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Vol.II. No.20

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

AP Guv, CM attend reception hosted by Prez Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : President Pranab Mukharjee this evening hosted reception (AT HOME programme) for Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and others at Rashtrapati Nilayam here.The President, who is currently in the state capital since December 19, will leave for Delhi tomorrow evening at 1030 hrs from Hakimpet near Bollaram after completion of his 12-days annual Southern Sojourn here. Among others who attended the reception are stage first lady Vimala Narasimhan, Council Chairman Chakrapani, Speaker Nadendla Manohar, Union Ministers K, Chiranjeevi, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, Purandhareswari,MPs and State Ministers Jana Reddy, Dr J Geeta Reddy, Sridhar Babu, Sudharshan Reddy and senior IAS officers and other top officials from the police and Defence services. Nearly 19 delegations from political parties and employees union leaders met the President today and also 21 delegations yesterday.

TDP Chief has patent for corruption :Botcha Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : PCC Chief Botcha Satyanarayana today came down heavily on TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu for his remarks against AICC President Sonia Gandhi. 'Mr Chandrababu has no right to speak on corruption as he has taken patent for corruption', Mr Botcha said at a press conference here. Reacting to the reported remarks made by Mr Chandrababu against Mr Sonia during his 'Praja Gharjana' yatra in Tirupati, Mr Botsa wondered how Mr Chandrababu could speak on corruption as if he has never been involved in the same. 'How Chandrababu earned Rs 2,000 crores from merely 2 acres of land?,' he questioned and said the TDP chief speaking about corruption 'is a big joke'. He (Naidu) is only responsible for increasing of corruption in state politics and his political career is marked with scams, Mr Botcha said.

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Kejriwal delivers on promise of free water Ghaziabad, Dec 30 : Fulfilling its poll promise, the Aam Aadmi Party government on Monday announced 667 litres of free water daily for domestic consumption to each household having metered connection in Delhi. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Jal Board chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence in Ghaziabad in Kausambi. “All the domestic consumers having metered connection will get 20 kilolitres of water free of cost from January 1. We will not even levy any existing charges such as water cess and sewerage charge,” newly-appointed Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar told reporters. He, however, said if the consumption President Pranab Mukherjee is seen hosting at Home at Rashtrapati Nilayam, Bollarum on Monday.

Andhra leaders make beeline to meet President over bifurcation Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : Leaders of various political and non-political groups made a beeline to meet President Pranab Mukherjee here Monday to argue their case for and against formation of a separate Telangana state.Leaders queued up at Rashtrapati Nilayam to call on the president, who is on southern sojourn. Those from Telangana urged Mukherjee to expedite the process for formation of separate state while the leaders from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) wanted him to keep Andhra Pradesh united. Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which comprise several political and non-political organizations, appealed to the president to

ensure that hurdles being created in carving out Telangana state were removed.About 40 leaders of JAC led by its chairman M. Kodandaram met Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum, urging him to expedite the process. Kodandaram told reporters after the meeting that the political parties which agreed for formation of Telangana state during various meetings called by the central government during last four years were adopting undemocratic attitude in opposing the bill sent by the president to the state assembly for its views. He said they informed the president that Seemandhra legislators were stalling debate on the

bill in the assembly and requested him to ensure that the hurdles were removed at the earliest for carving out the separate state.Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary K. Narayana also made a similar request during his meeting with the president. He alleged that even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was reversing its stand on Telangana. Senior Congress leader D. Srinivas also met the president to apprise him of the attempts being made by certain people to stall the bill in the assembly. The former state unit chief said Mukherjee had full knowledge of Telangana as he had also headed a committee to go into the issue.Leaders of Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazet-

Tax row: Vodafone asked to reply by Tuesday New Delhi, Dec 30 : Vodafone has been asked to give the final reply by Tuesday on the government proposal for a non-binding conciliation to settle the Rs 11,200 crore tax dispute, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said. “The conciliation has not started. Why has it not started? As the CEO of Vodafone told me they have multiple legal advisors and

they do not seem to know which is the correct legal advice.“We have written to them recalling the promise made by the CEO when he met me that they will give a final answer in about 2-3 weeks. I think we have told them to give us the final answer by the 31st of December,” Mr Chidambaram said in a TV interview. Seeking to resolve the long-standing tax dispute

with Vodafone, the Cabinet in June had approved non-binding conciliation with the British telecom major. The outcome of the conciliation, however, needs to be ultimately vetted by Parliament as it would require amendment to the IncomeTax Act.Vodafone has been asked to pay Rs 11,200 crore tax on its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutchison Essar.

Group of experts on Khobragade case meets New Delhi, Dec 30 : As India set up a group of experts, including on international law, to examine how to pursue the case against the US in the arrest and stripsearch of envoy Devyani Khobragade, a number of former Indian staff of US consulates in India have complained they have been underpaid. As a measure of reciprocity following the Dec 12 arrest of Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, India sought details from the US embassy and its consulates on the number of Indian staff on their rolls and the wages paid to them. Khobragade was hand-

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cuffed and strip-searched after her arrest for alleged visa fraud and underpaying her child's nanny - charges she has denied. It is learnt that a number of Indians formerly on the rolls of the US embassy and its consulates in India have approached the government with documentary proof of the salary they were being paid, which though higher by Indian standards were nowhere near what the US demands that employees should be paid.The government would be taking the documents into consideration while building up its case.India has demanded that the US take back

charges against Khobragade and tender an unconditional apology.The group of experts set up by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh met Monday for the first time. They are to continue to meet over the next few days to pursue the matter to the end. The group comprises experts in international law, finance, human resource, and international organisations, among others. They would follow up on all Khobragade related developments. They are to also scrutinize the information on the wages being paid by US diplomats in India to their Indian staff to see if these were par with the US standards.

India has sought details from the US embassy and its consulates on the number of Indian staff on their rolls and the wages paid to them. While the US maintained that she was a consular official and not under diplomatic immunity, India has said Khobragade was concurrently an advisor to India's Permanent Mission at the UN from April this year, which gave her full diplomatic immunity.India has already withdrawn the airport passes given to US diplomats in India and the special diplomatic identity cards issued to them as part of reciprocal measures after the arrest of Khobragade.

ted Officers' Association, which represents government employees of Seemandhra, were to meet the president later in the day to oppose bifurcation of the state. With just two days to go for the president's return to New Delhi, leaders from both sides were meeting him to present their case. Congress MPs from Seemandhra and other leaders from the two regions had met him Sunday. The president on Dec 12 sent Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 to state assembly for its views. The bill is to be sent back to him by Jan 23.The bill is likely to come up for debate from Jan 3, when the second phase of the winter of assembly begins.

limit crosses 20 kilolitres, then the consumer will have to pay for the water and other charges.Mr. Kumar was appointed CEO of DJB on Saturday evening in place of Debashree Mukherjee who is understood to have reservation over supplying water free of cost.In its election manifesto, the Aam Admi Party had announced that 700 litres of free water will be supplied daily to each household if it comes to power. Last month, Delhi Jal Board had planned to increase the water tariff by 10 per cent from January to improve its finances. It is not immediately clear whether government will charge for water being supplied to over 1,600 unauthorised colonies across the city as in most households in these settlements water metres are yet to be installed.

Be united, else get ready to perish: Antony Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 30 : Defence Minister A.K. Antony sternly warned his party colleagues Kerala that if they can't remain united, then they should be ready to perish."Look, manifestos are all there and needed and that's just one aspect, but the most vital ingredient is the party should be united and if not, get ready to perish," said Antony at the party headquarters here. He was speaking soon after receiving a copy of the manifesto prepared by a committee of the state Congress party, to be included in the party's national manifesto, which will be released ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "If we stand united then we will not only gain, but can come up trumps. All of you

should work by seeing the writing on the wall and create a conducive atmosphere for the party to reach out to the people. There can be difference of opinion and the need of the hour is for the party and the government to work together. There is no point appearing for discussions on TV channels," said Antony.He said it was nice to see all party leaders from various factions sitting in front of him with smiles on their faces, but the next time, this smile should also come from within.Antony knows that the biggest enemy of his party here is factional feuds, as in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls the Congress failed to win a single seat of the 17 it contested in the state. Human Resource Development Minister M.M.

Pallam Raju, also present on the occasion, informed his party colleagues the Congress party was going through challenges in the aftermath of the recent assembly polls."We have to stand united and it's the duty of every state unit to work for this to face the challenge," said Raju. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said the committee did a good job and make significant suggestions in the manifesto. The highlights include 12 cooking cylinders a year at Rs.500 each, 10 litres of monthly petrol at 25 per cent subsidised rates for twowheeler owners, roll back of decision to give free run to oil companies to fix oil prices, 20 essential commodities be provided at subsidised rates.

Major fire in Hyderabad timber depot Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : A major fire broke out in a timber depot here and spread to an adjacent residential building in the early hours of Monday. There were no casualties, police said. The fire completely destroyed the timber depot and sent panic among people in the surrounding neighbourhood in Musheerabad. Fire fighting personnel battled for over six hours to douse the flames. Four fire engines were pressed into service after locals saw smoke emanating from the depot around 3.30 a.m. and alerted the fire department.The huge flames spread to a residential apartment abutting the depot. However, the inmates had already vacated the flats following a warning by the police and fire officials. A few other buildings were also vacated as a precautionary measure. Police suspect short circuit led to the fire. Residents alleged that authorities did not take action on their complaints about the timber depot continuing its activity in a residential area.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal honours Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the foundation stone laying ceremony of Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Mullanpur.

PM writes to Putin, expresses outrage at Volvograd terror attack New Delhi, Dec 30 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed outrage and pain at the dastardly terrorist attacks in Volvograd and said India stood resolutely together with the people of Russia in the face of such horrible acts of terrorism.In a letter to Rus-

sian President Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister while strongly condemning terrorist strikes against innocent civilians, said these attacks were a "grave violation of human rights and an unconscionable crime against humanity.""I am outraged and pained to learn about the das-

tardly terrorist attacks against civilians in the city of Volgograd. On behalf of the people andGovernment of India, and on my personal behalf, please accept our deepest condolences on the loss of lives and injuries in these ghastly attacks. Our prayers go out to the families of all the victims," the letter read.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

MARK INDIA Flat No. 106, Block - A, Archana Apartment, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 - 026.

Why India needs to think carefully about its Afghan policy Afghan President Hamid Karzai was in New Delhi last week, holding talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a time of looming transition in Afghanistan. He once again pressed for stepping up of aid -- both civilian and military including lethal and non-lethal weapons -- a demand that he also made during his last visit, only to be rebuffed by New Delhi. This time, however, the response was slightly more positive with the government indicating that “the demand was being considered taking into account various factors including two major issues -- our ability to supply based on our surpluses and licensing from other countries eg if India is to supply a Russian-tank, it would require the permission and license from Russia to do so.” Karzai also appraised New Delhi about Afghanistan's negotiations on the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US; the peace process with the Taliban and the broader transition process. This visit comes at a time when the final passage of the long-term US-Afghan security pact, as part of which the US could keep up to 15,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 focused largely on counter-terrorism and training of Afghan forces, is in turmoil. The on again off again security pact between the US and Afghanistan has been mired in differences between Washington and Karzai with both indulging in brinkmanship. Karzai, with his actions, has made it clear that he is not too eager to have a residual US presence in Afghanistan and has tended to postpone a final agreement with the US. The US meanwhile has been reaching out to other stakeholders such as the Afghan defence minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, army chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi and deputy interior minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi. Karzai has underscored that he would sign the long-term security pact with the US only if the US helps his government begin peace talks with the Taliban and agrees to release all 17 Afghan citizens being held in Guantanamo Bay. The US has retaliated by making it clear that if the agreement is not signed, the US forces would begin planning for a complete withdrawal at the end of 2014. The NATO countries have also underlined that they won’t be able to leave even small forces behind in Afghanistan without guarantees from Karzai.

Men at equal risk of Has one person crossed over to Pakistan due to the Gujarat riots? cervical cancer: study It ought to be a matter of concern and worry for any right-thinking Indian and American that just when the Chinese have upped their ante in the Pacific by declaring a no fly zone over disputed island territories and have laid claims to an entire state of the Indian Union (Arunachal Pradesh), India-US ties seem to be spluttering along. The Barack Obama administration seems to be confused in pursuing multiple contrary objectives in the region and seems heavily influenced by the immediate (the withdrawal from Afghanistan) to the detriment of long-term stability in Asia that can only come about if India effectively balances an aggressive China. The administration is also yet to kick off the habit of anti-Indianism, deeply ingrained in many American officials due to the six decades-long cohabitation with Pakistan, a proxy created by the British to permanently keep India mired in the region. In the US Congress, on the other hand, two sets of groups have kept up antiIndia perceptions alive by periodic pot shots at Indian nationalists, often derided as 'Hindu nationalists.' The latest House Resolution 417 (external link), purportedly targeted at Narendra Modi, a declared Opposition challenger, is deeply offending as it indirectly targets the majority Indians as well. To understand these machinations, it is essential to understand the

broader picture. Let us examine the Gujarat riots of 2002. Gujarat state and the city of Ahmedabad have recorded riots going back to 1711 AD. The riots during the Hindu Rath Yatra festival or a Muslim Urs was a common feature of the last 200 years. The only riot-free decade has, ironically, been under Modi's watch from 2002 till date. The 2002 riots were indeed horrific, and it is a fact that Muslims suffered far more than Hindus. The communal bias of the police is also a fact of Indian life. But to label this 'genocide' is false. According to the statistics provided by the Union government, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus lost their lives in the 2002 riots. This was no one sided genocide. The spark that lit the fuse was an incident when 63 men, women and children pilgrims were burnt alive when their train coach was set on fire in Godhra and the fire brigade was prevented from reaching the scene. The train was also surrounded and subjected to heavy stone pelting. It was Gujarat's 'Rodney King' moment. Like the Los Angeles riots (external link) of April 1 9 9 2 t h a t f o l lowed the Rodney King judgment and lasted six days, the Gujarat riots were also brought under control when the army was deployed. Most of the violence

took place in these first 48 hours before the army became effective. Despite the Gujarat government asking for immediate army help, it took two days as at that point in time India was in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with Pakistan and the army was deployed on the border, nearly 600 kilometres away. The similarities and comparisons with the Los Angeles riots show that once a society erupts in a violent upsurge, it is indeed difficult to control the outbreak. No one calls the Los Angeles riots genocide nor is then California governor Pete Wilson held personally responsible. In all cases of 'genocide,' when a State is complicit in violence, without exception, the first thing that happens is people leave their homes and become refugees. Have the minorities fled the state of Gujarat or India? Has a single person crossed over to Pakistan due to the Gujarat riots? The only instance of large-scale ethnic cleansing in independent India has been in Kashmir when over 200,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled their ancient land and live as refugees in other parts of the country for the last 25 years. The greatest danger to Indian pluralism is not the majority, but an organised, aggressive, minority that has memories of having ruled over the majority. The constant dinning of the victimhood syndrome in the minority community

After Web stocks boom, investors wary but rout unlikely For investors in internet stocks, it was a banner year: shares of many companies doubled as revenue climbed and on forecasts for rip-roaring growth in earnings. But the gains haven’t been anxiety-free, thanks to uncomfortable memories of the 1999 Internet bubble and subsequent bust. Market strategists and tech experts say the comparison is overblown. While there is the potential for a decline in some Web company stock prices that are out of line with their earnings outlook, they say there is little chance of a bloody retreat. Most importantly, this year’s stars, such as Facebook and Netflix, actually make money. Many of the web companies that were emblems of the previous era had little prospect of ever being profitable and some hardly had any revenue - basing their boasting on non-financial metrics such as numbers of eyeballs, or page clicks. The Internet and the ways people use and access it have been transformed in the past 14 years. In 1999, it was mainly through slow dial-up services using a desktop computer, now there is faster broadband and mobile access from phones and tablets. Web-based advertising has grown into a mature, viable business, and computing speeds support video and sophisticated gaming.

The market is much more rational than it was in 1999, argues Jeff Dachis, who cofounded and was chief executive of Razorfish, an online ad firm that went public in 1999, and is now part of France’s Publicis Groupe. “What you had then was 100 times the volume of stock with little to none of the credibility or weight in the marketplace that a Facebook or a Twitter has today,” said Dachis. “Nobody denies now the growth of online advertising or digital marketing.” WARNING SIGNS Facebook, Google and Netflix are among the internet companies set to finish 2013 at or near record highs. Less-weighty Web companies such as Yelp and Pandora saw their shares triple. That is not to say there aren’t warning signs. The 160-percent gain in shares of Twitter since its November initial public offering raises awkward questions about the levels of speculative froth given the company has not yet earned a cent. Also, consumer names like Snapchat and Pinterest are raising eyebrows by garnering millions of dollars in financing at multi-billion dollar valuations - despite being decidedly in the red. According to CB Insights, there are 26 U.S. tech companies that have raised financing at valuations of $1 billion or more and that could go public in 2014, including

Uber and Square. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who has often taken short positions on richly valued stocks, in October asked in a letter to investors whether history was being repeated. “When ... conventional valuation methods no longer apply for many stocks, we can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu,” he said. Still, internet companies are trading at much cheaper valuations than their counterparts in the late 1990s. The stratospheric multiples that defined companies such as Webvan (388 times revenue in 1999) and VerticalNet (268 times sales) are unheard of today. Twitter, which trades at 73 times its past year’s revenue, is among the most richly valued Web stocks by that measure. Google, Netflix and all trade at below 10 times their trailing twelve-months’ revenue. “The end markets internet advertising, online retail, online travel - those markets are just dramatically more developed today than they were in ‘99, 2000,” said Mark Mahaney, who began his career covering internet stocks in the 1990s at Morgan Stanley, working with star internet analyst Mary Meeker. TOIL AND TROUBLE The bursting of the dotcom bubble ranks among investment history’s greatest debacles. From its peak of 5123.52 on March 10, 2000,

the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 78 percent of its value in just over two-and-a-half years. Nearly 14 years later, the Nasdaq has still not regained those lofty levels even as most other major U.S. averages have surpassed previous highs, another indication that the market is far from where it was back then. The turn of the decade came replete with stories about extravagant parties, unabashed flogging of dubious names by investment professionals and startup CEOs, and tales of cash outlays that boggle the mind today, including a Super Bowl 2000 that saw nearly 20 dotcom companies spending about $1.1 million apiece on advertising spots - just before many went under. At the end of 1999, 8 out of 10 of the most highly valued stocks were tech companies, led by Yahoo trading at almost 577 times projected 2000 earnings, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Fellow dotcom-era corporations America Online and Cisco Systems Inc - the latter prized because it dominated the market for networking equipment that enabled internet connections clocked in at 223 times and 102 times, respectively. Fast-forward to 2013, and just four dotcoms rank among the year’s 20 biggest gainers on the S&P 500, led by Netflix’s quadrupling. Yahoo is at No. 10 after having

doubled. Facebook has more than doubled. Other big gainers include Best Buy and Micron Technology. “The consensus view in the market is that things are bubbly but since the valuations are not as expensive as 1999, there is room to run,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at Jones Trading. But he said such thinking may be flawed and cautioned that using one of the most expensive periods in stock market history as a comparison is extremely risky, with a limited reward. “When bubbles pop a large portion of the gains are erased very quickly,” O’Rourke said. IPOS MUCH FEWER The lack of newly listed internet stocks provides some relief for those concerned about a possible bubble. There were only five U.S. internet IPOs in 2013, including Twitter, compared with 86 in 1999, according to Thomson Reuters data. In fact, the number of IPOs in 1999 is greater than the combined number of public offerings every year since then. Many companies may simply be waiting longer to take the plunge, debuting at a far more advanced stage of development than the wave of 1999 dotcoms. Facebook, an extreme example, went public with a valuation of more than $100 billion.

has given rise to terrorist groups within India. These terrorists have carried out over 132 attacks targeting the majority community. Over 1,500 people have lost their lives and around 4,000 have received grievous injuries. Yet it seems that the world wants to remember only the Gujarat riots and not the Mumbai train bombings of 2006, the bomb blasts of 2007 or the armed attacks of 26/11 in 2008 in Mumbai during which many Americans also lost their lives. Left-liberal groups find no compunction in supporting a Maoist Communist insurgency in three Indian states that have killed over 3,000 people in last five years. There is indeed deeper lack of knowledge about certain basic facts about the Indian majority. The Indians are not just polytheists, but multi-theists. One of the central beliefs, as enshrined in the Bhagwad Gita (Chapter XV) is that God resides in every living being. The Indian concept of God is Ardha Nari Nateshwar or half-man halfwoman. God is gender neutral. Indians also believe that all prophets are right and there are several paths to human salvation, all equally valid. What this has done is that within a family, the son, daughter, father and mother can each have their own favourite God and own chosen path, including the right to be an atheist. The effect of this is that Indians have never fought a religious war in their entire history, have never persecuted persons based on faith. India is the only country where the Jews have never faced any discrimination, Christianity arrived and thrived in the first century AD (at the time when in Rome, Christians were fed to lions for sport). El Baruni, a historian of the 11th century, found Muslim trader colonies on the western coast of India, thriving under non-Muslim rule. Pluralism is a fundamental fact of Indian life. India remains liberal and plural not because of its liberal Constitution. In fact, Indians created a secular/plural State precisely because that is what the majority believes in and not the other way round. How can a cluster of faiths that has no single book, no single prophet or an organised church turn into a dictatorial theocracy? The US Congress not only ought to throw out resolutions like the proposed House Resolution 417, but admonish motivated mischief-maker groups. Congress instead ought to watch the Obama administration's moves in conducting its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The acid test of American intentions will come next year with what they do with the heavy equipment left in Afghanistan. If America chooses to gift it to Pakistan -- thus tilting the conventional military balance in the sub-continent -- then it may well be 'Goodbye America' by the new Indian administration. The choice is yours.

And you thought vaccination against cervical cancer is what only women need to deliberate upon? Wrong. Debunking earlier researches, a new study has found that women are more than twice as likely as men to pass on the human papilloma virus (HPV) - the primary cause for the development of cervical cancer.Researchers found that 18 percent of women infected with HPV transmitted the virus to their male partners within a year, compared with the 7 percent of infected men who passed on the virus to their female partners.While we've thought about vaccination in women for a long time, vaccination in men is also important, Alan Nyitray, assistant professor at University of Texas' School of Public Health, was quoted as saying.Vaccination in both sexes is a good idea, he added.For most, said the study published in Journal of Infectious Diseases, the virus has no symptoms and eventually goes away, leaving no health problems. For others, the virus can cause anal or genital warts, and for some it can lead to cervical, anal, penile or throat cancer.The study examined over 4,000 men infected with HPV from the US, Mexico and Brazil over nearly 10 years. In the secondary study, Nyitray examined 99 of those men and their female partners between ages 18 and 70 over two years. The team then analysed a subset of 65 of those couples, in which one type of the virus was present in one partner and not the other - to learn how often partners transmitted HPV types to each other, the study added.Ultimately, it was clear that there was a higher rate of transmission from females to males, than males to females, said the researchers. Researchers now believe that the study debunks any misconception that men are the primary carriers of the virus.

Healthy? Check heart rhythm to avoid stroke

It is no longer uncommon to see young and apparently healthy people getting a stroke -- and the cause may well be a heart rhythm disorder. So the next time you experience a rapid and irregular heart beat in carrying out not so stressful activities like climbing stairs, time may be ripe for you to visit the doctor to check for atrial fibrillation - a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm, known as arrhythmia.People with symptomatic A-fib, as it is commonly called, may experience periodic palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue or dizziness, said researchers at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "People with a high rate of premature atrial contractions face a significantly increased risk of developing Afib," Gregory M. Marcus, senior author and director of clinical research at UCSFs cardiology division, was quoted as saying.However, the condition is also becoming more prevalent at any age, experts say, because of a rise in three leading risk factors - high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, added the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine.Other risk factors include a prior heart attack, overactive thyroid, sleep apnea, excessive alcohol consumption, abnormal heart valves, lung disease and congenital heart defects. Important steps in treating A-fib, said the study, are to include taking proper steps to reverse the risk factors and preventing blood clots from forming by treating patients with anticoagulant. Here is a warning.Once a person has had A-fib, there is an increased risk of stroke even if their heart is in normal rhythm, the study concluded.

Slowing down eating speed reduces hunger

A new study by Indian origin researcher has suggested that the ability to control energy intake may be affected by the speed at which we eat, and a high eating rate may impair the relationship between the sensory signals and processes that regulate how much we eat.In order to learn more about the relationship between eating speed and energy intake, a team of researchers in the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Christian University took a look at how eating speed affects calories consumed during a meal in both normal weight subjects as well as overweight or obese subjects. The investigators also collected data on feelings of hunger and fullness before and after the fast-paced and slow-paced meals and water consumption during the meals.The investigators asked a group of normal-weight subjects and a group of overweight or obese subjects to consume two meals in a controlled environment. All subjects ate one meal at a slow speed, for which they were instructed to imagine that they had no time constraints, take small bites, chew thoroughly, and pause and put the spoon down between bites, and a second meal at a fast speed, for which they were instructed to imagine that they had a time constraint, take large bites, chew quickly, and not pause and put the spoon down. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that only normal-weight subjects had a statistically significant reduction in caloric consumption during the slow compared to the fast meal: 88 kcal less for the normal weight group, versus only 58 kcal less for the overweight or obese group."Slowing the speed of eating led to a significant reduction in energy intake in the normal-weight group, but not in the overweight or obese group. A lack of statistical significance in the overweight and obese group may be partly due to the fact that they consumed less food during both eating conditions compared to the normal-weight subjects," lead author Meena Shah, PhD, professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Christian University, explained.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

Second blast in Russia's Volgograd kills 14 on trolleybus

Supporters of Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri, leader of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, protest in Lahore, Pakistan. Thousands have gathered to protest against inflation, unemployment, and lawlessness in the country.

China says Japan PM 'shuts door' on talks with war shrine visit Beijing, Dec 30 : China said on Monday that its leaders will not meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his visit to a shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression, underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia's two biggest economies. Abe had repeated his hopes for talks with Beijing last week, when he visited the Yasukuni shrine where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle. The visit infuriated China and South Korea, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces until the end of the war, and prompted concern from the United States about rising tensions between the North Asian neighbors. Abe said then that relations with China and South Korea were important and he hoped "for an opportunity to explain to China and South Korea that strengthening ties would be in the national interest". Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing that "Abe has himself shut the

Antarctic blizzard halts icebreaker's bid to rescue stranded ship Sydney, Dec 30 : An Antarctic blizzard has halted an Australian icebreaker's bid to reach a Russian ship trapped for a week with 74 people onboard, rescuers said on Monday. The Aurora Australis had to return to open waters about 18 nautical miles from the stranded Akademik Shokalskiy because of poor visibility, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the rescue, told Reuters. The Australian vessel had reached as close as about 10 nautical miles from the trapped ship before turning back. "The weather condition is not safe for it to proceed, and it's gone back to open water," said AMSA spokeswoman Lisa Martin. A Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, has been halted by thick ice within sight of the ship. The Snow Dragon had a helicopter on board that could be used to rescue passengers if the Aurora Australis failed to get through, AMSA said earlier, but the aircraft was grounded by the snow. "We can't fly a helicopter in these conditions either. There is essentially nothing we can do at this point of time," Martin said.

door on talks with Chinese leaders". "Since assuming office, Abe has miscalculated on Sino-Japan ties, and made mistake after mistake, especially visiting the Yasukuni Shrine which houses 'Class A' war criminals. These people are fascists, the Nazis of Asia," he said. "Of course the Chinese people don't welcome such a Japanese leader, and Chinese leaders will not meet him." Qin called on Abe to "admit his mistakes to the Chinese government and people". South Korea said it would not now take part in talks on shared defense and intelligence agreements Seoul and Tokyo had been planning to hold next month. "I hope there would be no acts next year which destroy trust between two countries or worsen the public sentiment by digging up the wounds of the past," President Park Geun-hye said in a meeting with aides, reported by the Yonhap news agency. It was the first visit to Yasukuni by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006. Ties between Japan and China were already precarious due to a

simmering row over ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. China has said it is willing to talk to Japan about the issue, but has accused Abe of not being serious about wanting to resolve the dispute. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Yasukuni during his 2001-2006 tenure were a major factor in a chill in ties between China and Japan. Abe, who succeeded Koizumi in 2006, repaired frayed ties with China then with a summit meeting, but has since said he regretted not visiting the shrine during his first 2006-2007 term. Abe has called for dialogue with China since returning to power a year ago, but Beijing had shown no inclination to respond to those overtures even before the latest Yasukuni controversy. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Abe did meet briefly on two occasions this year - at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali in October and on the fringes of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in September.Beijing will host APEC next year.

70 journalists died on the job in 2013: Report New York, Dec 30 : At least 70 journalists were killed on the job around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 slain in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The dead in Syria included a number of citizen journalists working to document combat in their home cities, broadcasters who worked with media outlets affiliated with either the government or the opposition, and a handful of correspondents for the foreign press, including an AlJazeera reporter, Mohamed al-Mesalma, who was shot by a sniper. Six journalists died in Egypt. Half of those reporters were killed while reporting an Aug. 14 crackdown by Egyptian security forces on demonstrators protesting the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. "The Middle East has become a killing field for journalists. While the number of journalists killed for their work has declined in some places, the civil war in Syria and a renewal of sectarian attacks in Iraq have taken an agonising toll," the committee's deputy director, Robert Mahoney, said in a statement. "The international community must prevail on all governments and armed groups to respect the civilian status of reporters and to prosecute the killers of journalists." The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has been tracking deaths among reporters and broadcasters since 1992. Most of the killings it has documented over the years involve people who are covering news in the places they live. That was the case, as well, in 2013. Many of the deaths occurred during combat, or among reporters covering conflict zones, but journalists in several countries were also murdered after reporting on sensitive subjects. Reporters and commentators who covered police misconduct, political corruption or drug trafficking and other sensitive topics were slain in separate incidents in Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia. A pair of Radio France Internationale journalists were abducted and killed after meeting with a leader of ethnic Tuareg separatists in Kidal, Mali. Militants in Iraq killed five members of the news staff of Salaheddin TV in a suicide attack this month on the channel's offices in Tikrit, Iraq.

Volgograd, Russia, Dec 30 : A bomb blast ripped a trolleybus apart in Volgograd on Monday, killing 14 people in the second deadly attack in the southern city in two days and raising fears of further violence as Russia prepares to host the Winter Olympics. The morning rushhour bombing, which left mangled bodies in the street, underscored Russia's vulnerability to militant attacks less than six weeks before the Sochi 2014 Games, a prestige project for President Vladimir Putin. Sunday's blast came less than 24 hours after a suicide bomb blast killed at least 17 people in the main railway station in the same city, a major transport hub in southern Russia. A Reuters journalist saw the blue-and-white trolleybus reduced to a twisted, gutted carcass, its roof blown off and bodies and debris strewn across the street. Federal investigators called the blast a "terrorist act". "For the second day, we are dying. It's a nightmare," a woman near the scene said, her voice trembling as she choked back tears.

Explosives found outside Musharraf’s house Islamabad, Dec 30 : Five packets of explosives were found on Monday near former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s farmhouse in Islamabad, days after explosives were discovered on the road he was to take to a court. According to the police, explosives were recovered from the green belt on Park Road near Chak Shahzad farmhouse. Each packet contained around 400-500 grams of explosive material. On December 24, explosives were recovered from Gen. Musharraf’s route to a special court. He was supposed to appear in the court to face treason charges for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007.

Gunmen attack state TV, airport in Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa, Dec 30 : Gunmen attacked the airport and seized control of the state television headquarters in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, witnesses reported. Police put a security cordon around the state television building where the unidentified attackers had taken several people hostage, journalists told Reuters. Before transmission was shut down, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila's government. "Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan," said the message, according to a Reuters reporter who saw a tape of the transmission. In central Kinshasa, the streets emptied and shopkeepers closed their shutters. A customs official at the international airport on the outskirts of Kinshasa reported heavy gunfire there just minutes after the attack on state television. "Shooting has started here," the official told Reuters. "They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding."

"What are we supposed to do, just walk now?" The consecutive attacks will raise fears of a concerted campaign of violence before the Olympics, which start on February 7 in Sochi, about 430 miles southwest of Volgograd. In a video posted on the web in July, the leader of insurgents who want to carve an Islamic state out of the North Caucasus, a string of Muslim provinces south of Volgograd, urged militants to use "maximum force" to prevent the games from being held. "Terrorists in Volgograd aim to terrorize others around the world, making them stay away from the Sochi Olympics," said Dmitry Trenin, an analyst with the Moscow Carnegie Centre. A female suicide bomber from the North Caucasus killed seven people on a bus in Volgograd in October. A spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, said: "Our condolences go to all those affected by today's bombing in Volgograd. Unfortunately, terrorism is a global phenomenon and no region is exempt, which is why

security at the Games is a top priority for the IOC. At the Olympics, security is the responsibility of the local authorities, and we have no doubt that the Russian authorities will be up to the task." In power since 2000, Putin secured the Games for Russia and has staked his reputation on a safe and successful Olympics, even freeing jailed opponents including oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Pussy Riot punk band to remove a cause for international criticism at the event. Putin was first elected after winning popularity for a war against Chechen rebels, but attacks by Islamist militants whose insurgency is rooted in the war have clouded his 14 years in power and now confront him with his biggest security challenge. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the Volgograd attacks, which left dozens wounded in addition to the deaths. Health Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai told Rossiya-24 TV that 14 people were killed in the attack and 28 wounded. Putin

ordered law enforcement agencies to take measures to enhance security after Sunday's attack when a bomber detonated explosives in front of a metal detector at Volgograd station. Police said additional officers were being deployed to railway stations and airports nationwide, but the attacks raised questions about the effectiveness of security measures.The police force in Volgograd has been depleted in recent months as some 600 officers were redeployed to Sochi to tighten security around Olympic sites, a local police officer told Reuters. More attacks can be expected before the Olympics and cities in southern Russia where the Games are not being held are easier targets than Sochi, said Alexei Filatov, deputy head of the veterans' association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit. "The threat is greatest now because it is when terrorists can make the biggest impression," he said. "The security measures were beefed up long ago around Sochi, so terrorists will strike instead in these nearby cities like

Iran and world powers resume expert level nuclear talks Dubai, Dec 30 : Iran resumed technical talks with world powers in Geneva on Monday, a vital step in implementing a nuclear deal signed last month which suspends key elements of Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The talks between expert teams from Iran and six world powers are meant to translate the political deal into a detailed implementation plan by the end of January, Iran's state news agency, IRNA, quoted an unnamed source

as saying. A key sticking point appears to be how much advance information Western governments will get so they can verify that Iran is meeting its end of the deal before they lift any sanctions. The third round of talks between technical experts from the permanent U.N. Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany, are set to last a day and resume in 2014, IRNA reported, a sign of the complexities facing the ne-

gotiators in reaching agreement on practical steps. They began work on December 9 but Iran broke off the talks in protest at the U.S. blacklisting an additional 19 Iranian companies and individuals under existing sanctions. Iranian officials said the move violated the spirit of the deal but U.S. officials said it did not breach the agreement. Iran rejects Western fears that its nuclear work has any military intentions and says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation and medical research.

Indian student assaulted by thugs in Australia Melbourne, Dec 30 : A 20year-old Indian student in Australia suffered serious injuries after he was brutally attacked with stick and robbed by thugs here.Manrajwinder Singh from Reservoir landed in the hospital with serious injuries after a gang attacked him yesterday. According to local police statement today, the?man was sitting near the footpath with two other friends, east of Princess Bridge, when they were approached by eight men, perceived to be of African appearance. The offenders assaulted Singh by kicking him on the head and hitting him with a stick. The group then

punched his friend on the face, the statement said, adding the offenders stole the victims' mobile phones and fled. The third man, a 20year-old from Noble Park, was not assaulted and managed to run away to seek help. Singh was taken to The Alfred hospital where he remains in an induced coma. Another man suffered swelling and abrasions to his face. He was treated by paramedics at the scene. Melbourne detectives have released the CCTV images of eight men and a woman who they believe may be able to assist with their investigation. Singh was here to study accounts. The incident has been described as a cow-

ardly attack by the Detective Senior Constable Adam Foley. Foley said, "It was just an opportunistic target from the offenders, they've just seen them there and approached them and done what they've done." Meanwhile, victim's brother Yanwinder Singh has pleaded for justice. "He said 'I want to see the city, I haven't seen Melbourne city I've been working and studying,'" his brother was quoted by 'The Age' report today. "He said I want to see the city I'm not a child and I said ok then go." "I just want these culprits to be punished, that's all, they should get caught so that my brother, he should get justice."

Volgograd." Monday's blast was so powerful it blew out the third-storey windows of a nearby apartment building, and witnesses said passengers were flung from the bus by the blast."We ran outside. There was smoke and people were lying in the street. The driver was thrown far. She was alive and moaning ... Her hands and clothes were bloody," said Olga, a clerk in a shop near the scene of the blast. A city of about 1 million, Volgograd is one of the venues for the 2018 soccer World Cup, another high-profile sports event Putin has helped Russia win the right to stage, and which will bring thousands of foreign fans to cities around Russia. Sunday's attack was the deadliest to strike Russia's heartland since January 2011, when a male suicide bomber from the North Caucasus killed 37 people in the arrivals hall of a busy Moscow airport. Investigators initially said a woman set off the bomb that filled the front of the railway station building with a massive orangefireballonSunday, but later said the bomber could have been a man.

South Korea's railway workers end strike

Seoul, Dec 30 : Thousands of South Korean railway workers agreed today to end a three-week partial strike after lawmakers promised to reflect their opinions in the government's controversial plan to reorganise railway services. More than 6,000 unionised workers of the Korea Railway (Korail) -about one third of the firm's entire staff -- have been on a strike since December 9 in protest at the management overhaul plan they feared would spark mass layoffs and pay cuts. "We've decided to end the strike," the union spokesman told reporters today. The move came after Seoul lawmakers promised to form a parliamentary committee to ensure that the workers' opinions would be reflected in the controversial reorganising process. The eight-member committee was formally formed later today. The government this month announced a plan to spin off part of the Korail and allow several other state-run firms to buy the shares in the spinoff. It said the move was aimed at revitalising the debtridden railway, which has suffered from chronic and growing losses. But thousands of railway workers including train drivers suspect the move is a prelude to privatisation and demanded that the government scrap the plan. They also complained that Seoul unilaterally pushed ahead with the plan despite calls for more negotiations with workers.

Divers in penguin costumes hold a banner reading: "Happy New Year 2014" as part of the new year and winter vacation season's events at a Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

CSIR-IICT scientist honoured with best scientist award of STF Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : Dr B Mahipal Reddy, Chief Scientist and Head of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology here has been honoured with the Best Scientist Award of Science-Tech Foundation (STC), Bangalore for the year 2013. STF was established 2007 with the main objective to bring the ocean of wisdom to aspirants in the field of science and technology by proving a platform to encourage innovations to flourish themselves, a release here today said. Dr Reddy has been selected for the award for his extensive efforts in basic and applied research which resulted in the development of novel catalysts for air pollution control, bio-mass conversion to value-added products, synthesis of fine chemicals and solar fuels and the conversion of greenhouse gases to useful chemicals. Some of his contributions are implemented in the chemical industry and some more are at different stages of exploitation.His outstanding research contributions pertaining to nano materials and green chemistry have been well recognized worldwide.He is the author of over 220 publications in high-impact international journals, inventor of eight patents, and guided 25 Phd degrees. He is the recipient of CSIR young Scientist award and catalysis society of India (CSI) young scientist award in addition to several other awards and hours. For his outstanding contributions to chemical sciences and technology, he has already been conferred with the fellowships of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (FNAE), the National Academy of Science, India (FNASC) and the Andhra Pradesh academy of Sciences (FAPAS).

Leading IAF a singular honour, unique experience for me: Air Chief New Delhi, Dec 30 : Sating that it had been an absolute honour to lead an exceptional Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal N.A. K. Browne said Monday that he would be superannuating on Tuesday with a sense of satisfaction and pride.In statement issued here a day before his superannuation, Air Chief Marshal Browne said: "It is with an immense sense of pride and satisfaction that I relinquish the command of the IndianAir Force. More than forty one years of memorable association with the finest set of professional air warriors in the world has indeed been a matter of singular honour for me and a unique experience which I shall forever cherish."He said that during his 29-month-long tenure, the IAF had collectively braved and overcome many multi-dimensional transformational challenges."Our organizational resilience, strong team work and pride in the service were the prime determinants of our remarkable progress. Operationally, we have made significant gains in our capability enhancement plans. The streamlined induction and

speedy operationalisation of our new assets like Mi-17 v5, C-130J, Pilatus PC-7 and C17 aircraft have afforded us unprecedented response capabilities," he said."Not only did we amply demonstrate these newly acquired capabilities during the two major Air Force Exercises - Ex- Iron Fist and Ex-Live Wire, but these force accretions have in fact helped us in adding significant value to our disaster relief efforts. Our prompt and cohesive response in the wake of Uttarakhand floods helped us in saving precious lives and this achievement must serve as a matter of pride and inspiration for all of us," he added."Our competent handling of major maintenance and training challenges, as well as the notable progress made in other key areas like infrastructure upgradation, security and cohesion enhancing initiatives has already started yielding positive dividends. Our progress so far has been hard earned, hence it mandates us to relentlessly maintain the tempo and continue raising the bar even further,"Air Chief Marshal Browne said.

Kurva, Anand in title clash

Harsha Kumar, M.P and others called on N.Kiran Kumar Reddy, Monday.

CPI requests President findout solution to the needs of all Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : A delegation led by Andhra Pradesh Communist Party of India (CPI) Serectary Dr K Narayana today sumbitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee and requesting him to find out a scientific solution to the needs of all the regions in Andhra Pradesh. In the memorandum, Dr Narayana stated that the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Bill -2013 is set for discussion in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.'Instead of smooth discussion, unhealthy trends are prevailing, untoward incidents are taking place which are humiliating the supreme constitution of the Nation'.'The Congress, TDP and YSRCP often declare that they honor Parliamentary democracy but practically they have become a hurdle for the smooth functioning of State Assembly. 'Differences of opinions are quite natural in a democracy. Those opinions can be explained in appropriate democratic manner in legislative bodies and also outside as well'.'The Bill be discussed and returned with necessary amendments within the stipulated period'. 'Some have protested against the very introduction of the Bill. Some are obstructing to the discussions though Bill is being introduced technically. This is most undemocratic. They are insulting the constitution and parliamentary democracytowhich every one in the country is bound to respect, Dr Narayana said.

Chief Minister and greeted the CM at Secretariat on

Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IPT) : Gaurav Kurva will clash with Ashish Anand and Parikhe Krithi will take on P Lasya in their respective title clashes of the GMR All India Ranking Talent Series tennis tournament for Under-14 boys and girls, being conducted by GMR Tennis Academy in Vanasthalipuram .In the semifinals played today, both the boys' finalists scored contrasting wins over their opponents.Kurva had an easy 6-2, 6-4 win over Koushik Venkat while Anand had to come through the super tie-break after having lost the first set to Nitin Nagaraju for a 1-6, 6-4 (10-1) verdict.Krithi and Laya posted identical 6-3, 6-3 wins over Reddy M Sahithi and Smriti Bhasin in their semifinal matches.Results Semifinals-Boys: Gaurav Kurva bt Koushik Venkat P 6-2, 6-4; Ashish Anand bt Nitin Nagaraju 1-6, 6-4, (10-1-Super tie-break); Quarterfinals: Gaurav Kurva bt Lanka Reddy Suhith 4-1, 4-0; Koushik Venkat P bt Ruchit Goud 4-2, 5-4 (7); Nitin Nagaraju bt Adarsh Tippahatla Naga 4-1, 4-1; Ashish Anand bt Rishil Gupta 4-1, 41.Girls Semifinals: Parikhe Krithi bt Reddy M Sahithi 6-3,63; P Lasya bt Smriti Bhasin 6-3, 6-3; Quarterfinals: Reddy M Sahithi bt Kotha Srija Reddy 5-3, 4-1; Parikhe Krithi bt Sanskrithi Damera 5-3, 4-2; P Lasya bt M Ananya 4-0, 5-4 (4); Smriti Bhasin bt Manya Vishwanth 4-2, 5-4(3).

RBI warns of rising tide of NPAs Mumbai, Dec 30 : The Reserve Bank on Monday ruled out any major impact on domestic markets by the US Fed’s tapering its monthly bond buying programme from later this week, saying that India’s external sector has improved with reduction in CAD and a pick up in exports. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan however warned against the rising tide of bad loans saying risks to the banking system have increased over the past six months. But, he added that there are no systemic risks at the moment. The economy is taperready, he said in the halfyearly financial stability report released on Monday. “The effect of the tapering on the economy is expected to be limited and short-lived,” as the external sector risks to the economy have considerably come down over the past few months,” he added. Pegging the Current Account Deficit at below 3 per cent of GDP, the report said “the country’s external position appears to be manageable and reserves seem adequate,” which stood at over USD 295 billion in the third week of December. However, it added: “The banking stability indicator shows that risks to the banking sector have increased since June 2013.” The tapering, from January, of the USD 85-billion monthly bond buying programme by US Fed to prop the American economy, has given India time to replen-

ish forex reserves and rein in high CAD, which was at 3.05 per cent in first half of this fiscal (2013-14) as against 4.8 per cent last fiscal. The US Fed announced this month that it would cut back on bond buying by USD 10 billion to USD 75 billion a month following improvement in the world’s biggest economy.Warning on the high inflation as a hurdle for easy money policy, Dr. Rajan in his foreword said: “The outlook for the economy has improved, with export growth regaining momentum, but growth is still weak. The challenges of containing inflationary pressures limit what the monetary policy can do.”Inflation based on wholesale price index, hit 14month high of 7.52 per cent in November. Retail inflation, based on consumer price index, rose to 9-month high of 11.24 per cent.“Some mod-

eration is expected in food inflation going forward, (but) persistence of retail inflation remains a concern,” the report said, adding that “persistently high inflation” and the consequent pressure on interest rates poses a downside risk to growth.On the rising NPAs, the report warned that “strain on asset quality continues to be a major concern”. In a base case scenario, with present conditions continuing, gross NPAs will rise to 4.6 per cent by September 2014 from 4.2 per cent in September 2013. As of Q2 this fiscal, GNPAs stood at Rs 2.29 trillion (Rs 2.29 lakh crore) from Rs 1.67 trillion a year earlier, it added. The amount of recast loans also touched all-time high of Rs 4 trillion or 10.2 per cent of overall advances as of Q2, or July-September quarter of 2013-14 fiscal. However, RBI expects

New Delhi, Dec 30 : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not attend office Monday as he is not well and has been advised rest by doctors."Running 102 fever since yesterday (Sunday). Severe loose motions. Sad that I won't be able to attend office today," Kejriwal tweeted Monday. "It was so important to attend office today (Monday). We had planned the water announcement. God, bahut

galat time par bimaar kiya (God, you made me fall ill at a wrong time)," he said. Kejriwal's family doctor Vipin Mittal told reporters that he has diarrhoea and has been advised rest.Senior party leader Kumar Vishwas said Kejriwal was very ill and doctors might have to put him on intravenous glucose if his health worsens. However, the Delhi chief minister was in constant touch with the officials, Vishwas added.

Kejriwal unwell, not to attend office Monday

some positives in the next fiscal and has estimated that gross NPAs would improve to 4.4 per cent by March 2015. In case the economic condition deteriorates, it could be 7 per cent by March 2015, the RBI warned. State-owned banks will be the worst-affected, the report said, pegging GNPAs for PSBs at 4.9 per cent by March 2015, while for new private sector banks it will be 2.7 per cent.The report reiterates that RBI will discontinue the system of relaxed restructuring of advances from 2015 onwards and warned that state-run banks will be affected the most as the provisions will shoot up. “The regulatory concerns regarding restructuring arises from the possibility of the relaxations not being used judiciously by banks commensurate with the viability of projects. These relaxations

for asset classification/ provisioning will be phased out by April 2015,” it said. High CAD, along with tapering fears, was one of the reasons for the rupee touching a lifetime low of 68.85 against the dollar on August 28 and forcing RBI to unleash a slew of unconventional measures to prop the battered currency. The rupee has improved since then, but is still 14 per cent lower yearto-date.Authorities acted on multiple fronts, curbing gold imports, opening currency swap windows to get fresh dollars, and increasing money market rates to reduce speculation. All these resulted in CAD improving and thus bringing investors back to the market. The biggest leveller had been a drastic fall in gold imports and USD 34 billion that RBI grossed up by way of the two swap windows.

Name businessman who brokered deal, Congress asks Gadkari New Delhi, Dec 30 : Congress Delhi chief Arvinder Singh Lovely Monday asked BJP leader Nitin Gadkari to name the businessman who, according to the BJP ex-president, brokered a deal between the Congress and the AAP for government formation in Delhi."When you make an allegation, then the onus is on you to prove whether the allegation is right or wrong... some businessman had told him (Gadkari) this, then he should name that businessman," Lovely told reporters here.Gadkari, who headed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election campaign in Delhi, recently alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress struck a deal, brokered by a businessman, to prevent his party's government in Delhi.This deal, the former BJP president added, was also aimed at derailing the appeal of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Ensure free 700 litres water for all Delhiites: Congress

Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra during a promotional event of her upcoming movie Hasee toh Phasee at Mulund Festival 2013 in Mumbai.

New Delhi, Dec 30 : Shortly after the Delhi government announced provision of 700 litres of free water per day to every household with a water connection, the Congress Monday questioned the move and said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should ensure that every citizen gets the facility. "He had promised that all citizens of Delhi would get free water. But around 50 percent of Delhi does not get water at all. He should ensure that every citizen of Delhi gets free 700 litres of water per day," Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit told reporters. "He brought a caveat later that only those with meters will get free water... 50 percent of Delhi citizens will not get water. What about them," he asked. The Delhi Jal Board Monday said it will provide 700 litres of free water per day to each and every household which has a regular water connection. The announcement came after a meeting with Kejriwal at his house in Ghaziabad near Delhi. The Congress, with eight legislators, is propping up the minority Aam Aadmi Party government which has 28 legislators in the 70-member house. Dikshit said the support was on the 18-point agenda of the AAP.Asked what the Congress would do next, he said: "There is a lot of time. We will see."

Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor performs at an award function in Mumbai.

Edited, Printed, Published and Owned by L. Aseervadam, Printed at Krashak Printer, Vidyanagar, O.U. Campus Road, Hyderabad. Published from Flat No: 106, Block - A, Archana Apartments, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 026. Phone : 040 40160906, 27712775, Fax : 040 -27712774, E-mail :, Editor-in-chief : L. Aseervadam, RNI. No : APENG/2012/47447

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