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I am not quitting, have a job to do: Manmohan Details on page 7

Indo-US strategic dialogue on April 6 Details on page 6

NEW YORK • WASHINGTON D.C. • CHICAGO • ATLANTA • CALIFORNIA

VOL 16, No. 859

February 25, 2011

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CLINTON ASSURES HELP TO TVU STUDENTS SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to help the Indian students affected by the closing down of the dubious Tri Valley University in California. In a lengthy telephonic conversation that Indian Minister for External Affairs S.M. Krishna had from New York with her, Secretary Clinton assured of all help and agreed to personally intervene and sort out the matter. The plight of the Indian students of the sham Tri Valley

University that was shut down by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities last month was one of the major issues that featured during Minister Krishna's brief visit to New York last week. The Minister, who was officially here to address a UN Security Council meet, brought up the subject in his telephonic conversation with Secretary Clinton on Feb 13, and sought her personal intervention in the matter with a view to ensuring that the interests of the students are protected and their future is not jeopardized. Details on page 6

S M Krishna

G4 call for UNSC reform and expansion Details on page 7

Outsourcing of OCI/PIO cards announced Details on page 14

Rham gets endorsed by Indian Americans

Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody

Details on page 15

Cook County to lay off 170 employees

Details on page 10

Bryan Adams' Delhi concert cancelled

Details on page 16

Details on page 9

ICC WC opens with Dhaka pride and passion

Marc Grossman to be US special envoy to Af-Pak Details on page 11

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Did press conference save Manmohan Singh’s image? Last week’s result

Illiterate Indians are being duped to enter US? YES 81%

NO 19%

DATE WITH DABBAS: Amidst his packed high-level meetings in India, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke found time to visit Mumbai's legendary Dabbawalas to learn about their unique logistics operation that delivers home-cooked food to hundreds of thousands of people daily. (Details on page 40)

Details on page 44

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 24-25

Illinois Asian American population up 39%

Classifieds ------------------------- 47

SURENDRA ULLAL

Date Book -------------------------- 46

CHICAGO: The Asian American population of Illinois has grown to 586,934, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. This growth marks a 39% increase since 2000. There are 92,304 Asian Americans in DuPage County, making them now 10% of the County's total population. These figures confirm that Asian Americans have become one of the fastest growing segments of the state's population, while other races in Illinois have seen an overall decline. The surge in Asian Americans is also reflected at other levels of economic and academic activities as many Asian Americans have turned out to be

in forefront of business, educational and community organizations. However, many do feel that this upswing is not really reflected at the political level and this impacts on the representation of problems at the level which matter a lot. Currently there are no Asian American Congressional members, Illinois General Assembly members, nor aldermen in Chicago's City Council even though Asian Americans represent 4.57 % of the state population.

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Details on page 14

Community Post -------------- 14-21

Edit Page --------------------------- 49 HealthScience Post --------- 37-39 Horoscope ------------------------- 43 Immigration Post ------------- 34-36 Life Style ----------------------- 26-28 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 22-23 Sports Post -------------------- 44-45 TechBiz Post ------------------- 40-42 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-31


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Publisher’s Diary

T

he big debate in Washington DC currently on is whether or not the US should cut funding to countries which have traditionally been considered as allies. It wouldn't be hard to decide if one were to go by the example of Pakistan or Egypt. Over a billion dollars a year in aid for the last 30 years given to Egypt bought the 'loyalty' of a dictator (contrary to American values) but could not buy 'freedom' for Egyptians (which would have been in tune with those values). Similarly, Pakistan has been enjoying billions in aid from the US but the US is not even sure of that country's sincerity to its interests. Now, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul is seeking a vote in the House to stop US funding to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Pakistan. "Stop buying friends overseas, save $6 billion!" is Paul's slogan. He says: "Borrowing money from China - or printing it out of thin air - to hand out overseas in [an] attempt to purchase friends has been a failing foreign policy." Then there is this argument put forth by Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman that such foreign funding is just about 1% of the US budget, and that it would be detrimental to US national security if it were to deny military aid to allies that help in the fight against terrorism, protect essential sea lanes, provide safe ports for American troops and deliver intelligence in real time. While aid for needy nations is an obligation, I find America's long held policy of literally buying allies foolishly arrogant, because what it has ended up doing is only making the political and military leadership of those countries richer while impoverishing their people; and for all that, is not even safe from the security threats emanating from those very countries. So, what should Obama do? For now, he could perhaps restore the $2.5 billion budget cut for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and revoke the proposal of $3.1 billion aid to Pakistan. That would be a fair deal to the poor - both in America and Pakistan.

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Cover Story: Clinton promise US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to help Indian students affected by the closing down of the TV University.

Community: Illinois population

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The Asian American population of Illinois has grown to 586,934, a 39% increase according to Census.

Bhutan culture Lisa Napoli found her journey to Bhutan gave her much more than unprecedented access to an unknown culture.

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Sports: World Cup begins The opening ceremony of World Cup 2011 was held with much fervor at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka.

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Travel: Srinagar Srinagar is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is the pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir.

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Clinton assures help to TVU students SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to help the Indian students affected by the closing down of the dubious Tri Valley University in California. In a lengthy telephonic conversation that Indian Minister for External Affairs S.M. Krishna had from New York with her, Secretary Clinton assured of all help and agreed to personally intervene and sort out the matter. The plight of the Indian students of the sham Tri Valley University that was shut down by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities last month was one of the major issues that featured during Minister Krishna's brief visit to New York last week. The Minister, who was officially here to address a UN Security Council meet, brought up the subject in his telephonic conversation with Secretary Clinton on Feb 13, and sought her personal intervention in the matter with a view to ensuring that the interests of the students are protected and their future is not jeopardized. Following the telephonic conversation between the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton also met with Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar in Washington DC on Feb 14 to discuss the matter in detail. Students, TANA delegation meet Krishna

dents' situation. India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Indian Consul General in NY Prabhu Dayal were also present at the meeting. TANA Secretary Mohan Nannapaneni, Vasu Chinna, and Jai Kureti facilitated the meeting for the benefit of the students who could directly converse with the minister who allocated over 2 hours from his busy schedule after his speech at the UNSC.

After patiently listening to all the students he expressed concern at the continued uncertainty and assured the students that Government of India would request the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the cases of the affected students TVU students living in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and surrounding areas were part of this meeting. These students hailed from different parts of India including Pune and Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, contrary to popular belief that all the affected students are only

der the impression that the students' issues were mostly resolved. After patiently listening to all the students he expressed concern at the continued uncertainty and assured the students that Government of India would request the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the cases of the affected students. In a letter handed over to the minister, TANA President Jayaram

File photo of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna with his United States counterpart, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Komati expressed concern at the unresolved status of the students and requested him and his ministry to provide assistance to the students, so that they may return to their classes and salvage the rest of the semester. Komati stated that if the current status quo continues the students would be unable to attend classes for the rest of the school

TANA representatives with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao

A delegation of members of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) and a group of 25 Tri Valley students met with Minister Krishna at the New York Palace Hotel in New York City on Feb 13, to apprise him of the stu-

from Andhra. The students took turns to explain each of their current situations in detail and the hardships they are enduring as a result of the closure of TVU. Krishna said that he was un-

Government to intervene and seek from the US government, at least a temporary relief for them. Speaking after the meeting, Nannapaneni said that TANA was glad to have facilitated the in- person meeting between the TVU students and the External Affairs Minister. He stated TANA has been at the forefront of the efforts to help students from the beginning of their nightmare. ICE response to Embassy

year and would also have to spend a lot of money for legal issues. The delegation requested the minister to provide a paid legal assistance to the students as most of them could not afford it. The students requested the Indian

Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar had earlier raised this issue with the Director of ICE emphasizing that innocent students should not suffer and had been assured that the US authorities would handle this with good judgment and common sense.

The problem had also been raised with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. In response to the Embassy's efforts, the ICE had put up guidelines on Jan 28 and Feb 8 for the Tri-Valley students on their website at http://www.ice.gov/ sevis/tri-valley-110118.htm. Broadly, the affected students have been advised to call the Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) and provide their specific details. The website also indicates that SEVP will provide options to the students, including the option to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future. In response to questions, ICE has further clarified that among the options available to the affected students are: Students who contact SEVP representatives will be advised that they have three options: (i) Report to ICE to be processed for voluntary departure from the United States. This option allows them to leave under their own power on a day of their choosing, to remain in the United States without fear of being arrested while waiting to depart, and keeps their immigration history clean. (ii) Depart the United States on their own; (iii) File for re-instatement with US Citizenship and Immigration Services

India and United States strategic dialogue on April 6 WASHINGTON: India and the US would hold the second round of their Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi on April six during which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would lead the American side, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has announced here. "This time the meeting would take place in New Delhi on April 6. Secretary Hillary Clinton would travel to India for that meeting," Rao told reporters last evening at the end of her three-day US visit. Rao, who was basically here for foreign office consultations, discussed on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, besides the developments in Egypt. She had a lengthy meeting with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, besides having called on Secretary Clinton at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department. Rao briefed the US officials on the recent Indo-Pak talks in Bhutan and New Delhi's perspec-

tive on it. Rao said she and Burns discussed the steps being taken by the two nations on implementation of the decisions reached during the India visit of US President Barack Obama in November last year. They also prepared the ground work for the second Strategic Dialogue between the two countries. "I had a very useful meeting with the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," Rao said. "This visit also afforded the opportunity to take stock of the regional and global situation. The situation in the region has been an object of focus in our discussion, previously also with the United States," she said. Rao also met a number of top officials from the Departments of Defence and Commerce; and the National Security Council at the White House. She also met Senators Richard Lugar and Mark Warner and Congressman Howard Berman at the Capitol Hill.-PTI


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G4 call for UNSC reform and expansion

India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna speaking at G4 meeting in New York, flanked by the other three ministers, (from left) Takeaki Matsumoto, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Guido Westerwelle, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany and Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister of External Relations of Brazil. The group of four met in New York on February 11, for the second time in the last six months, to exchange views on Security Council reform.-Pic Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia India Post News Service

NEW YORK: A high-level ministerial meeting of the G4 countries - India, Japan, Brazil and Germany - concluded with the determination to achieve at the earliest, an expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent membership categories of the Security Council. Towards this goal, the G4 countries reaffirmed their readiness to reach out to other countries and to work in close cooperation with them in a spirit of flexibility. The Minister of External Affairs of India S. M. Krishna; the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle; the Minister of External Relations of Brazil Antonio de Aguiar Patriota; and the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan Takeaki Matsumoto met in New York on Feb 11, for the second time in the last six months, to exchange views on Security Council reform. The G4 meeting took place on the sidelines of a major UN Security Council meet on peace, security and development, which the Indian minister addressed the same morning. India became a non-permanent member of the UNSC Jan 1, returning to the high table after a gap of 19 years; and is a contender for a permanent seat in a reformed, expanded UNSC. The high-level meeting has been convened by Brazil, which is the president of the council for the month of February. The Ministers agreed that as democracies with shared political values including respect for the Rule of law, respect for human rights and a commitment to multilateralism, the G4 countries hold a number of common positions on the major contemporary

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna speaking at UN Security Council on February 11

challenges to international peace and security. They noted with satisfaction the important contributions being made by their countries to the working of the Security Council and to the maintenance of international peace and security.

The Ministers agreed that as democracies with shared political values including respect for the Rule of law, respect for human rights and a commitment to multilateralism, the G4 countries hold a number of common positions on the major contemporary challenges to international peace and security

They reaffirmed their willingness and capacity to take on major responsibilities in this regard. They stated that the international system would benefit from the expansion of the UN Security Council, which would ensure that the Council is

truly reflective of current geopolitical realities and make it stronger, more representative, legitimate, effective and efficient. In this context, the G4 countries reiterated their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as their support for each other's candidatures. The G4 countries also reaffirmed their view of the importance of Africa to be represented in the permanent membership of an enlarged Council. They also reconfirmed the need for additional nonpermanent members and improvement in the Council's working methods. The Ministers expressed gratitude for the efforts made by the President of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss and Ambassador Zahir Tanin, the Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations, for their facilitating role in the negotiations among the Member States. They stressed that the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations made it clear that the overwhelming majority of the Member States support expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of the Security Council membership, as well as increased representation of developing countries in both. The Ministers further recognized that there is widespread support for a Member-States driven initiative to take the process of the much-needed reform of the Security Council towards a concrete outcome in the current session of the UN General Assembly. They, therefore, agreed to press ahead, with all necessary steps to achieve at the earliest an expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent membership categories of the Security Council.


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I am not quitting, have a job to do: Manmohan NEW DELHI: Admitting that "some compromises" have to be made in managing a coalition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has declared that his government will bring the wrongdoers in scams to book but ruled out quitting from his post. He asserted that his government was not lameduck nor was he a lameduck Prime Minister and it was a functioning government that would go after the scamsters. On the 2G scam involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, the Prime Minister said concerns were expressed but he did not press for auction after Ministries of Telecom and Finance agreed to go by the prevailing practice of not auctioning the spectrum which was also supported by expert bodies like TRAI and Telecom Commission. About re-induction of Raja despite complaints, he said in a coalition, it was not in his hands about whom to be inducted from a coalition partner. "You cannot suggest your preferences and you have to go by the choice of the leader of the party. "Raja and Dayanidhi Maran were the choice of DMK and I had no reason to feel that anything seriously wrong has been done. I did not feel that I had the authority to object to Raja's entry although complaints were coming from some companies who were not benefited and some who had not benefited adequately. I was not in a position to make up my mind about Raja", he said. The Prime Minister said "in a coalition, there is a coalition dharma. Obviously, things are not entirely what I would like them to be. I never felt like resigning as I have a job to do. "The country voted our party to be the leader of the UPA coalition and we have lot of unfinished tasks to be accomplished. I have never felt of giving up halfway. I will stay the course. I never thought of resigning," he told television editors at an interaction here. During the 70-minute interaction, the Prime Minister fielded a wide range of questions covering mainly issues of corruption including the ISRO's deal on S-band spectrum, governance deficit, economy and Parliament standoff. Singh also made it clear that he was not afraid of facing any Parliamentary committee including a JPC on 2G scam. He said all efforts were being made and talks were on with opposition to ensure smooth budget session of Parliament. "I don't say I have never made any mistake. But I am not that big

a culprit as being made out to be," he said in reply to a question whether he would accept personal responsibility as head of the government for whatever has happened in the government. "I am conscious about personal responsibility. I feel about it. My compulsion is that I have

to bear a lot because we cannot have elections in every six months. Some compromises have to be made in managing a coalition. A coalition government has to be viewed in a context that no single party has emerged to rule by itself," he said. In his opening remarks, the

Prime Minister referred to the media expose of various scams including the Commonwealth Games, ISRO deal, Adarsh housing affairs but asked the media not to give an image that India was a scam-driven country and nothing good was happening. He said that such an image

I am not afraid of appearing before JPC: PM NEW DELHI: In the clearest signal that Government is ready for a Joint Parliament Committee probe on the 2G scam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that he is not afraid of appearing before the panel. Asked during an interaction with television editors whether the government would agree to the JPC on 2G scam, he said "full efforts are being undertaken to see that some way will be found (to ensure that Parliament functions). I hope it will happen." He also dismissed impression that he was blocking agreement on the issue between the government and the opposition as he did not want to appear before a JPC. "My position is that I am not afraid of appearing before any committee. The PAC is a joint parliamentary committee, presided over a senior member of the opposition," he said. Singh had offered to appear

before the PAC looking into various aspects of the 2G scam. The panel is headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. "I am fully prepared to appear before any committee including a JPC. It is entirely wrong for an impression to go that I was the one blocking it because I am afraid of appearing before it. My conduct as a Prime Minister must be like Caesar's wife should be above

The Prime Minister also referred to his earlier remarks made during the Congress Plenary in December last year in which he had offered to appear before the PAC if required

suspicion. I am quite prepared to appear before any committee that may go into this", he said. The remarks come a week after the all party meeting chaired by UPA's trouble shooter Pranab Mukherjee on February 8 in which broad indications emerged on the possibility of formation of a JPC to look into the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The winter session of Parliament was a complete washout with the opposition insisting on a JPC and the government unwilling to relent. The Prime Minister also referred to his earlier remarks made during the Congress Plenary in December last year in which he had offered to appear before the PAC if required. "The PAC is the giant committee presided over by a very senior leader of the opposition and I have publicly declared my willingness to appear before it," Singh said.-PTI

BJP rejects PM's contention on 'Gujarat minister' AHMEDABAD: The BJP has rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's contention that the party was taking up issues against UPA government because of the arrest of former Gujarat minister Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, and said the entire opposition was raising these issues. "There was an expectation and hope that Prime Minister's address to the media will provide some new directions on the issues of corruption and inflation. Instead, he pleaded his innocence and helplessness," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here. In reply to a question about the Prime Minister's remarks referring to Shah, Javadekar said, "Not just BJP, but entire opposition was rais-

ing issues of scams and demanding JPC. Some of the allies of the present UPA government have supported the demand of formation of JPC to probe 2G spectrum scam." "Gujarat's fight (on misuse of CBI) is for justice, and we are confident of winning it. People of Gujarat know that ruling government here is a symbol of progress and not of destruction," Javadekar said. The Prime Minister, during his interaction with journalists this morning, had said, "Opposition parties and especially BJP has taken a very hostile attitude towards us. I cannot mention it in public... Because you have taken a particular decision against a minister who was in Gujarat. You reverse it or face it". Shah, who was Minister of

state for home in Modi government, was arrested by the CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and is now out on bail. . The impression that the Prime Minister's press conference gave was "Prime Minister is in office but not in power", he said. The BJP leader demanded that as the Prime Minister has now agreed to appear before the JPC, the government should immediately announce the appointment of the committee. He further alleged that the investigations in all the scams were an attempt to cover up. "In the Commonwealth Games corruption case two officials were arrested, but they were later released on bail as no charge-sheet has been filed. This is an attempt of cover up".-PTI

would weaken the self-confidence of the people and it would not be in the interest of the country. "I wish to assure the country as a whole that our government is dead serious about bringing to book all wrongdoers regardless of the position they occupy," he said. To a question what was his biggest regret in UPA-II, Singh said that "these irregularities have happened. They should not have happened. I am not very happy about these developments". He virtually disagreed with the CAG calculations on the loss figure in the 2G scam saying the CAG itself had called it presumptive. There are various methods of computing the figures and went on to question whether the Rs 80,000 crore being spent on foodgrain subsidy, Rs 60,000 crore on fertilisers and subsidy on kerosene could be called as loss. He was replying to a question whether he agreed with Telecom minister Kapil Sibal's description of zero loss in the 2G scam. To a question on Home Minister P Chidambaram's comments on governance deficit, he admitted, "obviously, some events have brought out the weaknesses in governance and processes, I think we need to improve the quality of governance. But that does not divide me and other members of the government." He rejected a questioner's suggestion that his government was facing double-incumbency of attacks from the opposition and within the party. "I do not get that impression (party not backing him). In a democracy, there are views and discussions and when decisions are taken, our party stands united in support of the government. "I would like a cohesive party to support the government but I am not saying it is not happening," he said. To a specific question whether he would be ready to be projected as Prime Ministerial candidate in the next elections, Singh said "it is too early. We still have a long way to go. I have to complete this term. It is too premature to speculate who would be the Prime Ministerial candidate." He was asked whether he was feeling bad as certain embarrassing things were happening which were not in tune with his nature. "I have looked upon life as a learning and re-learning process. It has been a great educational experience from civil service to academic world to political world. This process of learning, I relish that", he replied.


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CCS annuls controversial Antrix-Devas deal NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of an uproar, the Government has scrapped the deal ISRO's commercial arm Antrix had struck with a private company for lease of premium space segment, saying it was not in the country's strategic interest. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to annul the contract Antrix had entered into with Devas Multimedia under which it was to lease out 90 per cent transponders on two of ISRO's satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A. Under the agreement signed in January 2005, Devas was to lease transponder capacity from the two satellites at a cost of USD 300 million (approximately Rs 1350 crore) spread over 12 years. Some estimates said the deal was heavily undervalued, which triggered an uproar with the BJPled opposition attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is directly in charge of the Department of Space. "The Agreement for the lease of space segment capacity on ISRO/Antrix S-Band spacecraft

by Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. entered into between Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. on 28th January, 2005 shall be annulled forthwith," announced Law Minister Veerappa Moily after the meeting. He said when the question of strategic requirement arises, the

Some estimates said the deal was heavily undervalued, which triggered an uproar with the BJP-led opposition attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is directly in charge of the Department of Space government cannot give S-band spectrum even to Antrix for commercial use. "We have thoroughly examined this matter and ultimately we have come to the conclusion that

under provisions of the agreement and the law governing that, it can be annulled," he said when asked whether the impact of the decision was discussed by the CCS. Devas Multimedia had threatened to move court if the government took any unilateral decision to terminate the deal. "Even if they go to court, they are not likely to succeed," Moily said when asked whether the government was ready to face the legal challenges put up by Devas. After news reports about the possible revenue loss appeared, the Government and ISRO said the project was already under review and action has been initiated for termination of the contract. The Prime Minister said that the deal had never been operationalised and rejected suggestions that his office had held "backroom" talks with Devas after the Space Commission's recommendation to scrap the deal. He had said that if there has been delay in scrapping the deal, this has been "only procedural". A brief official statement said

there has been an increased demand for allocation of spectrum for national needs, including for the needs of defense, para-military forces, railways and other public utility services as well as for societal needs. "Having regard to the needs of the country's strategic require-

The Agreement provided for an up-front capacity reservation fee of USD 20 million per satellite and annual lease charges starting at USD 9 million per satellite. There are also penalty charges to be paid by Antrix ments, the Government will not be able to provide orbit slot in S band to Antrix for commercial activities, including for those which are the subject matter of existing contractual obligations

for S band," Moily said reading out from the statement. He said resorting to the force majeure clause of the agreement was one of the options before the government to cancel the deal. The Law Ministry, in its opinion given on June 18, 2008, had made it clear that in event of termination Antrix shall be required to reimburse Devas all the upfront capacity reservation fees and corresponding service taxes received till that date. The Agreement provided for an up-front capacity reservation fee of USD 20 million per satellite and annual lease charges starting at USD 9 million per satellite. There are also penalty charges to be paid by Antrix in case of late delivery of satellite or performance failures/service interruptions. Devas has so far made a payment of Rs 58.37 crore as upfront capacity reservation fee for the two satellites. The launch of GSAT 6 has already been delayed by at least two years and ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan had said that the satellite was yet to be integrated. -PTI

Bryan Adams' Delhi concert cancelled NEW DELHI: In a disappointment for Bryan Adams' fans, the Canadian rock star's muchawaited concert in Delhi was cancelled after police refused permission for it over security concerns. The sold-out concert, which was scheduled for this evening, was called off after the Delhi police said the location for the show in the NSIC exhibition grounds in Okhla industrial area of south east Delhi was not suitable for it. The organisers of the show said that unexpected rains coupled with the overwhelming public response for the show had made the venue "unsafe". However, they said that the singer was keen to perform in New Delhi and a new date and venue was being worked out. "The organisers are working towards finalising an alternate venue and date to re-schedule the Bryan Adams concert in New Delhi since public safety is a priority," the organisers said. The 52-year-old singer of the 'Summer of 69' hit, who has sold nearly 70 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, has al-

ready performed in Bangalore and Mumbai. Adams is also scheduled to hold a concert in Hyderabad tomorrow before he flies to Dhaka and then Kathmandu.

According to the official, the objection was mainly due to the organisers selling more tickets than the capacity of the ground which can cater to only 6,000 people at a time. "They have issued VIP and complimentary passes also’ Police, however, was not satisfied with the arrangements in Delhi and did not give a green light for the show. "We have denied permission for the concert because of security

concerns. The place chosen to organise the concert is not suitable for this kind of a programme," a senior police official said. According to the official, the objection was mainly due to the organisers selling more tickets than the capacity of the ground which can cater to only 6,000 people at a time. "They have issued VIP and complimentary passes also. There was no traffic plan despite the fact that the show was to be held on a working day," the official said. The official said police had informed the organisers about the denial of permission on February 10 itself. The official ticketing partner for the event KyaZoonga asked people who had booked tickets online and through retail outlets to "not go to the NSIC venue to pick up your tickets". It also assured that in case the customers choose not to attend the rescheduled concert, their tickets will be refunded. It said that besides the rescheduled dates, the details of refunds and ticket exchanges will also be announced later. -PTI

Renowned singer Bryan Adams performing during a live in concert at HICC in Hyderabad


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2G spectrum scam: CBI confronts Ambani and Raja NEW DELHI: It was face-toface confrontation between ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and former Telecom Minister A Raja at CBI headquarters over the issue of Dual Technology permit to RCom and its alleged association with Swan Telecom. The investigators repeatedly questioned the duo over the equity issues of Swan telecom for nearly an hour but both remained

"non-cooperative" and stuck to their stand, sources privy to the investigations said. The questions pertained to whether Reliance Communication directly or through its subsidiary held more than 10 per cent equity, a threshold for cross-holding in two services providers in the same circle, the sources said. Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited have 90.13

and Reliance Telecom Limited has 9.87 per cent equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar television. Ambani, 51, was called to the CBI headquarters for questioning by the agency in connection with the 2G Spectrum scam. DB Realty group Managing Director Shahid Usman Balwa,

Aus asked to be 'flexible' on uranium sale to India MELBOURNE: Making a strong pitch for uranium sale to India, a senior Australian minister has asked the Labor government to be "flexible" on the issue as the country is "not a rogue state" and deserves special consideration. "No one can suggest India is a rogue state," Federal Resource Minister Martin Ferguson said, while asking his government to modernize its policy of not supplying uranium to non-NPT States. "I think this is something the Labor Party has to think about: there should be some flexibility or discretion built into the national policy that enables Australia to handle the delicate situation of India while at the same time forcing full accountability in the use of uranium in civilian power plants," he was quoted as saying by Fairfax media. The ruling party's current uranium sale policy needs to allow "flexibility and discretion" when it comes to India, said Ferguson, who last month

met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during his Australia visit. His statement feeds expectations that the Labor party will hold a contentious debate at its

‘No one can suggest India is a rogue state,’ Federal Resource Minister Martin Ferguson said. There should be some flexibility or discretion built into the national policy that enables Australia to handle the delicate situation of India while at the same time forcing full accountability next national conference later this year to consider reversing its current uranium sale policy. Ferguson said that he will not ask Labor to open its ban on ura-

nium exports to countries outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), but rather recognize that India deserves special consideration. "I accept (that our refusal to export uranium) is a major concern in an otherwise close strategic relationship between Australia and India." Any future uranium sale to India would be accompanied by a bilateral safeguards agreement such as the one Australia negotiated with China in 2007, and Canberra would want inspections on the ground. The Minister's comments came after a media report disclosed that a US cable passed to the whistle-blower website Wikileaks indicated that a nuclear fuel deal with India was being seen in the next three to five years. His remarks also came ahead of an expected move by the Australian Workers' Union (AWU) to pass a resolution supporting an expansion of uranium mining and endorsing a debate about nuclear power, the report said. -PTI

On twitter, Omar prays for end to destruction in J&K JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his outrage on Twitter over the killing of two children in an accidental explosion of a shell in Srinagar last night. "God please please put an end to all this death & destruction. How many more graveyards do we have to fill before someone says ENOUGH (sic)", Omar said in a post on the social networking website. A 10-year-old boy and his 8year-old sister were killed and three other members of their fam-

ily were critically injured when a shell accidentally exploded at their house in Srinagar. The two children had found the unexploded shell from the debris of a house that was razed by security forces during a gun battle with Jaish-e-Mohammad militants in Malroo area near Srinagar in October last year. Replying to the Tweets he received from his followers on the website, Omar said, "It doesn't matter who the hell the grenade belonged to, all that matters is that 2 young lives have been snuffed

out much before their time (sic)". The chief minister also tweeted: "doesn't it bother you how in every tragedy you are conditioned to blame the security forces. What about LeT that created encounter". He further said "I'm conditioned to call a spade a spade. Try it some time, it's liberating". In reply to another Tweet, Omar said, "I'm well aware of that but unless your CM is God himself/ herself there are somethings that are beyond any human's control". -PTI

promoter of Swan telecom, is already in the CBI custody. According to the CAG, four Companies including Reliance Communications Ltd were provided CDMA based mobile service under Unified Access Service license. Based on the recommendations of TRAI, use of dual technology was permitted on October 17, 2007 and RCom is alleged to have applied for the same even before the announcement of the policy. Reliance Communication Ltd. had complied with the requirements for permission to use dual technology on October 19, 2007. itself by depositing the non refundable entry fee of Rs 1,645 crore for 20 service areas through Reliance Infocomm Ltd.

The CAG had said that acceptance of bank draft from Reliance Infocomm Ltd (third party) on behalf of Reliance Communications Ltd was not in order and showed the hurry in which the entry fee was deposited. In a statement here, ADAG had said, "during the course of his weekly visit to New Delhi, Ambani "met CBI officials to clarify ongoing issues, relating to telecom matters for the years 2001 to 2010". The ADAG statement said, "Neither Reliance Telecom nor RCOM nor any Reliance ADAG individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom Ltd at the time of grant of the 2G license to them in January, 2008, or at any time thereafter". -PTI

Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody

Former Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja being taken to Patiala House court from CBI HQ in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Former Telecom Minister A Raja, arrested for his alleged role in 2G Spectrum allocation scam, was sent to Tihar Jail by a Delhi court under 14days' judicial custody. "The accused is remanded in judicial custody till March 3," Special CBI judge O P Saini said. The judge also directed the Tihar Jail authorities to let the former minister have access to home-made food, besides his medicines. The court gave this direction to the jail superintendent on a

plea made by Raja's counsel Ramesh Gupta. Raja was arrested on February 2 for his alleged role in 2G spectrum allocation scam, which, as per the CBI, has caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state exchequer. The former minister is alleged to have manipulated rules to favor some telecom companies including Swan Telecom and Unitech Private Limited in allocation of spectrum at throwaway prices. -PTI


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Marc Grossman to be US special envoy to Af-Pak WASHINGTON: Marc Grossman, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is expected to replace the late Richard Holbrooke as Obama Administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The post has been vacant since Richard Holbrooke, 68, who was the Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan for two years, died suddenly last December. Clinton met Grossman at the State Department. "Retired diplomat Marc Grossman is expected to take over as the administration is facing a crucial year for its war strategy in Afghanistan, where it plans to begin US troop withdrawals this summer and to move toward a political settlement including negotiations with the Taliban before the end of 2011," the Washington Post said. Grossman, who spent time at the US Embassy in Islamabad in late 70s, at present is the vice president of the Cohen Group,

headed by the former Defence Secretary William Cohen. The group has several clients with contracts in South Asia.

after Islamabad refused to grant diplomatic immunity to an American official facing murder charges in the country.

Grossman, who spent time at the US Embassy in Islamabad in late 70s, at present is the vice president of the Cohen Group, headed by the former Defence Secretary William Cohen. The group has several clients with contracts in South Asia

Marc Grossman

Grossman's appointment as Obama Administration's point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan comes at a time when the US has suspended high-level official contacts with Pakistan

During his nearly three-decade of service in the State Department, Grossman served as assistant secretary of state for Europe and ambassador to Turkey. He retired as the Under Sec-

Pak nuclear arsenal unlikely to shift power balance WASHINGTON: Pakistan's jump of its nuclear arsenal from 60 to 110 warheads is unlikely to shift the balance of power with India but poses a graver risk of these weapons landing into the hands of terror groups, US security experts have warned. "Pakistan's jump from an estimated 60 to 110 nuclear weapons is unlikely to shift the balance of power vis a vis India," said Alexander H Rothman and Lawrence J Korb from the Centre for American Progress in their analysis of the recent news reports that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. "Pakistan's entry into the "nuclear 100 club" does little to change the strategic situation in South Asia, nor does this determined pursuit of nuclear weapons signal a major policy shift in Pakistani behavior," they said. In fact, Pakistan's nuclear buildup is unlikely to affect US, Pakistani, or global security in the short term. Instead, Pakistan's growing nuclear stockpile is simply the latest reminder of a problem of which experts and policymakers have been long aware: The outdated Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has become increasingly ineffective at combating proliferation in the twenty-first century,

and the international consensus and political will necessary to update the treaty remain out of sight, they wrote. The jump to 110 weapons may put Pakistan's arsenal slightly ahead of India's in numerical terms, it does not increase the effectiveness of Pakistan's deterrent, it said. "In fact, Pakistan's focus on

While Pakistan cannot match the strength of India's economy or its conventional military capabilities, its nuclear arsenal provides an opportunity for Pakistan to be one-up India nuclear buildup appears unlikely to improve the country's security in any way. While relations between Pakistan and India are far from cordial, the most immediate threats to Pakistani stability are domestic," they said. "Heavily reliant on foreign aid, Pakistan faces severe economic problems as well as an armed, ex-

retary of State for Political Affairs in 2005. During the Carter Administration, Grossman served as

tremist insurgency. Additional nuclear weapons are unlikely to help the Pakistani government solve either of these internal problems - particularly considering the fact it's almost impossible to think of a situation in which it makes sense for a government to use nuclear weapons domestically," the article said. Terrence P Smith of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies speculates that for Pakistan, nuclear weapons have become a "psychological equalizer." "That is, while Pakistan cannot match the strength of India's economy or its conventional military capabilities, its nuclear arsenal provides an opportunity for Pakistan to be one-up India, even if this victory provides negligible security benefits," the article said. When viewed as part of a larger trend of nuclear buildup, however, Pakistan's jump from 60 to 110 warheads becomes more worrisome. "In the long run, the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and weapons-usable material presents a major national security issue for the United States," it said adding that Pakistan has a history as ground zero for the illicit sharing of nuclear technology, most significantly through the rogue A Q Khan network.-PTI

Deputy Special Adviser to Carter and in several capacities for the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. His other overseas assignments include tours as a politi-

cal officer at the US Mission to NATO and in Islamabad. A career foreign service officer since 1976, Grossman has a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and M.Sc. in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science. "The key issues at my first diplomatic post in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1977 were America's competition with the Soviet Union, Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, and violence in Afghanistan and Iran," Grossman wrote in the October 2010 issue of American Diplomacy. "But American diplomacy there also focused on the connection between the lack of political and economic development in Pakistan and issues of what we would now call larger 'human security'. When I went to visit one of Pakistan's main political opposition figures, then under house arrest, he told me that there was one thing he admired most about the United States," he said. -PTI

Mid East countries ripe for popular revolt: US report NEW YORK: A wide arc of pressing their people and small countries in the Middle East from protests by people already surfacYemen to Bahrain were ripe for ing. popular revolt, unless sweeping "Whether it was Yemen or other political changes were made, a re- countries in the region, you saw a port ordered by US President has set of trends," said another offiwarned. cial, who described the trend as Egypt, which witnessed a po- "real prescription for trouble. litical turmoil leading to the top"The trend included - a big pling of 30-year-old regime of youth population, threadbare strongman Hosni Mubarak was education systems, stagnant identified as a flash point for the economies and new social netregion by the report which wanted work technologies like Facebook US to push for political changes and Twitter." in the region. The officials said that the reThe report known as Presidential study directive identified the Egypt, which witnessed a politinew flash points postcal turmoil leading to the topEgypt and asked for proposals on how US pling of 30-year-old regime of could push for political strongman Hosni Mubarak was changes in countries with autocratic rulers, identified as a flash point for the who are also valuable region by the report allies of America, New York Times reported. "There's no question Egypt port focused on how to balance was very much on the mind of the American strategic interests and president," said a senior official the desire to avert broader instawho helped draft the report and bility against the democratic dewho spoke on condition of ano- mands of the protesters. nymity to discuss its findings. "We really pushed the question "You had all the unknowns cre- of who was taking the lead in reated by Egypt's succession pic- form," said an official. ture, and Egypt is the anchor of "Would pushing reform harm the region," he added. relations with the Egyptian miliThe report was ordered in the tary? Doesn't the military have an backdrop of Mideast leaders re- interest in reform?" -PTI


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Qureshi's political fate uncertain as PPP leaders gun for him ISLAMABAD: A question mark hangs over the future of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, till recently Pakistan's Foreign Minister who was scheduled to travel to India for talks by June, with the leadership of the ruling PPP sharply attacking him for "hatching conspiracies" against the party. Qureshi was shunted out of the Foreign Office and given the Water and Power portfolio in the downsizing and reshuffle of the Pakistani cabinet but unhappy over the change the 54-year-old PPP leader decided not to attend the swearing in ceremony. Media reports suggested that his strong views against granting immunity to the US official arrested for gunning down two men in Lahore had not gone down well with the PPP leadership. Following an interview he gave to a newspaper strongly suggesting that US official Raymond Davis was not eligible for diplomatic immunity, the PPP has stepped up its tirade against the former foreign minister. Qureshi has "no future" in the PPP and "serious disciplinary action will be taken against him for violating party discipline and humiliating its leadership", PPP spokesperson Fauzia Wahab told the Dawn newspaper. Wahab said Qureshi had "ditched the party leadership and it was not the first time he had done so". She said Qureshi's role as Foreign Minister over the past three years was questionable and that

he did not support President Asif Ali Zardari when he faced criticism in the media over his foreign trips. Stung by the criticism from within his party ranks, Qureshi said he was heart-broken and pleaded for the party to make the reasons for divesting him of the key portfolio of the foreign minis-

To make matters worse, Qureshi, in an interview to the News daily said that as per the records of the Foreign Office and experts, he was of the view that Davis could not be granted diplomatic immunity. Reacting to his statements, Information and Broadcasting Minister Awan said he should not be

assign a responsibility to a party member but Qureshi was not ready to accept a change in his portfolio, she said. Asked whether Qureshi had differences with the party on the issue of arrested US official Raymond Davis, Wahab said, "If he had a problem over the issue he

Qureshi was shunted out of the Foreign Office and given the Water and Power portfolio in the reshuffle of the Pakistani cabinet but unhappy over the change the 54-year-old PPP leader decided not to attend the swearing in ceremony Shah Mahmood Qureshi

ter to be made known. "My heart is broken. I have gone and pleaded with the leadership. I have asked please, please tell me why I am not being given the portfolio of the foreign minister? I have asked them what is my mistake? I need to know. I am not above scrutiny, but what wrong did I commit?" Qureshi asked. Several senior PPP leaders, including party secretary general Raja Parvez Ashraf and Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan launched a scathing attack on Qureshi.

discussing the issue, that is sub judice, before the media, instead of discussing it within the party. . Qureshi was Pakistan's foreign minister since 2008 and was scheduled to visit India by June this year for the next round of the Indo-Pak Foreign Ministers' meeting. Despite all of Qureshi's "past acts, the party leadership had decided to include him in the new cabinet" but Qureshi created a crisis just 25 minutes before the oathtaking ceremony at the Presidency, Awan said. It is the PPP leadership's job to

should have resigned earlier." Ashraf compared Qureshi to late PPP leader Farooq Leghari, who had during his tenure as President sacked the government of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto in 1996. He also accused Qureshi of joining the "band wagon of political actors hatching conspiracies against the party leadership". Awan, considered close to PPP chief Zardari's camp, said Qureshi had not expressed his concerns when he was Foreign Minister and his remarks about Davis were "not

in favour of the country". Awan also sought to question why Qureshi had expressed his differences with the government after a court had issued an arrest warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with Benazir Bhutto's assassination. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar has confirmed to the media that Qureshi met Zardari but he refused to divulge details of the meeting. Babar described it as a routine meeting of a former minister with the President and expressed ignorance about statements by other PPP leaders against Qureshi. Qureshi said he was also "absolutely devastated" by criticism from Information Minister Awan, who had linked his refusal to join the cabinet with an arrest warrant issued by a court against former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with Benazir Bhutto's assassination. Awan has sought to imply that Qureshi wants to "save" Musharraf and that he is a "personal friend" of the former military ruler. "I cannot believe this. It is extremely sad that this is coming from someone who was recently with the (PML-Q). In fact, let the records speak for themselves," Qureshi told The News daily. -PTI

Indo-Pak relationship largely unchanged: Clapper WASHINGTON: Despite the fact that leadership of both India and Pakistan have expressed their determination for talks with each other, the relationship between the two nations remains unchanged, according to a top US intelligence official. "India's ties to Pakistan are largely unchanged. Both sides have stated their willingness to put all issues on the table and are committed to another round of talks at the foreign minister level at a date to be determined," James R Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said in his prepared testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "Senior Indian officials continue to call for progress in the prosecution of individuals charged with the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, and remain concerned at the length of the process taking place in Pakistan. New Delhi, nevertheless, continues to underscore its desire for peaceful and stable relations with

Islamabad," Clapper said. India, he said, is pursuing a robust foreign policy agenda, working to enhance ties to East and Southeast Asian nations, offering reciprocal visits with China, and hosting high level engage-

UN Security Council, and US commitment to support Indian membership in the four international export control regimes -- in a phased manner and consistent with maintaining the core principles of these regimes -- as India

James R Clapper

ments in New Delhi by the US, French, and Russian Presidents in the last months of 2010. Indian officials welcomed, in particular, the US endorsement of an eventual seat for India on the

such as the G-20, East Asian Summit, and the climate change discussions in Mexico, Clapper said. Indian officials, he said, have welcomed the international community's commitment to remain in Afghanistan until the end

India's open assistance programs provide only noncombat aid, although the Indian media continues to discuss whether the country should also consider various capacity-building programs for the Afghan security forces

takes steps toward full adoption and implementation of the regimes' requirements, he said. New Delhi, meanwhile, has been working to deepen its engagement with multilateral fora

of 2014. New Delhi continues to believe that a stable, friendly Afghanistan is crucial to Indian security. Despite successful and attempted attacks on the official,

commercial, and non-governmental Indian presence in Afghanistan, the government believes it has a mandate, from both the Indian and Afghan peoples, to continue civilian assistance programs and reconstruction efforts there. India's open assistance programs provide only noncombat aid, although the Indian media continues to discuss whether the country should also consider various capacity-building programs for the Afghan security forces as a means to bolster internal security, he said. Clapper said India is closely watching a variety of issues that New Delhi believes will be of primary concern in 2011, to include questions about whether or how to reconcile Afghan Taliban, US, and ISAF views about the current and future security situation in Afghanistan, and developments in efforts to foster civil society, a solid economy, and robust democratic processes.-PTI


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Radio tags removed from three more Indian students WASHINGTON: The US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has removed radio tags from three more Indian students of the now shut-down Tri Valley University (TVU) in California and also returned their passports. Susmita Gongulee Thomas, the Consul General, Indian Consulate San Francisco, said ICE have returned the passports of these three students along with the two others, from whom radio tags were removed last week. In all radio tags so far has been removed from five of the 18 Indian students. These students were taken to ICE by two immigration attorneys, Kalpana Peddibhotla and Manpreet Gahra. Encouraged by the positive development, Thomas said 10 more students would be taken to ICE next week by these two immigration attorneys and they are

very optimistic of the same positive outcome. "Five of the 18 students are now free of the radio tags. Students were feeling very badly about. It was humiliating to go around with these tags," Thomas

Thomas said community organizations in the Bay area, especially the Telugu Association of North America, have been supporting these students in distress told PTI. The Consul General said, three of the students who have radio tags have gone to their own law-

yers, so she has no information about them. The two immigration attorneys - Kalpana Peddibhotla and Manpreet Gahra - are from the South Asian Bar Association, who in association with the Consulate had held free legal aid camp for the Tri Valley Students. "Our primary concern and priority was to get these radio tags removed," she said. Thomas said community organizations in the Bay area, especially the Telugu Association of North America, have been supporting these students in distress. She urged other community organizations to come forward with their resources to help these students. The Consul General said the TVU students are from various parts of the country, not only from Andhra Pradesh alone. -PTI

Pak court adjourns American's case till March 14 LAHORE: American official Raymond Davis arrested for double murder may have to spend at least three more weeks in custody with a Pakistani court putting off to next month the case to decide his diplomatic status, escalating the tense standoff between the two countries over the issue. The Lahore High Court adjourned the case till March 14 after Deputy Attorney General Naveed Inayat Malik, who represented the federal government at the hearing, told its Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry that Foreign Ministry needed more time to submit a response on the diplomatic status of Davis.

The US has insisted that 37year-old Davis has diplomatic immunity and demanded that he should be released immediately. "We believe that diplomatic immunity (to Davis) is a fact. From our standpoint, it is not a matter in dispute. It's certainly not a matter that should be resolved by courts in Pakistan," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said in Washington. Khwaja Haris, the Advocate General of the Punjab government, told the Lahore High Court that the federal government alone could determine whether Davis has diplomatic immunity. He argued that the Vienna Convention does not

give blanket immunity to persons involved in heinous crimes. Davis, arrested on January 27 after he shot and killed two Pakistani men who he claimed were trying to rob him, had been charged for murder by police, he remarked. The American official claimed that he had fired in self defense, but this was rejected by police. After hearing the arguments of the lawyers for the federal and provincial governments, Chief Justice Chaudhry said: "How can the court proceed further in the case till the Foreign Office tells us about his (Davis') diplomatic status?"-PTI

LeT has acquired lethal capabilities: US intel chief WASHINGTON: Concerned that Pakistan based Lashkar-iTaiba is expanding horizons, a top US security official has said the terror group has acquired capabilities to launch a Mumbai-type terrorist strike in Europe and other parts of the world. Any fresh strike by the group in India or anywhere else would hurt US national security interest and its counter-terrorism interests in the region, Michael Leiter, Director of the National Counter-ter-

rorism Center told lawmakers. Testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Pak-based LeT has enough capabilities to launch a Mumbaitype terrorist strike in Europe and other parts of the world. "What we have not yet seen is a history of them doing so. We are certainly concerned by some indicators we see of them expanding their horizons beyond the region. Certainly they have the capac-

ity -- it's a large organization," he said. The US intelligence chief comments came as a powerful lawmaker took the Pak's ISI to task for not handing over to India, those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attacks. India has identified LeT operations commander Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi along with others as the plotters of the Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were gunned down.

UK defends 1 billion pound aid to India LONDON: As an outcry blew year, our development partnerover Britain's decision to continue ship has an important role to over 1 billion pounds in aid to New play." he added. Delhi until 2015, the David "It is completely unacceptable Cameron government has de- to be giving aid to a country that fended the move, saying India can afford to spend vast amounts symbolises a development para- of money on nuclear weapons and dox. a space programme," ConservaThe vociferous tabloid press tive MP Philip Davies said. led the criticism with headlines "India's economy is growing at such as 'Scandal of our 1b pounds a rate that we can only dream of. aid to India' (Daily Express) and It is quite extraordinary to be giv'Our 1b pounds aid to India: A ing aid money to a country that nation with three times as many could end up lending it back to billionaires as we have' (Daily us," he added. Mail). Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers' International development sec- Alliance, said: "India is one of the retary Andrew Mitchell defended world's fastest-growing econothe aid on the ground that India symbolised a 'development paradox' - ‘Our development program is it has a growing in transition, but now is not the economy and gives aid to Africa, but also has time to end it completely. For more poor than the en- the next four years, we will tire sub-Saharan Africa. He said British aid focus only on the poorest states would henceforth focus in India’ on three states: Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. mies so it is now hard to justify A spokesman for the Depart- these huge aid payments from the ment for International Develop- UK. At a time when we are making ment said: "The coalition Govern- spending cuts at home, it is unfair ment has announced that British to force taxpayers to pour another aid to Russia and China will end. 1 billion pounds in aid, over the India is different. next four years, into a country Our development program is in that has a space program. transition, but now is not the time "Much of this aid never to end it completely. For the next reaches those who really need it four years, we will focus only on and the Department for Internathe poorest states in India". tional Development would do bet"We will not be in India forever. ter to focus on trying to prevent But as part of the revitalised Brit- abuses of the aid they are already ish relationship with India, follow- giving out, before promising ing the PM's successful visit last more." -PTI

Ousted Egyptian President reported ailing CAIRO: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly "ailing and bedridden" and cannot walk without help, local media reports confirming that the toppled leader was still in a holiday villa in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh. Egyptian daily 'Al-Masry AlYoum' reported that soon after moving to the resort, the 82-yearold Mubarak who ruled Egypt for 30 years was gravely ill and slipped into a coma. But a pro-government newspaper denied the report but said the leader was in severe psychological condition and was declining treatment. Mubarak is staying at a villa in

the grounds of the Maritim Jollie Ville Hotel, owned by one of the Egypt's leading businessman, Hussein Sale, who is a close member of the ex-president's inner circle. The Egyptian President in month's before the protest against him started had been in Germany for gall bladder treatment. Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' quoting witnesses at the resort said, that the former President may be suffering from cancer. It quoted Egypt's Ambassador to Washington Sameh Shoukry as saying that he had been informed that the former President's health had taken a turn for the worse. PTI


Desi News Gayatri Pariwar celebrates Gurudev's centenary India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Global Gayatri Pariwar hosted Gurudev Acharya Shri Ram Sharma's birth anniversary celebration as well as Vasant Panchami program with great enthusiasm and a large presence of devotees. The event took place on Sunday February 13 from 10am to 2pm at Gayatri Shaktipeeth in Chicago. The program started with Guru Mantra and inspired Pragya songs by Kusum Patel and Harsaben Thakkar. They were accompanied by Govindbhai Prajapati on tabla, Anilbhai Patel on flute, a keyboard player and Gunvantbhai Pandya and his wife Sakuben Pandya as chorus singers.

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

Demystifying college admission process Details on page 19

14 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 25, 2011

Asian American population goes up 39 percent in Illinois SURENDRA ULLAL

Details on page 16

Vasant Panchami celebrated at Gayatri Mandir SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: It was one of the grandest celebrations of the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami and the 100th birth anniversary of Acharya Shri Ram Sharma, the founder of All World Gayatri Pariwar. The celebration, a three-day affair from February 6 to 8 was organized by Gayatri Gyan Mandir in Itasca, a north side suburb of Chicago. There was a sizeable participation from devotees across Chicago land on all three days. The young second generation Indians as well as children too were seen in the Temple taking part in the celebrations. Details on page 17

IAC essay contest in honor of Dr Kalam NISHA SUTARIA

Asian Americans in Illinois

CHICAGO: The Asian American population of Illinois has grown to 586,934, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. This growth marks a 39% increase since 2000. There are 92,304 Asian Americans in DuPage County, making them now 10% of the County's total population. These figures confirm that Asian Americans have become one of the fastest growing segments of the state's population, while other races in Illinois have seen an overall decline. The surge in Asian Americans is also reflected at other levels of economic and academic activities as many Asian Americans have turned out to be in forefront of business, educational and community organiza-

tions. However, many do feel that this upswing is not really reflected at the political level and this impacts on the representation of problems at the level which matter

though Asian Americans represent 4.57 % of the state population. If Asians were proportionally represented, there would be 5 Asian American representatives in

Will and Kane County experienced tremendous growth, 177% and 145% respectively. Together, they now house over 8% of the total Illinois Asian American population, up from 4.35% in 2000 a lot. Currently there are no Asian American Congressional members, Illinois General Assembly members, nor aldermen in Chicago's City Council even

the House and 3 Asians in the Senate. Through the upcoming redistricting process, the Asian American Institute and its partners aim to empower the Asian Ameri-

can community through more equitable representation in Chicago and Illinois as a whole. Some of the more important changes for Asian-Americans reflected by these numbers include: • Twelve counties in Illinois experienced 100% or more Asian population growth. • Cook County notched a small decline in as much as that it housed around 61% of Illinois Asian population in 2000, now composes only 55% of the total Asian American population. • Will and Kane County experienced tremendous growth, 177% and 145% respectively. Together, they now house over 8% of the total Illinois Asian American population, up from 4.35% in 2000.

Outsourcing of OCI/PIO cards announced SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: From the "People's President" to the "Environment Ambassador" of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh President of India, has dedicated himself to the advancement of education for young people, particularly through studying science. In Dr Kalam's honor, the IndoAmerican Center (IAC), with the cooperation of the Indo-American Heritage Museum, has announced holding an essay contest for current Illinois high school students that addresses Dr. Kalam's concerns with science, the environment, and public policy. Details on page 18

Indian Conulsate in Chicago; Consul General Mukta Tomar and Consul Vishwas Sakpal

CHICAGO: After a near four years of not very pleasant stint of outsourcing passport-visa applications to an outside agency Travisa Outsourcing, the Indian Consulate at the behest of Indian Government has announced outsourcing even OCI /PIO applications to the same agency

from the third week of March this year. In a noticed pasted at the Consulate office in Chicago, the announcement says that "it has been decided to outsource the services for processing of OCI card/PIO card/Surrender Certificate applications in respect of the

Consulate General of India, Chicago to M/s Travisa Outsourcing, Chicago. The outsourcing arrangement in respect of area falling under consular jurisdiction of the Consulate General of India, Chicago (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Da-

kota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) will come into effect on 22nd March 2011. M/s Travisa Outsourcing will start to receive applications for all OCI Card/PIO Card/Surrender Certificate from 22nd March 2011." Contíd on page 15


Community Across America

February 25, 2011

India Post 15

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Rham gets endorsement from Indian Americans RAMESH SOPARAWALA

Dr Ram Gajjela, former IADO Chief, welcoming Rham Emanuel Harendra Mangrola with Rham Emanuel at IADO endorsement meet

CHICAGO: Rham Emanuel, candidate for Mayor of Chicago, said here that his top most priority if elected would be to fix the financial woes of the City so that development and progress of the city and its residents gets a boost. He said that he was aware of the cultural diversity of this great city and he would have the same reflected in his administration at all levels. He was addressing a meet of Indian Americans organized by Indo American Democratic Organization (IADO) to endorse him in his quest for Mayoral position. Close to 100 guests, invitees and supporters of Rham had gathered to have a first hand interaction with him on different issues. Rham praised the Indian American community for its contribution for the well being of the city and he assured those present that he would be in close contact with community activists in addressing specific problems faced by the community in general. IADO Chief Harendra Mangrola welcomed Rham saying, "It gives me great pleasure to announce that the IADO Board of Directors voted to endorse your candidacy for Mayor of Chicago." Mangrola also said that IADO endorsed an Indian American running for Aldermanic position in 47th ward - Ameya Pawar - besides weighing behind Susan Mendoza for City Clerk position. Talking about IADO, he said that his organization "is the oldest

and most established Asian American political organization in this area. We have advocated on issues such as immigration, healthcare, education, hate crimes and

ernment. South Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in Illinois. "Speakers at our gatherings have included President Barack Obama when he was Senator, all Democratic Senators since

‘IADO will work hard for your election. And after you are elected, IADO would like to work with you - as an organization. We want to help you bring this great city together; we want to help you keep us moving forward, to solve the problems that we must solve, to recapture the vibrancy that brought us here’ 47th Aldermanic candidate Ameya Pawar

equal access to government. We have several hundred members, our volunteers have registered thousands of voters and worked on political campaigns at all levels of gov-

1980, all Mayors since Mayor Byrne, the Governor, Attorneys General and several members of the House of Representatives including our very own Jan Schakowsky."

"We are endorsing you, Mr. Emmanuel, because we believe you are the best candidate for the job of Mayor, the best person to keep moving this city forward. This city has had the good fortune of having had some highly capable mayors - including the current one. We believe you have the best chance to carry on that great legacy. "IADO will work hard for your election. And after you are elected, IADO would like to work with you - as an organization. We want to help you bring this great city together; we want to help you keep us moving forward, to solve the problems that we must solve, to recapture the vibrancy that brought us here." Continuing he said that IADO would like to maintain its access with him for close cooperation for the common good. "In that context, Mr. Emmanuel, we request that you come and address our next annual dinner. We will set the date - in early fall - for your convenience," he said. US Congresswoman Jan Schakowski came down to be part of the gathering that endorsed Rham and she heaped praise on Indian Americans and IADO for their all around contribution for the betterment of the city. Former IADO President Dr Ram Gajjela also extended heart felt welcome to Rham and exuded confidence that the IADO backed candidate would become the next Mayor of Chicago.

Outsourcing of OCI/PIO cards announced Contíd from page 14

M/s Travisa Outsourcing is located on 17 North State Street, Suite no. 950, Chicago IL 60602 Its Phone is :1-312346-2367 , Fax: 1-312-346-2930, Email: chicago@travisaoutsourcing.com and Website: www.travisaindia.com The Consulate notification asserts that no agency other that M/s Travsia Outsourcing is au-

thorized for this purpose. It is clarified that the Consulate will not accept above mentioned applications directly, after the outsourcing goes into effect. All decisions regarding granting of above mentioned services remain with the Consulate General of India, Chicago. It is also clarified that the Consulate will not directly accept "OCI Card/PIO Card/Surrender Certificate applications"

The outsourcing arrangement will not affect the applicants whose OCI/PIO/Surrender Certificate applications are already under process and received till 28th February 2011

with effect from 1st March 2011. The outsourcing arrangement will not affect the applicants whose OCI/PIO/Surrender Certificate applications are already under process and received till 28th February 2011. The Consulate sources state that over 5000 OCI cards are awaiting collection in the Consulate after it processed several thousand OCI applications. Applicants may kindly check

their status online by inserting their US/Foreign passport number and the 'On-line Registration Number' or 'File Acknowledgement Number' in the link below https://passport.gov.in/oci/ OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp All the above-mentioned OCI cards which remain uncollected with the Consulate, will be sent back to Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi on 1st June 2011.


Community Across America

16 India Post

February 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Gayatri Pariwar celebrates Gurudev's centenary

Singing Gayatri songs (from left) Priest Gunvantbhai Pandya, Tabla player Govindbhai Prajapati, Kusum Patel, Keyboard & flute player Anilbhai Patel. Back row Shakuban Pandya & Harsaben Thakkar India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Global Gayatri Pariwar hosted Gurudev Acharya Shri Ram Sharma's birth anniver-

2pm at Gayatri Shaktipeeth in Chicago. The program started with Guru Mantra and inspired Pragya songs by Kusum Patel and Harsaben

Gayatri Yagya main yajman Kailashben, Ambalal Patel & Sundariben

Pandya as chorus singers. In her address, Kusum Patel, head of the Pariwar, spoke about Gurudev's life and his activities in awakening mankind for its spiri-

Acharyaji established Gayatri Tapobhumi at Mathura (India) in 1953. He organized a grand Gayatri Yagya in 1958 which served as a base to launch the Yug Nirman Yojna, a global movement for moral, cultural, intellectual and spiritual refinement and reconstruction

Arti devotees

sary celebration as well as Vasant Panchami program with great enthusiasm and a large presence of devotees. The event took place on Sunday February 13 from 10am to

Thakkar. They were accompanied by Govindbhai Prajapati on tabla, Anilbhai Patel on flute, a keyboard player and Gunvantbhai Pandya and his wife Sakuben

he was nine years old. On the auspicious day of Vasant Panchami festival, January 18, 1926, a guru by the name of Swami Sarveshvaranandji - a great Hima-

tual growth. The eminent scholar and founder of the Banaras Hindu University Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya initiated Sriram in the worship of Gayatri mantra when

layan yogi -appeared before him in astral body from the flame of the Dipaka (lamp) during his Gayatri worship. This sparked the revelation of the divine origin and

purpose of his life. The next 24 years of his life were devoted to 24 Mahapurashcharanas - each consisting of the rhythmic recitation (japa) of 2.4 million Gayatri Mantras with strictest of disciplines. There is no parallel to this kind of sadhana. At the same time, he also whole heartedly participated in the freedom struggle of India under the inspiring guidance of Mahatma Gandhi while continuing with his spiritual activities. In 1943, he married Bhagwati Devi, and ever since, the saintly couple dedicatedly pursued the noble mission of spiritual upliftment of humankind. On the completion of the 24 mahapurashcharanas, Acharyaji established Gayatri Tapobhumi at Mathura (India) in 1953. He organized a grand Gayatri Yagya in 1958 which served as a base to launch the Yug Nirman Yojna, a global movement for moral, cultural, intellectual and spiritual refinement and reconstruction. ContĂ­d on page 21

Cook County to lay off 170 employees SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County issued 30-day notice letters to 170 of its employees, whose positions will be eliminated as of March 16. The Clerk's Office began the process to be in compliance with President Toni Preckwinkle's request to elected officials to cut their budgets. "This is a painful day for all of us at the Clerk's Office," said Clerk Dorothy Brown, "We did what was requested, but it's not without realizing that people are being laid off during a tough economic time. This lay off will put a high strain on the Clerk of the

Seal of City Clerk Office

Clerk of Circuit Court Dorothy Brown

Circuit Court's ability to perform its statutory and constitutional responsibilities," said Brown. Dorothy Brown has been a very popular Chicagoland leader among Indian Americans for her broad vision and helping nature to the minority communities, including Indian Americans. Many talented Indian American have been employed at her office in Chicago and some of them are holding highly responsible position. ]It has to be seen how many of these employees get axed.


Community Across America

February 25, 2011

India Post 17

www.indiapost.com

Vasant Panchami celebrated at Gayatri Mandir SURENDRA ULLAL

Children and second generation Indians at Gayatri Temple

CHICAGO: It was one of the grandest celebrations of the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami and the 100th birth anniversary of Acharya Shri Ram Sharma, the founder of All World Gayatri Pariwar. The celebration, a three-day affair from February 6 to 8 was organized by Gayatri Gyan Mandir in Itasca, a north side suburb of Chicago. There was a sizeable participation from devotees across Chicago land on all three days.

The young second generation Indians as well as children too were seen in the Temple taking part in the celebrations. The start was with the Gayatri Maha Yagya in the morning of February 6 from 10 am till 2 pm. The evening marked the Deepotsav where a number of Deeps (lamps) wee lighted. For two days - February 7 and 8 - there was non stop Jap of Gayatri Mahamantra starting 6 am in the morning. The culmination was on

Harendra Mangrola, one of the main organizers of Gayatri Gyan Mandir, was in Haridwar during this time and he said the event in Itasca was synchronized

Arati at Gayatri Gyan Mandir

February 8 in the evening when hundreds of Deeps were lighted as part of the worldwide celebration of the event. Harendra Mangrola, one of the main organizers of Gayatri Gyan Mandir, was in Haridwar during this time and he said the event in Itasca was synchronized with the one at Shanti Kunj in Haridwar where Dr Pranav Pandya and Sahil Didi lighted the lamp. Under their guidance, millions of households across the globe lighted five lamps

in their home heralding the onset of new era of peace and prosperity. He said that yet another program is to write Gayatri Mantra for forty days beginning Mahashivratri festival and ending with Ram Navmi festival in April. The devotees at the Itasca temple would pick up the same type of activities and celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of their founder Acharya Shri Ram Sharma in a most befitting manner, Mangrola added.


Community Across America

18 India Post

February 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Jalaram Mandir management thanks volunteers

IAC essay contest in honor of Dr Kalam

YOGESH THAKKAR

NISHA SUTARIA

CHICAGO: From the "People's President" to the "Environment Ambassador" of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, eleventh President of India, has dedicated himself to the advancement of education for

for current Illinois high school students that addresses Dr. Kalam's concerns with science, the environment, and public policy. This contest and educational awards are sponsored equally by Mr.

In Dr Kalam's honor, the Indo-American Center (IAC), with the cooperation of the Indo-American HeriThe Mandir President and volunteers with artists group (L-R) Vijaya Israni, Rajendra Thakkar, President Chirayu Parikh, Priest Pravin Pandya, Priest Deewan Ji, Ashok Menon, S.Pillai, Ashwin Thakkar and Suresh Israni

CHICAGO: The nearly three years old Shree Jalaram Mandir in Hoffman Estate, a Chicago suburb,

Ashwin Thakkar welcomed all those present as well as artists of Suranali group who had done a wonderful job in entertaining all those present by rendering old and new songs. Thakkar also introduced Suranjali group artists Singer Vijaya Israni

celebrated the volunteer appreciation day on Saturday, February 12

from 5 pm to 11 pm. The Mandir had invited all volunteers to celebrate this day and over 150 volunteers attended the program. The event started with the lighting of the lamp Deep Pragatya by Pravin Pandya and Diwanji. Ashwin Thakkar welcomed all those present as well as artists of Suranali group who had done a wonderful job in entertaining all those present by rendering old and new songs. Thakkar also introduced Suranjali group artists. Rajendra J. Thakkar, a Temple activist, appreciated the volunteering done by all the volunteers in fulfilling the objectives of the Mandir. The Temple chief Chirayu Parikh proposed a vote of thanks.

tage Museum, has announced holding an essay contest for current Illinois high school students Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

young people, particularly through studying science. In Dr Kalam's honor, the IndoAmerican Center (IAC), with the cooperation of the Indo-American Heritage Museum, has announced holding an essay contest

Roshan Goel, the Blackstone Group (bgglobal.com), and PenPal Notes (PenpalNotes.com), each of whom is committed to youth education and empowerment. ContĂ­d on page 20

OFBJP opens Dallas chapter

A group of volunteers (L-R) Bhupendra Thakkar, Vipul Thakkar, Hasmukh Thakkar, Chandrakant and Rajesh Thakkar

Old Bridge man killed while crossing road India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: A 36-year-old Indian origin man in Old Bridge, New Jersey was killed Feb 10, when he was struck by a vehicle while walking across Route 9 as he was heading to work at a convenience store, NJ.Com reported. Police said Davender Singh was walking across the southbound lanes of the highway near Ferry Road at 5:55 a.m. when he was struck by a car driven by one Rob-

ert Topal, 57, of Marlboro. Singh was pronounced dead at the scene, NJ.Com said quoting police Capt. Arthur Carullo. Moments before the accident, Singh had gotten off a southbound bus that had stopped at Ferry Road, Carullo said. He said Singh had walked a short distance of the edge of the highway, then tried to cross the road to reach a 7-Eleven store on the northbound side of the highway, where he worked.

Carullo said Singh crossed that highway at a location where there is no crosswalk, traffic light or other traffic control. Singh was struck by the vehicle in the left lane of the southbound lanes of traffic, the captain said. Two southbound lanes of the highway were closed for more than four hours and police investigated the accident. Authorities ask that anybody with information about the accident call Officer John Bulin at (732) 679-5959.

(L-R) Natubhai Rajpara, Pravin Paghdal, Bharat Gajera, Ghanshyam Kakadia, Amit Rajpara, Anil Ramolia, Hitesh Gondaliya, Jitu Kunjadia, Ratilal Ramolia, Ramesh Kakadia

T

he Overseas Friends of BJP-USA (OFBJP-USA) has launched a new chapter in Dallas, Texas, as approved by its National Executive Committee (NEC). The national president, Dr. Adapa Prasad, announced Ghanshyam M. Kakadia as the Coordinator of the new chapter. OFBJP past President Suresh Jani said that Kakadia was not only an accomplished businessman in Dallas area but also a known community activist among Indian

Americans. Kakadia said that he would strive hard towards achieving the OFBJP goals and expand it to other areas around Dallas-Fort Worth. At the inaugural meet, attended by several party workers, two resolutions were passed: (1) Condemning Government of India's weak Kashmir policy; (2) related to the numerous financial scandals plaguing the UPA government, such as 2G Spectrum, Commonwealth Games, black money in Swiss banks etc.


Community/California

February 25, 2011

India Post 19

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Demystifying college admission process India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: Flex College Prep is presenting a rare and unique seminar providing up-to-date insider information about the college admissions process for high school students. Former college admission officers will role play the private school admission review process of three high school applicants. The seminar will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Mission San Jose High School in Room C120, 41717 Palm Avenue, Fremont CA, from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Seminar aims to demystify the process, provide reliable information, and help students and parents develop a successful college admission or application strategy. The Flex Info Bank speakers featuring highly experienced former college admission officers from Top Tier universities include among others: Robert Jackson: Former Associate Direc-

tor of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University. He was also the Regional Admissions Officer for Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, Nevada, and South Pacific territories

sultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers and KPMG Daniel Klasik: Vassar College: Former Assistant Director of Admission, Stanford

‘Our goal is to empower students and families with information that can be used to plan for college admissions and to manage the stress associated with this process. This seminar aims to demystify the admissions process by going behind the Admissions Office's closed doors and addressing how schools select applicants for admission’ Rae Shaw: Former University of Chicago, Assistant Director of Admissions Ethan Hutt: Yale University Admission Interviewer and currently at Stanford University, PhD in Education Danny Byun: CEO Flex and former Con-

University: PhD in Education (ABD): MA in Economics Space is limited and registration is required at www.flexcollegeprep.com. Flex College Prep said in a statement, "Our goal is to empower students and families

with information that can be used to plan for college admissions and to manage the stress associated with this process. This seminar aims to demystify the admissions process by going behind the Admissions Office's closed doors and addressing how schools select applicants for admission." Some of the topics that will be covered include: • Explaining "who gets accepted," and "why they got in "or "not get in" • How do I choose extracurricular activities? • What's more important: grades or extracurricular activities? • Why isn't a 4.0+ GPA and 2400 SAT score a guarantee of admission to top schools? • How do I manage stress - what do colleges want to see in the application? • What is a good college essay topic? What should I expect in an interview?"

Ahmadiyyas pained by murders in Indonesia India Post News Service

Three Ahmadi Muslims were killed in Indonesia this past Sunday, Feb. 6, in a barbaric, unprovoked attack by Sunni Muslims. Brandishing machetes, spears, knives and other weapons, a mob of more than 1,000 people stormed the local center of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

spite being forewarned several days before that an attack on the local Ahmadi Muslims was imminent. Thus far, no one has been arrested for the killings. The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has counseled the members to respond with prayer in the following statement:

The barbarity of the perpetrators knows no bounds; indeed people watching the merciless beatings were clapping and cheering. The local police and authorities failed to protect the Ahmadi Muslims in Cikeusik, Indonesia. In addition to three deaths, five Ahmadi Muslims were seriously injured. One house, two cars and one motorcycle belonging to Ahmadi Muslims were set on fire. Local police at the scene failed to prevent the mob violence, de-

"This horrific attack has caused grief and pain to all Ahmadi Muslims worldwide and indeed to all peace-loving people. The barbarity of the perpetrators knows no bounds; indeed people watching the merciless

beatings were clapping and cheering. The local police and authorities failed to protect the Ahmadi Muslims and allowed them to be exposed to this cruel and brutal attack. "Whenever such attacks occur, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (both in Indonesia and worldwide) always displays patience and seeks solace -- not in revenge or violence, but through prayers to God Almighty -- and this will always remain the case. It is, however, certain that those who have inflicted these cruelties will be answerable to God Al-

mighty and will have to face His punishment. In the meantime the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will continue to bow down in front of the One God and seek His Protection and Help." The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has called on the Indonesian government to fulfill its constitutional promise to protect all of its citizens, regardless of religion. But this has become increasingly harder to do, largely because in 2008, the president of Indonesia sought to appease radical Islamic clerics and their

voting congregations by enacting a law prohibiting the Ahmadiyya sect from publicly practicing or preaching its version of Islam. The result of this has been a steadily rising tide of unrestrained and unpunished vitriol and persecution directed against Ahmadi Muslims and also Christians -- two groups that suffer frequent violence at the hands of Islamic militants eager to expunge any and all beliefs it deems un-Islamic. Contíd on page 20


Community/California

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February 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Edison expands Scholars Program on 125th Anniversary India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Edison International is expanding the number of awardees in its signature scholarship program to include students in 14 states where the company generates and distributes electricity, and has changed requirements so recipients can attend any accredited university in the U.S. "We recognize the significance of a college education, and expanding this program allows more young people to pursue academic opportunities," said Theodore F. Craver Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Edison International. "These scholarships will help broaden students' educational experiences, providing a solid foundation that will serve them well in an increasingly competitive employment environment." This year, the Edison Scholars program will award 125 scholarships to coincide with the company¹s landmark anniversary. Previously, the company offered up to 75 scholarships annually and they were available only to eligible residents in the service territory of Edison¹s subsidiary, Southern California Edison (SCE). Scholarship applications will be accepted from eligible students living in SCE's service territory in California, as well as students in designated schools in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, where Edison International¹s Edison Mission Group (EMG) and Midwest Generation provide service. The ap-

W

plication deadline is March 15. Winners will be notified by June. For the first time in the program¹s history, selected scholarship recipients may attend any accredited four-year college or university in the country. The Edison Scholars program focuses on students studying science, technology, engineering and math. Each selected high school senior will be awarded a $2,500 college scholarship. Awards are renewable an additional three years for a total of $10,000, provided recipients meet all eligibility requirements. Applicants must: • Be high school seniors who live, or attend a public or private school, in areas serviced by SCE, or attend an eligible high school in the designated area surrounding SCE's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. • Be high school seniors who attend an eligible school in designated areas serviced by EMG and its subsidiaries. • Be planning to attend an accredited four-year college in the U.S. • Be full-time students majoring in math, physics, chemistry, engineering, materials science or computer science/information systems. • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or higher. • Be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. • Demonstrate financial need. Since 1993, Edison International has awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships to more than 300 students. To download an application and get more details about the Edison Scholars program, including lists of eligible schools and colleges, candidates may go to www.edison.com/edisonscholars.

ith another SIT report leak, Modi-bashing has started again. He is the whipping boy of everybody who have their own axe to grind. Naturally he gets sympathies from people who are not biased and have an independent way of thinking. Ahmedabad has a history of communal conflicts. I was posted in Ahmedabad (while I was in the Army) in 1969 (or was it 1970?) when massive riots took place and Army were called in and I had a first hand knowledge of what happened then. Muslims started the riots and Hindus retaliated. Congress Government was in power then and no records of deaths were published though unconfirmed reports put it over 2000. Modi had to face the tide of people's revulsion when 100 and odd innocent pilgrims were burnt alive in Godhra train. This revulsion might have percolated into public and police. Modi did what he could. But nobody bothers that more Hindus died in police firing than Muslims.

IAC essay contest in honor of Dr Kalam Contíd from page 18

Ashref Hashim, President of the Blackstone Group and member of IAC's Board of Directors, said "It really is a privilege for us to be among the sponsors of this event honoring an individual like Dr Kalam who is so committed to the environment - his inspiring work strives to make the world better, and we're happy to be a part of this effort. I think high school students are in the forefront of this movement and that this essay contest opportunity can inspire and motivate these students to think differently and come up with an innovative solution that can truly impact our community... and anything a community can do to help the environment can, in turn, give back to the globe." The essay contest topic is as follows: "Ignorance of the consequences of human action always plays a major part in the degrada-

tion of our environment. Science dispels ignorance. Choose an example of environmental degrada-

The first prize will be an educational award of $1,000, the second prize will be an educational award of $500, and the third prize will be an educational award of $250 tion that is taking place at present and describe the scientific research you think is needed to help

make people aware of the consequences of our action. Besides scientific understanding, in a democratic society, what else is needed to bring an end to this instance of environmental degradation?" The first prize will be an educational award of $1,000, the second prize will be an educational award of $500, and the third prize will be an educational award of $250. In addition to educational awards, each award winner will also receive a complimentary ticket to Dr Kalam's public reception on April 24. The submission deadline is April 4 and additional information regarding essay submission, guidelines, eligibility and rules can be found at http:// w w w. i n d o a m e r i c a n . o r g / kalamessay. The Indo-American Center is a not-for-profit community service organization serving the South Asian immigrant population.

Ahmadiyyas pained by murders in Indonesia Contíd from page 19

Commenting on the tragedy from the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's S.W. regional missionary Imam Shamshad A. Nasir said: "We are feeling tremendous pain and sadness at the murder of our brother Ahmadis in Indonesia. When anyone is killed, especially in such a cruel and inhuman manner by an angry mob, it is a horrific tragedy." On the question of how he felt about the attackers being members of the same religion as him, the Imam answered, "How can

these people call themselves Muslims, killing innocent, defenseless human beings? What kind of Muslims are these who can do such evil and then tell others to accept Islam because the Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to all mankind? "How are these unholy, violent Muslims showing themselves to be a mercy to their fellow human beings by cruelly beating them to death? And they expect non-Muslims to want to be Muslims after seeing things like this? Such evil can only drive people away from Islam - what they think is Islam. But

Readers Write... www.indiapost.com

Modi did what he could He has also been able to get 600 convictions in the post-riot trials out of which 20 got life sentences. But look at the Congress record. In the anti-Sikh riots, more than 3000 innocents were massacred. How many of these murderers are punished till now. Rather Rajiv Gandhi justified the massacre with his infamous and stupid earth trembling remark .Or is it because Sikhs' blood is expendable since they are not supported by Jihadis? As far as R.B. Srikumar, the main witness of SIT, is concerned less said the better. He has a dubious professional record. He was first charge sheeted in 1999 when he was with IB in the infamous ISRO espionage case. Due to his past record he was denied DGP's post which made him an enemy of

Modi. But true to his character, Modi never put him in the dog house as a Chairman of a Police Housing Board or some thing else. He gave him the important Crime Branch which I am sure he will be regretting now. He never knew he was putting a cobra into his underpants. Modi also got the ire of the billion dollars worth proselytizing international Christian groups for not allowing fraudulent conversions in Gujarat. It is their pressure that denied a visa for him by USA, a country which has no qualms in supporting mass murderers in South America and Middle East. I used to wonder why the entire English media is against Modi in spite of the good work being done by him in Gujarat. This

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

this is not Islam, what these socalled Muslims are doing. It's disgraceful!" Muslims, Imam Shamshad explained, are required to follow the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to seek peace and be peaceful. The word "Muslim" even means to submit to God and be at peace. That's why the Imam says that Ahmadi Muslims are always peaceful and will always be peaceful. This is why people who want peaceful Islam are drawn to Ahmadiyya Islam. It is nothing like what the extremists say is their Islam.

brings to my mind an earlier report about clandestine foreign funding of our main channels. The recent episodes involving luminaries in the visual media like Barkha Dutt has proved the depth of decadence they can stoop to. The efforts of alleged foreign funded NGOs like the one headed by Teesta Setalvad, dubious characters like Sreekumar, a minority brainwashed into hating Modi, missionaries who are denied the right to denigrate Hinduism and fraudulently convert people, Islamic jihadis who want an Islamic state in India and a party which has no shame to be a puppet in the hands of a foreign born lady all may cry hoarse and conspire against Modi, but as a true patriot he will overcome all these. No wonder Gujarat is the most prosperous and communally peaceful state in the country now. Chandru Bhambhra OFBJP, California


Community/California

February 25, 2011

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Barrows seeks support of Indian Americans India Post News Service

CERRITOS, CA: Councilmember Bruce W. Barrows has appealed to Indian Americans to vote to re-elect him to the Cerritos City Council. Barrows was elected to the City Council in April of 1994 and was re-elected to the City Council in 1999. Councilmember Barrows was again elected to the City Council in 2007. He served as Mayor in 1997-1998, 2002-2003 and 20092010, and as mayor pro tem in

ity (serving as Chair), Gateway Cities Council of Governments (where he previously served as Chairman from 2000-2001 and as a member of the organization's Executive Board from 1997 - 2003 and 2009 to current) and the League of California Cities. He is the alternate representative to the City Selection Committee/Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is the second alternate for the Sanitation Districts 2, 3, 18 & 19/Waste Management. Councilmember Barrows is the

Councilmember Barrows serves on the City's Auto Mall, Legislative, Performing Arts, and Personnel Committees. He is the Council's delegate to the Orangeline Development Authority (serving as Chair), Gateway Cities Council of Governments (where he previously served as Chairman from 2000-2001 and as a member of the organization's Executive Board from 1997 - 2003 1996-1997 and 2008-2009. Prior to his election to the City Council in 1994, Barrows was a member of the City's Planning Commission from 1988 to 1994 and served a term as Chair of the commission. Councilmember Barrows serves on the City's Auto Mall, Legislative, Performing Arts, and Personnel Committees. He is the Council's delegate to the Orangeline Development Author-

Vice President, League of California Cities - Los Angeles Division Executive Board and as Chair of the Legislative Committee. In 2009 he served on the League of California Cities Annual Planning Committee. He has also served on the League of California Cities Transportation, Communications & Public Works Policy Committee (January 2008 to December 2009), League of California Cities - Los

Gayatri Pariwar celebrates Gurudev's centenary ContĂ­d from page 16

She informed that the one year period beginning Feb. 8, 2011 to January 28, 2012 will be celebrated as a Gurudev's birthday worldwide. Present during the celebration in Chicago were Haribhai Patel, president of Senior Citizens Group USA, Narsinhbhai Patel, a guest of honor, Acharya Rohitbhai Joshi a Guru Puja priest, and L Rao, special guest. For yagya main yajmans were Sundariben Kailashben and

Ambalal Patel. For Gurudev's 100th birthday celebration, Dhruv Patel donned the attire as young 15 year old Gurudev. Sholaben Patel was appointed as a Mahila Mandal group leader. Udupi, Viceroy of India, Jai Hind, Punjab Sweets, India House and Jaiminy Thakkar, Rajanben Patel and Gitaben Bhagat provided mahaprasad. Gayatri Shaktipeeth will celebrate Mahashivratri on Sunday March 6 at 10am at its Chicago facility.

Angeles Division Executive Board as Treasurer from 2008 to 2009 and as Secretary from 2009 to 2010 (Executive Board and Legislative Committee, Los Angeles Division January 2001-March 2003). Councilmember Barrows serves on the Regional Council, Transportation and the Legislative Committees for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). In addition, he served as the regional representative to the

Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) from 19972003. There, he served on SCAG's Transportation Committee, and as Vice Chair (2002-2003) of the High Speed MagLev Task Force. He has also served as a member of the United States Conference of Mayors Transportation and Arts Committee from 2009 to 2010, 2002 to 2003 and from 1997 to 1998. Additionally, Councilmember Barrows served as the City's del-

egate to the Workforce Investment Board's Policy Board from 1997 to 2003, including two years as Chair. He and his wife Teresa have resided in Cerritos since 1978. They raised their grown children in Cerritos, including their three sons Josh, Nathan (wife April) and Daniel, and one daughter, Jessica Roberts (husband Glenn), and are blessed with one granddaughter, Savannah and one grandson, Laird.


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ircle rates, the minimum value of any piece of land or immovable property for registration, have been doubled in Delhi. First fixed in 2007, they've been revised for the first time. Developers and analysts were split on whether this would take property prices up significantly in the capital. While some developers indicated these could increase 10 to 12 per cent, others anticipated only a marginal impact, as the market rates were already much higher than the revised structure in many places. There's consensus, however, that the overall revenue going into the city government kitty from stamp duties would shoot up. The government said it wanted to check the circulation of black money in realty transactions by revising the circle rates. After the Delhi Cabinet led by chief minister Sheila Dikshit had decided to increase the circle rates by 100 per cent, Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna had opposed it. Subsequently, the matter was referred to the Union home ministry, which backed the Delhi government. Delhi is divided into eight

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Unitech to develop 10mn sqft area Realty major Unitech said it will launch 10 million square feet of area in next four months, at an estimated construction cost of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore. "We will launch various projects across the country with a saleable area of 10 million sq ft. The majority of the projects would be mid-segment housing," a senior company official said.

February 25, 2011

Cont’d on page 23

Land registration rates doubled in Delhi years in Delhi; therefore, the increased circle rate is justified." Welcoming the city government move, he said, "It should result in improving transparency in the residential transactions in the city, henceforth." On whether the circle rate revision would impact property prices sharply, Magazine noted property values in many localities were already extremely high, and on par with advanced economies. The revised rates would have an im-

On whether the circle rate revision would impact property prices sharply, Magazine noted property values in many localities were already extremely high, and on par with advanced economies circles for property valuation purposes. Experts note that neighboring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have revised their circle rates frequently. The revised rates will be referred to for registration of instruments (land and immovable properties) in the city in line with the amended Delhi Stamp (Prevention of Undervaluation of Instruments) Rules. Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director, CB Richards Ellis (a real estate consulting firm), said, "Property prices have increased over the

pact only in cases where the property prices are quite low, he argued. However, Manoj Goyal, vice-president, Raheja Developers Ltd, said the increase would affect property prices in Delhi by 10 to 12 per cent, due to the burden of additional stamp duty and capital gains tax. "The government's initiative to minimize the black marketing will serve if the duty is reduced to two per cent from six per cent now, besides hiking the circle rates." According to Goyal, a cut in stamp duty rate would help in control-

ling the rise in property prices caused by the increase in circle rates. Another developer in the city, RG Group, ruled out any significant impact of the revised rates on property prices. Rajesh Goyal, managing director of RG Group, argued there would not be any effect of the circle rate revision on property prices. In most areas, rates are already much higher than the circle rates announced, he said. But

it will make the registration process a costly affair, he added. According to the RG Group, this move will help in reducing the gap between the government-fixed circle rate and the actual market rate, reducing the role of black money in this business. The National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco) has hailed the step. This will not only increase the stamp duty collection, which is shared between the Delhi

government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) but also encourage property buyers and sellers to declare the true value of property, thereby minimizing black money transactions, Naredco stressed. It has, however, called for reduction in stamp duty as a next step, "as this would encourage more people to declare true value even in high value transaction of property and increase the revenue for the government".

Mantri Group residential project in Mumbai

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unil Mantri Group, a developer of residential and commercial spaces across 14 cities in India, has announced the launch of its landmark residential project Mantri Serene, nestled against the backdrop of the Aarey hills in Goregoan (East), Mumbai. Spread across over 2 acres, the premium residential community is designed as a green haven that offers residents natural beauty in and around. It will consist of around 300 premium 1 BHK and 2 BHK residential apartments outfitted with modern amenities and offering serene lifetime views of the verdant hills. One of the unique offering of the project will be a double-height entrance lobby which will give a magnificent look to the entrance of the building. The whole project is situated on a podium which offers it a visibility and prominence unmatched by any other project in the vicinity. The project is designed by

visionary architect, Hafeez Contractor. The project envisages spacious and welloutfitted 1 BHK and 2 BHK flats and penthouses. What is unique about the flats is that the 1 BHK flats have 2 bathrooms for

Mantri Serene's core advantage is that it is situated close to a major IT Park and is in the close vicinity of the burgeoning Powai and Andheri MIDC commercial areas. It is also a short drive of around 20 minutes from

The range of internal amenities includes vitrified tile flooring, wide French windows, premium bathroom fittings and skid-free ceramic tiles in bathrooms. Moreover, each flat will be equipped with intercom facility the convenience of guests and residents. Ample parking space has been provided for vehicle owners and a swimming pool and club house ensures a healthy lifestyle for the families of residents.

the domestic and international airports making it a convenient residential hub for jetsetting businessmen as well as business executives. Speaking at the launch, Sunil Mantri,

chairman, Sunil Mantri Group, said, "Our years of experience and understanding of the Mumbai real estate market gives us the confidence to develop residential projects catering to the needs of the buyers. We are confident that Mantri Serene will be a landmark that will redefine suburban living in Mumbai." The range of internal amenities includes vitrified tile flooring, wide French windows, premium bathroom fittings and skid-free ceramic tiles in bathrooms. Moreover, each flat will be equipped with intercom facility. Additionally, the project will would contain a swimming pool with a paddle pool for children to safely paddle around in, landscaped areas, club house, fully equipped gymnasium, etc. The company has around 15 million sq ft currently under development across 14 cities, of which it has around 8 lakh sq ft in Mumbai.


Real Estate

February 25, 2011

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40% of luxury apartments lying unsold

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n estimated 40% of luxury apartments coming up in India's finan cial center are unsold, say analysts and brokers. These apartments cost anywhere from $1 million to $12 million, and range from 5,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet in size. Sales have slowed down in the last two to three months, thanks mainly to the steep prices. In December, the number of apartments registered in Mumbai - an indicator of sales - fell 50% from the same month the previous year, according to research from investment firm Prabhudas Liladhar Pvt. Ltd. While this data includes non-luxury apartments as well, real estate brokers and consultants say luxury home sales have been similarly affected. "Sale volumes have dipped in pretty much every market in India," says Gulam Zia, national director for research and advisory services at Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd., a real estate consulting firm. Analysts say that if sales continue to remain slow, developers may have to cut prices or offer perks to lure buyers. In recent years, India has witnessed a boom in the construction of luxury apartments which resemble those in cities like New York and Singapore. These are meant to cater to India's growing number of new wealthy as well as the traditionally rich who want to live in modern apartments. Around 3,700 luxury apartments are currently under construction in Mumbai and its suburbs with a price tag of $1 million or more, according to Delhi-based research firm P.E. Analytics Pvt. Ltd. Of these, around 1,440 are unsold. In Delhi and its suburbs, one quarter of the 2,300 luxury apartments under construction are unsold, according to the firm. Residential apartments in India, including those in the luxury market, are typically sold before they are fully constructed. Analysts say that developers in India sometimes delay the construction of their project to ensure that they don't have a large number of unsold units in their ready buildings. Some of the luxury apartments in Mumbai and Delhi have become 20% to 30% costlier than they were a year ago, thanks

to growing wealth in India as well as general euphoria about the real estate market. But now, "buyers are not happy with these high rates," says Sanjeet D. Narain, managing director of Mumbai real estate consulting firm Narains Corp. At the same time, many buyers have a lot of money stuck in the Indian stock market which has fallen more than 10% so far this year. So, they want to "wait for some more time," says Aditya Juneja, a real estate broker in

the highly-coveted south Mumbai area. Private developers bought land in Lower Parel from cotton and textile mills at 3,000 rupees ($66) per square foot to 6,000 rupees ($132) rupees per square foot in the early part of this decade, says Samir Jasuja, founder of P.E. Analytics. Now, apartments in this neighborhood are priced between 15,000 rupees ($330) and 30,000 rupees ($660) per square foot. So builders can recover their costs by selling just a handful of such apart-

to entice buyers, says Mr. Narain. Buyers should be negotiating discounts and deals even now, say analysts. They should also be prepared to see delays in the construction of these projects, says Mr. Jasuja. The slowdown in sales of luxury properties has not stopped developers from launching new projects. The Donald Trump-backed building is expected to be officially launched in the next two months by Mumbai-based developer Rohan

ments. "Developers can even afford to hang on," says Mr. Jasuja. However, developers who have a large inventory of properties may feel the crunch of financing as banks become increasingly cautious about lending to real estate developers. Also, India's interest rates have risen over the last year making it more costly to borrow money. "The pressure has started building,' says Mr. Narain. Analysts expect developers to cut prices of luxury homes by 10% to 15% in the next few months. Alternatively, some developers might choose to offer freebies like free parking and a waiver of stamp duty

Lifescapes Ltd. The building will be on Hughes Road in south Mumbai and will have apartments which are 5,000 square feet and overlook the Arabian Sea, says Haresh Mehta, chairman of Rohan Lifescapes. For a fee, Mr. Trump will contribute his name and design among other things. Mr. Mehta expects the apartments to command a premium of as much as 40% compared to other luxury apartments in Mumbai because of the prime location and the branding. He didn't specify the price they plan to charge. "There will be people wanting to buy Trump," he says.

In December, the number of apartments registered in Mumbai - an indicator of sales - fell 50% from the same month the previous year, according to research from investment firm Prabhudas Liladhar Pvt. Ltd. While this data includes nonluxury apartments as well, real estate brokers and consultants say luxury home sales have been similarly affected Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi. So far, developers have not budged from their asking prices. Many of them bought the land on which they are building properties at very low rates and are charging 10 times their cost of purchase for the apartment building. If only a small percentage of the apartments in a particular site are sold, they can recover their costs and thus afford to wait for the others to sell at high prices. In land-scarce Mumbai, for instance, a large number of homes for the super-rich are coming up in the Lower Parel neighborhood, which is attractive for its proximity to

Banks issue notices to real estate companies

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ublic sector banks including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank have served notices to dozens of real estate companies to recover around Rs 20,000 crore of their exposure by March. The banks are now making efforts to recover their real estate loans which were restructured in the aftermath of global financial crisis in 2008. However, some of the real estate companies which are currently witnessing low volume of business have already asked for further restructuring of these loans, a proposal which banks are generally not willing to endorse. M Narendra, CMD, IOB confirmed that the bank has sent no-

tices to some of the real estate firms.

A senior SBI official said that the bank has taken action under the Sarfaesi Act which empowers the banks to seize and sell assets in case of defaults Nagesh Pydah, CMD, Oriental Bank of Commerce and RK Bakshi, executive director, Bank

of Baroda, said efforts were being made to recover the loans to realty companies. A senior SBI official requesting anonymity said that the bank has taken action under the Sarfaesi Act which empowers the banks to seize and sell assets in case of defaults to recover their dues. No confirmation of the banks' move was available from the real estate companies. "We have sent notices to five-six real estate companies and asked them to repay our entire outstanding amount within 40-50 days. A majority of such accounts are related to IT parks and located at places like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai," said Narendra.

Unitech to develop 10mn sqft area Cont’d from page 22

The company would incur a cost of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore over the next three years on construction of 10 million sq ft of area. In a presentation to the investors,

Unitech said it has sold 7.9 million sq ft of area in the first nine months of this fiscal for Rs 3,348 crore. The company is targeting to sell 10 million sq ft of area at a sale value of Rs 5,000 crore, it added.


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Sheila Ki Jawani : Tees Maar Khan 2 Yeh Des Hai Mera: Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey 3 Tarkeebein: Band Baaja Baaraat 4 Shakira : No Problem 5 Chamki Jawani :

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February 25, 2011

Yamla Pagla Deewana 6 Kaare Kaare Badra : Mirch 7 Teri Parchhaiyan : Tera Kya Hoga Johny 8 Aali Re: No One Killed Jessica 9 Wallah Re: Tees Maar Khan 10 Isi Umar Mein : Isi Life Mein

Ready to plunge

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fter a decade of courtship, John Abraham and Bipasha Basu have finally called it quits. A couple that captured our imagination with their impeccable chemistry and candor has sadly parted ways. This time it's official. Reportedly, John and Bipasha had gotten bored of each other, according to Mumbai Mirror. They ended their rocky 10-year-old relationship because of difference of opinions. "They may still make an appearance together at an event but the fact is that they are no longer a couple," said a source close to the couple. "The split was very much impending", claims a close friend of theirs and adds, "Bipasha wanted marriage but John was not ready to be tied down. They were together for a decade, so the decision came naturally to Bipasha." People started taking notice because John and Bipasha had stopped making public appearances or going to social functions together. They would either go separately or deliberately land up at different times, while keeping a track of each other's schedules through common friends. A friend of John's told Mumbai Mirror, "He is my closest friend and we get along very well. His mind has always been full of Bipasha and it used to be so every time we met. Lekin abhi aisa nahin hai. He has just stopped talking about her completely."

here brother Saif Ali Khan is in proclaimed romantic relationship with Kareena Kapoor, sister Soha Ali Khan too has been in relationship with Kunal Khemu for quite some years, but unlike Saifeena, Kunal and Soha abstain from commenting on their relationship. However, finally, Soha has broken the silence and during a recent interview, she stated that she and Kunal will be ready to get married in a couple of years adding that they have met each other's parents and have their approval for the marriage. Soha also expressed her concern regarding her cooking skills and stated that she intended to take up cooking classes as she wishes to cook for Kunal, who is a great foodie. Soha also stated that she would not wait for brother Saif to get married first, if he takes up another ten years to take the vow.


February 25, 2011

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aying tribute to the dancing queens seems to be the current trend at Bollywood functions. Priyanka Chopra honored Madhuri Dixit by dancing to her songs. Kareena Kapoor is following the suit. Kareena has agreed to pay tribute to yet another Bollywood sensation with golden feet - Sridevi at an award function. Bebo does not like to dance on other heroine's songs and prefers her own. But this time it is different. Her best friend Ekta Kapoor was instrumental in convincing her to do the honors. Kareena will dance on a medley of Sri's songs like Hawa hawai, Morni bagamaa bole, Mere haatho mein nau nau chudiyaan hain, Nainon mein sapna etc. Manish Malhotra who had designed clothes for the past reigning queen, Sridevi, will also design clothes for the present one, Kareena Kapoor, for the show.

Chest tattoo

Soap success I

t is her first television ad campaign. Sonakshi Sinha is happy that she is Katrina Kaif's successor as the face of Dyna soap and says it was a lot of fun getting into the bathtub for it. Sonakshi and Katrina are incidentally both Salman Khan's protegees and the "Dabangg" newcomer insists there's no tension between them. Sonakshi is full of admiration for her senior and doesn't think she has replaced Katrina in the Dyna soap ad. "Katrina had done the Dyna campaign many years back and they haven't had a brand ambassador after her. So like every brand and celebrity move on, so have Dyna and Katrina. She has moved to Lux. I've come in to Dyna, simple!" "Not every newcomer gets to represent one of the highest-selling soaps in the country," she said. What was it like shooting the campaign, specially since it required Sonakshi, who made her debut as a village belle, to get into a bathtub? "It was good fun. The team was excellent and the shoot went off smoothly. I wasn't the least self-conscious about the way it was shot. It's a very aesthetically shot ad. It was completely in my comfort zone," she said.

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angna Ranaut has decided to get inked, that too on her bosom. The actor says, when her Mr Right comes along she'll get his name tattooed on her chest. Her inspiration is her rather wild character in the upcoming film Tanu Weds Manu, who has a similar tattoo. In the film, Kangna plays Tanu, a small-town bindaas girl who openly mouths Hindi expletives and loves to drink and smoke. Tanu gets her boyfriend's name (Awasthi) tattooed on her chest and proudly flaunts it to scandalize actor R Madhavan who plays Manu, an NRI. Kangna had to sport a henna tattoo for nearly three months while shooting for the film. "That's because I had to get it retouched a few times to maintain the continuity," the actor laughs adding that she has made up her mind to get a permanent tattoo once she finds her true love. When asked about Deepika Padukone's predicament after breaking up with Ranbir Kapoor, whose initials she had tattooed on her nape, Ranaut says, "I think getting a tattoo of the one you love is great. So when I know for sure that I have found that special someone, I will. And why not?"


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SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

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s humans go, especially in this increasingly fluid world of selfisolation and evolving personal and professional relationships, we are all

www.indiapost.com

February 25, 2011

haps aided by disillusionment with her own space in her part of the world). What the reader gets, as a consequence, is a wealth of information woven around human stories about a country that was shielded from the world until recently and its transition to democracy after a cen-

entitled to a midlife crisis. While a midlife tury of monarchy when its beloved king crisis in itself is as common as a common abdicated the throne. cold, surely, it comes custom-designed Napoli's adventure - whether it was unin each individual's life, and is perhaps derstanding the profusion of phalluses more pronounced if one happens to be a as decoration (to ward of envy!), the workaholic, forty-someBhutanese love of spicy thing single woman in the BOOK REVIEW food, their resistance to disillusioning world of have their country bemedia in a big city like Los Angeles. come a democracy as much as their zealAnd such and so is a near description ousness in preserving their cultural heriof the phase author Lisa Napoli, a LA- tage; or understanding her own role in based public radio journalist was stuck the creation of a free press as an essenin - that is until a chance meeting with a tial tool for a nascent democracy - is a handsome stranger took her packing half feast of sights, colors, senses and warmth a world away to the tiny kingdom tucked away in the What she wants the readers to get Himalayas - Bhutan. The result: Radio Shangri-La: What out of the book most is to learn about I learned in Bhutan, the HapBhutan and all its strange and piest Kingdom on Earth. Whoever heard of wonderful quirks and charms; to Bhutan anyway‌ especially look at Bhutan's stage of developon this side of the Atlantic? Which is why, when Napoli ment today and think about what's volunteered to help launch happened socially and technologithe country's first youth-oriented radio station, she cally in the US over the last 100 years found her journey gave her much more than unprecedented access that make the reader want to take the next to a culture largely unknown to West- flight into Bhutan or at least have a midlife erners - it proved to be personally trans- crisis-busting adventure of one's own. formative, taking her back to that magiBhutan was considered to be the "the cal place again and again. last Buddhist Kingdom", cut off from the It starts with the possible cynicism of world until television was introduced in helping bring the modern media to a coun- the country for the first time in 1999. To try that measures its success in terms of this day, Bhutan manages to keep un"Gross National Happiness" rather than wanted outsiders away by charging a in GDP. Although conflicted, the author minimum $200-a day tourist tariff, that goes with an impressively open mind (per- makes it a destination for only the most

Lisa Napoli

for Bhutan. "As a former technology journalist and a devoted student of early 20th century US history, I find what's happening in Bhutan a merge of my favorite subjects: the impact of technology and development on how we live. But there's also something about the openness of the people I met there, and the rhythm of life there even as media and technology encroach." Perhaps the most significant transformation that country brought in her was the realization that she couldn't sit behind a desk and file 60-second stories all day anymore. But what she wants the readers to get out of the book most is to learn about Bhutan and all its strange and wonderful quirks and charms; to look at Bhutan's stage of development today and think about what's happened socially and technologically in the US over the last 100 years, its impact on our lives and how we relate to one another; to think about how small the planet really is, how connected

A market scene in Bhutan

dedicated and discerning travelers. In a promotional conversation, Napoli says of why the radio station was launched in Bhutan that she helped build. "After years of monarchy, the country was transitioning to a democratic form of government. A radio station was an essential tool for democracy, especially since its focus was the youth, who comprise the majority of the population. Which is funny, because as our media infrastructure crumbles here in the US, who knows how that'll impact our own long-standing democracy? I think about this all the time as I watch my chosen profession go through a major meltdown." The irony of being fed up of the American media, but going to another country to help launch a media outlet is never lost on the author. For Napoli, the profoundness of the Bhutan experience, she says, had to do with her own state of mind, her hunger for a change; but partly also, because it was a fascinating time of development

we all are, and to encourage them to experience it, if they choose. "But mostly what I hope a reader sees is how many exciting things there are for them to do in the world, right where they live, to help others, to make the most of our days. Isn't that what everyone craves - meaning, purpose and connectedness?" Before reading the book, one is inclined to unfairly wonder if this is yet another 'Eat, Pray Love' kind of privileged-American-looking of 'happiness and meaning' in the obscurity of a third world getaway. But mercifully, Napoli gives us more than just insights into her existential crisis to understand a contemporary geo-political revolution that is at once a result of modern technology and a people's aspirations. [Radio Shangri-La: What I learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth,


February 25, 2011

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Shankar Mahadevan launches online music Academy Yahoo! and Dell, it is designed to making structured curriculum-based education more interactive and tailored to each person's abilities. Central to learning at the Academy is the OM Book, or Online Music Book, a unique tool that allows students to practice and learn on their own time, and at their own pace, before attending weekly virtual classes with their teacher.

Shankar Mahadevan India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Shankar Mahadevan, popular Indian singer and composer, and Clood On, a provider of virtual learning software,

are ushering in a new era for classical and modern Indian music instruction with the launch of the Shankar Mahadevan Academy (www.shankarmahadevanacademy.com). The Academy helps Indians in the US gain easy to access high quality music instruction from the convenience of home, at their own pace for the first time. Courses will be offered in a variety of styles including Hindustani, Carnatic, Bollywood, folk and devotional to appeal to both serious aspirants as well as those who

Tasting India for a cause: Varli Food Festival India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Varli magazine, a publication dedicated to news and reviews on Indian cuisine, is bringing a ground-breaking Indian culinary event - the Varli Food Festival - in New York City. This one of a kind, culinary experience will be held April 7, 2011 at the Altman Building in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan. Featuring over 30 Indian restaurants from New York City and 10 award winning celebrity chefs, the Varli Food Festival promises to be an exciting experience for food lovers. The event will feature food and dessert tastings from some of the finest Indian restaurants including Tamarind, Devi, Junoon, Pranna, Tulsi and many others along with over a dozen delicious stations of desserts, pastries, wine and liquor. Wine parings, full bar, live music and entertainment, cooking demonstrations by world-renowned celebrity

chefs are also part of the Varli Food Festival. India's most beloved celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who hosts the popular cooking show 'Khana Khazana', will also indulge guests with a live cooking show during the Festival. Besides Kapoor, other participating chefs include Floyd Cardoz, Vikas Khanna, Jehangir Mehta (former, runner up on "The Next Iron Chef') Hemant Mathur, Prasad Chirnomula, Hari Nayak, Maneet Chauhan (former, contestant on

The event will feature food and dessert tastings from some of the finest Indian restaurants including Tamarind, Devi, Junoon, Pranna, Tulsi and many others along with over a dozen delicious stations of desserts, pastries, wine and liquor 'The Next Iron Chef'), Walter D'Rozario and Peter Beck. Other exciting things lined up for the evening include cook-book signing by select chefs, and a Documentary of Indian Cuisines. A silent auction for charity will include a variety of restaurant gift certificates, private cooking classes with the chefs and more. Varli magazine has linked up the Food Bank for New York City and will be donating 10% of the proceeds from ticket sales, cookbook sales and 100% of proceeds from the silent auction to the charity. Tickets are priced at $100 which will include full access to the Varli Food Festival along with a Gift Certificates book worth over $500 in discounts at the participating restaurants. The Varli Brand includes Varli magazine, the V CARD, a card providing dining discounts and exclusive deals at participating Indian restaurants, and Varli Online.

want to explore their artistic inclinations for fun. In fact, the whole premise of the online classroom is built around a "fun" concept so as to make the process of learning both enriching and interesting. However, this is not done at the expense of the instructional element - all teachers will be selected and endorsed by Shankar Mahadevan, and the Academy provides a structured, high-quality curriculum with certification. "The traditional process of learning classical music can be too serious and intimidating for many people who want to learn. Our objective with the Academy is to make music learning a fun and rewarding journey for all, without compromising on the quality of the curriculum and instruction. I'm excited to see more people -both adults and children - share in my love of learning Indian music," said Shankar Mahadevan. The technology behind the Academy is especially suited for such a venture. Developed by Clood On, a provider of virtual learning software founded by executives from

‘The traditional process of learning classical music can be too serious and intimidating for many people who want to learn. Our objective with the Academy is to make music learning a fun’ "The technology developed by us for the Academy - especially the OM Book - is intended to make this process of music learning fun and convenient, and to make it accessible to thousands of Indians in the U.S., who until now had little or no options," said Sridhar Ranganathan, co-founder and CEO of Shankar Mahadevan Academy. Shankar Mahadevan Academy was founded under the guidance and leadership of the award-winning composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan. The Academy is a joint venture between Shankar Mahadevan and Clood On, a provider of virtual learning software founded by executives from Yahoo and Dell.


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Indian contemporary art on display in Atlanta ters gazing back, men and women inhabiting spaces urban and rural, kneeling bodies meditating and praying. India's modern and contemporary art affirms that the modern is global. "These works celebrate everyday life in South Asia and its diasporas, from the most mundane moments to the most transcendent," said curator Dr. Rebecca M. Brown, author of Art for a Modern India, 1947-1980 (Duke University Press, 2009) and visiting Associate Professor in the History of Art and Political Science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. "This is an extraordinary opportunity for museum visitors to connect with the art of modern India." Collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta will be holding a first-of-its-kind exhibition-Goddess, Lion, Peasant, Priest: Modern and Contemporary Indian Art from the Collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin, March 15 to May 15. This is the first public display of this collection of more than 50 works from 28 of India's most famous artists, including Francis Newton Souza, Sakti Burman, and Seema Kohli. Shelley and Donald Rubin, passionate collectors of Himalayan art for over 30 years, are the founders of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Rubin is an Oglethorpe alumnus who graduated in 1956. With imagery from all walks of life, from the poorest citizens to dynamic deities, the works of Goddess, Lion, Peasant, Priest focus on India's people: individual charac-

‘These works celebrate everyday life in South Asia and its diasporas, from the most mundane moments to the most transcendent,’ said curator Dr. Rebecca M. Brown, author of Art for a Modern India Additional special events in conjunction with the exhibit will be announced. All events will be held in the OU Museum of Art. Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University enrolls 1,100 students from 34 states and 28 countries, and is Georgia's only coeducational member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of America's most selective liberal arts institutions.

Stamps on six legendary actresses

Meena Kumari

Nutan

NEW DELHI: A set of six stamps on six legendary actresses of Indian cinema has been released at the world philatelic exhibition here. The actresses who have been honored are Meena Kumari, Nutan, Kanan Devi, Devika Rani, Leela Naidu and Savitri Devi. The stamps were released by Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Gurudas Kamat here. India Post had earlier honored actors Madhubala, Nargis, Guru Dutt and Raj

Devika Rani

Kanan Devi

Kapoor, singers K.L. Saigal, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Hemant Kumar and Begum Akhtar, and directors Dadasaheb Phalke, Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy. Legendary heroines of yesteryears Asha Parekh and Vyjayanthimala Bali graced the occasion and remembered the actresses and work culture of those days. The minister also released a coffee table book 'Pigeon to Post' by Steve Borgia on Indian postal history on these occasion.-Agencies

Leela Naidu

Savitri Devi

Patiala House grosses $1.8m in opening weekend India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Akshay Kumar's latest blockbuster, Patiala House has in its opening weekend grossed $1.8 million approximately at the overseas box-office, also continuing a strong showing on weekdays, B4U announced. Patiala House emerged a highgrosser in the US, the UK and Canadian territories demonstrating Akshay Kumar's ability to connect with the Non-Resident Indians. "Audience reaction to Patiala House has been extremely encouraging. With Akshay's huge fan base overseas, we were confident that Patiala House would be a big draw," said Sunil Shah, head of B4U's film division. "Akshay's departure from boisterous comic roles to play a more serious British Asian character in this poignant family drama has been appreciated by critics and audiences; with the opening weekend fol-

lowed by the forthcoming ICC cricket world cup teamed with Akshay's star power, we are looking forward to the film's positive run at the box-office."

‘With Akshay's huge fan base overseas, we were confident that Patiala House would be a big draw,’ said Sunil Shah Directed by Nikhil Advani, the film also stars Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and debutant Hard Kaur. The film follows the story of the Kahlon family, focusing particularly on the relationship between Parghat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu played by Akshay Kumar and his father, played by Rishi Kapoor.


S

rinagar is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is the pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Srinagar is famous for its lakes and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits . Location: Srinagar is located in the western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the northern region of India. It is located in the Kashmir valley. River Jhelum passes through Srinagar city. Srinagar is 876 km north of Delhi. The weather in Srinagar is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (NovemberFebruary). It experiences heavy snowfall in December-February. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Srinagar is during summers between April and June. History: The history of the Kashmir valley has been turbulent. In the 3rd century BC, it was a part of the great Mauryan Empire. Later on, this region flourished under the rule of the Kushans in the 1st century AD. It was an important Buddhist center around this time. In the 6th century, it was a part of the kingdom of Vikramaditya, the ruler of Ujjain.

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Srinagar is famous for its lakes and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits Local Hindu rulers ruled it until the 14th century, after which Muslims invaded and ruled it. Srinagar was a part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period. However, with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rule of the Pathans, the fortunes of the area gradually dwindled. In 1814, it became a part of the Sikh empire, when Ranjit Singh defeated the Pathans. However, the British defeated Ranjit Singh and according to the treaty of Lahore in 1846, they installed Gulab Singh as the independent ruler of Kashmir. The descendents of Gulab Singh ruled Kashmir under the vigilance of the British till 1947. Hari Singh, the great grandson of Gulab Singh, merged this princely state into India in 1948, when Pathan marauders from Pakistan tried to overrun this state. Tourist attractions The valley of Kashmir, in which Srinagar is located, is also referred to as being a heaven on earth. The

Mughal emperor Jahangir was so captivated by the beauty of this valley that he exclaimed "Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto" (If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here). There are a number of tourist places in and around Srinagar. The Dal Lake is an important tourist attraction of Srinagar. It is located on the eastern end of the city. The Dal Lake comprises a series of lakes, including the Nagin Lake some 8 km from the city center. One can enjoy the panoramic view of the mountains surrounding Srinagar from this lake. Travelers can enjoy taking a ride on traditional Kashmiri boats or the Shikaras to explore the intricate maze of waterways of this lake. The other major attractions of Srinagar city are the well laid out Mughal styled gardens. The Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh are beautiful gardens located to the far eastern side of the Dal Lake. One can take a stroll amongst these green and attractive gardens and enjoy the waterworks within them.

The temple of Shankaracharya is another important place to visit in Srinagar. Jaluka, the son of emperor Ashoka, built it in the 3rd century BC. Places around There are number of interesting places to visit near Srinagar. Most of these places are located amongst picturesque settings of the mighty Himalayas. Apart from natural beauty, they offer a number of adventure activities to the traveler. Gulmarg is 52 km southeast of Srinagar and is located at an altitude of 2730 meters above sea level. In summers, the meadows of Gulmarg are laden with flowers. In winters, the snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg turn into a skiing resort, which attracts the traveler seeking adventure and thrill. It is a popular trekking destination and boasts of the world's highest golf course. Cont’d on page 30


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Project Tiger under threat in Kaziranga GUWAHATI: Implementation of Project Tiger in the Kaziranga National Park has been threatened by protests by stakeholders of the tourism and hotel industry, who fear it would adversely affect their livelihood. Kaziranga Jeep Safari Association and the Kaziranga Resort Association with support of 20 other organizations had recently sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh demanding withdrawal of Project Tiger from the KNP. "We are opposed to the government's decision to make Kaziranga a tiger reserve in the greater interest of people living in the park's vicinity as it will have a direct impact on their lives and livelihood," said the president of the Kaziranga Jeep Safari Association, Punen Gogoi. Gogoi said Kaziranga is famous for the onehorn Rhino and the government should take steps for its protection and conservation. "We had also welcomed the government's initiative to conserve tigers under Project Tiger, but we never supported the move to turn Kaziranga into a tiger reserve as the subsequent restrictions would severely affect tourism and other businesses," Gogoi said. The park's authorities, however, have clarified that it was a 'misconception in the minds of the people due to lack of awareness that has led to this kind of protests'. Park director Surajit Dutta said the fears

were unfounded and that the Project would instead help preserve the habitat and different species there. Dutta said the apprehension of the people related with the tourism sector that the hotels and human habitations in the fringe areas would be affected by Project Tiger were unfounded. "The Project Tiger, like the Elephant Reserve scheme of 2005, would also help in the socio-economic development of the

park was handed over by the Revenue department only recently. The park is one of the best protected parks in the world and the people living in the vicinity and engaged in tourism sector need not worry about losing their land or job to the Project Tiger, Dutta said. The Jeep Safari Association had also alleged that some NGOs were involved in creating problems for the locals by forcing the government to create a tiger reserve in the park to

"We had also welcomed the government's initiative to conserve tigers under Project Tiger, but we never supported the move to turn Kaziranga into a tiger reserve as the subsequent restrictions would severely affect tourism and other businesses," Gogoi said adjoining areas of the park and tourism would grow," he said. He appealed to all concerned to understand the basic fact that the protection of 10 km radius of eco-sensitive zone under Environment Protection Act, 1986, has nothing to do with Project Tiger. After 1985 no fresh proposal for inclusion of land in the fringe areas of KNP has been taken and major portion of the six additions (measuring about 6.47 sq. km) to the

further their own interests. Aaranyak's secretary-general Bibhab Kumar Talukdar said his organization has always been supportive of eco-friendly tourism and believes that its benefits should reach most of the villages around the park and tourism activities promoted uniformly in all its five ranges including the north bank range. Talukdar said the visitors to the sprawling and resourceful national park should be encouraged to enjoy all corners of the park

Assam bid to preserve lone rain forest DIBRUGARH, Assam: In a bid to conserve India's easternmost rainforest here, home to seven wildcat species, authorities are trying to promote the wildlife preserve as an eco-tourism destination by involving the local populace. The first Rainforest Festival is being held on the banks of the Burhidihing at Jeypore in this district and tourists, including foreigners, have thronged in large

Recently, seven wildcat species were captured on camera in the Jeypore rainforest by a wildlife biologist during a survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Various species of valuable trees like are also found in the forest. DFO Anurag Singh says the primary aim of the festival is to highlight the importance of rainforests. "Our aim is to develop an exem-

The rainforest and Dilli reserve forest combine to be the only rainforest area in the state spread across the three upper Assam's districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar comprising a total area of 575 sq km. The forest is listed to be the last lowland forests under the Assam valley wet evergreen forest area in the region numbers. The Jeypore rainforest is home to a number of wildlife species, including many endangered ones. So far, 46 species of mammals, 283 species of birds, 276 varieties of butterflies, 102 species of orchids, 71 species of reptiles and amphibians, 70 species of fishes and nearly 40 species of dragonflies and damselflies have been recorded there.

plary eco-tourism roadmap for Jeypore. And for this purpose, community-based eco-tourism is the best option," Singh told PTI. According to him, this kind of festivals also gives lot of opportunities to the local people. "The local people have taken an active part in the festival. They have put up over 100 stalls of handicrafts, artefacts, bamboo products, pickles and ethnic food.

Festivals like these help in a long way in generating employment at the local level," he says. To promote the rainforest and attract tourists, Singh says, some long-term measures will be adopted like more accommodation units, involvement of locals and awareness programs. Over these days, the festival has seen the participation of myriad of ethnic groups showcasing their ethnic culture, dresses and food habits. Elephant safaris, trekking, seminars were also a hit. The other highlights of the festival were display of customary dresses, display of cultural heritage of the local people living in and around these areas, tools, ornaments used by different tribal groups and display of the history of forest, wildlife and their association with local people in their lives. The rainforest and Dilli reserve forest combine to be the only rainforest area in the state spread across the three upper Assam's districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar comprising a total area of 575 sq km. The forest is listed to be the last lowland forests under the Assam valley wet evergreen forest area in the region. -PTI

within the designated tourist areas. "Flourishing tourism activities have provided livelihood opportunities to fringe villagers in Kaziranga Park and sustainable tourism shall inculcate deep-rooted commitment in the minds of tourists and general public towards conservation of flora and fauna in Kaziranga," he said. The ongoing census of tigers using camera traps in Kaziranga National Park was initiated in 2009 by Aaranyak in collaboration with the authority in the park after it had been declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. "The objective of the research was to bring out information on number of tigers using modern scientific techniques and the initial findings has already put the Kaziranga in the global focus in respect of successful conservation of habitats that supports tigers along with one-horned rhinos and other species," he said. During the ongoing census of tigers, the park authorities had given all possible logistic support to the team and there is no financial collaboration between the two institutions as alleged by some people, Talukdar asserted. KNP is the only park of its kind with a viable low land grassland ecosystem in south Asia and for its long-term sustainable development all stakeholders such as the government, non-governmental organizations, service providers, local people and the tourists should work together, Dutta felt. -PTI

Indians among top tourists in Malaysia KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia received highest number of tourists from India in 2010 as the country's tourism revenue was put at 56.49 billion ringgit, more than the targeted 55.5 billion ringgit, Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen has

Russia (9.8 per cent), Australia (8.9 per cent) and Japan (5.1 per cent). "Never before in our history, have we achieved so much with so little," Ng Yen Yen said. She said tourism would reach new heights this year with the pro-

"Never before in our history, have we achieved so much with so little," Ng Yen Yen said. She said tourism would reach new heights this year with the proposal to train foreign tour guides to lead tourists in Malaysia Malaysia tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen

said. The target of 24 million tourist arrivals was also surpassed by 577,000. The tourists were mainly from India (17 per cent), South Korea (16 per cent), Middle East (14 per cent), China (10 per cent),

posal to train foreign tour guides to lead tourists in Malaysia. "This will improve the capacity of tourism operators because tourists will be able to communicate with the help of their multilingual guides," she said. -PTI


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India govt guidelines for wellness centers NEW DELHI: In order to promote wellness tourism, the Indian government has issued guidelines for defining the roadmap for the industry as well as accreditation of wellness centers in the country. "The guidelines will be applicable to all wellness centers across the country," Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said here at a workshop on wellness tourism. The new guidelines would be looking into aspects of functioning of wellness centers like identifying and correcting unhygienic service delivery practices and laying down a system for continuous monitoring of quality of services being provided. Defining the concept of wellness, Sahai said, "It has been interpreted from several perspectives and we in India should relate it to our ancient system of living the tradition that is still preserved namely the constant, conscious pursuit of living life to its fullest in harmony with the environment." He said India has an ancient heritage of healing but is facing severe competition from several destinations who are positioning themselves as leading destinations for wellness tourism. "We should put our acts together and promote wellness tourism aggressively in the international and domestic markets," he added. Making a distinction between the health and the wellness aspects, Minister said medical tourism involves those visitors with medical conditions who travel for

treatment of ailments. A person who travels for wellness is generally healthy but seeks therapies to maintain his or her well-being. The accreditation standards are prepared by National Accreditation Standards for Hospitals and Healthcare providers and approved by Department of AYUSH. Only the accredited ser-

providing to ensure uniform pricing policy, as per the guidelines. Taking note of mushrooming of massage parlors, Sahai said, "There should be a mechanism to check whether all prescribed norms are being followed or not." On the implementation of guidelines, he said, "I think it should be mandatory as we are dealing directly with tourists and they

Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai

vice providers would be eligible for any assistance from Tourism Ministry. Among others, the guidelines will also look into the hygienic issue to prevent catching infections from the staff or the other customers by ensuring cleaning and disinfection practices for linen and equipment. Centers have to display services and tariff list that the spa is

should have good experience. "But initially we are seeking voluntary implementation. Later on we may opt for enforcing the guidelines." The Ministry is developing Haridwar-Rishikesh as well as Puducherry as wellness centers to give visitors a complete experience which is physically healing, spirituality enriching and mentally rejuvenating. -PTI

Srinagar: The pride of Kashmir Valley Cont’d from page 29

Sonamarg is 80 km northeast of Srinagar and is located at an altitude of 2740 meters. It is set in a valley amongst glaciers and placid lakes. The flower-laden meadows,

Srinagar and is located in the quiet Liddar valley, at a height of 2130 m. It provides an ideal setting for activities like hiking, trekking and fishing. It is also the starting point of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath.

As Kashmir is the only state in India where walnut trees grow, craftsmen here create intricate carvings on walnut wood to make items like tables, chairs, stools, fruit bowls, partitions, etc., that have rich floral and trellis patterns carved on them panoramic view of the lofty snowcovered Himalayan peaks, and a number of trekking and hiking trails have made Sonamarg a popular tourist destination. Pahalgam is 95 km east of

The handicrafts repertoire of Kashmir is incomplete without woolen shawls and woodcarving. Travelers can purchase richly embroidered woolen shawls in all colors and intricate designs in

Srinagar. Apart from regular woolen shawls, one can also buy Pashmina shawls (made from the hair of ibex) and shahtoosh shawls (made from the hair of the Tibetan antelope), which are highly valued shawls made in Kashmir. As Kashmir is the only state in India where walnut trees grow, craftsmen here create intricate carvings on walnut wood to make items like tables, chairs, stools, fruit bowls, partitions, etc., that have rich floral and trellis patterns carved on them. How to reach Air - Srinagar is well connected by air with Delhi. Road - It is well connected by road to important places like Chandigarh (630 km), Delhi (876 km), Jammu (298 km), Leh, Kargil, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam.

Pyramid guides urge tourists to return to Egypt CAIRO: Hundreds of Egyptian tour guides gathered in the shadow of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids to urge tourists to return to the country following the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime. The upheaval of recent weeks and media coverage of days of violent clashes have combined to scare off visitors and stifle Egypt's key tourism industry, threatening thousands of jobs. Inspired by the success of political protests in bringing down the regime, workers in several public and private sector industries have launched a wave of strikes to demand pay rises. But the message from tourism workers was simpler. The guides - whose business has been badly hit by the crisis gathered at the Giza Plateau site, bearing Egyptian flags and banners in English, French, Russian and German reading: "Egypt loves you." One by one, the guides mounted a tribune to plead for tourists to return in a variety of languages. Behind them a handful of Egyptian visitors were at the site, but there were no foreigners to be seen and Cairo's hotels and gift shops stand empty.

"We need to make tourism come back to Egypt. We want to send the message to tourists all over the world that they are welcome here. They will discover a new country and new people", said 27-year-old Hossam Khairy.

The guides - whose business has been badly hit by the crisis gathered at the Giza Plateau site, bearing Egyptian flags and banners in English, French, Russian and German reading: "Egypt loves you." One by one, the guides mounted a tribune to plead for tourists to return in a variety of languages Khairy was one of the tens of thousands of protesters who seized central Cairo's Tahrir Square and occupied it for two weeks as part of the nationwide demonstrations that bought down Mubarak. -AFP

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In Brief New laws crack down on SoCal immigration LOS ANGELES: Five Riverside county cities are cracking down on illegal immigrants as their unemployment rates soar. Last month, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Norco began requiring businesses to check the immigration status of new workers through the federal E-Verify database. Employers that don't can lose their business licenses. Murrieta plumber Pablo Haro approves of the crackdown. He tells the Los Angeles Times that the construction crash has hurt the job market and it's hard to compete with illegal immigrants who will work for tiny wages. However, nearby cities have chosen not to adopt such ordinances and some analysts contend that the laws are inspired more by the towns' political conservatism than their job situations. Critics, meanwhile, say the law will just prompt employers to pay workers under the table. -AP

Daniels keeping quiet on Ind. immigration bill INDIANAPOLIS: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels isn't saying how he feels about a proposal moving in the Legislature that would require police officers in the state to enforce federal immigration laws. The sponsor of the bill approved by a state Senate committee says it's aimed at having an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration. Daniels told reporters that he wasn't taking a public stance on the bill, saying its provisions were still in flux. Supporters of the legislation say it's needed because the federal government has failed to enforce immigration laws and that states are forced to spend millions of dollars on providing health care, education and other services for illegal immigrants. Opponents fear it could lead to racial profiling and cast the state as intolerant. -AP

Tenn. lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform NASHVILLE, Tenn.: State lawmakers concerned with illegal immigration are introducing everything from an Arizonastyle enforcement bill to requirements that drivers license exams be in English. Details on page 36

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Martinez seeks public help on immigrant licenses SANTA FE, N.M.: Republican Gov. Susana Martinez moved to try to increase pressure on the Democratic-controlled Legislature to scrap a law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. Details on page 36

Guidance on F-1 transfers from 'sham' Tri-Valley University CYRUS D. MEHTA

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n the wake of the closing down of the "sham" Tri-Valley University, which has rendered many F-1 students out of status, ICE has issued guidance to universities that enroll F-1 students via SEVIS regarding how to facilitate the transfer. The document was posted in AILA InfoNet on February 8, 2011 (AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11020863). Many of the students who were enrolled at Tri-Valley were unwitting victims, and ought to be able to transfer their F-1 status to other schools, or be able to change to another nonimmigrant visa status, such as H-4 or H-1B (if the individual is not subject to the current H-1B FY 2011 cap). The DHS gives discretion to its officers to approve applications for change of status even where the individual has failed to maintain status due to "extraordinary circumstances," and a student who has been caught in this predicament ought to be invoke favorable discretion under 8 C.F.R. section 248.1(b). It is good news that DHS has issued guidance that would facilitate the transfer of F-1 status to another legitimate school. Al-

though the guidance is vaguely worded, it seems to suggest that if a new school accepts a student for admission from Tri-Valley, the designated school official must contact the SEVIS help desk before creating a SEVIS record and a determination may be made on a case by case basis. While the guidance could have been more clear, it appears to create a procedure for a student from Tri-Valley to transfer to another school in F-1 status.

fer-in student records associated with Tri-Valley University (TVU) in Pleasanton, California. Students enrolled at TVU and those who entered the United States but have not enrolled at TVU are unable to maintain F-1 status. RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOL OFFICIALS If a former TVU student applies for acceptance at a school, consider the following while following normal admissions procedures: 1. School officials must obtain

Many of the students who were enrolled at Tri-Valley were unwitting victims, and ought to be able to transfer their F-1 status to other schools To: All SEVIS Users Date: February 7, 2011 Re: Consideration of Former F1 Students from Tri-Valley University for Enrollment Number: 1101-02 On January 18, 2011, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) either cancelled or terminated all initial, active and trans-

an enrollment application and all subsidiary documents typically requested in order to make an admissions decision, including an assessment of the student's finances, and they must maintain these documents in the F-1 student's academic record. 2. If a student gains admission, a designated school official should contact the SEVP Help

Georgia illegal immigrant student indicted MARIETTA, Ga.: A Cobb County grand jury has indicted a Georgia college student and illegal immigrant on a felony charge of making a false statement. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Kennesaw State University student Jessica Colotl gave deputies a false address and telephone number when she was being booked after an arrest. Colotl's case sparked a larger debate on illegal immigration in the state after she was stopped for a minor traffic violation last spring, arrested for driving without a license and nearly deported. District Attorney Pat Head said his office pursued the indictment

``because we believe the evidence was sufficient to present to a grand jury.'' The case has been assigned to Cobb County superior court judge Mary Staley, but no trial date has been set. If Colotl is convicted, she likely won't get a harsh sentence. Probation is common in such cases, Head said. Colotl was arrested March 30, a day after her traffic stop, when she still could not produce a driver's license. The Cobb County jail participates in a federal-local partnership program, called 287(g), that allows trained deputies to check an inmate's immigra-

tion status and flag them for federal authorities if they are in the country illegally. She was handed over to federal immigration authorities on April 1 and sent to a detention center in Alabama. Her case got media after members of her sorority from different universities wore their Lambda Theta Alpha gear and carried signs saying they were marching to support Colotl at an immigration rally at the state Capitol May 1. The ACLU said it contacted DHS on her behalf and Kennesaw State said it was ``actively engaged in intervening on her behalf on several fronts.'' -AP

Desk at 800-892-4829 or SEVIShelpdesk@hp.com to manage the student record. Do not initiate a new SEVIS record for the student. 3. Employment authorization for F-1 students at TVU terminated January 19, 2011. ICE has posted an announcement on its website, http:// www.ice.gov/sevis/tri-valley110118.htm, asking TVU students to contact a number, 703-603-3400, and be prepared to provide first and last name, SEVIS ID#, address, telephone number and e mail address, dates of attendance at TVU and level and major of study at TVU. The notice goes on to state, "When you call, SEVP will provide you with your options including the options to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future." One should also review the NAFSA interpretation on the SEVP guidance regarding transfers of F-1 of former TVU students, available at http://www.nafsa.org/ r e s o u r c e l i b r a r y / default.aspx?id=24805 Our office has called the SEVP number given by ICE in their release and has been advised that according to the script provided by ICE, former Tri-Valley students have three options. One, they can file for reinstatement as students on Form I-539. The suggestion seems to be that this should be done electronically, since we were directed to the http:// www.uscis.gov/e-filing website. Implicitly required, although this was not stated by the SEVP representative, is that the reinstatement be in connection with attendance at a different school, since Tri-Valley is no longer viable in the view of DHS. Two, former Tri-Valley students can voluntarily depart without any action on the part of ICE. Three, former Tri-Valley students can report to ICE to be processed for voluntary departure. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


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Colo. lawmakers kill Ariz.-style immigration bill DENVER: A Colorado Republican abandoned an attempt to mimic Arizona's divisive immigration law, saying he worried legal challenges would burden taxpayers. But it's only the first round in what promises to be a long battle at the Capitol on illegal immigration, including a similar proposal pending in the Senate. Rep. Randy Baumgardner's House Bill 1107 would have given law enforcement the authority to arrest anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally and required people to carry their immigration documents. Baumgardner asked a legislative committee to indefinitely postpone his bill, saying that although the proposal was scaled back, ``we still could not get around some of the problems in terms of possible litigation.'' ``At this time we just felt like it was not something that we wanted to burden the taxpayers with, in lieu of the way the economy is,'' he said. ``I do believe we do need to continue to address illegal immigration in our state.'' A House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee unanimously voted to kill the bill. Democrats have said Republicans will face a tough path with their illegal immigration proposals in the Senate, where Democrats have a 2015 majority. Republicans have a onevote majority in the House.

Republican Sen. Kent Lambert is carrying a bill that, like Baumgardner's proposal, would give law enforcement the authority to arrest people suspected of being in the country illegally. Lambert said he plans to proceed with his bill and Republican Rep. David Balmer promised to support the proposal if it gets to the House. Lambert's bill is scheduled to be heard in a Senate committee along with another proposal from Republican Sen. Ted Harvey that

Arizona copycat laws would break the hearts of thousands of Coloradoans - families, children, business owners, tourists,'' said Julien Ross would require nongovernmental state employers to use E-Verify to confirm a worker's legal status. Balmer also vowed to include elements of Arizona-style legislation into one of his bills if Republican proposals fail along the way. Balmer is sponsoring a bill that would withhold grants and other state funding from jurisdictions that refuse to participate in the federal Secure Communities program. The program identifies ille-

gal immigrants through fingerprinting when they're arrested. The plethora of proposals prompted dozens of immigrant rights advocates to rally decrying the bills at the Capitol. In honor of Valentine's Day, protesters held heart-shaped signs that read, ``Racist Laws Break My Heart.'' “Arizona copycat laws would break the hearts of thousands of Coloradoans - families, children, business owners, tourists,'' said Julien Ross, executive director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. ``We want to keep our hearts together. We want to keep love in the air and say no Arizona copycat laws, yes to a strong Colorado.'' Other pending proposals would require judges to consider a person's immigration statues when setting bail and another bill that addresses identity theft. Under that bill, people could be charged with identity theft, even if they don't know that the information they're using belongs to another person. The bill is a response to a state Supreme Court decision last year that said a man who used a stranger's Social Security number to get a car loan did not commit criminal impersonation. The Court said prosecutors must prove that a person knew he was using another person's identifying information in order to be guilty of criminal impersonation. -AP

Group urges Patrick to reject immigration checks BOSTON: Immigrant rights advocates urged Gov. Deval Patrick not to sign Massachusetts on to a federal program that checks the immigration status of people who are arrested, but the governor said the state might have no choice in the matter. The governor agreed to the meeting with several opponents of the Secure Communities program for about 20 minute, after a larger group gathered outside his office for several hours chanting slogans such as ``Education not deportation.'' The Immigration and Customs Enforcement program allows arrestees' fingerprint information to be checked against FBI criminal history records and biometrics-based immigration records kept by the Department of Homeland Security. Defenders of the program say it only targets immigrants arrested for committing violent crimes and

is not an effort to enforce federal immigration laws. But opponents contend it would discourage immigrants from reporting crimes while encouraging police to practice racial profiling. Patrick said after the meeting that while no final decision had been made, his administration was still under the impression that the state could not opt out of the program. ``My understanding is that it is mandatory, there were some arguments made there that it isn't,'' said Patrick. ``But there are a whole series of hearings that we are going to be doing all around the Commonwealth to gather information and experience and concerns ... and we will make a decision based on that.'' Asked if he would prefer not to sign the state on to the program if he did not have to, the governor

said: ``I don't think that asking our local law enforcement to enforce a federal law is the best use of our time, they have a lot of other things to do as it is.'' Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, a Somerville-based immigrant advocacy group, acknowledged that there was confusion surrounding Secure Communities but said her group was convinced that participation by Massachusetts was not mandatory. ``Massachusetts is one of the most liberal and progressive states and now they are saying they want to sign Secure Communities,'' Montes said. ``That is a contradiction in my opinion.'' Andres Del Castillo, 20, a student at Suffolk University, said he shared his own personal story with the governor during the meeting. -AP

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Tenn. lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform NASHVILLE, Tenn.: State lawmakers concerned with illegal immigration are introducing everything from an Arizona-style enforcement bill to requirements that drivers license exams be in English. Similar measures in the past have mostly been killed in the House. This year, with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, those measures have their best chance yet of becoming law. But Republicans are less than united on what measures to pass and how. Speaking at a forum sponsored by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey expressed qualified support for requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify program to make sure their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. ``My No. 1 goal is to make Tennessee the best place in the nation to own and operate a business,'' he said. ``I want to make sure we're addressing those illegal immigration problems, but not putting undue burdens and undue paperwork on small businesses.'' Ramsey said he didn't want immigration to dominate the session, and he and Gov. Bill Haslam, also

speaking at the event, both expressed support for a single comprehensive immigration bill, rather than the dozen or so that have been filed or announced so far. But Rep. Joe Carr, chairman of the House's Taskforce on Illegal Immigration Reform, said that is not likely. No one has spoken with him or House leadership about a single,

Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, said in an interview that the disagreements reflect differing priorities among Republicans comprehensive bill, he said, and he is moving forward with plans to introduce three bills this week. One would mandate the use of E-Verify. Another would require agencies to verify that applicants for benefits such as food stamps and in-state tuition are legally in the country. A third would empower local law enforcement officers, in the course of a stop, to question suspects on whether

they are legally in the country. Carr said that last bill will be different from one approved in Arizona last year that has been the subject of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit, but he will not release any details until it is filed. Carr said he would consider introducing a single bill if he were assured the support of Haslam and Ramsey, ``but if this is just a mechanism for watering down the legislation it is not something we are going to be seriously able to entertain.'' Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, said in an interview that the disagreements reflect differing priorities among Republicans. ``The tremendous conflict within the Republican caucus is those who are up here for social reasons and those who are up here for jobs,'' Kyle said. Although Carr and some other Republicans argue the immigration bills will save the state money by driving out illegal immigrants, whom they consider a drain on the economy, many of the state's influential business leaders disagree. Debby Dale Mason, with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said her group is concerned about any law that makes it more difficult for international companies to do business in Tennessee or makes the state appear unwelcoming of foreigners. In 2007, a new Tennessee law aimed at keeping illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses unintentionally left many legal immigrants suddenly unable to drive, including some highly skilled workers from large international companies. Other immigration-related bills filed so far include ones that: Make harboring or transporting illegal immigrants a felony. Require parents to show certain identifying documents before their children can be issued birth certificates. Require that all driver's license exams be given in English. Require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Require photo identification to vote. -AP

Martinez seeks public help on immigrant licenses SANTA FE, N.M.: Republican Gov. Susana Martinez moved to try to increase pressure on the Democratic-controlled Legislature to scrap a law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. Martinez urged New Mexicans to call lawmakers and demand an end to the state's license law for immigrants. The governor contended it's a security risk to give driver's licenses to those living illegally in the country. ``Why I encourage people to call their legislators is because we have to make sure that the legislators are doing the people's business,'' Martinez said at a news conference. The governor's comments came a day after a House committee - on a party-line vote - shelved what a GOP lawmaker contended was a compromise to revoke licenses for illegal immigrants but allow them to have annually renewable driving permits, which would not serve as a form of identification. Democrats on the committee supported the effort to bottle up the bill, dooming it for the session. Martinez did not support the bill. Instead she wants legislation that would stop the licensing practice and cancel the more than 80,000 licenses given so far to foreign nationals. The state contends

it doesn't know how many of the licenses have gone to illegal immigrants because it does not ask the immigration status of license applicants. Rep. Andy Nunez, a Hatch independent, said he's optimistic his bill to stop licenses for illegal immigrants can clear two committees and reach the House floor. Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, is sponsoring a similar bill backed by the governor.

‘Why I encourage people to call their legislators is because we have to make sure that the legislators are doing the people's business,’ Martinez said Elsa Lopez of Santa Fe-based Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant rights group, said the state's license law has helped improve public safety by lessening fear among immigrants to report crimes to police. She also said the state has ample safeguards for verifying the identification provided by immigrants to obtain a driver's license. -AP

Reaction to Ga. illegal immigration bill is varied ATLANTA: Georgia lawmakers considering a bill that seeks to crack down on illegal immigration in the state heard varied reactions from about 30 people. The House Judiciary NonCivil Committee opened the floor for public comment on a bill proposed by state Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City. The committee already heard from representatives of special interest groups. Ramsey's bill, and another introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, would require law enforcement officers who stop a criminal suspect to verify the person's immigration status if they believe he or she is in the country illegally. The bill would allow officers to arrest illegal immigrants and take them to a federal detention facility. Ramsey's bill would also require all employers with more than five workers to verify the legal status of new hires using a federal database called E-Verify. Ev Howe, an Air Force veteran

and retired Lockheed Martin employee, said he interacts regularly with illegal immigrants through his work as an English teacher at his church. ``I feel like I've been sent back in time to the years of the 50s and 60s,'' he said. ``This bill makes me kind of ill.'' He went through the bill section by section, pointing out parts he said would encourage racial profiling, prompt frivolous lawsuits and punish people who are transporting illegal immigrants as part of charitable work. Other speakers included regular citizens, lawyers who deal regularly with illegal immigrants, a sheriff's captain from Gwinnett County and several activists, among others. Sean McKenzie, a high school teacher from Calhoun, said he's taught numerous students who were in the country illegally. He urged the committee to reject the bill, saying that it would harm young people whose parents brought them here in search of a better life. -AP


„ Health

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Larimer Co. jail opens special unit due to flu FORT COLLINS, Colo.: The Larimer County jail has opened a special housing unit because of a flu outbreak. The Coloradoan reports that about 10 inmates are in the unit. County health officials say five flu cases have been reported at the jail in Fort Collins. Sheriff's officials say it's routine to set aside special housing during flu season to try to reduce the number of people getting sick. There are about 500 inmates at the jail. County health officials say flu is "pretty widespread'' in Fort Collins. -AP

„ Frisco soil lead elevated, but below fed limits DALLAS: Federal tests show that lead levels in soil near a suburban Dallas battery-recycling plant are within federal limits but exceed what city officials say they prefer to protect the health of children. The Dallas Morning News reports tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the lead levels were enough to warrant an immediate health emergency. But city consultant Kerry Russell says ``there certainly is a level of concern that's now been confirmed that we need to do some more in-depth and extensive testing.'' Soil samples were taken from 13 sites within a mile of the Exide Technologies Inc. plant. In November, the EPA found that air surrounding the plant did not comply with newly tightened restrictions for lead. -AP

„ Flu making rounds in Arizona community KINGMAN, Ariz.: Widespread flu activity is being reported in Mohave County and around Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services says widespread activity means several laboratoryconfirmed cases of the flu have been reported in three or more regions of the state. Arizona is split into four regions. Mohave County RN nursing supervisor Sherry Lawson says the widespread activity reported in Mohave County means every major metropolitan area in the county has reported several cases of the virus. -AP

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Pediatrics report details risks from energy drinks CHICAGO: Energy drinks are under-studied, overused and can be dangerous for children and teens, warns a report by doctors who say kids shouldn't use the popular products. -AP

Nationwide sharing planned for donated livers WASHINGTON: Doctors dropped another bomb soon after telling Matthew Rosiello it was time for a liver transplant: The 21year-old isn't likely to get one any time soon in his home state of New York. Consider traveling to Ohio, they advised, where the wait's a lot shorter. Where you live plays a big role in how sick you are, and how long you wait, before getting a scarce liver transplant if you survive long enough. Now the network that runs the U.S. organ transplant system is exploring steps to ease some of the disparities. Critics who want more nationwide sharing of donated livers fear any changes won't help enough. ``I'll go anywhere for my son. This is his life,'' says Matthew's mother, Randy Rosiello of New York City, who has begun researching waiting lists from Ohio to North Carolina as the family debates its next step. But she doesn't think her son should have to leave his doctors at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, or undergo the stress of travel. Plus, she worries, ``if I have to go, I'm putting my family into financial ruin.'' The nation has a severe shortage of donated livers. More than 16,000 people are awaiting a liver transplant, and just 6,300 a year

get one. More than 1,400 others die waiting each year. Since 2002, the sickest patients have been ranked atop waiting lists to receive a liver from a deceased donor. They're given a socalled MELD score, based on laboratory tests, that predicts their risk of death. Rising scores move them up on the waiting list. The change by all accounts has greatly improved the system, which once was based instead on time spent waiting.

to someone who's not as sick rather than to someone sicker in the next transplant region. Patients can shop around for shorter lines, even get on more than one list, if they have the means to get to a far-away hospital within hours of a liver becoming available. For instance, Apple CEO Steve Jobs' 2009 liver transplant was in Tennessee, where the wait was much shorter than back home in California. But Mount Sinai liver trans-

The nation has a severe shortage of donated livers. More than 16,000 people are awaiting a liver transplant, and just 6,300 a year get one. More than 1,400 others die waiting each year Here's the lingering trouble: Patients with liver failure and would-be donors are not distributed evenly around the country. And the nation is divided into 11 transplant regions that have wide variations in patients and available organs, between regions and within them. A donated liver is offered first to the sickest patients in the local transplant center, and if there's no good match, then to the sickest patients throughout that transplant region. If there's still no good match, the liver can go

plant chief Dr. Sander Florman says that system isn't fair to those who can't afford to maximize their chances. ``If a patient can get on an airplane and go to Florida, why can't the liver get on an airplane and come to New York?'' he asks. For patients like Matthew Rosiello, the news that New Yorkers wait longer for a liver complicates already agonizing treatment choices. When he was a baby, Rosiello had complex liver surgery for a rare birth defect, biliary atresia,

and more surgery a few years ago that postponed a transplant. But now repeated liver infections and other complications have put him in the hospital three times in about a month, require IV care and forced him to quit college. Still, his MELD score is low, something doctors warn could change rapidly - but that also means he should consider a place with a shorter wait. ``He's frightened to death,'' says Randy Rosiello as the family peruses an Internet database - the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients - that compares wait times and success rates. How big are the differences? The United Network for Organ Sharing says that in three regions stretching from Ohio down through Tennessee and on to Florida, adults receiving new livers in the past year had median MELD scores of 23 to 24. But in the New York and western Vermont region, liver recipients were far sicker, with a median score of 32. Only the region that includes California fared worse, with 37. Within regions, rates of people who die on the waiting list or become too sick to transplant range from fewer than 10 percent to more than 25 percent each year. Cont’d on page 39

LA County says 170 sickened at conference LOS ANGELES: A mysterious illness sickened about 170 people attending a global Internet conference in Southern California, but it was unclear if a party at the Playboy Mansion played any role in spreading it, health officials said here. The Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health said it learned that people who attended the DOMAIN fest Global conference in Santa Monica had come down with a suspected respiratory infection. The agency contacted everyone associated with the conference, and so far about

The conference ran from Feb. 1-3 and drew some 700 people from 30 countries to lectures and attend workshops in Santa Monica 170 people have reported fever, chills, coughs or other signs of illness. The type of illness and source of exposure remained under investigation. The conference ran from Feb. 1-3 and drew some 700 people from 30 countries to lectures and attend workshops in Santa Monica.

Nighttime events included a Polynesian-themed pool and garden party, a networking event at the famed Los Angeles Skybar, and a Feb. 3 charity fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills. "At this time, public health has not determined that the source of exposure is limited to a specific location,'' the agency's

statement said. The Playboy Mansion was cooperating fully with the health investigation, said an email from Teri Thomerson, spokeswoman for Playboy Enterprises Inc. Health officials said it appeared the illness was confined to the conference-goers. Because many live outside of Los Angeles County, officials were investigating in cooperation with health departments in surrounding counties, the state Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. -AP


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Eating more fiber could mean longer life CHICAGO: Eat more fiber and you just may live longer. That's the message from the largest study of its kind to find a link between high-fiber diets and lower risks of death not only from heart disease, but from infectious and respiratory illnesses as well. The government study also ties fiber with a lower risk of cancer deaths in men, but not women, possibly because men are more likely to die from cancers related to diet, like cancers of the esophagus. And it finds the overall benefit to be strongest for diets high in fiber from grains. Most Americans aren't getting enough roughage in their diets. The average American eats only about 15 grams of fiber each day, much less than the current daily recommendation of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. For example, a slice of whole wheat bread contains 2 to 4 grams of fiber. In the new study, the people who met the guidelines were less likely to die during a nine-year follow-up period. The men and women who ate the highest amount of fiber were 22 percent less likely to die from any cause compared to those who ate the lowest amount, said lead author Dr. Yikyung Park of the National Cancer Institute. The study, appearing in Archives of Internal Medicine, included more than 388,000 adults, ages 50 to 71, who participated in a diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP. They filled out a questionnaire in 1995 or 1996 about their eating habits. It asked them to estimate

how often they ate 124 food items. After nine years, more than 31,000 of the participants had died. National records were used to find out who died and the cause of death. The researchers took into account other risk factors including weight, education level, smoking and health status and still saw lower risks of death in people who ate more fiber. ``The results suggest that the benefits of dietary fiber go beyond heart health,'' said Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public

The evidence for fiber's benefits has been strongest in diabetes and heart disease, where it's thought to improve cholesterol levels Health, who wasn't involved in the new research but co-authored an editorial in the journal. The evidence for fiber's benefits has been strongest in diabetes and heart disease, where it's thought to improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Fiber's benefits also may come from its theorized ability to bind to toxins and move them out of the body quicker. High-fiber diets can promote weight loss by making people feel full, which has its own health-promoting effects. However it works, fiber may offer a prevention benefit against killers like pneumonia and flu, the new study suggests. The cancer benefit may have shown up only

in the men because they're more likely than women to die from cancers related to diet, Park said. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and beans. But fiber from grains was most strongly tied to the lowered risk in the study. ``That's what seemed to be driving all these relationships,'' said Lawrence de Koning of the Harvard School of Public Health, a co-author of the editorial. Whole grains also contain vitamins and minerals, which may play a role in reducing risk, he said. For that reason, supplements may not be as effective. ``Nothing beats the original food,'' he said. He suggested substituting whole wheat bread for white bread as a simple way to increase fiber from grains. What does a high-fiber diet look like? A woman who wants to meet the 25 gram guidelines for daily fiber intake could eat onethird cup of bran cereal (9 grams), a half cup of cooked beans (10 grams), a small apple with skin (4 grams) and a half cup of mixed vegetables (4 grams). -AP

More Iowans going to Minn. for medical care DES MOINES, Iowa: A growing number of Iowans traveling to Minnesota for medical care at the Mayo Clinic have added to the state's largest health insurer's costs and contributed to rate increases. Laura Jackson, a vice president for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, told the Des Moines Register that it costs twice as much for care at the Mayo Clinic than at in-state facilities that provide the same services. That's because Wellmark has more leverage to negotiate cost breaks with Iowa providers who depend on in-state customers than with Mayo, she said. ``We have great physicians who provide quality care at low cost right here in Iowa,'' Jackson said. Wellmark provides coverage to about 2.1 million people in Iowa and South Dakota. The insurer said it spends more than $125 million a year for care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for about 12,000 customers. "In reality, it's not a lot of people going to Mayo, but it's a lot of dollars,'' said Michael Fay, a Wellmark vice president.

Wellmark said that's among the reasons for its higher premiums. The insurer raised rates an average of 18 percent last year and will raise them again, by an average of 8.5 percent, in April. There is no additional premium for customers getting care at Mayo, and Wellmark said there are no plans to institute one.

'We have great physicians who provide quality care at low cost right here in Iowa,' Jackson said Ottumwa businessman Kermit Knott, 50, goes to Mayo for treatment of a rare type of lymphoma. He said that when he made the decision to go, he didn't consider how much it would cost him in outof-pocket expenses or Wellmark. ``It's my life,'' Knott said. ``I want to be able to go to Mayo or Johns Hopkins or wherever I need to go.'' -AP

Harmful medical devices get OK too easily CHICAGO: Most medical devices recalled in recent years because of deaths or life-threatening problems were cleared for approval under less stringent regulations that don't require human testing, an analysis found. The report comes as the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing sweeping proposals to revise the medical device approval process. The studied devices fell under rules for products similar to ones on the market, not regulations for brand new ones, which call for more extensive testing. Thousands of deaths or serious medical problems occurred in patients with the recalled devices, which included external heart defibrillators, brain shunts and implanted pumps that deliver cancer drugs, the researchers said. Device makers say the new data are flawed and conflict with previous reports. For their analysis, the researchers looked at the FDA's list of high-risk devices that were recalled from 2005 through 2009. Of the 113 highest-risk recalled devices, 71 percent, or 80 devices, had been approved

through the less stringent regulation. Only 19 percent, or 21 devices, were approved under a stricter process for brand new products that involves inspections and human testing. Eight were registered with the FDA but exempt from regulation.

Thousands of deaths or serious medical problems occurred in patients with the recalled devices ``Because so many medical devices are not being held to a higher safety standard, people are dying who wouldn't otherwise die and who don't have to die, and people are being harmed who don't have to be harmed,'' said study co-author Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, a Washington-based health advocacy group. FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley said the study's findings aren't new and noted that the re-

calls it highlighted represent a small portion of the more than 19,000 devices cleared through the less strict standard during those years. The report appears in Archives of Internal Medicine. An editorial says the analysis shows that ``millions of Americans may be at risk for device-related injuries and recalls from high-risk devices that were cleared by FDA without any supporting clinical trial data.'' ``The public deserves better protection,'' the editorial said. The researchers didn't include a tally of all deaths and injuries linked with the recalled devices. They noted that in 2006 alone, the FDA received reports of 2,830 potential device-related deaths and more than 100,000 injuries. More than half of the deaths were linked with devices approved under the less rigid process. AdvaMed, a medical device makers trade group, said the analysis conflicts with other reports including one with industry ties showing devices cleared through that process have a good safety record. -AP


February 25, 2011

Health Science Post www.indiapost.com

Nationwide sharing planned for donated livers Cont’d from page 37

So UNOS' liver committee is seeking feedback from transplant centers about options to improve, in hopes of proposing changes later this year. Topping the list: If a liver isn't a good match to the sickest patients within one region - as measured by a MELD of 15 or more - offer it nationwide before giving it to a less sick local patient. But small steps won't help the toughest regions, contends Mount Sinai's Florman. New York transplant centers suggest splitting the country into four or five ``super regions'' where the sickest patients in the entire zone would get first dibs. No, livers don't last outside the body as long as kidneys that often are shipped long distances. But Florman says his hospital successfully flies in livers from Florida that hospitals there turn down as lessthan-optimal - because, say, the donor was elderly - meaning better organs should have no problem. And often less-than-optimal organs go to waste, because of restrictions on when hospitals can take a chance with them, adds Dr. Thomas Fishbein of Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., another hard-hit area. Bigger moves would encounter more resistance, cautions Dr. Kenneth Washburn of the University of Texas Health Science

Center, who chairs UNOS' liver committee and views modest change as an important first step. A proposal for regional sharing that skipped the local transplant center prompted ``a lightning rod'' of objections from hospitals that stood to lose organs, he says. Indeed, centers with shorter waits say they do a good job of encouraging organ donations and other regions should try to improve.

While short-term relief is needed, more organ donation is the long-term answer, agrees Georgetown's Fishbein: 'It's only because we're so short of livers that we fight over the livers that are there' ``If you equate it to hunger, people try to figure out how to come up with more food, not which kid gets the sandwich,'' says Dr. Joseph Tector, transplant chief at Indiana University Health. While short-term relief is needed, more organ donation is the long-term answer, agrees Georgetown's Fishbein: ``It's only because we're so short of livers that we fight over the livers that are there.'' -AP

India Post

39


Tech News More funds sought for ailing Air India NEW DELHI: The Civil Aviation Ministry has sought more budgetary support for Air India claiming that almost 65 per cent of the turnaround plan of the ailing national carrier has been implemented. The issue of additional support was raised by Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi at a meeting here with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during which the two leaders discussed issues pertaining to the aviation sector in the upcoming Budget. "We informed him that whatever decision had been taken, we have implemented almost 65 per cent of it and something more is to be implemented," Ravi told reporters after the hour-long meeting. Regarding government guarantees on the hefty loans Air India has taken to fund its fleet acquisition, he said, "The guarantee has to come .... because the RBI, the SBI need some kind of assurance. All financial matters were discussed." ContĂ­d on page 42

Honda recalls 57,853 City sedans in India NEW DELHI: Japanese auto major Honda has said it is recalling 57,853 units of its mid-sized Sedan City in India to replace a faulty engine part, as part of a global exercise. The company, which runs operations in India through a joint venture with the Siel Group Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) - said the recall will cover only the thirdgeneration City models that were manufactured between November, 2008, and December, 2009. In a statement, HSCI said it would carry out preventive part replacement of the lost motion spring in the valve train of the City sedans being recalled. "HSCI is proactively replacing the part in these vehicles with a new improved part," it said. The defective lost motion springs, which are compressed by rocker arms in normal engine use, may bend or break over time, resulting in abnormal engine noise and potentially causing engine stalling and problems in re-starting, the statement added. "The replacement would be carried out free of cost and the company will communicate directly with the owners of the cars which are covered under this part replacement," it said. -PTI

TechBiz 40 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 25, 2011

Imports from Japan to become cheaper Details on page 42

Secretary Locke's trade mission to India a 'resounding success' India Post News Service

NEW YORK: US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke called his just concluded six-day, three-city trade mission to India a "resounding success" with several American companies having made inroads into "one of the most promising high-technology markets in the world". Locke and a delegation of 24 US businesses traveled to New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai to promote their technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and homeland security, and information and communications technology to India. This mission provided the US delegation access to key Indian public and private sector decisionmakers to explore opportunities to enter or expand their presence in this emerging market. "This trade mission was a resounding success," Secretary Locke said upon its conclusion. "For some companies on our trip, 'success' was an initial meeting or consultation with Indian government or business leaders that will lead to deals down the road. For US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke with the Mumbai Dabbawalas others, success was more immediate with some companies leaving Raghunath Medge provided companies traveling with the trade India on the cusp of making multi- Locke with an overview of the mission, emphasized the need to million dollar sales. Either way, organization's labeling and sorting move forward with the next phase these companies have made im- methodology and the dispatch of civil nuclear cooperation and portant inroads into one of the process. Dabbawala's lunch deliv- resolve outstanding liability and most promising high-technology ery service has been cited as a licensing issues expeditiously. markets in the world." model of entrepreneurship and "The US is committed to greater Of significant importance in the midst of the Secretary's Locke highlighted the packed high-level meetings in all the importance of the aerothree cities, was his space sector to the USvisit to Mumbai's legendary Dabbawala India trade relationship at Association on the Aero India 2011, India's concluding day of his largest aerospace mission. Locke met with the trade event Dabbawalas to learn about their unique logistics operation that supply chain management at the bilateral commercial collaboration delivers home-cooked food to grass-roots level. and developing a strategic parthundreds of thousands of people Locke, who was joined in the nership with India, as evidenced daily. Association president meeting by the US civil nuclear by the steps we've take to expand

defense and high-technology trade and implementing the export control reforms President Obama announced in November," Secretary Locke said. "In my conversations with Indian government officials and economic leaders, I repeatedly stressed how the continued market openings the US sought in India would ultimately bring tremendous benefits to both countries." During the six-day mission, Locke met with India's Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma, Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Defense M.K Anthony, and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, among other high-level government officials. The Commerce Secretary stressed the importance of the USIndia economic relationship and discussed avenues for enhancing this critical partnership, and raised longstanding and emerging issues - including market access barriers and intellectually property protection - facing US companies in the Indian market. Locke highlighted the importance of the aerospace sector to the US-India trade relationship at Aero India 2011, India's largest aerospace trade event. He also met with high-level CEOs, including Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Group, and Mukesh Ambani,Chairman of Reliance Industries LTD. The pace of trade between the United States and India is accelerating. Between 2002 and 2009, US goods exports to India quadrupled, growing from $4.1 billion to more than $16.4 billion. Through the first eleven months of 2010, U.S. merchandise exports to India totaled $17.6 billion, up 17 percent from the same period in 2009. With economic growth estimates at about 9.7 percent in 2010, India is a key market for the Obama Administration's National Export Initiative, which aims to double US exports in five years.


TechBiz Post

February 25, 2011

India Post

41

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CBI questions Anil Ambani on dual tech

Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani leaves the CBI HQ in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: The CBI has questioned ADAG chairman Anil Ambani amid allegations that his group received favors from former Telecom Minister A Raja in getting dual technology and a role for Reliance Telecom in promoting Swan Telecom. Ambani, 51, arrived at the CBI headquarters much ahead of the called time of 5 PM and waited at the reception before he was quizzed by the agency officials, CBI sources said. He did not speak to the media before entering the CBI headquarters for giving clarifications on the

possible role of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL), a subsidiary of ADAG, in Swan. Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited have 90.13 and RTL has 9.87 equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar television. DB Realty group Managing Director Shahid Usman Balwa was arrested by the CBI earlier this month. After the appearance of Ambani, the sources said other top brass of telecom companies in-

cluding that of Tata Tele Services and Idea would be called for clarification. According to the CAG, four Companies including Reliance Communications Ltd were provided CDMA based mobile service under Unified Access Service license. Based on the recommendations of TRAI, use of dual technology was permitted on October 17, 2007 and RCom is alleged to have applied even before the announcement of the policy. Reliance Communication Ltd. had complied with the requirements for permission to use dual technology on October 19 2007 itself by depositing the non refundable entry fee of Rs 1645 crore for 20 service areas through Reliance Infocomm Ltd. The CAG had said that acceptance of bank draft from Reliance Infocomm Ltd (third party) on behalf of Reliance Communications Ltd was not in order and showed the hurry through which entry fee was deposited. In a statement here, ADAG said, "during the course of his weekly visit to New Delhi, Ambani "met CBI officials to clarify ongoing issues, relating to telecom matters for the years 2001 to 2010, and virtually every telecom operator in the country". It said no summons of any kind have been issued by CBI to Ambani. The ADAG statement said, "Neither Relinace Telecom nor RCOM nor any Reliance ADA Group individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom Ltd at the time of grant of the 2G license to them in January, 2008, or at any time thereafter". -PTI

India needs corporate debt market to develop infra NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India needs to develop a corporate debt market to meet the projected investment of USD 1 trillion required to sustain the country's economic growth rate in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). A corporate debt market enables private industry to raise funds through debt instruments and channelise these into specific sectors, including infrastructure. "We must, I think, create a viable corporate debt market.

I think that is the direction in which we must move," Singh said during his meeting with editors of the electronic media here. He also said in addition to these steps, India needs to attract investment from foreign countries. Discussions are going on to create a infrastructure development fund and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may make some announcements in this direction, he said. "I think some discussions are

going on... and most probably, I think, Finance Minister will outline something in that direction," he added. Poor infrastructure, including bad roads and power shortage, are affecting the country's growth and flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in important areas. The government has projected an investment of USD 1 trillion in the country's infrastructure sector in the 12th Five-Year Plan, of which it expects 50 per cent to come from the private sector. -PTI

Need to create environment for FDI: PM NEW DELHI: In the backdrop veloped economies also played a of demands for opening multi- part in foreign investments combrand retail for FDI and liberaliz- ing into India. ing the regime for other sectors like "It is also a function of what defense, Prime Minister policies our other friends, particuManmohan Singh has admitted larly, the developed countries there was a need for "favorable" adopt," he said. environment for fund flow from During April-December of the abroad. current fiscal, FDI inflows declined "I think we need to strengthen by 23.14 per cent to USD 16.03 bilthe resolve to create favorable en- lion over the year ago period. vironment for larger flow of funds from abroad", he said. Addressing editors of electronic media here, he, however added the government's policies could not be blamed for drop in FDI as the current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks during an interaction with the Editors of TV channels at his international residence 7RCR in New Delhi Feb 16 scenario was prompting foreign funds to ‘It is not our mistake (downflow in FDI). move out from emerging mar- The international situation is such that kets. "It is not funds are moving out of emerging our mistake markets. We are today functioning in (downflow in FDI). The in- an environment where what hapt e r n a t i o n a l pens outside affects us’ situation is such that funds are moving out of emerging The Government has taken sevmarkets. We are today function- eral steps like initiating discusing in an environment where what sions on opening multi-brand rehappens outside affects us," tail for FDI. Singh said. It is also in process of analyz"Therefore is not easy to say ing feedbacks received from stakethat what happens to fund flow is holders to further liberalize the entirely a function of our policy," defense sector. he added Currently, 26 per cent FDI is alThe Prime Minister also stated lowed in defense manufacturing. that policies followed by the de- PTI


TechBiz Post

42 India Post

February 25, 2011

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Imports from Japan to become cheaper TOKYO: India has signed its "most ambitious" free trade agreement with Japan, with the two major Asian economies committing to eliminate import duties on 94 per cent of their trade in 10 years. The FTA is expected to come into force from April this year. Import of consumer goods like electronics - indicator panels of LCDs and LEDs, mobile phones including SIM and memory cards, calculators, electrical - battery chargers, compact discs and DVDs, from Japan to India will become duty free as soon as the agreement is implemented. Textiles like woven and silk fabrics will also become part of duty free items. The pact, the third major by India within a year, will provide access to Indian professionals like accountants, researchers, yoga and English teachers and management consultants to Japanese market hit by ageing population. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), officially named so, was signed here by Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Seiji Maehara and India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma. "The agreement will ensure access to a highly developed Japanese market for the (Indian) pharmaceutical sector with Japan for the first time committing to give the same treatment for Indian generics as their domestic industry," India's Commerce Ministry statement said. Besides, Indian agricultural products like instant tea, seafood would also find their way into the Japanese market at concessional duties. India's textiles products including readymade garments stand to gain significantly in terms of market access to Japan.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma and the Foreign Minister of Japan Seiji Maehara exchanging documents after signing of the India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), in Tokya, Japan on Feb 16

Japan would also lower tariffs on petrochemicals, chemical products, jewellery and cement. Though passenger cars have been kept in the negative list and will not be subject to concessional duties, some of the critical car parts imported by India-based automobile plants like that of Suzuki would get duty free treatment. The CEPA will also cover easing of rules for mutual investments. "India stands to gain significantly through this agreement where 90 per cent of tariff lines are covered, while Japan has covered five per cent more tariff lines than India". However, it has provision for

protecting sensitive sectors like some auto parts, edible oils, wines and spirits, agri products like wheat and rice, it said. The CEPA is expected to give a boost to USD 12.35 billion bilateral trade. "I am confident that through this agreement our bilateral trade would double by 2015 and touch USD 25 billion," Sharma said. India has already entered into FTA with Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) and South Korea. Under the pact, the two countries will continue talks over the issue of whether to allow Indian nationals to work in Japan as nurses and "caregivers". -PTI

More funds sought for ailing Air India ContĂ­d from page 40

He said certain clarifications had been sought by Finance Ministry officials. The replies would be sent soon so that a final decision on the matter could be taken at the earliest. Asked whether the Ministry has asked for additional equity infusion of Rs 2,000 crore, he said, "I have asked for little more money, I cannot tell you how much." To further queries, he said the estimated amount had been given by Deloitte, the consultancy firm appointed by Air India to go into

its turnaround plan. "We want more money if we can get more." Asked about Mukherjee's response, Ravi said the government would help Air India but it would come "depending on how we are progressing step by step. So it means we have to earn more money and gradually reach the break-even point." Air India has so far received a total of Rs 2,000 crore as equity in two tranches and earlier reports said the Civil Aviation Ministry has sought another Rs 2,000 crore in the next financial year. Official sources said a provision

for at least Rs 1,200 crore worth of equity could be made in the 201112 budget and another tranche could be given in the supplementary budget later this year. Asked about the remaining priorities of Air India's turnaround plan, Ravi said a major issue was that of integration of employees and assets of the two erstwhile public sector carriers -- Indian Airlines and Air India. "I said give me some time. My first priority is my employees. Integration is the main point. Routes also. I am going to look into pricing of tickets also," the Minister said.-PTI

Devas threatens legal action if deal with Antrix annulled NEW DELHI: Objecting to a rights, we have not yet heard from government move to annul its con- the government in this regard," the tract with Antrix following the S- statement said. band spectrum controversy, "The Devas-DOS/ISRO/Antrix Devas Multimedia has said it Agreement is in line with the would take "strong" legal steps to government's 1997 SatCom Policy. protect its rights and interests. The company has complied with Contending that it had a legally all its obligations under this agreebinding agreement with ISRO's ment and is in compliance with all commercial arm Antrix, Devas said laws and rules in respect of conit expected the government to ful- ducting its business," it said. fill all its obligations under the "The company also notes the agreement and will take strong steps, including leIt termed as "disturbing gal, to protect its rights. "We have grave conand inappropriate" the cerns regarding the government's "unilateral" government's statement on pre-meditated annulment of decision to terminate the the agreement, despite agreement "without due pending high-power committee and CAG reviews investigative process which are still in the preliminary stages," a statement issued by the Bangalore-based increasing public awareness of the company said here. vested political and business inIt termed as "disturbing and terests in conjunction with certain inappropriate" the government's media organizations that have "unilateral" decision to terminate been instrumental in bringing the agreement "without due inves- about an intentional gross misreptigative process and without fol- resentation of the facts of Devaslowing the principles of natural DOS/ISRO/Antrix satellite tranjustice". sponder capacity lease and tying "In spite of the company's will- it inappropriately to unrelated ingness to co-operate and assist telecom spectrum issues for their in required government reviews own purposes," the statement without prejudice to our legal said. -PTI

IIM-A plans campuses in Dubai and Singapore AHMEDABAD: Top B-school Barua said. Indian Institute of Management, "Smaller board size can play a Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has said it very effective role in governance was exploring the possibility of of the institutes and can do wonsetting up campuses in Dubai and ders," he said. Singapore. "Opening campuses overseas "We are looking at the possibil- makes sense as students there ity, but I think there is still a year want to study in their own country left till we can set up campuses instead of spending two years in overseas in Dubai and Singapore," IIM-A Director "The programs to be ofSamir Barua told reporters. "Whether it would be fered in Dubai or satellite campuses or proSingapore in my view will grams to be offered from have to be different from such centers will have to be discussed with the faculty those being offered here," and the Governing Board the director said first," he said. "The programs to be offered in Dubai or Singapore in my another country. We would like to view will have to be different from tap that demand," Barua said. those being offered here," the diThe IIM-A has 65 partner instirector said. tutions, essentially B- schools, He said the Union HRD Minis- overseas for student exchange protry, in October last year, had given grams. its nod to IIMs for opening camAbout the trends of ongoing puses outside India and has also placements at IIM-A, Barua said, given permission to cut down the "Early indications are that the numsize of IIMs' Governing Board from ber of offers have gone up and 25 members to an effective number. compensations offered by compaA final decision in this regard nies have also surged as compared will be taken by IIM-A Society, to the last year." -PTI


Horoscope

February 25, 2011

India Post 43

www.indiapost.com

Your Weekly future February 25th - March 03rd by Pandit Parashar

ARIES (March 21 to April 20)

C

hildren will continue to do well and you may be slowly getting ready for a short vacation. You may write a check to government in shape of a fine or penalty. Stress will reduce and you will be looking forward as all signs will be positive. Try to stay clear of people who proved trouble makers in the past. You will purchase nice things for yourself.

TAURUS (April 21 to May 20)

A

government agency will give headache and you will definitely need some outside help to resolve this issue. Try to stay clear of situations that can hurt your image in close circle. You will be exploring some new avenues to improve your revenues. You may have pain in the right shoulder. Property deal can finally materialize this week.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22)

Y

ou will need outside help to tackle the problem before it take a mammoth shape. Remedy might sound expensive but it's better to kill the problem now and get on with your life. Some of you will be getting ready to launch another major project in association with people close to you. You will be taking a trip to a costal area with family.

LIBRA (September 23 to October 22)

P

resence of Venus and Mars can bring you very close to an interesting person. It will not be a very good idea to open up very quickly and pass on all the information. Money wise you will start to do better from now and will see money in savings too. A property deal can bring some extra cash. You will be tempted to visit an old friend.

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19)

E

xpenses will not leave you alone but it will all go on good reasons. Suddenly you may develop taste for sweets and have the chance to relish food of your choice this week. You will have some work done in or around the property too. Children will make plans for a short vacation and it could be a road trip to another state.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20)

S

taying double minded will make things worse. Make up your mind and move on, that's the word from planets this week. Some of you may need to meet your dentist also. Business will improve but still not well enough. Offer may not look attractive now but will bring stability in life. You will become more health conscious and make changes in diet.

LEO (July 23 to August 22)

S

tress will reduce and you will be working less hours. Past efforts will pay off now and soon you will be rewarded. You will be shaking hands with a well known group and this could be the beginning of an adventurous journey. You will spend quality time with some powerful people and learn a lot. Money wise you will stay comfortable.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 22)

T

hings will keep getting more challenging every day at work. Some of you will be preparing for a highly competitive exam that can bring drastic changes in career. Expenses will stay under controls and you will have some money in the bank. There will be movement on pending appeal and the justice would be served in your favor soon.

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22)

M

oney will be an issue in mind all the time. Boss will become more demanding. Your search for another proper job will continue. You will be spending lots of money on children this week. You may be spending more time away from home for business purpose. You will be working on a long distance trip and coordinate with people on other side.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 to December 22)

Y

ou will continue to meet your commitments on time but will hardly have anything left. Offer you had been waiting for can come during the week. You will become religious and may plan some kind of prayers at your place. This is a better week for people in sales. You may have some visitors at your place this summer.

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18)

M

ind will stay restless. Running around will not go waste. Storm will settle down and you can expect more stability in career from now and on. Soon you will be taking trip to a real nice place. It will be better to dispose off money making stocks and wait for another week to buy them back. You will meet few powerful people this week.

Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: parashar@parashar.com

PISCES (February 19 to March 20)

T

ake care of your health. Money will come and go on buying some expensive items for self or the house. Legal matters will take a favorable turn and you will become optimistic. Competition will reduce a lot and people creating hurdles will quit the scene. You will give final shape to a short family vacation also and slowly start preparations.

925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com


SPORTS 44

India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 25, 2011

ICC World Cup opens with Dhaka pride and passion ceremony DHAKA: The opening ceremony of World Cup 2011 began with much fervor at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka's posh Mirpur area on Feb 17 evening. A lively choir sang the country's national anthem - 'Amar Shonar Bangla' by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore - at the start of the ceremony as a jampacked stadium came alive with passion and pride. A Bangla band then took the stage and sang 'Chiney Nao Amake', inviting the world to get to know all about the country that is hosting a major sporting event for the first time. The championship's mascot, the elephant Stumpy, rode in on a three-wheeled cycle rickshaw. And, as was widely written, so did the various team captains. India's very own Sonu Nigam rang our with an English number -- 'Let's Go For The Glory' -- as open flames licked the stage. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said the country was proud to host the sporting event. She thanked the ICC board for choosing Bangladesh as the venue for the opening ceremony. "I believe that international ties will be strengthened by this sport," she said. She then declared the ICC Cricket World Cup, 2011, open sharp at 6.45 pm to an allround display of fireworks. Bangladeshis cast aside their usual reserved image and proudly displayed their sporting passion at the gala opening ceremony, as it got underway. The $30 million jamboree, jointly organized by the International Cricket Conference (ICC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), will be opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Fireworks light up the sky during the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup at Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka on February 17. The opening ceremony got under way with the captains of the 14 competing teams paraded through the Stadium in colorfully draped rickshaws

could watch the opening ceremony. It is the first time the country, which is slowly making a mark in world one-day cricket if not the five-day test version, has helped stage the showpiece event which will last from February 19 to April 2. The country, whose population of more than 160 million has suffered more than its fair share of natural disasters, is jointly hosting with India and Sri Lanka and thoroughly enjoying its rare moment in the sporting spotlight.

India cricket Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrives in a cycle rickshaw

Unusually for the often chaotic and jampacked Dhaka roads, traffic was relatively light with the government declaring Thursday a half-day public holiday so its people

"We will be able to improve our image if we can successfully hold the opening ceremony and host the World Cup matches slated for us," Mostafa Kamal,

Unusually for the often chaotic and jam-packed Dhaka roads, traffic was relatively light with the government declaring Thursday a halfday public holiday so its people could watch the opening ceremony

Bangladesh on Saturday. Six Group B matches and two quarterfinal matches will be played until March 25 in Dhaka and the main port city of Chittagong. Schools will remain closed on match days in Dhaka and Chittagong, the government has decreed. Huge replicas of cricket bats, balls, players and even grounds have been erected at important road intersections in Dhaka which, unlike several Indian cities, is

Singer Sonu Nigam performs onstage as cricket captains from the 14 competing teams watch during the opening ceremony

President of Bangladesh Cricket Board, told reporters. Bangladesh will stage the tournament's opening match between India and

awash with reminders that the Cricket World Cup is here. ContĂ­d on page 45


Sports Post

February 25, 2011

India Post

45

www.indiapost.com

MoneyGram local sponsor of Cricket World Cup

M

oneyGram International, a global leader in money transfers, announced that the company has signed a long-term sponsorship agreement

with the International Cricket Council (ICC), at a press conference in New York City recently. As per the agreement, MoneyGram will have a presence at all ICC cricket tour-

naments around the world during 2011-2015. More immediately, MoneyGram will be a local partner level sponsor of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which takes place

in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka from Feb 19 to April 2, 2011. Seen in the above picture are (L to R) Harsh Lambah, Regional Director, South Asia; Robert

Farrell, VP Marketing; Juan Agualimpia, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer and Zainab Ali, Senior Marketing Manager.

Indian Americans contend ICC World Cup opens with Dhaka for place in TT teams pride and passion ceremony India Post News Service

SAN JOSE, CA: Table tennis, which has been an Olympic sport since 1988, is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA and the Bay Area has become the center of this growth. It is fitting that the country's best players will be coming to San Jose February 25 to 27 to participate in the trials for both the United States Men's and Women's National Team and the Pan American Games teams. The Pan American Team Trials are held once every four years and this is the first time both of these most prestigious events are being held in the Bay Area to determine which athletes will represent the United States against international competition. The trials will take place at the Top Spin Table Tennis Center. This 15,000 sq. ft of space is the premium venue for playing and viewing table tennis on the West Coast. Top Spin is one of eighteen table tennis clubs in the Bay Area where some of the nation's top players live, train and compete. Among locals competing for a place on the teams is number one seed Ariel Hsing of San Jose, who won the Women's Singles Championship at the U.S. Nationals in December, and Kanak Jha of Milpitas who won the Boy's Under 10 Singles. He is currently ranked #1 in Boys Under 11 years old and his sister Prachi Jha is ranked #1 in Girls Under 14 in the country. They train with US Men's National Team Coach Stefan Feth,

who heads the World Champions Table Tennis Academy, which resides within The Top Spin club. There are 21 additional local Bay Area players also competing for the honor to represent Team USA. Number 5 seed Barney Reed of Milpitas will be playing for one of three team spots along with the third-ranked USA player Yi Yiong Fan of Seattle and Michael Landers of New York, who was the 2009 Men's Singles Champion. The top two men's and women's players in the trials will earn a spot on

Among locals competing is Kanak Jha of Milpitas who won the Boy's Under 10 Singles the team along with a third player who will be selected by the National Team Coaches. The International Referee for the matches is Dr.Azmy Ibrahim of San Jose. Qualifying round matches begin at 9:30 am on Friday February 25.On. Saturday the 26th, the top 12 men and women will be competing for one of four places in the Men's and Women's finals that take place on Sunday February 27 from 9:30 am to 2 pm. A press conference and an exhibition will take place on Tuesday, February 22 at 11 am at Top Spin located at 1150 Campbell Ave., San Jose, CA.

L To R top row: Zimbabwe Captain Elton Chigumbura, New Zealand Daniel Vettori, Pakistan Shahid Afridi, India Mahendra Singh Dhoni, South Africa Graeme Smith, England Andrew Strauss, West Indies Darren Sammy (L to R 2nd row) Canada Captain Ashish Bagai, Netherlands Peter Borren, Sri Lanka Captain Kumara Sanngakara, Australia Captain Ricky Ponting, Bangladesh Captain Sakib ul-Hasan, Kenya Captain Jimmy Kamande and Ireland Captain William Porterfield pose with the trophy at Dhaka Shereton hotel in Dhaka on February 17 ContĂ­d from page 44

The city authorities have renovated the streets, painted the road sides and footpaths and residents have festooned their homes and neighborhoods with cricketthemed decorations. Cricket venues and important thoroughfares have been specially illuminated at night and will continue to be lit up throughout the six-week tournament to add to

the carnival atmosphere. Dhaka is looking very beautiful, ready and attractive, Basirah Alam, a New Zealand-based Bangladeshi who has returned home on a visit to her parents. Traffic and unnecessary movement of the public has been restricted by the authorities which suited Abdul Mannan, a cab driver of a big Dhaka hotel. Driving is easy and there is no hassle,

he said. Despite the party mood, authorities were taking no chances with security. in a region where memories of the gun attack in Pakistan on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in 2009 are still fresh. That resulted in a ban by the ICC on Pakistan hosting international matches which still endures. It was to have shared the honor of hosting this World Cup. -Agencies


Datebook

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Sat Feb 26 • Fashion Show Stars Of Saregamapa Live In Concert Venue: Stuart Thomas Manor, 2143,Boundary Avenue, Farmingdale, New york Time: 8pm Contact: 732-277-6687 Highlights: Musik Waves, Rasika Shekar & Faraz, SaReGaMaPa Fame. She manages to mesmerize people with her unique voice and uncanny ability to improvise any song.

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Venue: Belmont Sports Complex, 550 Island Pkwy, Belmont, Bay Area Time: 6:30am to 4pm Contact: 617-922-8234

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Mon July 4 • Rathyatra, Festival of India Venue: National Mall (in front of Air & Space Museum), Washington, DC Time: 10:30am to 9pm Contact: 301-299-2100

Mon August 22 • Shri Krishna Janamastami Venue: Hare Krishan Temple, 10310 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, Maryland Time: 4:30am to 1am Contact: 301-299-2100

• MCKS Arhatic Yoga Retreat Venue: Temecula Creek Inn, 44501 Rainbow Canyon Road, Temecula Creek Inn, LA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 909-548-0884

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• Fund raising Volleyball tournament

Venue: San Jose Convention Center, 150 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA Time: 6pm to 11:30pm Contact: 650 940 7242 Highlights: Networking - Socialize, connect with old friends and make new friends, Casino - Play black jack, poker, roulette, etc.

Venue: Ponderosa Park, Sunnyvale, CA Time: 8am to 5pm

Sun March 20

Thurs May 5

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• Elite 8 Bhangra Invitational 2011 Venue: Warner Theater, 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC Time: 6pm to 9pm Contact: 800-551-7328

Thurs Feb 24

SAT MARCH 12 Scarlet Night "An Affair of the Heart" Venue: San Jose Convention Center, 150 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA Time: 6pm to 11:30pm Contact: 650 940 7242 Highlights: The South Asian Heart Center's fundraiser, Scarlet Night, is an entertainment extravaganza featuring a fashion show, casino and a banquet. Join dynamic emcee Prakash Vaswani to show your support for the cause.

Venue: Will Rogers State Beach (Between towers 5&6), Pacific Coast Highway & Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades, Alabama Time: 10am to 3pm Contact: (310) 923 6491

Mon Aug 1 • Yogalicious! Venue: Art of Living Center Los Angeles, 948 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, California Time: 6:30pm to 9pm Contact: 310-820-9429 Highlights: Its programs teach a blend of ancient eastern breathing techniques and wisdom that help eliminate stress, restore the highest human values and encourage people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions.


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Philosophy

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February 25, 2011

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W

hen Krishna was a little boy of four or five, his father, Nanda, took him to the field where the cattle were grazing. Krishna wanted to spring a surprise on his father, so he created a severe thunderstorm. It began to rain heavily and the trees were tossing wildly. Although Krishna was responsible for the storm, he pretended that he knew nothing. He started crying and screaming, and he clung to his father for protection. Nanda was trying desperately to protect his child and also the cattle. He found that he could not manage to do the two things simultaneously, and so he was in a terrible predicament. He had to save his dear child and again, he had to save the cattle. Nanda could see no way to bring both the cattle and the child home safely. All of a sudden, a most beautiful woman appeared. Nanda was very relieved to see this unknown woman who had come at such a crucial moment. Would you kindly take care of my child, he asked. I must take the cattle home now, then I will come back. I am sure that you will be able to protect my son. Do not worry. I will definitely take good care of your child, the woman assured Nanda. Nanda departed for home with the frightened

MOTHER MIRRA

I

n the middle of the night before last, I woke up (or rather I returned to an external consciousness) with the feeling of having a much larger (by larger I mean more voluminous) and much more powerful being in my body than I usually have. It was as if it could scarcely be held inside me but was spilling over; and so compactly powerful that it was almost uncomfortable. The feeling of: what to do with all this? It lasted the remainder of the night and all day long I had considerable trouble containing an overwhelming power that spontaneously created reactions utterly disproportionate to a human body and made me speak in a way that.... When something was not going well: wham! Such an instantaneous and strong reply that it looked like anger. And I found it difficult to control the movement - it had happened already in the morning and it very nearly happened again in the afternoon. 'That last attack has weakened me terribly!' I told myself, I don't have the strength to con-

cattle. When Krishna and the woman were alone together, Krishna did something extraordinary. He created a most enchanting scene and took the form of a youth. This youth was dark-skinned; he wore an orange cloth and on his forehead, there was a peacock feather. In his hands, he held a flute which he was playing so hauntingly. Krishna looked at the woman and asked her, "Do you remember this incident when we

ing for Krishna's father to come and take his son home. Krishna stopped the performance and became a little child again. When Nanda did not appear and Radha She was wondering what to do when she heard a voice telling her to take the child to Nanda's house. Radha was so sad and miserable that she had to return Krishna to his parents after being reunited with him on earth.

the voice and took the child back to Nanda's house. After that, she used to come and visit Krishna every evening. There is another version of the story. It is believed that Radha's father was a very rich king. When Radha was still a little girl, he decided it was time for her to get married. He made all the necessary arrangements for her to marry a neighboring prince. But Radha did not want to get

How Lord Krishna met Radha for the first time Radha and Krishna were celestial beings and their love was eternal. Whether they were married or not, their love made Radha-Krishna

them united forever

were in Heaven?" The unknown woman was Radha, who was Krishna's dearest beloved. Radha replied, "I do remember this incident. It is very vivid to me." Krishna was showing Radha a scene from their life together in Heaven before they took incarnation on earth. He wanted to remind Radha of their eternal oneness. The time was fast approach-

She was afraid that she would not be able to see him anymore. But the voice told her, take the child back to Nanda and Yashoda. If you listen to me, I assure you that you will be able to go and see your Lord Krishna every evening. You will meet him and he will play his flute for you. A part of your heart will always remain with him. Radha obeyed the inner message that she had received from

married; she wanted only to be with Krishna. So, she took her soul out of her body and kept only a portion of herself, a shadow of her real existence, inside her body. The prince for whom she was intended married the shadow. Radha and Krishna were celestial beings and their love was eternal. Whether they were married or not, their love made them united forever.

tain this Power; it's difficult to remain calm and controlled.' That was my first thought, so I insisted upon calm. Then yesterday afternoon, when I went upstairs to walk, a couple of things occurred - not personal, but of a general nature - concerning, for instance, certain old-fashioned conventions

(nothing to do with me personally: it came from here and there). Then suddenly, I saw a Force coming ('coming,' well, 'manifesting') which was the same as that 'thing' I had felt within me but even bigger; it began whirling upon the earth and within circumstances ... oh, like a cyclone of compact power moving forward

sult in ... in a war or a revolution or some catastrophe - a tidal wave or an earthquake.' So I tried to counteract it by applying the highest consciousness to it, that of a perfect serenity. And I saw especially that this consciousness has been missioned to transform the earth through the Supermind and by

Experience of Supramental Force on the body ‘This is getting dangerous. If it continues like this, it will result in ... in a war or a revolution or some catastrophe - a tidal Mother Mirra

having to do with women and their particular nature (not psychological, physical) - old ideas like that which had always seemed utterly stupid to me suddenly provoked a kind of reprobation completely out of proportion to the fact itself. Then one or two other things happened in regard to certain people, certain circumstances

wave or an earthquake’ with the intention of changing all this! It had to change. At all costs, it must change! I was above, as usual (Mother points above her head, indicating the higher consciousness), and I looked at that (Mother bends over, as if looking down at the earth), and said to myself, 'Hmm, this is getting dangerous. If it continues like this, it will re-

the supramental Force, avoiding all catastrophes as far as possible: the Work is to be done as luminously and harmoniously as the earth would allow, even by going at a slower pace if need be. That was the idea. And I tried to counteract that whirlwind power with this consciousness. Excerpted from the Mother's Agenda, January 24, 1961

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. -Confucius A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation. -Moliere Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. -Ralph Waldo Emerson I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. -Dalai Lama A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love. -Friedrich Nietzsche Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives. -C. S. Lewis

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Thinking beyond the limitations of 'Cold Start' doctrine ALI AHMED

T

he Army Chief wrote the epitaph on Cold Start, stat ing, "There is nothing called 'Cold Start'." But it must be acknowledged that in its short shelf life of seven years it had spawned a cottage industry of commentators on it. Like the proverbial 'blind men of Hindoostan', they inspected Cold Start and found it viable or otherwise, depending on their avian nature as hawks or doves. That Cold Start is no more is to be mourned since it did enliven strategic commentary, helped create a strategic culture and brought the Indian political and security establishment to see the military, finally, as a potentially usable instrument. Yet, that the doctrine remained untested owes to India's grand strategy, characterized lately as 'strategic restraint'. Strategic restraint is a coming to terms with limitations of force, brought on by things such as the economy and the nuclear backdrop. The term 'Cold Start' for India's conventional doctrine was conjured up in a media briefing by a 'source' on the sidelines of the A r m y Commander's conference in the summer of 2004. The doctrine had been discussed in that conference but was adopted in the next conference in autumn that year. It was a culmination of the changes in the Army brought on by the lessons of the two preceding crises, the Limited War in Kargil and the subsequent exercise in coercive diplomacy, Operation Parakram. Incidentally, even as military analysts made their careers dissecting it, the government in the form of the Ministry of Defense, took care never to refer to it. This suggests that it was a legacy of the previous government, with an image of being more defense-friendly. The NDA dispensation had taken care to bring out the nuclear doctrine while in power, tying India down to its expansive formulation of 'massive' nuclear retaliation against India or its forces 'anywhere'. The threat was to create the space necessary to operationalize a proactive conventional war doctrine.

'Cold Start' was a limiting description of the doctrine. Cold Start refers only to the kind of capability the Army gave itself, of going into conventional operations from a standing start. This owed to its embarrassment in having taken three weeks to mobilize after the parliament attack, thereby seemingly losing an opportunity to administer punishment and thereby instill caution in Pakistan. The doctrine envisaged a series of limited thrusts across a wide front into Pakistan by divisional sized forces. These were expected to capture territory, seize the initiative and provide a launch pad for strike corps to deepen the penetration. Enemy reserves would thus be forced to react and expend themselves. Attrition from the air would enable whittling down the Pakistani

Strategy for advance

Army, seen as the center of gravity. The Army, suitably degraded, would be displaced from power post-conflict in Pakistan, enabling a democratic peace to ensue unlike the last time round post 1971. The doctrine had much to recommend it. It brought India's military advantage back into the reckoning despite nuclearization. It enabled taking the first tier of defenses when they were unheld or relatively underdeveloped. This would have saved India from casualties, particularly in the mountains. This would have helped prevent the development of an attrition match as had occurred in the earlier wars. It would be a war fought on Pakistani territory, thus sparing India of the effects of the increasing lethality of war. Making early gains, India could call for early war termination on its terms. Since the nuclear threshold was to be respected, there would be no call for Pakistan to resort to nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the doctrine had

its criticism. It was seen as narrowing the opportunity for crisis management and conflict avoidance through diplomacy. It would set South Asia a short fuse vulnerable to any passing bunch of self-interested jihadis. A default military reaction in real time would place the two states at odds with each other, playing into the hands of nonstate actors who would expect to gain from the resulting instability in Pakistan. It was deemed to be too deterministic about the location of the Pakistani nuclear threshold. It was taken as high, enabling operations to a limited depth. This was to be unmindful of the influence of a conflict environment on decisionmaking. It was politically na誰ve in its belief that knocking down the Pakistani Army would result in democratic forces prevailing. The jihadis could instead have come to the fore. This could be due to Pakistan using them in an Iraqi style asymmetric war against Indian conventional forces in Pakistani territory. Lastly, it was seen as part of the inter-Service rivalry, with the Army trying to set the agenda as the lead service, in reply to the Air Force's intent of an 'air alone' strategy in an indigenous version of 'Shock and Awe'. The Cold Start period was India's third doctrinal tumult. The first was a defensive one subsequent to the 1962 and the 1965 Wars in which the lessons of Ichogil canal were replicated across the front. The second was one of mechanized warfare, led by Sundarji. Cold Start therefore was long over due, since the Sundarji doctrine had been overtaken by overt nuclearization. Thinking beyond the limitations of Cold Start is the direction of India's fourth and forthcoming doctrinal tryst. Cold Start can be expected to be reckoned in history as a necessary bridge between India's war-waging and war-deterring military. The writer is Research Fellow, IDSA. Courtesy IPCS

India Post Congress' self-goal

T

he BJP with its divisive ideology cannot dethrone the Congress on its own. It has always been the Congress itself, deluded by memories of its unchallenged one-party rule days, which has been caught on the wrong foot with many of its partymen and cronies being exposed in one scam after another. In the one-party rule days it could get away with murder because there was no one to challenge it. And it is not any rival party which has brought it to its present plight of having to defend the tainted and getting tarred in the process. It is the advance of technology and the scores of TV channels which are challenging the rulers of whatever hue with exposures. In the competition to grab eyeballs and thus ad revenue, the media is making a mockery of Congress attempts to keep the lid on the misdeeds of its officials, friends and allies. The more its spin wizards like Kapil Sibal and Montek Singh Ahluwalia claim "zero loss" in the scams, the more culpable the party becomes. It was believed earlier that the BJP being less experienced in holding power at the Center was being easily exposed in matters of corruption whereas Congress worthies, being masters in this game, were sophisticated enough not to be caught out. A glaring example was how the national chief of BJP, Bangaru Laxman, a Dalit, was filmed accepting Rupees one lakh from an undercover investigator of Tehelka magazine in 2001. A Congress operator cannot be caught in such a brazen manner. And then Congress functionaries do not indulge in small deals of Rs one lakh kind. As the recent exposures show, they play games of lakh crores and still manage to get away because they have dozens of accomplices who then fan out buying silences. It is only now that the exposures are catching up with the might of the state because of the relentless pressure of the electronic media. The BJP as an alternative is not a very attractive proposition. They do not have among their ranks leaders of stature or of particular competence. Their poster boy Narendra Modi of Gujarat has no following beyond the state. In fact he is an embarrassment. The Congress, conscious of its guilt during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, has apologized a few times with even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also doing so. But Modi has not even made an attempt to say sorry for the massacres of 2002. And then the BJP can't go to town proclaiming its clean image. It has not been able to take action against its own chief minister in Karnataka who has been exposed favoring his kin by bending rules in the land scam case. If its own major leaders like BS Yeddyurappa are found engaged in corruption, how can it go after the Congress party crying foul? Its campaign for the joint parliamentary committee to investigate Congress scams loses that much of steam. The judiciary and the media itself are also fresh victims of credibility loss. In such a widespread atmosphere of vulnerability to temptation, it seems impossible that anybody will be brought to book. The middle class also is not too much troubled by corruption because they are themselves in the game at the moment. An average middle class person on the up thinks, "Let me also make my million first; then you can bring the investigators." The investigators of the electronic media however have their own momentum. There are enough scandalized viewers to make it worthwhile for the channels to go after the misusers of power in the government and elsewhere.


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