The Union Public Service Commission will hold the National Defence Academy Examination (NDA) , 1999 on 3rd October, 1999. The Examination will be held for admission to the Army, Navy and Air Force Wings of the NDA for 104th Course.

    The last date for receipt of applications is 24th May, 1999. In respect of applications received only by post (by post/Speed post) from the candidates residing in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Lahaul and Spiti District and Pangi sub-Division of Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Lakshadweep or abroad, the last date for receipt of applications is 31st May, 1999.

    Candidates should not apply to the Union Public Service Commission for application form etc. of this examination. For details, including application form, they should see the Commission’s advertisement published in Newspapers and Employment News/Rozgar Samachar dated 24th April, 1999.


    Shri L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister has been appointed a Trustee of the Shree Somnath Trust at Somnath in Gujarat. Hailing his appointment as a Trustee, the Chairman of the Trust, Jaykrishna Harivallabhdas said that his joining the Trust will go a long way in developing Somnath Temple and its glory.

    The trust looks after the famous Somnath Temple, which was both the target of repeated attacks by the medieval marauder, Ghazni Mohammed, and an inspiring symbol of national defiance. It was rebuilt and renovated after Indepenedence consequent to a decision taken by the Government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.


    The facility of free rail travel to former Members of Parliament to travel in AC II tier alongwith a companion in the same class by any train has again been restored with effect from 4th May‘99 till further orders. The decision follows the latest ruling passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court. The facility would be available on the authority of former MPs photo identity card issued to them by the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The Railway Board has already issued necessary instructions to all the Zonal Railways vide circular No.99/TG-I/20/P dated 4/5/99 and E(W)/92/PS 5-7/5 dated 4/5/99.


    The All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 1982=100 for the month of March, 1999 has decreased by 1 point to stand at 414 (four hundred & fourteen).

    The All India Consumer Price Number for March,1998 had decreased by 2 points.

    The point to point rate of inflation, based upon the CPI-IW has increased from 8.6 per cent in February, 1999, to 8.9 per cent in March, 1999. In March, 1998 it was 8.3 per cent.

    The Rise/Fall in the index varies from centre to centre. In 40 centres,the decrease in index was noticed between 1 to 12 points, in 6 centres it remained constant and in 24 centres it recorded an increase of 1 to 12 points when compared to previous month.

    The index in respect of six main centres for March, 1999 stood at the following level:-

1.                     Ahmedabad                     405
2.                     Bangalore                        398
3.                     Calcutta                           421
4.                     Chennai                           438
5.                     Delhi                                471
6.                     Mumbai                           461


    "While it is conceded that much more remains to be done to tackle the social problem of shelterless millions, the Government of India is committed to pursue the goals set in the policy framework and cooperate with other member countries to work for a better world with adequate SHELTER FOR ALL". This was stated by the Union Minister for Urban Development Shri Ram Jethmalani while addressing the 17th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (UNCHS) at Nairobi in Kenya today. The UNCHS conference began on May 5 and would end on May 14,1999. Shri Jehtmalani is leading a four-member Indian delegation to the UNCHS Conference.

    Shri Jethmalani informed member countries that access to external funds for augmenting housing in India would soon be facilitated through a policy of economic liberalisation. He said that fiscal incentives in the form of tax concessions were already available for investment in housing and infrastructure sectors. He further said that access to external needs in the housing sector was necessary in view of the enormity of resources required for meeting the shelter needs of the entire population. External assistance from international agencies and institutions and foreign investment were essential to supplement the gap between the demand and supply of housing, he added.

    Shri Jethmalani reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of India to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. In this connection, he enumerated some of the steps taken during the recent past which included adoption of the National Housing and Habitat Policy. He said that the policy envisaged forging strong public-private partnerships to ensure sustainable housing in India. Accordingly , the corporate-private and cooperative sectors would be encouraged to take the lead role in land assembly, construction of houses and development of amenities . Emphasis would be on creation of housing stock either on ownership or rental basis. Corporate sector would be encouraged to provide for housing for staff and to facilitate their employees in acquiring their own houses. Cooperative sector would be preferred in allotment of land and house sites to encourage group housing. Provincial Governments would work out schemes in collaboration with the private sector in slum reconstruction on cross subsidistion basis. The Minister announced that the Government would bring about appropriate legislation to guide and regulate the activities of the promoters and builders in the interests of the ultimate beneficiaries in view of the increasing role of the private sector in land assembly, housing and infrastructure sectors.

    The Minister listed the steps that the Government of India has adopted towards the implementation of the Habitat Agenda of the United Nations. The multi -pronged approaches to achieve the objectives included removal of legal and regulatory constraints for increasing the housing activities and the increased flow of housing finance by the Government and financial institutions. Other steps to promote construction of affordable housing for the homeless included production of innovative and waste based eco-friendly building materials and promotion of cost effective building techniques, the infrastructure development through both internal resources and external assistance, the human resource development in the housing sector through recognition of training needs using institutions like Building Centres, development of efficient management information system, provision of fiscal concessions to boost housing activities, revision of building bye-laws to include disaster resistantl building technologies to ensure preservation of existing housing stock and construction of safer houses.

    The 17th Session of the UNCHS is discussing, among others, follow-up of Habitat-II held in June ,1996 in Istanbul (Turky). The Agenda covers adequate Shelter for All, monitoring of the global strategy for shelter to the year 2000, capacity building and institutional development, sustainable human settlements in urbanised world, integration of socio-economic and environmental objective, poverty eradication, the health and changing consumption patterns as also Secretarial issues relating to fresh water supply, transport and energy. The Agenda also includes discussions on legal implementation of the Habitat Agenda and international cooperation.