congress Party's Harshada Wanjale, by a margin of over 4,000 votes.

BJP Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, welcoming Tapkir's victory, termed the outcome as 'not surprising, but on expected lines' in view of the Congress-NCP's 'misrule' in the state.

The seat was earlier held by the late Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's popular legislator Ramesh Wanjale, whose widow Harshada contested it on a NCP ticket in the by-elections held here Oct. 13.

He died three months ago, necessitating the by-poll, but the MNS did not put up a candidate as a tribute to Wanjale's memory.

A MNS spokesperson termed the outcome 'as expected' and said Harshada Wanjale lost the sympathy of the electorate.

Senior BJP leader and Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde also said that the ruling Congress-NCP had lost the 'sympathy' of the people and this would reflect in the ensuing civic elections in the state as well as the forthcoming assembly elections.

'It spells defeat of (NCP Deputy Chief Minister) Ajit Pawar and he has been taught a lesson,' Munde said.

Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athavale, expressing satisfaction over Tapkir's victory, said that the backward classes and Dalits had rejected the ruling Congress-NCP coalition and the result would set 'a new direction in Maharashtra politics'.

Congress leaders in Pune blamed the poor turnout - barely 32 percent of the total 362,000 electorate of Khadakwasla - at last Thursday's polling, as one of the factors which impacted the negative outcome today.

The elections were held under the shadow of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption and anti-Congress crusade.

BJP activists in Pune and other parts of the state broke out in joyous celebrations as soon the results were declared around noon.

The victory was preceded by several tense moments.

While Harshada Wanjale led by over 4,300 votes till the eighth round of counting, the tables suddenly turned and Tapkir notched a lead of around 9,000 votes till the 20th round.

Some rounds later, he was declared winner with a margin of around 5,000 votes.

Hisar By Polls -Congress Routs

We will review poll rout in Hisar: Congress

After witnessing major blow in Hisar by- election ,Congress said that they will review the situation that led to Congress defeat.

Though majority of Congressmen were in a self denial mood Pranab Mukerjee was the lone senior Congressman who said that the defeat calls for introspection.

Admitting defeat in Hisar by election ,Congress Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said "Hissar by-poll result is very sad news and party will review poll rout'.
Others such as Jagdambika Pal ,Digvijay Singh and even Salman Khursheed have pohpoohed the results.

Jagdambika Pal said that " Hisar being a traditional bastion of Bhajan Lal family his son Kuldeep was sure to win the seat. I'm not surprised".

Salman Khursheed echoed the statement of Mr Pal and said that winning and losing are games of election and much should not be made out of it.
Digvijay Singh, the ever talkative Congress general secretary had conceded defeat on Sunday only when he said that Congress has never won from Hisar. "Anna factor is not proved as the seat has traditionally belonged to Bhajan Lal camp", he added.

As to why does Congress fight election when it knows it cannot win; remains to be answered by Digvijay.

Haryana Janhit Congress-BJP candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi is heading for a historic win in this by election.Bishnoi's own political future and the longevity of his alliance was depended on this election..He is the son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal and BJP is supporting him.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Anna disagrees with Bhushan, says J&K is a part of India

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday distanced himself from Prashant Bhushan's remarks on Kashmir and said that the entire state was an integral part of India. Bhushan had earlier said that plebiscite should be carried out in Kashmir to determine its future.

Anna displayed his displeasure at Bhushan's comment and said, "Prashant Bhushan's views on Kashmir are wrong. We do not endorse Prashan Bhushan's statement on Kashmir. I will tell Prashant Bhushan that if he is giving an opinion on a subject, he can give it in his personal capacity. If he is giving the team's view, he should speak to the team before."

Anna also cleared his stand on the Kashmir issue and said, "My personal view is that Kashmir is an integral part of India."

Bhushan, an integral part of Team Anna, was brutally attacked on Wednesday for his remarks by three people - Tejinder Singh Bagga, Inder Verma and Vishnu Gupta.

Anna also added that future of the senior lawyer as a member of his team is in doubt following the controversial comments. "We will decide if Bhushan would be part of Team Anna," said Anna.

The 74-year-old also clarified that the Team Anna will only fight against corruption and for a strong Lokpal. "Team Anna will work to bring Jan Lokpal Bill and corruption free India," he said.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

PM failed to act on black money: Advani

Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Wednesday said he expected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to act on black money stashed abroad, but the issue was not seriously pursued.

He said he first raised the issue of black money in 2009. "I wrote a letter to the prime minister then on this issue," Advani said at a crowded press conference here on the second day of his cross-country Jan Chetna Yatra.

"I expected the prime minister to act seriously on black money and the issue was not seriously pursued."

"Both (former finance minister) P. Chidambaram and (his successor) Pranab Mukherjee told me that something would be done, but nothing happened."

Advani demanded that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government bring out a white paper on black money in the winter session of parliament.

"I demand that the central government bring out a white paper on black money in the winter session of parliament and make the names of people having black money public," Advani said.

Advani said the UPA government should also inform the country what steps have been taken till date to bring back black money stashed in banks abroad.

"I have been told that the government has the names of some Indians having black money in foreign banks, it is time the government made their names public," Advani said.

"If the government hesitates in making their names people public, it will send the message that it wants to protect them," Advani said.

He recalled that after he raised the black money issue, he was ridiculed by some Congress spokespersons who asked what the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had done about it.

"During NDA rule, foreign banks were adamant not to talk about black money. But the fact is that the scenario has changed only after the signing of the UN convention against corruption following financial problems in America," Advani said.

Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra to campaign against corruption was flagged off by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Tuesday.

Supreme Court asks why wasn't any action taken in 2007

NEW DELHI: In a development that focuses on the 'gate-keeping role' of Prime Minister Manmohan and then finance minister P Chidambaram in the implementation of the 2G spectrum allocation policy, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked why no step was taken to prevent irregularities in November 2007.

A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and HL Dattu said it had been resisting temptation to ask this question all along, but it was clear from CBI's 2G scam chargesheet that the "head of the government and the finance minister were aware" of the allegations about irregularity in the allocation of spectrum and had favoured the auction route.

"It is not that the government was not aware of things. You could have avoided the entire exercise by just taking one decision. It was felt by the government. The spectrum allocations were done much later than the letter of intent issued on January 10, 2008," it said.

The correspondence between A Raja and the Prime Minister, particularly letters dated November 2, 2007, and 26 December, 2007, show that Raja had informed Singh about his department's decision to reject the method of auction as well as revision of entry fee. "What prevented the government from taking this one decision? From September and October 2007, complaints started flowing about the alleged irregularity in spectrum allocation. The CVC also wrote about it.

It (the 2G scam) could have been put to an end and saved a lot of time of various institutions concerned," the bench said. To this, Additional Solicitor-General Haren Raval said what other authorities could have done or not done will not lessen the gravity of the crime of the accused, who were responsible for the allocation of letters of intent on January 10, 2008.

"But the gravity of the crime would have been substantially reduced if not completely prevented," the bench retorted. Between May 2005 and January 2008, the Ministry of Finance had consistently suggested that entry fee should be revised and that auction methodology should be adopted. The prime ministerial establishment will have a lot of explaining to do as the decision of selling spectrum at Rs 1,650 crore was ratified at a meeting chaired by the prime minister.

This meeting was attended by Chidambaram, Raja, secretaries of finance and DoT as well as officials of PMO. Those in the government who assert that Chidambaram cannot be made the fall guy say that the in a note prepared for the meeting of the full Telecom Commission on November 11, 2008, the Ministry of Finance had asked the commission to suggest "suitable mechanism for updating the entry fee of Rs 1,650 fixed in 2003".

Mamata resigns from Lok Sabha

Kolkata/New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday resigned as Lok Sabha member, days after winning the Bhowanipore assembly by-polls to make her maiden entry into the state legislature.

"She has sent her resignation letter through me. I have handed it over to Lok Sabha Speaker (Meira Kumar) today (Saturday)," Trinamool Congress general secretary and union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy told media persons in New Delhi.

The Trinamool Congress, the second largest constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, will now have 18 Lok Sabha members.

Asked about Meira Kumar's response, Roy said: "She told me she was both happy and sad. She was sad because she would lose a colourful member. At the same time she was happy because Mamata has taken over the charge of a problematic state like West Bengal".

Banerjee, who had won the Kolkata South lok Sabha seat in 2009, won the Bhowanipore seat Sep 28 with a huge margin of 54,213 votes over the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) nominee Nandini Mukherjee.

Banerjee had not contested the April-may assembly polls, saying she wanted to campaign across the state to end the 34-year rule of the Left Front.

Banerjee won her first Lok Sabha election in 1984 by suprising CPI-M veteran Somnath Chatterjee in the Jadavpore constituency.

Five years later, she lost to CPI-M's Malini Bhattacharya from the same seat, but returned to the lower house of parliament in 1991 from Kolkata South by defeating sitting CPI-M member Biplab Dasgupta.

Since then, the voters of Kolkata South have always voted for Banerjee.

Use 1909 to Block Unwanted Calls and SMS on Your Mobile

Finally, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has brought a good news for more than 800 M mobile customers of India. Indian mobile subscribers have long been waiting for this menace to end soon. However, TRAI’s earlier efforts to ban the pesky calls and SMS has not been much fruitful. But this time TRAI has taken this up in a very strict manner and has announced heavy penalties for the telemarketer defaulters. Majority of Indian mobile subscribers have been complaining about receiving unwanted commercial communication (i.e. unwanted promotional messages and calls) on their mobile phones. Many of these subscribers have been receiving such calls and messages inspite of having registered already with TRAI’s “Do Not Call” registry. However, this time, in order to curb this menace of unwanted calls and SMS, TRAI has recommended heavy penalty of up to 2.5 lacs per offence for the telemarketing companies. This also includes disconnection of telephone numbers for such defaulting telemarketing companies. TRAI had already disconnected more than 70000 telephone connections of registered telemarketing companies on account of making unwanted calls to the registered customers.

The whole process has been made quite simpler and clearer this time for an easy implementation. This includes

Registration by a mobile subscriber for the National Customer Preference Register which was earlier named as Do Not Call registry.
Mandatory registration by all telemarketing companies.
Easy identification of all unwanted or unsolicited calls and messages.
Mechanism for the mobile subscribers to enable Full or partial block of pesky calls and messages.
Procedure to log a complaint against a telemarketing company by a mobile subscriber for breaching the guidelines.
The strict implementation of the whole process of blocking calls and SMS as well as imposing fines for the defaulter will be effective from September 27, 2011. All the Indian mobile subscribers can hope to get a relief from all nonsense and unwanted calls and SMS with this. However, you will continue to receive all those calls and messages until you register with TRAI’s National Customer Preference Register. You need not register again if you had already registered with Do Not Call registry.

How to Identify the Unwanted or Pesky Calls and Messages

DoT has allotted number ‘140’ series for the fixed line and 10 digits number series of ‘70NNNNNNNN’ for the mobiles. This will ensure an easy identification of such calls and messages by mobile subscribers irrespective of the fact if they are registered or not.

Registration Process for Mobile Subscribers to Fully or Partial Block the Unsolicited Calls and SMSs
Mobile subscribers can register their telephone number with the National Customer Preference Register by dialing a toll free number 1909 and by sending an SMS to 1909. You can then set your preference either via an IVR or with the help of a customer care executive. For registering and setting up the preference via SMS, the SMS message has to be sent in the following format to the number 1909.

SMS “START 0” to 1909 for fully blocked option i.e. blocking all the calls and messages


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stronger case against Dayanidhi Maran than Raja: CBI

New Delhi, (IANS) Former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran will be questioned soon, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official said, adding the case against him was “stronger than” that against his successor A. Raja.

Maran’s brother Kalanithi, Maxis owner T. Ananda Krishnan and Astro All Asia Networks CEO Ralph Marshall will also be quizzed, the official, who did not want to be identified, said after the agency conducted raids at nine locations of the Marans in three cities.

“Dayanidhi Maran, his brother will be questioned in next few days,” the official said.

The agency has already sent a letter rogatory (a judicial request for help on information from another country) to Malaysia to ascertain the details of Maxis Communications’ ownership structure and for information on the group’s other companies, including Astro All Asia Networks.

“They (Malaysia) will also quiz them (Ananda Krishna and Marshall) soon,” said the official.

The case against Maran is “stronger than” that against Raja, the official added.

Asked if the Marans will be arrested, the CBI official refused to comment on the issue.

“Hopefully, we will file charge sheet in the case swiftly,” said a CBI source.

An FIR was filed against Maran and his brother Kalanithi, Marshall, Ananda Krishnan, and three private companies — Sun Direct TV, Astro All Asia Networks and Maxis Communications Sunday.

According to CBI officials, the Marans came under the scanner after a complaint by industrialist C. Sivasankaran that he was forced to exit mobile telephone company Aircel by them when Dayanidhi Maran was the communications minister.

Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured Maxis group in the takeover of his company and, in return, investments were made by the company through Astro All Asia Network in Sun TV owned by the Maran family.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aakash: World's cheapest tablet launched; to be sold for $60 in retail

"The Rs 3,000 figure is the 'maximum suggested retail price' of the commercial version of the product which we will offer with an embedded cellular modem and SIM," said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind, maker of the world's cheapest tablet.

The $60 tablet for retail sales has an inbuilt cellular modem and SIM to access internet, which will be absent in the $35 device, supplied to the government.

As a business, we need to make a profit, and our distribution channel needs to make a profit, which is all covered in the MRP of Rs 2,999,"

Both versions of the tablet, will run on Google's Android platform, with WiFi connectivity for internet access and cloud storage. The tablets will have 256 MB of RAM, a 32 GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports.

The commercial version of the tablet would have no duty waivers or subsidy, as in the government's version. An inbuilt cellular modem and SIM card will add to the price of the commercial tablet.

The commercial version of the tablet, is expected be out within 60 days, of its launch on October 5.

Datawind adds that it is supplying to the government at a price of Rs 2200, which includes sales tax and replacement warranty. "The $35 price is achievable at higher volume levels. When we supply the product to the government at $35, then too it will allow us a margin, albeit at higher volumes," Datawind CEO added.

India trails fellow BRIC nations Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get its 1.2 billion population connected to technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones, a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft said this year.

The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010, according to another recent report. Still, just 8 percent of Indians have access. That compares with nearly 40 percent in China.

Some 19 million people subscribe to mobile phones every month, making India the world's fastest growing market, but most are from the wealthier segment of the population in towns.

Bharat Mehra, an expert on the use of communications technology for development, said the budget tablet could be used to deliver distance learning in rural areas and among students.