11. Saga of Love via Telephone

The Saga Of Love via Telephone by Pankaj Pandey

Presented BY: Dharmesh Meena and Sneha Gulati

Love Means never losing hope…

He is Pankaj, a creative and innovative guy of an engineering college.

She is Shikha, a sensation. Her voice is that of a nightingale.

They fall in love without an eye – contact talk, share every thing, foresee future…

Destiny had something in their fate…

This novel takes you to a journey of love, romance, Passion, thrill and saturnine events.

Thy fate is the common fate of all into each life some rain must fall.

 

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10. Wonder A touching novel on Human Behavior.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Read by: Sneha Gulati, Anu Dhiman and Shivangi Sharma

 

Tremendously moving ….. An uplifting, hopeful and important book’

It’s well written, engaging, and so much fun to read that the pages almost turn themselves. More than that, wonder touches the heart in the most life affirming, unexpected ways, delivering in August Pullman a character whom readers will remember forever. Do yourself a favor and read this book – your life will be better for it’

A terrific story … Palacio is exploring some fundamental truths about how humans behave. and how they should behave’

A touching novel on Human Behavior.

 

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9. Electricity Popular Science Series

Electricity Popular Science Series

Read by: Rahul kawatra, Bawleen Kaur and Kirti rohilla

The book is intended as a popularizer of scientific knowledge of electricity which concerns us so closely in all spheres of our daily life.

Along with explications on the character of electric charge, the formation of electric current and to a variety of interesting natural phenomena such a thunder, lightning and bio-electricity.

The close relation and conversion between electricity and magnetism have also been introduced in order to demonstrate the fundamental principles of a generate as well as the characteristics of the radio wave and the light wave.

 

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NGO’s also to be impacted by GST

MUMBAI: Come July and
goods and services tax
(GST) will play party-pooper to many fundraisers or charity events
organised by non-government organisations (NGOs) and non-profit clubs.
There is likely
to be a steep decline in events as the total landed cost of holding
them would increase by at least 20%.

Many clubs and NGOs that hold meetings or fundraising events would not
be able to get an input credit of the food expenses unlike in current
tax regime
where they would get sales tax credit.

Not just that, many clubs and NGOs are complaining that under GST they
won’t even get input credit on GST paid on the fees paid by their
members.

“Fundraisers may just become an expensive affair. In many cases, input
credit would not be available under GST food and beverages not to
mention the actual
cost of certain services, like say tax on entertainment tickets, is
pegged at 28%,” said Sachin Menon, Head,
Indirect Tax,
KPMG India.

Many clubs like Lions Club or Rotary Club fear that in a way there
could be double taxation for them under GST.

“Whenever we have fundraisers we have to organise events, but GST
could be a double whammy for us. Not only do we have to pay 18% GST on
the membership
fee we collect, when this is spent we also pay GST, but do not get
input credit for the same,” said Ravi Adukia, treasurer, Rotary Club
of Bombay
lubs like Lions Club and Rotary Club operate in a peculiar manner.
They collect fees from their members and pay an annual fee to the
parent organisation.
The objective of these clubs is to collect funds for some social
activities. Fundraisers or events would normally be held at hotels.
While GST rate for
ordinary hotels is 18%, that on five-star and expensive hotels is 28%.

“We call high networth individuals for these fundraising events. The
objective is to collect funds and then donate it,” said an NGO
official.

“We used to get an input credit for
service tax
of about 10.15% to 14.5% for both food and beverages cost as well as
subscription paid by members, which is not available under GST. For
us, it would
be double taxation as not only are we incurring GST at the rate of 18%
on subscription, we would get no input tax credit when that money is
spent on food
and beverages during an event,” said Ashok Mehra, a chartered
accountant who helps many clubs with their taxes.

The issue under GST is that the framework does not allow credit of
expenses incurred for activities that may not be directly construed as
related to business.
This would include expenses incurred for food and beverages.

Insiders say many clubs would now try to create structures that can
circumvent GST regulations. “The rules would force many clubs to limit
number of partners
and fees collected from them to stay out of GST net,” said a senior
official with a Mumbai-based club. “We don’t mind paying GST on the
subscription fees
but not allow input credit for food and beverage expenses incurred
during meetings or events is a huge expense for us,” he said.

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India and Israel to Shake Off Manipulative NGOs

Foreign-funded NGOs have been a common cause for concern for India and Israel.

 

Israel and India share the distinction of being targets of political manipulation by powerful non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) and their funders, which operate outside the democratic process, with no checks and balances. These activities, although often presented in altruistic
and moral terms – such as peace, human rights, economic development, and humanitarian aid – are widely perceived in both countries as a form of neo-colonialism.
NGO power is also enhanced by an image of altruism and morality (known as the “halo effect”) that protects the organisations and their funders from critical
analysis. International journalists, diplomats, and academics give NGOs automatic support, without examining details and hidden agendas, which undermine
hard-won national sovereignty and independence.

 

The Indian concern regarding NGOs prior to Israel’s recognition of the issue

 

Responding to these concerns, in 2010, India passed legislation known as the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), which prohibits the use of overseas
funds for “activities detrimental to the national interest.” Criticism was directed at groups such as the Ford Foundation, which, according to the claim,
were using the cover of economic development to manipulate Indian culture. Christian aid groups were also suspected of proselytising activities. For example,
in March 2017, US-based Compassion International, which funds child development projects in India, was accused of missionary-like activities by the Indian
government and has been blocked in its ability to fund projects and placed on the list of organisations requiring “prior permission to bring in funds from
overseas” (Mohan, 2017). Similarly, in 2016, the FCRA refused the registration renewal of the Indian Social Action Forum (Insaf), which is funded in part
by “Brotfuer die Welt” (a major Protestant aid group) and by a French government “solidarity” organisation.

 

Israel’s experience with foreign-funded NGOs began with obsessive attacks from groups such as Human Rights Watch (based in New York) and Amnesty International
(based in London), as well as hundreds of other groups in the NGO “human rights” network. These NGOs lead campaigns of political warfare based on false
allegations of “apartheid” and “war crimes,” often erasing the terror that is ever present in the Arab-Israeli conflict. When the Israel Defense Forces
responds to deadly attacks, the NGO soft-power army labels Israeli soldiers as “war criminals,” promotes boycotts, and lobbies for prosecution by the International
Criminal Court.

 

To add credibility, numerous Israel-based NGOs were created over the years, led by fringe political ideologues and activists who work closely with the
global groups, repeating the allegations of war crimes and violations of international law. They publish and distribute “reports,” write articles in newspapers
and social media, and produce videos portraying Israel as the aggressor, and of Palestinian terrorists as innocent victims. Although Israeli in name, these
NGOs’ receive most of their funds from European government frameworks (including the European Union) amounting to tens of millions of euros annually, as
well as private from donors, such as George Soros.

 

In Israel, as the power of the externally supported NGOs increased, the criticism and demand for funding transparency also grew. Leaked protocols of secret
EU meetings to decide on NGO funding to Israeli groups highlighted the goal of political manipulation. These EU documents refer to funding NGOs for the
specific objective of convincing Israelis to change their political views to match the preferences and interests of European officials.

 

This behaviour has led to growing criticism and efforts to offset the damaging influence of the Israeli political organisations that are supported outside
the democratic process. The NGO recipients of these European funds are described as “foreign agents,” promoting the interests of outsiders, and polarising
the society. The artificial power given to the organisations on the far left of the ideological spectrum leads organisations on the right to increase their
demands, and dilutes the influence of the majority of Israelis who support more complex and less ideological positions.

 

As a result, Members of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) and ministers have advocated for measures to increase transparency regarding external interference
(adopted in 2011), and to limit, tax, or prohibit foreign government funding. Legislation adopted in July 2016 requires NGOs receiving more than 50 per
cent of their budgets from foreign governments to disclose these details in their publications, letters to government officials, and in Knesset statements
(NGO Transparency Law, 2016). Highlighting the anger over European money for radical Israeli NGOs, some MKs proposed that the Israeli government retaliate
by supporting opposition NGOs in Europe. For example, an MK declared cynically that Spain “would undoubtedly appreciate funding for groups promoting Basque
or Catalan independence; in the same spirit, the government of the UK would appreciate Israeli support for organisations monitoring the British army’s
day to day contact with civilians in areas it controls in Iraq and Afghanistan” (Eldad, 2012).

 

The efforts by foreign governments to block this legislation add to the backlash. In August 2015, the EU gave €250,000 to a small group of dissidents known
as Breaking the Silence, which campaigns against IDF soldiers. In addition, the European Endowment for Democracy, which is funded by the EU and Member
States, provided a parallel group, B’Tselem, with €30,000 for “combating anti-democratic laws aiming to silence opposition.”

 

European diplomats and political figures also criticise the Knesset for debating laws designed to deal with this problem, and go out of their way to meet
with the heads of these Israeli NGOs, putting them on the same level (or above) Israel’s elected officials. In April, when the German Foreign Minister
flagrantly embraced these groups, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the official meetings, declaring “My policy is clear: not to meet with diplomats
who visit Israel and meet with organisations that defame IDF soldiers and try to prosecute our soldiers as war criminals…”

 

Furthermore, based on the NGO campaigns, Israel, like India, is then singled out for attacks by UN bodies, increasing the erosion of sovereign equality.
In 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights, amplified the standard NGO allegations. According to the Rapporteur, India’s FCRA regulations “are not in conformity with international law,
principles and standards.” In the Israeli case, UN criticism focuses on the allegedly “anti-democratic” legislation which is said to result in a “narrowing
the space for civil society organisations.” The corrosive and manipulation by the externally linked NGOs is ignored.

 

For these reasons, the role of foreign funding for powerful NGOs in both India and Israel, the use of this process in attempts to manipulate the societies
and cultures, and the impact on national sovereignty provide important areas for cooperation. Given these shared concerns, discussions on how to reduce
the disproportionate power of externally-directed NGOs is expected to be on the agenda when Prime Ministers Modi and Netanyahu meet.

 

The writer Gerald M. Steinberg works for the Political Science Department, Bar Ilan University and President, NGO Monitor Research Institute, Jerusalem, Israel

 

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