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10 Indian cities with Sanskrit names

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1. Rameshwaram

‘-eshwaram’ is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘ishwar’ which means ‘god’ or ‘lord’ in the English language. Hence, Rameshwaram means ‘Lord of Rama’. The name refers to Lord Shiva who is the presiding deity of the city. Lord Rama is said to have prayed to Lord Shiva at this place.

Situated in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu state, Rameswaram lies in the Gulf of Mannar, which is right at the end of the Indian peninsula.

The town is regarded as one of the holiest places in India by Hindus. It is a part of the renowned Char Dham pilgrimage.

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram. Photo: kumbakonamtemples.in
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Only 6 Indian cities qualify as financially independent

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New Delhi: Mumbai is India’s best-run city, followed by Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Pune and Bhopal, according to a new survey. Also called India’s commercial capital, Mumbai scored five of a possible 10 points on financial sustainability and 6.7 for skilled human resource, said the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems 2015 by Janaagraha, an advocacy, which examined 11 parameters, including powers for raising resources, investment and expenditure.

The main concern, according to the Janaagraha study, is that most Indian cities fail to reach anywhere close to 10.

“These scores imply that Indian cities are grossly under-prepared to deliver a high quality of life that is sustainable in the long term,” a Janaagraha statement said.

“This is particularly worrisome, given the rapid pace of urbanisation in India coupled with the huge backlog in public service delivery. Only robust City-Systems can prepare Indian cities to surmount both these challenges. The scores in this survey do not, by and large, show any significant improvements over the last edition.”

Municipal corporations have limited management capabilities, IndiaSpend had reported earlier, crippling many urban programmes. No more than six of 21 cities (Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram) considered for the study can generate enough money — mostly through property and other taxes — to sustain themselves. The others require handouts from either the state or central government.

Only five states in India — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab — have the financial and administrative ability to manage urbanisation at the present pace, according to this IndiaSpend analysis. Hyderabad and Pune score 8.6 of 10 in financial sustainability.

London and New York score a perfect 10 when it comes to revenue and urban capacities while Mumbai is India’s best with a score of five, followed by Delhi with 4.7 and Pune with 4.6, the ASICS study said. Municipal revenues account for barely 0.75 percent of India’s GDP, as compared to China where the top eight cities contribute to 21 percent of the GDP.

Lack of human resources is another key issue faced by municipal corporations: Patna has only 35 percent positions filled, followed by Bengaluru with 48.4 percent positions. In skilled human resources, Mumbai, as we said, scores the highest with 6.7, followed by Kolkata with 6 and Pune with 5.6. To run a city efficiently, it is essential to empower municipal corporations, which, currently, is not the case.

For instance, mayors in Indian cities have limited powers and are mostly figureheads. In many other countries, mayors run cities as chief ministers do the Indian states — perhaps, with even more power. Their track records often propel them into national politics. The former mayors of Istanbul (Turkey), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) now run their respective countries.(IANS) (Image Courtesy: cloudfront.net)

2 responses to “Only 6 Indian cities qualify as financially independent”

  1. it is very important for a country and hence its states to be financially independent and this is possible only when India’s infrastructure and manufacturing grow and become self sustainable.

  2. First and foremost decision that is needed to be taken by the government is to review its urban development policies and bring up the structural blueprints up-to-date.

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Digging Indian colonial roots: British newspaper to call Mumbai as Bombay

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New Delhi: In the latest move, The renowned British newspaper and online publication, The Independent, has decided to call India’s largest city, Mumbai with its previous colonial-era name of Bombay.

We give you heads up on what the issue is all about:

  • The newspaper’s India-born editor, Amol Rajan, stated the decision to be in direct response to what he argued were the Hindu nationalist connotations of the name Mumbai. “If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them,” Rajan told BBC radio.
  • The decision has led to a debate both inside and outside India, sprouting many supporters as well as challengers of the new policy.
  • The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the right wing regional party Shiv Sena who advocates the use of the Marathi language, dominant in the state of Maharashtra. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city’s patron deity.
  • It was argued by Shiv Sena that the previous name Bombay is an Anglicized version of the city’s name and was an unwanted relic, reminding of the British colonial rule in India. The interchangeable use of both names among locals can be witnessed during their casual conversation now.
  • After consulting with senior staff members, Rajan attributes his decision to the general feeling of growing intolerance in India. “I do believe that a spirit of intolerance is spreading through India, with very alarming news about censorship every day,” Rajan added. “That strengthens the case for making this move, in my view, to defend the tradition of a country whose commitment to openness, tolerance and pluralism is both ancient and endangered.”
  • Hoping to not have instigated a fierce backlash back home, Rajan believes that the publication’s standing would not be affected in India. However, no immediate comment could be acquired from the Mumbai city officials.
  • “I don’t know what the reaction will be in India, and wouldn’t want to guess,” he said. “I hope India’s grand tradition of free expression is strong enough for it not to impede our reporting – and believe it will be.”
  • While the involvement of Shiv Sena in renaming Bombay makes it a unique case, there are several other cities apart from Mumbai, which have been renamed in a bid to shake off their colonial links.
  • The city previously known as Madras was renamed to Chennai in 1996. Rajan’s own birthplace of Calcutta is now officially called Kolkata.
  • Rajan hinted towards the newspaper examining other such cases inside or outside India, in the near future. “I am not committing to it yet, but there may well be a case for dropping Myanmar for Burma – the former being the junta’s favored option,” he said. “I wouldn’t call Sri Lanka ‘Ceylon,’ and other cases such as Beijing/Peking don’t warrant a change for now.” (Inputs from Agencies)