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Vol.II. No.27



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

T-Bill amendments: Deadline

extended till January 10

Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : A consensus remained elusive on taking up debate on the controversial draft AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly even as Speaker gave members time till January 10 to propose amendments, if any, to it. At the same time, the Speaker Nadendla Manohar said voting would be taken up on the draft Bill, clause by clause, and also that members who could not speak in the House and could submit their opinion in writing. “All this will be recorded as part of the House proceedings and returned to the Centre along with the draft Bill,” the Speaker assured the Assembly Business Advisory Committee (BAC) in Hyderabad this afternoon. The draft Bill was referred to the state Legislature by the President under Article 3 of the Constitution and given time till January 23 to the House to express its views and return the Bill. The Speaker convened the meeting of the BAC to break the deadlock in the House as the YSR Congress legislators remained firm on their demand that a resolution be passed opposing the bifurcation of the state and the Telugu Desam wanted the draft Bill returned to the Centre seeking elaborate information on various clauses, besides the “aims and ob-

Telangana Rashtra Samithi members led by its floor leader Etala Rajender, T. Harish Rao and K. Taraka Rama Rao in cheerful mood after Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly declared in BAC meeting that the discussion on the draft A.P Reorganisation Bill2013, referred to by the President is instigated. jects” and the financial statement. The Assembly could not transact any business in the last three days since the winter session resumed on the January 3 after a twoweek break. At the BAC meeting held in two spells on Monday, it was Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi who insisted on a clear announcement from the Speaker on the demand for voting on the draft Bill as also whether or not

the debate on it was initiated in the first. The Speaker sought to put to rest the controversy on whether or not the debate on the draft Bill actually started in the House after it was tabled on December 16. While the Seemaandhra side, including Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, maintained that the debate had not started and the draft Bill was only tabled, the Telangana side, led by Deputy Chief Minister

Damodara Rajanarasimha, asserted that the debate had started. The Speaker finally told the BAC on Monday that debate had indeed been “initiated” and that voting would be taken up on each clause but not on the draft Bill as such. The YSRC, however, pressed its demand that a resolution be adopted by the House opposing the bifurcation but the party was told that it was not possible since

be lodged in a cognizable offence. I have submitted evidence of audio clippings of the two websites (Gulail and Cobra post),” he said. “My complaints are against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, former state Home minister Amit Shah, then Inspector General (intelligence) A.K. Sharma and others,” he said.Mr. Sharma also said the Commissions of Inquiry constituted to probe the scandal have powers to make recommendations but it is the police which has to register an FIR, investigate and prosecute. “A Commission of Inquiry has got nothing to do with a criminal activity. If a criminal case takes place, an FIR has to be filed,” he said, adding, “The Commission does not look into the criminality.”When contacted, Gandhinagar SP Sharad Singhal said Mr. Sharma’s application has been accepted, but refused to elaborate. Two investigative news portals, and, had claimed on November 15 that former Minister of State for Home in Gujarat Amit Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one “Saheb”, believed to be Mr. Modi.

New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will get a "clear majority" in this year's Lok Sabha election, party president Rajnath Singh asserted Monday. Inaugurating a meeting organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) here, Rajnath Singh gave credit to overseas Indians for providing economic stability after India's 1998 nuclear tests. "The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has hurt the country's credibility in its 10 year rule... If any party has a firm commitment and strong leadership, it is the BJP," Rajnath Singh told the NRIs. "The country believes that a government is going to be formed with a clear majority of the BJP," he said, adding that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi deserved to be the prime minister. Rajnath Singh said NRIs should be given the right to vote in Indian embassies. "The only party that has succeeded in having a stature bigger than that of the Congress is the BJP," he said. Claiming that the BJP had a target of winning 272-plus seats in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh told the delegates: "The BJP will suc-

the debate on the draft Bill had begun. Telugu Desam Legislature Party deputy leader Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu walked out of the BAC meeting protesting the government’s refusal to return the draft Bill to the Centre for clarifications. Legislators from Telangana, cutting across party lines, wanted suspension of members from the House if they continued to disrupt the proceedings, to enable smooth discussion on the draft Bill. T-Bill amendments: Deadline extended till Jan 10 Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : A consensus remained elusive on taking up debate on the controversial draft AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly even as Speaker gave members time till January 10 to propose amendments, if any, to it. At the same time, the Speaker Nadendla Manohar said voting would be taken up on the draft Bill, clause by clause, and also that members who could not speak in the House and could submit their opinion in writing. “All this will be recorded as part of the House proceedings and returned to the Centre along with the draft Bill,” the Speaker assured the Assembly Business Advisory Committee (BAC) in Hyderabad this afternoon.

Gujarat police refuse to Will get 'clear majority' in register FIR against Modi 2014 election: Rajnath Ahmedabad, Jan 6 : Gujarat police on Monday refused to register an FIR against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his aide Amit Shah and others in the snooping scandal on a complaint by suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who threatened to move the court.Mr. Sharma, whose name has figured in the raging row, approached Gandhinagar police with his complaint and sought an FIR to be registered but the police merely accepted his application. “Police Inspector (in-charge) of Sector-7 police station accepted the application but refused to file an FIR. So, I am now going to SP office to register my complaint,” Mr. Sharma told reporters and said he would move the court if his endeavour to get an FIR registered failed. The suspended IAS officer said he was the aggrieved party and therefore, he had the locus standi to file the FIR. “Sector-7 police station officials refused to take any action initially. They asked me to go to Commission or the court,” he said. “This is a cognizable offence and the Supreme Court has said that an FIR should

'Will come out from Cong if CM launches new party' : Minister Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : Minister for Forest Satrucherla Vijayaramaraju today said that he would 'jump out' of Congress only when Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy launched a new political party.Talking to reporters in Assembly lobby

here, Mr Raju said he would neither join YSRC nor TDP but would jump out of Congress only if the Chief Minister formed a new political party. He said "there is no future if I remained in Congress and hence would contest as

an independent if there is no party by Kiran, who is a strong supporter of AP United." "The Congress party will be a 'zero' in 2014 elections," he claimed and said evil designs of Congress leaders in Delhi had ruined the party.

ceed in making the country a superpower with your cooperation." Attending the meeting were delegates from several countries including Australia, the US, Britain, Canada, China, Nepal, Norway, the UAE, Israel, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Italy, Vietnam and, Mauritius. Vijay Jolly, convenor of OFBJP, urged overseas Indians to make telephone calls and send out 10 e-mails to their relatives and friends in India every day soliciting support for the BJP.

Editor : L. Aseervadam Tollywood actor Uday Kiran commits suicide Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : Tollywood actor Uday Kiran allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence here early today. The 33-year-old actor, who took the extreme step around 0015 hours, was taken to the Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills the in city, where doctors declared him dead. However, reasons for the suicide are not yet known, police here said. No family member of the actor was present at home when he hanged himself. The young hero made his debut it the film 'Chitram' in the year 2000. He had also acted in hit films like Nuvvu Nenu and Manasantha Nuvve. His last film, Jai Sriram, had released in April last year.Mr Kiran, who was born on June 26, 1980, married his girlfriend Vishita in October 2012. He acted in 19 movies, including 19 in Telugu and three in Tamil films. He won filmfare award for his performance in movie 'Nuvvu Nenu'

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AAP will fight LS polls from 20 states Lucknow, Jan 6 : After tasting electoral success in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party on Monday said it would contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from 20 states, including Uttar Pradesh, where it would field candidates on all 80 seats. “The national executive of AAP has decided to contest Lok Sabha polls in 20 states including UP, where we would contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats,” AAP National Spokesman Sanjay Singh told reporters in Lucknow. He said Kumar Vishwas was likely to contest against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, while candidates against prominent leaders like Ms. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Mulayam Singh would be decided soon. “We will try to finalise names of candidates by February 15 and all those desiring to contest Lok Sabha polls can apply by January 15. However, those applying would have to be recommended by at least 100 persons each from all the assembly constituencies in his or her area,” he said. The applications would be scrutinised by district and state-level monitoring committees before finalisation of names, Mr. Singh said. The party, besides declaring its national manifesto, would also make public its manifesto at local levels covering issues pertaining to that area, he said. Replying to a question, Mr. Singh alleged that leaders like Mr. Mulayam Singh, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Ms. Mayawati and others called themselves secular despite the fact that they were with BJP in the past. “Now, they are with Congress and labelling themselves as secular,” he said. He said AAP was in favour of diverting development funds of MPs and legislators to mohalla and gram sabhas so that people could decide where public money is to be spent. On January 12, the party would hold ‘Jan Vishwas’ rally in Amethi.Accepting that religion and caste politics were challenges in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Singh said his party would concentrate on local issues and try to divert attention of the people from caste and religion. Asked about ways to deal with caste politics prevailing in the state, Mr. Singh said the mindset of the people was changing fast as was apparent in Delhi elections.

Police fires tear gas shells at agitating students in City Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : Police fired tear gas shells at students, who were demonstrating for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad on Monday.Students from Osmania University clashed with police and pelted stones at them. Students were trying to lead a protest march to the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, but were prevented from doing so by the police."As a student community, we will take it to the forefront, and we will not rest till the Telangana Bill is sent away from Andhra Pradesh to parliament," said student leader of Osmania University M. Krishank.President Pranab Mukherjee, on the advice of the government, had sent the bill, which provides for creation of Telangana by

bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, to the state Assembly for approval.The demonstrators alleged that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was trying to stop the bill, as he was against it. "Kiran Kumar Reddy is trying to stop this Telangana Bill here. We are warning Kiran Kumar Reddy that he doesn't have any moral right to be the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. He should step down," Krishank added. The union cabinet has approved the creation of a new Telangana state, but the Andhra Pradesh Government is against it. The decision to break up Andhra Pradesh and establish a new state of Telangana comes ahead of upcoming general elections, and critics say the

Congress party is seeking to shore up its political fortunes after dragging its feet over the explosive issue for four decades. The proposal was received with mixed emotions across the state, with various politicians starkly opposing the bifurcation. Supporters, however, say Telangana's economic development has been neglected in favour of the richer and more powerful Andhra region, and that a new state is the only solution.Hyderabad, India's sixth largest city was a bone of contention because it fell in the proposed new state carved out of the western part of Andhra Pradesh.

Major fires in chemcial, drug units in AP

Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : Two major fires broke out in a chemical factory and drugs company at Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar Districts respectively in Andhra Prasdesh, today. No injuries or casualty were reportedly in the two fires, according to police. At Nalgonda District, a major fire broke out in a chemical factory in Bibinagar Area near here.The blaze started in the agro-chemical factory at around 1115 hrs and the flames spread rapidly.The workers immediately noticed the fire and informed the police.Seven fire engines were pressed into service to control the blaze. P.K.Mohanty,IAS., Chief Secretary to Govt. of A.P. is seen holding a review meeting on The exact cause of the “Sammakka Saralamma Jatara” with concerned officials at Secretariat on Monday. fire was still not known.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

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

BJP top brass to meet in Amritsar on Jan 10, will decide on Punjab's 3 Lok Sabha seats Bharatiya Janata Party's top brass will meet here on January 10 to chalk out the polls strategy for state's three Lok Sabha seats namely Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur. BJP's national organizing secretary Ram Lal will head the Core Committee meeting that will discuss polls strategy with Punjab BJP leaders. The top Punjab party leaders will take part in meeting scheduled to take place in Amritsar on January 10, which will discuss issues relating finalization of party candidates for the crucial polls. The party insiders stated that, there is every likelihood that sitting Amritsar MP and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu is shifted away from Amritsar. There are reports that BJP national general secretary and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, may contest from here. The names of Punjab BJP Chief Kamal Sharma and vice President Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina are also in the pipeline. Sidhu is also interested to field his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is sitting MLA from Amritsar (East) and chief parliamentary secretary in Badal government. If Arun Jaitley does not put his hat in the ring and Kamal Sharma also stays away from the seat as he is an 'outsider', Chhina who is an arch rival of Sidhu, will be party's choice for the seat. However, there are rumours that BJP may swap Amritsar seat with the Akalis. Chhina had been Chairman of Punjab Small Scale Industries and Export Corporation in Badal government. He was Chairman of Improvement Trust, when Sidhu opposed him for the post saying he wanted his own man for coveted position in 2009. Chhina is an honorary secretary of Khalsa College and President of Indian Academy of Fine Art.It is learnt that Sidhu is interested in contesting from Delhi (West) and following his spat with the alliance partner Shiormani Akal Dal (Badal) last year on the issue of development. There is a strong anti-incumbency factor against him as he has been staying away from the constituency for long periods. The Core Committee is all set to review the performance of other sitting MPs too. BJP Core Committee will ponder over Sidhu's support to issues which were not in accordance with the party's ideology and policies, particularly his open support to anti-reservation agitation in the city by the doctors.

We don't need the Americans

to tell us what to do! Strangely, various commentary has been quick to condemn Ms Khobragade, and unquestioningly accepted Ms Richard's version of events, painting her as a helpless victim. India is once again, it would appear, on the wrong side of international (mostly Western) public opinion. The arrest of Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul general for India in New York over alleged visa fraud by paying her domestic help, a Government of India employee, less than the legal minimum wage in the state of New York, has caused a diplomatic row between the US and India. The case has garnered international notice for the harsh spotlight that it apparently casts on working conditions in India (in particular, how middle class and wellto-do Indians treat their domestic help) and of Indians working abroad in diplomatic missions. Equally, the case has received much attention in India because of the fact that Ms Khobragade was not only handcuffed, but stripsearched by the US Marshals who placed her under arrest. A slew of editorials and op-eds in American and British newspapers and Web sites have argued that the real issue here is the violation of the human rights of the domestic worker Sangeeta Richard. Why does 'India care more about a well-heeled diplomat than a poor helpless maid?' is a standard trope in

Decent end to 2013 for global services but uneven Service industry growth slowed sharply in China as 2013 drew to a close but picked up across most of Europe, suggesting still very uneven global economic performance even as most signs point to a strengthening U.S. revival. Taken together with business surveys on manufacturing published late last week, the data suggest that an onslaught of global central bank stimulus has had some impact but is not likely to halt any time soon. Indeed, while business has picked up in many places, particularly in the euro zone which only recently escaped recession, inflation has been on a downward trend in most industrialized countries. Asian shares fell to a three-week low after news the HSBC/Markit China services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to a two-year low of 50.9 from 52.5, underscoring nervousness about how the world’s second largest economy is performing. The equivalent Markit survey for the euro zone went the opposite way, rising to 52.1 from 51.7, with new orders coming in at their fastest pace in more than two years. Any number above 50 denotes expansion. “That just goes to confirm everyone’s suspicions that the Chinese economy is shifting down onto a lower growth path, and that we will see a more balanced growth pattern

across the world this year,” said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank. He expects improved growth in Europe and the United States. The U.S. ISM nonm a n u f a c t u r i n g s u r v e y, comparable with the euro zone and Chinese PMIs, is due at 1500 GMT and is expected to show faster growth there. Markit said that while the euro zone data suggested only a 0.2 percent quarterly rate of economic growth, “the PMI signaled a strong turnaround in the health of the economy during the course of 2013”. The question is whether that can be sustained, particularly when demand in China, one of the euro zone’s biggest trading partners, is just bumping along. DISINFLATION TAKES HOLD Inflation pressures, which have been dormant in Western economies for many years now, have taken a second seat to discussions about the world outlook but could again come to the forefront given current trends. The European Central Bank, which targets inflation at just under 2 percent, cut interest rates in November to a record low of 0.25 percent after surprise news of a plunge in euro zone inflation to just 0.7 percent. German inflation data due at 1300 GMT could set the tone for financial markets on

their first major start to the year as many return from holidays. The latest Reuters consensus is for inflation to tick up to 1.4 percent from 1.3 percent, but the lowest forecast in the sample is for a fall to 1.1 percent. Data from states earlier on Monday suggest a slight acceleration. The euro zone PMIs showed new orders coming in at the fastest pace since June 2011, while the employment index hit the 50 mark for the first time in two years - meaning employers are now hiring as many staff as they are laying off. While showing a fairly broad-based upturn across most of the euro zone’s major economies, France remained a laggard. “Certainly in the euro zone at least, momentum is just about holding up,” said Commerzbank’s Dixon. “But there are indications that the economy is beginning to make some kind of progress, and places like Spain - which got clobbered during the downturn - seem to be showing quite a rapid rate of recovery.” Growth in Britain’s services sector slowed unexpectedly in December, but confidence rose and the economy still looks likely to have recorded its strongest expansion since 2007 last year. “More strong growth looks likely as we move into 2014,” said Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson, on the prospects for the UK.

the commentary. For most, though not all Indian commentators, the issue is rather the harsh treatment meted out to Ms Khobragade in what is ostensibly a friendly bilateral relationship between two democracies. Some international and Indian commentators also criticise the tough retaliatory measures taken by the Indian government in response to what happened in New York, most provocatively removing security barriers around the US embassy in New Delhi, which had earlier been provided as a courtesy to the Americans. To many Indians by contrast, this is a perfectly legitimate response to a needlessly hostile and far from courteous act by a friendly and well-meaning partner country which seemed to have caught everyone off guard, including apparently officials at the White House and the State Department. Indians don't need The New York Times or the Washington Post (external link) to tell them that wages and working conditions in India are poorer than they are in the United States. Nor do they need to be taught by American or British observers that much work needs to be done in improving the enforcement of existing Indian laws on workers's rights and human rights more generally. When a New York Times editorial (external link calls the Indian reaction 'overwrought', I have to ask how they think the United States

would have reacted if one of their officials had been arrested, stripped and cavity searched by Indian law enforcement officials in Mumbai or Delhi. In fact, one doesn't need to speculate on this question. In August 2013, an American diplomat in Kenya (external link), while driving his SUV at very high speed, struck a minivan killing one person and injuring eight others. The dead man left a pregnant widow and children behind. The US response was to fly out the diplomat and his family the next day, citing his diplomatic immunity from prosecution. While he hasn't yet been charged, the case remains under investigation, nor has the diplomat as yet returned to Kenya to face justice. According to news reports, apart from a perfunctory apology, US officials have paid no compensation to the victim's family. If the Indian reaction was 'overwrought,' I wonder how the New York Times would characterise such behaviour? Strangely, various commentary has been quick to condemn Ms Khobragade and has unquestioningly accepted Ms Richard's version of events, painting her as a helpless victim. After all, no tragedy is complete without a victim and a villain. One online comment (external link) even bizarrely invoked the concept of 'human trafficking' in describing the treatment of the maid. Yet,

this is to look selectively at what is still admittedly a murky and imperfect and contested record of what actually took place. It is true that Ms Richard and Safe Horizon, the American NGO that has championed her cause, allege that she was underpaid, overworked, and not allowed to return to India when she was asked to be relieved of her responsibilities. But it is equally true, and strangely missing from many accounts of the episode, that Ms Khobragade has alleged that Ms Richard sought her permission to work illegally in New York outside her home, a request Ms Khobragade says she refused because it would be in violation of Ms Richard's visa. If Ms Khobragade's account is to be believed -- and I should reiterate that the facts are as yet unclear -- it would suggest that far from being a helpless victim, Ms Richard wanted to game the American immigration system as much as Ms Khobragade is alleged to have done by underpaying her in the first place. The truth of the matter is, when all the facts are known, if they ever are, it will likely turn out that both Ms Khobragade and Ms Richard might have been at fault and so too might both governments be faulted, the US for a needlessly aggressive approach in the first place and India for its ham-handed response in the early stages of the affair.

Last year was the least tumultuous for the euro zone since Greece revealed a vast hole in its books back in 2009. The consensus is that 2014 will be just as calm - a view held by some who were predicting the currency bloc’s demise little more than a year ago. The political will to keep the show on the road has held firm, the European Central Bank’s pledge to underpin the euro continues to stave off bond market pressure and there is the prospect of economies growing at least a little. Spain, Italy and Portugal are all emerging from recession and Greece should follow suit this year. Yet there are plenty of reasons to be cautious. EU ELECTIONS High unemployment, austerity fatigue and still anemic growth offer the perfect backdrop for fringe parties to prosper at May’s European parliamentary elections. Some pundits predict a group of anti-euro parties including the National Front in France, Britain’s UKIP, Syriza in Greece and the Dutch Freedom Party could capture 20 percent or more of the seats. That could pressure the EU’s main party groups to tack right and challenge Europe’s ability to integrate further given new powers the parliament will have to rule on the majority of EU legislation. “It could pull mainstream

parties into more euroskeptic positions and complicate both the appointment of a new European Commission (due later in the year) and the task of passing banking union-related legislation,” said Alastair Newton, senior political analyst at Nomura Securities. BANK STRESS That the EU has fallen short of its initial plans for a banking union to prevent future financial crises is plain. For several years at least, the buck for a failing bank will ultimately stop with national governments, leaving the “doom loop” ensnaring weak banks and indebted sovereigns unbroken. The ECB will publish health tests of Europe’s biggest banks prior to taking over their supervision in November. The scope for a major shock is limited given the extent to which banks have already recapitalized. Still, lending is likely to remain constrained until the tests are complete - hampering economic recovery - and the structure of banking union as it now exists could allow a future crisis to blow up. GERMAN COURT The main reason to be cheerful about the euro zone is the markets’ unwillingness to test the ECB’s safety net. Any hole in that would change the terms of the game at a stroke. Germany’s Constitutional Court will rule soon on the ECB’s bond-buying program,

its as yet unused mechanism to protect the euro zone. The history of the Karlsruhe-based court has not been to reject outright any crisis-fighting measures though it has bestowed greater levels of scrutiny upon Germany’s Bundestag. But if it did take the nuclear option, the bond market could declare open season on the currency bloc’s weaker members once more, pushing it back into crisis. The ECB has consistently said it is buying time for countries to put their houses in order by curbing debts and enacting economic reforms needed to thrive in the 21st century. The main flashpoints are Italy, which has stagnated for a decade and has a coalition government which may lack the cohesion to respond, and France which is teetering on the edge of a new recession. “France remains the only major European economy which is beset by serious health problems and has not yet done much about it,” Berenberg Bank said in its annual review of the euro zone.President Francois Hollande used his New Year address to offer companies lower labor taxes if they hire more workers. But with his popularity levels at record lows, a radical leap is unlikely. Austerity fatigue is most potent in Greece, the country that sparked the debt crisis.

Euro zone - reasons to be wary in 2014

Breakthrough for type-2 diabetes: Indian-origin scientist If a single gene is not functioning properly, insulin is not released into the bloodstream to regulate blood sugar levels - leading to type 2 diabetes, claims a scientist of Indian origin. A research team led by Bellur S. Prabhakar, professor and head of microbiology and immunology at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, found that dysfunction in a single gene called MADD in mice causes fasting hyperglycemia - one of the major symptoms of type 2 diabetes. In a healthy person, beta cells in the pancreas secrete the hormone insulin in response to increases in blood glucose after eating. Prabhakar isolated several genes from human beta cells, including MADD, which is also involved in certain cancers. Small genetic variations found among thousands of human subjects revealed that a mutation in MADD was strongly associated with type 2 diabetes. People with this mutation had high blood glucose and problems of insulin secretion - the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes, said Prabhakar. To study the role of MADD in diabetes, Prabhakar and his team developed a mouse model in which the MADD gene was deleted from the insulin-producing beta cells. All such mice had elevated blood glucose levels, which the researchers found was due to insufficient release of insulin. We didnt see any insulin resistance in their cells, but it was clear that the beta cells were not functioning properly, said the study reported online in the journal Diabetes.The cells were producing plenty of insulin, they just werent secreting it, it added. Prabhakar now hopes to investigate the effect of a drug that allows for the secretion of insulin in MADDdeficient beta cells. If this drug works to reverse the deficits associated with a defective MADD gene in the beta cells of our model mice, it may have potential for treating people with this mutation who have an insulin-secretion defect and/or type 2 diabetes, he said.

Fiber rich diet may ward off asthma

A new study has revealed that eating a diet rich in fiber can protect against allergic asthma by triggering changes in the immune system.Benjamin Marsland from the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland and colleagues found that levels of dietary fiber, found in fruit and vegetables, can influence the balance of microbes in the gut in ways that make the airways more or less prone to the inflammation seen in allergic airway diseases, New Scientist reported. The researchers, who looked at how the immune and inflammatory responses of mice varied with the fiber in their diet, found that when the mice were exposed to an extract of house dust mites, those fed with less fiber had double the number of a specific type of immune cell associated with asthmatic inflammation in their airways, than those on a standard diet. It was found that mice given additional fiber supplements on top of a standard diet showed a reduction in these immune cells, but only if the supplement was easily fermentable in the gut. The study was published in Journal Nature Medicine.

Shingles may up stroke risk in young adults

A new study has suggested that younger adults who've had shingles may face higher stroke risk years later. Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After people recover from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the nerve roots. In some people, the virus reactivates years later as shingles. People age 18 to 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack, also called a TIA or warning for a stroke, years later than people who had not had shingles.People over 40 who had shingles were more likely to have a heart attack or TIA, but not a stroke, than those who had not had shingles. The study involved 106,600 people who had shingles and 213,200 people of similar ages who did not have shingles. Using a United Kingdom database, researchers reviewed the participants' records for an average of six years after the shingles diagnosis and for as long as 24 years for some participants. People under 40 years old were 74 percent more likely to have a stroke if they had had shingles, after adjusting for stroke risk factors such as obesity, smoking and high cholesterol. The numbers were not as large in people over 40. They were 15 percent more likely to have a TIA and 10 percent more likely to have a heart attack if they had shingles. Study author Judith Breuer, MD, of University College London said that for older people better screening and treatment for stroke risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, may explain why they are at lower risk than younger subjects of stroke, TIA and heart-related events following shingles.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

Japan's Abe wants to explain shrine visit to China, Korea

Blast kills 10 in Pakistan tribal elder's home

made to set up such meetings at present, but the door for dialogue is open, as always," Abe added, using what has become a standard phrase regarding summits with his northeast Asian neighbors. China and South Korea have been especially touchy about visits to the shrine by serving Japanese prime ministers and Abe is the first leader to pay homage at Yasukuni while in office since 2006. Both China and Korea suffered under Japanese rule, with parts of China occupied in the 1930s and Korea colonized from 1910 to 1945. Business ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have improved after a downturn sparked by a flare-up in 2012 in a row over tiny East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. But wor-

Peshawar, Jan 6 : At least 10 people were killed and another nine wounded Monday in an explosion at the home of a tribal leader in a restive area of northwest Pakistan, officials said. The blast came in a remote village in Khyber tribal district, close to the Afghan border in Tirah Valley, which last year saw fierce fighting between the Pakistani military and Taliban militants. "The initial information suggests that the blast triggered by explosives killed at least 10 people including three children and wounded nine others," a senior local administration official, Nasir Khan, told .

Tokyo, Jan 6 : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he wanted to meet Chinese and South Korean leaders to explain why he visited a controversial war shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression. Abe's December 26 visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals are enshrined along with other war dead, infuriated China and South Korea and prompted concern from the United States, a key ally. "Seeking dialogue with China and South Korea is extremely important for the peace and security of this region," Abe told a news conference after paying a customary New Year's visit to a shrine in the central Japanese city of Ise. "I would like to explain my true intentions regarding my visit to Yasukuni. There aren't any direct approaches being

Rodman leaves for North Korea for basketball on leader Kim's birthday Beijing, Jan 6 : Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman left Beijing for North Korea on Monday with a team of retired basketball players to mark the birthday of "nice guy" North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This will be Rodman's fourth trip to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, where he and his team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games on Kim's birthday, which is believed to fall on Wednesday, although it has never been officially confirmed. On previous visits, Rodman spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip. Rodman said he will not interfere in the country's politics."People always say that North Korea is like a really communist country, that people are not allowed to go there," Rodman told reporters at an airport in Beijing. "I just know the fact that, you know, to me he's a nice guy, to me." "Whatever he does political-wise, that's not my job. I'm just an athlete, an individual who wants to go over there and play something for the world. That's it." Rodman's latest visit follows the rare public purge of Kim's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was executed in December. South Korean President Park Geunhye has described recent events in North Korea as a "reign of terror". The purging of Jang, considered the second most powerful man in the North, indicated factionalism within the secretive government. Wearing sunglasses, a sequin-encrusted cap and a pink scarf, Rodman was asked about his response to critics who said he should not play in the reclusive state. "Are they going to shoot me? Are they going to shoot me? Come on, man," he said.

ries are growing that an unintended incident between Japanese and Chinese aircraft and ships playing catand-mouse near the disputed isles could escalate into a military clash. Paying respects at Yasukuni is part of Abe's conservative agenda to restore Japan's pride in its past and recast its wartime history with a less apologetic tone. He also wants to ease the restraints of Japan's postWorld War Two pacifist constitution on the military, a move also likely to infuriate China and South Korea. Abe said he hoped to deepen debate about constitutional reform within Japan and that he was confident he could make Beijing and Seoul understand. "I am sure that I will be able to obtain the understanding of nearby nations about my administration's pursuit of peace if I explain it thoroughly," he said.

Four killed in post-poll violence in Bangladesh Dhaka, Jan 6 : Four people were killed in Bangladesh on Monday when clashes broke out between supporters of ruling Awami League and one of its allies on the outskirts of the capital, taking the death toll to 25 in poll-related violence. Four people, including a man and his son, were killed and 15 others injured in a clash between activists of the ruling Awami League and its ally Jatiya Party (JP) in Dohar sub district, reports said. Two of the injured were sent to Dhaka in a critical condition. The JP candidate Salma Islam, who was recently inducted in the cabinet as a junior minister, defeated Abdul Mannan Khan who was the state minister for works. The two contested the polls on Sunday, though in most places the two parties managed to reach a consensus in fielding common candidates. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led 18 party alliance boycotted the polls and spearheaded a violent campaign to thwart the elections along with its key-ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami. Twentyone people were killed in pollrelated violence on Sunday.

Israeli ex-PM Sharon's condition in steady decline: hospital

Amitabh Bachchan after jetskiing at approx 60 mph which according to him "was pretty darn awesome", in Phuket.

Jerusalem, Jan 6 : The condition of Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since a 2006 stroke, continues to decline, a hospital official said on Monday. In his daily update to reporters since Sharon took a turn for the worse last week, Zeev Rotstein, director of the Sheba Medical Center near TelAviv, said the 85-yearold's cardiovascular system was stable but the function of his other organs was slowly deteriorating. "Absent anything short of a miracle, his condition will get worse day by day," Rotstein said. "We are continuing to describe his conditional as critical, with immediate danger to his life." He said Sharon's two sons remained at his bedside. One of Israel's most famous generals, Sharon left his mark on the region through military invasion, Jewish settlement building on captured land and a shock, unilateral decision to pull Israeli troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

India, Pakistan mus resolve issues through dialogue: Shahbaz Sharif

President Barack Obama, right, hugs his daughter Sasha as they and Malia, left, return to the White House from their fifteen-day family vacation in Hawaii, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. First lady Michelle Obama stayed behind in Hawaii as a birthday present from her husband.

Islamabad, Jan 6 : Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province, said Monday that India and Pakistan should resolve issues through dialogue. Meeting Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan, Sharif said people of both countries wanted to live like friends, Geo News reported. He said the two neighbouring countries achieved nothing except wars during the 66 years of their independence. Shahbaz Sharif, who is the younger brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, visited India in December 2013.

Bangladesh ruling party wins poll hit by violence, boycott Dhaka, Jan 6 : Bangladesh's ruling Awami League won a violenceplagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main opposition party. With fewer than half of the 300 seats being contested, voters in modest numbers cast ballots on Sunday amid heavy security in polling that lacked the festivity typical of Bangladeshi elections and was shunned by international observers as flawed. Low voter participation could pile new pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to find a compromise with the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for holding new elections. Either Hasina or BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia has been prime minister for all but two of the past 22 years. The two are bitter rivals. The Awami League won 105 of the contested seats, on top of the 127 seats where it ran unopposed, giving it a more-than two-thirds majority. Hasina is expected to

form a new government this month. "The immediate fallout of this dismal voter turnout will be the Hasina government coming under greater pressure to hold talks with the opposition," said Hossain Zillur Rahman, an economist and adviser to a former "caretaker" government tasked with overseeing an election. "It is the ultimate sign of protest by Bangladeshi people and tells us that they are unhappy with the way elections have been held in this country." The impasse between the two main parties, which showed no sign of easing, undermined the poll's legitimacy and is fuelling worries of economic stagnation and further violence in the impoverished South Asian nation of 160 million. "This is a suicidal election as it will not bring any peace in the country," Abul Kashem, who works as a driver and is a supporter of the BNP, said outside a Dhaka polling station. The country's $22 billion garment

industry, which accounts for 80 percent of exports, has been disrupted by transportation blockades ahead of the election. BNP officials said party supporters would maintain the blockade and called another in a series of general strikes starting Monday morning. Eighteen people were killed in separate incidents on election day, according to media reports, and voting was halted at about 400 polling stations. More than 100 people were killed in the run-up to the ballot, mostly in rural areas, and fears of violence kept many voters away. Police said they had been forced to fire on opposition activists in six incidents. Apart from a handful of crude bomb explosions, Dhaka was calm. In Satkania, near the port city of Chittagong, a poll official's arms were broken and police were attacked. Hasina has spoken of holding talks with the opposition on the conduct of future elections which, if successful, could

lead to another poll. The BNP had demanded a halt to the current electoral process. Turnout figures were not yet available, though election officials acknowledged that they had anticipated low numbers and voting appeared slow at Dhaka polling stations. At one, in the Lalbagh area, 626 of 2,274 voters, or 28 percent, cast ballots. At another nearby site, final turnout among male voters was 21 percent. The BNP said low turnout vindicated its denunciation of the poll as a farce. "The turnout is a clear indication that the common people rejected this election and it is almost an election without voters," Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, a BNP vice chairman, told Reuters on Sunday. Junior Law Minister Mohammad Quamrul Islam said the election was necessary for the democratic process and repeated that another poll could be held anytime in agreement with the BNP. "But they must stop violence before dialogue for

the next elections could start," he told reporters after voting. The BNP denounces Hasina's scrapping of the practice of having a caretaker government oversee elections. The Awami League says the interim government system has proved a failure. Many BNP leaders are in jail or in hiding, and Khaleda says she is under virtual house arrest, which the government denies. The European Union, a duty free market for nearly 60 percent of Bangladesh's garment exports, refused to send election observers, as did the United States and the Commonwealth, a grouping of 53 mainly former British colonies. "The elections have to happen to ensure a government is formed and the country can start functioning again normally," said Mehedi Rahman, 43, a schoolteacher voting in Dhaka. "The unfortunate part is there is hardly any meaning because the opposition has boycotted it and the outcome is known."

Iraqi air force strikes city Spanish officials to start talks with to try to oust al Qaeda Panama over canal cost row Baghdad, Jan 6 : Iraqi government forces battling an al Qaeda offensive near the Syrian border launched an air strike on Ramadi city on Sunday killing 25 Islamist militants, according to local officials. Government officials in western Anbar province met tribal leaders to urge them to help repel al Qaedalinked militants who have taken over parts of Ramadi and Falluja, strategic Iraqi cities on the Euphrates River. Al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been steadily tightening its grip in the vast Anbar province in recent months in a bid to create a Sunni Muslim state straddling the frontier with Syria. But last week's capture of positions in Ramadi and large parts of Falluja was the first time in years that Sunni insurgents had taken ground in the province's major cities and held their positions for days. Local officials and tribal leaders in Ramadi said that 25 suspected militants were killed in the air force strike, which targeted eastern areas of the city early on Sunday. In Falluja, ISIL's task has been made easier by disgruntled tribesmen who have joined its fight against the government. "As a local government we are doing our best to avoid sending the army to Falluja ... now we are negotiating outside the city with the tribes to decide how to enter the city without al-

lowing the army to be involved," said Falih Eisa, a member of Anbar's provincial council. One option being considered to oust al Qaeda from Falluja would be for army units and tribal fighters to form a "belt" around the city, isolating it and cutting supply routes for militants, military and local officials said. They would also urge residents to leave the city. "The siege could take days, we are betting on the time to give people a chance to leave the city, weaken the militants and exhaust them," a senior military officer who declined to be named said. Tension has been running high across Anbar - which borders Syria and was the heart of Iraq's Sunni insurgency after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion - since Iraqi police broke up a Sunni protest last week, resulting in deadly clashes. In Tehran, the deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces for logistics and industrial research, Brigadier-General Mohammad Hejazi, was reported as saying on Sunday that Iran was ready to provide Iraq with "military equipment or consultation" to help the Iraqi army in Anbar if it were asked to do so. The Tasnim news agency quoted him as adding however that he did not think the Iraqi army would need a deployment of Iranian troops, because they already had sufficient manpower.

Panama City, Jan 6 : A Spanish government team will meet officials in Panama on Monday to try and end a cost dispute between a Spanish-led consortium expanding the Panama Canal and the waterway's operator that threatens to stall the huge infrastructure project. Spain's public works minister, Ana Pastor, begins a day full of meetings by holding discussions with officials for the building consortium fronted by Spanish construction firm Sacyr known as Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC). Later in the morning she is due to meet Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli, who last week accused the GUPC of "great irresponsibility" when it threatened to suspend work on January 20 if the canal operator did not pay for big cost overruns. The GUPC also includes Italy's Salini Impregilo, Belgium's Jan De Nul and Panama's Constructora Urbana. Arguing that the project to build a third set of locks for one of the world's main maritime cargo routes had suffered unforeseen set-

backs, the GUPC said $1.6 billion in added costs had been incurred, blaming the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) for carrying out flawed studies of the geological terrain. An angry Martinelli turned on Spain and Italy, saying their governments had given him assurances they would see through the $3.2 billion project to build the locks, prompting Pastor to fly to Panama to seek an end to the impasse. The head of the PCA, Jorge Quijano, has said Panama is prepared to discuss the cost overruns if they prove justified, and a Panamanian official told Reuters the government has considered putting together a bailout with the parties involved. However, that possibility is complicated by the fact that the Spanish government has been coping with a deep economic crisis that has put a strain on the country's finances. After her discussions with Martinelli, Pastor is due to meet the canal operators and give a statement to the media at around 5.30 p.m. local time (2230 GMT).

Airport crews work to de-ice planes at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Temperatures not seen in years are likely to set records in the coming days across the Midwest, Northeast and South, creating dangerous travel conditions and prompting church and school closures.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

Centre says juvenile can’t be tried twice New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that the law did not allow the juvenile, convicted by juvenile board in the December 16 gangrape, to be tried twice for the same offence as sought by the parents of victims who demanded his retrial by a criminal court. The Ministry of Women and Child Development said it would be legally and constitutionally impermissible to put him on trial again as the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Board has already given its verdict of guilt of the juvenile and the prayer for his fresh trial has been rendered redundant. “As such, under Article 20 of the Constitution as also Section 300 of criminal procedure code, there can be no second trial for the same offence, and the adjudication of guilt of the juvenile offender having been determined by the JJ Board under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, the second prayer does not survive nor was sustainable,” the ministry said in its affidavit.

AAP forms sexual harassment complaints committee New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Aam Admi Party (AAP) Monday became the "first" political party in the country to have an internal committee on sexual harassment as per the Vishaka guidelines of the Supreme Court. "It would be a committee of three women members - Atishi Marlena, Preeti Sharma Menon and Leela Ramdas - who will look after women-related complaints," Dilip Pandey, a member of the AAP political affairs committee, said at a press conference here. While Atishi Marlena and Preeti Sharma Menon are members of the party, Leela Ramdas is a social activist. Pandey claimed that the AAP was the first political party in the country to have such a committee. The Vishaka judgment by the Supreme Court laid down the guidelines for employers for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment/assault at the workplace, and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims.

The Ministry’s reply came on a plea filed by the father of the December 16 gangrape victim that the juvenility of an accused needs to be ascertained by a criminal court and not by the Juvenile Justice Board. The issue came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan, which tagged the petition filed by victim’s parents with the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who has also sought fresh interpretation of the term juvenile. Dr. Swamy has also contended that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act provides for a “straitjacket” interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ that a person below the age of 18 years is a minor and it was in violation of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Beijing Rules on the issue. The UNCRC and Beijing Rules say the presumption of “the age of criminal responsibility” be fixed while “bearing in mind the mental

and intellectual maturity” of offender, he has said. Raising the identical issue, the victim’s father had said the August 31, 2013 verdict of the Board was not acceptable to the family so they are challenging the constitutional validity of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as there is no other authority concerned to which they can approach for such relief. The victim’s father has sought a direction to declare “as unconstitutional and void the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act to the extent it puts a blanket ban on the power of the criminal courts to try a juvenile offender for offences committed under the IPC”. The petition filed through advocate Aman Hingorani said the juvenile “is liable to be tried and punished by the criminal courts for the aforesaid offences, complete with the judicial discretion on established principles of law regarding the award of sentence keeping in view, amongst other factors, the

nature and gravity of the offence“. The petition referred to the trial court verdict by which four adult accused were convicted and sentenced to death and sought similar trial for the then juvenile offender, who has now turned major. “One of the accused (Respondent No 2--juvenile), however, has not been tried at all for the offences committed under the Indian Penal Code by the criminal court on the premise that he is a juvenile in conflict with law aged 17 years,” the petition, in which the Centre and the accused have been named as respondents, said. It also stated that “the blanket protection to juvenile offenders from being tried by the criminal courts for offences under the IPC, is an instance of legislative adjudication, and hence unconstitutional“. On the night of December 16, 2012, the girl was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in New Delhi. One among them was the

AAP talking like separatists, behaving like jihadis: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi New Delhi, Jan 6 : Commenting on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan's statement suggesting a referendum in Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether the people want the army to handle internal security Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday said that the AAP was talking like separatists and were no less than Jihadis. "They are speaking like separatists. They have been saying it repeatedly, and now they are altering it. This is their first national agenda. They are just jihadis with

gentleman's face," said Naqvi."They are saying that referendum should be there on deployment of the Army in Kashmir, tomorrow they will say referendum should be there for Kashmir," "Army people are fighting for the country's security. How can they question Army men?" asked Naqvi. Congress leader Manish Tewari said that Jammu and Kashmir was a very sensitive issue and should be handled carefully. Jammu and Kashmir is a very sensitive matter. It embodies and signifies the idea of India and commenting on it should be we thought. We

need to be very careful before giving any reaction. Congress leader Sanjay Singh said that the AAP should be aware of the consequences of what they say. "It is important for AAP to realize that they are no longer an NGO. They should be aware of the consequences of what they say," said Singh."Politics is a very serious issue. Arvind Kejriwal said that he doesn't agree with Prashant Bhushan but one should be careful when speaking on such a sensitive issue," he said.Delhi Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal had earlier said that he disagreed with Bhushan'scomment on Kashmir.

SC rejects plea to block action against Ganguly New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the government from proceeding against Justice (retd) A.K. Ganguly, named for sexually harassing a law intern in December 2012. A bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi, dismissing the plea by Dr. M. Padma Narayan Singh, said: "We have gone into every word of your averment. We are not going to say anything. We are not expressing any opinion as it may affect the parties. It is too early." "This is not a matter for our intervention

at this stage. We are dismissing it," Chief Justice Sathasivam said as the petitioner took the court through history, literature and the dictionary meaning of sexual harassment besides the legal points. "We have heard you on general history and your knowledge... What you have said in your petition we have gone through it. You need not repeat it," the court told Singh. At one stage, Justice Gogoi told the PIL petitioner: "Apart from your locus, look at the prayer. Can we interdict the government from going into the correctness of the allocations (against Justice Ganguly)?"

Participants waiting for their turn in Manali Winter Queen competition during national level winter carnival festival at Manali.

juvenile, so he was tried by the Board. The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012. A provision of the JJA says “’juvenile’ or ‘child’ means a person who has not completed eighteenth year of age.” The juvenile, who was six months short of 18 years at the time of incident, was convicted for gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old girl but he got away with a maximum of three years imprisonment mandated under the juvenile law by the Juvenile Justice Board here. The four adult accused -Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh -- were tried by a fast-track court which awarded them death penalty. Now the Delhi High Court has kept its order reserved for confirmation. Another accused Ram Singh was found dead on March 11, 2013 in his cell in Tihar Jail and the trial against him had been abated.

No withdrawal of cases in Muzaffarnagar riots: UP CM

Lucknow, Jan 6 : Setting at rest the speculation about withdrawing the criminal cases against in the wake of Muzaffarnagar riots, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said there was no such plan of the state government. A lot of hue and cry was being raised over reported step of the state government with opposition accusing the Samajwadi Party government of engineering the whole excercise to withdraw the cases mainly against the Muslims. "We have asked for the details of the cases from the district administration as per the requisition of the central agencies and the higher courts and it should not be construed as a mechanism for withdrawl of cases," the UP CM told reporters on the sidelines of an Indo-Canadian trade conference here. Making it clear that his government would always protect the innocents in such matters, Mr Yadav said,however, in Muzaffarnagar riots cases, the government,at the moment, did not plan to withdraw cases before everything was studied.

MoS for external Affairs, Preneet Kaur receives King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on his arrival at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Monday.

11th edition of AgBioAsia 2014 from Feb 17 Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IPT) : International Crops Reearch Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) along with the the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, Government of India and the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations will organize 11th edition of 'AgBioAsia 2014', a 3-day annual international event from February 17. The event over the years has emerged as a Global Brand and has been offering the most sought for platform for convergence of stakeholders and it may be worth mentioning that the 2013 edition witnessed participation from

about 47 Countries, according to Aravazhi Selvaraj, Coordinator, AgBioAsia 2014. With the theme of 'Harnessing the potentials of Global Nutraceutical Market' and special focus on Health and Nutrition, the event promises to be an interactive and knowledge sharing forum featuring a number of satellite events -- conference, partnering, exhibition, Mr Selvaraj said. The event will aim at developing key recommendations for industry and government for an organized and effective harnessing of nutraceutical and food tech-

nology potentials in the overall healthcare.The event has already received good response from government organizations, industries, researchers, hospitals, nutritionists, investors and civil society organizations. For registrations, log onto For online registration and for offline registrations, download the form here. Besides, presenting an opportunity to get exposed to the global trends from captive global and national opinion leaders, the event will also help build key business relationships, Mr Selvarajan added.

Didn't challenge Kashmir's accession to India: Bhushan New Delhi, Jan 6 : AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said Monday that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and there was no question of challenging its accession to the country. Under attack for reportedly advocating a referendum on army deployment in Jammu and Kashmir, Bhushan said the deployment of armed forces in large numbers in the state must be done with people's wishes. "The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is of the view that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Needless to say that I share this view," he said in a statement here. "Any reference to referendum shouldn't be misconstrued to mean plebiscite on Kashmir's relationship with India," he added. He said he had told two television channels that there was considerable alienation "among the people of Kashmir which is primarily because of the human rights excesses by the security forces". The other factor, he said, was "the impu-

nity from prosecution given to them (security forces) by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). "I had said that impunity of AFSPA should be removed in order to win the hearts of the people of Kashmir." Bhushan said it was his view that the deployment of armed forces "in huge numbers within Kashmir not for external defence or to prevent infiltration but for the security of the people ... should not be done without the consent of the people of Kashmir. "Of course the union government is fully entitled to deploy the army for external defence in Kashmir as well as protecting the minorities there if there is a threat to minority rights. "It is the prerogative of the state to deploy security forces including armed forces for any stretch (of time) to internal and external security."This prerogative must be exercised in the best interests of people and as far as possible with their consent."

Set up environment regulator by March 31, SC tells government

New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Supreme Court Monday directed the central government to set up, by March 31, the national environment regulator with its offices in all the states to oversee the implementation of the various projects having environmental implications. Passing the order, the green bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik, Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla rejected the central government's contention that under Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the government alone is the regulator and no one else can be appointed so as directed in the case of Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd.Holding that the court did not find any force in the submission, Justice Patnaik,

pronouncing the order, said: "We, therefore, direct the Union of India to appoint a regulator with offices in as many states as possible under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 as directed in the order in the case of Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd...."The government was also asked to file an affidavit along with the notification appointing the regulator in compliance of the court direction by March 31. The court said that henceforth the task of processing, appraisals and approval of the projects for environmental clearance under the Sep 14, 2006, Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification would be done by the regulator as it could carry out independent, objective and

transparent appraisal and also monitor the implementations of the conditions. The court pointed out that the existing mechanism under the EIA notification with regard to "processing, appraisals and approval of the projects for environmental clearance is deficient in many respects". "What is required is a regulator at the national level having its offices in all the states which can carry out an independent, objective and transparent appraisal and approval of the projects for environmental clearances and which can also monitor the implementation of the conditions laid down in the environmental clearances," it said. Rejecting the government's contention that the apex court in its July 6, 2011, or-

der had only suggested setting up of a regulator and there was no direction to that effect, the order said it is "therefore, not right in arguing that in the case of Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd, this court has merely suggested that a national regulator should be appointed and has not issued any mandamus to appoint a national regulator".The court said the July 6 order made it clear "that this court on an interpretation of Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has taken a view that it confers a power coupled with duty to appoint an appropriate authority intheformofaregulatoratthestate and at the central level for appraising projects, enforcing environmental conditions for approvals and to impose penalties on polluters...."

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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