Saturday, July 30, 2011

FIH recognises HI as the governing body for hockey in India

FIH objects interim settlement between warring HI-IHF-International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday dealt a major blow to Sports Ministry's effort of reconciliation between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation by rejecting the interim "working relationship" between the two warring bodies.FIH said that it was "surprised and disappointed" to learn about the temporary arrangement and threatened to take away the hosting rights of men's Champions Trophy (in December) and next year's Olympic Qualifiers from India if the situation remains the same.

FIH,world body made it clear that it recognises only HI as the sole governing body for hockey in India."The FIH has expressed to the Indian Sports Minister its grave concern about the 'settlement' recently announced between Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), without prior consultation with the FIH.

"It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes (and indeed of the Indian Government's own guidelines and draft sports bill) that there can only be one governing body for a sport in each country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organise national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions," FIH said in a statement.

"The FIH recognises HI as the governing body for hockey in India. The FIH does not recognise IHF and has not done so since 2000. The FIH is therefore surprised and disappointed to learn that the proposal now is simply, as a temporary fix, to transfer governance authority in India from HI to a new 'joint executive committee' controlled jointly by HI and the IHF and 'co-chaired' by the HI and IHF presidents," it said.

The FIH Executive Board has decided that it was neither possible nor appropriate to continue with the discussions with HI to host tournaments in India over the next 4 year cycle, particularly the FIH Men's Champions Trophy (December 2011), and the FIH Men's and Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (February 2012).

The FIH also said that it's president Leandro Negre had already shot off a letter to Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken, wherein he expressed his disapointment over the interim arrangement and hoped for an early solution to the crisis, failing which India would lose the hosting rights of major international events.

"The FIH greatly regrets this decision but feels that it is left with no alternative in the circumstances. The FIH has always been and remains committed to the success of hockey in India. It hopes that a resolution that complies with the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes can be found quickly," the statement said.

"The FIH Executive Board is obliged to uphold the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes. The FIH President has therefore written to the Indian Sports Minister, calling for an urgent meeting, involving the Presidents of HI and the IOA, to discuss the FIH's concerns and the ramifications of the current proposal for India's role in world hockey."

Stating that the compromise formula does not comply with FIH's statues, the world body reiterated that it does not approve of any unauthorised events like the proposed World Series Hockey of IHF and Nimbus Sports.

"This compromise fails to resolve the fundamental underlying issues that have blighted Indian hockey for so long."In addition, it does not comply with the FIH Statutes, which do not permit a member to transfer or share its powers to another body that is not a member of or bound by the FIH Statutes, still less to share its powers with a body (the IHF) that is involved in organising an unsanctioned event (World Series Hockey), participation in which is prohibited under the FIH Statutes," the statement said.

FIH's stance has put paid to ministry's effort of brokering peace between HI and IHF, who on Sunday agreed to jointly work together under a temporary arrangement till December 2012 for the betterment of the game without forming a unified body.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinakaran resigns as Sikkim Chief Justice

Facing impeachment on charges of corruption and judicial misconduct, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran resigned on Friday from the post.The resignation comes a day ahead of the hearing of the three-member inquiry committee appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairman to probe into charges of land grabbing and acquiring of assets disproportionate to his income.Dinakaran is understood to have sent his resignation to President Pratibha Patil, sources said.

They said "overall he was not happy with what was happening and he also felt that his continuance would harm the judiciary".Justice Dinakaran, who failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court after various attempts to stymie the committee proceedings did not succeed, does not have faith in the impartiality of the panel, the sources said adding that was one of the reasons for his resignation.

SC suspends mining in Bellary

Supreme Court on Friday ordered immediate suspension of mining and transportation of iron ore from Bellary district of the state saying "over-exploitation" of the area has caused large-scale environmental degradation."We are of the view that the mining of iron ore in Bellary be suspended immediately till further orders," a special bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kadia said.Apex Court suspended with immediate effect the mining of iron ore in 10,868 hectares in Bellary district of Karnataka.The court said the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) will, meanwhile, come out with an interim report on the requirement of the iron ore for the country's steel industry.Secondly, the bench said, the MoEF will also spell out as to how much of iron ore is required for the domestic industry and how much needs to be imported.The court issued the directions accepting Attorney General G E Vahanvati's submission that the MoEF will come out with the report in consultation with other ministries concerned -- mines, steel and commerce.The bench passed the order after perusing the latest report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which had said that the illegal mining was going on not only in a rampant manner, but it was also causing irreversible environmental degradation.The court took environmental degradation into account for suspending the mining activities in Bellary.

Cabinet approves Lokpal Bill draft with standing committee.

Cabinet approves Lokpal Bill draft:
In today's Cabinet meet,
Lokpal bill draft government version is approved.
Lokpal committee to consists of Chairman  with eight members to assist him..
Lokpal Bill to be introduced during monsoon session of Parliament.
PM kept out of Lokpal Bill purview.
Autonomy of judiciary to be maintained,Judiciary is out of the ambit Lokpal Bill.
Draft of Lokpal Bill is under purview of standing committee Parliament and final decision on the draft still awaits as taken,a silver lining by Parliament and its standing committee.
All former Prime Minister comes under ambit Lokpal Bill.

Government ignore the people’s demand for an effective Jan Lokpal, is trying hard to keep the PM, Judiciary, MPs, large part of the bureaucracy free from the Lokpal's anti-corruption powers has weakened Lokpal bill,with five members from governance community and two are Independent member thus make draft Jan Lokpal another body of government and weaknesses its autonomous structure,says Anna Hazare.
Anna begins  fast from 16th August  and in order to  keep check on  Anna's fast,the Police and Government authorities has imposed section 144  at Jantar Mantar.NewDelhi.from 30th July to 9th Sept 2011.
Shanti Bhushan has said         
A peaceful protest against the government by Anna Hazare in Gandhian Style which is our constitutional rights and will challenge the government imposition of section 144 at Jantar Mantar in Supreme Court.Congress government is totally immersed in corruption and has gone berserk.

Anna Team is unsatisfied with government version of Lokpal bill draft submitted in parliament standing committee.

Arvind Kejriwal adds,
Anna's fast from 16th August is our last hope. We can.t afford to fail-this time. For if we fail, we may never get another chance. Its now or-never.if the people take a week off from their work from 16th August and take to the streets in front of their house, on the crossings, in-parks, everywhere. with a tricolor in their hands, raise slogans-against corruption - Government can crush one Anna, but it won.t be able to crush 120 crore Annas. Government could impose section 144 on-one Jantar mantar. But will it impose curfew on the whole country?

If the whole country takes to streets for a week from 16th August, WE,-THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, can force the government to enact a strong Jan-Lokpal Bill.A call from Arvind Kejriwal A number of people across the country are planning various protest activities.

There are some points needs attention-:
The Lokpal negotiations are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up Indian politics and tackle corruption in our country.
But the government is ignoring the people’s demand for effective anti-corruption legislation, and its current version of the Lokpal is too weak.
We need a strong, comprehensive Lokpal bill with enough powers to hold the PM, the Judiciary, MPs and bureaucrats accountable.
It is also crucial that the bill brings under its ambit the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Sonia personal intervention in April helped stop Anna Hazare's fast and get civil society onto the Bill's drafting Committee. Please use influence again to save this unique opportunity to rescue the Jan Lokpal and tackle corruption at all levels.-writes-website

Super brands Honours India’s Most Powerful Business Brands

Nksagar -Sagar Media Inc:New Delhi, July 28th 2011:
Super brands Honours India’s Most Powerful Business Brands-Adani, Bharat Petroleum, BILT, Apollo, Cairn India, HCL, Indian Oil, Infosys, LIC are the few receivers of the Award by Superbrands:

Superbrands, the independent authority and arbiter of branding hosted a Tribute Evening to honour for their achievements and excellence in branding India’s Most Powerful brands at The Grand, New Delhi, yesterday. Amongst an august gathering of corporate honchos, brand superpowers and marketing excellence, Superbrands also unveiled the 2011 Superbrands book featuring the story of 50 of India’s strongest brands

In the near-nine years since it was instituted in India, Superbrands has earned the proud distinction of being the one award that brands consistently use as a symbol of exceptional achievement and credibility. The Superbrands logo has been used in press and TV advertising; on billboards, annual reports, product literature, tags and stickers on products, stationery, packaging, even red herring documents.

Speaking about the event, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, CEO, Superbrands Worldwide Limited said, “As economies grow the role that brands discharge becomes very profound. Today, we are witnessing the arrival of not just powerful brands but those which truly wield extraordinary influence on the lives of entire families and on the choices people make. While India is still an emerging market there is no doubt that these Superbrands that we are honouring today will play an exceptional role as the Indian economic juggernaut gains greater momentum. I am delighted that this very special internationally recognised project is now nearing ten years in India and is playing a leading part in driving better brand management practices.”

Mr. Anmol Dar, Managing Director, Superbrands India, and chairperson, Superbrands India Council: “It’s easy to see that as the benefits of liberation percolate downward more people will dig deeper into their pockets preferring the more expensive but the unyielding promise of better quality that branded products offer to the vagaries of unbranded ones” He further added that, “the greater the reach brands achieve, the greater, it may be reasoned, is the economic freedom her people enjoy. One look at the developed markets and this equation becomes an inescapable reality.”

Hundreds of leading Indian brands were evaluated first by a very knowledgeable group of brand-savvy citizens and then by the Superbrands Council which comprised some of the country’s most outstanding marketing minds. Only brands that achieved a very high level of recognition were invited to participate in the Business Superbrands book. This compendium traces the history and achievements of each of the brands and shows why every one of them is deserving of a Superbrands status.

Superbrands began in the UK in 1994 as a radio show on GLR (now BBC Radio London). The show aimed at give ordinary consumers an insight into the significant brands that touched upon their lives. After the spectacular success of the radio programme, the Superbrands organisation was founded in 1995 to focus on promoting the discipline of branding and identifying and paying tribute to exceptional brands.

In 2002, India became the 25th country to officially join the nations running Superbrands programmes. Today, nearly nine years later the Superbrands logo is one of the most sought after marketing awards in India and a regular adornment on the advertising of several national brands. The 2011 Superbrands Tribute Event was a true celebration of many of the country's highest profile brands, and lived up to its global reputation of being the Oscars of Branding.


The Superbrands India Council:
The Superbrands Council comprises individuals who have shown exceptional aptitude in business and who have a thorough knowledge of the market and proven skills in brand development and management. To be voted as a Superbrand by the Council is a powerful endorsement and evidence for existing customers, potential customers, the media, suppliers, investors and employees of each brand’s exceptional status.

1. Gautam S. Adani, Executive Chairman & Founder, the Adani Group
2. Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Chairman & Managing Editor, Jagran Prakashan
3. Prithvi Haldea, Chairman & Managing Director, PRIME Database
4. Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart Express
5. S Ravichandran, Managing Director, TTK Prestige
6. Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals
7. R S Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, NTPC
8. Raghupati Singhani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JK Tyre & Industries
9. Tulsi R Tanti, Chairman & Managing Director, Suzlon Energy


Business Superbrands 2011:
1. ACC
2. Adani
3. Amadeus
4. Anchor
5. Apollo Hospitals
6. Bharat Petroleum
7. BILT
8. Birla White
9. Blue Dart
10. Blue Star
11. Cairn
12. Crompton Greaves
13. Dainik Bhaskar
14. DHL
15. Edelweiss
16. Essar
17. Eureka Forbes
18. Godrej Appliances
19. Godrej Consumer Products
20. Goodyear
21. HCL Infosystems
22. HDFC Life
23. Hindalco
24. HSBC
25. HSIL
26. IDBI Bank
27. IDFC
28. IndianOil
29. Infosys
30. Jagran
31. Jaquar
32. Jindal Steel & Power
33. Kajaria
34. KEI
35. L&T Power
36. Life Insurance Corporation
37. Maruti Suzuki
38. MCX
39. MindTree
40. Nirma
41. Philips
42. Suzlon
43. Symantec
44. Tata Steel
45. Tetra Pak
46. UFLEX
47. UltraTech
48. UTI Mutual Fund
49. Voltas
50. Zee Network

About Superbrands India: The Superbrands organisation is acclaimed worldwide as being the independent authority and arbiter of branding excellence and is committed to paying tribute to exceptional brands and promoting the discipline of branding. The work Superbrands does is recognised through their books, events and awards programmes, Internet sites, research and through significant international media and PR coverage in newspapers, magazines and on television and radio.


The Superbrands organisation was originally set up in London in 1994 where it published the first Superbrands book. Since then it has expanded its operations to 86 countries worldwide including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

Superbrands publishes a series of books including Superbrands, Business Superbrands (on B2B brands), Cool Brands and eBrands – making the series the largest single collection of insights into some of the greatest brands in the world. To date over 11,000 individual brands have been featured worldwide.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

BJP parliament board ask CM Yeddy to resign

Nksagar:Sagar Media Inc:

BJP parliament board meets ends BJP-spokesperson ask Yeddy to resign immediately.New leader to be elected tomorrow.
During the meet with the party president,Nitin Gadkari,senior central party leaders Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Dharmendra Pradhan,after the political crisis in Karnataka regarding mining scam-illegal export transaction to China after the Lokayukta report that was discussed with Yeddyurappa.Senior leadership told to CM with his continuance to weaken party image to fight against corruption, as the monsoon session of Parliament begins soon.

This political development comes after Santosh Hedge in his reports indicted Yeddy,that has created volatility stir-storm in BJP.Parliamentary board ask Yeddy to resign immediately.

Yeddy,CM refuse to resign and is in no mood to resign and show his strength to either form his own political outfit or ask governor for dissolution's Karnataka assembly.

Arun-Jaitley,Rajnath,will go to Bangalore for electing new leader,CM of Karnataka.

Karnataka,CM Yeddyurappa holds special meeting with Karnataka's,MLA's and his ministers Bangalore to show his strength.To Counter this meet,BJP Party asks rebels legislators not to go with Yeddy,CM Karnataka,says party spokesperson,Or action will be taken against party whip.

AirAsia scholarships to bright, talented Malaysian students.

Kuala Lumpur, 28 July 2011- AirAsia X, the long-haul, low fare affiliate of AirAsia; Skytrax’s World’s Best Low-cost Carrier for 3 years running, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British High Commission here in Malaysia to jointly-fund the Chevening scholarships for Malaysian students wishing to study in the United Kingdom.AirAsia X partners British Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office to offer Chevening –AirAsia scholarships to bright, talented Malaysian students. Scholarship provide future leaders, decision makers and opinion leaders of Malaysia an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skill and potential with some of the world’s best Universities and Colleges in the United Kingdom.
Representing AirAsia X at the signing was its Chief Executive Officer, Azran Osman-Rani, while Ray Kyles, the Acting British High Commissioner to Malaysia, represented the British Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Chevening Scholarship is the most prestigious award available to international students for study in the United Kingdom. The scholarship is named after Chevening House in Kent, the official country residence of the Foreign Secretary. The programme commenced in 1984 and is funded by the British government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Under the terms of the partnership, AirAsia X will provide return flights and baggage allowance for ten scholars for travel from Kuala Lumpur LCCT to London, for the academic year 2011/2012. All tuition fees and living expenses will be funded by the British Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Speaking at the signing, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia X, Azran Osman-Rani said “The association with the Chevening Scholarship Programme is part of AirAsia’s effort to provide opportunities for bright talented Malaysians to realise their fullest potential in a way that AirAsia Group has in helping to realise dreams and ambitions of its employees over the last 10 years of it taking to the skies”

The partnership with one of the most highly coveted scholarship programmes also echoes AirAsia Group CEO, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes CBE’s commitment and mission to further facilitate the promotion of education and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and Malaysia.Strengthening educational links between the UK and Malaysia was cited as one of the achievements of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes when he was awarded the CBE by the Queen earlier this year.

He adds, “We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious award and are honoured to welcome these bright, talented future leaders of the country onboard their first and last legs of the journey to and from London.”

“More than 1200 Malaysian scholars have studied in the UK since the programme started in 1984. Most now hold positions of responsibility in public administration and government, international organisations, journalism, commerce, science and education. We hope to continue in the tradition of providing bright, young talented Malaysians an opportunity to learn, compete and excel in their area of study in some of the world’s best universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. We look forward to them returning home upon the completion of the program to contribute in the development and growth of Malaysia” concluded Azran.

Meanwhile, Ray Kyles, Acting British High Commissioner to Malaysia said, “I would like to thank AirAsia-X for their generosity and their great support in promoting education. It is highly appreciated. With their involvement, we are able to increase the number of scholarships awarded at a time when both Governments are seeking to strengthen the bilateral relationship across the board. We genuinely hope that this collaboration will mark the start of a number of joint ventures with AirAsia X in Malaysia.”
AirAsia X, which flies to Stansted Airport, UK since 2009 recently announced its move to London Gatwick for flights commencing 24th October 2011 onwards. The airline will commence six times weekly flights to Gatwick Airport by mid December 2011.

Hina Rabbani Khar prays for Indo-Pak peace at Nizamuddin Dargah

Nksagar -Sagar Media Inc:New Delhi, July 28th 2011:
Hina Rabbani Khar prays for Indo-Pak peace at Nizamuddin Dargah-Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar paid obeisance at the dargah of famous Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya in New Delhi and prayed for peace between the two countries.Hina Rabbani wrapping up her three-day official visit, Hina Rabbani Khar along with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and other members of the delegation spent over 30 minutes at the dargah in Nizamuddin in south Delhi.In robe, salwar kameez, the 34-year-old Foreign Minister was accorded a traditional welcome by the office bearers of the dargah and was taken to Amir Khusro's grave where she offered a chadar.Khar, who arrived New Delhi on Tuesday for talks with her counterpart S M Krishna, spent a few minutes there before proceeding to the shrine of Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya.

Since women are not allowed inside the shrine, she touched the chadar with her hand and gave it to other members of the delegation and office bearers who went inside and placed it.Hina Rabbani Khar, the youngest Pakistani Foreign Minister, then offered prayers at the mosque adjoining the dargah where the priests asked her to pray for "peace between India and Pakistan."

"She prayed for peace between India and Pakistan and also for improvement of ties between the two countries. She was taken around the dargah by our nizamis and finally she also offered namaz," Diwan Syed Tahir Nizami, one of the office bearers of the dargah, said.

He said they also prayed that Khar's purpose of the visit should be successful and "there should only be love" between the people of India and Pakistan.

India will continue to engage neighbours in dialogue: Antony

During Indo-Pak talks, Defence Minister A K Antony has said that despite problems with its neighbours, India will continue to engage them in dialogue to find a solution in the long run."Even though there are problems with some of our neighbours, we will continue our dialogue process. Our hope is that through dialogue, we will be able to find a solution in the long run," he said, when asked if India would like to give any message to Pakistan on the 12th anniversary of Kargil war.

"I don't want to say anything that will vitiate the atmosphere because tomorrow there are talks at the External Affairs Minister level," the Minister said in New Delhi on Tuesday.Antony said India has the policy to have friendly relations with all its neighbours."We will continue dialogue on the one side and on the other side, we will strengthen our national security apparatus," he said.

Lobsang SangayTibetan PM in exile to take oath on Aug 8

Prime Minister-elect of Tibetan Government in Exile, Lobsang Sangay, will take oath of office on August 8 at MecLeoadganj near in Dharamsala, an official said on Tuesday.The oath taking ceremony will be held at 8:30 am at the central courtyard of the Tsuglagkhang, opposite the Office of the Dalai Lama. 43-year-old Lobsang succeeds Samdhong Rinpoche as Kalon Tripa.

The oath will be administered by Ngawang Phelgyal, the Chief Justice Commissioner, in the presence of Dalai Lama, who will also address the function, PRO of Tibetan central administration Lobsang Choedak said.The new Kalon Tripa will be the first to take charge of the office after the Tibetan Parliament amended its charter to divest the Dalai Lama of his political role and transfer his functions to the elected members.Lobsang was chosen in the third direct elections for the Kalon Tripa held on March 20.

SNA’s Festival of Performance by Akademi Awardees

Fifth Day: SNA’s Festival of Performance by Akademi Awardees

New Delhi, July 27: The fifth day of the Festival of Performing Arts, featuring recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2010, being held between 23-31 July in the premises of Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) here, witnessed three performances by noted artistes – Malabika Mitra – Kathak, Warsi Brothers – Quwwali, Atamjit – play in Punjabi:

Profile of these artistes are detailed below:

MALABIKA MITRA

Born in 1956 in Calcutta, Shrimati Malabika Mitra was groomed as a Kathak dancer by Gurus Ramgopal Mishra of the Jaipur gharana and Om Prakash Maharaj of Lucknow. She also trained briefly with Shri Vijay Shankar and attended workshops in Kathak conducted by Pandit Birju Maharaj and Shrimati Sitara Devi. She equipped herself further with training in vocal music, Tabla and Sitar. Dr Mitra is a graduate in medicine from the National Medical College in Calcutta, and has applied her knowledge to develop a better understanding of the body and its movements. Shrimati Malabika Mitra has established herself as an outstanding exponent of Kathak dance. She has performed widely in national and international dance festivals. She is the founder director of the institution Shibpur Onkar Dance and Music Centre, where she has imparted training to many young dancers. She has also choreographed several dance productions based on literary works in Bengali and Sanskrit. She has written articles on Kathak, conducted seminars, and presented papers on Kathak at prestigious dance conferences. Her performance has been filmed in documentaries on dance. Shrimati Malabika Mitra has received several awards for her work from institutions within and outside her State. She was named Eminent Dancer of 2004 by the Government of West Bengal. Shrimati Malabika Mitra has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for her contribution to Kathak dance.

NAZEER AHMED KHAN WARSI and NASEER AHMED KHAN WARSI (Warsi Brothers) Shri Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi and Shri Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi were born in 1965 and 1969, respectively, in Hyderabad. The brothers received their training in music from their father, Shri Zaheer Ahmed Khan Warsi, and their grandfather Aziz Ahmed Khan

Warsi. They belong to the wellknown Qawwal Bachchon ka Gharana. The duo, popularly known as Warsi Brothers, have gained For their outstanding contribution to Qawwali, the duo have been honoured by institutions in Hyderabad. Shri Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi and Shri Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi have received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for their contribution to Qawwali. Jointly recognition as leading Qawwali performers. Their music bears the impress of the gayaki of the Delhi gharana, and is noted for its pure melody and improvisation. They are recognized specially for their Sufiyana Qawwali, and also for Ghazal-singing. The brothers have performed extensively in India and other countries. They are featured frequently on the media, including All India Radio and Doordarshan. They have produced a number of audio-cassettes and CDs of Qawwali.

Commenting on the performance of Warsi brother, Secretary SNA, Jayant Kastuar said, “Warsi brothers’ Qawwali truly ensures the transcendence of Sringar rasa to a level that takes rasikas eventually to a Bhakti mood.”

ATAMJIT

Born in 1950 in Amritsar, Shri Atamjit is a noted Punjabi playwright and director. He attracted wide attention with his first full-length play Kabrastaan, published in 1975. Deeply concerned with social issues, he has over the years produced a substantial body of work including Kamloops Deean Machhiaan, Rishtian da ki Rakhiye Na, Main tan Ik Sarangi Han, Panch Nad da Pani, Tatti Tawi Da Sach, Scooty and Ghadar Express. His plays have been widely performed, published, and translated into several languages. Many of them are prescribed reading in schools and colleges in Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu and Kashmir. Universities abroad, including the University of California in the United States, have also placed his work on their curricula. Plays directed by Shri Atamjit have been staged widely in Canada and the US. He has also given public readings of his plays before select audiences, such as Kamloops Deean Machhiaan which he read at the Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai. He has successfully written songs for various theatre productions, and has produced both documentaries and fiction films for Doordarshan. His plays have been broadcast by All India Radio and have been telecast by Doordarshan from Jalandhar. Shri Atamjit holds a PhD from Guru Nanak Dev University (1983), and is a former Secretary of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi (1991-1994). He was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009, and was declared Playwright of the Decade (1982-92) by the Punjabi Academy, Delhi. He has received awards as Playwright of the Year from several institutions including Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi Sahitya Academy, and Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi. Shri Atamjit receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Indian theatre as a playwright.
About the Play

Mein Taan ikk Saarangi Haan primarily revolves around the life of three single ladies and is set in the future – 2021, and flows backward; it moves from menopause to menarche, the landmark moments in a woman’s life, which to a large extent determines and undermines her choices.

Director’s Note

The title of the play is derived from a poignant tale of a young girl for whom the milestone of puberty becomes a fatal milestone. Otherwise too, the soulful ‘sarangi’ is a befitting metaphor for women. I have tried to reinterpret many folktales to prove my point. Down the line we have inherited a social system, a skewed pattern which continues to reinforce the gender stereotypes. The stories of the past might be heroine centric, yet the point of view that is propagated is essentially and intrinsically male. The script is multi-layered. The action keeps on shuttling between three time levels: the present, the past and the distant past inhabited by folk characters. To ensure the transition from one time level to another, the device of drama-within-thedrama has been used. It is to reinforce the intent of the play.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art traditions of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists in order to set standards in the performing arts, and to restore art and the artists to their rightful place in independent India.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tropical storm Nock-ten in Philippines

The death toll from tropical storm Nock-ten has reached to fourteen in the Philippines as of Wednesday morning, the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.In its latest situation report, the council said 14 people have died, while nine others remained missing and more than 129,000 families have been affected by the tropical storm.

The center of Nock-ten was estimated at 90km east of Infanta, Quezon province in central Philippines with maximum winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph. Nock-ten is forecast to move west-northwest at 11kph.
Tropical Depression "Nock-ten" ("Juaning") has intensified into a tropical storm Tuesday morning, bringing heavy rains and floods in several northern Philippine provinces.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said "Nock-ten," which packs maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center, was seen 100 kilometers northeast of Daet, Camarines Norte. PAGASA forecasts the tropical storm to move west northwestward at 19 kph.
Media-agencies

China launches global navigation satellite

China launched on Wednesday an indigenous satellite as part of its expanding navigation and global positioning network, the Xinhua news agency reported.Its ninth satellite of the Beidou-2 (Compass) system was put in a geostationary orbit by a Long March-3A carrier rocket launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province."The network will provide satellite navigation, time and short message services for Asia-Pacific regions by 2012 and global services by 2020," Xinhua said.

China started efforts to build its own global positioning network as an alternative to U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass by launching the first satellite of the Beidou-2 system in 2007. The network will eventually consist of 35 geostationary satellites.

Ramesh to reduce 'trust deficit' in Naxal-hit areas

Ramesh to reduce 'trust deficit' in Naxal-hit areas-Terming the situation in Maoist-hit areas of Chhattisgarh as "very grim", Rural Dev Minister Jairam Ramesh has said his Ministry's programmes are an "entry point" to reducing the "trust deficit" between the affected people and the administration.

After reviewing the Ministry's programmes in Chhattisgarh, he said while there is no magic formula to reach out to the people, the government was trying to give greater "flexibility" to the Collectors and the elected representatives to implement the schemes in these areas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hercules C-130 crashed-Sahara desert in Morocco

RABAT: A Moroccan military plane slammed into a mountainside near Guelmim in the south of the country, killing all 80 people aboard, a hospital source said.Hercules C-130 crashed on the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco's of military aviation.

Military plane flying from the southern city of Agadir to Laayoune in the Western Sahara with "six crew, 60 soldiers and 12 civilians", it added.The statement blamed the accident on "bad weather conditions"."This is a military plane that is used for the transport of troops, but also of their families. It is widely used in the Sahara," an interior ministry official added.

"Above all, it was the fog and bad weather conditions that are believed to be behind this accident. But for the moment, we don't have enough information," the source said.

Earth Sciences Celebrates Foundation Day

Earth Sciences Celebrates Foundation Day
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is celebrating its foundation day tomorrow. It was formed in 2006 from a merger of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and Earth Risk Evaluation Centre (EREC), and the Ministry of Ocean Development. It is one of the youngest ministries of the Government of India. The Earth Commission, under which the Ministry of Earth Sciences works in Mission Mode based on Commission structure, is responsible for formulating policies, oversee implementation of policies and programs in mission mode, and ensure the necessary interdisciplinary integration.

The Ministry will celebrate its Foundation Day tomorrow. An Exhibition has been organized depicting various activities of the Ministry. National award and Certificate of Merit to distinguished scientists in various fields of ‘Ocean Science and Technology’ and ‘Atmospheric Science and Technology’ will be conferred tomorrow. The Ministry organized drawing competition all over the country. The winner school children will also receive their prizes on this occasion.Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh willbe the Chief Guest of this celebration. Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser will deliver Foundation Day Lecture. Dr Ashwani Kumar, Minister of state for Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences will preside the function.

The Ministry is mandated to provide the nation with best possible services in forecasting the monsoons and other weather/climate parameters, ocean state, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems through well integrated programmes. The Ministry also deals with science and technology for exploration and exploitation of ocean resources (living and non-Fliving), and play nodal role for Antarctic/Arctic and Southern Ocean research. The Ministry mandate is to look after Atmospheric Sciences, Ocean Science & Technology and Seismology in an integrated manner. MoES aims to create a framework for understanding the complex interactions among key elements of the Earth System, namely ocean, atmosphere and solid earth, by encompassing national programmes in Ocean science, meteorology, climate, environment and seismology.

The other Units under the Ministry of Earth Sciences are National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) Chennai, National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR) Goa, and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad, Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management Project Directorate (ICMAM-PD) Chennai, and Centre for Marine Living Resources & Ecology (CMLRE) Kochi under the Ocean Science and Technology sector.

Govt draft on Lokpal excludes PM

The government draft on Lokpal Bill, which is expected to be considered by the Cabinet this week, does not include the Prime Minister in the purview of the Ombudsman but the final call on the ticklish issue will be taken by Parliament and its Standing Committee.Home Minister P Chidambaram said the bill will be introduced in Parliament in the Monsoon session starting on August one.

The government's draft has been prepared by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which is the nodal ministry, and the issue is likely come up before Cabinet this week or early next week.

"Once the Cabinet approves the draft, with or without changes, that is the government's draft that will be introduced in Parliament. So we will introduce the Lokpal Bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament," he told a news agency in New Delhi.

On the controversial question of bringing the Prime Minister's post in the ambit of Lokpal, Chidambaram said, "According to present thinking, and subject to change by the Cabinet, the government's draft keeps out the Prime Minister. ...Our considered view at the moment, subject to change by the Cabinet, is that the PM should be kept out of Lokpal."

The Home Minister noted that there are several arguments for and against keeping the Prime Minister out of the ambit of the anti-corruption watchdog.

"Each one is a reasonable point of view. Ultimately, it is for the government to adpot a point of view and introduce it in Parliament. The Standing Committee can change it, Parliament can change it," he underlined.

"I am willing to acknowledge your point of view is reasonable. But I have got reasons why I take a point of view. And if you are in government, you take that view and introduce it in Parliament," Chidambaram said in apparent reference to Anna Hazare-led civil society activists who insist on inclusion of PM in the ambit of Lokpal.

"I am not able to understand why people should say my point of view is the reasonable point of view and yours is unreasonable. That I don't agree at all," he said.

He said the government was not "tampering" with any other law. "Whatever other law is there let the law be there," he said apparently hinting at the Prevention of Corruption Act which covers the Prime Minister.

Turning to the Joint Drafting Committee which failed to arrive at a common draft for the bill, the Home Minister said the government representatives and civil society representatives "indeed" had points of difference, but there are also dozens of points of agreement.

He said the points of agreement included an independent investigating arm under Lokpal, independent people as part of the selection committee for Lokpal and a five-year term for the ombudsman.

"Of course there are points of agreement and there are points of disagreement. So ultimately what emerged was two drafts. Now, the all-party meeting said we are not concerned with two drafts, we want to see the government's draft," he said.

Indo-Pak Foreign secretary talks begin in New Delhi

Foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India have initiated talks in New Delhi Tuesday, Media News reported.Peace,security,nuclear,confidence-building measures,the Kashmir issue,promotion of friendly exchanges are key issue.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao are present in the meeting.After landing in New Delhi, Bashir said there was no trust deficit between the two countries at the leadership level.


"There is no trust deficit in so far as the upper echelons at the leadership level is concerned. What we call the trust deficit has to be more clearly understood, I think, basically the effort is to actually build greater understanding, instead of saying that it is a trust deficit, I would say, deepening of understanding," said Bashir.

Monday, July 25, 2011

GM India Launches Chevrolet Beat Diesel

General Motors India has launched the much-awaited diesel version of its dynamic and elegant Chevrolet Beat today at a ceremony presided over by GM India President and Managing Director Karl Slym today. The all-new Beat Diesel sports the 1.0 XSDE SMARTECH engine developed specifically for India by the GM Technical Centre in Bangalore in collaboration with GM Power-train Europe.
“Offering a diesel engine developed for Indian consumers in our most popular model is a momentous achievement for GM India,” said Mr. Slym during today’s launch. “We are confident that with its best-in-segment design, performance and safety, the Beat Diesel will set a new industry benchmark and be a winner with local car buyers.”

Beat Diesel has a three-cylinder DOHC engine that features state-of-the-art Common Rail Fuel Injection technology for outstanding emission performance and fuel economy. Its electrically controlled throttle body further reduces carbon emissions. As per ARAI, Chevrolet Beat Diesel returns a mileage of 24kmpl.

The engine’s Fixed Geometry Turbocharger with vacuum operated wastegate ensures efficient operation. Combined with Advanced Insta-Torque Boost (AIB), it provides added torque when overtaking. Despite its high efficiency, the engine’s power per litre (62.5 PS/L) and torque per litre (160.3 Nm/L) are best in class in India’s diesel mini-hatchback market.
As an added benefit, the engine is the quietest powerplant in its segment and provides outstanding performance in stop-and-go traffic conditions. It also incorporates an advanced technology maintenance free timing chain drive system and added anti-corrosion protection. The engine oil only needs to be changed every 15,000 km or 1.5 years, for lower maintenance costs.

The Beat Diesel’s SMARTECH engine is complemented by a High Torque Transmission that offers smooth, effortless gear changes. Its hydraulic clutch requires extremely low pedal effort. The Smart Engine and Clutch Protection Mode minimizes clutch wear while further improving fuel efficiency.

Pro-Vario Assist Featherlite Electronic Power Steering (EPS) with human comfort technology provides power steering assistance while parking and driving at low speeds. The Beat Diesel’s Gas Charged Rebound Tuned Suspension is calibrated for comfort without compromising handling. The Intelligent Launch Support System (ILSS) provides effortless launch on gradients. Enhanced low-rolling resistance silica tyres improve fuel efficiency without compromising road grip and high-speed cornering than ordinary tires.Like the Beat with a standard petrol engine, the Beat Diesel has a comfortable, stylish interior. Its advanced in-dash integrated ice-blue lit music system with full-size USB allows audio streaming and has several enhanced sound quality setting options.The Beat Diesel’s 65 per cent high-strength steel body cage ensures a high level of occupant safety. Sixty per cent of the body is made of galvanised steel for extra corrosion protection. Aimed at meeting the highest quality and performance standards, the diesel version of the Beat has been extensively tested at proving grounds with harsh terrains and climatic conditions for intensive durability, quality and performance. The three-year / 100,000-km engine and vehicle warranty offered with the Beat Diesel is the most comprehensive in the mini-diesel segment.

“India is a key market for General Motors and our Chevrolet brand. We are focused on leveraging our unmatched resources to create value for our local customers in all areas, including price, fuel efficiency, performance, safety, styling and reliability. We are confident that the all-new Beat Diesel will prove to be a game changer for its segment,” Mr. Slym added.General Motors India has completed 16 years of operation in India and has a wide range of product portfolio including Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Aveo U-VA, Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Beat and Chevrolet Tavera for sale in India, GM India operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Halol, Gujarat and in Talegaon, Maharashtra.

Chevrolet Beat Diesel price starts at Rs 4.29 lakh for the base variant,Rs 5.45 for the high end variant ChevroletBeat Diesel Option Pack.

Mi-8 helicopter crashed in Kamchatka, in Russia's

Three people were killed and two injured after a Mi-8 helicopter crashed in Kamchatka, in Russia's Far East, on early Monday morning, a spokesman for the local emergencies ministry's department said.The helicopter crashed upon landing near the village of Billings killing a crew member and two passengers.

"The helicopter was on flight along the northern border of the Chukotka autonomous district inspecting radio-navigation posts. One of the engines shut down upon landing and the aircraft crashed," the spokesman said.

He added that policemen and representatives of the prosecutor's office are currently working at the scene of the accident, while injured receive medical assistance.RIA Novosti

President Obama signed Wall Street Reform into law.

President Obama signed Wall Street Reform into law.

That law does three important things. First, it brings to an end taxpayer funded bailouts, so taxpayers will never again be left paying the bill if a big bank fails. Second, it stops the reckless risk-taking by Wall Street that put consumers in jeopardy and led to the economic crisis. And third, this law puts in place the strongest consumer protections in history.

And to make sure you can count on those consumer protections, we put a first-ever consumer watchdog in charge. It’s a new bureau – a new cop on the beat – with just one job: looking out for families in the financial system.

President faced a lot of opposition when we fought for this bill. An army of lobbyists and lawyers were looking to preserve the status quo, and one year later, they’re still at it. The special interests are trying to water down what we passed, and spending tens of millions of dollars to get their way. And they’ve got friends in high places.

But President Obama has made it clear: he’s not going to let them win. He’ll veto any effort to weaken or repeal Wall Street Reform. He’s not going to let them take us backward.

We can’t afford to go back to the days when consumers were ripped off by misleading fees and deceptive lending and our economy was vulnerable to greed and recklessness -- not when we know that millions of middle class families are still hurting because of the damage that was done.

So we have a lot of work to do to rebuild this economy. We’ve got to rein in the deficit to put our economy on stronger footing and ensure that seniors and middle-class families aren’t bearing the entire burden when millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners are let off the hook.

We’ve got to keep money in your pockets by preventing payroll taxes from going up for working people. We’ve got to continue to make smart investments in clean energy, innovation and technology to create the good paying jobs of the future.

But we’ve also got to keep up the fight to solve the problems that led us into this economic mess in the first place.

It comes down to this. You shouldn’t need to have lobbyists on the payroll to have your voice heard in Washington. And in your financial dealings, you deserve a basic measure of protection against abuse. You should have the freedom to buy a home or open a credit card or take out a student loan with confidence that you’re getting a fair deal.

Food Security Bill to come in public domain

Food Security Bill to come in public domain after Law Ministry’s approval-
Food and Public Distribution Minister Prof K V Thomas has said that Food Security Bill will be put in public domain after the approval by Law ministry. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Prof. Thomas said that the draft bill would be put on the Internet for eliciting public views before it is placed in front of Cabinet. He added that centre is taking steps to create additional storage capacity of more than 150 lakh metric tonnes across 19 states. The Minister also advised the state governments to set up more storage godowns through Public Private Partnership models.

Our correspondent reports that the draft bill entitles seven kg of food grains per month per person for Below Poverty Line, BPL citizens. The bill also states that food grains will be supplied to BPL citizens via ration shops at highly subsidized prices which include rice for three rupees and wheat at two rupees per kilogram.

Broadband growth still lagging targeted 20 Mn connections by 2010

Broadband growth still lagging targeted 20 Mn connections by 2010

The industry failed to achieve the Indian Government’s target of 20 million broadband connections by 2010 even by end of March, 2011, ending with just 11.87 million subscribers. Here also, the top 30 cities contributed nearly 60% to all the broadband subscribers.
The popularity of Value added services (VAS), that include the basic SMS, ring-tone downloads, navigation aids and mobile payment features, picked up during 2010-11. The vast potential of the Indian market kept the VAS providers on their toes to build content and services focused on the Indian market. The VAS business, fast growing in terms of number of players, is highly competitive leading to wafer thin margins. And with 3G services proliferating, this space is likely to get even more competitive and exciting.
The Top 10 Service Providers
Bharti Airtel, retained its position for the second consecutive year, by posting a growth of 42.1%, to end the fiscal with revenues of Rs. 59,467 crore. Vodafone Essar posted revenue of Rs 27,348 crore in FY11 from Rs 23,559 showing a healthy growth of 16.1% and emerged as the third largest player. Reporting a marginal growth of just 4.4% Reliance Communications was at No. 4 with revenues of Rs. 23,108 crore.
The leading public sector giant BSNL saw a drop in its revenues for the third consecutive year to end the year with Rs. 28,877 crore, a drop of 10% from its last year’s earnings of Rs 32,072 crore. Idea Cellular, Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices retained their slots at No. 5, 6 and 7 with revenues of Rs. 15,503 crore, Rs. 11,932 crore and Rs. 8,280 crore, respectively.
Aircel retained its No. 8 slot--by recording the highest growth of 44.1%--among the Top 10 players, to post revenue of Rs. 5,392 crore. MTNL’s revenue dropped nearly 22%—the biggest drop among the top 10 players--to post revenue of Rs. 3,951 crore at No 9.
Telecom Equipment market plunges 2.52%
Voice & Data had in June 2011 reported that the revenues of the Indian telecom equipment industry plunged 2.52% to touch Rs 1,17.039 crore in 2010-11, from Rs 1,20,069 crore in FY2009-10.
This together takes the size of the Telecom (equipment and services) industry size to Rs 283207 crore in 2010-11, up 7% from Rs 264669 crore reported in 2009-10.
The survey 'V&D 100' volume 1 covered over 500 telecom companies in India spanning carrier equipment, enterprise communication equipment, and user device manufacturers.
According to the annual telecom industry survey, the 16th from the specialty publishers CyberMedia, close to half of the telecom equipment revenue came from carrier equipment manufacturers, which saw a dip of 12.12% to touch Rs 58,294 crore during the year. In FY2009-10, the segment registered revenue of Rs 66,332 crore.

The enterprise equipment vertical grew at 0.87% to report revenues of Rs 24,023 crore for the same period from Rs 23,815 crore in FY2009-10. The user device segment that includes mobile handsets, fixed phones, data cards and tablets, contributed more than one-third to the total telecom equipment industry, at Rs 34,722 crore recording a growth of 16.04%.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

UN SC condemned Norway twin bomb-attacks

UN Security Council condemned Saturday the ‘heinous’ massacre of at least 92 people in Norway during twin attacks on the country famed as a beacon of peace.The 15 Council members "condemned in the strongest terms" the attacks and expressed their "deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these heinous acts and to their families and the people and government of Norway," a statement said.

"Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the double attack, and on Saturday called Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to "extend his personal condolences and those of the United Nations to the government of Norway and the families of the victims of the attacks," his office said.

Don't make CSR mandatory

Don't make CSR mandatory
Rajiv Kumar(The author is Secretary General of FICCI)

The issue of mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) has come up again, though not quite in as many words. Under this provision, firms may be required to allocate 2 per cent of their profit after tax to CSR. Ostensibly, the measure seems understandable. One may ask, how can sharing a mere 2 per cent of corporate profits for ‘good causes' be onerous or unreasonable?

There is no argument against firms having to give back to society in the form of CSR. Although personal charity and actual CSR are confused with each other, the two are certainly not substitutes.

The problem also is that if applied indiscriminately across all size and categories of firms, CSR's impact could be distortionary. By being applicable only to the organised sector, mandatory CSR would apply to about 300,000 enterprises or about 0.7 per cent of the approximately 42 million production entities, enumerated in the latest Census.

Of these, a small fraction comprises publicly listed companies, in which such a mandatory provision can be effectively monitored. This small universe includes all central and state government enterprises, large domestic private enterprises and multinationals that perhaps already implement CSR, some being socially recognised for their CSR activities.

So the mandatory provision, if and when applicable, would apply to a miniscule segment of the private sector. The question, therefore, is whether it is worth the policy attention and social dissonance that would be generated if a mandatory provision is enacted. The miniscule group of companies that will be involuntarily required to undertake mandatory CSR spend would include firms that may be catering to export markets where margins are wafer-thin. An additional impost of 2 per cent could well imply their exit.
ADDITIONAL BURDEN

It also includes start-ups or relatively small firms that are barely able to keep their head above water.

It will also apply to firms that are meeting 100 per cent of their energy requirements from captive plants at three times the unit cost of grid electricity and perhaps also having to bear the cost of infrastructure and security.

Is it fair that such a provision is applied indiscriminately across all category of firms, even in a situation when Indian companies have to bear on an average an additional burden of 15 per cent on account of infrastructure deficit and transactions costs when compared with their global competitors?

Would it not be fair to first provide a level playing field to Indian companies, before considering an imposition of an additional burden of 2 per cent by way of mandatory CSR?

Making it mandatory would also require enforcement and the creation of yet another inspectorate. This as we know has its inherent problems of rent generation and compliance evasion.

An entire class of fraudulent CSR recipients could emerge and complicate monitoring and regulation. It is better, therefore, to create a CSR culture and require firms to report it in their annual report for them to judged by their shareholders and the constituencies concerned.

Moreover, there has never been much clarity on the expenses that can be legitimately included under CSR activities. An increasing number of companies are today spending vast amounts on training their new employees, which they did not have to do in the past.

DEFINING CSR

Infosys and TCS as is well known, each train more than 30,000 new recruits every year in specially created facilities. With an average attrition rate of 20 per cent or more, such in-house training contributes better trained skills to society at no public cost.

Other companies spend significant amounts on encouraging innovation and helping young entrepreneurs during their incubation period. Others provide free or subsidised education to the children of their employees or medical facilities to families when that is not legally required. Does the deputation of staff from private enterprises to the public sector and government also constitute a form of CSR?

These are questions that need to be settled carefully before the provision is made mandatory and handed over to another set of inspectors for ensuring its implementation. If done in haste, it may well end up increasing the regulatory burden and generating a large number of disputes without yielding the desired results.

CONSULTATIVE APPROACH

It may well be more useful for the government to consult with the corporate sector on some major issues, such as promoting industrial activity in backward districts, making industrial growth more employment-intensive and expanding training.

The creation of a public-private partnership for more efficient delivery of public services in the rural sector could be another useful initiative.

This will minimise leakages and benefit a large number of poor rural households. On issues such as CSR, a consultative approach needs to be adopted, as in the past, so that a right balance is achieved.

Let us also recognise that in the present Indian conditions, the greatest social service that corporates could perhaps render is to maximise employment growth. Without our youth being productively employed and living with the self-esteem that such employment provides, all other palliatives in the form of hand-outs, public services and well-intended charity will not suffice to create a just and equitable society.

While a CSR culture must be nurtured and spread, it is equally important that Indian companies concentrate on becoming globally competitive, inherently innovative and generators of large scale employment. This to their highest social responsibility at this stage of India's development.

(The author is Secretary General of FICCI)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sangeet Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards 2010

ViCE- President of India confers Sangeet Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards 2010 on 22 JULY 2011-The Honourable Vice-President of India, SHRI M. HAMID ANSARI, conferred the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2010 at a special ceremony on 22 July 2011 at 1800 hours at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. This year, four eminent personalities were conferred the Akademi’s Fellowships, while thirty-six artists and two scholars received the Akademi Awards for 2010. Kumari Selja, Honourable Minister of Culture, also graced the Award ceremony.

The highest honour of Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) was conferred on eminent vocalist Girija Devi, renowned dance guru Nataraja Ramakrishna, Dhrupad maestro Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, and Mridangam vidwan T. K. Murthy. They received the purse money of Rupees three lakh, besides an angavastram and a tamrapatra. The Fellowship of the Akademi is a rare honour, which is bestowed on a very limited number of artists and scholars at a given time.

The eminent representatives of music, dance and theatre to be honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 received purse money of Rupees one lakh, an angavastram and tamrapatra.

In the field of music, nine artists, namely Chhanu Lal Mishra and Yashpaul for Hindustani Vocal Music, Budhaditya Mukherjee (Sitar) and Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Suguna Purushothaman and Mysore Nagamani Srinath for Carnatic Vocal music, Nagai R Muralidharan (Violin) and Srimushnam V. Rajarao (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and M. V. Simhachala Sastry (Harikatha) for Other Major Traditions of Music received the Award.

In the field of dance, nine practitioners, namely, Malabika Mitra (Kathak), Kalamandalam Kombil Gopala Vasudevan Nair (Kathakali), Phanjoubam Iboton Singh (Manipuri), Rathna Kumar (Kuchipudi), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Manik Borbayan (Sattriya), Uttara Asha Coorlawala (Creative & Experimental), Kalamandalam Raman Chakyar (Other Major Traditions of Dance & Dance Theatre - Kutiyattam), and S Rajeswari (Music for Dance – Bharatanatyam) received the Award.

In the field of theatre also, eight persons were honoured. They include playwrights D Vizai Bhaskar (Telugu) and Atamjit Singh (Punjabi), directors Veenapani Chawla and Urmil Kumar Thapaliyal, and actors Dilip Phabhavalkar, Banwari Taneja, Maya Krishna Rao and Swatilekha Sengupta.For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre forms, Harbhajan Singh Namdhari (Gurbani Kirtan of Punjab), Nazeer Ahmad Khan Warsi & Naseer Ahmad Khan Warsi (joint awards in Qawwali), Dwijen Mukherjee (Rabindrasangeet, West Bengal), T. Somasundaram (Folk Dance of Tamil Nadu), Krishna Kumari (Bakha folk music of Jammu and Kashmir), Chandatai Jagdish Tiwadi (Bharud folk theatre of Maharashtra), K. Chinna Anjanamma (Tolu Bommalata – Shadow Puppetry of Andhra Pradesh), K. V. Ramakrishnan and K. C. Ramakrishnan (joint award for Pava Kathakali – Glove Puppetry of Kerala) received the Akademi Award.

Ashok D. Ranade was honoured with the Award for his scholarship in music and Jaidev Taneja for his overall contribution to theatre.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art traditions of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists in order to set standards in the performing arts, and to restore art and the artists to their rightful place in independent India.

80 killed at Utoya Island,Norway youth conference, 7killed-Oslo bombing,

A bomb devastated the main govt building in Norway's capital Oslo on Friday, killing seven people, and a gunman wounded five people hours later in a shooting at a youth camp, state media reported.Though the bomb attack was on the very heart of power in the small Nordic state, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was safe. There was no claim of responsibility."This is very serious," Stoltenberg told Norwegian TV2 television in a phone call. He added it was too early to say if the blast was a terrorist attack. He said that police had advised him not to say where he was speaking from."Even though we have prepared for this type of situation, it is fairly dramatic when it happens," he added.As he spoke, reports in local media came through of a shooting incident at Utoeya, an island south of Oslo where Stoltenberg's Labour party youth section's yearly gathering was taking place.
Daily newspaper VG said on its website a man dressed as a policeman was shooting wildly and had hit many people.It was not clear whether or how the incidents were linked.NATO member Norway has been the target of threats, if not bombs, before, notably over its involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya.The attack came just over a year after three men were arrested on suspicion of having links to al Qaeda and planning to attack targets in Norway."It exploded -- it must have been a bomb. People ran in panic...I counted at least 10 injured people," said bystander Kjersti Vedun, who was leaving the area of the blast in Oslo.

Thirty-two-year-old Norwegian man had been arrested in the shooting and “is suspected of having some right-wing sympathies,” said Police Directorate spokesman Runar Kvernen. “The police are now working with the theory that he is involved in both of the tragedies today. He was observed, the same person, the same outfit, at both scenes.”Police Directorate spokesman Runar Kvernen-further adds“Whether he had helpers, that we don’t know,” he said. “He is the main track for the police right now.”

Thunderous Bomb blast struck around 3:30 p.m. local time close to the 17-story building that holds the prime minister’s office — who was not there at the time blast out almost every window,setting off a billowing fire at the nearby oil ministry.Two hours after, a man dressed in a police uniform opened fire on Utoya Island, 25 miles northwest of the capital, the ruling Labor Party was holding an annual conference for young people, police said.“Ambulances and helicopters are flying nonstop,” Kvernen said. “The losses are quite huge.”

Norwegian news agency NTB said former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland had been present at the conference Friday and that Stoltenberg had been scheduled to speak there Saturday,smoke streamed out of the oil ministry building for much of the afternoon,electronic-media broadcast images of crowds of office workers running through the streets, with documents and broken glass littering the ground.
President Obama expressed his condolences to Norway and offered U.S. support as Norwegian authorities investigate the incidents, which he described as terrorist attacks.Media-agencies

Friday, July 22, 2011

Karnataka Unveils 14th Edition Of Bangalore IT.Biz

Nksagar-Sagar-Media-Inc:New Delhi:The Government of Karnataka and the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) unveiled the Fourteenth edition of the India’s flagship Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) event Bangalore IT.biz 2011 scheduled between 18th and 20th October at Hotel Lailt Ashok, Bangalore. With its core theme as “INDIA INNOVATES”, the Bangalore IT.biz 2011 will aim at capturing major developments in the country even as the thrust would remain on Research & Development (R&D) and Innovation. With India poised to become a global R&D hub, Karnataka, the IT State will also be a pioneer in furthering India as an Innovation centre. India Innovation Forum will focus on showcasing Innovative solutions offered by ICT and hardware industry in Energy, Healthcare, Education, Security, Transportation, Urban Infrastructure, Animation and Gaming, GIS etc. The special sessions on Aadhar, an ambitious project of UID led by Nandan Nilekani, technology sessions on Cloud Computing, Semiconductor will also be organized.
The three-day event will comprise Multi-track conferences, an International Exhibition, a CEO conclave, IT Excellence Awards, National and Rural IT Quiz and a IT Power Golf Tourney. The event is slated to attract the who’s who of the ICT sector like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Intel, CISCO, IBM, HP, Cognizant, Airtel, Nokia, Siemens, Philips and Over 160 exhibitors and 700 plus companies along with 10 leading States of India.

Addressing press persons here today,at hotel-Claridges,New-Delhi, Mr. M.N. Vidyashankar (IAS), Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT and S&T, DPAR (E-Governance), Government of Karnataka said “Bangalore IT.biz 2011 will be an event for everyone in the IT , ITES, Hardware and semiconductor sectors. This edition of IT.biz will have a more focused approach towards providing platform for the Innovators be it in products, technologies, services or delivery. A unique platform for buyers and sellers to interact with each other and explore business opportunities will be offered with unique online interlinks tool to connect people. IT is also playing significant role in good governance”

Mr Partasarathy, Director STPI, Bangalore and Chennai said that STPI will be creating a special pavilion for start ups and SMEs from Tier II and Tier III cities from across India to participate in the exhibition. This will drive the growth of SMEs who are working on many Innovative Technologies and Services but lack the bandwidth to transform their ideas into successful business ventures. STPI will also facilitate meetings of some of the best innovators with investors through the YESSS programme.

Vidyashankar added that the Government of Karnataka is making concerted efforts to promote IT and ITES not just in Bangalore but also in Tier 2 locations like Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum, Dharwad, Shimoga and Gulbarga among others. “Karnataka is the first state in the country to promote rural BPOs. Our IT Parks at Shimoga, Gulbarga and Belgaum are almost complete and will be fully operational soon. We wish to encourage private companies (SMEs) in the manufacturing and software development spheres to set up facilities here,” he further stated.

Karnataka recently released its ICT Policy 2011 and Electronic Hardware policy 2011 which, among others, will encompass setting up of Karnataka Electronics Innovation Fund with an initial corpus of Rs.25 Crore to fund entrepreneurs to develop vendor resources with a focus on indigenization of quality tooling for electronic products, grants to encourage R&D activities, research grant for innovative electronic hardware products, setting up of a Mobile handset manufacturing facility at Bangalore apart from encouraging partnership between educational institutes and industry to identify specific R&D areas and provide incentives for students to take up doctoral or post doctoral research in IT and Software product development.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Karnataka Lokayukta regrets leakage

Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde said the full report will be submitted to the Government on Friday. Speaking in Bangalore this morning, Justice Hegde owned responsibility for the leak but asserted that his office is not responsible for it. He expressed suspicion about his phone being tapped for the last few days and said the media selectively revealed the names of some persons and excluded some others.

Government had asked Lokayukta to probe all the cases of illegal mining since 2000 in the state. The interim report was submitted in 2008 and the final report has to be submitted now.Karnataka State Congress President, G Parameshwara demanded the resignation of Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa in view of the Lokayukta report allegedly mentioning him as one of the beneficiaries of the illegal mining in Karnataka.

Briefing-media-BJP-spokesperson,said illegal mining is menace & being carried in many states,subject which needs tobe-dealt holistically.Further said exports of
Iron-ore to suspend immediately before national policy.

New Ghost-cash-for-vote scam

New Ghost cash-for-vote scam,Delhi Police, on Wednesday made the second arrest in the 2008 'cash-for-votes' scam by taking into custody Suhail Hindustani, allegedly acted as a liaison between Amar Singh and BJP MPs sought to be bribed.Hindustani was arrested after seven hours of questioning by the Crime Branch and charges under Prevention of Corruption Act were pressed against him.

Amar Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, ought be questioned “any time soon” when the permission of the House chairman is sought as required for police action. Amar Singh, former Samajwadi Party leader, who has not commented on the issue,may seek legal opinion on the this developments.Union Minister Kishore Chandra Deo, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee,probed the case,maintained that Singh was not called to question by panel as there was no prima facie evidence.

Suhail Hindustani, alleged to have acted middleman between Amar Singh and BJP MPs, bribed during the 2008 floor vote, Hindustani said that he was in touch with some close aides of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.“I received calls from Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel (Political Secretary to Sonia Gandhi). Those close to the prime minister called me and even from10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s residence),” Hindustani told reporters before he was questioned.

Police summoned Hindustani for questioning after it arrested Sanjeev Saxena, once considered close to Singh, for allegedly delivering cash to three BJP MPs.

While appearing for questioning, Hindustani sought to drag Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the cash-for-vote scam by levelling allegations against them and saying he would tell the same to police.

"I received calls from Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel (Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi). Those close to Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) called me and even from 10-Janpath (Gandhi's residence)," claimed Hindustani to reporters before being questioned.He, however, did not not identify all those who allegedly called him.agencies

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CAG to audit rural development programmes

Comptroller and Auditor General, to audit all rural development programmes including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, MGNREGA for their effective and transparent implementation. Speaking to media-persons in New Delhi on Wednesday, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that he held talks with the CAG, Vinod Rai. A panel of Chartered Accountants in each and every district across the country will do financial audit.

The Minister said, action taken on the audit report is more important. He said, his priority is to take a stock of the ground reality in the Naxal affected areas and to have a closer look at their problems. He clarified that funds are no constraint but the real problem is lack of administration. Mr. Ramesh said, there are many complaints of delayed payment in MGNERGA.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

R.S. Gujral appointed Finance Secretary

Shri R.S. Gujral appointed Finance Secretary
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Shri R.S. Gujral, IAS (HY:76), Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

Sir Paul Stephenson, resigned

News of the World is alleged to have hacked into the phones of up to 4,000 people, including families of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, a murdered teenager, and victims of the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.The police have been accused of a lack of transparency in investigating the hacking allegations and also for taking money from Murdoch’s newspaper.

The media scandal has spread quickly to the political establishment and police, with senior figures asked to explain why they accepted hospitality and “free” benefits from Murdoch associates.


Britain’s senior-most police officer, Sir Paul Stephenson, resigned on late Sunday as a result of allegations over Scotland Yard’s links to the Rupert Murdoch newspaper at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal.Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, was arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World, two days after she resigned as chief executive of the British arm of Murdoch’s News International.

In a statement, Stephenson said: “I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met’s links with News International at a senior level.”
Media-agencies

Monday, July 18, 2011

India signs credit agreement worth Rs 4600 cr with WB

India signs credit agreement worth Rs 4600 cr with WB to strengthen NRLP-India on Monday signed a credit agreement worth 4600 crore rupees with the World Bank for the National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP).

According to an official release, the Project will strengthen the implementation of the Government of India’s newly launched National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

Mr. Jairam Ramesh said project will help scale up India's battle against poverty through the activation of self-help groups, skill building, and other innovative livelihood interventions among BPL households. NRLP will specifically focus on 12 states which have the highest number of poor people, thereby creating a major impact on poverty.

Egypt PM named twelve new Cabinet members

Egypt Prime Minister named twelve new Cabinet members,reshuffle aimed at ending a new round of public protests. State TV is dubbing Sunday's revised line-up the "Revolution Cabinet." Prime Minister Essam Sharaf named new ministers of Transport, Military Production, Higher Education, Communication, Agriculture, and Health.On Saturday he accepted the resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammed El-Orabi,in less than one month. Mohammed Kamel Omar,once Egypt's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has been appointed as the country's new chief diplomat. Sharaf has submitted the updated list to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for approval. The new Cabinet is expected to be officially announced later on Monday.

Two lakh affected in Assam flood

Two lakh people have been affected by the first wave of flood which has hit Assam's twin districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, at least 20000 hectare of agricultural land had been covered by the flood waters damaging standing crops.Four people have so far lost their lives in the flood that has inundated nearly 200 villages in the worst affected Jonai sub division, official sources said in Guwahati on Sunday.

The district administrations of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji have pressed into service motor boats for rescue and relief operations.The boats belong to the districts Disaster Management authority but incessant rain has hampered rehabilitation operation.

Rebekah Brooks arrested 0n-phone-hacking scandal

Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of News International and former editor of the now defunct News of the World, was arrested in connection with the phone-hacking scandal that has hit Rupert Murdoch's media empire hard over the last two weeks.
Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of News International on Friday, was scheduled to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons on Tuesday.Her arrest puts her appearance before in question, but it may go ahead as scheduled if Brooks is released on bail.Murdoch's group came out with another apology in national newspapers on Sunday and promised to make amends to rebuild public trust.Brooks, 43, was arrested on Sunday by appointment by police as part of the investigation called Operation Weeting.The police said she was under custody at a London police station. A statement on Brooks' behalf said she "voluntarily attended a London police station to assist with their ongoing investigation."

"This was a prearranged appointment," said her spokesman, David Wilson although he said Brooks was not aware she was going to be arrested.Brooks is the 10th person to be arrested in connection with the scandal, and the second top executive of the News International after former NOTW editor Andy Coulson.She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on corruption allegations.
Labour leader Miliband articulated a growing opinion when he said that Murdoch wielded too much power through his holdings in the press and television industries.
His comments found support from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who also sought a re-examination of media policy to ensure plurality and prevention of concentration of power in the hands of an individual or a group.

The current investigation is focusing on unethical practices in the News of the World, whose journalists are alleged to have paid bribes to policemen for exchange of information and for hacking into the phones of a number of people, including politicians, celebrities and family members of dead soldiers.

The phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler was also hacked during the time Brooks was the editor of the paper.News International placed another advert in a number of Sunday newspapers, declaring that there should be "no place to hide" from the police investigation into phone hacking.Headed 'Putting right what's gone wrong', the advert states that the company will cooperate fully with the probe and pay "compensation for those affected" and that the organisation was "committed to change".The advert came a day after the company printed apologies in national newspapers, for the wrongdoings and unethical practices adopted by journalists of the now closed News of the World.Miliband demanded cross-party agreement on new media ownership laws that would cut Murdoch's current market share, arguing that he has "too much power over British public life".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Malaysian PM to meet Pope

Prime Minister Najib Razak is to fly to Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI in personal capacity,set to meet on July 18,in 2002 former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad met Pope John Paul II for talks on Christian-Muslim relations at the Vatican.

Malaysia plan to establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican, a top official said.Malaysia is among seventeen nations that has no formal relations with the Vatican.Najib to be accompanied,delegation of senior ministers and Catholic officials led by Kuala Lumpur's Archbishop Murphy Pakiam.Najib to contemplate possible signal snap election in the next couple of months,ruling political outfit Barisan Nasional coalition,struggling to mobilise support from ethnic Chinese, Indian minorities,swung towards the opposition in 2008 general elections.

Last year there was a spate of attacks on churches after the High Court decided to lift a government ban on non-Muslims using "Allah" as a translation for "God".
Media-agencies

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Leaders condemns 'deplorable' Mumbai bombings

A statement by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office described the attack as "cowardly and blind" while reaffirming its support for India in the fight against terrorism."As the city of Mumbai is again hit by a series of terrorist attacks, the president of the Republic firmly condemns the cowardly and blind violence and wants to express France's full solidarity with India's authorities in these painful hours," the statement said."More than ever France is standing by India in its fight against the scourge of terrorism," the statement added.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe earlier described the attacks as "barbaric" and said they evoked "horror and indignation".

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in Dubai that "the UAE condemns this terrible, appalling crime and affirms its full solidarity and standing with the Government of India in confronting these criminal acts."

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also condemned the blasts."President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the government and the people of Pakistan have condemned the blasts in Mumbai and expressed distress on the loss of lives and injuries," said a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua in Islamabad."The President and the Prime Minister have expressed their deepest sympathies to the Indian leadership on the loss of lives, injuries and damage to property in Mumbai," Janjua said.Terror struck Mumbai on Wednesday evening when three near simultaneous blasts ripped through crowded areas in the city. At least 21 people were killed and 141 injured.

Britain on Wednesday condemned as "deplorable acts of terrorism" three simultaneous blasts in the Indian commercial capital Mumbai that killed at least 20 people and injured dozens more."I send my deepest condolences to all those who have lost relatives or been injured in the bomb blasts in Mumbai," said Foreign Secretary William Hague in a statement."These were deplorable acts of terrorism. The UK stands firmly with India in the face of such atrocities."We are committed to working with the Indian government and our allies and partners to combat the threat from terrorism in all its forms."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov joined hands with Clinton in condemning the Mumbai blasts."We condemn the people who organized this act, and we extend our condolences to India and the Government of India," Lavrov told reporters at a joint media availability with Clinton at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department

Friday, July 15, 2011

Terrorist Attacks: How Long Should India just Wring its Hand in Despair?

Terrorist Attacks: How Long Should India just Wring its Hand in Despair?
July 15, 2011-P. K. Upadhyay:IDSA COMMENT:
The latest terrorist attack in Mumbai revives the old question: what should India’s response be to such provocations? Perhaps, now there is a need to conclusively revisit the issue of response, and other pro-active measures, to deter and forestall such transgressions comprehensively in future. The electronic media is suggesting that the Mumbai attacks were probably carried out by ‘Indian groups’ and, perhaps, they have to be dealt with in the context of India’s internal problems and solutions. Such a conclusion must wait until a full investigation into the incident has been carried out.

The completely ‘indigenous character’ of such terrorist incidents is a myth, which, some circles, sympathetic to the cause of those who perpetrate them, advance to camouflage their trans-national linkages. Recent terrorist plans and incidents inspired by religious radicalism in different parts of the world were often found to have linkages with those who are votaries of international jihad and are ensconced in the Af-Pak region for quite some time now. Perpetrators of recent abortive terror plots in USA and other Western countries, despite their local citizenships, were found to be linked with the jihadi/radical set-up officially supported, or at least tolerated, for long by Pakistan.

There have been some straws in the wind in India also about trans-border linkages and encouragement that the so-called ‘indigenous’ Indian Mujahideen had with jihadi circles in Pakistan that are known to have been created, nurtured and protected by sections of the Pakistani establishment, notably the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Therefore, if investigations show that while the hands that had planted the explosives in Mumbai were Indian, but that their brains were located in Pakistan, India must put Pakistan in the dock for not effectively doing enough to prevent its territory from being used for either directly or indirectly staging terrorist incidents in India. It is time now to force Pakistan to cut the umbilical cord between terrorist groups and the Pakistan Establishment by decisively moving against not just its jihadi groups but also the jihadi culture and its sheet-anchor, the ISI.

Much has been said about the ISI’s links with the terrorist organizations of the Wahabi/Deobandi hue. However, it should now be clear to all that the ISI has come to be completely penetrated by Deobandi zealots (according to some, the late Salim Shahazad paid with his life for hinting at this), pursuing a radical Islamic agenda and forming a network which is out of control of not just the civilian government in Pakistan but even the Pakistan Army. Although the ISI is headed by a serving Army General, it is doubtful that he is in control over the entire organization and, as far as relations with jihadi groups and their operations are concerned, it is a cabal of medium and lower level ISI operatives who run the show by keeping even the ISI chief and his other senior colleagues in the dark. If Osama bin Laden was being safe-housed in Abbottabad for so many years until the US raid last month and the Pakistan Army, including the present and previous ISI Chiefs (which includes General Kayani himself) were oblivious of it, then the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the ‘indigenous officers’ of the ISI effectively conspired to keep it that way. While this may sound bizarre that ISI, an organ of the Pakistani establishment, has broken free of all regulatory mechanisms and has emerged as a monster freely killing Pakistani journalists and human-rights activists, political and minority leaders representing various communities and mounting jihadist attacks in different countries, in the murky world of espionage and jihadist struggles stranger things have been happening. The important point now is that Pakistan should not only be forced to act against jihadi groups, but also against the ISI, which should perhaps be disbanded under the directions of the Pakistani government and parliament.

To mount this pressure on Pakistan, India must not repeat the folly of mobilizing Army units on the border, knowing fully well that it is not going to lead anywhere in the nuclear era. Instead, if there is clear and incontrovertible proof of links between Indian terrorist elements and the ISI, either directly or through its jihadi proxies, India must take a range of determined and resolute measures to force Pakistan to act against jihadi groups and their supporters in its territory. These may include the use of the Navy to mount surveillance and screening of shipping to and from Karachi. It may be recalled that during the Kargil conflict it was the Indian Navy’s enhanced patrolling activity in the northern Arabian Sea, which caused some jitters in Pakistan. India must also monitor and interdict, if necessary, Pakistan’s international telecommunication and cyber links being used by the jihadi organizations/cells to plan and control terrorist incidents in India. India must signal to Pakistan and others this time around that it will do all it takes to ensure that Pakistan acts not just selectively against some Pakistan-based jihadi elements, but against the entire range of jihadi groups active against India and their support apparatus within the Pakistani establishment. If Pakistan wants to retaliate by upping the ante, let the onus of this decision be on it. Simultaneously, India must launch a diplomatic drive to convince the world about its helplessness and frustration in dealing with Pakistan in a peaceful and non-coercive manner.

However, should the Mumbai incident turn out to be a truly Indian affair, then the government must deal with its own intelligence and security set-up in a similarly ruthless manner. There have been enough instances of intelligence failures and like the past ones, the present one should also not be allowed to be brushed under the carpet. If a Parliamentary enquiry is not considered feasible due to security reasons, a special committee comprising the CVC, CAG, a Judge of the Supreme Court and two Members of Parliament from Lok Sabha representing the Government and the opposition must be set-up under a Parliamentary Resolution to look into not just the factors responsible for the intelligence/security failure behind the latest Mumbai incident, but the entire gamut of the functioning of the Indian intelligence and security agencies, including the state police and its intelligence set-ups.

Mt. Lokon in Tomohon,erupts-hot lava

Mt. Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi,volcanic erupted on Thursday evening after several days of increased activity, forcing more than 2,500 residents to evacuate and seek refuge in safer areas.According to residents of the nearby city of Tomohon, the initial eruption at 10:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. Jakarta time) sounded like thunder, tribunnews.com reported Friday.Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, erupts, spewing hot lava and sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 1,500 meters into the sky on Friday morning. Authorities have evacuated more than 2,500 residents living within a 3.5-kilometer radius of the volcano.
North Sulawesi Disaster Mitigation Center chief Hoyke Makarawung said his office had evacuated around 2,510 residents living within a 3.5-kilometer radius of the volcano, from 9 p.m. local time."We led them to designated temporary shelters at PPWG Kaaten and Tomohon city park,” he said.Reports-jakartapost.com

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three blasts rock Mumbai

Nksagar-Sagar-Media-Inc:
Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar were of a higher intensity than the one at Dadar.It is a terror act. Quite obvious that some terror element is involved in the attack. Zaveri Bazaar blast exploded with use of IED kept in an abandoned umbrella. All three blasts occurred between 6.50pm and 7pm," Patnaik said.

United States President Barack Obama is condemning deadly attacks in India’s busy financial capital of Mumbai, calling them “deplorable terrorist acts.”

Peter Wittig, the current president of the UN Security Council, said members of the UN body condemned the attack "in the strongest terms"."They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these heinous crimes and acts and to their families and to the people and government of India," he said."The Security Council is determined to combat all forms of terrorism,reports BBC.

"This tactic is much more in line with those used by more amateurish groups such as the Indian Mujahideen who have targeted crowded urban areas before," Stratfor, a strategic affair think tank, said in a statement.

Mumbai Police spokesperson Nisar Tamboli said teams of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), Mumbai Police and the fire brigade immediately rushed to the sites of explosion. The police said that seven improvised explosive devices were used for the blasts. Investigators do not rule out possibilities of use of RDX. Security has been beefed up across Mumbai.

Ashok Chavan said the blast at Opera House was the "most powerful". He appealed to people to maintain calm and not to get swayed by rumours.Maharashtra Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan has said the blasts were indeed a terrorist attack and were caused by highly explosive devices, IEDs. He described the blasts as an attack on India's sovereignty and on Mumbai's spirit. He said they were aimed at creating communal disharmony and was proud of the people of Mumbai who maintained calm.

Zaveri Bazaar was triggered through explosives planted in an umbrella, the one in Dadar West was caused by an explosive device concealed in a meter box of the electric cabinet of a BEST bus stop. Preliminary reports said that the explosives were kept inside a Maruti Esteem in the Dadar blast. Police late tonight said that the blast at Dadar was of low intensity.The umbrella was apparently used to camouflage the explosive during the downpour being witnessed in the city, in the bustling Khau Gali in Zaveri Bazaar, according to police commissioner Arup Patnaik.

The scene of the blast in Dadar is less than a kilometre from the headquarters of hardline saffron outfit Shiv Sena.Opera House blast took place at Prasad Chamber building where a loud explosion was heard around 6.45pm and people ran helter-skelter in blood-soaked clothes with shards of glass strewn all over the area.

The blast at Khau Gali in Dadar, outside the `Mohanbhai' stall, left several mutilitated bodies lying in a pool of blood."The entire lane was splashed with blood.There were 4-5 mutilated bodies lying around and people were fleeing the spot in fear," said Vijay, a carpenter.Two teams of CFSL from Delhi and Hyderabad have been rushed to Mumbai where NSG and NIA personnel are assisting the local police in investigations.

The city has been put on a high alert with pickets erected at several places, city police commissioner Arup Patnaik said.Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said 21 people had died in the back-to-back explosions which struck in a span of 14 minutes, apparently aimed at causing maximum casualties during the peak hour.

Union home minister P Chidamabaram said the quick succession of the blasts showed that it was a "coordinated attack by terrorists."All the explosions were triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), a home ministry official said, adding 131 were injured,Twenty six-is discharged and eighty two are stable and
twenty three are serious,some are-serious.

According to Jayant Patil, guardian minister for Mumbai, 29 injured were brought to Harkishandas hospital from Opera House of whom six were serious.

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