INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
A W e e k l y N e w s p a p e r Fe a t u r i n g N e w s & Tr e n d s f r o m t h e I n d i a n S u b - C o n t i n e n t P u b l i s h e d f r o m t h e U S C a p i t a l
Vol. 20 No: 36• WASHINGTON DC • Phone: 301-445-0200 /301-445-3543/301-917-4800 • email: email@example.com • September 6, 2013
US Court Issues Summons To Sonia Raghuram Rajan Takes Over Gandhi For ‘Shielding’ Congress Leaders As RBI Governor
By Ravinder Singh Robin Amritsar, Sep. 4 (ANI): A US Federal Court has issued summons to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for shielding and protecting the leaders, ofﬁcials, members and workers of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984. A class action suit against Sonia Gandhi has been ﬁled by “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ), a US based hu-
man rights group, along with victims of November 1984 under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). In the September 3 lawsuit ﬁled before Eastern District of New York (13 CV 4920), SFJ and victims are seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Congress President for her role in shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other
party leaders from being prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. The 27 page complaint ﬁled against Gandhi to the US Court states that “on August 15, 2013, a group of Congress (I) workers, the party headed and controlled by the Defendant, attacked Tilak Vihar, New Delhi, a colony inhabited by the survivors, mostly widows of No-
SUMMONS See Page 10
US Senate’s Syria Resolution Sets 60 Days Deadline
Washington, Sept 4 (PTI): The Syria war resolution drafted by members of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee permits up to 60 days of military action against the Bashar al-Assad regime and does not permit any boots on the ground, Congressional aides said. “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has crafted a bipartisan Authorisation for the Use of Military Force that we believe reﬂects the will and
concerns of Democrats and Republicans alike,” Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after successfully negotiating with Ranking Member Bob
Corker on the resolution — ’Authorisation for the Use of Military Force in Syria’. However, the text of the draft resolution was not ofﬁcially released. The resolution is likely to be put to vote before the committee today. The resolution, among other things, permit the deployment of a small rescue mission in the event of an emergency, Congressional aides said.
SYRIA See Page 2
India To Act As Watchdog Over Developing Syria Crisis: Khurshid
New Delhi, Sept 3 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said New Delhi would keep a close watch on the developing crisis in Syria, as there was a possibility of a potential U.S. military strike. “The situation in Syria is very critical. We are keeping a close watch. We are in touch with our mission there. We have lines of credit and various investments that obviously will come under
question if there is a warlike situation in Syria. But all we can do today is to keep a watch. There isn’t much we can do directly, but we are keeping a watch, keeping ourselves informed and at least life will not be danger if anything was to happen,” he said. U.S President Barack Obama had declared that the United States, which has ﬁve cruise-missile equipped destroyers in the region, was in the planning
“Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. – Aesop’s fables
process for a ‘limited, narrow’ military action against Syria that would not involve boots on the ground or be open-ended. Meanwhile, a 20member team of the United Nations, including experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, had been into the rebel-held areas in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus thrice, taking blood and tissue samples from victims. The UN experts have already been testing for sarin, mustard gas or other toxic agents. Final results might not be ready for two weeks,
INDIA See Page 6
Mumbai, Sept 4: New RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday came out with a slew of measures, including more trade settlement in rupees to
rescue the battered ﬁnancial markets and hinted at a shift in focus from inﬂation control, doggedly pursued by his predecessor, to boosting growth. Addressing the media with a prepared statement, he laid out a detailed road map for his innings in the short term, which he called a ‘big initial package’. He also rescheduled his much anticipated ﬁrst monetary policy statement to September 20. The new Governor set up a number of committees for revising and strengthening monetary
New Delhi, Sept. 4 (ANI): Calling for an orderly exit from unconventional monetary policies pursued by the developed world to avoid the damaging growth prospects of developing nations, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the Group of Twenty (G-20) should focus on job creation and promote investment in infrastructure to stimulate global growth. In his departure statement issued before leav-
ing New Delhi for St. Petersburg to attend the 8th G-20 summit on the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, Dr Singh said: “It is also important that G-20 encourages and promotes policy coordination among major economies in a manner that provides for a broad-based and sustained global economic recovery and growth. India has been an active participant in this endeavour as co-Chair of the Working Group on the “Framework
Ahmedabad, Sept 3: Controversial IPS ofﬁcer D G Vanzara, suspended and behind the bars in a string of fake encounter cases, has resigned from service accusing Narendra Modi government of having failed to protect the jailed police ofﬁcers who fought against “Pakistan inspired terrorism“. Vanzara, a 1987 batch IPS ofﬁcer considered close to Modi, has said in his resignation letter that police ofﬁcers involved in alleged fake encounters “simply implemented the conscious policy” of the government whose place “should either
be in Taloja central prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad.” Vanzara, lodged in Sabarmati central jail, in a 10-page hard-hitting resignation letter to Additional Chief Secretary of the state’s Home department, has accused the state government, particularly former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah of betraying him and 32 other ofﬁcers, in jail in encounter killing cases being probed by the CBI. He said he used to adore Modi like God, who could not rise to the occa-
policy framework, ﬁnancial stability, ﬁnancial inclusion, NPAs and an outside panel of experts headed by former Governor Bimal Jalan to screen applications for new bank licenses. Rajan said the new bank licences will be issued around January next year. Raghuram Govind Rajan, chief economic advisor in the Finance Ministry, took over the charge of governor of the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday. At 50, Mr. Rajan
RBI See Page 9
G-20 Must Focus On Job Creation, Infrastructure Investment To Stimulate Global Growth: PM
for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth”.
G-20 See Page 2
DIG Vanzara Quits; Slams Modi, Amit Shah
sion under the “evil” inﬂuence of Shah, a co-accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases. Holding Narendra Modi government responsible for his and other police ofﬁcers’ actions, Vanzara said they had only “complied” with the policy of the Gujarat government. “I would like to categorically state in the most uninquivocal words that the ofﬁcers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, during the period be-
VANZARA See Page 6
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
US Senate’s Syria Resolution Sets 60 Days Deadline
SYRIA From Page 1
Menendez said the resolution gives US President Barack Obama the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime’s criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The resolution also assures that the authorisation is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the US will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria. Yesterday, Menendez presided over the Senate committee hearing on Syria. The Senate is expected to schedule a vote on the resolution early next week. “I do think we were able to address many of the issues that were raised today during the hearing. And I thought the hearing was ﬁne. There wasn’t any new ground broke, and I was glad that Secretary (of State, John) Kerry reasserted the ‘no boots on the ground’ point. And I’m sure that will also be addressed in writing,” said
Corker after the Congressional hearing. The new draft legislation being circulated to committee members yesterday evening would “strictly prohibit American boots on the ground, limit the duration of any military action to 60 days“. “Our negotiations have led to a much narrower authorisation that provides for the appropriate use of force while limiting the scope and duration of military action, prohibiting boots on the ground, and requiring the Obama administration to
submit their broader plan for Syria,” Corker said in a statement. The resolution would separately require a report from the Obama administration detailing US support for vetted, moderate opposition groups in Syria, Corker said. “This is one of the most serious matters that comes before the Congress, so as we proceed to a potentially deﬁning vote next week, the President and his administration must continue to vigorously make their case to the American people,” he said.
Hindus, Sikhs Get One Seat In Afghan Parliament
New Delhi: Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday issued a legislative decree giving Hindus and Sikhs one seat in the country’s lower house of parliament. With this, the Afghan parliament will now have 250 seats. This follows Karzai’s approval of cabinet amendments of Aug 26, a statement by the president’s ofﬁce said. Under Afghan law, the president can issue decrees when parliament is on vacation. The decree comes ahead of 2014 presidential election and parliamentary polls in 2015.
G-20 Must Focus On Job Creation, Infrastructure Investment To Stimulate Global Growth: PM G-20 From Page 1
“At the summit, I will once again emphasize that the G-20 should ensure primacy of the development dimension in its deliberations, focus on job creation, promote investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth and create potential in developing countries to sustain higher growth in the medium term,” he added. Asserting that there is also an urgent need to reform institutions of global political and economic governance, Dr. Singh said: “I am happy that the Russian Presidency has paid special attention to these issues in the G-20 agenda this year, particularly through a new ﬁnancing for investment initiative. I look forward to constructive discussions and decisions on these issues during the St. Petersburg Summit.” Stating that the G-20 has emerged as the premier international forum for discussing global economic issues,
Dr. Singh said: “Its 8th summit will take place against the backdrop of persisting challenges and vulnerabilities in the global economy. Though there are encouraging signs of growth in industrialized countries, there is also a slowdown in emerging economies, which are facing the adverse impact of signiﬁcant capital outﬂows.” “I will emphasize in St. Petersburg the need for an orderly exit from the unconventional monetary policies being pursued by the developed world for the last few years, so as to avoid damaging the growth prospects of the developing world,” he added. Dr. Singh further recalled that St. Petersburg was also the place where the idea of the BRIC grouping was born in July 2006. “St. Petersburg is also the place where the idea of the BRIC grouping was born in July 2006. As per the practice during the last few G20 summits, an informal meeting of BRICS Leaders will be held on the margins of the G-
20 meeting to exchange views on the agenda of the Summit,” he said. “This will also provide an opportunity to review progress in the implementation of important decisions taken at the Fifth BRICS Summit in Durban on 27 March 2013 and review global developments,” he added. Dr. Singh said the G-20 summit comes at a time when India has introduced several reform measures and taken steps to strengthen macro-economic stability, stabilize the Rupee and create a more investor-friendly environment. “At the same time, a stable and supportive external economic environment is also required to revive economic growth. The G-20 summit, therefore, is an important forum to seek an international climate that is beneﬁcial for all countries,” he added. Dr. Singh said he was also looking forward to his bilateral meetings with other G-20 leaders on the summit’s sidelines.
Judicial Custody For Asaram Bapu
New Delhi/Jodhpur, Sep. 2 (ANI): Asaram Bapu was sent to 14-day judicial custody by the Jodhpur court. Additional Solicitor General Anand Purohit said that Asaram Bapu’s bail application will be taken up by the court tomorrow at 11 am. “In his bail application he has said that some politicians are behind the accusations and that he is unwell,” said Anand Purohit in Jodhpur. Before the Jodhpur Court’s decision, Jodhpur Police on Monday said they are conﬁdent that they had enough evidence against Asaram Bapu in a case that is ‘purely criminal’ in nature. “We have gathered sufﬁcient evidence in the last ten days. Whatever has been said by the victim, we have collected the evidence which collaborate with her statement. We are making it a foolproof case,” Deputy
Commissioner of Police Ajay Pal Lamba said in Jodhpur. “There is no conspiracy. It’s a pure criminal case. It is purely a criminal act. On the part of the police, whatever investigation and action is to be taken in such a case, we are doing that. Whatever the accused wants to say, he is free to say,” he added. Asaram Bapu has been booked under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, Section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act. Besides the summons served on Asaram Bapu, notices have also been issued to the manager of the Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, the hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai Ashram in Jodhpur on August 15, when the alleged sexual assault took place
The Congress Party on Monday welcomed Jodhpur Court’s order to send self-styled godman Asaram Bapu to judicial custody till September 15, and said the decision was reassuring as it reiterated that no one in the country is above the law. “This is the process of law and this is what is applicable to every citizen of the country. I think the message is right that nobody can escape the hands of the law—they will reach wherever you are, no matter who you are,” Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said. “If you are found guilty, if there is evidence that you have done something against the law, then that is the price we have to pay, unfortunately or fortunately, that is the system. It is reassuring to know that the law does take its own course,” she added.
New Delhi, Sept 3 (ANI): A Delhi Court has reserved its verdict against the four adult accused in the December 16 gang-rape case for September 10. A fast track court has concluded the trial against the adult accused. Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna on Tuesday reserved his order after the prosecution and the defence counsel concluded their ﬁnal arguments. The Juvenile Justice
Board had earlier on August 31 declared the youngest accused guilty of all charges and sent him to a reformatory home for three years The four adult accused in this case are being tried before a fast track court. One of the accused Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged. The 23-year-old paramedical student was raped, beaten and tortured by
six men on a moving bus in South Delhi area on December 16 last year. The victim later died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later. The girl’s family had asked for death penalty for all six men accused of the barbaric attack, and said the juvenile should be tried as an adult as a special case given the sheer depravity of the crime.
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
Delhi Gang-rape Verdict On Sept. 10
Dawood Can’t Escape, Will Bring Back All Wanted Men One By One: Shinde
New Delhi, Sept.2 (ANI): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Monday expressed conﬁdence about the country’s law enforcement agencies nabbing underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and all other criminals who had taken refuge abroad. “We will bring one by one. All will come. Just wait,” Shinde told reporters here when asked whether there was any chance to arrest Dawood and bring him back to India. Security agencies have been successful in bringing back several wanted terrorists, including Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari
alias Abu Jundal, key plotter of Mumbai attack terrorists Fasih Mahmood aka Fasih Mohammed, Abdul Karim Tunda and Yasin Bhatkal since Shinde was made the home minister on July 31 last year. Jundal, a Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) operative, accused of carrying out blasts in Ahmedabad railway station, the Aurangabad arms haul case and a co-accused in German bakery blast, was deported from Saudi Arabia in June 2012. Fasih Mahmood, an LeT operative from Bihar, was allegedly involved in the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore
and a terror attack near Jama Masjid in 2010. He was arrested in Saudi Arabia and subsequently brought back to India. Tunda was accused of carrying out blasts in New Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Ludhiana, Kanpur and Varanasi between December 1996 and January 1998. He was arrested along the IndiaNepal border last month. Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal alias Syed Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa, wanted in around 40 blast cases and carrying a reward of Rs 35 lakh, was arrested from India-Nepal border on Thursday.
--Grand Devotee Family Pooja on September 7th, 2013 --Ganesha Chaturthi on September 8th, 2013 --Grand Ganesha Samyojanam on September 15th, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Prime Minister Rejects Moily’s Petrol Cut Plan
With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejecting Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily’s recommendation to shut petrol pumps at 8pm, the minister feels let down. The PM’s rejection of Moily’s proposal, however, is no rejection of its wisdom. But the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce had to consider all aspects, and hence the rejection. Supposing that Moily’s recommendation to close petrol pumps by 8pm were implemented across the country: then what would be the consequences? It would have outright affected at least 250,000 jobs. Considering that there are 42000 fuel outlets across the country with an average of 20 employees, closure of all these petrol pumps at 8 pm, would have laid off 5-6 employees per pump. Basing on this calculation, Ajay Bansal, General Secretary of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, foresees that besides effecting the aforesaid 2.5 lakh job cuts, the night-shut policy would also grievously affect the margins drawn in the petroleum trade. The Petroleum Traders’ Association estimates that while night sales contribute to more than 30 per cent in urban areas, it exceeds 60 per cent in highway regions. It was by the reverse of the same logic that Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily recommended night-closure to save such massive amount of fuel consumption. The minister’s concern has assumed a newer dimension thanks to the currently happening steepest ever fall of the rupee against US dollar. Calculating the average price of Indian crude oil at $110 a barrel and the average ex-
change rate at Rs 66 per dollar over the rest of the ﬁscal year, the under-recovery of OMCs is likely to shoot up to 1,68,000 crore rupees. And worse still, if prices further hike up to $115 a barrel, the under-recovery will reach around 1,81,000 crore rupees. In light of this factuality, there is no trivializing the Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily’s concern over the situation. But discomﬁted by Prime Minister’s rejection of his proposal, and the Opposition’s pungent criticism, Minister Moily did a verbal somersault trying to hide his embarrassment. He said later that the proposal to keep fuel stations closed at night was not the government’s idea, but offered by the public and others. For pleasantry’s sake, Moily even invited any better ideas from the Opposition! Really the kick-off point for Moily’s proposal was where he was asked by the Prime Minister to cut down the spend on oil imports by 25 billion dollars or 1,65, 000 crore rupees. And in response to the Prime Minister’s concern, Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily presented a proposal to Prime Minister and also to Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Moily’s proposal contained measures such as (1) reduction in imports (2) conservation efforts through (3) reduction in LPG demand and (4) the ethanol-blending program. The proposal also recommended that we save another 8.47 dollars by importing oil from Iran in which rupee payments are possible. It was in partial fulﬁllment of this proposal that Oil Minister Veerappa Moily had recommended that petrol pumps be shut at 8 every evening. It, obviously, was only a recommendation which may be or
may not be implemented. Nonetheless, the suggestion itself sent panic wave across the country, and the Opposition including the BJP, scathingly censured the ministry. While the wisdom in Moily’s proposal cannot be belittled, its practical difﬁculties are what prompted the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce to reject it. This may be read together with the observation made by a senior executive of a state-run oil marketing company, who discounted as non-viable, Moily’s recommendation to cut down petroleum consumption. Rather than curbing the timing, he suggested a more feasible plan of repricing retail diesel at par with market rates. His strategy is that it will discourage consumption, which will annihilate under-recoveries, and also discontinue diesel subsidy. Aside the topic, one reads between lines the irony of these concerns, recommendations, protests and rejections. Honestly, what is it that we want to do? Sell more petrol? Or less petrol? Launch more private automobiles on road, which will consume more per capita petrol? Or strengthen the public ferrying machinery, with better and most efﬁcient road buses and train services which will consume lesser per capita petrol and prevent lots of forex outﬂow? While speechifying about lesser consumption of petroleum, the government wants to sell more petrol for whatever reason. The same conﬂict of principle is found in liquor sales also. Care we for revenue or people’s health? No thinking people can be hypnotized against this irony, anomaly and the government’s hypocrisy, who keep preaching propeople while hiding behind them a pro-rich agenda.
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A Sign Of Trust
by Anadi Naik There might be some changes in the air. Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister, has reportedly asked his military leaders not to stir up things against India. As proof of obedience General Asfaq Kiyani in his Independence Day address did not do any India bashing. Whatever may be lurking in the background, this is a new development and such a development should be cherished and nurtured. Mr. Sharif’s predecessor Ashif Ali Zardari had once opined “Democracies do not ﬁght. They try to negotiate”. One sees the sign of such a feeling in the newly emerging democratic Pakistan. A conﬂict between the two countries is catastrophic for both. Any effort to avoid a conﬂict brings long term dividends. Pakistan has plenty of problems of its own without a conﬂict with India. Baluchistan is one. Its economy is in disarray. Inﬂation in the country is running high. Unemployment is soaring everywhere. Without any signiﬁcant reserve of foreign exchange the country cannot import the goods it needs. It faces stagnation. Aids and grants from Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Islamic countries along with the two billion dollars of aids and grants it gets from the United States keep the country aﬂoat. Having stayed under military dictatorships for decades it lacks infrastructure that keeps a democracy going. For the functioning of a healthy democracy, public scrutiny of those in power
is a necessity. But no dictator could tolerate criticism. Right now Pakistan lacks a free press with robust democratic organizations. Added to this predicament t is the role of the military. Since Ayub Khan’s time, in the name of national security, the military has been enjoying the lion’s share of privileges the country can generate or afford. It even dictates terms to civilian, elected ofﬁcials. The generals over the years have enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Jihadis. It was General Zia ul Haq who helped Islamize the schools and the army. During his rule Madrasas mushroomed throughout the country. Years later, the Taliban found fertile ground among the Madrasas from where they kept recruiting young men to cause trouble in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Pervez Musharraf, ﬁrst as the military ruler and later as the civilian president of the country, could not change the mindset. The country remained ﬁxated on Jihad and the destruction of India. Successive governments of Pakistan t found in Jihadis an obedient ally. However, by the time they realized that the Jihadis had become like a cobra and could strike at will it was too late. On the one hand Pakistan is not ready to wash its hands off the Jihadis. At the same time it is uncomfortable to call them its own. While the Americans are getting ready to leave Afghanistan, they are looking for a strong partner who could help nurture the country’s ﬂedgling democracy.
Naturally, they look toward India. From the beginning India has been supportive of Afghanistan and its democracy. Such a gesture does not sit well with Pakistan. It feels encircled and vulnerable. Pakistan’s military, the real power in the country, see India as a permanent enemy and act accordingly. Many in the military cannot change their old ideas. Almost seven decades later the civilian leaders of Pakistan have come to realize that a warlike situation with India is not to their advantage. There is much to gain through trade and commerce between the two countries. In spite of everything both countries have kept the lines of communication open and have facilitated travels and the transportation of goods and services. This is a positive development that needs encouragement. A democracy cannot survive without a democratic political culture. And such a culture cannot be generated if the ﬁnal decision always rests with the military. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was a victim of a military rule and was thrown away by force. He knows the Generals love to involve the country in a war because that way they can prove the preponderance of their existence. That is not what a civilian government wants. It wants its military personnel to stay in the barracks. That is why it wants to have a good working relationship with India. He knows that he can probably trust India more than he can trust his country’s military. Either way, trust is a good sign, no doubt.
New Delhi, Sept. 4 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday stood by its order to disqualify convicted politicians from serving as parliamentarians or state legislatures. The judges of the Supreme Court said that the Government had “no case” in its appeal against the verdict, which was delivered in July this year. The verdict of the Supreme Court cancels the present law which per-
mits convicted lawmakers to continue in ofﬁce if an appeal, ﬁled within three months of conviction, is pending in a higher court. However, the Supreme Court judges have agreed to reassess another part of the judgment which banned an arrested politician from running for ofﬁce, and said that the present law is extremely ‘clumsily drafted’. The judges said: “When a candidate is in
jail, it is okay for him to contest. But when a voter is in jail, he can’t vote. What kind of law is this? It is a very clumsily drafted law.” Earlier, political parties had argued that this would encourage leaders being jailed by those in power as part of vengeful tactic, so as to prevent them from contesting polls. A Bill, in this regard, has been passed in the Rajya Sabha, it is still pending in the Lok Sabha.
Supreme Court Maintains Order Disqualifying Convicted Politicians
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Kerala CM Ready Face Probe In Solar Scam
T h i r u v a n a nthapuram, Sept 3: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, under attack from the Opposition over the solar panel scam, has expressed readiness to include himself and his ofﬁce under the ambit of the judicial probe announced by the Government into the issue. Chandy conveyed this to the leaders of the ruling United Democratic Front constituents, Front
sources today said. The Chief Minister, however, made it clear to the Front partners that he was not going to resign holding that the campaign against him by the Opposition CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front was politically motivated. Chandy told the leaders that he had nothing to hide on the issue and he did not want to be under the shadow of doubt. Even if his ofﬁce
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and himself were included in the terms of reference for the probe, Chandy said that he was conﬁdent that the LDF would not be able to gather any evidence against him. The LDF had given a letter to the UDF leadership saying that any probe into the scam would be futile without including Chandy and his ofﬁce in the terms of reference. The State Cabinet meeting is likely to discuss tomorrow the terms and reference for the judicial probe after arriving at a consensus among the UDF leaders. The scam relates to cheating people of huge sum by accused Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha Nair, both under arrest, by offering solar energy solutions. A Special Investigation Team probing the case has completed its probe. The case assumed a serious political dimension with the arrest of Tenny Joppan, a Personal Assistant in the Chief Minister’s ofﬁce, for his alleged links with the accused. Former Director of Public Relations Department, A. Firoz, and tele-actress and danseuse, Shalu Menon, were also arrested in a related case. Shalu and Joppan are out on bail. LDF has been alleging that such a huge scam would not have taken place without the collusion of the Chief Minister.
India To Act As Watchdog Over Developing Syria Crisis: Khurshid INDIA From Page 1
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Security Council members, according to diplomats. The United States released its own unclassiﬁed intelligence report on the attack, which the United States secretary of state John Kerry said killed 1,429 Syrian civilians and was clearly the work of Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Commenting over the U.S. sanctions imposed last year, Khurshid said the UN sanctions more signiﬁ-
cant to India. “We don’t subscribe to the US sanctions. We will subscribe to the UN sanctions. We were party to the UN sanctions. We were party to the resolution and we voted for it. It is the UN sanctions that apply to us,” Khurshid added. India has sharply cut oil imports from Iran since U.S. sanctions were imposed last year, and believes it has some headroom to import more without angering Washington. U.S. and EU sanctions placed on Iran over
its nuclear programme have reduced its oil exports more than half from pre-sanction levels of about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd). The U.S. and European Union sanctions have pushed Tehran into accepting payment in rupees for some of its oil, and higher volumes could support the Indian currency. In the ﬁrst seven months of this year, India’s imports from Iran have declined 46 percent from the same period last year to about 185,700 bpd, a trade data showed.
in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters. “If that is true then the CBI investigating ofﬁcers have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being ﬁeld ofﬁcers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government which was inspiring, guiding and moni-
toring our actions from the very close quarters,” Vanzara said. “By this reasoning I am of the ﬁrm opinion that the place of this government instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja central prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad,” he said, in his letter dated September 1.
groups is wrong, and added that either their leadership is weak or the entire Kashmir issue is weak if it is affected by one musical concert. “There is no controversy. Everyone has their own opinion. Music is in our culture, and to represent it in a way that it is against our Kashmiri culture is wrong. If they feel that by allowing this concert, the issue of Kashmir would weaken, then I feel that either their leadership is weak or the Kashmir issue is weak, because if one music concert could weaken it, then, in that case, there wouldn’t have been an issue in Kashmir,” he said. “Politics should not be mixed with this. This is an initiative by the German Embassy to involve people here in this programme and, I feel it’s a good thing. I am not opposed to any such shows if they are organized peacefully,” he added.
Separatists, including hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed displeasure over the holding of the event, saying Kashmir is not peaceful enough to hold such concerts. Civil society groups in Kashmir have planned to organise an event of their own in protest against the holding of the Zubin Mehta concert here on September 7. According to reports, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies, the group that is organising the protest concert, has titled the event as Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir (reality of Kashmir), saying that the 1,500 people who will come to watch Zubin Mehta’s Ehsas-e-Kashmir (the feeling of Kashmir) concert, should get to know the militancy-hit region’s reality before they get the feel of it.
DIG Vanzara Quits; Slams Modi, Amit Shah
VANZARA From Page 1
tween 2002 to 2007, simply acted and performed their duty in compliance of the conscious pro-active policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism of this government after Godhra riots,” he said. “Gujarat CID and Central agency CBI had arrested me and my ofﬁcers
Objection To Zubin Mehta Concert Suggests Kashmir Issue Is Still Weak: Omar Abdullah
Srinagar, Sept 2 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the protest over Zubin Mehta’s concert by separatist
From The Poet’s Pen INDIA THIS WEEK April 5, 6, 2013 INDIA THIS WEEK September 2013
Alabaster Sarojini Naidu
LIKE this alabaster box whose art Is frail as a cassia-ﬂower, is my heart, Carven with delicate dreams and wrought With many a subtle and exquisite thought. Therein I treasure the spice and scent Of rich and passionate memories blent Like odours of cinnamon, sandal and clove, Of song and sorrow and life and love.
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Govt. Has Nothing To Hide, Making All Efforts To Locate Missing Coal Files: PM
New Delhi, Sep 3 (ANI): Asserting that the UPA Government has nothing to hide, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said all untraceable papers related to the allocation of coal blocks will be located and given to the CBI within time stipulated by the Supreme Court to ensure that the guilty are brought to book. “If the records in question are indeed found missing, the government will carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that the guilty is booked,” Dr. Singh told the Rajya Sabha, while making a statement on the issue of missing ﬁles relating to allocation of coal blocks. “The matter of allocation of coal blocks is sub-judice. The apex court is looking into all aspects of these allocations. The government shall follow directions (of the Supreme Court) in letter and spirit and do its best to locate and hand over the requisite papers to the CBI,” he added. Dr. Singh urged the members of the Upper House not to draw hasty conclusions and let the Rajya Sabha continue its normal business “Disregarding the factual position some members have gone ahead and drawn their own conclusions that there is something ﬁshy. Let me assure this august House that the Government has nothing to hide,” said Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh said a vast majority of the papers sought by the CBI have already been handed over to them. “More than 150000 pages of documentation have already been handed over to the CBI show our intention to facilitate investigation,” he added, while silencing all critics. The issue of missing ﬁles relating to Coalgate led to protests in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding that the Prime Minister must make a statement on missing coal ﬁles before he leaves for the G-20 Summit. “The Prime Minister will not be available as he is going for the G-20 Summit (in St Petersburg). This is the last day we can get a response from the PM, we should set aside all other work for a discussion on the coal scam,” Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha. “Found out today that the Prime Minister is going on a foreign trip. Have the ﬁles disappeared or is this a cover-up?” she asked. The BJP had earlier on Monday also targeted the Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha on missing ﬁles pertaining to coal mines allocation, saying the scam is ‘monumental’ and demanded that he gives a clariﬁcation on it. BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, who raised this issue during the Zero Hour,
said two days back the Prime Minister said he was not the custodian of ﬁles whereas the Opposition believed ‘he is not only the custodian of ﬁles but also the custodian of the nation but not performing both the tasks well’. “It is a monumental scam and occurred when the Prime Minister was the Coal Minister...PM should give a statement on this,” Javadekar said, demanding to know whether any FIR was lodged in the missing ﬁles issue despite the Supreme Court asking for it. Amid attack over missing ﬁles pertaining to allocation of coal mines, Prime Minister had earlier said in Rajya Sabha, “I am not the custodian of ﬁles in the Coal Ministry.” Dissatisﬁed with the reply, Javadekar launched a scathing attack on the government saying it “is doing a massive cover up” and sought the Prime Minister’s statement on it. The BJP has held the Prime Minister responsible and demanded his resignation for what has been estimated as loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in coal blocks allocation. The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his ofﬁce, but the BJP is emphasizing that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry for the years under scrutiny.
New Delhi, Sept.3 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected several petitions forwarded by corporate honchos seeking the recall of its April 11, 2011 order that barred the Delhi High Court from entertaining any plea against orders of Special CBI court hearing 2G cases. Rejecting the pleas of Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Rajiv Agarwal, Asif Balwa and Ravinder Kumar Chandolia, a bench comprising of of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said there was no need to interfere with its April 11, 2011 order prohibiting the high court from entertaining any plea against the 2G court’s order. Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said it would be in the larger public interest and in the interest of the accused as well that
the trial should proceed unhampered on day-to-day basis. The court also rejected the plea for framing guidelines on the monitoring of investigations by the apex court. The court said it was only monitoring the investigation being undertaken by the CBI and the enforcement directorate and not monitoring the trial in 2G cases. The apex court by its April 11, 2011, order had said: “We also make it clear that any objection about appointment of Special Public Prosecutor or the Assistant Advocate or any prayer for staying or impeding progress of the trial can only be made before this court and no other court shall entertain the same. The trial must proceed on a day-to-day basis.” The petitioners have sought the recall of the latter part of the order which had said: “...
any prayer for staying or impeding progress of the trial can only be made before this court and no other court shall entertain the same. The trial must proceed on a day-to-day basis.” The petitioners had also sought vacation of a December 9, 2012, order by which the apex court had stayed all the proceedings before Delhi High Court arising from the order of the 2G special court. The apex court had reserved its order on August 21, 2013. The challenge to the April 11, 2011, order was in the process for quite some time but it was only after Reliance Telecommunication moved the court challenging the July 19, 2013, order of the Special CBI court trying 2G cases allowing CBI’s application summoning 17 more witnesses that the court heard the pleas challenging its order.
SC Rejects Corporate Honchos Petitions
Raghuram Rajan Takes Over As RBI Governor RBI From Page 1
will be among the youngest to occupy the high ofﬁce at Mint Street in Mumbai, where he takes over from incumbent Duvvuri Subbarao. Mr. Rajan, who joined the Finance Ministry in August 2012, brings with him wide experience as a banker, academician and technocrat, having served institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and taught at the University of Chicago. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved his appointment as the Governor of the RBI on August 6, 2013 for a term of three years. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Ahmedabad and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a gold-medallist all through, Mr. Rajan was the youngest economiccounsellor and chief economist at the IMF from October
2003 to December 2006. His appointment comes at a time when the Indian economy is passing through rough weather and the government and the central bank are not particularly seen to be in sync on ways to handle the situation. “We have enough ideas. It is not just the currency, it is ﬁnancial inclusion, it is growth. I think there is a lot to do,” Mr. Rajan told reporters on Monday, his last day at the Finance Ministry as economic advisor. However, Mr. Rajan emphasised that there is “no magic wand” to solve the current economic problems. “These things are not going to be overcome overnight. There is no magic wand. But there are undoubtedly solutions to many of the problems that the RBI can tackle and the job is to go ahead and do it,” he said. RBI eases overseas investment norms for Indian corporates Relaxing the re-
cent curbs on the outward investments, Reserve Bank on Wednesday said that a company will be allowed to invest up to 400 per cent of its net worth provided it has raised the funds through external commercial borrowings (ECBs). RBI also clariﬁed that the curbs on capital outﬂows imposed on August 14 will not apply with retrospective effect. “It has been decided further to retain the limit of 400 per cent of the net worth of the Indian party for the ﬁnancial commitments funded by way of eligible ECB raised by the Indian party as per the extant ECB guidelines issued by the RBI from time to time,” said the central bank in clariﬁcations on its last month’s Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) guidelines. Clariﬁcations on outbound investments come on a day when RBI Governor D. Subbarao demits ofﬁce after completing ﬁve years in ofﬁce.
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
US Court Issues Summons To Sonia Gandhi For ‘Shielding’ Congress Leaders vember 1984 Sikh Genocide with the intention to harm the witnesses and plaintiffs in order to protect and shield the members, ofﬁce bearers, leaders and supporters of her party that have played an active role in November 1984 Sikh Genocide. The Congress Party workers were actively supported by police and many Sikhs sustained injuries in the attack. This recent attack is in continuation of the Genocidal attacks on the Sikh population of India starting from November 1984. While demanding a jury trial, the complaint further alleges that “from November 1 through November 4, 1984 approximately 30,000
members of a minority religious group known as the “Sikhs” were intentionally tortured, raped and murdered by groups that were incited, organized, controlled and armed by the ruling political party known as India National Congress Party a/k/a, “Congress (I)”. While giving details to Asian News International (ANI) from New York, the Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, said the lawsuit against Sonia Gandhi under the ATCA and TVPA is motivated by an interest in seeking some form of justice for the victims of November 1984 Sikh Genocide, will raise awareness to the international community regarding denial of justice to the victims and is a mean of hold-
ing parties in power accountable for their gross violations of human rights - while also offering the potential to deter future abuses. Sonia Gandhi’s party which was in power then and now, committed the crime of Genocide against Sikhs as deﬁned in Article 2 of UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Congress President by shielding her party leaders and workers from prosecution became culpable under Genocide Convention, added Attorney Pannun. Judge Cogan of Eastern District of New York has been assigned the rights violation case against Sonia Gandhi for her culpability in the genocidal crimes against the Sikhs.
New Delhi (PTI): The long-pending Pension Bill, a key economic legislation assuring minimum returns to subscribers, was on Wednesday approved by the Lok Sabha, with the government saying it is based on the principle that “you save while you earn”. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, provides for market based returns and wide coverage based on several investment options in the pension sector with an aim to building conﬁdence in the subscribers. It will have provision for withdrawals for limited purposes from Tier-I pension account, an incentive for subscribers to join the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Replying to a brief debate, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the government has accepted most of the recommendations of the Standing Committee. The NPS, beneﬁcial for employees in the long run, is based on the principle that “you save while you earn” especially for retirement period and is mainly for those who have a regular income, he said. The corpus of the NPS having 52.83 lakh subscribers (including those of 26 state governments) was about Rs 35,000 crore. The bill also seeks to grant statutory status to the Pension Fund Regulatory
and Development Authority. “....Rs 35,000 crore should not be used by unstatutory authority...All this Bill does is make unstatutory authority (into) a statutory authority,” Chidambarm said, adding the statutory authority will have powers to penalise. The bill would also provide subscribers a wide choice to invest their funds for assured returns, like opting for government bonds as well as in other funds depending on their capacity to take risk. The subscriber seeking minimum assured returns would be allowed to opt for investing funds in such scheme providing minimum assured returns as may be notiﬁed by the Authority. The bill seeks to empower PFRDA to regulate the NPS. Further withdrawals will be permitted from the individual pension account subject to the conditions, such as, purpose, frequency and limits. The bill was referred to the Standing Committee twice - in 2005 and 2011. The bill provides for 26 per cent foreign investment in pension sector or as may be approved for insurance sector, whichever is higher. It also provides that at least one of the pension fund managers shall be from the public sector. The legislation also
provides for establishment of a vibrant Pension Advisory Committee with representation from all major stakeholders. PFRDA was established by the government in August, 2003. The government through an executive order later in October mandated PFRDA to act as a regulator for the pension sector. The mandate of PFRDA is development and regulation of pension sector in India. The Standing Committee recommendation which has not been accepted relates to repayable advance, as according to the government, it will convert the account into an overdraft account. The NPS has been made mandatory for all central government employees (except armed forces) entering service with effect from January 1, 2004. It has been launched for all citizens of the country including unorganised sector workers, on voluntary basis, from May, 2009. In order to effectively invest and manage huge funds belonging to a large number of subscribers and to ensure the integrity of NPS, creation of a statutory PFRDA with well deﬁned powers, duties and responsibilities is considered absolutely necessary and would beneﬁt all NPS subscribers, the Finance Ministry later said in a statement.
SUMMONS From Page 1
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Lok Sabha Nod To Pension Bill
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September 6, 2013
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Jayalalithaa Seeks PM’s Immediate Intervention On Cauvery Issue
Chennai, Sep 4 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s immediate intervention on the Cauvery River water sharing issue. In a letter to Dr. Singh today, she has noted that the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited which is an enterprise of the Karnataka Government, should not proceed with any projects in the Cauvery Basin until the Cauvery Management Board was formed. She has insisted that the Karnataka Government may be instructed appropriately on the issue and should immediately abstain from proceeding on the two projects in the Cauvery Basin. She further expressed shock that disregarding the Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka is proceeding with new modernization schemes in the Cauvery basin. Sharing of waters of River Cauvery has been a bone of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for over three decades. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said on June 2 that the state could not release Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, as reservoirs across the river basin were nearly dry following a severe drought.The Supreme Court had directed Karnataka to share waters of the Cauvery River with neighbouring Tamil Nadu in October 2012.
Captains Of Indian Industry Conﬁdent That Economy Will Pick Up
Contributed by Anjali Mathai, Avneet Arora, Madeeha Mujawar. New Delhi, Sept.1 (ANI): Three leading ﬁgures of the Indian business world have expressed optimism that some of India’s current economic woes can be resolved. “I think that the Indian economy although down today, will again go up,” said Venugopal Dhoot, the Chairman of Videocon Industries Limited. He also said that he is optimistic about domestic demand for consumer electronics and home appliances growing, which will in turn help fuel economic recovery in the country. “India is a market for consumption. There is a large consumer base here, everybody wants everything, everybody wants a colour TV, a washing machine, a refrigerator and an air conditioner, and they will have it,” Dhoot said. “So, even if the prices go up by ﬁve to ten percent, they will have to have it. Nobody can live without a color TV or a refrigerator etc. So, even though prices are going up, there will be a demand, a huge demand, and after some time, indigenisation is going to take place, and prices will come down also.”
He said that he is also upbeat about the performance of the services sector, which contributes to national and state incomes, adds to trade ﬂows and foreign direct investment inﬂows, and provides jobs. “In the service industry, always you can go on putting in India and it will pay,” Dhoot said. Adi Godrej, the Chairman of the Godrej Group, shared Dhoot’s optimism, but to a degree. “Right now, we are in a situation which we could control very easily and we could get back to a high growth rate pretty easily,” said Godrej. “We have 250 billion dollars of reserves right now. In fact, our reserves have not gone down over the last year or so.” But he noted that more needs to be done to bolster the Indian rupee, which has fallen continuously against the US dollar for several months. “Rupee protection is extremely important, because if we don’t, then it’ll cause inﬂation, it’ll affect the ﬁscal deﬁcit, economic growth rate will be affected and various negative effects on the economy will be felt,” he said. “To my mind, the Re-
serve Bank should intervene very strongly in maintaining the strength of the rupee, not allow speculators, both within India and outside, to get the rupee to weaken so much. It is clearly speculative action which is doing it,” Godrej said. Industry umbrella groups are also in agreement about the need for more concrete steps to be taken to pick the Indian economy up. “The government has made a very signiﬁcant move, through the Cabinet Committee on Investment, in clearing a huge number of projects which were stuck,” said Naina Lal Kidwai, the president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). “And, it’s now up to government to ensure that those clearances ﬁnd their way out of the ministries and ﬁnd resolution on the ground, that these projects actually get kick-started. That they begin to generate power, that the roads begin to get built, that the actionable at the bottom, which is the outcome, begins to happen.” Kidwai noted that even in the medium term, action in sectors such as energy will bring conﬁdence back to the Indian market.
“Gas ﬁnds have happened, it’s now a case of just making sure that we can get the pricing to a level where the gas actually emerges out of the ground, and becomes a productive asset,” she pointed out. She further said: “We have the ability to actually substitute what are large imports of coal with domestic coal - India has the third largest deposits of coal anywhere in the world; why can’t we use this to advantage when we need it, when in fact maybe we’re even desperate for it? And renewables, in terms of wind, and solar, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be thirty to forty percent of our total energy bill, which would reduce the need for imported oil.” She also felt that further conﬁdence-boosting measures are needed to pull India out of the “bottom of the pile” of emerging markets facing similar economic problems. “The biggest worry really, and I think what the markets are reacting to in the Indian case, is the fact that India’s going into election mode and nothing’s going to happen. And, that would be a shame at a time when we need to have action, that we are being seen as not being able to act.”
September 6, 2013
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Against ‘Corrupt Dictator’ Modi And BJP’s ‘Untouchability’: Ali Anwar
New Delhi, Sept. 3 (ANI): Commenting on Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal’s rejection of the proposed Gujarat Lokayukta Commission Bill, Janata Dal (United) leader Ali Anwar on Tuesday took a jibe at Narendra Modi, and alleged that the Gujarat Government was immersed in corruption, under a chief minister who modeled a dictator. “I think the Governor’s stand is valid. The Governor has this right to send the Bill back. Narendra Modi wants to keep everything in his own ﬁst. He wants to keep the whole nation in his own ﬁst. His style is that of a dictator,” Anwar said. ”You are seeing from the very beginning that people from his government and he, himself, are against any objective and unbiased Lokayukta because they are neck deep immersed in corruption and, thus, they fear that they will be exposed,” Anwar added. Anwar also predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would face severe problems in the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as the party has resorted back to ‘social and political untouchability’ after the alliance with the JD(U) ended,
earlier this year. “Whether they declare his (Narendra Modi’s) name (as their Prime Ministerial candidate) or not, there is not an internal consensus on it within their Party. However, their purpose is clear in the way that they have projected it. We have nothing to do with it. We have taken a different route and we are against them,” Anwar said. “The BJP, who had with great difﬁculty to remove their social and political untouchability—because of our support to them, the political untouchability was removed— have returned to the same ways. They will become untouchable in the political sense and no one will give them support. No one will be willing to agree to their leadership,” he added. Earlier, Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal rejected and sent back the proposed Gujarat Lokayukta Commission Bill, which seeks to give all powers pertaining to the appointment of the state Lokayukta to the Chief Minister, to the State Assembly. The proposed Bill proposes to virtually end the role of the Governor and the Chief Justice of the High Court
in appointing the Lokayukta. In August, after a long-drawn and controversial battle with the Gujarat state government in Court, Justice Mehta in a letter to the state Governor had refused the position of Lokayukta saying that he felt unwelcome by the state government. “A Lokayukta unwanted by the government cannot get all the necessary and timely support from a reluctant government,” Justice Mehta said. “How can I take responsibility and become the Lokayukta when my objectivity and credibility are not accepted by the government and public functionaries whose conduct the Lokayukta may have to investigate?” Justice Mehta added. “Rs. 45 crores of public money is said to have been spent by the Gujarat government in this litigation. This is a humongously disproportionate ﬁgure by any standard,” Justice Mehta wrote in the letter. The Modi-led Gujarat government had long argued that the appointment of Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal was “illegal” as it was done without consulting the their government.
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
CII Recommends 10-point Agenda Indian Economic Situation Has Not Reduced Interest, Says Netherlands Minister For Economic Revival
New Delhi, Sept.3 (ANI): Following the Prime Minister’s intervention in Parliament and the developments on the economic front, the Confederation of Indian Industry said that the reiteration of Government’s commitment to economic revival was timely and pertinent. “CII had put forward industry’s ten-point agenda for economic revival to Government last month,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, President, CII. He added: “It is heartening that Government is taking action to counter the economic downswing.” “Responding to the fast deteriorating economic parameters, CII had presented ‘An Agenda for Economic Revival’ to the Government in July. While the Government has outlined targets for CAD and ﬁscal deﬁcit, CII said that speciﬁc steps are urgently required to stimulate growth and to improve investor sentiments,” said Gopalakrishnan. In its ten-point agenda, CII has recommended a comprehensive set of actionables, said the CII release issued here today. First, is the need to contain Current Account Deﬁcit (CAD). At this point in time, when India is losing out to other manufacturing nations, it is imperative to restore global competitiveness of its exports. Strong marketing action in new markets and slashing of transaction costs must be immediately carried out, the CII release said. On the import side as well, manufacturing competitiveness is fundamental to building domestic capacity in capital goods, electronics, coal and iron ore, and we need quick action on investment zones. For ﬁnancing the CAD, government must announce urgent sovereign bond issue to attract capital. Second is the issue of ﬁscal consolidation. The Food Security Bill has added tremendously to expected Government expenditure. Government must urgently draw up action plans to cut
subsidy expenditure on fertilisers and oil products, said CII. Government must also ofﬂoad share in public sector enterprises and banks to raise immediate funds to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore, utilizing this for capital spending in infrastructure. Third is the need to increase availability and reduce cost of capital. Persistent inﬂationary pressures over the last four years and RBI steps to keep interest rates high to curtail demand have had the effect of shutting off demand for manufactured goods, while making investments unviable. Growth of gross ﬁxed capital formation, or investment, has come down from 4.4% in 2011-12 to just 1.7% in 2012-13. CII has called for reducing interest rates by 100 basis points during the current ﬁscal year to encourage resumption of investment cycle. Fourth, is the importance of promoting investments and stimulating demand. Given the uncertain regulatory and policy environment, new project announcements have dropped 80% and the value of stalled projects has gone up by twothirds in the last ﬁve years. Power, infrastructure and manufacturing projects are shelved due to inadequate linkages, retrospective policy implementation, and high interest rates. CII has called for reviving the mining sector by reviewing bans, investing public sector savings, and other steps. Fifth and very important is the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). India suffers from an uncompetitive taxation regime in comparison to other emerging economies. GST has many beneﬁts for manufacturing, services and exports and could add 1.5 percentage points to GDP growth rate. This is the best stimulus that the economy can have, said CII in the release. Sixth is the immediate issue of managing volatility in the rupee. According
to CII, the government needs to consider issuing a sovereign guaranteed long term bond to the tune of $80-100 billion in order to ﬁnance the Current Account Deﬁcit and curb volatility in the currency. Seventh, is the suggestion to mobilize ﬁnancial savings. Declining household ﬁnancial savings can be addressed by expanding Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme ﬂoors, and removing TDS on interest income. Inﬂation-linked instruments should be available to protect savings, said CII. The eighth suggestion of CII is to strengthen the power sector. The Government should allocate coal blocks in a transparent manner and resolve hurdles to mining to revive the power sector. Regulatory autonomy to state electricity boards and effective unbundling of generation, transmission and distribution is essential, CII has said. Ninth in the list is the recommendation to incentivize Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). A range of interventions including ﬁnance, technology and export promotion support are required to make MSME the engine of growth for the economy, the CII “ten point agenda” said. And ﬁnally, CII has suggested that there should be focus on implementation. Averring that India’s weakest link is its implementation process, CII has recommended consistent, transparent and stable tax policy regime and implementation of recommendations of various committees set up for the purpose. The recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission should also be acted upon. Projects such as DMIC, NIMZ, etc should be speedily implemented within a ﬁxed time-line, said CII. In addition, CII has also placed recommendations for speciﬁc sectors for consideration of the Government.
New Delhi, Sep 3 (ANI): Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, on Tuesday said that the recent downturn has not reduced the interest of his nation in India. During the meeting with Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma here today, Ploumen strongly asserted that despite the gloomy economic situation worldwide, “the economic situation is still better in India than in most of the developed nations.” The Netherlands Minister is in India with forty Dutch entrepreneurs to boost trade ties between the two nations. India and Netherlands have also agreed to set up a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETC) which will provide a platform for both sides to engage on investment and trade issues. Sharma further conveyed that given the increasing economic and trade engagement, there is a need for a structured mechanism for institutional interaction, and as a result this committee should “eventually be upgraded to the level of Joint Economic Council.”
Sharma said that India and Netherlands should cooperate in areas like water management, agro processing, urban infrastructure, preparation of sports infrastructure, waste management and sanitation. Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Ploumen said that agriculture and healthcare are the key areas of cooperation between the two nations. Apart from it, she added, “urban planning, infrastructure works, water management, which we are very famous for, are the areas where we want further cooperation.” On the issue of India-European Union Broad based Trade and Investment agreement (BTIA), Sharma said that “we have a very good agreement on the table.” Sharma reiterated that Mode IV in Services and Data Secure status are very important for India. He also stressed the need to embrace incremental approach. On this issue, Ploumen said that “the Netherlands is a country that really relies on free trade and free trade agreements. And as a country, we are very much looking forward to ﬁnalise
free trade agreement between the EU and India and to make sure that we can all address those issues.” Both the leaders also discussed matters related to food security. Sharma informed her of the legislative developments in India regarding food security. Referring to his recent meetings with the US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Washington and Brunei, Sharma pointed out that WTO negotiations should take care of the food security issues. G-33 proposal in this regard needs to be given due consideration. He also stressed the need for internal balance with regard to Trade Facilitation proposals. Netherlands is India’s 4th largest trading partner in Europe. India’s exports to the Netherlands were USD 10 billion in 2012, while the imports were USD 2.63 billions during the same year. Netherlands is the sixth largest investor in terms of FDI inﬂows into India with FDI ﬂow of around USD 9.37 billion, which is 4.72 percent of total FDI inﬂows into India during the period April 2000 to June 2013.
New Delhi, September 2 (PTI): India’s manufacturing sector activity contracted for the ﬁrst time in over four and a half years in August as both output and business orders witnessed a signiﬁcant decline, an HSBC survey said today. The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers index for the manufacturing industry stood at 48.5 in August, lower from 50.1 in July, indicating an overall contraction. The latest index reading was the lowest in
over four and a half years and the ﬁrst sub-50 reading since March 2009. The latest PMI reading comes close on the heels of the bleak ofﬁcial ﬁgure on Friday that showed that the country’s economic growth in the April-June quarter has slid to 4.4 per cent, the lowest in past several years. “Manufacturing activity contracted in August for the ﬁrst time since March 2009. This was led by a decline in new orders, especially export orders,” HSBC chief economist for
India and ASEAN Leif Eskesen said. Since May, the index was barely managing to remain above the crucial 50 mark that divides growth from contraction. But business conditions in the manufacturing sector deteriorated during August for the ﬁrst time in over four years, with both output and new orders falling. According to HSBC, amid reports of fragile economic conditions and subdued client demand, new orders placed at Indian manufacturers fell in August.
Manufacturing Sector Output Shrinks For First Time In Over 4 Yrs
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Assad Asks Obama Administration To Show Proof Of Chemical Weapons Use
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Washington, Sept. 3 (ANI): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has called on the United States to give proof that chemical weapons were used by his government. In an interview with a French publication, Assad said that the United States and France have failed to give any proof the such weapons were used. According to Politico, in an exclusive interview with Le Figaro, Assad said that whoever has accused him of using chemical weapons must offer proof. He challenged the United States and France to offer a single proof. President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande have been unableto give any proof. Assad did not say whether his army has chemical weapons, but he did question the idea of Syria using such weapons in a place its own soldiers could be affected, the report said. He also warned Western military strikes will risk igniting a ‘regional war’, as the United States could strike militarily against the Assad regime over alleged chemical weapons use.
Egyptian Court Orders Shutdown Of Islamist TV Channel For Inciting Hatred Against Christians
Johannesburg, Sept. 3 (ANI): An Egyptian court has ordered an Islamist television channel to be closed permanently, after accusing it of inciting hatred against Coptic Christians and disrupting national unity. The broadcaster, AlHafez, was ordered to shut down permanently by a Cairo court over accusations of undermining the unity of Egypt, News24 reports.
According to the report, Al-Hafez and some of its reporters have often been accused by Copts and liberals of using harsh language against them in their reports. Several other Islamist networks had been ordered to be taken off-theair temporarily soon after the July 3 ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi by the military, the report added. Meanwhile, Human
Rights organisations in Egypt have criticized the closure of channels saying that it is a form of collective punishment, which violates media freedom. The court’s decision comes a day after Egypt expelled three foreign journalists of Qatar-based English version of Al-Jazeera television channel for working without permit for satellite transmission.
Beijing, Sept. 3 (ANI): Cuba is urging the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly to work to prevent a proposed military strike against Syria. In a statement issued by the country’s foreign ministry, the country called on the Security Council to “fulﬁll its mandate to prevent any breach of peace and stop military intervention that threatens international security in this volatile region of the world.” “Cuba believes the General Assembly, the only UN body that represents all countries, is also responsible for stopping the aggression, especially since the Security Council, predominated
by the United States, cannot make a decision,” said the statement. According to Xinhua, the Cuban government also urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon to “become directly involved in preventing the events presented as almost inevitable by the U.S. president,” the statement said, suggesting Ban should take urgent and aggressive diplomatic steps to carry out the overwhelming responsibility of his ofﬁce, which is to maintain peace and global stability. While condemning U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to attack the Arab country, the statement also called on the U.S. Congress -- which is expect-
ed to deliberate on Obama’s strike proposal when it reconvenes on Sept. 9 -- to oppose military intervention in Syria, as Britain’s parliament did Thursday. “If the U.S. Congress rejects the proposed attack announced by the president, as the British parliament did, it will make a surprising and valuable contribution to world peace, but if it approves the measure, then the congressmen will have to accept the consequences in the relentless records of history,” said the statement, which also urged more nations to “promote a solution to the conﬂict through diplomatic channels, without further bloodshed.”
Cuba Calls On UN To Prevent Military Strikes Against Syria
UN Chief Warns Against Military Action On Syria Before Probe Results
Washington, Sept. 4 (ANI): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon warned on Tuesday that all parties should not rush to military action before UN investigations results come out, as the U.S. government is launching a lobbying campaign seeking Congressional approval for a strike against Syria. Ban made the appeal during a brief news conference at the UN headquarters before departing to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) slated for Thursday and Friday. All bio-medical and environmental samples taken from the site of an alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs, where hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed, will be in designated laboratories by Wednesday, the UN chief said. On Saturday, the day UN inspectors completed their probe in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama blamed the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons outside Damascus and announced a surprise decision to seek the authorization of Congress for the military strike against the Syrian government. Calling for no rush into any attack, Ban said the experts were working around the clock and would do their utmost to expedite the process. But he also stressed the importance of not jeopardizing the
scientiﬁc timeline required for accurate analysis. “The mission’s success is in everyone’s interest,” he said. “Since the horrendous attacks in the Ghouta area of Damascus two weeks ago, the United Nations mission ... has been working urgently to establish the facts regarding the nature and extent of any use of chemical weapons,” he said. “I have called for the mission to be given every opportunity to complete its task,” Ban said in a clear message to the United States to withhold its imminent attacks. “The United Nations investigation is uniquely placed to independently establish the facts in an objective and impartial manner.” According to Xinhua, Russia reported weeks ago its investigation of an earlier alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, which showed that the attack was carried out by the opposition forces in Syria. Ban said he has already briefed the 15 members of the Security Council on the status of the investigation, adding that the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, Angela Kane, was to brief other UN member states later in the day. Ban made it clear that the use of the banned weapons cannot be tolerated and appealed for unity among the Se-
curity Council member states in developing an appropriate response, should the chemical weapons allegations prove to be true. “As I have stressed repeatedly, if conﬁrmed, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances would be a serious violation of international law and an outrageous war crime, “ he said. “Any perpetrators must be brought to justice ... There should be no impunity.” Noting that the Security Council has a duty to move beyond the current stalemate and show leadership, Ban warned against any punitive measures which could prove counterproductive and called on the Geneva II conference on Syria to be convened as soon as possible. “We must consider the impact of any punitive measure on efforts to prevent further bloodshed and facilitate a political resolution of the conﬂict. The turmoil in Syria and across the region serves nobody,” he said. At the upcoming G20 summit, which is designed to focus on economic issues, the UN chief said he would “engage with world leaders on this tragedy, including humanitarian assistance for the more than 2 million refugees and 4.2 million Syrians who have been displaced internally.” “It is imperative to end this war,” he said.
Beijing, Sept. 3 (ANI): The Japanese government on Tuesday said that it plans to spend 47 billion yen (473.1 million U.S. dollars) to cope with highly toxic water leaks in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a meeting that the government will take necessary ﬁnancial steps to address the leakage issue, which it believes now cannot be handled by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s runner, alone, Xin-
hua reports. The decision was probably made due to the concern that the issue may overshadow Tokyo’s ﬁnal bid for the 2020 summer Olympics, whose result will be revealed at an International Olympic Committee’s meeting on Saturday in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, in which Abe will participate, the report added The spending is likely to cover the cost of creating a large- scale underground water-shielding frozen soil wall around the No.
1 and 4 reactor buildings to prevent further increase in the contaminated water, said the report. The funds will be also used to boost the capability of facilities that can lower the radiation level of the toxic water stored at the plant. TEPCO admitted recently that about 300 tons of highly toxic water leaked from containers in the crippled complex and probably ﬂowed into the Paciﬁc Ocean and Japan’s nuclear regulator has ranked the incident as ‘serious’ last week.
Japan To Allocate 47 Billion Yen To Cope With Toxic Water Leak In Fukushima Plant
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Obama Wins Republicans Backing Russia Rejects ‘Unconvincing’ US For Military Strike On Syria Evidence On Syrian Chemical Attack
London, Sept. 4 (ANI): President Barack Obama has won backing from important political ﬁgures for carrying out a military strike on Syria. Obama said a limited strike was needed to demean President Bashar al-Assad’s capabilities in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack, the BBC reports.
Important Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor both supported a military action on the war-torn country. Congress is expected to vote next week. According to the report, Boehner said he was supporting Obama’s call for action, and that only the United States had the capacity to stop Assad.
Boehner urged his colleagues in Congress to follow suit. Cantor, the House of Representatives majority leader, said Assad’s Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, is the epitome of a rogue state, and it has long posed a direct threat to American interests and to their partners, the report added.
Washington, Sept. 4 (ANI): Nearly six in 10 Americans oppose unilateral United States missile strikes against Syria, a new poll has found. The ABC News/ Washington Post Poll found that even more Americans oppose arming the Syrian rebels - a complication for Barack Obama and proponents of military action in Congress alike. Despite the United States’ assertion that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in the civil war, 59 percent of the
respondents oppose U.S. missile strikes, far more than the 36 percent who support them. At the same time the poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, found that 70 percent of Americans oppose the United States and its allies supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels. The poll found that a similar number of Democrats and Republicans alike oppose both unilateral U.S. air strikes and supplying arms to the opposition. Nearly four in 10
Americans, 39 percent, ‘strongly’ oppose unilateral U.S. air strikes, as compared to 18 percent who strongly support them. In an ABC/Post poll in December, 73 percent of Americans said the United States should not get involved in the situation in Syria. However, at that time, 63 percent said they’d favor military action if Syria used chemical weapons against its people. The new ﬁndings indicate a re-thinking of that view given the latest developments.
6 in 10 Americans Strongly Oppose Unilateral U.S. Strike On Syria
Documents Reveal al-Qaeda Operatives Applied For NSA Jobs
Sydney, Sept. 3 (ANI): Russia has rejected US intelligence claims that Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons in Syria. Foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov dismissed as unconvincing the evidence presented by Secretary of State John Kerry of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government.
In a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, he said that the United States had fallen far short of making a case for international cooperation on military strikes against President Bashar alAssad government. According to smh. com.au, he said that Russia was shown certain pieces of evidence that did not contain
anything concrete that chemical weapons attack was carried out the Syrian government. Lavrov’s remarks were the most pointed signal that Russia would continue to use its veto in the UN Security Council to block authorisation of military intervention against the Syrian government, the report added.
London, Sept. 2 (ANI): Ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi has been referred for trail on charges of inciting murder, torture and violence against pro-democracy protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012, the state prosecutor said. According to the BBC, this is Morsi’s ﬁrst referral for trial since July, when he was deposed and held at a secret location. Investigations have revealed Morsi had asked the Republican Guard and the
minister-in-charge of police to break up on the protesters’ sit-in against a ruling that expanded Morsi’s powers in an Islamist-drafted constitution, but they had refused to obey the order. Morsi’s aides are then alleged to have called their supporters to deal with the demonstrators, the report added. At least seven people had died and hundreds more were injured in those clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents in Cairo.
The report added that the date for the trial was yet to be announced. Meanwhile, the military-backed interim government had cracked down on Brotherhood supporters leading to deaths of hundreds of protestors in the capital. Fourteen other members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are due to stand trial on the same charges included leading ﬁgures in the political wing, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Essam El-Erian.
Morsi To Be Tried In Court For Inciting Murder, Violence Against Egyptian Protestors
NATO Chief Says Afghan Forces Still Needs Years Of Military Assistance From West
Sydney, Sept. 2 (ANI): The documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that members of the terrorist network al-Qaeda reportedly applied for jobs at the US intelligence agency. According to the documents, the US government reinvestigates thousands of employees a year to reduce the threat that one of its own may be trying to compromise closely held secrets. The CIA found that among a subset of job seekers, one out of ﬁve had ‘signiﬁcant
terrorist or hostile intelligence connections’, Sydney Morning Herald reports. With such a close threat of terrorists becoming part of the agency, the NSA planned to launch at least 4000 probes of potentially suspicious or abnormal staff activity after scrutinising trillions of employee keystrokes at work. The report said that the CIA ofﬁcials believed the number of applicants with potential links to terrorist networks or hostile foreign governments was ‘small’. The groups cited
most often were Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaida and its afﬁliates. The US intelligence agencies’ emphasis on such a practice came in light of the disclosures by WikiLeaks in 2010 which received hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents from Army private Bradley Manning. NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said that the investigations are part of an effort to try to reduce risks and not to investigate known threats.
London, Sept. 3 (ANI): Top NATO commander General Joseph Dunford has said that Afghanistan’s police and army may need western support for at least ﬁve more years before they can be capable of ﬁghting independently. In an interview given to The Guardian, General Dunford said North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Afghan commanders were concerned about increasing casualty rates, which has regularly been more than 100 dead in a week.
Western forces have ofﬁcially stopped ﬁghting in Afghanistan since June and are now providing training and support to the army and police, he said. Although Afghanistan has rapidly expanded its security forces, it did not need help in basic battle skills as they still struggled to support themselves in areas, like logistics, planning, intelligence-gathering and back-up from planes and helicopters in difﬁcult battles, he added. General Dunford,
meanwhile, said that it was too early to judge whether NATO had taken the right decision to end combat operations in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama had earlier assured that all NATO combat troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but no deﬁnite date has been decided for the assistance to end. A follow-up NATO training mission, Resolute Support, has been promised to Afghan troops, but with a lower proﬁle and far fewer soldiers than present.
Washington, Sept. 3 (ANI): The Brazilian government has reportedly sought clariﬁcations from the US who was revealed to have snooped on the president Dilma Rousseff. The recently revealed classiﬁed documents
by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged that the US intercepted Rousseff’s emails and telephone calls along with those of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto who was being monitored even before he was elected as president in
July, 2012. Head of Brazil’s foreign relations committee, Sen. Ricardo Ferraco said that the US programmes appear to have no limits because if the president is monitored it is hard to imagine what else might
be happening. Ferraco further said that it is unacceptable that in Brazil, where there is absolutely no climate of terrorism, that there is this type of spying, Politico reports. The revealed doc-
uments do not indicate speciﬁcally which messages of Rousseff’s were intercepted like the way it does for Nieto. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the US Embassy in Brazil’s capital, Dean Chaves, said that the
country values its relationship with Brazil and understands that they have valid concerns about these disclosures adding that they will continue to engage with the Brazilian government in an effort to address those concerns.
Brazil Demands Explanation From US Over Snooping On President
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Priyanka Is A Huge Inspiration For Me: Parineeti
Actress Parineeti Chopra says her cousin, the multi-talented Priyanka Chopra, is a huge inspiration for her. After bagging the Miss World title in 2000, Priyanka ventured into ﬁlms, and she is among the top Bollywood actresses today. She has also forayed into singing with two international singles - In My City and Exotic. Parineeti, who joined showbiz in 2011 with Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, is all praise for her elder sister. “Priyanka is a huge inspiration for me,” Parineeti said here.
“The kind of launch she has got ... I don’t think any singer must have got. Singers always wait for one hit song so that they can move in the right direction, but she has directly reached Hollywood. It’s the biggest launch ever. If I get any such opportunity I would never say ‘No’,” she added. The vivacious actress says she harbours singing dreams too. “It is my dream that I become a playback singer. I am trained in singing so one day I will certainly sing,” she said. Parineeti also says she seeks Priyanka’s sugges-
tions sometimes. “In our family, people have no idea of what scripts to choose. So the only person from whom I can take an idea is Priyanka. I take all suggestions from her,” said the 24-year-old.
Falling Rupee Halts Foreign Shoots
The falling Indian rupee has led to a sharp decline of up to 35 percent of Bollywood movies being shot in exotic foreign locales in the past four months, an industry study said. The weakened rupee has not only restricted Indian ﬁlmmakers from shooting abroad, but compelled them to settle for locations within the country, said a study on “Weak Rupee dampens spirits of Bollywood ﬁlm-makers in foreign location”, conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham). “There will be more cut-down in the number of ﬁlms shot abroad, especially medium/low budget ﬁlms and opting for lesser expen-
sive destinations in south-east Asia, Middle East and South Africa,” Assocham secretarygeneral DS Rawat said. For Indian ﬁlmmakers, the cost turns out to be much higher in countries like the US, Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Ireland and Denmark. They are also reducing the number of days from packages and looking to offset those costs by opting for shorter duration stays and looking at budget accommodation options, Rawat added. There are changes in travel patterns as a majority of the ﬁlmmakers are opting for non-dollar destinations like Sri Lanka, Dubai, Bali and Phuket or sticking to favourite domestic locales like Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh,
Sikkim, Goa and Kerala, the study said. “Due to depreciating rupee, India has become an attractive destination, especially for the Bollywood ﬁlmmakers. This has given an unprecedented focus to domestic locations within India and reemerging as a viable option,” Rawat said from the study. According to the Assocham assessment, while there was a 40 percent increase in shooting at foreign locales by Indian ﬁlmmakers in 2012, this year it has declined by 30 percent. In contrast, from the decline of 20 percent in shooting at domestic locales by Indian ﬁlmmakers last year, in 2013 it has increased by 35 percent.
Pathan Ki Zubaan. Lakhia’s remake stars Ram Charan, Priyanka Chopra, Prakash Raj, Mahie Gill and Atul Kulkarni. The ﬁlm is set to release on September 6.
Sanjay Dutt, who starred as a child actor in a qawwali song in Reshma aur Shera four decades age, will now be seen as a qawwali singer in a song from Apoorva Lakhia’s remake of Zanjeer. Dutt was seen as a child artiste in a qawwali
song in Reshma Aur Shera (1972), which starred his late father Sunil Dutt, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, and other seasoned actors like Vinod Khanna, Waheeda Rehman and Rakhee. Now, after 41 years in the industry and over 150 ﬁlms to his credit, Dutt will be seen in a qawwali song in his upcoming ﬁlm Zanjeer, where he would be reprising the iconic character of Sher Khan from the original version. The qawwali song in the ﬁlm goes as - Khochey
Sanjay Dutt To Feature In Qawwali Song After 41 Years
Sushmita To Make A Comeback This Year
Actress Sushmita Sen is eyeing a comeback in Bollywood this year with a woman-oriented ﬁlm. Though Sen has not signed any ﬁlm yet, the former Miss Universe said she would love to do a female-oriented role like actress Sridevi in English Vinglish. The 37-year-old, who was here to inaugurate the ﬁrst Kerala salon of accomplished hair and make up expert Ambika Pillai, told reporters that she will make a comeback this year. The actress was last seen in 2010 ﬁlm No Problem and had taken a three year break to spend time with her adopted daughters -- Alisah and Renee. “For some years I celebrated with my children and have no regrets,” she said.
Anil Kapoor To Play Lead In Film On Partition
Anil Kapoor has teamed up with director Rajkumar Santoshi for a movie based on 1947 partition. Kapoor and Santoshi have previously worked together in Pukar (2000) and Lajja (2001). Their third project is based on the IndoPak Partition drama and the 53-year-old actor has been roped in to play the lead role. “I am doing a ﬁlm based on 1947 partition. It is a very dramatic ﬁlm. I am working on it. It is too early to talk about the actors that I have on my wish list for this ﬁlm except Anil Kapoor. He is playing a powerful charac-
ter,” Rajkumar Santoshi said. Santoshi, however, did not elaborate on Kapoor’s character. The ﬁlm is reportedly an adaptation of the play, Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya Woh Jamiya Hi Nahin. “The ﬁlm will have a universal message - promoting harmony in times of intolerance,” said Santoshi without disclosing further details. Meanwhile, Santoshi is looking forward to the release of his directional venture, Shahid Kapoor-starrer Phata Poster Nikhla Hero, which will hit the theatres on September 20.
Lootera, Four Indian Documentaries In US Festival month.
Vikramaditya Motwane’s Lootera leads a pack of ﬁve Indian ﬁlms selected for the Silent River Film Festival in the US next
Lootera, starring Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha, has been selected in the ‘Narrative Features’ section of the festival to be held at Irvine in California from October 17-20. The ‘Documentary Features’ section has two Indian entries -- Delhi-based ﬁlm critic Utpal Borpujari’s Mayong: Myth/Reality and Char: The No Man’s Island by Sourav Sarangi. Mayong: Myth/Reality deals with the magical heritage of Mayong, a mystical land of black magic situated in Assam’s Morigaon district. This 53-minute documentary ﬁlm has been done in ethnographic travelogue format. Seventy-nine entries were selected from 24 countries for the festival which celebrates its third anniversary this year. The other Indian entries are Lapet by Anshul Sinha in the ‘Short Films’ section and “Afterglow” by FTII’s Kaushal Oza in the Short Films (Colleges and Universities) section.
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September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
SEPTEMBER 6 The Asian Studies Program at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC) is presenting a Yakshagana, a musical dance drama in Hindi titled, ‘Panchavati’ - the story of Surpanakha, by the troupe Yaksha Manjusha. Yakshagana depicts Indian epics through song, dance and dialogues. Time is 7:00 p.m. Location is the UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall, Room 118. For further information, call 410-455-2094 or e-mail asianstudies@umbc. edu . Note: Yakshagana is a musical theater popular in the coastal regions of Karnataka. It consists of a ‘himmela’ (background music group) and a ‘mummela’ (dance and dialogue group in colorful costumes). Yaksha Manjusha is a Yakshagana troupe based in Mangalore, enrolled with ICCR. They are the only troupe to perform Yakshagana in Hindi. The performance at UMBC will have English subtitles. A Fall Internship with stipend is available! Work on a video, biography/documentary short on Congressman Dalip Singh Saund, the ﬁrst Indian-American elected to the US Congress in 1956. You will have an opportunity to learn useful skill sets that translate to all types of professions such as journalism, multi-media, communications, public relations, asset management and documentary ﬁlmmaking. Prerequisites: must have your own laptop computer and the ability to work independently. Hours are ﬂexible. The duration of the internship is from September to December. To apply, please e-mail email@example.com SEPTEMBER 6 - 15 Sri Siva Vishnu Temple is presenting ‘Sri Mahaganapathy Mahotsavam’, a grand religious event for Lord Ganesha. Prayers will be offered for the removal of all obstacles to any endeavor including spiritual ones. It is believed that the positive vibrations created by the participation of the community, including thousands of families with their children, will ensure the continued prosperity of the family unit, the temple satsang and the nation. On September 7, six, young
female dancers, who are visually impaired, from Bangalore, will be performing classical, semi-classical and folk dances. Time is 3:00 p.m. The temple is located at 6905 Cipriano Road, Lanham, MD. For details, visit www.ssvt.org or call 301-552-3335 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org SEPTEMBER 7 North America Telugu Society (NATS) is presenting a Youth Cultural Extravaganza! Come and support the participants. This is a fundraising event for youth to participate in the national Dharmic Seva conference at the White House and in Seva (service) projects. The theme of the conference is inspired by Swami Vivekananda, the spiritual seer, as we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary. Time is 5:00 p.m. Location is the J.E.B. High School, 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church, VA. For entertainment, the event features: singers Soujanya and Santosh; and Phanimadhav Kasturi, mimicry and ventriloquist. There will be a Poster Board Competition for elementary, middle and high school students. Prepare a poster board at home and bring it to the event for display and win an award. Topic is the life story of Swami Vivekananda. This event is being held in collaboration with the Greater Washington Telugu Cultural Society, Persis Indian Grill, Hindu American Seva Communities and TV 5. For more information, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com SEPTEMBER 8 - 14 Durga Temple is presenting Ram Katha by Dr. Ram Kamal Das Vedanti Ji. Katha will be followed by Aarti and bhandara everyday. The temple is located at 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, VA (703-6909355). For details, please go to www.durgatemple.org SEPTEMBER 10... Montgomery College is offering a US Citizenship Preparation Program. Are you a legal permanent resident? Do you need help preparing for the US citizenship test and interview? Come to an information session and discover how
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Montgomery College may be able to help you, for free! Please come to one of the information sessions and bring your Green Card: September 10, at 6:00 p.m.; September 14, at 9:00 a.m.; October 8, at 6:00 p.m.; October 12, at 9:00 a.m.; November 5, at 6:00 p.m.; and November 9, at 9:00 a.m. Location is Westﬁeld South, 11002 Veirs Mill Road, Suite 306, Wheaton, MD. The Montgomery College Citizenship Preparation Program is for legal permanent residents who live in Montgomery County, MD, and are learning English as a second language. For more information, Readers can contact Nancy Newton at 240-567-8169 or nancy. newton@montgomerycollege. edu SEPTEMBER 14 Network of South Asian Professionals - DC Chapter (NetSAP-DC) presents ‘Fusion 2013’ at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Time is 7:30 p.m. Location is the Terrace Theater. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC (1-800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600). The evening will celebrate the many cultures and facets of South Asia through various artistic mediums including dance, comedy skits, musical acts and much more! NetSAP-DC is teaming up with the Smithsonian’s Asian Paciﬁc American Center to sponsor the release of its groundbreaking exhibition, ‘Beyond Bollywood: IndianAmericans Shape the Nation’, which is scheduled to open in December. For more information, go to www.FusionDC.org or www.kennedy-center.org . If you are interested in performing or volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Nair Society of Greater Washington is presenting ‘Onam Celebrations 2013’ Time is from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Venue is the Durga Temple, 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, VA (703-690-9355; www. durgatemple.org). Come celebrate Onam with family and friends and enjoy a delicious Onam Sadya, riveting cultural program, Thiruvathirakali and other Kerala art forms! Sadya
is from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by the cultural program from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Mini Ramachandran at 571-201-5955, Rani Nair at 571-214-7501 or Arun Raghu at 301-518-6706. SEPTEMBER 20 Manish and Deepa Sood of Intense Entertainment are presenting top-notch Indian playback singer Shreya Ghoshal - live in concert! Venue is the DAR Constitution Hall located at 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; concert starts at 8:00 p.m. For details, please call 202-59MASTI (62784) or visit www. intenseus.com SEPTEMBER 20 - 22 Sivam, Inc., presents ‘Utsav: Celebrating India’s Maestros of Music and Dance’, at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Utsav is a three-day celebration featuring performances of traditional Indian music and dance by renowned Indian artists. The program schedule is as follows: September 20 - Kathak dance by Aditi Mangaldas, at 7:30 p.m.; September 21 - Ranjani and Gayathri, Carnatic vocalists, at 2:00 p.m.; Samyoga, performed by Nrityagram, one of India’s leading dance companies in the Odissi style of dance, featuring artists Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy, at 7:30 p.m.; September 22 - Lalgudi Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, Carnatic violinists, at 2:00 p.m.; Mythili Prakash, Bharatanatyam dance, at 7:30 p.m. Performances will be held in the Terrace Theater. Timing is two hours, with no intermission. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. For more information, Readers can call 1-800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600 or go to www. kennedy-center.org . Note: Sivam, Inc., was established with the mission of promoting opportunities for education and the advancement of Indian classical dance as a traditional art form. SEPTEMBER 21 A Money Matter Mortgage, Inc., presents the 19th annual Miss India-DC Pageant. Come and cheer on the Wash-
If you want to publish an upcoming event in our Community Calendar please send an e-mail: GComCal@aol.com or Fax: 703-893-2202 or contact: Geeta at 703-599-6623. Please send the announcement at least one week in advance ington metro area’s talented contestants as they compete for the title of 2013 Miss India-DC. Time is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Location is the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD. For more information, please contact Neena Bhaskar at 202-361-2439, Sibtain Kazmi at 201-460-5626, MyDosti.com at 703-675-2645 or go to http://deals.mydosti.com/us/ SEPTEMBER 28 American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin - National Capital Chapter (ASEI-NCC) is hosting its 28th Annual National Convention. The theme is “Innovative Technologies: An Engine for Economic Growth”. The program includes: morning plenary; luncheon; evening gala banquet; tracks of technical presentation; and panel discussions. Tracks and panels are on information technology, healthcare IT, nanotechnology, traditional energy, renewable energy, bioengineering and space contributions of Indian-Americans, STEM. Participants include major US and India corporations, government agencies, Indian Embassy, entrepreneurs, dignitaries, academia and students. The convention will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Location is the University of Maryland at College Park, Riggs Alumni Center and Adele Stamp Student Union Building. For further information, go to www.aseincc.org or call 202-800-0333, Dr. Ajay Kothari, Convention Chair, at 301-935-5868, Mr. Hari Bindal, ASEI-NCC President, at 301-262-0254, G.S. Sridhar, Convention Co-Chair at 571-274-9672, Ms. Pavithra Kenjige, ASEI-NCC Vice President, at 703-815-1629 or Mayur Kathuria, ASEI-UMD, at 240-475-2320. Note: The convention is being co-hosted by ASEI-UMD, College Park, in collaboration with PANIIT, MIBRT, USIBC, USINPAC
and other professional organizations. Manan Singh Katohora and Panache DC are presenting ‘Dance Milkha Dance’ Bollywood-Hollywood dance party featuring the famous Bollywood disc jockey, SVP DJ. Time is 10:00 p.m. Panache is located at 1725 Desales Street, NW, Washington, DC. For details, please go to https://dancemilkhadance.eventbrite.com or call 202-656-DESI (3374). SEPTEMBER 29 Kerala Cultural Society of Metropolitan Washington (KCSMW), in collaboration with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), are organizing ‘Miles 4 Smiles’, a 5K run/1 mile walk. Time is 8:00 a.m. Location is the National Harbor, a 300-acre multi-use waterfront development on the shores of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, MD. KCSMW is a non-proﬁt organization which focuses on promoting cultural awareness and social activities primarily among Indian-Americans. For further information, visit www.kcsmw.org or www. miles4smiles.org or www.lls. org OCTOBER 5 The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) is hosting its exceedingly popular and awaited annual Gala. The ‘2013 SAJA Gala’, featuring an awards ceremony and banquetstyle dinner, will be held at the Yale Club in New York City. The association will honor and recognize excellence in journalism coverage in South Asia as well as outstanding reporting by South Asian journalists. This is a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow SAJA members, other reporters, editors and producers from reputable media outlets. Registration is open until September 30. For details, head to www. saja.org
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September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
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U.S. Mission In Lahore Closed Indeﬁnitely Over Insufﬁcient Security Setup
Islamabad, Sept. 2 (ANI): The United States mission in Lahore has been closed for an indeﬁnite period for being susceptible to potential security threat and inability of Pakistani government in providing sufﬁcient security. All non-emergency staff from the U.S. Consulate in Lahore has been shifted to the Islamabad Embassy, while a few have been called back to the U.S., The Nation reports.
According to the report, there was currently no indication on re-opening the Lahore mission. The Consulate building at Lahore was not as secure as the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, and hence there was a strong susceptibility of being attacked by terrorists any time, the report added Earlier, the Pakistani government had not allowed new concrete constructions on the road leading to the Consulate building
at Lahore on demand of the U.S. government. According to the report, the Department of State decided to close its Lahore facility in protest on August 8. Meanwhile, the Pakistan government countered the U.S. argument saying that the road leading to the Consulate houses a number of government and private ofﬁces, and too many security checks on the road would affect smooth ﬂow of trafﬁc.
Islamabad, Sept. 4 (ANI): Pakistan has said it is committed to the objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation. Foreign Ofﬁce spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said as a nuclear weapons state, Pakistan’s policy was characterised by restraint and responsibility. The response from the FO came after a story in was published in the Washington Post wherein the United States had expressed
concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear progarmme. He said that Pakistan has established extensive physical protection measures, robust command and control institutions under the chairmanship of the prime minister. He added that comprehensive and effective export controls regulatory regimes in the country ensure safety and security of nuclear installations and materials. According to the
Daily Times, he added that Pakistan follow best international practices and standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He said Pakistan was also fully engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues. The spokesman added that Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence capability was aimed at maintaining regional stability in South Asia, the report added.
(ANI): Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, T.C.A. Raghavan, has discussed the details of a meeting that is likely to take place between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month. Raghavan met with Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign affairs, to discuss about the meeting, which is also important for the United States.
istration hopes to improve stability in Afghanistan, as foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw from the wartorn country in 2014. According to Dawn News, President Hamid Karzai will also be present in New York at the time. The meeting between Raghavan and Aziz commenced with both ofﬁcials discussing India-Pakistan relations. The relatiosn between the two countries have been tense due to the recent exchanges of ﬁre between
of Control (LoC), the report said. Aziz said the impending meeting of both the prime ministers would be a step towards improving relations, adding that it was an effective way to clarify confusions. He stressed that Pakistan was looking to foster cordial ties with India, adding that the meeting between the two premiers would go a long way to addressing misunderstandings from the past, the report added.
United Nations, Sept 4, (PTI): United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a credible and peaceful Presidential elections in Maldives, scheduled for Saturday. Given that the elections are being held in the back-
drop of overthrow of former President, Mohamed Nasheed, Ban has in a statement urged all the candidates and stakeholders to overcome their past differences and respect the election results ‘no matter who wins’. “He (Ban) urges all Maldivians to work together in
a constructive manner toward national harmony and democratic consolidation. Ban highlights, in particular, the need for a renewed commitment to the institutional reform process,” said a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary General.
Pak In Familiar Denial Mode Following U.S. Concerns On Nuke Proliferation
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Criticises Navi Pillay Visit
Colombo, Sept. 3 (PTI): Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday claimed that UN human rights chief Navi Pillay’s visit to the island nation was inﬂuenced by propaganda from elements of the LTTE that was defeated in a civil war in 2009. Mr. Rajapaksa, the powerful brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the “re-emergence of terrorism is still a threat” despite the end of the country’s nearly three-decade ethnic war. Elements of the Tamil Tigers and their supporters are working to increase international pressure
on Sri Lanka, he claimed. “Their intention is the division of Sri Lanka and the establishment of a separate State for Tamil Eelam,” he said while addressing a seminar titled ‘Post Conﬂict Sri Lanka Challenges and Regional Stability’ here. Mr. Rajapaksa said the country’s internal matters have featured “on the agenda of many international NGOs and even at the UNHRC sessions.” The visit by Ms. Pillay “is another instance of this attention,” he said. His comments came after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, following her week-long
visit, slammed Sri Lanka as a State which was increasingly heading towards authoritarianism. She said that despite the end to the armed conﬂict four years ago, democracy has been undermined and the rule of law eroded. A South African national of Indian Tamil origin, Ms. Pillay met Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and travelled to former war zones in the northern and eastern provinces during her visit. Ms. Pillay, who was on a fact-ﬁnding mission to Sri Lanka, will submit her ﬁndings to the UNHRC later this month.
Sydney, Sept. 2 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Government has accused the United Nations Human Rights chief Navi Pillay of making political statements regarding the country at the end of her week-long fact-ﬁnding mission on war crimes. The reaction came a day after Pillay said that Sri Lanka was becoming
more authoritarian. The government said that the High Commissioner’s observation that Sri Lanka ‘is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction’ is a political statement on her part. According to news. com.au, the government said her statement “clearly transgresses her mandate
and the basic norms which should be observed by a discerning international civil servant”. The government added that the judgment on the leadership of the country is better left for the people of Sri Lanka to decide, than being caricatured by external entities inﬂuenced by vested interests, the report added.
Beijing, Sept. 3 (ANI): The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said that its relationship with China has been misinterpreted by some countries. Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka’s relationship with China is purely for economic and development purposes.
The defense secretary was addressing a defense seminar in Colombo where delegates from several countries, including China are participating. Rajapaksa said that some foreign delegates who visited Sri Lanka in the past had also raised concerns over China’s ties with Sri Lanka. Some countries feel
China has strategic interests in Sri Lanka but Rajapaksa reiterated that even President Mahinda Rajapaksa had noted that Sri Lanka’s ties with China is not a threat to any other country. Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka is keen to maintain strong ties with countries in the region including Pakistan.
London, Sept. 4 (ANI): The BBC has expressed concern over the questioning of a Tamil reporter in connection with phone conversations that he had with prisoners by the Terrorism Investigation Division in Sri Lanka. Ponnaiah Manikavasagam was questioned in Colombo on Monday over phone conversations that he had with two Tamil prisoners who are under trial and detained at Colom-
bo’s Magazine prison. Manikavasagam was not allowed a lawyer during the interview. Press freedom groups, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), condemned his treatment, the report added. Manikavasagam has reported for the BBC World Service for more than 15 years from northern Sri Lanka. The BBC said it was conﬁdent that
all his activities were carried out in pursuit of his normal journalistic duties. The investigation came after the UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay lambasted Sri Lanka for becoming increasingly authoritarian. The Colombo’s Magazine prison is known for holding hundreds of Tamil prisoners suspected of links with Tamil Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka’s army defeated separatist Tamil rebels after a brutal 26-year war in 2009.
Sri Lanka Criticizes UN Human Rights Chief For Calling Country ‘Authoritarian’
Indian High Commissioner Discusses Forthcoming Nawaz, Singh Meeting With Pak PM Adviser Sri Lanka Says Ties With China Misinterpreted The Obama admin- soldiers posted at the Line Islamabad, Sept. 3
Ban Calls For Credible, Peaceful Polls In Maldives
BBC Concerned Over Sri Lankan Reporter Being Questioned By Anti-terrorism Squad
Karzai Should Prevent Child Marriage, Domestic Violence Against Women: HRW
New York, Sept.4 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai should ﬁght child marriage and domestic violence against women, or risk further harm to development and public health in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president. In the 15-page briefing paper titled, “Afghanistan: Ending Child Marriage and Domestic Violence,” Human Rights Watch highlights the health and economic consequences of marriage under age 18 and violence against women and girls. Karzai, who is barred by term limits from running in the April 2014 presidential election, should make full enforcement of the 2009 Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (the EVAW Law) a priority for his last year in ofﬁce. “President Karzai’s signing of the violence against women law in 2009 ushered in vital protections against child marriage and domestic violence,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “By ensuring the law is enforced, Karzai would leave a lasting legacy of support for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan,” she added. The law imposed tough new penalties for abuse of women, including making child marriage and forced marriage crimes under Afghan law for the ﬁrst time. Child marriage remains common in Afghanistan, increasing the likelihood of early pregnancy, which heightens the risk of death and injury in childbirth. According to a 2010 mortality survey by the Ministry of Public Health, 53 percent of women in the 25-49
age group were married by the age of 18; 12 percent of Afghan girls aged 15-19 became pregnant or gave birth; and 47 percent of deaths of women aged 20 to 24 were related to pregnancy. It found that one Afghan woman died every two hours because of pregnancy. Child marriage and early pregnancy also contributes to ﬁstula, a preventable childbirth injury in which prolonged labor creates a hole in the birth canal. A 2011 government report found that 25 percent of the women and girls diagnosed with ﬁstula were younger than 16 when they married and 17 percent were under 16 when they ﬁrst gave birth. Fistula leaves one leaking urine or faeces, and often results in social ostracism, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses for treatment, and depression. Left untreated, ﬁstula can cause further serious medical problems, even death. Children born as a result of child marriages also suffer increased health risks. The 2010 mortality survey found a higher death rate among children born to Afghan mothers under age 20 compared to those born to older mothers, which reﬂects global ﬁndings. “Afghan ofﬁcials should act to end the harm being caused by child marriage,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The damage to young mothers, their children, and Afghan society as a whole is incalculable,” he added. Domestic violence harms individual women and their families and also takes an economic toll on society, including through healthcare costs and lost productivity, Human Rights Watch said. Domestic violence is alarmingly common in Af-
ghanistan: a 2006 study by Global Rights, an international nongovernmental organization, found more than 85 percent of Afghan women reporting that they had experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence or forced marriage. An estimated 2,000 Afghan women and girls attempt suicide by setting themselves on ﬁre each year, which is linked to domestic violence and early or forced marriages. At a donor conference in Tokyo in July 2012, the Afghan government promised to do more to enforce the EVAW law in return for USD 16 billion in pledges for future aid to Afghanistan. The government should also implement the 2008 Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which calls for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Human Rights Watch urged Karzai to initiate awareness campaigns about the harms of child marriage and domestic violence, and to urgently take the following measures: • Support passage of a law to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 for girls and boys. • Launch a country-wide awareness campaign about the negative impacts of child marriage. • Support immediate steps to establish specialized EVAW prosecution units in every province and track the number of EVAW prosecutions by province and district. • Develop new and effective initiatives to improve recruitment and retention of female police ofﬁcers, and ensure that all police Family Response Units are staffed by female police ofﬁcers.
London, September 3 (PTI): Slowdown in some large emerging economies, including India, will lead to sluggish global economic growth in the near term, notwithstanding improved prospects in the developed world, Paris-based thinktank OECD said today. “Moderate recovery” is under way in most of the major advanced economies including Japan and the
United Kingdom, said the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Growth has slowed in some of the large emerging economies, its interim economic assessment report added. “One factor has been a rise in global bond yields — triggered in part by an expected scaling back of the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing — which
has fuelled market instability and capital outﬂows in a number of major emerging economies, such as India and Indonesia. “Since they now account for a large share of the world economy, the slowdown in the emerging economies points to sluggish near-term growth globally, despite the pick-up in advanced economies,” OECD said.
Slowdown In Emerging Markets To Hit Global Growth: OECD
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September 6, 2013
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September 6, 2013
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Big Belly Raises Death Risk In Heart Attack Survivors
Washington, Sept. 2 (ANI): High waist circumference, severe obesity has been linked with the greatest risk of death in heart attack survivors, according to a research. Professor Tabassome Simon said that the impact of obesity on long term mortality and cardiovascular complications in the general population has been the object of recent debate and much emphasis has also been given to the deleterious role of abdominal obesity. Simon said that at the time of a heart attack, early mortality tends to be lower in obese patients, a
phenomenon well known in critical care situations and described as the ‘obesity paradox’. At 5 years, absolute mortality was highest in the leanest patients (BMI less than 22 kg/m2) and lowest in patients with BMI between 25 and 35 kg/m2 (i.e. overweight and mild obesity). Patients with severe obesity (BMI = 35 kg/m2) had a markedly increased mortality after 3 years. Severe abdominal obesity (waist circumference more than 100 cm in women and more than 115 cm in men) was also associated with increased long-term mortality. Simon said that
as waist circumference is strongly linked to BMI, the researchers determined the upper quartile of waist circumference within each BMI category and used both variables together to determine their respective role in association with long-term mortality. She added that they found that both lean patients (BMI less than 22 kg/m2) and very obese patients (BMI =35 kg/m2) had an increased risk of death at 5 years: + 41 percent and + 65 percent, respectively. Being in the upper quartile of waist circumference was also an indicator of increased mortality at 5 years (+ 44%).
Washington, Sept 04 (ANI):Scientists have discovered that removing the carotid body- one of the tiniest organs in the body- can provide an effective treatment for high blood pressure. The carotid body is a small nodule- no larger than a rice grain- found on the side of each carotid artery and it appears to be a major culprit in the development and regulation of high blood pressure. Researchers of
University of Bristol found that by removing the carotid body connection to the brain in rodents with high blood pressure, blood pressure fell and remained low. Normally, the carotid body acts to regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon-dioxide in the blood. They are stimulated when oxygen levels fall in your blood as occurs when you hold your breath. This causes a dramatic increase in breathing and blood pressure until blood oxygen levels
are restored. This response comes about through a nervous connection between the carotid body and the brain. The researchers, who conducted the study of rats, said that despite its small size the carotid body has the highest blood ﬂow of any organ in the body. Its inﬂuence on blood pressure likely reﬂects the priority of protecting the brain with enough blood ﬂow. The study was published in journal Nature Communications.
Washington, Sept. 3 (ANI): A psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania is reportedly set to become America’s ﬁrst ever state facility to offer an impatient treatment program for internet addicts. The 10-day program which begins from September 9 has been organized by experts in the ﬁeld of psychiatry and cognitive specialists who have treated familiar addictions like drug and alcohol abuse. Psychologist and founder of the program, Dr. Kimberly Young said that Internet addiction is a
problem in the US that can be more pervasive than alcoholism adding that it is free, legal and fat free. In the program, which would include four adult patients at a given time, will have classes for the treatment in which they will participate in group therapy and they will be evaluated psychologically. The patients will be also taught ways to through which they can minimally use the Internet and avoid problematic applications, Fox News reports. The medical director of the department of
psychiatry at Bradford Regional, Dr. Roger Laroche said that most people with a severe Internet addiction have some type of undiagnosed psychiatric disorder or personality problem similar to those who are addicted to drugs like marijuana . The report said that the program, which costs 14,000 dollars, will have patients evaluated psychologically after undergoing a ‘digital detox’, which refers to cutting off the patient from any Internet connection or computer use for 72 hours.
Revolutionary New Way Of Fighting High Blood Pressure Discovered
Pennsylvania Hospital To Offer Treatment For Internet Addicts
UNITAID Helps Accessing Quality Drugs At Affordable Prices
New Delhi, Sept.2 (ANI): At an interactive session with Indian pharmaceuticals and diagnostics industry leaders organized by FICCI and UNITAID, Dr. Denis Broun, Executive Director, UNITAID, explained how the organization was addressing market shortcomings through a wide range of actions, rather than only by procuring products. Market transformations lead to long-term improvements that better serve populations of developing countries by encouraging new producers to enter the market, stimulating competition, increasing transparency, improving the quality of medicines and diagnostics, and sustaining these changes. Market-based interventions became the unique feature of UNITAID during the ﬁrst stage of its development. He said UNITAID operates as a large scale, procurement group with the goal of correcting major shortcomings in the markets for drugs and preventive products for HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Several major suc-
cessful initiatives have been implemented, notably in the area of paediatric antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), second line ARV drugs for adult HIV infection, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and access to drugs for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). UNITAID’s mission has remained constant over the years. It increases access to treatment for HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria for people in developing countries by leveraging price reductions of quality drugs and diagnostics, which currently are unaffordable for most developing countries, and to accelerate the pace at which they are made available, he said. Dr. Broun said UNITAID will remain focused on product markets for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, TB and malaria, as well as prevention commodities, comorbidities and co-infections signiﬁcant to these three diseases. The aim of its interventions is to substantially improve public health outcomes in developing countries. Interventions ﬁnanced by UNITAID will combine
the best market and public health outcomes, and adhere to its guiding principles: innovation, value for money, equity, sustainability, ﬂexibility and transparency. In addition, it will increase and leverage its partnerships, and continue to take a strong ‘propublichealth’ approach to intellectual property. Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that 80% of the generic medicines that reach the grass root level is sourced from India. India is known for providing high quality drugs with low resources. The need is to now look at innovative ways to meet the increasing demand for these medicines at the bottom of the pyramid. Some of the other speakers were Mr. Ravi Mehta, Head - Global ARVs’, Ranbaxy Labs. Ltd.; Mr. Prashant Deshpande, Senior General Manager, Mylan Laboratories Limited; Mr. Prashant Sisodia, GM - International Marketing, Hetero Drugs and Mr. Bivash Chakraborty, Head - Regulatory Affairs, BioMerieux India Pvt. Ltd.
Washington, Sept 4 (ANI): A new study has found that people who stayed up for nearly a day and a half looked sadder and had more apparent wrinkles than when they were wellrested. The study now conﬁrms that your best beauty trick is to get a good night’s sleep, according to the New York Daily News. Findings revealed what you’ve probably seen in the mirror after a rough
night: sleep-deprived people look more, shall we say, worn-out, with redder, more swollen eyes, darker undereye circles, more wrinkles and droopier eyelids and mouths than their well-rested selves. People also looked sadder when sleep-deprived than after a normal sleep, and this apparent sadness was related to looking fatigued, the researchers said. Tina Sundelin, author and doctoral student in
the department of psychology at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden said that since faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them She added that this is relevant not only for private social interactions, but also ofﬁcial ones such as with health care professionals and in public safety.
Jerusalem, Sept 02 (ANI): Women who work for years on the night shift are at a higher risk of contracting type-II diabetes as well as overweight and smoking, according to two US studies. The researches conducted by Prof. Ido Sholat of the Technion-Israel Institute
of Technology’s Rappaport Medical Faculty and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, have found that the reason behind this is a disruption of the circadian rhythm, a roughly 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Disruptions of the circadian rhythm involve a complex process in the sleep cycle, energy balance, body heat, cell cycles and the production of hormones. The studies were published in the Israel Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Lack Of Sleep Does Make You Look Sad And Old
Working Night Shifts Hazardous To Women’s Health
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INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Induction Of C-17 Globemaster III, A Major Airlift Platform Boost For IAF: Browne
Hindon (Uttar Pradesh), Sept.2 (ANI): Indicating that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has embarked on a modernisation programme with an aim to acquire key capabilities necessary to address emerging national security challenges, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne welcomed the induction of the C-17 Globemaster III into the Air Force at a formal ceremony at the Hindon Air Force Base in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Describing it as a historic milestone in the IAF’s ongoing transformation drive, Air Chief Marshal Browne said he was proud to accept “into our inventory one of the most modern and versatile airlift platforms.” “These capable aircraft bring with them a proven track record and form a vital part of our capability enhancement programme,” he told the distiguished gathering present at the ceremony. He also said he was proud to announce a new chapter in the IAF’s glorious history through the raising of the 81 Squadron. “The Skylords” join a very unique group of ofﬁcers and men of our transport squadrons who bring with them a legacy of honour, dedication and sacriﬁce with a mandate to uphold the highest professional standards of the IAF,” Air Chief Marshal Browne said. Highlighting that India faces multi-faceted challenges to its security, as it is located in a geo-strategic region, Air Chief Marshal Browne said: “India’s unique topography also makes our operational environment extremely challenging. Our area of operation is characterised by a diverse terrain, high altitude air bases and a constantly changing weather pattern. This imposes tough conditions on our combat crews and impinges on successful conduct of operations.” “Thus, the dynamic contours of modern battle space in such an ever evolving environment calls for a potent and modern air force with full spectrum capa-
bilities. On its part, the IAF has its tasks well cut out to maintain very high levels of operational preparedness and to retain an ever vigilant posture,” he added. He further said that a comprehensive assessment of future scenarios and identiﬁcation of key aerospace capabilities required in the 21st century, has resulted in the formulation of a detailed modernisation roadmap with new acquisitions, upgrades and training reviews. “Airlift operations also play an indispensable role in aid of civil authorities and sustaining remote reaches of our vast land and ocean territory. The versatility demonstrated by the recently inducted C-130J Hercules in ‘Op Rahat’, while ﬂying in fuel supplies to Uttarakhand, as also, the ﬁrst time landing of the C-130J at DBO (Daulat Beg Oldie – height 16,600 ft) is an excellent example of IAF’s professional competence and commitment” to the task of nation building, provide disaster relief support and sustain troops guarding the country’s frontiers, he said. He said that the C17 Globemaster-III had been speciﬁcally selected to provide a major boost to strategic airlift capability. He said that the aircraft is designed to rapidly despatch a payload of 70 tonnes across a range of 4200 kilomters. “The C-17 ﬂeet will provide tremendous ﬂexibility in terms of operational response options in any future campaign. The long range, heavy lift capability will allow commanders to induct troops, squadrons, relocate forces as well as shift forces between theatres rapidly,” he said. While stating that the existing ﬂeet of IL-76, An-32, Avro & Dornier AC would continue to form the mainstay of tactical airlift capability, Air Chief Marshal Browne said the induction of ten C-17 aircraft in the 12th Plan period promises to be a ‘game changer’ on “how we conduct air transport operations.” “I can visualise
that the enhanced reach and versatility of the C-17 ﬂeet will bolster our ability to assist our neighbours and our friends in the Indian Ocean Region, as also our expanded interests globally,” he added. The Indian Air Force has received the ﬁrst three aircraft on schedule and the remaining seven aircraft will also be inducted as part of an accelerated delivery programme. “As part of the project, a total of 30 pilots, 10 engineers, 15 loadmasters and 84 technicians have been trained in USA. The (81) Squadron will operate from a state of the art squadron complex which will be ready by next year, and will be supported by a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade at Hindon, all of which forms a part of this project,” Air Chief Marshal Browne said. The ﬁrst two aircraft were pressed into active service immediately upon reaching Hindon, undertaking missions to the Andaman and Nicobar islands as well as to high altitude airﬁelds in the North. Air Chief Marshal Browne conveyed his appreciation to the U.S. Government for supporting the Indian Globemaster programme. “This programme is yet another milestone in the multi-faceted relationship between our nations. Our bilateral ties have grown deeper catalysed by common interests and complementary strengths,” he said. “I am conﬁdent that exchanges and mutual interactions between our Air Forces will go a long way in fostering greater understanding on issues of shared concern,” he added. Defence Minister A K Antony; Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh; Nation Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon; U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell; senior leaders of the U.S. Air Froce and Boeing; Air Warriors of the Indian Air Force and other distinguished guests were present on the occasion.
Bhatkal Provided Explosives For Hyderabad Blasts In February
New Delhi, September 1 (PTI): Arrested Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal is alleged to have told interrogators that he received instructions from a Pakistani handler to carry out blast in Hyderabad in February this year, ofﬁcials privy to his questioning said today. Bhatkal (30) reportedly told interrogators that he supplied explosives to a person for planting at various locations in Dilsukhnagar, near Hyderabad. He received instructions from a Pakistani handler to target Cyberabad so that the foreign companies refrain from expanding their business in India, ofﬁcials said. Two blasts rattled the Dilsukhnagar on February 21 this year, killing 17 persons and injuring over 100. About the Pune German Bakery blast on February 13, 2010, that had left 17 persons dead including four foreigners, Bhatkal, according to the claims of his interrogators, said he had planted the bomb in the shop. The aim was to cause maximum damage so the ex-
plosive material was placed near gas cylinders, Bhatkal is claimed to have told interrogators. Bhatkal also told interrogators that he wanted to ﬁght NATO forces in Afghanistan as an 18-year-old when the US launched its campaign against the Taliban following the 9/11 attacks, investigators here said. “Following the US attack on Afghanistan, he wanted to go and ﬁght the allied forces there,” said a senior Delhi Police ofﬁcial. Known as “Ghost Bomber”, Bhatkal was arrested on Thursday from the Indo-Nepal border after remaining on the run for over ﬁve years in several countries. The ofﬁcial, who has spent a signiﬁcant time of his career investigating various terror cases across the country, said Bhatkal was “highly motivated” and “very ambitious”. He set up a weapon-manufacturing unit in the Nangloi area of outer Delhi way in 2011. “He wanted to manufacture rocket launchers and LMGs (light machine guns) in Delhi. This is evidence enough of how
ambitious he is,” the ofﬁcial said. Bhatkal and his associate used to take advantage of the unhindered passage on the Indo-Nepal border, 110 km of which lay in Bihar. Interrogation of Bhatkal and his associate Asadulla Akhtar (alias Haddi) has revealed that they frequently travelled between the two countries. Local people say one has to spend only around Rs 35 to reach Birganj in Nepal from Raxual in Bihar (around 4-km distance) by cycle-rickshaw. Threewheelers on either side of the border charged Rs 12 for each passenger for the same distance. No passport or any travel document was required for passage between the two countries. Vikram Singh Thakur, Commander of Sahastra Seema Bal, 13 Battalion, entrusted with the security of the border for 110 km from Ghorasahan to Sikta in contiguous West Champaran district, said, “Free movement of people through the open border is indeed creating a problem.”
New Delhi, Sept. 3 (ANI): Reliance Entertainment Digital’s movie-ondemand service BIGFLIX has added a new feature to its service called Download, wherein users can now download any movie from the catalog at no additional cost. The new service will now allow viewers to not just stream but also download their favourite movies and enjoy them ofﬂine as per their convenience of time and space, sans advertising and at no additional cost! In India, content consumption online, such as movie streaming, has always seen limitations such as inconsistent bandwidth & lower internet speeds that has kept masses away. “It’s not exactly the launch of the download service, it’s the solution of
a long standing, internetconnectivity related issue faced by most of our users across regions. So now our users need not worry about streaming their favourite ﬁlms, they can download at their convenience and watch them ofﬂine anytime, anywhere without having to worry about the accessibility to internet. Internet connectivity is no longer a restraint to the movie watching experience to our subscribers -whether they are at home or on the go!” said Mr. Shreyash Sigtia, Business Head, BIGFLIX. Subscribers will be required to install ‘download manager’ to manage their download lists linked to their BIGFLIX account and in the case of interruption in download, users have the option to resume the download from where it was discontinued earlier.
The download manager sits on the user’s machine and enables users to watch the movies which they have downloaded even when they are not connected to the internet i.e. ﬁlms once downloaded can be watched ofﬂine Users can begin watching the movie as soon as 20 percent download is reached. All content on BIGFLIX is DRM protected and therefore the movies thus downloaded cannot be copied onto another devices. The download feature can be availed on the entire catalogue comprising over 2000 titles across genre and languages. No additional costs to avail download service; users can download and watch ﬁlms ofﬂine so long as their subscription to BIGFLIX is active.
BIGFLIX adds Movie Download Feature At No Extra Cost
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Indian Cinema Yet To Accept Political Stories Monsoon Session Of Parliament May It took Shoojit Sir- cision not to send the ﬁlm to certain taste in cinema and I car six years to bring Ma- festival circuits. But, he does will take it forward. I know Be Extended Further: Kamal Nath dras Cafe on the big screen not think that it was a missed there is an audience for such
and the director, who faced protests in South before its release, feels Indian cinema is still not ready for political stories. The ﬁlm is inspired by the conspiracy and assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sircar knew that balancing the truth with drama would be tricky. “It is very difﬁcult to make ﬁlms like Madras Cafe in India, given the diverse nature of the country. We are going there slowly but it will take some time before we start accepting such stories. I feel fortunate that my ﬁlm is one of the ﬁrsts,” Sircar said. The director believes the ﬁlm has worked because it does not deviate from the plot and avoids frills of conventional cinema such as song and dance. “When I ﬁrst thought about it, I knew that this one would be tricky. This is why it took me six years. I did not want to take any chance with the story. My biggest worry was mounting the civil war of Sri Lanka onscreen. It went through several drafts but once we ﬁgured out how to end the story, we were on,” Sircar said. Given the historical premise of the ﬁlm, Sircar has been asked about his de-
“It is very difﬁcult to explain but I did not think it was a festival ﬁlm. I don’t want to categorise but I believe Madras Cafe was much more populist in its sentiments. I have seen many festival ﬁlms and I will be blunt, I don’t think ‘Madras Cafe’ was ready for festivals.” Asked about the protests that the ﬁlm faced in South, Sircar admits he was worried about it. “I am exhausted but relieved that ﬁlm has found its audience. There are Tamilians who have watched the ﬁlm and liked it as it does not politicise the issue and takes a neutral point of view,” Sircar said. The director, who made a promising start with Yahaan, only to see his second project Shoebite get stalled due to a ﬁght between two production houses, is encouraged by the success of Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe. Sircar says he wants to make ﬁlms that don’t take the audience for a ride and does not believe in touching benchmarks set by others including the much touted 100 crore club in Bollywood. “I stopped caring about industry rules after my Shoebite did not release. I sat at home for four years doing nothing. I decided that I have
cinema,” he said. The debacle of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer continues to haunt Sircar as it was one of the hardest projects he ever worked on. “It was a difﬁcult ﬁlm to shoot. Normally, you ﬁnish a ﬁlm in four-ﬁve months but we spent one and a half years on that. I believe it is Mr Bachchan’s ﬁnest performances and is very close to his heart. He suffered a lot for the ﬁlm. He has been very supportive ever since.” Shoojit, who has also co-produced with John Abraham, said it was great to ﬁnd a willing collaborator in the actor. “He has produced Vicky Donor and now Madras Café. It is quite daring decision for a new producer but he has chosen a middle path and has been very brave in his choices as a producer,” he said. Sircar has another ambitious story in mind and hopes to bring it on the big screen one day. “I have a pre Independence story in mind, very political and would like to make a ﬁlm on it. There a ﬁlm with Ayushman, tentatively titled Hamara Bajaj. There is also ﬁlm that I want to make with Mr Bachchan, I have only told him the idea and he has shown interest,” he said.
Union Cabinet Approves Setting Up Of Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation
New Delhi, Sept 3 (ANI): The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal for setting up of the Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) as an independent charitable society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to facilitate and upscale civil society action in partnership with government for transforming livelihoods and lives of rural households, with an emphasis on women, particularly in the Central Indian Tribal Region. It will provide ﬁnancial grants to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to meet their human resource and institutional costs for upscaling of proven interventions; invest in institutional strengthening of smaller
CSOs and capacity building of professional resources working at the grassroots. Projects supported by BRLF would be able to reach 10 lakh poor families by the end of the ﬁfth year. BRLF would also have supported the capacity building of 1,000 CSO professionals and institutional strengthening of a signiﬁcant number of smaller CSOs within the above time frame. Even though BRLF will have an India wide mandate, the initial focus of the organization will be on the Central Indian Tribal Region, centered on blocks having signiﬁcant tribal population across 170 districts in the States of Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Rs 500 crore will be released for creating the corpus fund of the new Society, in two tranches. The society will be constituted as a partnership between Government on the one hand and private sector philanthropies, private and public sector undertakings (under Corporate Social Responsibility) on the other hand. The proposal was earlier considered by Cabinet on 18th April 2013 and referred to a Group of Ministers under chairmanship of the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. The GoM in its meeting held on 21st August 2013 has recommended the proposal.
New Delhi, Sep 4 (ANI): Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday indicated that the Monsoon Session of Parliament may be extended further as key bills remain pending. “Important legislations are still pending, (and) if necessary, (we) will extend the Monsoon Session of Parliament,” Nath told media here. “Important legislations are to be passed. All political parties must recognize this. I appeal it to everyone to understand the importance of this. They should corporate in passing the bills,” he added. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders at his ofﬁcial 7 RCR
residence on Tuesday evening to seek their cooperation in passage of the land acquisition bill and other pending economic bills in Parliament. According to Television reports, senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj attended the meeting. While Dr. Singh has also appealed to the BJP to end Parliament stand-off over missing coalgate ﬁles, there are crucial bills that are pending in the remaining three days of this session, which was extended till September 6. The Land Acquisition Bill, which has been renamed as “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012” is also pending for discussion in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is in continuation of the UPA Government’s commitment to enacting rights based legislation with the objective of empowering the common man. The new Bill proposes that farmers and landowners be paid up to four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, and two times the market value in urban areas. The other signiﬁcant aspect of the Bill is that the consent of 80 percent of land owners is needed for acquiring land for private projects and of 70 percent landowners for public-private projects.
New Delhi, Sep 3 (ANI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi left for the United States on Monday for a medical check-up. According to sources, Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra is accompanying her. The visit is part of a scheduled annual check-up.
The check-up was due since her last visit abroad in September 2012, but it was delayed due to other pressing engagements, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said. On August 26, when the Lok Sabha was debating the Food Security Bill, Gandhi was taken ill
and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). She was discharged the same night after a few tests were conducted on her. Gandhi had undergone surgery for an undisclosed ailment at a U.S. hospital on August 5, 2011.
New Delhi, Sept 3 (ANI): The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal for setting up of an autonomous “National Institute of Solar Energy” (NISE) to assist the Ministry and function as the apex national centre for research and technology development and related activities in the area of solar energy technologies in the country. The National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) is to be set up immediately by converting the Solar Energy Centre (SEC) Gurgaon with a long term vision to develop it as a world class institute. Solar energy technologies are evolving continuously and the proposal to set up the National Institute of Solar Energy is an innovative idea which will accelerate the process to support induction of the latest
technologies to ensure maximum cost beneﬁt and lead to early commercialization. Solar power project developers will be motivated to use more efﬁcient and optimized solar components. A broad based national team in the form of a Review-cum-Strategy Formulation Committee would be set up with representation from industry, the scientiﬁc community, ﬁnancial institutions etc. to prepare a blue print. This committee would look at various models available in the country and outside and prepare a roadmap for the Institute. In order to enable this Institute to acquire the envisaged stature, reorientation of the present management system, better infrastructure and highly skilled manpower would be required. Public private partnership with future invest-
ment coming from both Government and private sector would be important so that the activities can be expanded. The setting up of an apex national centre for Solar Energy is a part of the JNNSM, which was considered by the Prime Minister`s Council on Climate Change in August, 2009. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) and other related proposals were approved by the Govt. in November, 2009. While approving the JNNSM, the Govt. also approved speciﬁc targets and budget for the ﬁrst phase of the Mission till March, 2013. This includes R and D in solar energy, including setting up of a Centre of Excellence as an apex centre on different aspects of solar energy technologies.
Sonia Gandhi Flies To U.S. For Medical Check-up
Union Cabinet Approves Setting Up Of ‘National Institute Of Solar Energy’
INDIA THIS WEEK
September 6, 2013
September 6, 2013
INDIA THIS WEEK
Rajiv Gandhi Was A True Friend Of Tamils ‘Palace On Wheels’ Rolled On Its First LTTE. devolve powers to the Tamils The Indo-Sri Lank- in the north. But the political Commercial Journey From Delhi an Accord of July 29, 1987 scene in Sri Lanka changed.
By I. Ramamohan Rao New Delhi, Aug 3 (ANI): After watching the movie Madras Café last weekend, my mind went back to the days when I had an opportunity to watch from close quarters the steps taken by the Government of India in the eighties to help the Tamils in Sri Lanka. When Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister of the country, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, he sought to improve India’s relations with her neighbours, particularly Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Relations with Sri Lanka were strained, as India had to give shelter to thousands of Tamil refugees ﬂeeing from Jaffna. Among the Tamils in Sri Lanka were two groups: the ethnic Tamils and those who went there as tea garden workers. The ethnic Tamils had started an insurgent movement, which had sympathy in Tamil Nadu. India had agreed to look after the tea garden workers when they returned from Sri Lanka. As far as the ethnic Tamils were concerned, Rajiv Gandhi decided to negotiate on their behalf with the Sri Lankan Government headed by President Jayawardene. Successive governments in Sri Lanka were not sincere in their approach to give due share of power to the Tamils. The violence in Sri Lanka came to a crisis, when the government, headed by President Jayawardene, ordered a blockade of Jaffna. India then sent a ﬂeet of ﬁshing boats with food supplies to Jaffna. When these ﬁshing boats were turned back from Sri Lankan waters, India decided to airdrop food supplies. The Indian Air Force ﬁghters escorted the transport aircraft. During the SAARC summit in Bangalore in 1986, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi tried to persuade President Jayawardene that he should agree to give autonomy to the Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. The outcome was the India-Sri Lanka agreement. India sent a peace keeping force to Sri Lanka (IPKF) to take over arms surrendered by the insurgent groups, the strongest being the one led by V. Prabhakaran, who headed the
envisaged an autonomous Tamil province within a united Sri Lankan State. India expected the LTTE to disarm its militants and the Sri Lankan Government was to take steps to establish an Interim Administrative Council for the northern and eastern parts of the country. The Government of India also took a plane load of journalists to cover the handing over ceremony by the LTTE. We soon realized that the LTTE did not hand over any arms. There was an uneasy peace. The Public Relations Ofﬁcers who went to cover the activities of the IPKF and the correspondents of the All India Radio told me that the Tamils of Jaffna, Batticaloa and Trincomalee expected India to support them in their ﬁght for a rightful share of power in Sri Lanka. There was controversy over the composition of the Administrative Council as also the devolution of powers. Meanwhile, seventeen LTTE personnel who were travelling in a boat in Sri Lankan waters were arrested and kept at Palali. When Sri Lanka decided to take them from Palali in the north to Colombo for trial, the LTTE personnel committed suicide and violence erupted. Some IPKF units were also targeted by the LTTE The IPKF had to take action against the LTTE. The Tamil press in Sri Lanka became increasingly critical of the IPKF operations. Rajiv Gandhi directed the Information Ministry to devise special programmes over All India Radio and Doordarshan to explain to the people of Tamil Nadu the objectives of the India- Sri Lanka Accord and the need for IPKF operations. India also established a television transmitter in northern Sri Lanka to enable people there to have access to Doordarshan programmes. By early 1989, the IPKF was successful in conﬁning the LTTE to the countryside in the Vavunia jungles and would have been able to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to
In the elections held in December l988, Jayawardene was defeated and R. Premadasa was elected President. President Premadasa asked for a review of the India Sri Lanka agreement. Simultaneously, he established links with the LTTE .He lifted the ban on the LTTE and invited them for discussions in Colombo. In June 1989, President Premadasa asked for a complete withdrawal of the IPKF from Sri Lanka. In response, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi pointed out that while some elements of the IPKF had been withdrawn, the Sri Lankan Government had not implemented the assurances given under Indo Sri Lankan Agreement, especially the devolution of powers to the Provincial Councils, so that the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils could be met. The scene in India also changed when Rajiv Gandhi lost elections in December 1989. The V P Singh Government, which succeeded, agreed to the withdrawal of the IPKF. The inﬂuence of the LTTE on the Tamil Nadu Government was such that contingents of the IPKF could not be ceremoniously received when they returned from Sri Lanka. There was a distinct possibility that Rajiv Gandhi would head a Congress Government following the dissolution of short lived governments of V P Singh and Chandrashekar and the holding of national elections in 1991. In one of the interviews, Rajiv Gandhi stated that if he is re-elected, he would consider re-implementing the India Sri Lanka agreement. Was it the spark that made the LTTE send a suicide squad to Tamil Nadu? Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Sri Lankan suicide bomber Thanmozi Rajaratnam, alias Dhanu on May 21 l991. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi made it difﬁcult for successive Govenments in India -- the NDA or the UPA -- to ensure the implementation of the IndiaSri Lanka Accord. In Rajiv Gandhi’s death, Sri Lankan Tamils lost a good friend.
New Delhi, Sep 4 (ANI): World famous and India’s foremost royal luxury train, ‘The Palace on Wheels’ , rolled on its ﬁrst commercial journey for 2013-14 to Rajasthan and other destinations, especially world’s famous wonder Taj Mahal of Agra, from the Safdarjung Railway Station here on Wednesday evening. In the ﬁrst trip, 34 tourists from different places of the world are traveling on this super luxurious train. Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) chairman Randeep Dhankhar, Secretary in Central Government Dr. Lalit K. Panwar, Rajasthan’s Chief Tourism Secretary Rakesh Shrivastava, RTDC Managing Director Vinod Ajmera, RTDC’s Delhi General Manager Pramod Sharma and General Manager of Royal Train Pradip Bohara were among those present at the Safdarjung Railway Station on the occasion along with many others. The Managing Director of RTDC, Vinod Ajmera, said that it is a concrete step towards making the presence of the state in the area of ‘Rail Tourism’ for which the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Tourism Minister Bina Kak and RTDC chairman Randeep Dhankhar are working tirelessly. “Over the years we have been very sensitive to each guest’s expectation. We have compiled feedback and are now acting on it to give the incredible Palace on Wheels a refurbishment that should raise the richly royal looks to still greater heights,” said Ajmera. “We have extensively researched princely lifestyles of the royals and the Palace on Wheels will sport a new heritage look with the ﬁnest in luxury trappings, reﬂecting the exclusive lifestyle of maharajas,” he added. Ajmera said that the Palace on Wheels was recently awarded the best luxury train in North India ‘Today Traveler Award 2013’ in the category of domestic tourism. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes had given this award in a function organised at the Taj Place Hotel in New Delhi. Ajmera said that the Palace on Wheels known for giving guests a magniﬁcent experience of royal Indian lifestyle is in for major refurbishment.
“We are also giving deep thought to see how we can raise the facilities to a new level. The Palace on Wheels, a Joint Venture of Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), known throughout the world for giving guests a magniﬁcent experience of royal Indian lifestyle, is in for major refurbishment. It is high time the Palace on Wheels received a facelift and the plan for refurbishment comes none too soon, with global interest rising in experiencing a royal lifestyle,” said Ajmera. “All facilities are being modernized including water puriﬁers in washrooms and other modern conveniences including superior communication and entertainment. Even the dining cart, the bar and lounge will take on a wonderful new look with the planned refurbishment at a huge investment,” he added. “We are also giving deep thought to see how we can raise the facilities to a new level. Even the spa and health club will receive major upgrades. We are working on plans to introduce more and please our guests,” said the representative of the Palace on Wheels. The Palace on Wheels is rated the number 4 luxury train in the world and we plan to make it even better, redeﬁning vintage royalty. It takes you on a splendid tour covering Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra giving you the experience of a lifetime. The journey takes you across mountains, rivers, forests and sand dunes in air-conditioned comfort. RTDC’s Delhi General Manager Pramod Sharma said that the Palace on Wheels starts its journey on every Wednesday for seven days unforgettable journey between the months of September, 2013 to April, 2014 from Delhi, In 34 rounds from September 2013 to April 2014, three thousand passengers are expected to travel in this royal train. He said that in order to provide the World Class journey with the ﬁve star facilities in the train. It has luxuries and modern facilities including Royal “Spa” and “gym” for the passengers. The train has 23 coaches comprising of 14 Saloon’s, One “Spa” Coach, two Restaurant known as “Maharaja” and “Maharani” and one “Reception cum Bar”. The itinerary for the season would be Delhi-Jaipur-SawaimadhopurChittorgarh-Udaipur-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi. The capacity of ‘The Palace on Wheels’ is of carrying 104 passengers at a time. Sharma said that an additional coach is added in the name of Royal SPA where the guests will enjoy Ayurvedic and Non Ayurvedic massage. This year the Palace on Wheels will provide delicious Indian and Foreign Food to the valued guests.
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September 6, 2013
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Australia, India Partner For Innovative Science
New Delhi, Sept.2 (ANI): Leading scientists in India and Australia will receive funding to do cutting-edge research in a wide range of ﬁelds, including information and communication technology, vaccines and marine science as part of a joint multi-crore program. The Australian and Indian Governments will support 15 new collaborative projects and eight joint workshops through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF). From a total Australian commitment of Rs 365.5 crores (AUD 64 million), the Australian Government has given Rs 28.1 crores (AUD 5.06 million) to these initiatives. The Government of India will fund the Indian teams’ participation. Australia’s High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling, said: “This partnership enables our leading scientists to collaborate
on pioneering research. We are supporting a diverse array of work; from using new diving robots to better understand the Indian Ocean, to research on a hybrid canola crop to increase yields - even a project on how to use cloud computing to help with disaster management.” He added: “The AISRF is Australia’s largest science fund with any country and one of India’s largest sources of support for international science. The substantial scientiﬁc outcomes emerging from this program are signiﬁcant and long-term links between our researchers and our countries’ top universities and institutes are growing.” The funding will support several projects, including research on: Using robotic tools to characterise the Indian Ocean’s changing biogeochemistry; Nanoengineering autoantigens to prevent
and treat autoimmunity; and Modelling environmental change in a warming world for semi-arid landscapes; Participating institutions in India include the Indian Institute of Science, IIT Bombay, National Institute of Oceanography, Punjab Agricultural University, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and Christian Medical College, Vellore. The partner institutions in Australia include the University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology, CSIRO and Deakin University. Other projects supported by the fund are in ﬁelds including renewable energy, food and water security, biomedical devices and implants, nanotechnology, bioremediation and astronomy and astrophysics.
Melbourne, Sept. 2 (ANI): Researchers have claimed that aerial studies of the earth’s surface could actually help foretell where earthquakes and landslides might happen. Specialist sensors that are carried by planes, help experts in taking measurements and isolate areas of land which are altering shape as a result of the earth’s plates moving, News.com.au reported. The team of sci-
entists, from Edinburgh University, used the data to examine the impact of such movements, called tectonic activity, on hills in California’s San Andreas Fault. The data from the study revealed how tectonic activity , that is linked to earthquakes and often occur at the boundaries between plates, has shifted land up, down and horizontally at a ridge known as ‘Dragon’s Back’. The team found
that the movement of plates determines how sharp a hill’s ridges are and the length and steepness of its slopes. Higher hilltops and steeper slopes are evidence of a “growing” landscape associated with faults. The team added that the study could alert scientists to future land shifts and fault activity. The study was published in the journal Science.
London, Sept. 4 (ANI): Google has reportedly named the latest version of its mobile operating system ‘Android KitKat’ in a tie-up with chocolate manufacturer Nestle. Director of Android marketing Marc Vanlerberghe, said that they couldn’t imagine a better name for Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favourite among the team since the early days of An-
sumer goods brands in social media in terms of fan numbers and engagement and they continue to build on its strong digital presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns. According to the report, the release of the new OS will be marked with a competition to win prizes including 1,000 Google Nexus 7 tablets through more than 50 million specially-branded KitKat bars.
Can Earth’s Aerial Studies Help Predict Earthquakes?
Google Unveils Latest ‘Android Kitkat’ After Nestle Tie-up While Nestle’s head of marketing, Patrice Bula, said that they were excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform, which will help them to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break, Mirror reports. Bula added that KitKat is one of the world’s top 10 fast-moving con-
‘Flexible Touchscreens’ Come Closer To Reality
Washington, Sept 4 (ANI): Researchers have developed a new way to design transparent conductors using metal nanowires that could enable less expensive and ﬂexible touchscreens. The research was conducted by the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in collaborated with Duke University. The current industry-standard material for making transparent conductors is indium tin oxide, or ITO, which is deposited as two thin layers on either side of a separator ﬁlm. Contact, in the form of a ﬁngertip or a stylus, changes the electrical resistance between the two ITO layers enough so that the device can register where the user is touching. Professor Karen Winey said that there are two problems with ITO; indium is relatively rare, so its cost and availability are erratic, and, more importantly for ﬂexible devices, it’s brittle. Meanwhile, metal nanowires are increasingly inexpensive to make and deposit; they are suspended in a liquid and can easily be painted or sprayed onto a ﬂexible or rigid substrate, rather than grown in vacuum as is the case for ITO. The Penn team’s simulation provides further evidence for each variable’s role in the overall network’s performance, helping the researchers home in on the right balance of traits for speciﬁc applications. Increasing the coverage area of nanowires, for example,
always decreases the overall electrical resistance, but it also decreases optical transparency; as more and more nanowires are piled on the networks appear gray, rather than transparent. The study was published in the journal ACS Nano.
Engineered Stem Cell Implants Can Help Resynchronize Cardiac Motion
Washington, Sept. 4 (ANI): Researchers have discovered a method to resynchronize cardiac motion following a heart attack with the help of stem cells. Scientists implanted engineered stem cells, also known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, into damaged regions of mouse hearts following a heart attack. This regenerative approach successfully targeted the origin of abnormal cardiac motion, preventing heart failure. Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study, said that the discovery
introduces - for the ﬁrst time - stem cell-based ‘biological resynchronization’ as a novel means to treat cardiac dyssynchrony. Muscle damage following a heart attack may disrupt normal heart conduction, resulting in a condition known as cardiac dyssynchrony . Stem cell-based repair is going to offer a new solution to patients who would otherwise be resistant to device-based resynchronization. Satsuki Yamada, M.D., Ph.D., ﬁrst author of the study, said that a high-
resolution ultrasound revealed harmonized pumping where iPS cells were introduced to the previously damaged heart tissue. The study provides evidence that a stem cellbased intervention may be effective in synchronizing failing hearts. Additional studies will follow to validate the value of stem cellbased regenerative solutions in addressing abnormal cardiac motion in heart failure, ultimately leading to improved patient care. The ﬁndings have been published in the Journal of Physiology.
London, Sept. 4 (ANI): A Toronto-based company has invented a wristband that conﬁrms user’s identity through their own heartbeat and then communicates the authentication to their devices such as iPads and cars. The wearer regis-
ters their identity by touching a sensor that has been embedded in the top of the band with the opposite hand for about 2 minutes while Bionym’s Nymi captures an ECG signature, once stored, it will recognise only this unique biometric template, New Scientist reported.
To access any device of theirs, a person just has to touch the top of the band for several seconds, while another sensor in the band is in contact with your wrist. Once authenticated, the band communicates via Bluetooth to an app running on the device.
Now, Wristband That Unlocks Devices With Your Heartbeat
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September July 5, 20136, 2013
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September 6, 2013
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Chetri’s Injury Time Goal Helps Salvage A Draw Against Bangladesh
Kathmandu, Sept 3 (PTI): An injury-time goal by captain Sunil Chhetri saved India from embarrassment as they played out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their second group match of the SAFF Football Championships here on Tuesday. Defending champions India, who had scraped past Pakistan 1-0 in their campaign opener thanks to an own goal by their rival skipper, dished out another disappointing show at the Halchowk Stadium on Tuesday. Wim Koevermans’ men were on the verge of an embarrassing defeat after Atiqur Rahman Meshu had put Bangladesh ahead in the 82nd minute before Chhetri equalised in the 94th minute with the last kick of the match.
Chhetri, who was off colour all through the match, scored from a freekick to give India one point and four from two outings. They play hosts Nepal on Thursday. Kovermans tried all his tricks but without success. He made three changes in the second half, bringing in Dawson Fernandes, Arata Izumi and Robin Singh in place of Jeje Lalpekhlua, Lenny Rodrigues and Francis Fernandes respectively but a goal eluded his side till the fourth and ﬁnal minute of the added time. Three Indians — Sunil Chhetri, Arnab Mondal and Nirmal Chhetri — were also shown yellow cards by the referee. Indians were better side in the ﬁrst half as Koevermans’ boys kept
the proceedings under control early on. They kept the ball, switched ﬂanks and pressed for a early goal. It resulted in a ﬂurry of chances which went abegging. The ﬁrst chance came in the eighth minute when an overlapping Nirmal Chettri found Francis Fernandes on the right. Francis, who was impressive with his timely runs, sped past Waly Faisal and essayed a centre but an unmarked Chhetri’s volley just went over. The very next minute, another of Chhetri’s efforts went off the mark and then Jewel Raja failed to pull the trigger after the trio of Lenny Rodrigues, Mehtab Hossain and Chhetri had done the spadework.
Paes Enters Semi’s; Sharan, Bops Exit
New York, Sept 4: Veteran Indian tennis star Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek advanced to the U S Open men’s doubles’ semi-ﬁnals after a hard-fought win in the last-eight stage here. The fourth-seeded Indo-Czech pair defeated the ﬁfth seeded combination of Pakistan’s AisamUl-Haq Qureshi and Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-4 in a match which lasted more than two and a half hour. They will now be up against top-seeded American brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, who got the better of the 12th-seeded British pair of Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 7-6 (7), 6-4 in their quarter-ﬁnal match. Paes and Stepanek started off well and broke their rivals twice, while holding their own serve, to clinch the opening set in just 33 minutes. But they were stretched quite a bit in the
remaining two sets which took almost an hour each to conclude. In the second set, neither of the two teams conceded a single break point. Even though Qureshi and Rojer committed three double faults but fought hard enough to equalise and keep themselves in the match. The third set was also closely-contested but Paes-Stepanek converted an all-important break point while Qureshi and Rojer frittered away the only one they got as the Indo-Czech pair sealed the issue. Last year ﬁnalists, Leander Paes and Czeck Radek Stepanek too, comfortably booked their spot in the quarterﬁnals, with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over France’s Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut. On day 8 of the US Open tennis tournaments being played at Flushing Meadows in New York, India had a tough day out,
as Divij Sharan lost in the men’s doubles along with his Chinese Taipei partner Lu Yen-Hsun to Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer. Sharan and his partner, however, won the second set to throw up a little challenge, but ended up losing 6-7, 6-3, 3-6. The Indian had recently won an ATP tournament with partner Purav Raja at Bogota, Colombia after beating France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Netherlands’ Igor Sijsling in the ﬁnals. The Indo-French pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin bowed out of the US Open on day 7, losing to Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 4-6, 4-6. However, Sania Mirza and her Chinese partner Jie Zheng cruised to the quarterﬁnal round, beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 6-2, 6-3.
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September 6, 2013
India To Play Five Tests In England In Karbonn Smart Champions League ‘2014 Bumper Tour’ For First Time Since 1959 T20 Schedule Revised
Johannesburg, Sept 3 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that India will play ﬁve Tests in England for the ﬁrst time since 1959 during a ‘bumper tour’ next year. According to Sport24, the tour schedule also contains ﬁve one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international between 50-over world champions India and the hosts. The report further said that the second, ﬁfth and the third Tests will be played at Lord’s, The Oval and Southampton’s Rose Bowl stadium respectively, although the latter venue is still subject to conﬁrmation following an ECB inspection visit as it is a relatively new international ground. The report further said that Trent Bridge at Nottingham will stage the ﬁrst Test between India and England while the fourth Test will be held at Manchester’s Old Trafford. Stating that the length of the series reﬂects the iconic status which is enjoyed in contests between the two cricketing nations, ECB chief executive David Collier said that they anticipate signiﬁcant demand for
tickets both for the entire tour. Collier also said that the tour will be the ﬁrst encounter between these two countries in the 50-over format since India’s triumph in the ﬁnal of the ICC Champions Trophy, although the report added that bowlers from both teams might be worried by the schedule as it has crammed ﬁve Tests into the space of just over a month. The report further said that after its arrival on June 23, 2014, India would play a threeday tour match against county
side Leicestershire from June 26-28, and then a three-day tour match against Derbyshire from July 1-3. After that, the Test series will be played from July 9- August 19, following which the ODI series will be played at Bristol, Cardiff, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and Headingley on August 25, 27, 30, September 2 and September 5 respectively. The sole Twenty20 match will be held at Edgbaston on September 7, which concludes the India tour, the report added.
Islamabad, Sept 2 (ANI): State-run Pakistan Television (PTV) will miss out on cricket rights for the South Africa and Sri Lanka series to be played in Dubai in the next six months, after failing to bid for them. According to The Daily Times, it is yet to be determined that whether it was a deliberate miss out by PTV to beneﬁt the other parties in the competition or it was due to the sheer negligence and incompetence of the PTV management.
The absence from bidding process means that now PTV will be either fully dependent on the dictate of the two winners of the bid, TEN Sports and Geo Sports, who won South Africa and Sri Lanka series respectively or would not be able to show these series at all, the report said. A lot of countries have not agreed to play cricket in Pakistan over the last few years owing to security reasons, which has forced various series to be played at other venues.
PTV Fails To Bid For Cricket Rights Of SA, Sri Lanka Series
Mumbai, Sept.2 (ANI): All qualiﬁer and group stage matches of the Karbonn Smart Champions League that were to be played at Hyderabad, have been shifted to other venues. The six qualiﬁer games, which were to be played at Hyderabad on 17, 18 and 20 September respectively, will now be played at the PCA Stadium, Mohali. The three doubleheaders, scheduled to be played at Hyderabad, have also been shifted. Mohali will host the double-header on September 24, while the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi, will host the double-header on September 28. The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad, will host the doubleheader on September 30. Considering these changes, the deadline for the submission of media accreditation applications has been extended to 6 p.m. on September 4. The Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 will follow a format similar to the two previous editions, with a Group Stage
preceded by a Qualiﬁer. A total of 29 matches will be played in the tournament by the best domestic T20 teams from around the world, for total prize money of USD 6 million. The Qualiﬁer, to be played from September 17 2013 to September 20, will feature four teams: Q1 - Otago Volts (New Zealand=92s HRV Cup champions), Q2 =96 Sunrisers Hyderabad (Fourth-ranked team in the Pepsi IPL 2013), Q3 - Kandurata Maroons, the winner of Sri Lanka=92s domestic T20 competition, and Q4 - Faisalabad Wolves (Pakistan=92s domestic T20 Champion=s). The teams will play each other once, with the top two advancing to the Group Stage. Q1 / Q3 will enter Group A, if either of them makes it to the Group Stage. Q2 / Q4 will enter Group B, if either of them makes it. *If Q1 and Q3 both make it to the Group Stage, then Q1 will enter Group A, and Q3 will enter Group B. If Q2 and Q4 both make it to the Group Stage, then Q2 will enter Group B, and Q4 will enter Group A.* The Group Stage will commence with a clash
between Mumbai Indians, the Pepsi IPL 2013 winners, and the Rajasthan Royals, the thirdranked team in the Pepsi IPL 2013, at Jaipur, on Saturday, 21 September 2013. Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals apart, Group A will comprise Highveld Lions (winner of South Africa’s domestic T20 competition), Perth Scorchers (KFC T20 Big Bash League runner-up), and a team from the Qualiﬁer. Group B will comprise Brisbane Heat (KFC T20 Big Bash League champion), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies T20 champion), Chennai Super Kings (runner-up in the Pepsi IPL 2013), Titans (South Africa=92s domestic T20 runners-up), and a team from the Qualiﬁer. The top team from Group A will play the secondranked team from Group B in the ﬁrst semi-ﬁnal, at Jaipur on 4 October 2013. The top team from Group B will play the second-ranked team from Group A in the second semi-ﬁnal, at Delhi on 5 October 2013. The winners of the semis will play in the CLT20 2013 Final on 6 October 2013.
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