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Clogged Rail Lines Slow India’s Development

By Vikas Bajaj MUMBAI: S. K. Sahai’s firm ships containers 2,400 nautical miles from Singapore to a port here in four or five days. But it typically takes more than two weeks to make the next leg of the journey, 870 miles by rail to New Delhi. For most of that time the containers idle at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai because railway terminals, trains and tracks are severely backlogged all along the route. Counting storage and rail freight fees, Mr. Sahai estimates the cost of moving goods from Mumbai to Delhi at up to $840 per container — or about three times as much as getting the containers to India from Singapore. “They don’t have any physical space,” Mr. Sahai, who is chairman of SKS Logistics of Mumbai, said about the government-owned Indian Railways. “And all their trains are booked.” As the world looks to India to com-

airways or particularly far-reaching railways, India’s transportation is falling short. Critics say the growth and modernizationofIndian Railways has been hampered by government leaders more interested in winning elections and appeasing select constituents, rather than investing in the country’s Waiting for a train at the New Delhi station. Indian Railways, often called the long-term needs. It backbone of the nation’s economy, moves seven billion passengers a year. But its is one of the many expansion and modernization is not keeping pace with India’s needs. ways that the political realities of pete with China as a major source of heavily in transportation to achieve India’s clamorous democracy stand new global economic growth, this a long-term annual growth rate of 10 in contrast to the forced march that country’s weak transportation net- percent the goal recently set by the China’s authoritarian system can dicwork is stalling progress. prime minister, Manmohan Singh. tate for economic development. Economists say India must invest But whether measured by highways, A 40,000-mile, 150-year-old


network, Indian Railways is often described as the backbone of this nation’s economy. And in fact it is moving more people and goods than ever: seven billion passengers and 830 million tons of cargo a year. But its expansion and modernization is not keeping pace with India’s needs. “If it has to serve as the backbone of the Indian economy, the leaders of the Indian Railways have to think big, and they need to have a larger vision,” said S. Ramnarayan, a professor at the Indian School of Business and co-author of a book about the railways. “Thinking in terms of incrementalism a little extra here, a little extra there doesn’t solve anybody’s problem.” The crash on an eastern rail link late last month that killed 151 people and injured hundreds of others underscored the vital nature of the railroads, as well as their vulnerability. The crash, which authorities have attributcontinued on page



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Govt to Infuse Additional Rs. 1,200 Crore Equity in Air India BERLIN: Government would the DGCA,” he infuse additional equity of Rs.1,200 said. crore into Air India over the next To questions few months and review its perabout having formance to decide on the future an independent course, Civil Aviation Minister investigator into Praful Patel has said. all accidents inHe, however, said there was no cluding air acdecision to divest government eqcidents, he said uity in the cash-strapped national “the intention is carrier “at the moment“. to move in that “It is imperative that we assess direction. A lot the situation after (a total of) Rs. of discussion is 2,000 crore is infused as equity. required on the Rs.1,200 crore will be given in the The worst is over for all (Indian) airlines, including Air India: Says Civil Aviation Minister issue“. next few months,” Mr. Patel told Praful Patel Patel had earPTI in an interview on the sidelines India“. On strengthening of the Directorate lier suggested that an independent He said officials of all airlines General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), accident investigating body like the of the annual summit of the International Air Transport Association attending the IATA Summit have Patel said government was consider- US National Transportation Safety opined that “mergers do not happen ing granting it full autonomy and sup- Board needs to be set up in India. (IATA) here. Government, as Air India’s owner, overnight. It is an ongoing process port the regulator in its functioning. Asked about the Airport Economic last year gave the airline Rs.800 crore which has to be achieved over time. “We need to institutionalise this to- Regulatory Authority (AERA) set up Air France-KLM has taken six years. tal autonomy” the government would last year, he said it was making “good as equity. Asked whether government was Nobody has said merger is a one-day like to give it, the Minister said, progress. mulling divesting its stake in the ail- process.” Issues relating to the Airport Develwhen asked whether a legislation As costs increase and the airlines’ would be brought for the purpose in opment Fee and other airport charges ing carrier, he said “at the moment, the decision is not to disinvest and margins came under pressure, con- Parliament. are being regulated by them. Governwe stand by the policy of the govern- solidation was “inevitable and nothMr. Patel said the question of sepa- ment does not come into the picture ment. Government’s decision is to ing unusual“. rating the regulator and an investi- (on these issues) now.” On Air India’s financial troubles, he gator of accidents was also being have a national carrier and it shall Regarding a spate of consolidation said there were several options before considered. continue to be so.” in the aviation industry the world On whether government would the government to help the airline Currently, the officials of DGCA over, Patel said “consolidation was consider a “course correction” re- come out of it —— to allow the airline carry out investigations into incidents a must” in the times of rising costs garding the merger of Air India and to go to the market, to go for an IPO and accidents involving planes and affecting the financial bottom-lines erstwhile Indian Airlines following (Initial Public Offer) or give it equity choppers. of the airlines. criticism from several quarters, Mr. support. . He said allowing of cross-border “A regulator, which makes rules, “In this case, government chose the and an investigator should not be the holdings have started in Europe with Patel said “no, nothing of the sort. We have to make sure that it works third option“. same. The Court of Inquiry (into the Air France-KLM and LufthansaHowever, the Minister asserted “the recent Mangalore air crash) has been Swiss Air mergers. well. We have to see how it performs (after the equity infusion). There has worst is over for all (Indian) airlines, set up with (former Vice Chief of IAF) Lufthansa has also acquired major been no government subsidy to Air including Air India“. Air Marshal Gokhale. He is outside stake in Austrian Airlines, U.K. car-


rier BMI and Brussels Airlines. Participating in a discussion on the issue at the IATA Summit meet, Patel indicated that such cross-border holdings could hold the key for development of the airline industry globally. “It is happening in Europe now, it could be elsewhere some time later“. In India, as also in several other countries, a foreign airline is currently not allowed to pick up stake in Indian carriers. Referring to an estimation that ultimately there would be about a dozen airline brands across the world, he asserted that “whenever that happens, at least three airlines from India and three from China will be part of these 12.” Maintaining that Indian aviation traffic had grown by a “modest 15 per cent” this year, the Minister said there was a huge potential for air travel which existed in the country. “In 2004, the number of people travelling by train on a single day was equal to the number of air passengers one year. Now that has changed ... the number of train travellers on one day equals the number of three days of air travel.” Due to this, the model of air travel has to be “redefined to meet the aspirations of the middle class... The bulk of the Indian domestic traffic will have to be at a lower cost, which will have to be met by a leaner, meaner and an efficient (airline) organisation,” Mr. Patel added.-PTI


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Reliance Industries to Acquire Infotel Broadband MUMBAI: Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) on Friday entered into an agreement to acquire a substantial stake in Infotel Broadband Services (P) Ltd investing about Rs. 4,800 crore by way of subscription to fresh equity capital at par to be issued by Infotel Broadband to RIL. Post-investment, RIL will own 95 per cent of the equity and Infotel Broadband will become a subsidiary of RIL. Infotel Broadband Services has emerged as the successful bidder in all the 22 circles of the auction for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum conducted recently by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). However, RIL stated that it “will comply with the non-compete and trademark agreements entered into at the time of corporate de-merger and subsequent modifications made last month.” The Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Reliance ADA Group companies owned by his younger brother Anil Ambani have agreed on May 23, to cancel all existing non-compete arrangements which the two groups entered in January 2006 at the time of corporate de-merger. However, RIL had agreed not to enter the gasbased power generation business for the period up to March 31, 2022, with an exception made in respect of RIL’s captive gas-based power plants. “We see this as the next wave of value creation opportunity in the wireless broadband space. We believe

position and provide India with an opportunity to be in the forefront among the countries providing world-class 4G network and services. A single 20 MHz TDD spectrum when used with LTE (Long Term Evolution) has the potential of providing greater capacity when compared with existing communication infrastructure in the country. “RIL’s initiative will usher in a wireless broadband revolution in both urban and rural areas across the country by providing end-to-end data solutions for business enterprises, social organisations, educational and healthcare institutions and Indian consumers,” File photo of RIL chairman Mukesh the release said. Ambani. RIL on Friday announced the The company said acquisition of ISP Infotel for Rs. 4,800 crore, marking the Mukesh Ambani-led that RIL would infuse firm’s entry into telecom sector. Rs. 4,800 crore in Infotel as fresh equity capital to this will pole-vault India’s economy gain 95 per cent stake, the value for into the digital world at an accelerated which it had put at Rs. 5,000 crore. Inpace while creating next generation fotel had emerged as the sole winner tools that will enhance productiv- of broadband spectrum for the entire ity and create world-class consumer country for Rs. 12,872 crore. experiences,” said Mukesh Ambani, In the BWA space, no other player Chairman and Managing Director of could bag pan-India spectrum. Reliance Industries. Bharti Airtel and U.S.-based QualRILsees the broadband opportunity com won four circles each, while Airas a new frontier of knowledge econ- cel bagged spectrum in eight circles. omy in which it can take a leadership Hindu


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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


NRIs Step Up Investment in India on Euro Pain MUMBAI: Indian expatriates have started investing in their home country in a big way. Increasing job security in Gulf countries, coupled with fears of recession in Europe and North America, are prompting NRIs to repatriate their savings to Indian assets, the most favoured being real estate, closely followed by equities and high-coupon debt. According to Capitaline database, NRI shareholding in companies like Rajesh Exports, Uttam Galva, Tanla Solutions, Graphite India and Carborundum Universal, among several other smaller companies, has gone up over the past one year. A look at BSE scrolls reveals that NRIs have been net buyers of Indian shares since February, with April being the best month when Indian expats invested over Rs 20 crore at the net level in Indian shares. In February, March and May, NRIs invested Rs 10 crore, Rs 10 crore and Rs 13 crore, respectively; June is poised to be even better as the diaspora has invested close to Rs 17 crore in the first ten days of the month.

“NRI investments back home are showing a healthy trend. Confidence level of investors is high; they are buying shares at every fall,” said Krishnan Ramachandran, chief ex-

ecutive officer, Barjeel Geojit Securities, a Dubai-based brokerage, servicing Indian clients. According to Mr Ramachandran, Gulf-based investors have become a bit more bolder after fears of job losses subsided. “There is a change in the way Gulf-based NRIs are investing in Indian shares. Most of them prefer to trade in mid-cap stocks these days; they sell these stocks on gaining 5-10%,” Mr Ramachandran added.

Several Gulf-based investors had redeemed or sold their investments during the Dubai credit crisis last year. The current flow of money to Indian shares can be seen as Gulf-based investors reversing those transactions, according to investment experts. While Gulf-based NRIs are trying to benefit from investing in home markets, the Indian expats in Europe and North America are sending back their savings to preserve it in Indian assets. “The monetary crisis in Europe and America is forcing wealthy Indians to send their savings back to their home country. This trend may continue for some time, unless there is a dramatic recovery in the West,” said Saurabh Mukherjea, head of Indian equities, Execution Noble Group, a London headquartered money manager. “Rich Indians living in Europe and America are investing in Indian equities, Indian real estate and Indian fixed deposits,” Mr Mukherjea added.-ET

India Could Reach Double Digit Growth by 2012: Pranab Mukherjee KOLKATA: India could reach double digit growth in the remaining two years of the 11th Five Year Plan if the present trend of growth continued, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday. The Indian economy grew by 6.7% in 2008-09 and by 7.4% in 2009-10. The latest economic survey has projected a growth rate of around 8.5 percent for the current fiscal. “If this trend continues, we will have double digit growth by the end of the 11th Plan, that is 2012,” Mukherjee told reporters here on the sidelines of a function. Earlier, in his address after inaugu-

rating the northeast India and West Bengal banking operations of the private sector Yes Bank which added 15 branches, he said: “My appetite for growth is infinite. I do believe India deserves higher growth because we have suffered a long spell of slow growth rate.” “My target is to breach the barrier of double-digit growth. It is required. To me growth is not merely a statistical figure. It means more jobs, employment, wealth and access,” he said. Asserting that there has been a paradigm shift in India’s economic approach and attitude, Mukherjee said “it is in the positive direction”. He described the east and

northeast as the region of the future, and said the region must come up for the government’s Look East Policy to succeed. Referring to the problems of subversive activities in the north east, the minister said once development comes, all other problems can be taken care of. -TOI

India in World’s Top-Hirers’ List NEW DELHI: All those looking for a job, India is surely the place to be, as current hiring levels in the country for professional and managerial staff have emerged as one of the highest worldwide, a survey says. Global staffing firm Antal, conducted a survey – Global Snapshot - across more than 9,600 companies in 55 countries in May on whether they were currently hiring and firing at professional and managerial levels. “The trends around the world found that not only have recruitment levels in India increased since the beginning of the year, they are now among the highest in the world,” the survey stated. India has continued to make a steady recovery from its depressing start of 2009, when less than 30 per cent firms in the country were recruiting at professional or managerial levels. Current hiring levels in the country are up at 73 per cent in the survey conducted in May, from 71 per cent in January, while the percentage of firms shedding staff is down

Vodafone Essar to Launch iPhone 4 in India MUMBAI: Vodafone Essar plans to bring the world’s thinnest smartphone iPhone 4 to India in the next few months. Apple’s iPhone 4 has the highest resolution display ever built into a phone. “Vodafone Essar will launch iPhone 4, the thinnest smartphone in the world, in India in the coming months,” the company said in a release here Tuesday. U.S.-based Apple Inc, the inventors of iPod, iPhones and iPads, had on

Monday introduced iPhone 4 with a sharper screen and video-chat features, an attempt to ward-off competition from devices running Google’s Android software. The iPhone 4 has a new camera system, capable of video-conferencing and recording high-definition video. With the advent of 3G, Vodafone intends to boost its sales by launching the iPhone 4 into the Indian market. The iPhone has emerged as Apple’s top product overtaking its Macintosh computer and iPod.-PTI


to just 11 per cent now from 16 per cent earlier, the report revealed. Countries having a higher rate of hiring included Canada (76 per cent), Egypt and Malaysia (75 per cent), Argentina and Saudi Arabia (74 per cent). China and Pakistan also witnessed strong hiring rates at 72 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively. “We have seen resurgent activity in hiring in the past few months at the mid and senior levels. Our revenues have nearly doubled from the previous quarter,” Antal’s Mumbai office Managing Partner Joseph Devasia said. “We have seen increased hiring across several sectors, including manufacturing, which is a great sign,” Devasia added. The lead in the on-going recovery seems to have been taken by the manufacturing sector where a staggering 96 per cent companies are planning to hire over the next three months. The survey also showed that Indian organisations plan on increasing their hiring activity even more, with 77 per cent expecting to hire managerial staff over the next three months.-Agencies


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Hurry Sickness: Sounds Familiar?

Check out your score fast, as working smart and hard does not mean you have to keep a 60 miles per hour life By Shyamal Majumdar MUMBAI: It is 3 in the afternoon. You are on a long-distance call while checking your emails, surfing channels and taking a reluctant bite of the sandwich which has got cold as you just didn’t have enough time in between those daily meetings. Sounds familiar? There are countless executives like you who think a 60 — make that 80 — miles per hour life is the way to go. But psychologists have a term for this 24x7 existence — “hurry sickness”, a state of being where a person feels chronically short of time and so tends to perform every task faster and, in turn, gets flustered when encountered with any kind of delay. Such people move like a launched missile throughout the working day (usually they come in much ahead of others and leave much later than others) in the hope that the boss would be mighty impressed with their permanent state of busyness. The flip side, however, is that these people may be mixing up business with busyness and confusing working smart with working long and fast. HR consultants say what these busy bees need to understand is that while the nose to the grindstone may be a necessary posture for furthering their career, there is much more to life that can be seen from this posture. Psychologists say hurry sickness is more than just feeling rushed and getting immersed in the worry-go-round of the corporate rat race. Persons suffering from this disease often don’t realise that speed and extra long hours just can’t be sustained for a long period of time. Even if they can, their work quality is bound to suffer as they become nothing but glorified robots. Remember the movie Modern Times where Charlie Chaplin stands at an assembly line in

a factory, and for eight hours a day tightens a nut with his wrench as each piece goes by. From time to time, the boss increases the pace of the conveyor belt, and Chaplin has to work even faster. Throughout the day, he makes the same movement with his arm. When he comes out after eight hours, he just can’t stop.

Though he has no wrench, he makes the same gesture all the way home, to the amusement of the passers-by. This is what happens to people who are always in a terrible hurry at their workplace. Beyond a point, they stop thinking and react exactly like Chaplin did on his way home. These people constantly hurry, hoping thereby to be more efficient. But this may boomerang as something urgent, some kind of emergency is always happening for them, and they are so over-taxed that they become incapable of responding to a genuine emergency when it arrives. In their delightful book, The 80-minute MBA (Hachette India; special introductory offer Rs 149), authors Richard Reeves and John Knell say successful leadership takes time for knowing yourself and colleagues, to make good hiring and firing decisions etc. But, time feels like the scarcest resource of all for people who are

always in a rush. The 80-minute MBA, which can be termed as your reduced Shakespeare for business, has prescribed a quick Hurry Sickness Test, which has been adapted from James Gleick’s famous book titled Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything. Here is a summary: * When you brush your teeth in the morning, are you always doing something else at

the same time — finding underwear, choosing a pair of shorts, yelling at the kids? * When you catch a train or a plane — jumping on a moment before the doors close — do you secretly get a kick out of it?

* When you get into a lift, do you immediately look for the “door-close” button? You may be ignoring the fact that the door closes automatically in four seconds. It must be unimaginable for you to wait that long, isn’t it? * How many times do you press the lift button just because it’s taking time to come down from the 16 th floor? Some of you, in fact, keep on banging it as if this action will speed up the arrival of the lift. Now, count how many questions you answered “yes” to. If the score is 2 (anything less than that means you are extremely laid back), you are in charge of your time. If it’s 3, it’s an early symptom of hurry sickness. And if it’s 4, you must be chasing your own tail most of the day, which means advanced stages of the disease. Medical world has a term for this: fibrillation. When your heart begins fibrillation (a rapid beating), the blood is blocked rather than pumped through it. Psychologists say this is not to suggest that you should slow down to an extent that you can’t move quickly even when the occasion requires. You don’t need to dawdle along, listening to your thoughts when your job demands a good, brisk walk. But the other extreme can’t be what Gleick calls a multi-tasking, channel-flipping, fastforwarding zombie. In short, don’t bang the lift button; it will only stop working.- BStd.


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A Rail Minister Distracted by Parochial Issues By Vikas Bajaj NEW DELHI: As Mamata Banerjee presented the Indian Railways budget to Parliament this year, opposition politicians howled in protest whenever a new project she listed was in her home state of West Bengal. Banerjee, the railway minister and a member of the raucous lower house, was unfazed. Occasionally, she shouted back at her opponents, telling them to let her finish. “If you sit quietly, I will give you something,” she said. A year into her second stint as railway minister, Ms. Banerjee, 55, is one of several regional Indian politicians who wield significant influence over the growth of India’s economy. These leaders control important ministries including rail, telecommunications, aviation and agriculture because their parties have just enough seats in Parliament to deny an outright majority to the Congress Party, which has ruled India for much of its 63 years of independence. Many of them, including Ms. Banerjee, were previously members of the Congress Party. Banerjee has come under fire from rival politicians and industry groups for ad-

Mamata Banerjee, 55, is one of several regional Indian politicians who wield significant influence over the growth of India’s economy.

vancing expensive populist policies and heaping largess on West Bengal, where she hopes to take over as chief minister the equivalent of a governor in an American state. Banerjee said that she wanted the private sector to help build rail infrastructure. “There have never been publicprivate partnerships in railways,” said Amit Mitra, an adviser to Ms. Banerjee who runs the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce. “She is


inducting systemic changes that will have their own momentum.” Still, many business executives view her with a wary eye, in large part because she led protests in recent years against big industrial projects in West Bengal that had been championed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has ruled the state for three decades. She asserted that the state had forced farmers to sell land for the projects at belowmarket prices. One of her campaigns forced Tata Motors, India’s largest auto company, to abandon a factory complex where it had planned to produce a new $2,500 car, the Nano. Tata has since moved the factory to Gujarat State, on the opposite coast of the country. In her first tenure as railway minister a decade ago, Ms. Banerjee surprised people by encouraging private investment in rail, but one former rail official said she could not give the railways the time and attention they deserved. “She is prepared to consider new ideas,” said R. C. Acharya, a retired senior Railways bureaucrat. “But at the moment her main aim is to be chief minister of West Bengal.”-NYT

India is Preparing National Employment Policy: Kharge NEW DELHI: India today said it is preparing a National Employment Policy to provide a framework towards achieving the goal of providing decent employment for all men and women in the labour force. “India is in the process of formulating a NEP... it will provide a holistic framework towards achieving the goal of remunerative and decent employment for all men and women in the labour force in a sustainable manner,” Labor and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said. The minister was addressing the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference at Geneva, which is being attended by 170 countries. Kharge said though job growth has reappeared, global unemployment is still at record levels. “We are all aware that there is no sustainable recovery without job recovery. The test we face today is to secure a strong, sustainable and balanced growth that leads to social stability provided by decent work for all,” he added.


Pointing out that countries responded differently to the global downturn, Kharge said India was among the first few countries to implement a broad-based countercyclical policy package to respond to the negative fallout of the global economic slowdown. “India responded to the challenge of minimizing the impact of the crisis and shifted its policy stance from monetary tightening to monetary easing. Our policy response was aimed at enhancing the availability of credit at lower cost for financing economic activities,” the minister added. He said India agreed with ILO that the size of the deficits and the level of debt will have to be brought down in an orderly manner. “Governments are in agreement that exit strategies from stimulus packages need to be timed to ensure their link to an upswing in demand and growth. India believes that exit policies of various countries should be broadly coordinated, but not necessarily synchronised as each country has a different situation,” he added.


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Harnessing the Power of the Pothole By Anne Eisenberg WE already harvest the power of the sun and the wind. Soon we may also harvest the power of potholes. A new type of shock absorber under development by the Levant Power Corporation converts the bumps and jolts of vehicles on rough roads into usable electricity. Usually, shock absorbers dissipate the energy of bouncing vehicles as heat. But the new shocks can use the kinetic energy of bounces to generate watts, putting the electricity to use running the vehicle’s windshield wipers, fans or dashboard lights, for example. The devices, called GenShocks, can be installed both in ordinary and hybrid vehicles, lowering fuel consumption by 1 to 6 percent, depending on the vehicle and road conditions, said Shakeel Avadhany, chief executive of the company, which is

“they could save a tremendous amount of energy and fuel.” Other designs for electricity-producing shock absorbers are also being developed, Dr. Figueroa said, but many will require redesign or adaptation of vehicles’ suspension systems. He says Levant’s product will be easy to install in existing suspension systems. GenShocks are among many inno-

Shakeel Avadhany, C.E.O. of Levant Power, said its new GenShocks could cut vehicles’ fuel consumption by 1 percent to 6 percent.

Levant’s new shock absorbers turn bumps and jolts of driving into electricity. They were tried on a Humvee.

based in Cambridge, Mass. The new shocks look like ordinary shock absorbers with an electrical power cord at one end. They plug into a power box that regulates the electricity they produce, putting it out at a voltage required by the truck, car or bus. GenShocks will cost slightly more than conventional shock absorbers, Avadhany said, “but you will get those dollars back through improved fuel economy.” He projected that the

products would be on the market in the second quarter of 2011. In May, the National Science Foundation awarded a small-business innovation research grant of $150,000 to Levant to test its shock absorbers with hybrid trucks. Juan E. Figueroa, a program director at the foundation, said that the economic impact of the new shock absorbers could be immediate if owners of truck fleets installed them. “Driving in the city,” he said,

vations in a field known not as energy “conservation,” but as energy “harvesting.” “Harvesting refers specifically to collecting energy that would otherwise be wasted,” said Michael C. McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Princeton who is developing a rubbery, energyharvesting piezoelectric material that creates voltage when it bends. Much useful energy could be harvested on roadways, said Ted Bergman, a program director at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Bergman is administering a new program, undertaken jointly with the Department of Energy, to research ways to harvest waste heat in vehicles and thus reduce reliance on foreign sources of oil. “Seventy-five percent of the energy in vehicles with combustion engines is lost to waste heat,” he said. “Instead of losing that energy, we want to convert some of it into kilowatts of electric power.” Levant Power, founded in 2008, owes part of its origins to the legendary potholes of Boston, said Edwin L. Thomas, a professor of materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former teacher of Avadhany when he was an undergraduate there.

When you hit a pothole, he explained, your car moves vertically as well as horizontally. That costs more gasoline per mile because energy is wasted when the forward velocity of the car is converted to vertical motion. “It’s like a sprinter who has to also run hurdles,” Professor Thomas said. Many research groups have tried using shock absorbers to generate electricity, he said, but in his opinion GenShocks have an advantage over earlier models. “This shock has a clever mechanical design,” he said, one that pushes hydraulic fluid through the piston head in an unusual way. Avadhany said Levant Power has had two rounds of financing. The company

would not disclose the names of investors, the amounts they have put into the company or the names of auto parts makers currently testing its shock absorbers. One market that the company is pursuing is military vehicles, said Lt. Gen. John Caldwell, who retired from the Army and now consults for


the Spectrum Group in Alexandria, Va. He has assisted Levant in its discussions with the Army and said that some of the energy created by the new shocks could be used to power radios and communications and weapons systems on combat vehicles. In hybrid vehicles, Avadhany said, the new shock absorbers could complement regenerative brakes, which can harvest energy otherwise lost in stopping and return it to the battery. Other researchers are adeveloping different types of energy-producing shock absorbers. Lei Zuo, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., has built two prototypes that generate electricity with electromagnets, producing potential fuel efficiency gains of 2 to 10 percent, he said. One prototype alreadymatches standard dimensions of shock absorbers, and the second will do so, too, he said. Several companies, he said, have contacted him about licensing the technology or developing it collaboratively. “I was surprised,” the professor added, “at how much interest there is.”-NYT

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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


Clogged Rail Lines Slow India’s Development 25 ed to Maoist rebels, was particularly disruptive because it disabled a busy east-west line that, along with many others, was already stretched thin. Traffic between big cities like Mumbai and Delhi, for instance, often runs at more than 120 percent of planned capacity, which means trains travel more slowly and tracks wear out faster than intended. And because the railways’ tracks are too lightweight and the locomotives underpowered, Indian trains can haul no more than 5,000 tons of cargo, compared with 20,000-ton capacities in the United States, China and Russia. India’s fastest passenger services, the Rajdhani and Shatabdi, have top speeds of only 160 kilometers (100 miles) an hour, while even theAmtrak Acela in the United States can hit 150 miles an hour in a few stretches. China’s bullet trains, meanwhile, zip along at an average speed of 215 miles an hour. Political analysts say that the current railway minister, Mamata Banerjee, has been distracted by her party’s campaign to win elections in her home state of West Bengal. Those political ambitions, they say, have inspired populist policies by Indian Railways that are at financial odds with modernization and capital investments. Even though Indian law allows the railways to acquire land quickly continued from page

through hearings before magistrates, for example, Ms. Banerjee has promised farmers and other landowners that the ministry will negotiate with each landowner whose property must be acquired for two large freight projects. While popular with landowners, the process could add years to the projects. An assistant to Ms. Banerjee said she was not available for an interview because she was busy with recently concluded municipal elections in West Bengal. Banerjee is hardly the first railway minister with a political agenda, though. And most of the ministers who preceded her have funneled the railways’ limited resources into subsidies for passengers at the expense of freight service. Even though passenger services lost about $4 billion last year, the government has not increased fares for seven years. And it has even lowered some prices, in the face of inflation that has ranged from 3.8 to 13 percent a year. As a result, migrant workers, for example, can travel from Mumbai to their homes in Bihar, 1,050 miles away, for 500 rupees ($11). Last year, Ms. Banerjee introduced a new monthly ticket good for travel up to 100 kilometers (61 miles) for 25 rupees (54 cents). “It’s very difficult to run a business on that,” a senior railway official said, insisting on anonymity because of the

sensitivity of the issue.But, he added, Ms. Banerjee is helping the “large number of poor in the country who are eking out a living.” To subsidize passenger travel, the railways levy some of the highest freight tariffs in the world. India charges $395 to move a ton of freight one kilometer — four times what American companies charge and twice as much as in China. Business executives say their best hopes for improving the railroad’s costs and capabilities may ride on solutions not wholly reliant on Indian Railways. Four years ago, the government began allowing private companies to operate container trains. One of the new carriers is IndiaLinx, which buys rail cars and leases tracks, locomotives and workers from the Railways. Amitabha Chaudhuri, chief executive of IndiaLinx, said his company would carry about 95,000 containers this year, up from 55,000 last year. The company, which is owned by APL Logistics of Singapore, has seen strong demand for refrigerated containers, which are in short supply in India. Analysts and officials also hope that plans proceed for dedicated freight corridors that would greatly increase capacity along the country’s most congested stretches of rail: Mumbai to Delhi in the west, and Punjab State to Calcutta on the east coast. The

1,700-mile network is expected to cost more than $9 billion. For the western corridor, Japan has agreed to provide about $5 billion in low-interest loans to help India buy equipment and services from Japanese suppliers.And the World Bank is considering loans of up to $2.4 billion for the eastern corridor. Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed in 2017. Analysts say India will be able to execute ambitious projects when it appoints competent managers and frees them from political interference. A former railway bureaucrat, Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, for instance, is known for completing two major initiatives on time and on budget — the Konkan Railways, a 472-mile line on the mountainous western coast, and the Delhi Metro, a 118-mile subway system. And in recent years, another bureaucrat, Sudhir Kumar, helped bolster rail profits by making trains longer and heavier, and by turning them around faster. But broadly speaking, India does not have a stellar record of executing its plans. The backlog of rail projects runs 10 pages and is short $17 billion

in required financing. The oldest incomplete project, a 46-mile line in West Bengal, began in 1974 and has been delayed because the state government has not handed over some land. Many of the projects were added to the planning list at the behest of politicians currying favor with voters back home. One 37-mile line in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is meant to give a direct rail route between the state capital and Mainpuri, a city with a population of about 200,000. The project was added to the railway budget in 1997, but it still needs $13 million in financing — money for which it has to compete against dozens of similar lines. Analysts said it would be more efficient to connect such towns to main rail lines by buses. But Ms. Banerjee has said that the railways must build lines to help spur development in remote areas and smaller towns. “We cannot and should not have a myopic view of viability,” she said during her annual budget speech in February.“What is not viable today, if connected, will become viable tomorrow.”-NYT

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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

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49 Killed in Bangladesh Landslides

US to Object to Sino-Pak Nuclear Deal The Obama administration has decided to object to a Sino-Pak civilian nuclear deal for establishing two atomic reactors in Pakistan, as it comes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group next week. Experts have said that the deal appears to be violating international guidelines forbidding nuclear exports to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or do not have international safeguards on reactors. The Sino-Pak nuclear deal is expected to come up before the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting next week in New Zealand, the Washington Post reported today. State Department spokesman Gordon DuGuid said the US government “has reiterated to the Chinese government that the United States expects Beijing to cooperate with Pakistan in ways consistent with Chinese nonproliferation obligations”. In a recent article, a prominent American nuclear expert believes this would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material. “The move would breach international protocol about the trade of nuclear equipment and material,” Mark Hibbs said in the latest issue of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.

The China National Nuclear Corporation is financing for two new reactors at Chashma in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The Post said China has suggested the sale is grandfathered from the time before it joined the NSG in 2004, because it was completing work on two earlier reactors for Pakistan at the time. However, US officials said any such proposal would require a consensus approval by the NSG. “Additional nuclear cooperation with Pakistan beyond those specific projects that were grandfathered in 2004 would require consensus approval” by the NSG, a US official was quoted as saying, and added that this the US believes “is extremely unlikely”. Interestingly, China had initially objected to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, saying it would undermine the global non-proliferation regime. Beijing finally came around to support the agreement in the NSG, apparently under US pressure. The Indo-US nuclear agreement was signed in 2009 after a long-drawn process, including a crucial NSG waiver, and passage through both the Indian and American legislatures. Outlook

60,000 Evacuated in Sindh as Phet Looms

KARACHI — Sindh government on Thursday declared state of emergency in several districts and as a precautionary measure evacuated nearly 60,000 people in the wake of expected landing of cyclone ‘Phet’ on Pakistan’s coastline in the next 24-36 hours. The state of emergency was declared in Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Mirpur Khas, Tharparkar and Umerkot districts keeping in view threat of cyclone and torrential rains accompanied by it. Those evacuated are residents of vulnerable coastal villages in the southern part of Sindh and another half a million could be affected in Balochistan province if ‘Phet’ smashes into Pakistan with its full might and fury. Hospitals in Karachi, Thatta, Badin and other cities and towns bordering Sindh coastal areas have been put on alert. Medicines and equipment have been stockpiled to cater to meet any emergency. Pakistan’s meteorological department has predicted heavy rainfall and strong winds along the coast and Karachi over the next three days possibly causing damage to the lives and property especially in the districts bordering coastal belt of the province. Forecasters say sea will be stormy and country’s Maritime Security Agency said it

had ordered all boats to remain in harbours and not to venture out in the open seas in any case. Meteorological Department on Thursday reported that strong tropical cyclone brewing up in the Arabian Sea is fast approaching Omani coastline and is 200km from the Sultanate and it is expected to hit Pakistan on Sunday. It also stated that ‘Phet’ upgraded to category 4, however, the storm is quite far from Pakistan at present and it could lose its intensity in degrees below the category one when it will land on the Pakistani coastline. Later on, the weakened storm will head towards Pakistan with lessened force of 34 to 39 NM per hour. The cyclone will pass through Pakistani coastal areas on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Phet initially had been forecast to become a Category 5 storm, the most powerful category with winds of over 156 mph. The cyclone would steer east of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, used by ships carrying 17 million barrels per day of oil, 40 per cent of all seaborne oil, and may disrupt shipping moving from the Gulf towards the Indian Ocean. - Khaleej Times

COX’S BAZAR - Powerful landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 49 people in southeastern Bangladesh on Tuesday, striking a coastal area as people slept and burying many alive inside their homes. Rescuers pulled bodies from under chunks of mud covering mostly thatched huts before rescue work was suspended because of darkness, officials said. As the rain continued to pound, officials feared the toll could rise. At least five soldiers were confirmed dead and another was missing after their camp was hit by a mudslide. The mudslides struck early Tuesday in two areas in Cox’s Bazar, 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka, in a hilly and forested region near the border with Myanmar. Kabir Ahmed, a 45-year-old villager, said he felt something shake his mud-walled and tinroof house before a stream of mud and trees came down on top of it. “It was raining when I woke up to say my morning prayers,” Ahmed said. “Then there was the jolt followed by rolling mud.” Ahmed survived when he went out in darkness to see what was happening. Before he could return, his house was covered with tons of mud burying his wife and three young children alive. Rains hampered rescue efforts with many roads inundated.

Fire fighters and soldiers were using cranes and water hoses to clear debris from a makeshift military camp in the Ramu area that was buried under mud, said local photographer Rashedul Majid. Several vehicles were covered by layers of mud and a huge banyan tree had collapsed on

a bamboo-and-tin roof shelter, he said. A district magistrate in Cox’s Bazar, Mohammad Jasim Uddin, confirmed the deaths of five soldiers and said another was trapped. The chief government administrator in the area, Giasuddin Ahmed, said 45 bodies, including those of the soldiers, had so far been recovered from the landslides at Ukhia and Teknaf. Another mudslide in a nearby district of Bandarban killed four members of a family, said police officer Zahirul Hoque. Ahmed said dozens of people left homeless took shelter in government buildings and were given food and water. He said the rescue operation was called off until Wednesday. The heavy rains that triggered the landslides were caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal. - MSNBC

Honda Says Troubled China Plant Up and Running TOKYO: Operations at a Honda parts factory in southern China returned to normal after nearly a week of disruption over a pay dispute, the company said, vowing to continue talks with dissatisfied workers. The Honda Lock factory in the southern province of Guangdong was one of a string of factories in China -- and the third in the Honda family -- hit by a wave of industrial unrest in the so-called “workshop of the world”. “Operations at the plant have returned to normal,” said Hirotoshi Sato, a Honda Lock spokesman based in Miyazaki in southwestern Japan. Most of the subsidiary’s 1,500 employees had agreed to an undisclosed pay rise, he said. For those still seeking a higher salary, the spokesman said the company “promised to continue talks”.

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Honda Lock supplies car locks and key sets for Japan’s number two auto maker. The company last week offered a pay rise of 100 yuan (15 dollars) a month from the current salary of around 1,700 yuan, but workers were demanding more than 2,000 yuan, a local Chinese official said. The trouble at Honda came after a spate of suicides among Chinese assembly line workers for Taiwanese IT giant Foxconn -- which shone the global spotlight on conditions for China’s millions of factory workers. Honda’s auto assembly lines run by its Chinese joint venture Guangqi Honda Automobile have been stalled several times in recent weeks because of labour disputes at its parts manufacturers. Honda has a production capacity of 650,000 vehicles a year in China. -Times of India

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Cabinet Clears Rs.497 Crore for Ganga Clean Up

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the Rs.496.9 crore Ganga cleanup project with Japanese assistance at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The project, under ‘Mission Clean Ganga’ of the National Ganga River Basin Authority, will set up a sewage treatment plant of 140 million litres per day capacity, lay 34 km of sewers and rehabilitate existing sewerage systems. “The project is significant since it is the first in a series that will be based on requirements of population in 2025-2030. Normally, such projects are planned keeping existing demand in mind but the NGRBA is looking at future population and formulating sewerage treatment facilities,” said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.The central government will bear 85 percent (Rs.427.73 crore) of the project cost while the rest (Rs.69.17 crore) will be shared by the

Polluted banks of River Ganges in Allahabad.

Uttar Pradesh government. “The project will have direct beneficial impact in terms of reduction of pollution load in the river Ganga in the region besides collateral benefits like irrigation by effluents from sewage treatment plant (STP) and em-

ployment opportunities particularly at the construction stage,” a statement said. According to the statement, biogas (methane) from STP will be used to generate electricity and will help in reducing green house gas emissions.-Hindu

Mumbai on Alert as 3 Die of Swine Flu MUMBAI: As the city witnessed to revive them within 24 hours,” Ad- here.According to the civic body, death of three persons and recorded ditional Municipal Commissioner since May this year, three deaths and 17 positive cases of swine flu since Manisha Mhaiskar told reporters 17 positive cases of the total 33 cases May this year, have been reported. the Municipal “We have sent circular Corporation of to hospitals instructing Greater Mumthem to ensure that all bai (MCGM) patients with flu—like has put its health symptoms are screened department on for H1N1. If the patient alert and urged is screened and there is a people not to strong suspicion of swine ignore flu-like flu, Tamiflu will be adsymptoms. ministered immediately,” “We have Ms. Mhaiskar said. put our health A pregnant woman department on Aashia Qasim Sheikh, alert and asked 25, died at the Sion hosall hospitals to pital on May 30 of swine keep the stanflu after she developed dard operational Acute Respiratory Disprocedures that tress Syndrome (ARDS), we devised last a complication commonyear in a state of ly resulting from swine readiness so if MASKED DAYS ARE BACK? The Mumbai Corporation flu. Her baby could not there is a need, has alerted its health department following the increase in be saved.-PTI we will be able swine flu cases.





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Humanizing Mental Hospitals

A lot of our mental hospitals remain places of abuse and violence, prisons in effect. How can we humanize these institutions?

By Harsh Mander Many mental hospitals in India continue to be shadowy prisons for the forgotten and wretched. The human rights, humane care and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness is one of the darkest chapters of India’s mixed record of enforcing human rights and ensuring healthcare for all. A survey some years back by the National Human Rights Commission, as well as several other independent reports, establish that people living with mental illness in mental hospitals frequently continue to be subjected to various forms of inhuman treatment, which are particularly unconscionable in the light of contemporary advances in medical knowledge. Patients in many hospitals are found to suffer brutal treatment, violence, abuse, or neglect at the hands of untrained medical, nursing and orderly staff. There is excessive regimentalisation, and a regime of fear, and opacity. Chaining or other barriers to free movement even within the campus of the institutions was common even a few years ago, and has not fully disappeared. In some hospitals, patients are denied most basic facilities such as clothes, beds, clean toilets, and regular bathing. As in all institutions, there is often corruption in the purchase and management of food and other consumables, and food served is poor in nutrition, and badly cooked. Preventable ailments Inadequate medical facilities for ailments of the body, combined with abysmal living conditions, leads to illness and even tragic deaths of patients from entirely preventable non-psychiatric ailments. There are still reports of brutal and indiscriminate application of ECT, or the controversial application of electrical current, without anaesthesia. In many hospitals, patients can rarely meet their families, and several families abandon the patients. There is almost exclusive reliance on pharmacological remedies, with little or no psychotherapies, counselling, or alternative therapies. To make matters worse, there is little done to prepare the patients to resume life after discharge. Neither they nor their family members are counselled even about the imperative for regular medicines, even less are they prepared for the emotional stresses of re-integrating with their families, and resuming interrupted professions or educational careers. It is not surprising therefore that the patients who are discharged frequently return to the mental hospitals, for longer and longer periods, with less and less hope. Not enough The interventions of committed professionals, organisations of patients and their families, civil society groups, judicial activism and the NHRC have initiated heartening reforms in

Outdated methods: Prisoning the soul... Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

many hospitals, in which patients are encouraged to stay for short periods with their families, and then get discharged. But within the walls of several mental hospitals, not enough has changed for people living with mental illness, especially those who are further disadvantaged because of gender, caste or poverty. The most tragic predicament is of patients who are abandoned in the mental institutions, often with the active complicity of hospital staff. The members of the families of patients give false addresses, or fail to respond when hospital authorities write to them that they should take back home patients ready for discharge.As a result, in all mental hospitals, many patients, especially women, are abandoned for years, decades, even lifetimes. Senior staff in many hospitals has persisted with untenably labelling some patients as ‘chronic’, ‘incurable’, ‘burnt-out’ and requiring lifelong custodialisation. Medical science today does not justify writing off the future of any patient.

Compassionate mental health professionals like R. Srinivasa Murthy stress that the longterm answer to all these problems is to break down the walls of institutions, to end medical legal and social practices which sanction the custodialisation and brutal treatment, neglect or abandonment of people living with mental illness. Murthy believes that treatment of new

patients of mental illness, and new episodes of mental illness must be integrated in primary healthcare, with referrals to secondary and tertiary levels in units or departments of district and medical college hospitals. Such de-stigmatised care must encourage the participation of families and other care-givers, build their capacities and those of patients themselves, provide them ongoing support, and give services that extend well beyond pharmacological care of people living with mental illness. To prevent new prison-like institutions, no new custodial institutions for people living with mental illness should be permitted to come up. Only out-patient care and wards in mainstream hospitals and clinics should be available for largely voluntary admissions by patients of mental illness, their family members or friends. At the same time, in existing mental hospitals, the first step should be the creation of team of social workers to work intensively for the care and rehabilitation of patients and humanising of the institutions. These teams should comprise a core of clinical psychologists or psychiatric social workers, but, for the rest, should comprise lay, whole-time volunteers and workers who are selected for suitability of temperament, motivation and commitment, and are intensively trained. The team should also seek volunteers from among the staff of the mental hospital itself, who wish to participate in the processes of humanising and de-institutionalising mental hospitals.


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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


World Cup 2010: Dada & Kaka in Fever Pitch in West Bengal, Kerala

By John Mary Dola Mitra KOLKOTA (Outlook): As you drive down the 65-km stretch from Kozhikode to the Muslim belt of Malappuram in Kerala, you won’t be faulted if you feel like you have been transported to South Africa. Every few kilometres there are hoardings of teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with local favourites Brazil and Argentina hogging most of the cutouts. You enter Malappuram and people are thronging the streets swaying to K’Naan’s song Wavin’ Flag (tournament sponsor Coca Cola’s choice for World Cup anthem) at the local roadshow under way a full 24 hours before the kick-off between South Africa and Mexico. Football fans rev up on bikes, rickshaws and four-wheelers, each contingent representing one of the 32 nations participating in the World Cup, flying its flags and wearing the team jersey. It happens every four years, as Cup fever shakes up this sliver of a state. But as is true with every game, fans have favourites and one must agree to disagree. Computer teacher Ismail Villan should know, he’s an avid Italy supporter, a team which doesn’t get much currency in these parts. Which is why for his wedding reception Ismail wore Italy’s jersey, subtly communicating to the guests that this was his day and he would brook no argument on his team’s worth that night. As Ismail explains passionately, “I’ve been an Italy fan from childhood. Their defence is impenetrable.” But he is in a woeful minority here, for Malappuram and adjoining Othukkungal are Latin American bastions. Kaka and Messi are magic words that stoke passions and trigger fierce debates. Motor mechanic M.P. Rafeek has just bought a secondhand autorickshaw for Rs 18,000 and painted it in Argentine colours. “Argentina will win,” he screams. In a tit-for-tat move, friend Shafeek Parakkal also purchased a rickshaw (for Rs 20,000) and had his boys daub it in Brazilian colours. “No one can beat Brazil,” the boys yell as they race the rickshaw down the road. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum is the city of Calcutta, the and

It is a fitting way to bring the World Cup home.” Indeed, it is also the season for megabucks to be made. Sports goods stores in Calcutta are flooded with jerseys and T-shirts. And sales is brisk. In Malappuram, the price of jerseys vary— the Chinese-make costs Rs 200, the non-Chinese ‘original’ import a neat Rs 750. Says cloth merchant P.P. Kamaruddin, “The Brazilian flags are in big demand in Kolkota’s sewing shops as the World Cup reaches sale of jerseys in Kozhikode and fever pitch. Malappuramalone home of Indian football and credited Father Supriyo, a retired governmust have crossed for spawning numerous soccer stars. ment official, has been collecting more than Rs 1 crore.” Meanwhile, This year, though, the city paused in World Cup-related articles for aeons. electronic companies in Calcutta its Cup preparation to know which “I keep myself well-informed about are topping up offers on rebates for way the municipal election would the players, their strengths and style TV sets with ‘special gifts’ like balls swing—Mamata or the Left. As so that by the time the game is on, I signed by famous players. soccer veteran P.K. Banerjee told know the players well,” says SupriNow in every celebration, there Outlook, “You can’t separate the yo, adding for good measure, “I’ll be has to be a few spoilsports (a logic average Bengali from two things— watching every Brazil match.” The particularly true for Kerala). Which football and politics, in that order.” preparations also includes, as he puts is where the mullahs of Malappuram Municipal elections over, the city it, “stacking up the beer crates”. come in, apprehensive the flock may is now giving full play to its passion. Besides all this, the World Cup stray and prefer to watch soccer than Men and women, old and young, in Calcutta is also about bonding offer namaaz. League-level player sport jerseys of different participat- through soccer. A local TV channel Zachariah is not a man to lose focus. ing countries. Their flags flutter is organising ‘parai parai football’ “We’ll pray later. My prayer now: from rooftops and window sills and (neighbourhood vs neighbourhood) Let Brazil win,” he says. Former the bonnets of cars. In Calcutta, as matches during the month-long in Kerala, Brazil dominates (the t o u r n a m e n t . Outlook-MDRA survey showed 65 Different neighper cent of the city supporting it). bourhoods Such is the passion for Brazil across the city that its supporters plan to come form into teams, together at a specific venue telecast- each named afing their fave team games, hop- ter a World Cup ing to ensure that their collective team, and play a fervour will translate into a Samba match every day, victory. Filmmaker Anindita Sarb- the game ending hadicari remembers how during around the time the last World Cup she and her the Cup telecast friends would descend on the Inox begins.AsachanCity Centre, the multiplex which nel spokesperson had screened all the matches. “We put it, “Sure it’s brought the house down screaming lucrative for us. in support of our Brazilian heroes... But, essentially, over swigs of beer, of course.” The it taps into the passion for Brazil is somewhat of Bengali’s pasan affliction with the Sarbhadicaris. sion for football.


Indian player K.T. Chacko says even politics takes a backseat when the Cup is on. People in Kerala’s northern districts are not known to keep their anti-imperialist sentiments in check. During the World Cup, though, Chacko says, “you will see England’s fans hurrah their team without fear”. Some are not amused by this temporary divorce of politics from sports. Imam Musthafa laments the fact that “the kids forget that our elders once burnt the English flag to drive them out of the country. And now our children are worshipping the same flag!” Shamseer Vallan, who organised the Malappuram rally, is dismissive of such remarks. “This is a delectable pastime,” he says, adding as an afterthought, “perhaps there’s a generational divide between the mullahs and us.” Soccer mania also has Calcutta’s barbers in a spot. Cribs Bapi Dolui, “It’s easy to give someone a Ronaldo cut. You just have to shave off the whole back and leave a little tuft in the front. But when someone with practically no hair wants a Kaka cut, it’s like asking for the moon.” But this is what World Cup magic is all about—it transforms you, however ephemerally, as also your local environment.As Brazilian footballer Douglas de Silva, who used to play for East Bengal, famously remarked during the 2002 World Cup, “It feels like I’m in Brazil.”


Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


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Making Marriage Work

Marital therapist Vijay Nagaswami on his latest book, his future plans, and more… By Divya Kumar The doctor is in. Vijay Nagaswami, Chennai-based psychiatrist and marital therapist, columnist and author of the popular The 24X7 Marriage: Smart Strategies for Good Beginnings (now in its fifth print) is back with the second book in his ‘The New Indian Marriage Series’ . The Fifty-50 Marriage: Return to Intimacy (Westland).Just ahead of its launch in the city, Dr. Nagaswami opened up about the book, the series, his future plans, and, of course, what it takes to nurture one’s marriage. Excerpts from the interview. Did you always plan to make this a series on The New Indian Marriage? Yes. The first one The 24X7 Marriage was for newly-married couples or couples who were going to get married soon. The second is for couples who’ve been married a few years, and are wondering what they need to do to rejuvenate their marriage. And, the next book is what everybody seems to be waiting for — on extra marital relationships (laughs). I’m writing it now; it should be out by next summer. Why specifically ‘The New Indian Marriage’? Because, I found it was changing so much. The last two decades have been dramatic. I would say that almost every five years, the New Indian Marriage is re-inventing itself. We need to acknowledge that marriage today is different, and we need

to enjoy that difference. The difficulty is that our marriage templates are primarily our parents’marriages, and with so much changing, there’s conflict between the conscious and the unconscious mind. What I found fascinating about the The Fifty-50 Marriage was the stories of couples you tell in each chapter. Was that to make the book more accessible? Yes. You can sound very preachy when you’re talking about marriage, and you don’t want to because there’s no such thing as the ‘right’ marriage. There are just certain fundamentals to be conscious of. When people read a book, the tendency is to think: “Oh my god, I’ve got it all wrong”, and I wanted to avoid that. Which is why I’ve tried to keep to stories, so different people can relate to different aspects. Invariably, these are stories of people I’d met or heard about. However, I take only the kernel and the rest of it is heavily fictionalised. Your final chapter of “Fity-50” is very reassuring… was that again a conscious choice? Absolutely. When it comes to parenting and marriage, we tend to either be too casual or worry ourselves to death about it. Sure, you’re going to get some things wrong. But, fixing it will happen if you’ve gotten your basics right. Just be conscious about it — then you’ll try and find solutions. If you allow your marriage to drift, then you’ll just end up

drifting away from each other. What is the message you’d like people to walk away with after reading this book? That you can’t expect your marriage to look after itself you need to nurture it. Intimacy is what keeps any relationship alive. And, intimacy is about bonding and connectedness. Many people say that we don’t have the same interests, so we want to part ways, which is crazy. You can have completely different interests, but still be very connected to each other, because you enjoy the companionship and the closeness, and you do your own things as well. What was the experience of writing it like? The most important element was structuring the book. See, there’s so much to be said. But, you can’t overload people. You can’t write such a huge book that people have difficulty even getting started. But, once the structure was there, the writing was not difficult. I took some time off, and wrote the major part of it in Munnar. Are you planning any other books apart from this series? Until the next book is done, I’ll be focussing on this series. After that, there are some themes I’d like to address the parent-child relationship, for instance. Or, telling people that gayness is normal, and how it can be dealt with. But, it’s all still rather nascent.-Hindu



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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

India’s Young and Poor Rally to Another Gandhi: Rahul

By Jim Yardley AHRAURA (NYT): Rahul Gandhi’s helicopter descends out of the boiling afternoon sky and a restless, sweat-soaked crowd of 100,000 people suddenly surges to life. Men rush forward in the staggering heat. Teenage boys wave a white bedsheet bearing a faintly cheeky request: We Want to Meet the Prince of India. . Gandhi climbs onto a special viewing stand in this isolated corner of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, and offers a boyish wave. Not yet 40, . Gandhi is the great-grandson of India’s first prime minister, the grandson of India’s fourth prime minister and the son of India’s seventh prime minister. His audience includes some of the poorest people in India. “I’m standing here with you,” he declared to loud cheers, speaking for about 15 minutes before he left, waving through the window of his helicopter. “I can come with you anywhere and everywhere to fight with you.” India is . Gandhi’s family inheritance. Seemingly the only uncertainty is when he will collect it. He holds no major post in government, yet rumors persist that the governing Indian National Congress Party — whose president is his mother, Sonia Gandhi — might install him as prime minister before the current government expires in 2014. The job’s current occupant, Manmohan Singh, recently had to bat away retirement questions. Yet despite his aura of inevitability, . Gandhi largely remains an enigma. India is an emerging power, facing myriad domestic and international issues, but he remains deliberately aloof from daily politics. His thoughts on many major issues — as well as the temperature of the fire in his belly — remain mostly unknown. For the Congress Party, that may be an advantage. The party has been the top vote getter in the last two national elections by appealing to the poor through welfare schemes while also pursuing pro-growth policies. But it holds power only with the support of fickle coalition partners. . Gandhi is using his enormous popularity to broaden the party’s political base, steering clear of more contentious policy making. That could help position Congress to win an outright national majority — though it does little to illuminate what he would do with a mandate if he won it. “What most people still have a hard time figuring out is, ‘What is Rahul Gandhi’s vision?’ ” said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, who has met privately with . Gandhi and speaks highly of him. “It is still not apparent to a lot of people what his own deep political convictions are.” . Gandhi traverses the country, often on secret trips, to recruit as many as 10 million new youth members. His job is also to try to take back cru-

Indian media. One news station ran a lengthy report after obtaining a short video clip of . Gandhi riding his bicycle in New Delhi. . Gandhi confirmed in 2004 that he had a Spanish girlfriend, but whether they remained a couple was unclear. His advisers say his low profile reflects his desire not to overstep the authority of his organizational position while the secrecy is rooted in security concerns. His


sister, Priyanka, a more dynamic politician, but her focus has been on raising her children rather than running for office. . Gandhi’s breakthrough came during the 2009 elections, when he campaigned across the country and was later credited for the unexpectedly strong showing by Congress. Some analysts interpreted the 2009 voting results as evidence that the clout of regional, caste-based parties was waning. Over two decades, these parties splintered national politics and gave rise to leaders like Mayawati, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and India’s most A poster of Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Ahraura powerful Dalit politician, who uses only one name. Analysts say cial strongholds like Uttar Pradesh, in the north, Congress must regain seats in Utwhich his family claims as its home base but tar Pradesh and neighboring Bihar which the Congress Party does not control. if it wants to achieve a national Most Indian political parties are internally majority. undemocratic and often dominated by political “The real test is Uttar Pradesh,” dynasties, none more famous the Gandhi clan. . Rangarajan said. “Everything But . Gandhi has also insisted that the party’s rests on it. It is the most popuyouth organizations hold internal elections for lous state. It is the demographic posts and operate as meritocracies. center.” He also has succeeded far more than other Uttar Pradesh will hold state Indian politicians in tapping into the hunger for elections in 2012, and . Gandhi is generational change in India, analysts say, and pushing to unseat Ms. Mayawati. has positioned himself as a change agent for For months, . Gandhi has periodithe future, despite his obvious debts to India’s A helicopter carried Rahul Gandhi above a rally in cally turned up at villages to share political past. He is trying to bypass the identity May in Ahraura, India. It is rumored that he might a meal or even spend the night with become prime minister. Dalit families. He told reporters grandmother, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated, that he did not see people’s castes, only that as was his father, Rajiv Gandhi. (The family is they were poor. not related to Mohandas Gandhi, considered the “When Rahul Gandhi goes to the home of a father of modern India. Rahul Gandhi’s great- Dalit to share a meal, Mayawati’s stomach starts grandfather was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first itching!” shouted one speaker at the rally. prime minister and another founding father.) His youth drives are conducted state by state, His official residence in New Delhi is heavily and he has hired a nonprofit group of former fortified and he traveled to the rally in Ahraura election commissioners to oversee the internal with a special black-clad security detail. elections for posts in the party youth organizaYet analysts say his inaccessibility is also tions — as opposed to the usual practice of party A crowd of about 100,000 people, among them some of India’s poorest people, listened a deliberate effort to protect him from taking bosses picking their choices. to Mr. Gandhi speak at the rally. unpopular public stands and also to burnish his . Gandhi’s campaign could eventually threatimage. Last spring, he turned down an offer to en entrenched interests within the party, analysts politics of caste and appeal to young people of join . Singh’s cabinet. “They want to keep a cersay, which is why, for now, the internal voting is all backgrounds. “We youth are with Rahul!” said Manonit Garharabari, 23, at the rally. “The tain mystique to him,” said Mahesh Rangarajan, limited to the youth organizations. And his efforts to unseat Ms. Mayawati got off to an inconwhole youth is with Rahul. We seen an internal a political analyst in New Delhi. Before he entered politics in 2004, winning a sistent start. Analysts say the public response to strength in him.” parliamentary seat in his father’s old district in his recruitment efforts in Uttar Pradesh had been . Gandhi is omnipresent in the media, and his face is plastered on untold numbers of billboards Uttar Pradesh, . Gandhi had appeared ambiva- tepid before his latest trip. Ultimately, analysts say, . Gandhi will have and political posters. His public image is as a lent about the family profession. He attended Harvard for three years before transferring to to reveal more about himself than his just orgahumble, serious man, if somewhat shy, even Rollins College in Florida because of security nizational vision. He has traveled widely and as his name invariably tops polls ranking the country’s “hottest” or “most eligible” bachelors. concerns after his father’s death. He earned a met with business or political leaders. When Yet he almost never grants interviews, including master’s degree in development studies at Cam- Bill Gates recently visited India, he joined . for this article, and only occasionally conducts bridge and worked in London as a management Gandhi in a village. In Egypt, . Gandhi has news conferences. Reporters are often tipped consultant before returning to India after his befriended Gamal Mubarak, son and heir apparent of President Hosni Mubarak. In China, to his appearances at one village or another but mother took over the Congress Party. Some veteran politicians initially dismissed he has met Xi Jinping, the man tapped to replace often all they get is a photograph — which inevihim as a pappu, the Hindi word for a nice boy, the country’s president and Communist Party tably appears in newspapers around India. His daily life is cloaked in secrecy, which if one who is not too smart. Inside the Congress leader, Hu Jintao. It seems he is preparing for the future. makes it an irresistible if elusive topic for the Party, some leaders had considered his younger

Shiv Sagar


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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

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Indian Parantha with American Omelette of their travel across Europe and the US a few years ago. “The place we had in mind had to cater to the discerning breakfast crowd in the capital. Breakfast is an important meal in Indian homes, like the Americans and Europeans who treat breakfast as a leisurely affair unless they are rushed for time,” Kaushik said “Moreover, more Indians eat their breakfast out of home either on their way to work or over weekends. We realised diner-style eateries fitted with a retro American beer bar could work well in the country that has a ready market for quick meals.” The diner’s menu reflects the universal spirit of international diners across the world. American classics like steaks, fries and omelettes share space with Mediterranean, landlocked European, Lebanese and subcontinental food with the homegrown nimbu pani served American style as ‘diner banta’. It serves an adventurous platter of seafood omelette - fresh farm egg sunny fried and stuffed with squid and sole; paneer tikka; and home fries. The menu boasts of five common Indian stuffed “paranthas” and grilled platters. In case you are


NEW DELHI The capital has a way of Indianising salt-of-the-earth Western food to suit the ‘desi’ palate. Imagine an American style diner, known for its round-theclock eggs and ham breakfast, doling out spinach pancake and sharaabi parantha. The International Diner, a cafecum-diner in the upmarket GK I shopping centre in south Delhi, has combined the American quick meal tradition with Indian cuisine, setting a new trend for well-heeled Indian youth bred on frequent overseas travel, American motel bites and continental meals. The International Diner opened its door to people in May. “We wanted to create a relaxed neighbourhood eatery where one could walk in any time to enjoy a hearty meal, away from the trappings of formal banquets and power dressing. Our target was the greater Indian market - first the metros and then the tier-II cities where the emerging middle class has more disposable money to spend on eating out,” Suveer Sodhi, co-owner of the restaurant, said. Owners Sodhi and Vishal Kaushik, two 26-year-old boyhood friendsturned-entrepreneurs, decided on an Indian-style diner in the course

wondering what the sharaabi parantha is - it’s fried bread flambe with alcohol, a modified version of an Arabian pancake! “We also bake our own assortment of breads,” Sodhi said. The decor is emblematic of the American working class and ultra modern chic with traditional checkered walls and linen, wooden tables, utility chairs, food counters, old sepia posters and framed photographs of Hollywood idols contrasted by an interactive kitchen to serve food hot off the griddle and quiet lounge corners for intimate meals. A large black-and-white mural etched in a corner of the wall chronicles the journey of diners as an essentially American momapple pie-and-bootstraps concept to a casual continental caferestaurant tailored to feed the rainbow world. The first recorded diner was a horse-drawn wagon built by Walter Scott in 1872 that dished hot food to the employees of Providence Journal in Rhodes Island. The International Diner is modelled on the American Diner at the India Habitat Centre. A meal for two costs Rs.1,000 (minus tax). --IANS

Achari Eggs Recipe If you love spicy food and Indian pickles, this is the perfect recipe for you. This unique recipe combines hard boiled eggs with spices usually used to make Indian pickles. This North Indian dish is a delicate balance of spicy flavors combined with sweet, sour and tangy tastes. Fenugreek seeds are a common spice used in Indian cuisine; they have a very distinct and pungent flavor. They are also very important ingredient in Indian pickles. Alternatively, Kasoori Methi or dried fenugreek leaves may be used in this recipe. Fenugreek seeds, fenugreek powder and Kasoori Methi are all easily available in any Indian grocery store. ACHARI ANDA (Hard Boiled Eggs with Indian Pickling Spices) Ingredients: 6 large hard boiled eggs, sliced in half lengthwise • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced • 1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced

• 2-3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced • 1 tsp turmeric • ¼ tsp fenugreek powder (or 1 tsp Kasoori Methi) • 1 tsp red chili powder, to taste • ½ tsp ground coriander powder • Salt and pepper, to taste • 1 tsp black mustard seeds • 2-3 dried red chilies • 1 tsp cumin seeds • Pinch of asafetida (hing) • ¼ cup white vinegar • 3-4 tbsp of oil (canola or vegetable) • Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish METHOD: Arrange the hard boiled eggs on a serving platter. Sprinkle each half with a pinch of salt, pepper and red chili powder. Set aside until needed. In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the onions and stir fry until golden. This may take awhile (about 6-8 minutes), so be patient. Add the ginger and garlic, stir fry 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the spices

(red chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander powder, salt, pepper, and the fenugreek powder or Kasoori methi). Stir well to combine all of the ingredients. Now add the vinegar along with ½ cup of water, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5-6 minutes until all the flavors have blended. Taste and adjust any seasonings, then carefully spoon the mixture generously over the eggs. In a small saucepan on medium high heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the popping subsides, add the cumin seeds along with the dried red chilies and pinch of asafetida. Remove quickly from the heat and very carefully pour this entire mixture over the eggs. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with fresh rotis and fragrant Basmati rice. - Bella Online



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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian) By andrea Miller A Jewish friend of mine remarked once, only half joking, that he believed Indians are the true Chosen People. With no offense to Moses, I had to agree. I lived in India for about three years and my husband (currently known as my husPad, thanks to his appropriating the iPad he "gave me," -- but that is another column) is from New Delhi, which, in addition to providing me with lots of Indian friends and in-laws, have given me a pretty good perspective on the desirability of the people from the world's largest democracy -- and how to woo them. Before getting to "how," let's start with "why." There are obvious reasons one would want to date an Indian, such as how successful and professionally desirable they are. Indians dominate as engineers, doctors, lawyers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. They make up a large proportion of our graduate students -- just walk around the campuses of Harvard, Columbia or Stanford or and you will see these incredibly attractive brown people all over the place. Which leads to point number two. Indian people tend to be really good looking. According to Wikipedia*, "India holds the highest number of Miss World winners, only to be tied with Venezuela." (*That feels a little like citing The National Enquirer but I am going to go with it.) Most Indians are innately gracious, social creatures; they highly value friends and family and have a calen-

dar filled with various holidays and occasions to celebrate, which they typically do with gusto. Those endless jubilant dance numbers in Bollywood movies pretty much channel the Indian soul. Moreover, Indian men love to dance. If for no other reason other than you want someone to dance with you (or without you for that matter), date an Indian. Ok, now that the stock for single Indians is up, you need to be on your game if you want to date one. If you are Indian, you can skip the rest of this post and spend the next four minutes savoring your desirability. If you are not Indian, keep reading to learn seven things that should ingratiate you with them. The first five have to do with Bollywood. Indians take Bollywood and their celebrities very seriously. 1. SRK. Two things you need to know about these initials. One, SRK is short hand for Shahrukh Khan, one of India's premiere Bollywood celebrities. Two, you must have an opinion about him. He is a polarizing figure. Indians either love him or hate him. 2. Favorite actor. If you are pinched for time, you can simply claim SRK is your favorite and move on. But, if you want to take some initiative, I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with some Bollywood actors and choose a favorite. Some safe, attractive possibilities: Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan. Kal Penn does not count.

3. Favorite actress. See above. You need to have a favorite. You could claim that it is Aishwarya Rai, who is familiar to most Americans, although you will then be suspect as Aishwarya, while extremely beautiful and successful, is a pain in the neck. She has a reputation for being a major diva. Better options: Rani Mukherjee or Kareena Kapoor. 4. Favorite Hindi movie. It should be obvious by now that you need to have a favorite Hindi movie. If you bust out some-

thing like, "Yea, I loved Kuch Kuch Hota Hai," you are very likely to get a second date. If not something straight out of the Kama Sutra. One strong recommendation: "3 Idiots". It's a newish film with crossover appeal. Major bonus points if you suggest seeing a Hindi movie together. Most major cities have theaters

that screen Bollywood films otherwise you can easily stream one through Netflix, etc. 5. Bhangra. Bhangra is the percussion-heavy music that is featured in most Bollywood films. It has an irresistible beat that will motivate even the most dancephobic types to hit the floor. Showing an appreciation for Bhangra will score you points. Finding a place that plays Bhangra music and going there together is sure to get you something straight from the Kama Sutra, especially if you exhibit the right dance moves, i.e. patting an imaginary dog while screwing in an imaginary light bulb. 6. Food. Indians love their food. Probably more than they love dancing. Unless you are willing to take some serious initiative in the kitchen, plan to go out for an Indian meal. Although this can be tricky. Many Indians would agree that it is often tough to find a good Indian restaurant, even in major cities. If you want to be adventurous and score some points, I suggest you try cooking him/her


a few Indian dishes. You can get the basic spices in most grocery stores. I'm happy to share a dal recipe that is unbelievably tasty. (Really, it is called "Mrs. B's Magic Dal.") 7. Language. Indians love when you speak their language. (Note: there are hundreds of languages spoken in India. Aside from English, Hindi is the most prevalent but not all Indians speak Hindi so you might have to determine his/her native tongue.) Before we got together, Sanjay was greatly amused by my reciting various things in Hindi to him. I got a tourist book and told him among other things, that I was missing my green socks. Now there are several iPhone apps that will give you translations. I suggest you pick up a few and break them out at an appropriate time, probably somewhere well into the second date. You don't want your date to think that if things go south, you will resort to stalking. Good luck and let me know how these suggestions work out. I hope Laxmi, Goddess of Prosperity, smiles on you as you endeavor to date one of her people. Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention: one more big bonus when it comes to dating an Indian: communication with cabbies. Think I'm kidding? New Yorkers: Just imagine if you could stop a taxi during the 4pm transition time and your date could say, in Hindi, "Hey brother, will you please take us to Spring and 6th?" You'd find Laxmi did indeed smile upon you. - Huffington Post


Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

p a k is t an

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Pakistan Seeks More Visas For People Visiting Ajmer Shrine ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought an increase in the number visas issued for its people to attend the annual Urs at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, saying it will strengthen Indo-Pak peace process. Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, who is on an official visit to India as the head of the Pakistani delegation taking part in the Urs celebrations during June


14-24, said only 500 Pakistanis are granted visas for the event in Ajmer. On the other hand, Pakistan grants visas to thousands of Indian Sikhs and Hindus to visit their holy places in Pakistan, he said. A lot of Pakistanis are keen to visit Ajmer every year but they get disappointed due to the limited number of visas issued by India, he said. “If India increases the number of Pakistani pilgrims to at least 2,000 from 500, it will give a positive message to Pakistanis and strengthen the ongoing peace process between the two countries,” Kazmi was quoted as saying in an official press release. Kazmi said he would take up the issue of increasing the number of visas for Pakistani pilgrims with Indian authorities. Referring to Pakistan’s ongoing operation against militants and extremists, he reiterated the government’s firm resolve to tackle this menace and said the armed forces are determined to eradicate terrorism from the country’s soil. He said there is no question of losing this war as public opinion is in favour of continuing the operations against militants till all objectives are achieved. Referring to the status of madrassas (religious seminaries) in Pakistan, Kazmi said the government is mulling a plan to impart vocational training to students of these institutions so that they can earn a decent livelihood. He contended that no madrassas is providing any type of military training to students and that the government is strictly monitoring all seminaries. Kazmi, who survived an attempt on his life by militants last year, said the Sufi Council of Pakistan plans to establish educational institutions to be associated with shrines of important Sufi saints. The purpose of establishing such institutions is to spread the message of love and peace as preached by mystics of the subcontinent. Pakistan Daily


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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

Outlook’s Survey of India’s Leading Universities NEW DELHI: Outlook magazine has released its survey of the top educational institutions in India. It’s been a terrible year, professionally speaking, and one that has dulled the sheen of the India Story. Even if the economic slowdown currently looks like a figment of the Sensex’s imagination, there’s no denying the harsh realities: the jobs market has swung from irrational exuberance to an irrational freeze. While the pendulum will swing back, it’ll be a while before we see 40 per cent annual pay hikes again. More worryingly, manufacturing and exports remain in the dumps. While much of the attention has been on the middle class’ bewilderment at this dramatic turn of events, it is the armies of skilled and semi-skilled workers who have been hit the most. They continue to have reason to worry. In these stormy times, Outlook’s annual ranking of India’s top professional colleges—in its fourth edition, this time

Recognized institutions and a few surprises with GfK-Mode—is an island of reassuring calm. That’s because there are many familiar top-ranked institutions in the perceptual listings—an indication, if any was needed, of mind over glitzy matter. Given the advertising barrage by institutes of all types claiming “cent per cent placements” and promising a “good college life”, this is a crucial need. Interestingly, industry professionals who participated in the survey gave more importance to academic excellence and the selection process—and lower weightage to an institute’s infrastructure and placement track record. There is a lesson here somewhere for prospective students.

IIT Kharagpur has emerged as the leading engineering college and AIIMS New Delhi as the leading medical college in Outlook’s latest survey.

Top 3 Engineering Colleges IIT, Kharagpur IIT, Bombay IIT, Kanpur Top 3 Medical Colleges AIIMS, Delhi CMC, Vellore AFMC, Pune

Top 3 Dental Colleges CDS, Manipal Maulana Azad, Delhi Govt Dental College, Mumbai Top 3 Law Colleges NLSIU, Bangalore NUJS, Calcutta NALSR, Hyderabad


Top 3 Colleges For Social Work TISS, Mumbai DSSW, Delhi Univ CSW, Mumbai Univ Top 3 Architecture IIT, Kharagpur Sir JJ College, Mumbai SPA, Delhi

Top 3 Mass Communication IIMC, Delhi Xavier Inst, Mumbai AJ Kidwai, Delhi Top 3 Hotel Management Colleges IHM, Mumbai Oberoi Centre, Delhi IHM, Delhi



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Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

India Will Lead World in Cloud Computing: Microsoft’s Ballmer NEW DELHI: Microsoft Corp sees India as the global hub for cloud computing, the concept of renting computing power that has taken the technology world by storm and in the words of the NYT, what Silicon Valley cannot seem to get its head out of. “India will not only see a surge in cloud computing services but companies all over the world will look to India to support their transition to cloud comp u t i n g , ’’ Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. T h e world’s biggest software maker is among a handful of companies betting big on cloud services, aiming to convince enterprises to give up building and managing data centres and switch to their computer capacity instead; the others being rivals such as Amazon, Google and AT&T as well as smaller firms like Rackspace and Terremark. Microsoft believes India will move directly to the cloud, much like it bypassed the landline revolution that never happened and leapt to mobile phones, Ballmer said. Ballmer is in India to underline the importance of the company’s cloud services platform Azure, wherein people can use applications from email to payroll systems hosted online.

The transition that India will champion will seed 3 lakh jobs in five years, during which the business is estimated to grow to $70 billion, Microsoft said, quoting a study by Zinnov Management Consulting. Jobs will be generated in areas like cloud consulting, enabling software as a service, integrating offerings like Azure with IBM’s Blue Cloud or’s customer applications on cloud, and creating new applications. For Indian businesses too, there is great potential, given that 30%, or $7 billion, of the global cloud computing work is to be offshored, said the Zinnov study. Microsoft already has more than 600 customers for its cloud services, but wants a deeper head start over rivals after catcalls of playing catch-up in other tech fields have been growing louder by the day. Indeed, Ballmer was speaking to reporters a day after Apple overtook his company as the world’s biggest technology firm in terms of market value, more than a decade after he took over its reins. The company is, therefore, sparing no efforts in making its cloud computing push a success in India, a market that is “developing very nicely”, where “piracy is reducing and intellectual property protection is better than in China.”-TOI




Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


Houston India Cricket Club Trounces Houston Tigers Cricket Club by 96 Runs

STAFFORD: Another hot and humid day at Stafford Park. Vice Captain of Houston Tigers Cricke Club Pankaj Riwari, lost the toss and HICC decided to bat first. HICC lost the first wicket when the score was only 13 on board. Things were looking OK for HTCC But Nilesh (26) and Krishna (69) gave a good partnership and with other HICC members playing sensibly HICC reached a comfortable score of 215. Amrish Ghodasar was the best bowler of HTCC bowling line up, he took 4 for 34. Tigers were comfortable with chasing 215

but batting second when heat index reaching 100F is never easy. Opener Dhaval Patel started the innings with some classy shots but could not keep up and got out when he was on 24. And after that all HTCC batters were in a hurry to go home as most of them could not even reach in double figures. Raju Nair, the captain of HTCC scored (20) the second highest of HTCC innings. Vasant took 3 for 19 and Sirish took 4 for 27 from HICC bowling. Contributed by Raheel Khan

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Saina Nehwal Fights Back to Win India Bandminton Open Grand Prix Title CHENNAI: Top seed Saina Nehwal, looking a tad rusty following a long break, bounced back in style to beat Malaysia’s Mew Choo Wong 20-22, 21-14, 21-12 in the women’s final of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Grand Prix badminton tournament on Sunday. World No.6 Saina’s victory compensated for the disappointing show by seventh seeded RMV Guru Sai Dutt who went down 1321, 18-21, to unheralded Indonesian Yunus

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir Guide India to 6-Wicket Win Over Bangladesh DAMBULLA: India’s quest for the Asia an injured Ashish Nehra (2 for 28), Sehwag Cup got easy as they steam rolled Bangla- struck successive blows to decimate a listdesh by six wickets in a lop-sided match and less Bangladesh. also pocketing a bonus point on WednesHe had Mushfiqur Rahim caught behind day. by Dhoni before picking up the Virender Sehwag emerged scalps of Suhrawadi Shuvo, as India’s unlikely bowlShafiul Islam and Syed Rasel. ing hero with his first fourHis brilliant figures read 2.5-0 wicket haul, while his Delhi -6-4. teammate Gautam Gambhir Sitting pretty at 59 for one (82) struck his 20th ODI in 10 overs, they inexplicably half-century as India cruised lost nine wickets in 24.4 overs, to a facile win at a strikingly barely adding 98 runs during empty Rangiri Dambulla Intheir struggle at the square. ternational Stadium. Opting to bat, Bangladesh got Having skittled out Banglaoff to a brisk start with Tamim desh for a meagre 167 inside Iqbal (22) and Imrul Kayes 35 overs, India had a modest (37) producing 35 runs in 17 total to chase and they overballs. But once Tamim perwhelmed the target with 19.2 ished to a low catch by Suresh overs to spare. Raina at short extra covers off The Indians will have to Praveen Kumar, they just could Virender Sehwag beat either Pakistan (June 19) not force the pace against a disor defending champions Sri ciplined Indian attack. Lanka (June 22) by a convincing margin to Zaheer Khan the left-arm fast bowler qualify for the June 24 final. conceded 16 runs in his first over but had India injected artificial life into the lop- the batsmen in spot in the rest of his fivesided match when Virat Kohli (11) and Ro- over spell. hit Sharma (0) fell to successive deliveries Nehra struck twice in four overs before he from Shakib Al Hasan in the 15th over. limped off the field after four overs. IntriguHowever, Gautam Gambhir (82), who en- ingly, there was no clarification from the joyed a reprieve at 48 off Shafiul Islam, and Indian team management about Nehra’s fitskipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38 not out) ness. Harbhajan and Jadeja too bowled imensured that four-time champions sailed pressively in conditions that suited them but home without much ado. it was part-time tweaker Sehwag who stole Sehwag (11 off 14 balls) failed to fire as a the bowling honours. batsman on his return to international from Kayes, who mishit Nehra to Sehwag at injury but amply showed that he could be short square, top-scored with 37. There employed as an off-break bowler when ei- were contributions from Mushfiqur Rather Harbhajan Singh or Ravindra Jadeja him (30) and Mahmudullah (23) but they have a lean day. weren’t substantial enough to augment BanGiven the ball as Dhoni desperately galdesh’s total, which India devoured withneeded a part-time bowler to cover up for out plenty to spare. - Samachar

Alamsyah in the men’s singles final, with the visitor clinching his first major international title. Both the singles winners picked up 7,000 points that should see them move up the world rankings. Saina, playing her first tournament in two months, was rather patchy as she blew a 2018 lead in the first game, but kept her nerves to take the next two games, capitalising on a desperate Mew’s errors. It was not the best of matches and the conditions inside the hall were tricky. The raucous crowd that kept up a din even when a rally was in progress, irritating flies, and the sideways air drift due to air-conditioning, put a premium on concentration and judgment. However, Saina took these irritants in her stride and after the initial tentative approach, changed her stance in the second game when she turned aggressive and maintained the momentum in the decider when she opened up a 10-point lead early on to seal the match. “I was nervous at the start and committed too many errors. In the normal course,

I should have won in two games, but this being my first tournament in two months, I was nervous. In the second and third games, I played aggressively,” said Saina after the 56-minute match. “I am happy winning the tournament and that too at home, and yes, it’s a good preparation for the two Super Series events (Singapore and Indonesia) I am participating in this month. In fact, I am playing Mew in the first round at Singapore!” she added. On her part, Mew admitted that Saina was just too good for her. “I have played her before and I tried my best, but today, she was too good for me, especially in the second and third games,” Mew, ranked No.22, said through an interpreter. In contrast, Sai Dutt hardly got going against the highly defensive Alamsyah, who benefitted largely on the mistakes committed by the 20-year old Indian rather than doing anything out of the ordinary. Undoubtedly, Alamsyah is one of the better retrievers around, but there is little else in his game besides a fairly sharp smash that surprisingly he uses sparingly. Under the circumstances, Gurusaidutt needed to be patient and await a clear opening before going for the kill, something he failed to. “I was anxious to finish off the rallies quickly and made mistakes. I will now have to work harder on my game and fitness to reach the next level,” said Guru who is currently ranked 66 as against 125 of the Indonesian, who Saturday night took out top seeded Indian Chetan Anand. Quite the best thing about Alamsyah was his creativity at the net, marked by wristy dribbles some of which sent Guru Sai Dutt the wrong way. The Indian would have been better off to keep Alamsyah in the backcourt rather than match him at the net. In both the games, the 23-year old Alamsyah took early leads and then kept Guru Sai Dutt, playing in his maiden international final, under pressure that eventually cracked his defense wide open. - Times of India


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art & culture

Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010


Siblings in Sync

Brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh talk about their experiments with sound and what it means to share the stage with Pandit Zakir Hussain They have been together through raga and rhythm, performances and practice, albums and experimentations, joys and jamming sessions, and tours and tribulations. When together on stage there’s a never a dull moment or a discordant note, but their distinct personalities come through when you meet them off it — at Ganesh’s well-appointed apartment in Tiruvanmiyur. Clad in an embroidered beige kurta-pyjama, a composed Ganesh seems to convey more through his calm smile than words while the younger Kumaresh is boisterous, chatty and witty. Through the long-drawn photo shoot he exhibits an insatiable energy to play pranks and prod elder brother Ganesh into striking some funny poses. He often breaks into old Tamil film numbers to help his brother get the right expression for the camera. Diehard movie buffs, both watched Suriya’s “Singam”, first-day-firstshow, in Thanjavur where they had gone for a kutcheri (they even acted in NTR’s “Brahmarishi Vishwamitra” and K. Balachander’s “Oru Veedu Iru Vaasal”). A different fusion Back from an 18-concert-25-day-tour across the U.S., with tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain the violinists did not have much time to get over their jet lag. After kutcheris down South and performing at a corporate event in the city, they are geared up to finish composing for their next album besides working on a well-structured practice module for violin students. “Our overseas performance tour with Zakir bhai is almost an annual feature. Our association with him dates back to 1998, when we performed with the maestro for the first time at the Music Academy Sadas,” says Ganesh.

origins after all. It’s a very universal instrument that easily adapts itself to every style of music.” During the U.S. tour, they played at universities and acclaimed auditoria, presenting a mix of Carnatic ragas and their own ragapravaham (melodic pieces sans lyrics) compositions. “Ragapravaham is an attempt to move away from the vocalised framework of classical music and explore what the instrument is capable of on its own,” exSCORING POINTS: Ganesh & Kumaresh on their sound plains Kumaresh. experiments. An early start The brothers, who have been performing for almost four decades Adds Kumaresh, “When you are with him, now, have always been excited about bowing you perceive music differently — as a fusion of differently. “The most rewarding aspect of time, space and culture. You tend to look beyond creating unique sonic experiences was being genres to weave a wonderful tapestry of traditions and then confidently step out of it to create appreciated by veterans in the field that spurred exhilarating new sounds. More than all this, it’s us on.” They began giving independent violin performances when still in primary school. his modesty that’s more affecting.” The turning point, of course, was in 1983, During such creative outings, it is compliwhen the then Chief Minister M.G. Ramachanments from the uninitiated that the duo cherdran watched a concert of the talented twosome ishes besides having fun engaging with other on television, sent them a note of appreciation artistes. “It’s not hard to connect with people and eventually, made them State artistes. “The the world over through the violin; it has Western

honour was the icing on our hard training and we decided to turn our passion into a life-long sadhana. Our father T.S. Rajagopalan, an unabashedly tough guru, was most delighted,” explains Ganesh. “We would wake up at 4 in the morning to practise before going to school and then come back to another session of music. Between all this, our father would still find the time to discuss with us the various aspects of a raga. I would longingly look at the children playing outside. Though I saw him as a martinet, today, I keep sending up a silent ‘thank you’ for the discipline he inculcated and the direction he gave to our creative restlessness,” says Kumaresh and suddenly leaps across the table to hold his brother’s hands. “And now, he is there for me.” It was at the insistence of his brother that Kumaresh gave himself full-time to music. “I was in a dilemma. But Ganesh was confident I could do it.” Quite like other siblings, they do have their share of fights and disagreements. “That’s healthy. Blind compliance is not good,” smiles Kumaresh. Besides sharing the stage, the brothers love to go on long drives, organise family outings, indulge in electronic gadgets, shop for casual and concert clothes and, of course, watch movies. And what about scoring music for films? “We are tuned in to the idea but no interesting project has come our way as yet,” says Ganesh. Meanwhile, they continue their odyssey across the violin strings, through an amazingly varied combination of notes, often straying gallantly on to higher octaves to create harmonies with a contemporary appeal, albeit classicallyrooted.-Hindu



Indo American News • Friday, June 18 , 2010

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Indo American News - June 18, 2010 Business Section