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pics by aniruddha rajandekar

hit people flock to Pune for survival

What awaits them is hard life and even scarcer livelihood  See Spotlight, p08 & 09

I was declared dead: Jayant Pawar

Five months after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew and owner of Solaris chain of gyms and fitness club, Jayant Pawar is back in action. In an exclusive interview, he opens up about how he found his way back to life aniruddha rajandekar

Pawar is back in action on the tennis court

By Heena Grover Menon @HeenaGM It was around 9pm on April 11, a day after Jayant flew back to Pune from his trip to England and was having a regular day at his plush sports club, located in Kothrud. He had finished his evening gym session and was headed towards his office when a tennis coach told him that one of the courts was free if he wanted to play for a while. A few minutes into the game, Jayant started feeling restless and sat down to rest. “A junior coach checked my pulse and suggested I should take a break when, suddenly, I began to feel really weak. Another gym instructor noticed something unusual and told me that I should rush to the nearby hospital immediately. By now, I wasn’t even able to walk and they literally dragged me to the hospital. Upon reaching there, I fell unconscious. That

meanwhile, his family members had received the news and had gathered at the hospital when the doctors finally declared him dead after getting no response. “When the doctors told my family that nothing could be done, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing and asked them to try again. The doctors gave me three more shots and close to 50 minutes later, my heart started pounding again. The clock had started ticking and I needed immediate medical assistance. Since it was a weekend, no heart specialist was available in the city. But my family was not ready to give up on me yet, especially my uncle (Sharad Pawar), who made sure that I got the best doctors. Finally, I was moved to Ruby Hall Clinic and a team of seven of the best heart surgeons in the city was waiting for me within half an hour.” Between 12 midnight and 4am, Jayant’s heart beat had dropped thrice and he was given a total of nine adrenaline shots, which he says is a was when the doctors figured that I very rare thing. Though he regained had suffered a cardiac arrest. I have no his pulse and heartbeat, he fell totally memory of those hours,” states Jayant. unconscious which turned into a He was taken to the emergency major worry for the doctors. Being room where doctors administered unconscious at that point meant he “We will be to revive his heart adrenaline shots could be brain dead, and even if he starting a mo working lac bile milk ban tat vans will go ing mothers who can k to reach out to Mothersurvived, he would be in vegetative donate mi to variou beat in vain. In the nat - Dr Shabut rad Agarkheds corporates and IT firm lk. These ure packs s” kar, DY Patil Hospital Punjab says her palett state for rest of his life. e ‘eat more P10 potatoes’ Contd on p4 P12 THE GOL







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TGS NEW S SERVIC E @TGSWeekly The same nigh t, doctors at performed the hospital NCP chie angioplasty f on him. “I known him Jayant Paw Sha rad Pawar’s neph have to ar ew always seen be a fitness freak. I have attack last suffered a massive hear him eat on Saturday and t healthy food time stick rushed to Rub had ,” to to said be another frien y Hal l Clin other personal his health ic. By Mon d. Anfrien day, was said to d said is so consciou be rapidly and s of his diet that Jayant show ing posi ‘progressing gym that s improvemen promote only even his tive signs t’. of healthy food Jayant – shocked his His condition, however . married “Tough day. friends. Th , a German to Nicola, owner of My brother national, Sola ris chai e 51-year-old, had massive Jayant Paw and has children, son n of gyms fitness cent ar hear t attac two Jonas (19) and res across k. Fighting life. Jayant, Tabea (16) and daughter Pune, is said be a fitness for tough Iron – is enthusiast to to fight & man, u have many, who said to be a role model and a teeto I am sure Sources want a good for taller. u wil mak God, Drs, fitness enth physique. Th e it…. well suffered the revealed that Jaya wishers r will usia e st wou ld spen nt all day at hear t attac ing. Spent six hours a d close to k on Saturday while he was Ruby Hal day work l. toge Ent ing out play ing tenn ther. Our ire family play ing tenn has been a is. “Jayant is and swim in the gym, fitnes blessing. All family is our strengthI used to ming. “Wh He loves exer s freak for years now will be well a go to Sola en ,” Sule twee on Sunday. . ris to work wou ld get ted built body cising and having a On out, I insp well but that day another twee Monday, she sent he has man ired by him. At his out stressed his he may have t, “Good age, aged to stay a miracle. body more morning. an amazing fit and buil My bro Jaya take,” said It’s body. Not d a person clos than it could Th nt anks to God is rock ing. many can it that way e requesting keep , Drs at for too long anonymity. to the family, Pun Rub e ,” & frea y said a fitnes all the well k. Another s wishers. Inde Hal l Big thank bted. After Jaya u.” ily revealed person close to the fam that on Satu Golden Spar When contacted by attack, seve nt suffered the hear The while he ral members t was at the rday evening doing better.” row, Sule said, “He family rush of Pawar Kothrud, Sola ris Club is ed to the Jayant colla , Doctors trea hospital to by his side psed and rushed to ting Jayant . Member be a Ruby Hal was Hal l Clin Sup at of Rub Parliament riya Sule ic said that l Clinic, Pun he was recu y ating fast. e. was by his was among those who perBom side througho officer of Rub i Bhote, chief executiv ut Sunday. e y Hal l Clinic, info TGS that the rmed angioplasty Jayant Paw was done on ar

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Expert Spe ak Dr Vijay Sura se, an inte cardiologist rventional from Mum that his team bai, explaine d fitness enth sees several cases of usiasts suff attacks. “Th ering hear ey suffer t from coro artery diss nary ection. Mos t to overstret ch their work people tend puts excessive outs, whic h load on bloo exercising d vessels. By April 11. and regu lar “His health workouts in gym, one rapidly and is can the there are posi progressing blood vessels get toned muscles. improvemen But t,” Bhote said tive signs of person sudd remain the same. So . if a enly puts a on the bod lot of pressure Not the fi rst y, time lifting mor by work ing out a lot Th is is not e weights the fi rst time than he usua or does, then fitness frea lly the blood that a k has vessels cann take it, whic In 2009, 42-y suffered a hear t attac ot h k. said Dr Sura resu lts in hear t attac of SAP, Ran ear-old CEO and MD k,” se. jan Das died Ranjit Kot attack. On of a hear returning over a deca wal, a fitness trainer from the gym t he suddenly for de explaine collapsed at , starting out d that peop in Bandra, his residence le Mumbai. overexer t. “Moin the gym shou ld Das too was teetotaller not deration is and exercised a shou ld not the key. One regu larly. Similarly, go any exercise. to extremes and over died while a 27-year-old maratho do ner on the last also mat ters Most importantly, marathon leg of a half age – what you in cannot be can do at Amit Kasat, Bengaluru, this year don 30 e when you . old. The are 50 year collapsed afte a fitness enthusiast intensity of s also change as exercise mus while part r suffering a hear t attac you grow t icipating k olde need to be in a mar in Mumbai properly plan r. Workouts athon in ned on your Standard Cha 2013. An employe age, lifestyle depending e of rtered Ban parameters,” k, Kasat died said Kot wal. and other goldensparro

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BY GITESH SHELKE @gitesh_shelk e A deta iled prob from the And e into the recovery of a cell a cell of Yera May 2014, wada Central phone has exposed Jail, in Cops investiga the lapses in the syste m. inmates used ting the case found that the phone, mobile, char paid for snea multiple ging the devi king in the message out ce and even to recharge sending a the prepaid After the incid SIM . ent cam Yerawada police stati e to light in May 2014 on started the case. , Over 200 Th investigating calls were investigation ey have finally conc phone and made from s and sent luded thei it is suspecte this ce Add r a d




“It is anti-constitutional and illegal to make the local language compulsory for the permit. Not only Marathi people, even non-Marathis use autorickshaws in the city.” -Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Congress chief

Active private participation in housing need of the hour: Naidu P 14

Several Ganesh pandals blocking roads P5

We’re ‘soft target’: Sanatan Sanstha

Maharashtra to develop places associated with Ambedkar

Right wing outfit’s managing trustee Virendra Marathe said they have always been protesting against the writings and lectures of people like Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar through legal ways

HC asks govt to consider recycling sewage water The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to consider recycling sewage water so that it can be used for irrigation and non-irrigation purposes in view of the drought situation in the state. A division bench headed by Justice VM Kanade had earlier raised concerns over the drought situation in Maharashtra and asked the government whether it had a contingency plan in place in view of the steady decline in rainfall in the state for the past few years. The HC was hearing a petition filed by Solapur-based farmer Siddeshwar Warade seeking direction to the government to release water from Ujani dam for irrigation in Mohol and Mangalwedha talukas of Solapur. The court was informed by Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority that it will not be feasible to release water from the Ujani dam at the moment, but the situation will be reviewed at the end of October. The authority suggested to the court that sewage water should be treated and used for irrigation and non-irrigation purposes so that the water available through rainfall can be used for drinking purposes only. Taking note of this suggestion, the court said, “Recycling seems to be the only solution. The government should consider this.” “In our view if water is treated and recycled and used for non-irrigation and irrigation purposes, much of the problem can be solved not only in the district of Solapur but in all other districts of Maharashtra,” Justice Kanade said. PTI

Pansare murder case: Woman detained Close on the heels of the arrest of a man allegedly having links with right-wing outfit “Sanatan Sansthan” in connection with the murder of Communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare, a 32-year-old woman has been picked up by police for questioning from Kanjurmarg in Mumbai suburb. The woman, identified as Jyoti Kamble, was detained for questioning and taken to Sangli, where police yesterday arrested Samir Gaikwad in connection with the case. Suspected to be having close links with Sanatan Sansthan, Jyoti was said to be in constant touch with Gaikwad as could be gathered from call details, a senior officer of Mumbai police told PTI. Gaikwad, an active member of ‘Sanatan Sansthan’ since 1998, was arrested yesterday based on leads obtained through electronic surveillance by the Special Investigating Team (SIT), set up to nab Pansare’s assailants. Inspector General of Police Sanjay Kumar Verma said the investigators are interrogating the woman on various aspects of the case. Jyoti runs a mobile repair shop and has been a member of Sanatan Sanstha since long, said another senior police officer, who is part of the probe team. Gaikwad was taken into custody after police went through his “innumerable” phone call records. He was produced in a court at Kolhapur in western Maharashtra which remanded him in police custody till September 23. Pansare (81) was gunned down outside his home in Sagar Mala locality of Kolhapur city on February 16 and succumbed to his injuries on February 20 at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital. The senior CPI leader was a prominent social activist in Maharashtra and worked for the welfare of the poor and suppressed. He was also at the forefront of the toll agitation in Kolhapur. His popular book Shivaji Kon Hota (Who was Shivaji), projected Shivaji as the people’s king as against his portrayal as a Hindu bigot by certain right wing outfits and fringe groups. The book sought to counter propaganda of the Hindutva outfits while noting that Shivaji was a secular ruler whose top generals and associates were Muslims. Pansare’s frequent speeches challenging the communal agenda of right-wing outfits angered them, his family said. Another rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was killed in Pune in 2013. Dabholkar, who


Right wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, which is again in focus after a man allegedly having links with it was arrested in connection with the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare, has claimed that it was being wrongly targeted as it did not have any political backing. “Time and again we are being targeted by the government because they find us as a soft target. We don’t have political backing. Be it Congress or BJP, we have been speaking out against all governments when they are indulging in wrong things,” Sanatan Sanstha’s managing trustee Virendra Marathe said. “Other Hindu organisations have some or the other backing. They have not been taking the hard stance on certain issues like we do,” he said. Sameer Gaikwad, an active member of ‘Sanatan Sansthan’ since 1998, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Pansare at Kolhapur in February this year. In 2009, a low-intensity bomb went off in Goa for which members of the right-wing organisation were chargesheeted. The blast took place at Madgaon in Goa on October 16, 2009, on the eve of Diwali. Two activists of the Sanstha had succumbed to injuries when the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) they were carrying in a scooter - also owned by a Sanstha member - exploded prematurely. “The Sanstha has learnt a lot post 2009...,” Marathe said. He said the Sanatan Sanstha has always been protesting against the writings and lectures of people like Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar. “But our protests were through legal ways. We had filed cases against them in the courts and also used to submit memorandums against their series of lectures which were against Hindu religion,” he said. “We never preach violence. I don’t think any of our seekers will pull trigger on anyone. We have a different way of protest which is democratic and legal,” he said. The name of the right-wing organisation had cropped up after blasts at Thane and Vashi in Maharashtra in 2008 and recovery of explosive material in Panvel. The Mumbai ATS had chargesheeted six members of the Sanatan Sanstha and its front, the Hindu Janjagriti Samiti, in connection with the blasts. Following the murder of Pansare, Dabholkar (shot dead in Pune in 2013) and the recent killing of Kannada scholar and social activist M M Kalburgi, the Left parties and rationalist outfits have alleged that the perpetrators of such crimes are connected to right wing and fundamentalist outfits. PTI

Sameer Gaikwad, accused in Govind Pansare murder case, being produced at a court in Kolhapur

spent much of his life exposing sham rituals, miracles, black magic, and godmen, was murdered in Pune in 2013 and there has been no breakthrough in his case yet. In the wake of the recent murder of Kannada scholar and social activist M M Kalburgi at Dharwar in Karnataka, Left parties and rationalist outfits have expressed serious concern and anguish over the delay in bringing to book culprits behind such murders. They have also alleged that the perpetrators of such crimes are connected to rightwing and fundamentalist outfits. According to government sources, there were specific phone calls between Gaikwad and his woman friend wherein he was bragging about having done away with Pansare. “There are other conversations too (between the two) that were under surveillance. When alleged involvement of Sanatan Sanstha came up, he (Gaikwad stopped talking about this. We were waiting for some more days to see if he resumed talking and revealed more. But when he did not, we picked him up to find out more,” they said. However, it is yet to be established whether Gaikwad did anything on behalf of the right-wing organisation and had any role to play in the crime. “If it is established that the organisation had some role (in the murder), action will be

taken against it. We are aware that previous state government had made an attempt to ban the organisation. If a direct linkage is found, action may be contemplated,” they added. For its part, the Sanatan Sanstha had given a clean chit to Gaikwad, saying he was being falsely implicated by police in the case. “Earlier, inquiry of many seekers of Sanatan was also conducted in case of the killing of Dr Dabholkar. Sanatan Sanstha also faced similar criticism on earlier occasions. However, no output came out of these inquiries,” Sanatan Sanstha’s managing trustee Virendra Marathe had said yesterday. Name of the right-wing organisation had cropped up after blasts at Thane and Vashi in Maharashtra in 2008 and recovery of explosive material in Panvel. The Mumbai ATS had chargesheeted six members of the Sanatan Sanstha and its front, the Hindu Janjagriti Samiti, in connection with the blasts. In 2009, a low-intensity bomb went off in Goa for which members of the right-wing organisation were chargesheeted. The blast took place at Madgaon in Goa on October 16, 2009, on the eve of Diwali. Two activists of the Sanstha had succumbed to injuries when the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) they were carrying in a scooter - also owned by a Sanstha member - exploded prematurely.

Pune’s Darshan Museum among top 25 in Asia: TripAdvisor

Bagore Hi Haveli (Udaipur), Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures (Mawlai) and Hall of Fame (Leh) find itself in the list released recently by leading travel site for its Travelers Choice awards Four Indian museums are listed amongst the best in Asia, picked by leading travel site TripAdvisor for its Travelers Choice awards. Darshan Museum (Pune), Bagore Hi Haveli (Udaipur), Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures (Mawlai) and Hall of Fame (Leh) find itself in the list released recently. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has been ranked number one in the world while the Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses in China topped the Asia list. There are no museums from India in the top 25 world list

Awards are based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers

Darshan Museum is dedicated to noted Sindhi Saint Sadhu TL Vaswani

which includes Musee d’Orsay, Art Institute of Chicago (No 3) The Lourve, The state Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, and National Gallery among others. The announcement is part of Travelers’ Choice awards for museums around the world, top tips from contributors for visiting museums as well as top-rated value hotel options for travelers near award-winning museums. “Travelers’ Choice Museums

brings to the fore gems that enrich the holiday experience by helping us connect and understand the glorious heritage of a destination. This year’s list sheds light on off beat names that most of the Indian travelers may not have heard of ” Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India said in a statement. “It is also fantastic to see four Indian museums amongst the best in Asia and we hope that this number only grows in the coming

years” Ganju said. In total, 591 winners were identified, including the top 25 in the world and dedicated lists for Asia, Canada, Europe, India, South America, South Pacific, the UK and the US. The awards are based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers across the world. Award winners have been determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums around the world, gathered over a 12-month period. In the list of top 10 museums from India are Darshan Museum (Pune), Mani Bhawan Gandhi Museum (Mumbai), Bangore ki Haveli (Udaipur), Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (Jaipur), Sala Jung Museum (Hyderabad), INS Kurusura Submarine Museum (Vishakapatnam), the National Gandhi Museuem (Delhi), Auto World Vintage Car Museum (Ahmedabad), Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (Bangalore) and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum (Delhi). PTI

2015-16 is being celebrated as ‘Equality and Social Justice Year’ to mark the 125th birth anniversary of great nationalist Developing places closely associated with Babasaheb Ambedkar as tourist spots, providing hostel facility for working women of Scheduled Castes in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, are among key plans of the Maharashtra government to celebrate 2015-16 as “Equality and Social Justice Year”. 2015-16 is being celebrated as ‘Equality and Social Justice Year’ to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar and Rs 125 crore has been earmarked for the purpose, State Finance and Planning Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said. A provision of Rs 125 crore was made in the supplementary demands during the Monsoon Session of the state Assembly, which was cleared by the state Cabinet. The minister said writings and speeches of Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule, Annabhau Sathe and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj will be published through Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI). The various plans under the initiative include setting up of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samata Pratishthan on lines of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Foundation at the Centre, establishment of 50 hostels for girls at 50 talukas, upgradation of Pune- based Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI) and all round development of select dalit localities. Mungantiwar said the ‘bhoomi poojan’ (ground-breaking ceremony) of Ambedkar Memorial at Indu Mills compound in Mumbai will take place in a month or two. On the government’s move to buy the house where Ambedkar lived while studying in London, he said the purchase process has been completed. Fellowships will be granted to 125 people from different castes and religions for pursuing MPhil/PhD on issues of equality,social justice by BARTI. An amount of Rs 1.95 crore has been earmarked for providing a framed copy of the Preamble of the Constitution to every police station and gram panchayat. Workshops, seminars will be organised throughout the year to commemorate Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary. PTI

Criminal tracking system launched in police stations Maharashtra government has launched a Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) in every police station, with an aim to adopt a paperless working mechanism. With this system, claimed to be the first such initiative by a state, the police will now be able to register an FIR with a single click. Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao launched the CCTNS project at a function attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) KP Bakshi, Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal, and other dignitaries. Addressing the gathering, the Governor said CCTNS was not just for checking the increasing crime graph, but it had the potential to transform the police force and make it more people-friendly. “The system will help bring transparency in police administration,” he said. He assured that it would enhance the reputation of the police department as CCTNS project was an affirmative step towards achieving the goal of ‘Digital Maharashtra’. Proper co-ordination and sharing of data of crimes and criminals will benefit the state and country and help nab repeat offenders. It will lead to accurate investigation of crime and will increase conviction rate, Rao observed. Chief Minister Fadnavis said on the occasion that the state needed quality policing to maintain law and order. Use of modern techniques will help achieve the goal, he said. He announced that the state was developing many other applications related to CCTNS to make police people-oriented. “CCTNS will ease burden on the police,” Fadnavis said.He announced that the government has plans to cover every smart city under CCTV system surveillance. Mumbai would also come under full CCTV coverage in a year. PTI



“ Year after year, dhol-tasha performances severely affect traffic flow near Ganesh pandals, especially in the evenings. We will regulate these public performances under Section 36 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1956.” — Tushar Doshi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I)

Quota row: RSS hits out at Hardik P12

Beware of the bikers’ paradise Smooth roads and low traffic, but still plenty of accidents By Tushar Burman @tburman If you were to take an aerial shot of the Mutha ghat and the road to Lavasa, near Pune on a Sunday morning, or for that matter in the early hours on any holiday, you would see lines of vehicles darting across its myriad corners, looking like busy ants in a colony. The Mutha ghat and Lavasa have come to be very popular with motorcyclists who ride for pleasure, beyond their regular commutes over the past decade. The road surface is usually wellmaintained, and traffic is sparse save for villagers. Still, police statistics show 20 reported accidents in 2015 so far, with three fatalities. What makes this road great for motorcyclists is the same thing that also makes it dangerous to the inattentive, rash or downright unlucky. Mutha ghat and the road beyond to Lavasa are picturesque, with several places where people stop their vehicles for the odd selfie. It also has many areas of run-off, so motorcyclists can expect to safely get out of the way of traffic if they need to. Many of the turns and corners are gentle, with the correct camber and encourage quick, smooth riding. Unfortunately, there are also blind corners for most of the way. This means that one does not have any visibility of what’s coming in the other direction until one is past the mid-point of the turn. This often has disastrous consequences, with riders running into oncoming traffic, or cattle that graze there. Varad More, who works with a KTM dealership in Pune, has been riding these roads for almost a decade with a bunch of dedicated riders. “Mutha ghat is in a sense very forgiving, thanks to the run-off areas beside

Smooth roads encourage fast riding, but blind corners hold accident potential

This rider bore the consequences of an incoming car’s rash overtaking manoeuver, resulting in a total loss

Racing schools around the country

the roads, but the elevation changes and blind corners can make it dangerous,” he explains. We surveyed the entire route all the way up to the main gate of Lavasa and saw for ourselves what he meant. There are many areas of the route where the road suddenly tightens after a downhill section and many of the corners are overgrown with vegetation making it impossible to judge oncoming traffic. Some sections go from wide to narrow while climbing, making it essential to maintain traffic rules. Even when the road is straight and clear and you are practicing safe motoring, fellow motorists may not be. Pranab Bora, who works with More, found out the hard way when an overloaded car hit him head-on in his own lane while trying to overtake another. He was luckily thrown free of the bike, which was crushed under the car. Others haven’t been as lucky. Another rider on the condition of anonymity said that he was riding his one-of-a-kind Rs 13 lakh Ducati motorcycle at Mutha recently, when he did not see a large speed-breaker with faded markings. Unprepared for the bump, he was thrown from the bike, which hit several obstacles before coming to a halt, almost a total loss. Sagar Sheldekar, chief test rider of PowerDrift, a popular YouTube channel that reviews high-end motorcycles, explains, “I owe a lot of my riding skill to the Mutha ghat and Lavasa road.” Since Maharashtra does not host any racetracks, bikers tend to gravitate toward roads like

Mutha and Lavasa to hone their skills. “You have to remember that this is a public road, and the margin of error is very, very small,” said Sheldekar. He should know; the last of his two crashes there caused a compression fracture in his back, requiring daily physiotherapy. The increasing availability and accessibility of powerful, capable motorcycles starting as low as Rs two lakh is inspiring more riders to take to the

Apex Racing, Coimbatore RACR, Chennai California Superbike School, Chennai TWO by IndiMotard, Coimbatore

Essential riding gear Helmet: Rs 2000 onward Jacket: Rs 4000 onward Gloves: Rs 1500 onward Riding pants: Rs 5000 onward Riding boots: Rs 7000 onward

Motorcycle tracks across the country Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore MMRT, Chennai Buddh International Circuit, Noida

Cattle often grazes across the road, requiring motorists to be alert at all times and prepared for the worst

Bills for visiting faculty forged at the Pune Varsity Case of financial misappropriation to the tune of Rs 50 lakh come to light at the SPPU

roads. Unfortunately, their bravado often trumps skill and in the hopes of emulating their racing heroes, they end up injuring themselves or others. “You can’t carry speed at Lavasa. You’ll get into trouble,” said Sheldekar, who advises enthusiastic riders to attend one of the many riding/racing schools held at the precious few motorcycle race tracks around the country, which teach proper riding technique and the skills to keep you safe on two wheels. “On a public road, expect the worst and always wear full riding gear to avoid injury,” he said.

CCTV cameras help city cops crack five cases Cases have been solved within minutes of occurrences

rahul raut

rahul raut

By Gitesh Shelke @gitesh.shelke

By Gitesh Shelke @gitesh.shelke

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) finance department seems to be the epicentre of financial misappropriations wherein the department officials are alleged to have siphoned off money by presenting counterfeit bills under the premise of lectures by visiting faculty members and resource persons. The SPPU chief security officer, M S Kedari, who lodged a complaint in April 2015, has been quizzed by a city court. The complaint stated that former SPPU registrar Dnyandev Patil, finance officer Ramesh Jadhav and a third unidentified person had presented counterfeit bills, under the guise of lectures at SPPU by resource persons and faculty members from Mumbai, Bijapur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Nasik, Beed, Nanded, Amravati, Nagpur and other parts of the country. Senior university officials seem to be covering up for Patil, Jadhav and their accomplice who are accused of the financial misdeeds. The Chatushrungi police has addressed a letter to Dr Narendra Kadu, the SPPU Registrar, asking him to file a fresh complaint undersigned by the appropriate authority from the finance department, rather than the security official. While initially the misappropriation was said to be in the region of Rs 68,000, further assessment has revealed the amount to be a whopping Rs 50 lakh plus. Sub inspector Rajaramsingh Chavan of Chatushrungi police station who is heading the investigation, told this newspaper that the court has questioned the security chief ’s credentials as a complainant in a case of financial misappropriation. A security official cannot be regarded as a bonafide complainant in a case of

The vigilant Deccan Gymkhana police station personnel nabbed the culprits of a robbery at Jangli Maharaj Road within 20 minutes last week, thanks to the monitoring of CCTV footage at the city police control room. Investigations revealed the culprits to be involved in several robberies in the Shivajinagar, Chatushrungi and Deccan Gymkhana police station jurisdictions. The state home department has installed 1250 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the city, at key roads and junctions, markets, as well as the entry and exit points to the city. The feed from these cameras is being constantly monitored by the personnel of the control room at the city police commissionerate. In the past month, the city police have resolved five serious offenses which were recorded by the CCTVs. Immediate calls were made to the concerned police stations and 14 culprits involved the crimes were nabbed thanks to the CCTV footage. The prompt response by the police station staff to the calls from the control room was also crucial. City Police Commissioner K K Pathak said that he has rewarded the alert personnel at the control room as well as of the police stations for the quick exchange of information and immediate response.

financial misdeeds, as he will be incapable of explaining financial audit or fraud, Chavan said. Chavan said that their investigations revealed that there had been no visits to the SPPU by resource persons or faculty members from outside Pune and that the dates mentioned in the account books and bills were fabricated by the accused. They had also falsely claimed travel fares, accommodation charges, food bills and honorariums. Chavan said that police had arrested Patil and Jadhav, who were later released on bail.

Meanwhile, Registrar Kadu said that the case involved the Academic Staff College, which is a fully autonomous body. “It has funding of University Grants Commission (UGC) which is given to faculty members and resource persons,” he said. “A financial assessment to pinpoint the extent of the misappropriation would be difficult. The Management Council decided at that time that the security chief should be the complainant,” he said. The concerned finance department official or clerk would assist Kedari when the case goes to court, he said.

The Warje police have arrested two suspects in a murder case. They were loitering about in the area after committing the crime. The control room guided the police station staff and the suspects were nabbed before they could flee. Five suspects involved in rioting and attempt of murder

Control room guided the cops and suspects were nabbed

was caught red-handed by the Khadak police station after they assaulted a man. They had earlier been booked under the stringent provisions of MCOCA. Four suspects involved in a robbery were caught red-handed by the police after the control room spotted the incident. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Makarand Ranade said that five cases had been solved in the past month and 14 suspects had been arrested. “The stolen property and arms used in the crimes were seized on the spot. The CCTV footage has been vital in achieving convictions in these cases,” he said. Ranade said that CCTVs have proved to be greatly useful in the detection of crimes and the nabbing of criminals. gitesh.shelke@



“We contested the need for a consultant for the smart city project. Our other objection is to a huge sum of Rs 2 crore that has to be paid to the consultant. The PMC has been directed to not to issue work orders.” — Shiv Sena former corporator Ujwal Keskar

State govts not sharing info on terror financing: Centre

Walmart India CEO sees more focus on ease of doing biz



Being civilian does not pay at DIAT Gargi Verma @missgverma A week after 70 students went on strike, stopping all academic work, all is not well at the Khadakwasla based Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), an autonomous organisation and a deemed university that comes under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The students have accused the management of discriminating against civilian students and have complained that they are being ‘regularly harassed mentally, socially and financially.’ While the students have been protesting outside the gates of the institute, scholarshiprelated details were changed on the website of the institute, overnight, without a written order and the Vice Chancellor’s presence. The students, meanwhile, have also made public their issues regarding hostel allotments and have sent out letters to University Grants Commission, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Defence Ministry, urging their intervention. Hostel woes The stipend is not the only bone of contention between the students and the management. The hostels where the students stay, are not DIAT hostels but POINTS (Post Induction Training School) hostels, meant for the accommodation of the short-term courses students, who belong to the Defence sector. So the DIAT students residing in the hostel are supposed to pay a monthly fee of Rs 5700. They are given individual rooms at the start of the semester, but as soon as students for the short-term courses arrive, they are shifted to other rooms. “We are asked to share and with the threat that if we don’t vacate, our rooms will be broken into and our belongings thrown out,” said a senior research fellow. “They say that the POINTS fellows come only for 22 weeks, but they don’t mention students of other batches who keep

pics byrahul raut

The civilian students of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology are protesting against the alleged discrimation against them by the institute management

coming throughout the year. There hardly is any time of year when we get to have our own room, even though it is a basic requirement in all research institutes,” said another senior research fellow. However, even when they share the room, the students are asked to pay the rent for individual rooms. “According to UGC guidelines, each deemed university must provide hostel accommodation to its students. We are denied that, and are also shifted about in the hostels,” said a junior research fellow. Registrar and VC on holiday The students have been protesting from September 11. However, the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar have both conveniently been missing from the campus. “The Vice Chancellor came to the campus on September 14. When we tried to talk to him, he refused to meet us. However, after much persuasion from our side, he agreed to talk to us. To all of our questions he was either silent or was giving vague answers. When we asked him why, we were told that we would get the hiked scholarship after the board meeting when they credited the old scholarship amount only. He said it was his mistake,” said a senior research fellow. He said, “The next

day he went on a holiday and has not been responding to any official email or phone call by the students.” The Registrar has also been on a holiday in Chandigarh from September 16 and is expected to be back on September 21.

TV Anantsubramanian, on being questioned about this, said, “Only the VC can make such decisions. However, he was not there that day. I have no idea who else ordered these changes. I can assure you, I didn’t.”

Who changed the site? Meanwhile, information on the DIAT website has been changed overnight. While earlier under the Scholarship section there was a line on following UGC rules, now it simply states that the institute norms are to be followed. The change happened on the morning of September 16. “Many of us had seen and considered the UGC scholarships before taking admissions here. Now they go ahead and completely remove it. Who are we to trust?” asked a junior research fellow. The interesting point to note is, nobody seems to know who authorised the change in the website. An officer from the IT Department, on condition of anonymity, said, “We never got a written order. We were just told telephonically by the admin section to make the changes and we did.” This raises serious questions about the authenticity of the website if it is so easily changeable. Moreover, the only person who can order these changes to be made, the Vice Chancellor was absent on the day the changes were made. The Deputy Registrar

Discrimination between Defence and civilian students The 70 students on strike are all civilians. They allege that they are highly discriminated against in favour of the Defence background students. “We are always made to feel and even told that we are not the institute’s priority. We are considered outsiders, even though we are equally or even more qualified,” said a senior research fellow. In a previous conversation with this reporter, the Registrar, Rear Admiral (Retd) VS Batra said, “Our primary concern is students from Defence and DRDO backgrounds.” No allowance for anyone The institute prospectus and the offer letter to the students mentions various allowances including 30 per cent of stipend as housing allowance and a total of Rs 30,000 for research or conferences. However, none of these are paid to the students. “Even though we have letters signed by hostel authorities

I was declared dead: Jayant Pawar Contd from p1

aniruddha rajandekar

Recalling the day when he regained consciousness after 12 days at the recovery room while on dialysis, Jayant says, “I saw my cousin standing in a corner of the room one day and somehow pointed my finger at him. When he saw me, he immediately alerted the nurses and doctors who were overjoyed to see me responding for the first time since that fateful night. After that, I started responding to the treatment quite well.” Jayant had lost 24kg in 25 days and was so weak that even walking a step felt as exhausting as a marathon. “I used to cry when the doctors would make me get up from the bed and step down. Initially, it took nearly four people just to pull me up from the bed, but my doctors were adamant that I try harder. I literally took baby steps to regain my strength.” It took Jayant 33 days before he came back home. The doctors, he says, considered his survival a miracle, “I wasn’t supposed to be alive.” So, despite being a fitness buff all his life, what really led to his sudden illness? Jayant explained, “When it all happened, I was travelling abroad a lot

“My family was not ready to give up on me yet, especially my uncle (Sharad Pawar), who made sure that I got the best doctors.” and I wouldn’t get proper sleep. I was in England and, due to the cold climate, I didn’t feel like drinking water regularly the way I normally did back home. So it was because of dehydration and fatigue that my body had started to get affected. Since I didn’t rest enough after returning from England and hit the gym the very next day, my body couldn’t take

stating that we can’t be accommodated in the hostel, they refuse to give us the allowance,” said a female research fellow who lives outside where she has to pay rent along with travelling costs. A senior research fellow in his 4th year said, “They have even tried to limit the number of conferences we attend, even though they don’t pay for a single one of them.” They pointed out that students belonging from the DRDO or Defence background have no such trouble. “We understand the students concern, but they need to have patience” The Deputy Registrar TV Anantsubramanian believes that the students strike is an active method of displaying their concern and is respected, but they should have a little patience. “I have been a student as well, and I understand their concerns, however, we are doing our best to resolve the crisis in hand,” he said. He

believes it to be a clerical error from the Human Resource and Development Ministry. He said, “We have asked the Defence Ministry to intervene and solve the issue soon, but till then our hands are tied too.” Regarding the hostel issues, he said, “In which hostel do you not have to pay? I accept that we don’t have

45 minutes. Earlier, I would also cycle and run, but that has taken a backseat as I am not supposed to do rigorous activities that could pump up my heart excessively. At 1 pm sharp, I have my lunch that includes chapattis, vegetables and dal. Then, around 4 pm, I take snack break when I eat poha or sheera, and finally have my dinner round 9 pm, which again consists of chapattis, vegetables, dal and rice. The biggest change in the schedule is reducing the stress level, since I have always been very hyperactive.” On the things that he has learned from the entire episode, Jayant says, “Since I was more or less declared dead, I look at it as my second birth. Most of us take life for granted. We waste a whole lot of time in doing unimportant things when there are so many good deeds we can, and should, do. I would like to stay even more focused on pursuing my passion, so as to be able to contribute in elevating the lives of as many deserving individuals, who are willing to work hard, as possible.”

About the issue Around 70 PhD students of the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) have declared an indefinite strike against their management. The students have been deprived of their rightful allotment of

funds by the institute management. The government has raised their research scholarship monthly stipend, but the 70 students have not been paid for the past two months. Not just the stipend has been unpaid without prior notification, but they have also not received their allowances.

Trim comes to chop

PMC does not have a way of finding out if a tree meant to be trimmed is chopped TGS News Service

the stress anymore and I collapsed. The doctors had found out that one of my major arteries was damaged from inside due to the fatigue. I would have lost my life, but it’s my sheer luck and the love and blessings of the people around me – my family, doctors and colleagues – who kept me alive.” After his recovery, Jayant is back at the tennis court and has been regularly sweating it out at his gym for over a month now, with a few restrictions of course. “Unlike earlier, when I used to wake up really early in the morning and sleep only four hours a day, I have now been told to rest as much as possible. So now, I sleep eight hours and wake up only when my body allows me to. I don’t really follow any dietary restrictions but eat as much healthy food as I can. After my morning rituals, I eat two or three wheat chapattis with milk and honey along with almonds – my staple food since childhood. I then head towards my fitness club and work out in the gym for 45 minutes followed by a game of tennis for another

DIAT hostels, but we are in process of building them. Till then we expect the students to co-operate. The POINTS fellows come only for a period of 22 weeks. Surely, they can adjust for this duration.” As far as he is concerned, the housing allowances are given only to students who get a duly signed letter from the hostel authorities, something that none of the students have done, he claimed. For other allowances, he said he was unaware of the technicalities but the institute never left any stone unturned for the students. “We aspire to give them the best and this is the first case of agitation. We hope it gets resolved soon,” he concluded.

DIAT Deputy Registrar T V Anantsubramanian

The civic body is Pune has no means to find out if someone who has been granted permission to trim has gone ahead and chopped down the entire tree. This came to light recently during a hearing at the National Green Tribunal. The western bench of the NGT was hearing a case of a housing society in Kothrud chopping trees while they had permissions only for trimming. Justice VR Kingaonkar and expert member of the NGT, Dr Ajay A Deshpande, asked the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to devise a mechanism on a priority basis. “PMC do not have any compliance verification mechanism, once the permission of tree felling/trimming is granted, though the said permission is a time bound permission,” the bench noted. The bench was hearing a complaint filed by two members of Sahajanand Co-operative Society in Kothrud against managing committee members,

Pic for representation only

DIAT students accuse management of discrimination against civilian students

civic body and the contractor who had felled the trees. The bench found that PMC had already filed an FIR against the managing committee members for exceeding the permissions and felling the trees which were meant only to be trimmed. The civic body got to know of the violation only after they received a written complaint. This observation made the bench ask if PMC had any mechanism of finding out about the violation on its own. Advocate PS Suryavanshi, appearing for the civic body said that there was no such mechanism in place. Activists across the city claim that housing societies take advantage of the fact that PMC does not have a mechanism in place once trimming permissions are granted. Often societies exceed the brief and end up felling the trees. It is only when someone complains to PMC that the civic body wakes up and files an FIR under the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees, Act.

These tree stumps are testimony to the extravagant trimming measures


Several Ganesh pandals blocking roads By Gitesh Shelke @gitesh.shelke Gitesh Shelke

Police (Traffic) Sarang Awad said that despite registering offenses against them, vehicle drivers or owners are fleeing with the jammers. “We file complaints of theft against the car drivers or owners, with the local police stations. Many car drivers or owners have been arrested in the past year,” he said. Vehicle owners are not only breaching the traffic norms but are also stealing the jammers, he said. Awad said that 30 jammers had been stolen and FIRs were registered with city police stations

in the past year. “We photograph the vehicles, their number plates, after putting on the jammers. Then they are traceable thanks to the registration numbers,” he said. Awad said that such drivers or owners are inviting trouble. Even luxury car or SUV owners steal the jammers, which are government property, he said. Six such incidents have been reported from the Swargate area, and some from Hadapsar and Kothrud traffic divisions. gitesh.shelke@

The city traffic police are zeroing in on Ganapati mandals who have erected pandals on the city roads without procuring permissions from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and the city police. City traffic police personnel are focusing on pandals erected on public which are causing obstructions to traffic, and checking if they have availed of the necessary permissions. They are noting down the names and phone numbers of defaulting mandal presidents, and are also photographing the pandals. The police have identified 35 such pandals in the old parts of the city, which have been are erected without taking proper permissions from the civic authorities and police. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sarang Awad said that the police are continuing the survey and details of offending mandals will be forwarded to the concerned civic authorities. The city traffic police had detected 53 Ganapati mandals whose pandals were in violation of norms, in the old parts of

Aniruddha Rajandekar

Cops have initiated a survey to identify pandals that have been erected in complete violation of laws; to be brought to book

Car owners are taking the easy way out by ‘stealing’ jammers put on by the police for parking infringements

If you think taking home the jammer put on your vehicle put by traffic cops is a joke, think again. With rising cases of offenders whose vehicles had been jammed for parking in ‘no parking’ zones, walking away with the jammers, just to evade the Rs 100 fine, traffic cops in the city have now decided to come down hard. Offenders are no longer traced and merely served ‘parking’ tickets. Instead they are getting booked for theft which entails jail terms of three years. The traffic cops have started booking people who replace the jammed wheels with spares and



Stealing jammers will put you in a serious jam take home the jammers, under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code. This week, the traffic cops traced and booked Amol Laxman Shinde of Hadapsar for allegedly making away with a jammer worth Rs 3000, which was put on Shinde’s car since it was parked in a no parking zone on the New Airport Road, on the morning of September 14. A complaint in this regard was filed by traffic police constable Vishal Ithape. The police got the car registration number from the photographs taken at the time of putting the jammer on the vehicle. Such incidents of vehicle owners/drivers driving away their cars with the jammers put on by the city traffic police for parking in no parking zones, have been reported from Sinhagad Road and Kothrud areas. These vehicle owners are trying to evade the fines ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 500. But, they are liable to get into serious trouble when police file First Information Reports (FIRs) against them for stealing the jammers. Deputy Commissioner of

Poor rains likely to hit kharif output

New areas in Bengal to produce tea

“After the Nirbhaya case, the Union government had set up the Justice JS Verma committee, which recommended police reforms among other things. However, nothing much has changed.” — Kiran Moghe, All India Democratic Women Association

By Gitesh Shelke @gitesh.shelke


the city and Satara Road. The pandals were encroaching on the roads beyond the permissible limits and hampering the flow of traffic. The areas surveyed were Faraskhana, Vishrambaug, Samarth, and Khadak, which have the most number of pandals for the Ganesh festival. The pandals were erected, occupying 70 per cent of the carriage width of the roads. Even emergency vehicles of the fire brigade, ambulances or MSEDCL were unable to pass through these roads. The list of such offending

pandals will be finalised in the next two days and handed over to the civic authorities for action against the mandals. “The roads are owned by the civic bodies and they should lodge complaints against the pandals or mandals for illegally encroaching on the road space,” Awad said. Ganapati mandals must be a registered with the Charity Commissioner and should take permissions from the civic bodies and the city police before setting up their pandals. gitesh.shelke@

Senior citizen’s murder sends ripples across Viman Nagar

Police suspect that the culprits entered the apartment with the intention to steal and ended up murdering the senior citizen; fled with cash and gold worth Rs 1.30 lakh

With this issue

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A foodies’ delight in a rickshaw




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Rahul raut


Being more vulnerable, the elderly are increasingly being targeted by miscreants and the criminal element in the city, for material or monetary gains. In the most recent incident of this kind, 82-year-old Satishchandra

Gopal Dravid was found murdered in his Vimannagar residence, on Thursday night. The unidentified culprits stabbed him to death before fleeing with cash and goods worth Rs 1.30 lakh from the house. The Airport Police said that the crime was committed at around 8.30 pm. Dravid was alone in his apartment on the third floor of Lunkad Valencia



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By TGS news service @TGSWeekly

near Joggers Park at the time. His wife and other family members were attending Ganesh celebrations. Their Maid servant left the house at 8.30 pm, but Dravid had not bolted the door as he was going out for his evening walk. Entering through the open door, the unknown culprits attacked Dravid with a knife, leaving him with grave injuries on his head and neck. They escaped unnoticed. Dravid’s family returned to find him lying in a pool of blood, with the knife embedded in his neck. Senior Police Inspector Sanjay Kurundkar of Airport police station said that Dravid was an engineer with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and had been living in the flat for a few years with his wife, daughter and grandchild. The culprits were not spotted entering or going away from the scene of the crime, by any neighbours or the society watchman. The police suspect that there was a scuffle between the culprits and the victim, and surveyed the crime scene for clues that may lead them to the culprits.

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Make way for the next top model



“I have always been in public as I am a people’s leader. Congress leaders have to take a call on my suspension from the party . I am not saying anything, it’s their decision.” — Suresh Kalmadi, Former Pune MP

We need more parking lots on MG Road P 15

IUCAA’s two scientists are part of Astrosat project ready for its Sept 28 launch

rahul raut

understand the present realms and know more about the existing stars,” answered Bhattacharya to a student’s question.

BY GARGI VERMA @missgverma Two faculty at the city’s InterUniversity Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) have reason to cheer when Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will put Astrosat through a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL into orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on September 28. Shortened for astronomy satellite, Astrosat is a unique satellite that will make observations in different wavelengths from a common platform. It has an X-ray telescope and far UV (ultraviolet) telescope. One of the chief contributors in its development over its two decades of history is IUCAA. Besides providing technical support, the institute’s director Somak Raychaudhuri and faculty Dipankar Bhattacharya have been involved in the development of Astrosat from its first day. In a talk organised recently by Akashmitra and Fergusson College’s ASTRO club, Bhattacharya spoke about the satellite. “Astrosat is a multi-wavelength mission in a nearly equatorial 650 km orbit, capable of highly efficient wavelength mapping. It has a spectrum of 50,000 waves as it can map from 0.1 angstorm to 5,000 angstorm,” said Bhattacharya declaring it to be a unique mission. “We at ISRO are very excited and there’s a reason to be

IUCAA faculty Dipankar Bhattacharya have been involved in the development of Astrosat (right) from its first day

so as something like this hasn’t been attempted before, ever,” he said. ONE-OF-A-KIND It is India’s astronomical satellite with telescopes, meant for studying objects in the deep sky. It can make observations in ultraviolet, optical, visible, low and X-ray wavelengths simultaneously. It will study stars, quasars, pulsars, supernova remnants, black holes and active galactic nuclei. “Our outer space is visible only in a limited way because of atmosphere. However, the satellite is capable in seeing the same things in different ways, leading to collection of a lot of data that can help us unravel mysteries of the earth. Due to its structure

consisting of heavy walls and large area, it is susceptible to a high pressure detection. In layman’s terms, it means that the satellite encounters more amount of gas and thus is able to provide us better data collection. But imaging is not the only thing Astrosat is capable of. It has the potency to record the energy, structural properties and source direction of each photon that ever hits its surface,” Bhattacharya said, adding that an endless amount of information relayed back to us can form the base for several other advances in the space. However, the satellite will not work in the field of exo-planetary discovery. “We are not looking for new planets by Astrosat. We are trying to

OPEN TO PUBLIC The satellite is also going to function as an observatory, with the added advantage of it being open to public. So, it won’t just be limited to the government organisations. “Anyone with a brilliant idea or plan can approach ISRO, submit proposal and work with the satellite after getting their plan approved. Till then, the satellite will do and observe only what the proposers want them to. It is a revolutionary idea as it places high-end technology in the hands of young researchers, scientists and innovators,” he said. The satellite is the brainchild of six national and two international organisations. Built primarily on the funds of ISRO, it has technical inputs from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai; Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru; Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad; Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru and IUCAA. It has international support from The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and University of Leicester (UK). The satellite will travel in a 650km orbit which is nearly circular. Even though extra measures have been taken to increase its longevity, there’s no provision of repair as ISRO is still not ready to send out manned missions. Bhattacharya said, “We have avoided the anomaly in the South Atlantic

Zone where the radiation of Earth is strongest, while planning the orbit so as to increase its longevity. But it will go through its normal wear and tear eventually and its repairing will cost

us more than sending a brand new satellite. That is too far away now, though. The mission will accomplish a lot before we have to replace it.”

Rainwater harvesting, need of the hour FTII stand-off: 100 days Handful of housing societies are showing the way to beat the water crisis

Government voices willingness to open a dialogue with the striking students By TGS news service @TGSWeekly

rahul raut

By Ekta Katti @Ektaak

Colonel (retd) Shashikant Dalvi spearheaded the initiative of implementing rainwater harvesting model in housing society Lunkad Greenland II, Vimannagar in 2003

society on Apte Road says that rainwater harvesting brings manifold benefits. “We installed the rainwater harvesting model in 2012. Returns on Property Tax is one of its most important benefits, along with a rise in the ground water level, uninterrupted water supply,” he said. Lt Colonel MD Khipse of Florida Estate Society, Keshavnagar, thinks that all the initial effort to install the rainwater harvesting model at their society has been more than worthwhile. “Ours is a big society, and it took us three years to complete the project. But now everyone is reaping the rewards as we have no water problems. And when it rains, the water is filling up our borewell,” he said.

Rainwater is collected from rooftops, filtered and stored in a borewell

What is r ainwater harvesting Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses. The rainwater is collected from various

hard surfaces such as rooftops and/or other man-made, aboveground hard surfaces. The water collected is redirected to a deep pit (well, shaft, or borehole), a reservoir with percolation, or collected from dew or fog with nets or other tools. Its uses include water for gardens, livestock, irrigation, domestic use with proper treatment, and indoor heating for houses etc. The harvested water can also be used as drinking water, longer-term storage and for other purposes such as groundwater recharge. Civic benefits The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) provides five per cent returns on Property Tax for housing societies, where rainwater harvesting has been implemented. Since the first model was installed in 2003, 3,350 housing society members have received rebates on their Property Tax. The PMC, while offering these incentives, wants housing societies to take the initiative in starting rainwater harvesting. The numbers of citizens who are availing of such rebates is on the increase which is a positive sign regarding rainwater harvesting.

Hunger strike Meanwhile, five students participating in the chain hunger strike launched on September 10, have been hospitalised due to their health conditions. Three students are on rotation fast, and as one breaks fast, another takes his place. Of the eight involved in the hunger strike, five have broken their fast. Himanshu Shekhar, a 2012 acting batch student has been on fast since September 10. Though his health worsened on September 18 and he was hospitalised, he has refused to call off his fast. “I hope that the ministry officials come to the campus to see the ground reality. I sincerely urge Rathore sir to please come and visit us before something

“We hope they do not have any premeditations and are ready to discuss with an open mind.” - RANJIT NAYAR

untoward happens,” Himanshu said while addressing the media on September 14. Even though there is now a possibility of a dialogue with the ministry, the students plan to continue their hunger strike until their issues are resolved. Parents’ support The students’ parents have voiced their support for the students’ cause at a press conference in Delhi, urging the government to try and resolve the issue. Alok Arora’s mother Sunita came to the FTII Pune to demonstrate her support. She said, “The apathy of the management is surprising. The Director does not give satisfactory answers. I hope the management and the government can break this deadlock.” Money matters City-based RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar has obtained documents through RTI proving that the strike has been supported

Aniruddha Rajandekar

The monsoon rainfall this year in Pune city has been much below average. This has sparked a severe water crisis, forcing the Pune Municipal Corporation to resort to drastic measures like alternate day water supply. The situation has also brought into focus an urgent need for water conservation. Rainwater harvesting has been a practical solution to counter this situation over the last few years, and a number of housing societies where it has been implemented, are now benefiting from it in a big way. Colonel (retd) Shashikant Dalvi, chairman of the Lunkad Greenland II Society in Viman Nagar, who swears by the rainwater harvesting concept, is distressed by the lack of awareness regarding rainwater harvesting in the city. “I had to persuade members of my housing society to implement rainwater harvesting way back in 2003. And the good news is that we have never had any trouble coping with PMC’s water cuts since then,” Dalvi said. The rain water collected from the rooftops of the buildings in the society is redirected through pipes, then filtered and stored in a borewell. Lunkad Greenland II Society was among the first in Pune to start rainwater harvesting. It has paid dividends, because implementing it is a one-time investment and then the benefits continue for years to come. “Before rainwater harvesting, we needed two or three water tankers per day for our society. But after installing the necessary pipes and borewell, we have not needed any water tankers. Our society has nine hours of water supply from eight filter pipes,” Dalvi said. Ruby Hall Hospital, Sangamwadi, implemented rainwater harvesting in 2008, to reduce their sky-rocketing water bills. Deputy manager of maintenance, Prashant Bachal, said, “We used to order 900 tankers of water per year. So we jumped at the chance to implement the rainwater harvesting concept.” informs. They have installed six water filters, and now the hospital has adequate water reserves to see them through any crisis. Bachal feels that rainwater harvesting also helps to increase ground water levels. Bhaskar Bhatlekar of Archi Belle

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) impasse has reached its 100-day milestone on September 19. While the government has shown an interest in opening up a dialogue with the striking students in a written letter addressed to Harishankar Nachimutu, President of the FTII students’ body, the students are yet to receive any details regarding the date or the logistics. “It has taken the government so long to respond. We hope they do not have any pre-meditations and are ready to discuss all our issues with an open mind,” said Ranjit Nayar, a student representative.

RTI query proves that the strike has been supported by FTII monetarily

by the institute monetarily. “The money spent on the students’ and alumnis’ Delhi travel was paid for by the institute. Their lodging and boarding were also paid for by the institute. It amounted to Rs 2 lakh. The institute has also paid the private hospital bills of students. The management stopped paying for the striking students when the ministry objected,” he said. About the strike The FTII students have been protesting against the appointments of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan’s as chairman and four other members of the Governing Council, since June 12. They have been supported by bigwigs of Indian cinema as well as student bodies across the country. About FTII The Film Institute of India was established in 1960 on the erstwhile Prabhat Studio premises in Pune. The institute was renamed ‘The Film and Television Institute of India’ in 1971. The Television Wing, earlier located at the Mandi House, New Delhi was shifted to Pune in the early 70s, bringing together the training in film and television under a common roof. The institute offers several post graduate diploma courses in cinematography, screenplay writing, direction, sound design, video editing, TV direction, among others.

India’s first space observatory and city scientists


“We will join hands with other communities to widen the movement over reservation in education and jobs. We will mobilise this movement for all communities, not just the Patidars.” — Hardik Patel, Patel community leader


“Nobody must enforce their religious tenets on the people of other faiths and keep it to the confines of their respective homes.” — Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena President

Viney Kirpal’s mission is to provide equitable access to education


‘We have an obligation towards underprivileged’ the teacher-student relationship for positive and long-lasting implications for students’ academic and social development. “Teachers are the catalyst for change in education. Every teacher touches the lives of around 15,000 students in his/her entire career. Hence, it is important for them to adopt an effective method of teaching. Students studying in free (Marathi) schools of Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) lack good teaching, basic facilities such as libraries, sports items, and extracurricular orientation. Later, they fail to understand lectures or textbooks in English and end up as dropouts. We try to fi ll that gap through training and development by providing models, materials and coaching,” Viney said. She advocated the need for model schools for needy children managed by NGO/civic body/corporates that follow the standards of a private school. GREAT Foundation has covered

BY JAMES MATHEW @mathewthejames Viney Kirpal, 66, enthuses, motivates, raises aspirations and inspires confidence in anyone who meets her for the first time. But her forte is changing the lives of school students. The soft-spoken woman believes in calling a spade a spade and has been doing her bit to give the underprivileged an education that will help them lead a respectable life. The Founder-Executive President of GREAT Foundation (Global Research Education And Training Foundation, Pune) is former Professor and Head of Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of IIT Bombay. WAKE-UP CALL The Centre implemented the scheme of reservation of seats for Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) students in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for the first time in 1973. IIT Bombay selected eight SC/ST students in keeping with the recommendations of the Chandy Committee Report. “I was part of the teaching faculty that gave the one-year preparatory course to SC/ST students in IIT Bombay. I found that it was difficult for these students to survive in the competitive IIT setup and needed additional facilities, extra tutorials. And many had to leave the Institute for failure of fulfilling the academic requirements,” Viney said. To address the academic and social adjustments of these students, the Senate of IIT Bombay appointed a panel in 1976. “As a faculty advisor, I

Viney Kirpal (centre) and Lewitt Somarajan (right) explain a scientific model to the students of Rabindranath Tagore Pune Cantonment Board School at Old Modikhana, Bootie Street

used to regularly interact with students apart from teaching English. I did not have an answer when one of the students who was asked to leave because of continued poor performance asked, ‘Madam, why did I ever come to IIT?’ We need a humane and sociological approach towards these students,” she said, adding that the incident triggered her resolve to do something to provide quality education to SC/ST and the underprivileged. FACT-FINDING & RESEARCH As an IIT Bombay faculty, Viney wrote around 90 papers, some of them on

quality education, including various problems that SC/ST students face in IIT. “The government should take steps to train bright SC/ST students for competitive set-ups such as IITs at the school level itself. There could also be special coaching at the post-school level, but prior to their entry into IIT. Special coaching after entering IIT overburdens and isolates them. It would be advisable to screen SC/ST students right at the VIII or IX standard using aptitude tests and coaching them up accordingly,” she said. Initially, Viney thought of starting an education project for SC/STs only

Youngsters taking charge

In between hectic college and school schedules, this enthusiastic bunch of students are doing their bit to make city a better place to live

Within ten months of formation, the members and volunteers of Utopia has carried out four campaigns, including ‘Petrol Pe Signal’ campaign

BY SALONEE MISTRY @Sal0412 While the city is seeing a rise in the number of organisations and groups working towards building a better society, each social body has something that sets it apart. For some it is the cause that they are involved in while for others the group itself is their unique selling point. One such group is Utopia. And the team with 250 volunteers has successfully completed six major projects. With founders, core team and volunteers just aged between 10 and 17, their Chinmay Kalluraya dedication and commitment will put some experienced elders to shame. A SMALL DREAM Opening the doors to a possibility of a better society, Shaunak Kulkarni and Chinmay Kalluraya founded Utopia on November 14, 2014. The duo, aged 17 and standard XII students of Orchid School, Baner, had no major plans or goals in place. They wanted to make Pune a better city to live in and were willing to pool in as many resources as possible to make it a reality. “It began with an episode of television serial Crime Patrol that got me thinking on how and what I as an individual could

do to make my life better. I realised that smaller things matter the most and decided to start somewhere,” Shaunak said. He ran the idea through Chinmay and they set about to do the ground work and make things happen. They approached friends, convinced them to be a part of the initiative and were off to a promising start. THOUGHT THAT COUNTS Being an organisation run by students, its reach might not be spread across the city yet. But believing that they can make the change is what counts. Utopia’s fi rst project ‘SaafCity’ campaign was launched when it was just a month old. Cleaning an area opposite Trikaya Hotel at Bavdhan in the wee hours of morning was just the start. Later, they also tied with Pune Inspire to clean the streets of Baner on Sundays and continue to be involved in the cleanliness drive. Less than a month later, the group’s second venture was to ensure that motorists and drivers turned off their engines at long traffic signals reducing the wastage of petrol. Garnering ample praise for their “Petrol Pe Signal’ campaign, the volunteers were driven to do more. Several volunteers walked up to cars waiting at the signal at University Road Junction and requested motorists to turn off their vehicles’ engines. They even held banners and placards to create awareness about using helmets. “While some people were quite reluctant to listen to us, we managed

to convince quite a few to turn off their engines. It was an extremely fun day and we could not be happier of the campaign’s success,” said Sanskruti Wale, Vice-President and Director of Human Resources for Utopia. They held two drives of this campaign. Under the third campaign ‘The Unwritten Beginning’, the group collected old notebooks carrying spare pages and made new notebooks for needy children. The children from Balewadi who received 30 books were the first beneficiaries. The fourth campaign was at an old age home where the volunteers spent time with the residents. In their recent campaigns ‘Magic’, they provided gifts to the children of Sparsh Balgram and organised painting, singing, dancing events and a magic show. Their next campaign, the conceptualisation and work of which is still underway, is tentatively scheduled for Shaunak Kulkarni October. INEXPENSIVE CAMPAIGN Managing every drive by themselves, the volunteers have never collected donations. Their only fundraiser was a Model United Nations arranged in June this year. “It is not like the registration to the MUN was highly priced. We just don’t use that much money when it comes to our campaigns. We believe that the campaigns have to be more meaningful and touching as opposed to expensive and grand. Every little bit counts. The maximum it costs us for our campaigns is chart paper for banners or gloves for our cleanliness drive,” said Shantanu. Every volunteer was asked to donate Rs 50 to join Utopia and the money is used whenever the need arises. The organisation is a perfect example of how one needs nothing much to make a difference as long as the drive and keenness to change exists.

but her friends counselled her to cover the underprivileged children.And GREAT Foundation was formed in 2002 to provide ‘best education, material resources and training to needy schoolchildren and their teachers to help them realise their full potential and become professionals’, as their website states. THE WAY FORWARD The former IIT Bombay faculty just had to contact the alumni of the premier institute when she fell short of funds during GREAT Foundation’s earlier days. She believes in improving

73 schools in Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra in two years. “Our study materials are in Marathi, Kannada and English and we are covering 45 schools in Pune,” she said. THE FUTURE “We plan to start short-term courses in fashion designing and automobile engineering. Adding English and Mathematics in our science project is also on the cards,” Viney said, adding that giving vocational courses will give them ambition and instil goals for life. Talks are also on with various stakeholders to adopt 30 municipal schools in Pune. She said that the Ministry of Education should come out with strong solutions as the present form of ‘half-baked’ education is falling into dangerous lows in terms of quality. “Immediate steps should be taken as these children might end up as ‘rejects’ for life,” she said.

FORCE BEHIND SCIENCE LAB PROJECT Making education accessible for all was what made Lewitt Somarajan, 27, to be a part of GREAT Foundation after doing his two-year fellowship with Teach For India. “I joined the Teach For India project in Pune after completing my chemical engineering from Nagpur in 2011. I was part of the team that taught the students of Jaihind English Medium School in Warje Malwadi. Later, I developed a science lab project for standard III-X students with two of my colleagues. Now it is part of GREAT Foundation and we have a 12-member team that covers R&D, content, training, procurement and manufacturing segments,” he said. Lewitt said that the introduction of these models in schools have helped better students’ grade. “An independent study found that there was 68 per cent rise in grades in 2014 after teachers and students adopted our teaching methods. Initially it is a ‘cultural shock’ for students and teachers as they are used to the traditional methods. We have to be patient and it is the hope that motivates us because later the eyes of these same kids sparkle when they understand the concepts and start enjoying learning. Any project that understands the needs of stakeholders first and engages them will be fruitful,” he said.




SEPTEMBER 19, 2015



Piraji Bajire and his family ruminate over their situation outside their home near the construction site

of a new day will be kinder to them than what has been. THE MIGRANTS A construction site at Hadapsar has been a boon for some migrants, since it has given them work and a steady source of income, which is Rs 425 per day. They all have makeshift accommodation in the form of tin sheet huts, where electricity and water come free of cost. Their drinking water comes on alternate days from a nearby petrol pump. A makeshift hut provides shelter for the children of these construction site workers. Two of the migrant women are paid to look after the children.

of Rs 30,000. As things stand, Venkat may not be able to return home any time soon. Until then, the construction site job is the only thing he can rely on. Vasant Ganpati Chavan, 40, his wife Panchaphula, 35, son Sandip, 20, and daughterin-law Sandhya, 19, who migrated to Pune, have been fortunate to find work at the construction site. They also feel fortunate to have a roof over their heads, with free electricity and water. Vasant said, “Pune is a place where things cost far more than back home. We have had a hard time because no matter how many hours we work, we have barely enough to feed ourselves.” Vasant has a debt of two lakh rupees, and is not

hit people flock to Pune for survival 90 lakh farmers in Maharashtra have been hit by the drought. Agriculture department statistics put the number of drought-affected farmers at two-thirds of the state’s 1.37 crore farmers.


The state government had declared that 60 per cent of its villages were facing drought-like conditions, reporting a 50 per cent drop in crop yields. The 16 badly hit districts include Nanded, Parbhani, Sangli, Jalna, Ahmednagar and Solapur. The Maharashtra government has identified 69 of the state’s total 355 talukas as areas facing droughtlike conditions. The Maharashtra government to declare an area as drought-hit if it receives less than 50 per cent of average rainfall between June and July as against the earlier criterion of less than 75 per cent precipitation in the said months.

Vasant Chavan, his wife Panchaphula, son Sunil, daughter-in-law Sandhya returning from a hard day’s work at the construction site

Hailing from Neuli village in Nanded district, Venkat Ramrao Devgate, 22, moved to Pune with his wife Sangeeta, 20, two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son three months ago. Venkat’s four-acre farmland, where he cultivates soya bean and moong dal, has been almost barren for two years. “Last year was not as bad as this year, when there has been almost no rain. We have no money to invest in a well either,” he said. Venkat is also paying off a debt

Drought should be declared if the water stock in irrigation dams is less than minus 0.4 of the Normal Difference in Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Vidarbha regions are the worst hit. The state government had declared that 60 per cent of its villages were facing drought-like conditions, reporting a 50 per cent drop in crop yields, decimating the state’s agricultural output for the year. The 16 badly hit districts include Nanded, Parbhani, Sangli, Jalna, Ahmednagar and Solapur. Though the state government has sanctioned substantial sums of money to aid the drought-hit farmers, there are still a large and significant number of farmers who are at the end of their tether. With no hopes of a solution and the bleak prospect of starvation staring them in the face, some of the drought-affected farmers are migrating to the cities

Savita Pawar, 24, and her husband Ramdas, moved to Pune a few days ago, and are living in a tin shed

bring. “There is nothing I can do back home. At least here I have some opportunity to earn some money,” he said. Arvind Wankhede, 55, has been in Pune for eight years, and the current flood of migrants

Venkat Devgate, his wife Sangeeta and their offspring in their crowded little home

What awaits them is hard life and even scarcer livelihood

BY SHAILESH JOSHI & SALONEE MISTRY @TGSWeekly Almost 90 lakh farmers in Maharashtra have been hit hard by the drought that has laid waste the kharif crop. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of farmers’ suicides in the country and the prevailing drought situation brought about by delayed and inadequate monsoon rainfall has rendered an already desperate situation even worse. The current drought is one of the worst to hit the state in recent years. Agriculture department statistics put the number of drought-affected farmers at two-thirds of the state’s 1.37 crore farmers. As in the past, the Marathwada and

all of us found work, but now we have to make do with what little we earn,” said Piraji. “The roof leaks during the rains and a long spell of rain leaves our little house water-logged and muddy. But who can we complain to except god or fate?” he said. Piraji owes Rs 80,000 to a village money-lender and this construction site job is what is keeping him and his family alive. Laxmibai Datta Hade, 55, is a widow, who moved to the city a fortnight ago, from Lonal village in Nanded. She shares a 10 x 10 shed with another woman called Nagarbai, who is from the same village. “We get drinking water from a nearby petrol pump on alternate days. I work eight hours at the construction site and earn Rs 425 a day. But I have a daughter who is completely dependent on me, so this money does not go too far,” said Laxmibai. A native of Lonal, in Nanded district, Nagarbai Maruti Mundge, 35, came to Pune in search of work. She has a married daughter as well as a school-going daughter and mother who are completely dependent on her. Nagarbai used to pick cotton for a well-to-do farmer in her village. She is no stranger to misfortune, having lost her husband ten years ago. But the current drought that has forced her to migrate to Pune, has made her wary and fearful of the times to come. She said, “I am rarely able to talk to my mother or daughter. And when I do, they are always crying, telling me how much they miss me, and urging me to come back home.” But that’s a luxury she can ill afford now. Nagarbai has to pay off a debt of Rs 10,000, and ensure that her daughter completes her education. She is surviving on the wages from the construction site work.

in the hope of finding some work which will enable them to keep body and soul together. It is a mass exodus and Pune is one of the prime destinations for these migrant farmers and their families. Taking shelter where they can, and even living on the pavements as some are forced to, these migrants are to be seen in nooks and corners, unbowed by the blows of fate, and conjuring up the resilience to battle against the odds and survive in the big, bad city. There’s no time for them to think longingly of the homes they have left behind, or even worry about what’s to come. Their one priority is to earn whatever they can to feed themselves for the day, and pray that the coming dawn

likely to return home any time soon. “We do all kinds of work here, sweeping, gardening, carrying loads and as household help,” said Vasant. Piraji Maruti Bajire, 40, his wife Raubai, 37, moved to the city with their daughters Anjana, 17, Anita, 10, Ranjana, 5, and three-year-old Bajrang, from Shikara taluka in Nanded. They live cramped up in a 10 x 10 tin shed, with just the bare necessities. “We would be better off if

Nagarbai Mundge and Laxmibai Hade are from the same village so they are good company for each other in a place far from home

Hailing from Latur in Chakur taluka, Kishore Londhe, 25, and his wife Swati (22) live in a in a zopadpatti at Karvenagar, and pay Rs 1000 monthly as rent. Their temporary home has a leaky roof, poor lighting and a stone floor. They have been in Pune for nearly three months. However, their hopes of earning a fair living here have been dashed, as he has found work for just eight days, which was mostly manual labour, and what he has earned is not even enough to feed himself and his wife. Majoor adda is where he is to be found daily in search of work. There is not much he can do to help out his two brothers and parents back home, nor worry about feeding his cattle. Kishore said, “There is little water in the dams, so there is no water in the canal that connects to our farm. We have no water to drink even. We have to feed the cattle somehow, and the milk they yield comes handy.” His farmland has yielded nothing of the regular soya bean and toor dal that they harvest regularly, and the way things are going, there is going to be no produce next year either. Kishore owes money to the tune of Rs 50,000. Gopal Hooghe, 30, and his wife Savita, 25, migrated to Pune three months ago in search of work. But they have found work for just ten days and so have been having a hard time making ends meet. Their supplies have almost run out as have their hope and patience. “We have become used to going without food for long stretches, because work is so hard to come by and it doesn’t pay much either,” said Gopal. They hang around at Warje bridge Majoor adda hoping for work. One ray of kindness has been a restaurant owner who gives them free food. They share a room with four other couples and pay Rs 1500 per month as rent. They have not paid the rent for two months but his kindly landlord has not evicted them yet. “He understands our plight and we will pay him as soon as we can,” he said. Gopal also owes a debt of one and a half lakh rupees. Sandeep Suryavanshi, 24, has migrated here from Dhondhi village near Parbhani. He initially used to get his living expenses from home, but with the onset of drought those funds dried up. He therefore, was forced to find parttime work at a grocery store in the Mandai area. He is also preparing for competitive exams and lives in a hostel at Shukrawar Peth, which is far more comfortable than living in a tin shed. From what he earns, Sandeep sets aside a little to send home to his parents. Dilip Shivram Sontakke, 44, arrived in Pund just days ago from Jamul in Nanded. He has left his wife, parents and two brothers back home. He has been hanging around Majoor adda all day but is yet to find any work. The little money and supplies have almost run out Dilip has no inkling of what tomorrow may

now threatens his livelihood. “With so many migrating here, our chances of finding work have diminished. They are willing to work for less money which means that we now have to be ready to work for lower wages.” MAJOOR ADDA The Majoor adda under the Warje bridge is

like skipping meals and taking up. Their living expenses in Pune, including lodging and boarding, and other sundries, is Rs 60008000 per month on a minimum. It’s a constant struggle for them to make ends meet and with no end in sight to the dry spell, the prospects aren’t exactly bright either. Sharad Atole, 27, migrated to Pune owing to the dire drought-hit situation at Shirsuphal in Baramati. “I eat once a day as I have to save all the money I can to send home to my family. My father, mother and brother depend on farming for their livelihood. Our four-acre plot of land has been barren owing to the dry spell. I am preparing for competitive exams and I have found a part-time job as librarian at Ramkrishna Math on Sinhagad Road,” said Sharad. The job fetches him Rs 4000 monthly. He is just one of the veritable flood of students who have migrated to Pune for education and more importantly, to supplement their families’ income. He has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in marketing. He quit his job in a marketing fi rm owing to low wages and is now aiming for a banking job, and has been appearing for the exams for three years. Ravindra Shinde migrated to Pune in search of work, from Ladjalgaon village of Shevgaon tehsil in Ahmednagar. He has passed his 12th exam but his family can’t pay for hic college education. His family’s eight-acre plot of farmland where they grow cotton is lying unused as they have not done any sowing owing to the dry spell. His younger brother Kiran is still in school. He used to work at a block making factory in the village where he was paid Rs 100 per day. His father has taken Rs 40,000 from a moneylender. “Th is debt is a burden and I am helping my father repay it,” Ravindra said. Bhagwan Mule, 26, from Narangvadi in

Sandeep Suryavanshi earns a little money thanks to his part-time stint at this grocery store in the Mandai area

a beehive of activity, with throngs of people milling around in search of work. These hopefuls are of all ages and of both sexes. Most migrants have no trade in hand, being mostly farmers or farm workers. They are, therefore, willing to undertake any jobs that involve manual labour, menial jobs that do not call for much more than physical labour. And they cannot afford to be picky or complain about the wages either. And with so many willing workers, their employers are able to get the most work out of them at minimal costs. THE MIGRANT STUDENT POPULATION The drought situation in Maharashtra is also taking its toll on the student population, forcing some to find some sources of income and others less fortunate to quit their schools or colleges. Some students living in Pune were dependent on the expense money they were receiving from home, but the drought has rendered their families incapable of continuing the source of funds. These students now have to resort to drastic measures to save on their expenses,

Osmanabad district has migrated here owing to the dismal situation back home. His family owns 14 acres of land which is now barren owing to the drought. He has found work as a maths teacher to supplement the money he gets from home. He has an MSc in maths and is studying for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams. Earlier his parents would send him Rs 7000 a month from home but now they send just Rs 3000. “I cannot imagine how things will be if this dry spell continues. As it is, no one celebrates any festivals in my village owing to the drought situation,” he said. Bhoopendra Jambhulkar hails from Chaprad village in Bhandara district. He has not visited home for five months owing to the shortage of money. He is doing his MA in Pali language at the Savitribai Phule Pune University. His family owns four acres of land but with the drought situation they are in dire financial straits and are unable to send him enough money. He has therefore, joined the ‘earn while you learn’ programme at the university. (with inputs Ajay Rupanavar)




The very first Apple logo featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting underneath a tree, with an apple about to hit his head —

Pentagon’s India Rapid Reaction Cell P 13

Walmart India CEO sees more focus on ease of doing biz The future growth for India is going to come from the services sector Walmart India president and chief executive Krish Iyer said that in the last one year he has seen significant focus from both central and state governments when it comes to ease of doing business. “As a representative of a large foreign company operating in India, in the last one year I have seen very significant focus from governments, both state and central, in the area of ease of doing business. “While efforts are being taken, it is perhaps not visible to all and I think given the deeprooted problems of the economy and the system, it will take some more time for the results to be visible,” Iyer said at India Retail Forum here. Iyer added that he could see “willingness and the desire to listen and simplify things from

Krish Iyer said brick-and-mortar players will continue to learn from the pure-play e-commerce players and drive profitable growth while providing omni-channel experience to customers

every Chief Minister across the country”. While the focus on manufacturing is laudable and important, the future growth for India is going to come from the services sector, he said. Quoting the recent Goldman Sachs report, he said India could deliver eight per cent growth over the next five

years driven by technology, with 300 million new Internet users and and the focus on ease of doing business, among other things. “The current focus on Make in India coupled with initiatives like Startup India, Digital India and Skill Development in small cities are very important,” he

The most important thing is to create a positive and entrepreneurial mindset among youth Observing that creating start-ups is a “high risk-high reward job”, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the technology entrepreneurship would be made a key part of engineering education in the state. “For Kerala to become a developed state, the most important thing is to create a positive and entrepreneurial mindset among youth, especially students, and with this intention we are now going to make entrepreneurship a key part of B-tech degree education,” he said. Inaugurating ‘YES CAN 2015’, the second edition of Young Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) here, he told the gathering that Mark Zukerberg had a Major in Computer Science with a Minor in Psychology, which enabled him to create Facebook. “You will have a minor degree in entrepreneurship preparing you for better job opportunities with the new skills you have earned,” he said. YES, the state’s flagship

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

entrepreneurship event, was organised by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC). Chandy said the students can major in one subject like computer science, electronics, mechanical etc with minor in another subject, in world class universities like Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. “We are now going to introduce minors in Technology Entrepreneurship for students so that all the additional

efforts that you do to create a startup are recognized and become a key part of B-Tech degree,” he said. The Chief Minister said that the Technopark TBI (Technology Business Incubator) and Technology innovation Zone would be upgraded to world class incubators so that the students and youth have the best facilities in the world. Noting that the state used to say “no” to new concepts earlier, the Chief Minister said as a result it did not get its rightful place in the IT sector that matched its achievements in the education sector. “But now the situation has changed. The response to the Student Entrepreneurship Policy was beyond our expectations. 300 companies have started since then and many youngsters have come up with ventures not just in IT and industry, but in fields such as agriculture, tourism, culture, education etc,” he said.  PTI

ComMin to hire consultant for promoting start-ups The Commerce and Industry Ministry has invited proposals from consultants for developing a framework for promoting start-ups in the country. In request-for-proposal for selection of consulting agency, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said that government wants to create an environment which will enable individuals and smaller companies, including start-ups and SMEs to grow through innovation and design. The DIPP “proposes to engage a reputed consultancy organisation to provide support to the department in understanding current eco-system, evaluation of central and state policies, recommendations for enabling regulatory environment and implementation of these recommendations”. Government intends to launch ‘Start-up India’ initiative to create a strong ecosystem for fostering innovation and start-ups in the country. The main objective of the assignment for the consultant will be to assist DIPP in examining the current start-up ecosystem, evaluating central and state policies and providing short, medium and long term recommendations for implementation by various agencies in consultation with various stakeholders. The agency would help in development of action plan for implementation of these recommendations; handhold, supervise and monitor implementation of recommendations for next three years; and designing and set up a system to monitor progress on the above initiatives in achievement of deliverables and targets set for various agencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his I-Day speech announced ‘Start-up India; Stand up India’.  PTI

Food instagrammers at the first ‘Instameet’ held at an eatery nestled inside a bookstore in Central Delhi

industry is getting tarnished because if you have a decent number of followers on your blog of instagram, you are invited to these chef ’s tables and various restaurants to review their new offerings and are expected to write a positive review,” says Malhotra. Malhotra says she wants the passion of the foodies to remain alive and not get drowned in the market of fancy and upscale restaurants.

“We tied up with Indiameets, a popular handle that aims to popularise instameets of various kinds. All of us are foodgrammers and some of us just dont write on food but also on fashion and beauty too but we are all passionate about food,” says Malhotra. Malhotra who is also a blogger says the meet threw up ideas to make the event bigger, with some suggesting the formation of a YouTube channel.


Pet Care

Delhi hosts foodies Instagramers meet Bonding over food has gone to a whole new level among city food enthusiasts who are utilising Instagram, a free online photo and video sharing platform, to post vivid and mouth-watering gastronomic experiences. Food enthusiasts including reviewers, bloggers, chefs etc came together for a first of a kind meet here — Delhi Foodies Insta Meet held at the Cha Bar, a coffee shop nestled inside the Oxford Bookstore in central Delhi. “The idea was to meet and get to know each other and make it an event. While ‘instameets’ of this kind are very popular internationally here it is kind of a novelty,” says Roma Malhotra who organised the first #DelhiFoodiesInstaMeet. A total of 28 food lovers participated in the first meet, using the occasion to familiarise themselves with people whom they had known only by their handles, besides offering advice and feedback with one another. Some even used the platform to bounce off ideas to make the event bigger and spread its reach by roping in sponsors. While the culture of “foodgramming” i.e. posting pictures of favourite meals has taken off, various restaurants and eateries have used it to their advantage by inviting bloggers and instagrammer for special food tasting sessions in return for a review. “We believe that the reputation of the

For the love of paws and bows iPhone/Android: Free Want to make new friends while you’re taking your pup for a walk? The location-based app DoggyDatez will help you socialize with other dog walkers who are also out and about. Keep it casual by marking your location within the app to see other nearby users, or get really aggro with its competitive “SkyJacking” feature that lets you virtually take over other users’ territories, making your daily walk more adventurous than you could’ve ever imagined.

added. Iyer pointed out that the economic adjustments going around the world give businesses in India a “brilliant opportunity to lead global growth”, which is how the people outside India see it. “The fact that India has been a domestic consumption driven economy has come handy. We are not an exportdriven economy and that’s one of the primary reasons why the economic turmoil and global events haven’t had as much impact on India as in other BRIC countries.” Iyer also observed that there is a clear focus on profitable growth for brick-and-mortar retailers, and with the two per cent CSR investments kicking in, inclusive growth will take place in time. PTI

Entrepreneurship to be made key part of B-Tech in Kerala: CM


“Somebody wanted to do a YouTube channel with quick 20 second videos of places in Delhi associated with food. Maybe in the near future it will turn into a reality where participants will be able to upload information of say for example the hidden food gems in Chandni Chowk,” says Malhotra. The average age group of people who attended the first Delhi instagram event ranged between 18 to 27 year-old, the according to the organiser. Apoorv Saini, one instagramer who attended Sunday’s meet says it was a “delicious event”. “Instagramers, photographers and food bloggers from all over Delhi and NCR attended the meet and had a fantastic brunch while they shared their amazing stories of being a foodie to food blogging and how they found their love for food,” says Saini. “The journey for this food enthusiast has just begun and they hope to make it bigger and make such social meets livelier and interesting in the future,” he says. For Malhotra it is the beginning of an exciting journey. The blogger who has been active for over 3 years says she plans to host another event in another four or five months but the aim is to keep the occasion accessible to ordinary instagramers and not get swayed by super bloggers and instagramers who have mega follower base. PTI

Android: Rs 65 Manage your pet cost effectively in a hassle free manner with Pet Care. This simple app lets you keep a complete record of your pet. A Daily Schedule list and a Reminder sheet has been provided, along with a Health and Medical record and a Supplies List. The Daily Schedule sheet helps you organise the daily requirements of your pet. Various activities can be tracked here to serve as reminders, like feeding, walking, etc. A checkmark feature has also been provided to help you quickly summarise the activities completed from the activities left. The Reminder sheet provides a means to plan the long term events and activities regarding your pet. We expect that these could range from health checkups, to changing feeding patterns, etc. The Priority section has been added to help you in prioritising these events. You can attach priorities by writing high or low, etc.

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IOS/ Android: Free This app breaks down the math and takes the mystery out of helping your dog lose weight and stay fit. Using a calories in vs. calories out setup, you track what your dog eats and their activities, and the app will let you know if you’re on track to get your dog to their ideal healthy weight. With a database of over 1,800 brand name pet foods, the app already knows the calorie content in a cup or two of your dog’s food. pp let’s you track your dog’s daily activities (and calories burned) as well as their daily feedings (and calories eaten). You never again have to guess about how much to feed your dog.

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IOS/Android: Free Find pet friendly hotels, restaurants, and bars in your area. Locate local vets, dog parks, pet stores, animal shelters, pet sitters, kennels, groomers and more. The more users are in your area, the more useful this app will be, since users can add locations that are not already in the app. You can also view (and upload) pet photos, watch pet videos, and read pet articles.



Contrary to earlier studies, children in rural India have higher vaccination rates than those in cities and Hindu kids are more likely to get their shots than Muslims, researchers from a leading American university have said. Said to be fi rst of its kind of study, the report released by University of Michigan compares vaccination rates across religious groups in India. It’s also significant because the findings that rural kids are better vaccinated are contrary to earlier studies. The research by U-M’s School of Public Health found that urban children between the ages of 1-3 years have an 80 per cent chance of not being vaccinated when compared to children in rural areas, the university said in a release. “Urban areas have pockets of slums where health care services are not reaching,” said lead author Nijika Shrivastwa, who recently finished her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. People in rural areas, she added, often have access to health care in government hospitals that deliver free vaccinations. Community health workers and public health centers have also done a good job of spreading vaccination message in villages, she said.

Although India is a leading producer and exporter of vaccines, the country is home to nearly a third of the world’s unimmunised children. Only 57 per cent of children younger than 3 are fully vaccinated, the university said in a statement. “Th is study highlights the need to develop a much better understanding of the social factors that influence childhood vaccination and the role that infrequently examined issues ‘such as caste, religion, sex, residence and poverty’ play in determining whether or not a child receives potentially lifesaving immunisations in India,” said Dr Matthew Boulton, senior author of the study and senior associate dean for global public health at U-M. The study broke down the vaccination rate based on residence, religion, wealth, gender, maternal age

New areas in Bengal to produce tea

Organic tea could be grown scientifically even in the plains and then the leaves processed in a cheaper way

India ranks lowest among South Asian countries in breastfeeding practices with only 44 per cent women being able to breastfeed their babies within one hour of delivery. According to a report released today, ineffective policies, lack of budgets and coordination, and absence of better monitoring are limiting breastfeeding practices in India. Prepared by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) and the Public Health Resource Network (PHRN), the assessment report on the government’s policies and programmes on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) states

that India made “slow progress” in enhancing breastfeeding practices in the past 11 years. The organisations also submitted recommendations to the government for promotion of breastfeeding including an effective mechanism for strict implementations of regulations controlling baby foods. The recommendations also included a national policy on IYCF, revival of baby-friendly hospitals and maternity protection and policies with a provision of nine months of maternity leave. India scored a total of 78 out of 150.

Private companies to get degraded land for forest harvesting The government said it has decided to give degraded land, which is about onethird of the total forest area, to private industries on lease for commercial forest harvesting to boost employment and generate revenue. Union minister for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar said that a scheme will soon be launched wherein private industries, particularly wood-importing companies, will be given degraded land on revenue sharing basis for forest harvesting. “We have come out with a scheme wherein we will give our degraded land to private industries on lease with revenue sharing or certain other model where they will be allowed to grow forest and harvest it regularly for their industrial use so they don’t have to import wood and create jobs here,” the minister said at the 10th Sustainable Summit organised by CII. Javadekar said that the industries will be mandated to grow local species on the one-tenth of the land. “One-tenth of the area will be regular species of forest which will not be cut. So it adds to everything and it creates additional carbon sync. Th is is a major initiative,” he said. He said that one-third of the forest area is degraded land where there are no forests. “We have forest land but there is no forest. They are forest land only on papers. These are called degraded land. They can be converted into forest. So this way forest also gains by getting the revenue share,” he said. The Union minister urged the private companies to make more investment in research and development to give way for sustainable practices. “Indian industries must start investing more in research and development. Unless we research and come out with solutions we do not get the benefit. Industrial progress should be based on it,” he said. “We say that we are IT-superpower but we are not. We are IT-labour contractors. We have not come out with Facebook, or WhatsApp, Google, any new operating system or real new products. Prime Minister going to meet Zuckerberg is recognition of power of research and technology,” the minister said. PTI


PUNE, MARCH 28, 2015 |


Run for... yourself



Get your voice heard on NetaG P6

No damaged goods please P3


PAGES: 16+16 (TGS LIFE) | PRICE: `5

PUNE, MARCH 21, 2015 |

PAGES: 16+16 (TGS LIFE) | PRICE: `5

PUNE, MARCH 14, 2015 |

Dr Vijaypat Singhania’s grandchildren from his estranged son Madhupati have moved Bombay High Court seeking their share in ancestral property. They have filed a suit against their grandfather, father, mother and Raymond Limited. Detailed story on p7 TGS LIFE

When hunger strikes past midnight



Bakery worker’s daughter gets her wings P 12

Why are traffic cops taking selfies these days? P3






or long distances (depending on their mood), overcharge or ask for obnoxious fares, often refuse to ply by meter – the list is endless. TGS Team members decided to give the ‘victimised’ autorickshaw drivers a chance. Five members of the team tried hiring rickshaws for distances

Intentions of Dr Singhania were ‘malafide and illegal’ with a motive to grab the share of Madhupati and Anuradha as well as grandchildren and to achieve the same he directed that his son and daughter-inlaw move to another country ‘instead of Collectively Pune Municipal continuing to stay in India with the family.



Corporation, PimpriChinchwad Municipal Corporation and Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited have spent `1,816 crores on constructing dedicated corridors and flyovers along major routes, erecting bus shelters, and buying buses. Despite this not a single route is operational or has succeeded in years. Citizens residing in twin cities continue to cry foul over pathetic public transport system. And from the looks of it nothing is going to change in near future. See Spotlight on p8&9



































Had it not been for a Pune-based activist everybody had forgotten about a film on Lokmanya Tilak commissioned in 2001 by Central Government at the cost of 2.5 crores. Three years after Vishnu Kamalapurkar raised questions about the film,

said director of the school, who

fi led the FIR and kept in touch with “We are feeling the investigating officer and public prosecutor The director is let down by the PUNE, MARCH 14, 2015throughout. | yet to get a copy of the order. prosecution The case dates back to February 2013 when some of the students and the system. studying in class five walked up to their class teacher and alleged that It is upsetting their creative writing sir had touched because we do them inappropriately. The class teacher in turn informed the principal and not how to face management. School authorities spoke to several other students and the parents and found that 22 girls in all had levelled similar allegations. Director of the students who school approached Chaturshrungi came forward police station and lodged an FIR under the Protection of Children from to give their Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA). The investigation was carried out by statements.” DIRECTOR OF THE SCHOOL




Sab golmal hai...

The creative writing teacher from a reputed school in Baner was booked and arrested in February 2013. A special court acquitted him on the grounds that police bungled up in collecting evidence




~ Suit filed by the siblings

Precious man hours are lost every day at Hinjewadi just because planners forgot to make more entry and exit points. Over a decade after Hinjewadi was planned to house country’s best IT firms and saying is true. But what they are not telling us or willing to talent, planners have finally woken up to the plight of citizens. concede is that their enemy lies within. Their enemy number one They have now planned five alternative roads. But the authorities is not private cabs but members of their own ilk – many of whom are in no hurry to complete them. See spotlight on p8 & 9 are rude, refuse to ply short

The case created ripples across the city. A teacher was accused of sexually abusing 22 students all from fi fth standard of a reputed school in Baner. In February 2013, Chaturshrungi police registered a case of sexual abuse against the creative writing teacher and arrested him immediately. Two years after the cops went all out to claim that they had a watertight case, the teacher has been acquitted by a Special Court. The court ruled that the prosecution made out a weak case. The management of the school and parents of students are not only disappointed but also irked with the outcome. “We are feeling let down by the prosecution and the system. It is upsetting because we do not how to face the parents and students who came forward to give their statements. We believe we were on the right,”

Parents teach them more than exams do P 10

`1,816 1,816 crores spent on BRTS,

~ Suit filed by the siblings

What a mess!

Teacher booked for sexually abusing 22 students acquitted



Truly, a tree lady P4

And yet no respite for commuters


Madhupati Singhania (57) and his wife Anuradha (54) with their children Ananya (29), Rasaalika (26), Tarini (20) and Raivathari (18)

Rickshaw unions across the city want us to believe that private cab service providers or radio cab operators, as they are popularly known as, are villains. Around 12,000 radio cabs have made their lives miserable for 50,000-odd autorickshaw drivers in twin cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The auto drivers want us to believe that corporate houses with deep pockets behind the cab services are eating into their share. Essentially poor rickshaw drivers are getting poorer because of stiff competition from private cab operators.

While Gautam Singhania ‘in a span of 14 years as CMD of Raymond Limited has built a personal net worth of `1.4 billion, Madhupati belonging to the same family was struggling to settle down in a new country, educate his children and make a new life.’ Gautam and his family led a luxurious life ‘with fancy cars, private jets, yachts and expensive holidays.’


By artificially varying the temperature and carbon levels in atmosphere inside the chamber, they are experimenting how the plant would perform in future climatic conditions. They are hopeful of coming out with the results by next year. In the last 100 years, TRA has recorded a drop of 200 mm in average annual rainfall and an increase in minimum temperature of 1.3 degrees Celsius. Tocklai station director N Muraleedharan said unseasonal rains cause a decline in production and if the sky is overcast photosynthesis comes down. While connoisseurs complain of a change in flavour of tea, producers say they are also losing crops.

Breastfeeding: India ranks lowest in South Asia

The study found that touches to infants’ hands and feet resulted in different patterns of activity in the part of the brain that processes touch. The results showed that, much as in adults, the body maps of infants are organised in a particular way, though there is still much to learn about how the details of these maps are established in the developing brain. Another study using EEG showed that body maps in the infant brain are also activated by seeing other people carrying out actions with different parts of the body. Fourteen-month-olds were randomly assigned to watch an adult touch an object using either a hand or foot. The pattern of infants’ brain activity corresponded to the body parts being used, providing the fi rst evidence that watching someone use a specific body part prompts a pattern of activity in the infant neural body map. The researchers said that this finding may advance understanding of the neural processes underlying imitation, an important means of learning for babies. PTI


As climate change is affecting both quality and production of tea, scientists are testing which botanical varieties of the crop are resilient to climatic pressures. At Tea Research Association’s Tocklai Experimental Station at Jorhat (Assam), a team of scientists has created chambers where they are studying how the 200-odd varieties of tea found in the country would react under different climatic models. “We are testing the field varieties and we have also created 33 clones so far of the mother varieties. We are testing them all over a period of time to see how they perform under changes in weather,” TRA’s deputy director Rajiv Bhagat, who is incharge of the project, told PTI.

Body maps develop early in life and may be integral for fostering infants’ sense of their own bodies, as well as the ability to connect with and learn from other people, new research has found. Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) are among the fi rst scientists worldwide to study body maps in the infant brain. The researchers argue that this new area of infant neuroscience can provide crucial information about how babies develop a sense of their physical selves, and further understanding of how their earliest social relationships with others are formed. “Body maps in the brain are an important part of how we build up an implicit sense of ourselves through the sense of having a body and seeing and feeling our bodies move,” said lead author Peter Marshall, professor of psychology at Temple University. “We also believe that these maps facilitate the connections that we build with other people, even in the early months of life,” Marshall said. The new study builds on previous studies conducted by Marshall and coauthor Andrew Meltzoff, I-LABS codirector, which studied the properties of body maps in the infant brain. In one experiment, 7-month-old babies wore caps fitted with sensors that record brain activity by picking up tiny electrical signals from the surface of the head, a method known as electroencephalography, or EEG.


Search for variety that can withstand climate change

categorized religion as Hindu or non-Hindu, and this is the fi rst time the non-Hindu religions were sorted further. “Even after controlling for wealth, maternal education, household income and location, there are huge differences in the immunization rate,” she said. The study looked at the vaccination rate of about 108,000 children under 3 years old in the District Level Household and Facility survey data from 2008, a nationally representative sample. PTI


told PTI. Under a project funded by the Tea Board, a team of scientists led by Professor Bijoy Chandra Ghosh of the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department has developed new CTC (crush, tear and curl) machines, which occupy less space and consume less energy. PTI

New area of infant neuroscience can provide crucial info about how babies develop a sense of their physical selves


Quality Indian tea will no more be limited to the likes of Assam and Darjeeling as IIT is helping new areas in Kharagpur and Purulia to produce scientifically- grown and processed tea. At a small tea garden inside the campus, IIT-Kharagpur researchers have demonstrated how organic tea could be grown scientifically even in the plains and then the leaves processed in a cheaper way with their newly patented energy-saving machine. In the vicinity of the campus, the Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP) at the IIT, has identified 17 villages where commercial tea cultivation would soon begin. “Tea cultivation will begin in non-traditional areas of south Bengal using new scientific methods. We are targeting small farmers with 5-10 cottah of fallow land. Th is will uplift the rural economy as well,” STEP’s Managing Director and Biotechnologist Satyahari Dey

Body maps develop early in infant brains

Supriya Bhoite from Chaturshrungi police station. Contd on p4

advance, and second instalment was to be released after completion of certain formalities. The very next year second instalment was also disbursed. Cut to October 2012 – Kamalapurkar fi led an RTI with chief public information officer (CPIO) of Ministry of Culture seeking information about the fi lm on Tilak. The CPIO was clueless about the project and sought information from



and education. The researchers found that the vaccination rate also differs considerably based on religion. Children from Muslim families have significantly poorer vaccination outcomes, while Sikh children are better immunized when compared to Hindu children. Sikh children are 14 per cent more likely to be better vaccinated and Muslim kids are 122 per cent more likely not to be vaccinated, the report said. Shrivastwa explained that previous studies on vaccination coverage


“ Improved biomass cook stoves should be promoted for clean cooking solutions, thereby addressing both fuel saving and health hazards concerns of rural women.” — Piyush Goyal, New and Renewable Energy Minister

Rural children in India have better immunisation rates Hindu kids are more likely to get their shots than Muslims, researchers from a leading American university have said

SEPTEMBER 19, 2015


“A pollution-free Yamuna is a commitment of our government and we will do whatever is required to rejuvenate both the Ganges and Yamuna.” — Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Water Resources


PUNE, MARCH 21, 2015 |

PUNE, MARCH 28, 2015 |


Fourteen years later, there is no sign of the fi lm. Vishnu Kamalapurkar, Pune-based activist, sought details of the project in 2012 from the Central Government only to be told that they had no records left, the concerned ministry had been wound up, and that fi lm-maker could not be traced. Essentially, the government acceded that it had been duped of `2.5 crores, the sum that was transferred to the fi lm-maker. It has taken Kamalapurkar three years since he sought details about the fi lm under Right to Information Act to get the government to launch a fullfledged investigation. Dhumale has

receiving his RTI finally been traced by the government with the help of police and claims that the fi lm will be released in “next two to four months”. He still hasn’t answered several questions raised by the government about the script and the star cast. It all started in December 2001, when Commemoration Bureau under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture commissioned a fi lm on Lokmanya Tilak. A sum of Rs 1.25 crores was paid to Dhumale immediately as an

Saath Saath


HUNGER STRIKES past midnight

A family that prays together stays together. Pune’s joint families on why they agree to disagree

TGS takes a night trail around the city to look for places that will silence a grumbling tummy in the dark of night

The Kamdars

Run for…


Puneites are running to fight depression, lethargy, even physical disadvantage. Marathoners are taking over the street and making the city fitter than it has ever been




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“All the violence is male-generated. We have introduced (the concept of ) ‘Gender Champions’ in schools, under which boys who have been respectful and helpful to girls will be rewarded.” — Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development

A place to call home P 15

Quota row: RSS hits out at Hardik AHMEDABAD: Breaking its silence on the Patel community stir for OBC quota, the RSS hit out at the campaign spearhead Hardik Patel for his aggressive warnings at a mega rally here, cautioning that the social fabric will be “destroyed” if the movement is allowed to become “divisive”. The comments by a senior RSS functionary came even as more Patel community members withdrew deposits from a bank in a village today as part of their ‘economic noncooperation’ campaign and women from the community were enlisted to hold protests at government and BJP functions. RSS national spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya was expressing the views of the Sangh Parivar fountainhead on the quota issue that has posed a challenge to the BJP Government headed by Anandiben Patel. The RSS, however, made it clear that it supported the reservation for SCs and STs in its present format so long as social inequality exists. “In democracy, every person has a freedom to express his thoughts and to press his demands and nobody is denying that. But the agitation should neither divide society nor harm the


Says social fabric will be destroyed if movement is allowed to become divisive

The RSS, however, made it clear that it supported the reservation for SCs and STs in its present format so long as social inequality exists

Patidaar Anamat Anandolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel talking to the media in Gandhinagar

country. One should take care that elements who divide the society or create anarchy shall not be included in the ongoing movement (of Patels),” Vaidya said in an interview to be carried in the forthcoming issue of the outfit’s weekly periodical ‘Sadhana’.

“The reason is the words uttered by Hardik Patel like ‘will show our status to entire India’ or ‘will burn Ravana’s Lanka’. Using such language can cause worry for any patriot. Such a movement can destroy (the fabric of) society,” Vaidya said while

referring to the August 25 mega rally here. State spokesperson of RSS Pradip Jain confirmed that the views of Vaidya were published in ‘Sadhana’, an advance copy of which is with PTI. Meanwhile, scores of account

holders belonging to the Patel community turned up at the Kherol village branch of Sabarkantha District Co-operative bank seeking to withdraw a whopping sum of Rs 9 crore, a demand which the branch found it difficult to meet immediately. “Around 200 members of the Patel community, who are associated with the agitation came to our bank to withdraw their money,” branch manager of the District Cooperative Bank in Kherol village, Rakesh Mehta told PTI. “We could not give them entire money, which is around Rs nine crore from three thousand accountholders of the Patel community, so we just gave them around Rs ten lakh today,” Mehta said. The Patel outfit also enlisted women from the community to hold protests against the Government and the BJP functions in many places across the state.  PTI

Dog dispute in park leads to firing at house NEW DELHI: In a bizarre turn of events, a youth who took his pet dog to a park in south Delhi - and entered into an argument with another local who objected to the canine’s entry - ended up facing a group of goons, who even fired several rounds at his residence, police said. While the youth’s brother received a minor injury caused by a cracked pellet police registered a case under relevant sections of law and two persons who were later arrested, said DCP (South) Prem Nath. The incident was reported last evening when Monty took his pet canine to a park in Humayunpur Colony for a stroll and another youth, Rohit, who was present there, objected to the dog’s entry on the park premises, leading to a heated argument among them, police said. Thereafter, Monty, along with the dog, left the park and sent his mother and brother Sunny to confront Rohit. A police team reached the spot and asked Monty’s mother and brother to come to the nearest police post for narrating their version of the story. By then, Rohit allegedly summoned a few goons to attack Monty at his residence, said a police official. When the group started hurling abuses, Monty and Sunny came outside to confront them. Suddenly, a miscreant in the group allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire. Most of the bullets hit the walls and Sunny sustained a minor injury. PTI

State govts not sharing info on ‘Govt schools should get terror financing: Centre recognition certificate’ Centre set up a working group to asses the terror threat, its vulnerability in banking, insurance, capital market and financing institutions PTI

NEW DELHI: Government’s efforts to deal with the menace of terror financing has hit a road block with no state government sharing information on national risk assessment on threats to various financial institutions and capital market. Following a recommendation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that looks after how to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats, the Centre set up a working group to assess vulnerability of banking, insurance, capital market and financing institutions to it. The group had sent a letter on August 19 to all state governments and union territories along with the three templates on ‘terrorism threat’,

‘terrorism financing threat’ and ‘terrorism financing vulnerability’ asking them to reply by August 30. The first template on ‘terrorism threat’ aims to determine the extent of the threat based on the sources as identified through enforcement and intelligence data on terrorism in the jurisdiction and related financing information. The template collects data on the organisations and individuals that pose terrorism threat to the jurisdiction. It requires information on terrorism cases which includes number of reported or investigated cases, number of convictions, number of international assistance requests received, sent, property damage. Qualitative information on future

affidavit within four weeks. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO Independent Thought, which alleged that the exclusion of the government-run schools under Section 18(1) of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act from obtaining a recognition certificate, violated the Constitution. “Exclusion of schools established, owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or the local authority under Section 18(1) of the RTE Act, 2009 to obtain a certificate of recognition as required under the RTE

Act is violative of Articles 14 and 21A of the Constitution... “ defeats the aims and objectives of the RTE Act of providing quality education to all children in India. It is, therefore, prayed that part of Section 18(1) of RTE Act is liable to be struck down as unconstitutional,” the NGO said in the petition. Advocate Vikram Srivastava, appearing for the NGO, told the court that presently Section 18 of the Act would show that all schools owned or run by the government and/ or its agencies have been excluded from the ambit of Sections 18 and 19 of the RTE Act. PTI

universal brotherhood PTI

Accused in 2006 serial train blast case being taken to the Sessions Court from the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. Government official said that state governments or union territories are yet to respond to their letter on ‘terrorism threat’, ‘terrorism financing threat’ and ‘terrorism financing vulnerability’

trends, other intelligence, the level of terrorism threat - low, medium or high, level of sophistication of operation, organisation average costs of operation, annual operational budget of operation, main income sources, main sectors or channels abused and originating jurisdiction of funds, the impact of terrorism financing threat - low, medium or high are other information which the state governments have to provide. The second template on ‘terrorism financing threat’ aims at identifying the direction of terrorism financing funds and the sources and channels that are being used for terrorism financing, using enforcement data and typology information as indicators. It seeks information on direction of funds, sources, criminal activity channels and overall terror financing threat. On terror financing cases, it requires information on number of cases investigated, prosecuted, convicted, number of persons convicted, number of case files sent to law enforcement agencies, number of international assistance requests, received, sent, amount of terror financing funds seized or frozen or confiscated. On qualitative data, it requires information of Financial Intelligence Unit-Intelligence on terror financing, FATF mutual evaluation report (reference to source and destination of funds if available) on terror financing and estimation of undetected terror financing funds (incoming and outgoing).  PTI

NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking that schools owned or controlled by the government or local authorities should obtain a recognition certificate under the RTE Act like the private ones. Observing that government-run schools were also required to maintain facilities like private schools, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development to file a reply to the petition. It also issued notice to the ministry and directed them to file counter

Haj Pilgrims being greeted by the relatives ahead of leaving for pilgrimage from Birsa Munda International Airport in Ranchi, Jharkhand

The first Kashmiri girl to win JNU polls Vol-II* lssue No.: 14 Editor: Yogesh Sadhwani (Responsible for the selection of news under the PRB Act, 1867) Printed and Published by: Shrikant Honnavarkar on behalf of Golden Sparrow Publishing Pvt. Ltd. CIN:U22200PN2014PTC151382 and printed at PRI – Media Services Private Limited CIN: U22222MH2012PTC232006 at Plot No. EL-201, TTC Industrial Area, MIDC, Mahape, Navi Mumbai. Golden Sparrow Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 1641, Madhav Heritage, Tilak Road, Pune-411 030, Tel: 020-2432 4332/33.

NEW DELHI: Shehla Rashid Shora, the first Kashmiri girl to contest and win the Central Panel elections at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, says that she found the political space in her state “too restricted”. Shora, a candidate of left-backed All India Students Union (AISA), was sworn in as the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) Vice President amid shouts of “lal salaam”. The engineer-turned-activist polled 1,387 votes, maximum by any candidate this year. She trumped BJP youth wing ABVP’s Valentina Brahma by 234 votes.

“After studying engineering and management, I entered the corporate world only to be disillusioned by it. Turning an activist, I raised issues of juvenile justice and acid Shehla Rashid Shora attacks in Kashmir but I found the political space there too restricted,” she said. “At JNU, I found there is enough

space to articulate your political spirit. The challenge, however, was to convince voters in favour of a Kashmir woman from a non-political background,” she added. Asked about the issues she plans to focus on during her tenure, she listed 24X7 health centre, translation cell, reduction in minimum eligibility criteria for OBC students, more hostels and upgradation of on-campus safety. Shora said she wants “to confront the rise of the right-wing ideology” to prevent it from changing the “real history”.

Shora graduated in computer engineering from NIT, Srinagar, and studied political leadership at IIM Bangalore. At JNU, she is pursuing her MPhil in Law and Governance. She said she is yet to take a call on pursing a career in mainstream politics. “But, I back the Left ideology and will continue to work for human rights issues, internet democracy and against privatisation of education.” JNUSU is the representative body of the students. The polls have been keenly contested over decades.  PTI


“It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to tell India how to work their way through this, but we do believe that the architecture of the Iran deal is truly an international architecture.” — John Kirby, US State Department Spokesman

BY KJM Varma NANGCHEN: A 2,000-year-old lost Stupa, one of the 19 built with Lord Buddha’s relics sent by Emperor Ashoka to China, has been renovated and restored with religious rites by an Indian monk in this remote Tibetan town, making it a symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China. The renovated Stupa and Ashoka pillar along with a huge golden statue of Buddha was consecrated by Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of Drukpa lineage of Buddhism based in Ladakh, on Tuesday in China’s Qinghai province, located adjacent to Tibet Autonomous Region. Legend has it that over 2,500 years ago, Buddha’s disciples retrieved one skull bone, two scapulas, four teeth and 84,000 pearl-like sariras (relics) after Lord Buddha’s body was cremated. According to Buddhist records, Emperor Asoka collected all of Sakyamuni’s sarira, stored them in pagoda-shaped shrines before sending them to different parts of the world. China is believed to have received 19 of them including the one in Nangchen but most of them have collapsed due to natural wear and tear as well as negligence. Three more such Stupas were discovered in Chinese cities of Xian, Nanjing and near Ayuwang in

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, left, and his father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, thank supporters during a news conference at their home, Wednesday, September 16, 2015, in Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested Monday after a teacher thought a homemade clock he built was a bomb

BY Lalit K Jha

File photo of Ashok Stambh at New Delhi. According to Buddhist records, Emperor Asoka (left) collected all of Sakyamuni’s sarira, stored them in pagoda-shaped shrines before sending them to different parts of the world

Zhejiang Province. The Nangchen Stupa is the first to be discovered in the Tibetan region. The fate of the other 15 sent by Ashoka to China is unknown. While the advent of Buddhism to China were well chronicled since 68 AD when first Buddhist temple White Horse was built in Luoyang by Chinese monk Xuanzan after a 17-year-long voyage to India, the Stupa signify efforts by Ashoka to spread the religion around the world. In the new temple here, the pillar with a stone containing an original inscription was prominently placed

between a renovated structure and the Stupa, remnants of which according to monks was preserved by the locals from the ravages of invasions of Mongols and the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong. The parts of the original Stupa was preserved by locals by making them into hundreds of small Stupas which were preserved in the new temple, one monk said. Over 300 tiny stupas were displayed around the main Stupa of the temple. It was restored amid a big throng of Tibetan Buddhist monks and local population, signifying the revival of the Buddhist religious links between India and China in the Himalayan

region strained after the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. “The inauguration of the Ashoka Stupa in Nangchen is a historic moment for followers of Buddha everywhere. It is a testament to the greatness of Emperor Ashoka who is considered to be the architect of Buddhism in the world,” Gyalwang Drukpa said. “For India and China, this is represents a new area of informal engagement after the initiatives indicated by Prime Minister Modi and the positive response he has received from the Chinese leadership,” he said.  PTI


Smoke billows from a steam locomotive before its departure from the Vatican’s train station, Friday, September 11, 2015. With a deafening whistle and a plume of smoke, an antique train departed from the Vatican rail station Friday to inaugurate a weekly train service to the papal summer estate in Castel Gandolfo now that Pope Francis has decided to open it to the public

Kathmandu: A proposal to revert Nepal as a Hindu state was overwhelmingly rejected by the Constituent Assembly which declared that the Hindu-majority nation will remain secular, triggering violent protests amid an already volatile situation over federal structure. More than two-thirds of lawmakers in the 601-member Constituent Assembly turned down the proposal by pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) to amend the Constitution to restore Nepal as a Hindu state. The lawmakers declared that the country should remain secular as the Constituent Assembly resumed voting on articles of the draft Constitution clause by clause. RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa had registered the amendment proposal demanding to reinstate Nepal as a Hindu state in Article 4 of the

Pentagon’s India Rapid Reaction Cell

Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence, located in Arlington County, Virginia

the waiting list who have shown keen interest in working at the Pentagon’s India Rapid Reaction Cell. “The purpose of India Rapid Reaction Cell is to work all the initiatives that we have ongoing under (India-US) DTTI (Defence Trade and Technology Initiative), both the initiatives that for example came out of the joint statement between the

(US) President and the Prime Minister in January (in New Delhi) to move quickly and timely and be through, which in my opinion requires dedicated support to ramp up the operational tempo,” Webster told PTI. “We are embarking on some new initiatives and the operational tempo is not declining at all,” he said. In the next coming months, a series of high-level exchanges are scheduled to take place, including that of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the Pentagon. Defence and Strategic relationship would be a key topic of discussion when US President Barack Obama meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the margins of the UN General Assembly

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has invited a 14-yearold Muslim schoolboy, who was arrested after his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, to the White House, saying “we should inspire more kids like you.” Ahmed Mohamed, a SudaneseAmerican engineering enthusiast, brought the digital clock, made from a pencil case, to his school in Irving, Texas on Monday to show it to his teacher who mistook the clock to be a bomb. Hours later, he was handcuffed and arrested by school resource officers as part of “standard procedure”. The incident has created an outrage in the country with messages of support pouring in from Obama, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg.

“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science,” Obama tweeted. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama like many others were struck by these reports. “In this instance, it’s clear that at least some of Ahmed’s teachers failed him. That’s too bad, but it’s not too late for all of us to use this as a teachable moment and to search our own conscience for biases in whatever form they take,” he said. “This episode is a good illustration of how pernicious stereotypes can prevent even good-hearted people who have dedicated their lives to educating young people from doing the good work that they set out to do. So Obama was pleased to extend an invitation to Ahmed to participate in Astronomy Night,” Earnest said.  PTI

Nepal to stay secular, proposal for Hindu nation rejected BY Shirish B Pradhan

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has established a first-ever country special cell to speed up its defence ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country. Established soon after Defence Secretary Ashton Carter assumed Pentagon’s leadership role in February, India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is headed by Keith Webster, Director, International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. India is the only country to have a specific cell of its kind inside the Pentagon. Currently, seven persons are working on this cell, representing various wings of the US Department of Defence. Given the new thrust on IndiaUS defence relationship under Carter, officials say there is quite a few on

Muslim teen gets Obama invite

2,000-yr-old Ashoka Stupa restored in remote China


For Chinmay, academics and sports are two sides of a coin P 16

It is a symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China


in New York later this month. India Rapid Reaction cell, he said, has been instrumental in accelerating the DTTI projects and has started the process to send some new proposals to India for co-production and codevelopment. The mobile hydroelectric initiative and for-the-nextgeneration initiatives required negotiations, conclusion and signing of bilateral agreements. “Statistically, such a negotiation between US and India which was done before many times takes on an average a year and half to three years. We were done within three months on the US side with India,” he said, adding that the documents were finally signed by the Indians. PTI

India is the only country to have a special cell inside the Pentagon

revised bill of the new constitution. However, the proposal on restoring Nepal as Hindu state was rejected as it did not secure the required 10 per cent of votes, according to party sources. Two-thirds majority votes were required to endorse the proposal. After Assembly Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang announced that the proposal has been rejected, Thapa demanded split voting, but his proposal for a vote received the support of only 21 lawmakers and the voting was not done as the CA Rules require 61 persons to undertake the process. Nepal was converted into secular state in 2008 through a Parliament declaration, when monarchy was

abolished from the country following the success of the People’s Movement. During a public opinion collection held in July, majority of the people preferred the word ‘Hindu’ or ‘religious freedom’ instead of using the term ‘secularism’. Protesting the rejection of the proposal, RPP-N and some religious organisations staged demonstration outside the Parliament and demanded Nepal be re-declared a Hindu state. Some 2,500 proHindu activists carrying yellow and saffron flags marched on the street chanting pro-Hindu slogans and clashed with the police as they were prevented from coming close to the Parliament building.  PTI

Hindu or religious freedom preferred to the use of term secularism

Probe urged into Lanka war crimes WASHINGTON: A US-based Hindu organisation has called for an international independent probe into the alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s final assault on the LTTE as America is set to bring a resolution in the UN rights body supporting a domestic probe. “The US and other UNHRC member countries have a moral responsibility to deliver justice to the victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war, particularly the estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians that were massacred in the closing months of the war in 2009,” said Samir Kalra, senior director and Human Rights fellow of the Hindu American Foundation. “An international independent investigation is the best means to achieving accountability and justice for the victims.

A purely domestic mechanism will not heal the country’s wounds or allow it to move forward,” Kalra said as HAF released its 11th annual human rights report for ‘Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora’. The report’s release comes as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is holding meetings in Geneva, where the question of whether to move forward on an international investigation or a domestic inquiry into the Sri Lankan civil war will be at the forefront of the agenda. HAF said the US of late has announced a reversal of its previous position. “There is nothing so far in Sri Lanka’s history that would lead the victims of the country’s brutal war to expect justice from the state,” said Miriam Young, Director, US Counsel on Sri Lanka.  PTI




“Both India and the US are natural allies. While the US has the financial capital and advanced technology, India has a large body of trained manpower, natural resources and a large market.” — Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister


Construction industry luring global players BY FAKIR HASSEN

Massive investment in infrastructure is the main growth driver of the construction equipment industry that is attracting multinationals from all over the world to invest in India, delegates at an international conference in Johannesburg were told recently. “India is a vast land of opportunity for the construction industry, with strong demand attracting global players,” said VG Shakti Kumar, leader of an eight-member Indian delegation participating in the three-day Bauma Conexpo Africa 2015. Bauma is the biggest international trade fair in Africa for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles. “Almost all global players in the

Blackstone buys back BPO biz from Serco Global private equity major Blackstone has bought back the BPO business (then known as Intelenet) from Britain’s Serco Group for 250 million pounds (about Rs 2,558 crore), four years after it exited. “We are delighted to announce that we have completed the transaction to acquire business (of Intelenet) from Serco at an enterprise valuation of Rs 2,600 crore or 250 million pounds,” Blackstone Group Senior Managing Director and Co-Head Private Equity in India Amit Dixit told reporters. PTI

Assam lifts ban on Wai-Wai noodles Assam Government has withdrawn the prohibition notification on two variants of Wai-Wai noodles declaring the products as safe for human consumption, an official release said. The ban on Wai-Wai mimi Ready to Eat Noodles and Wai-Wai 1-2-3 Noodles (mini) was withdrawn after the state’s Food Analyst found that the products have been improved by the company and now conform to the prescribed standards. PTI

construction equipment industry have a presence in India, either as joint ventures or with their own manufacturing or marketing companies,” Kumar said as he highlighted the mutual benefits of this. Thousands of visitors from all over the world are expected to visit the expo in search of opportunities in various countries, prompting the Indian delegation to invite construction industry players from South Africa to look at joint ventures or set up their own manufacturing in India. “Such joint ventures with global majors have provided domestic companies access to advanced technology and a whole gamut of project management experience. Fundamentals for the sector are set to remain strong on the back of increasing infrastructure investments,” he said.

Kumar also urged local companies to set up manufacturing bases in India by taking advantage of the FDI incentives provided under the Make in India programme, as he detailed the massive construction programs proposed in the road, rail, ports and freight sectors. “The Indian construction equipment market has the potential to grow at 20-25 per cent to reach 330,000-450,000 unit sales by 2020,” Kumar said. Kumar also invited the training sector to assist in closing the large skills gap that presently existed in India, especially to ensure operation and maintenance of equipment. He said there was a need for 100,000 trained operators and 300,000 mechanics by 2020. PTI

Active private participation in housing need of the hour: Naidu Inviting investments from private players in housing sector, government said they can play a key role in achieving the goal of ‘housing for all’ by 2022. Th is is the time when private players should come forward and play an active role in providing decent housing for the needy people at an affordable cost, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said at an event organised by Assocham. Currently, there is a shortage of 18.78 million houses and close to 2.34 million homes need to be constructed every year during the next eight years to address the issue. Investment in the sector will not only help expand the existing stock of housing units but also improve the working and living conditions of people, Naidu said. Assuring the slum dwellers, he said, “Either houses will be constructed at the same place or you will be provided housing at other place. Before that no one will be ousted from their existing houses.”

Single agency to lead ponzi probe

IMG working on legal framework to protect investors An inter-ministerial group (IMG) evolving a legal framework to protect investors against frauds by ponzi operators is now working on how a single agency can take lead in investigating cases most of which are spread across states. Central agencies like CBI are capable of taking up inter-state investigations. But they can only be handed over cases either on the request of the state governments or orders of a court. Keeping this in mind, the inter-ministerial panel is now learnt to be focusing on how ponzirelated cases be handed over to an agency without waiting for court order or state government’s recommendation. Various options are being considered, said sources in know of the development. The committee is mandated to work out a new set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be followed by the government for central and state law enforcement agencies for probing ponzi schemes. A ponzi scheme is a swindle in

“Whilst the general economic situation remains challenging in some markets, we are consistently selling more vehicles than ever before around the world.” — Ian Robertson, BMW Board Member

which quick return on an investment is offered. Major such scams being probed by CBI, Income Tax and other investigating agencies include those relating to Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund wherein investors lost about Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 2,500 crore respectively on false promise of good returns. The panel has been set up to ensure proper enforcement of regulatory framework for multi-level marketing companies, non-banking finance companies, and companies running collective investment schemes. Many entities have registered themselves as chit funds but are found to be raising money illegally through fraudulent schemes or ponzi schemes by promising high returns. The IMG was set up against the backdrop of the collapse of Kolkatabased Saradha Group that had allegedly duped lakhs of investors of their hard-earned savings totalling thousands of crores of rupees. PTI

Panel was set up against the backdrop of the collapse of Saradha Group

M Venkaiah Naidu

Targeting the Opposition for blocking the Land Bill in the Rajya Sabha, he said land is crucial for development. “Houses, airports, railway stations or other infrastructure cannot be constructed on air. Land is a crucial and important component for construction of affordable houses. Without the availability of land how can you construct houses?” he asked. “Our government is trying to amend the Land Bill 2013 because

Gold worth crores of rupees missing from customs secure vaults Gold worth crores of rupees seized from smugglers has been mysteriously disappearing from highly-secured customs vaults at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). A total of 23.6 kg of gold has been missing from the customs vault. FIRs have been registered in these cases by Delhi Police, the customs department said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI. The missing gold is worth about Rs 6.2 crore, as per the latest market price. “Departmental enquiry at highest level has been initiated in the said cases,” it said without giving further details. The gold, in bullion or jewellery, seized from smugglers is kept in secure vaults inside the airport terminals. The cases of mysterious disappearance of gold from the customs secure vaults are being regularly reported. The role of customs officials posted there has also come under scrutiny, official sources said. In June, the customs officials had lodged an FIR with the police to report disappearance of 11 kg of gold, worth Rs 2.92 crore, from its vault. The incident had come to light when packets containing the yellow metal, covered and sealed at the instance of courts, were opened before a departmental panel as part of inventory proceedings. A test revealed that the sealed material was not gold, the sources said. In most of the cases, gold is being replaced with yellowcolour metal, they said. PTI

most of the states came forward and told Centre to amend the Bill as acquiring land is becoming an impossible task. “But unfortunately some people are opposing it. Though they allowed acquiring of land for SEZ for commercial purpose, here they are opposing it. So you are opposing the development and not the government,” he added. Referring to the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill, Naidu said “it is for regulation and not for strangulation”. Hitting out at the fly-by-night operators, he said, “The genuine real estate players need not worry. Because there are some black sheep in the trade who have brought the name into the industry, there is a requirement of the Bill.” Naidu also highlighted relaxation of FDI norms in housing sector such as reducing the minimum investment from 10 million USD to 5 million USD and minimum built up area for a project from 5 lakh sq metre to 2 lakh sq metre. PTI


Start-ups should follow fundamentals BY SARANSH DEY @Casaransh Getting funds seems to be the only objective of most start-ups nowadays. Let it be seed capital or venture funding, series A or direct equity. The business model has shifted focus from product sales to get funding. Making news by getting funds from an established house has become the dream of every start-up. Valuation of businesses is done by ignoring basic accounting guidelines and all this is leading to a practice of funding based on expectations and presentation. If you are a start-up and are looking to join the bandwagon, then there are a few dos and don’ts to trump the funding scenario. Having a detailed business plan is the first step. Cash flow, product deliverable, market reach and costs should be projected at utmost detail to document the minutest process of your start-up. Make your finance professional predict cost of everything you do or plan to do. The plan should predict a business cycle of at least five years. Attach market research done for your product. Explain the gap in the market you are trying to breach and how your product/app/solution or service plugs it. A well-documented business plan becomes the DNA of your start-up. If you are spending money, which in initial days will be your own, it should be as per the business plan. Review the actual spend with predicted figure and document the variance and reasons every month. Also record the spend-revenue difference and its reasons. These data will help your prospective funding partner examine that the product is performing as per plan or otherwise, your com-

Poor rains likely to hit kharif output Declining for the fourth consecutive year, India’s foodgrain production is projected to drop by 1.78 per cent to 124.05 million tonnes in the 2015-16 kharif season due to poor monsoon and drought-like situation in some states like Karnataka. Foodgrain output was 126.31 million tonnes (MT) in the kharif (summer) season of the 2014-15 crop year (July-June). The country had achieved a record 131.27 MT foodgrain production in 2011-12. Releasing the fi rst advance estimates for the 2015-16 kharif crops, the Agriculture Ministry said, “The cumulative rainfall during the current monsoon season has been deficient by 15 per cent, i.e. higher than rainfall deficit of 12 per cent in 2014-15.” As a result, the kharif production of rice, coarse cereals and pulses, which are part of foodgrain basket, is likely to decline this year as compared to the fourth advance estimate of kharif foodgrain output for 2014-15. The Ministry, however, said that these are preliminary estimates and would undergo revision based on feedback from the states. It releases four estimates before the final one. As per the fi rst estimate, rice output is projected to decline to 90.61 MT in the 2015-16 kharif season against 90.86 MT in the same season previous year. Similarly, coarse cereals production

is likely to drop to 27.88 MT from 29.82 MT, while the pulses output is projected to fall to 5.56 MT from 5.63 MT in the said period. “In last few days, monsoon rains have revived in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana that will improve the prospects of pulses production,” Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain told PTI.

mitment as a business owner to follow rules and show prudence in using own funds. This later translates into faith that borrowed funds will be treasured by your business. The second step is to ensure that you stick to your plan and not of your funding partner. When funds are invested by a funding partner they bring in much more than just their money. Handling of your business may change depending on the source you have approached for funds. To avoid any such unwanted dilution of your idea, draft a detailed funding contract. Understand from a professional what are reasonable controls. The study of successful start-ups show that entrepreneurs need to stay true to their idea. A finance partner should be given freedom to monitor and not to intrude. The third step is judicious use of borrowed funds. Extensive marketing campaigns with full-page advertisements to just increase brand value without any addition to your business ideology should be avoided. Most start-ups forget to make provision for the most important cost for the stability of business — salary. Prudent use of funding will help you claim a valuation that you rightly deserve. Don’t forget the age-old principle of borrowing ratio and leverages. Considering the attraction in start-ups today, funding may be readily offered but you should evaluate the interest rate carefully before accepting any investment. Do not get into the structure of offering employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to your employees in the initial days. This can cost you a great deal when your structured funding partner comes on board. Dilution of shares and control of your business are very easily possible when such ESOPs offered are not in-line with long term strategy of the company. Funding should always be the last option. The primary goal should be to generate funds from sales by religiously following the business plan.

Trying to resolve pending tax disputes in next few days: FM Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will resolve over the next few days many of the outstanding tax disputes through judicial or executive resolutions. Jaitley said while a number of tax disputes have been “put to rest” since the BJP government took office in May last year, others are being resolved now. “Now, a number of them have been put to rest and we are trying over the next few days itself so that many others can be put to sleep either by a judicial resolution or an executive resolution,” he said while addressing the India Economic Convention here. He, however, did not elaborate on the disputes or the resolutions being worked out. Stating that the system of allocation of natural resources has been rationalised and the controversies put to rest, Jaitley said there are many other reforms in the pipeline. While the GST reform is stuck because of political reasons, the government is trying to put on track a bankruptcy code, dispute resolution in major contracts, expeditious arbitration procedures and a public procurement law, he said. “In a situation where there is turmoil almost by the day as far as global markets are concerned, we are trying to make the fundamentals of our own economy strong so our ability to resist these changes can substantially improve,” he said. PTI


“ The 30 party workers have been instructed to ensure that people immerse Ganesh idols in the tanks created by the civic body.” — Mangala Kadam, NCP leader in the civic body


“The state is facing the most severe drought after 1972 but the NCP is indulging in politics.It is nothing but an attempt to cover up the party’s failure of last 15 years.” — Girish Bapat, BJP senior minister

We need more parking lots on MG Road MG Road is a prime shopping area but f inding parking space is a time-consuming and troubling proposition at all times of the day

I stay at Sadashiv Peth, but I am a daily visitor to the Camp area because of my job. One of my biggest problems everyday is finding parking space for my car. It can take as long as half an hour at times, if not more, and it makes me late for work. The parking spaces on MG Road are occupied by the vehicles of the shopkeepers and their employees, from 9 am till closing time, which is 9 pm. And the shoppers and others who frequent the area, take up the few vacant slots. With the festival season around the corner, it becomes near impossible, and then parking on East Street and even beyond is the only option. In such a situation, the shop and restaurant owners who encroach on the parking spaces is no less than criminal. And with

more commercial complexes and offices, it is only going to get worse. The angular parking system is a waste of space. The malls are getting popular because they provide adequate space for Hema Alkunte parking, and the shoppers are carefree. But here half of the time is wasted finding space for your vehicle. More and more commercial complexes and offices are coming up in the congested area making the situation even worse. Also the complexes where the ground level should be used for parking purpose, is used for business purpose. The traffic police can also reduce the total number of cars coming on MG Road by diverting some of the traffic to other roads. Also with cars being allowed to park on only

one side of the road, the total available space is further reduced. Many car owners have to wait for others to vacate. Citizens of Pune are forced to use their own vehicles owing to the lack of reliable public transport. There is no indication that the corporation is doing anything to improve the PMPML bus services. It is time to find our own solutions to this parking space crunch. Basements should be used as parking lots. And probably the Cantonment Board that earns revenue from its pay and park facilities, should invest in setting up multiple-storey parking lots. An efficient public transport system and pedestrian-friendly roads could be the ideal way out of the city’s parking mess. It’s high time the parking problems are addressed and are met with appropriate solutions. There are other areas in the cirty where parking is an issue. But the prime shopping areas like MG Road and Laxmi Road is where this issue becomes the most othersome to the visitors. It’s not new but it needs an urgent solution.


A place to call home

It is easy to find one’s niche in Pune, which, despite its helter-skelter growth, is still a city with charm and character I belong to an army family and we moved to Pune three years ago. I am therefore quite used to packing my bags and moving to Samanvya Hooda a new city at regular intervals in my life. Over the time I have spent here, I’ve found that this is a rather easy-going city and settling in was not a big struggle at all. I think that the student and foreigner population has been part of the city’s ethnicity for a long time. Th is is the reason why Pune has such an accommodating, cosmopolitan air and people of all cultures are able to mingle and merge in without too much of a fuss.

It’s great to meet and exchange views with people from across the globe. The diversity is what has enabled to gain a fresh and broader perspective. I can see that this city is quite a migrant magnet and new people are coming in to





The story about the teenage girl who escaped from her would-be kidnappers is shocking. It is shameful that the police personnel on duty at the Wakad and Hinjewadi police chowkys refused to even register the case. What’s more they kept accusing the girl of making up a story and alleged that she was eloping. That the Pune police will go to such lengths to shirk work is horrifying. Th is is exactly the reason why the common man has no faith in the police force, and why we do not want to have anything to do with such law enforcers, even when we are the victims of injustice or a crime. The senior inspector SP Bhosale who said that he was not aware of the incident also highlights the policemen’s apathy and disregard of what happens to citizens. Even if it were true that the average policeman is overworked and

settle down here all the time. Th is is taking a toll on the environment, and the congestion and pollution are the undesirable fallouts of this constant addition to the city’s population. The other downsides are that being able to communicate in Marathi is necessary when dealing with autorickshaw drivers, the police, and with people in the peth and city areas. The traffic situation keeps getting worse by the day and indiscipline on the roads is quite brazen, and the cops are unwilling or incapable of enforcing law and order. There is no public transport to speak of. I am sure I could think of some more things to grouse about, things that cold be iproved with some attention, both by the citizens themselves as well as the civic authorities. But that is not the point. Pune, despite the overcrowding and chaos, still has retained its places of quiet and charm. This makes it a place one can consider as a permanent home.

The festive season is the best time of the year Pune is way different from my hometown Tehran, but it is an easy enough city to adjust to and settle in

It’s been four years since I moved to Pune from Tehran, Iran. I am studying law at a local college. I have had no trouble adjusting to life here, fi rstly because of the temperate climate, most of the year round. It sure gets hot in summer though. But now we are in the nest part of the year, which is the season of festivals beginning with Ganesh Chaturthi, and going on to Diwali and of course the year-ending fiestas. Even otherwise, Pune is a centre of culture and there is always a lot going on, be it theatre, music or other events. The college campuses and other

institutes have their student festivals and yearly events which I love being a part of. I have come to know my way around the city and have discovered scores of places to hang out with my friends. The city has an amazing and endless line of restaurants and cafes. Koregaon Park is home to a bewildering variety which offer cuisines from all corners of the globe. The general population of Pune is civilised and educated, and friendly enough. The student population give the city a youthful air. Consequently, it is quite a party hub, and it also has its share of parks and quiet spots like the Nullah Park in Koregaon Park or Zen garden on Sinhagad Road. I live in Panchwati, which is dotted with parks, and it is quite conducive to pleasant strolls in the evenings.



I have some grouses too, fi rstly regarding hostel facilities for foreign students. The lack of reliable public transport means that one is forced to travel by autorickshaws Sara Cheraghali, or use one’s own vehicle. The autorickshaw drivers are not always the most honest and will try to fl eece foreigners. The growing pollution and traffic congestion are problems that affect everyone, and the garbage strewn around and the ignorance of hygiene are also bothersome. With its huge growth and development, Pune deserves a more capable and effi cient civic body which will pay scrupulous attention to the infrastructure and public services which the citizens have the right to expect from them.

Shirking work is what the police do best

underpaid, such callous behaviour is still inexcusable. Mayuri was lucky to who presence of mind and make her escape when she did, as she could have suffered a dire fate at the hands of her kidnappers. The frightening thing is that such police apathy is an everyday fact of life, and we must fend for ourselves rather than rely on such a work-shirking police force. —Vikas Balera

Uncivil staff at citizens’ facilitation centre The Citizens’ Facilitation Centre at Shivajinagar seems to be doing the opposite of what it was set up for. Instead of helping citizens with their problems, the rude and stand-offish

attitude of the centre’s staff is creating hurdles for the citizens who are in need of vital documents. I wonder if the authorities at the facilitation centre are aware of how badly citizens are treated by the staffers. Imagine a public centre that does not have any signboards informing citizens about the facilities it offers, and no desk signs to indicate the staffers’ names or designations. The district administration must look into the functioning of the centre immediately and also screen the persons hired by a private agency, to ensure that the staff are conscientious and who are completely aware of citizens’ needs and work to the best of their ability to provide them the necessary service. —Suchitra Sumedh

Lights, camera, action...

The spotlight story about the starstruck residents of Bhor and Wai made interesting reading. The scenic environments at these places has benefited the residents by bringing in fi lm-makers galore for fi lm shoots. It is good that this has given the villagers a regular source of additional income by working for the fi lm units, and also giving them little roles to play alongside big name stars. It is also remarkable how the houses and the environment of these villages can, with just a little touch-up, can be made to look like villages of north and south India. The credit must go to the fi lm-makers and set decorators etc.

Though the glamour world of fi lms is light years away from these little villages, I am sure that this is a winwin situation for the villagers as well as the fi lm crews, even as it brings to the screen the historic monuments and breath-taking landscapes from these areas. —Reshma Ujjaini

zone. What is disturbing also is the heartless attitude of the people who are responsible for such accidents, and who are more concerned about saving their own skin rather than to help a fellow human being, who they have caused injury, which could be fatal if not treated in time. —Rahul Sanee

Domestic violence and the law

You can make a difference

The article about a ILS Law College faculty member’s letter to the Bombay High Court changing the way cases of domestic violence are dealt with was inspiring. Vice principal Dr Jaya Sagade had objected to the government circular about no counselling for victims of domestic violence. The HC thereafter scrapped the state circular. Women who are victims of violence must have all the information they need to make the correct decisions. Prior counselling will allow the victim to understand the court proceedings and prepare properly for a hearing. It is remarkable how the devotion of even a single person can help cast focus on an issue that affects such a large number of the so-called fair sex. —Shubhangi Gokhale

Accident-prone zone

The hit and run death of Vinod Lature on the bypass near Chandni Chowk is another reminder of the state of affairs

at this remote spot especially in the night. With no law enforcement to speak of, rash and reckless driving is common and hit and run deaths are the logical outcome. The attitude of ambulance drivers is also shocking. Emergency aid to victims of accidents can be a life-saver but the lack of medical services and ambulances in the area is deplorable. The least the authorities could do is to ensure proper lighting all along the route, and such visibility will reduce accidents. The traffic police should also do their bit by enforcing some sort of discipline among the road-users, and also put a stop to driving/riding on the wrong side of the roads and such infringements in this accident prone

Sonali Rao’s Pune Inspire shows that even one person can make a difference. It need not be on a big scale or require big investment either. Her initiative to clean up the streets in Baner area and the village near Lavale sets a fi ne example. Not only did she rope in volunteers, she is also looking to increase the ambit of this enterprise to other areas of the city. If more people are inspired by Rao, it will not be long before every area in the city will be spic and span, and even more importantly it will be because of the citizens themselves, rather than the civic authorities. —Anita Sarode

Write to Us Letters to the Editor may be emailed to, or mailed to The Editor, Golden Sparrow Publishing Pvt Ltd, 1641 Madhav Heritage, Tilak Road, Pune-411030.




““I would be very happy if I get back to batting at No 3 in the next series. But then, I am really flexible when it comes to the batting order and ready to fill in any spot that the team management wants.”” — Cheteshwar Pujara, India batsman

“It’s been the case all these years that whoever secured the Olympic berth, they represent the country. I am hoping that policy is followed this year as well.” —Narsingh Yadav, Indian wrestler

New squad, new hopes for FC Pune City The club has resorted to top notch pre-season training in Turkey, brought in new players, and is building up its fan base

SQUAD Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya (India), Lalit Thapa (India), Steve Simonsen (England) Defenders: Dharmaraj Ravanan (India), Pritam Kotal (India), Gouramangi Singh (India), Govin Singh (India), Sushanth Mathew (India), Gurjinder Kumar (India), Midfielders: Israil Gurung (India), Lenny Rodrigues (India), Manish Maithani (India), Bikash Jairu (India), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (India), Fanai Lalrempuia (India), Jackichand Singh (India), Nicholas Robert Shorey (England), Didier Zokora (Cote D’ivoire), James Bailey (England), Forwards: Yendrick Ruiz (Costa Rica), Adrian Mutu (Romania).

TGS NEWS NETWORK @TGSWeekly The merger of India’s premier event I-league and Indian Super League (ISL), has been the talk of the town. But the ISL club managers are busy preparing their teams ahead of the second season starting from October 3. While defending champions Atletico de Kolkata is all set to retain the trophy, other top fl ight clubs like FC Goa and FC Kerala Blasters are eager to lay claim to the coveted title this time around. Even FC Pune City and Mumbai FC, who finished on the bottom end of the standings, are aiming for better finishes. To boost their performance, the Pune club players were put through pre-season training at the state-of-theart facilities of Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey. “To be the best, you have to train at the best. Gloria Sports Arena possibly has the best sports training facilities in the world. From the feedback that I am getting, the head coach, support staff and players are all impressed with their stint in Turkey. We couldn’t think of a better way to get ready for the 2015 season,” said club CEO Gaurav Modwel. Head coach David Platt too had high praise for the facilities and encouraging words for the Indian players. “The facilities in Turkey were top notch and as good as anywhere in the world. It was nice to get my boots on again and enjoy my stint with the assembled squad. I am delighted with the attitude of the players and their appetite to work hard. I had heard so much about the so called limitations of domestic players but none of that was in evidence there,” said Platt. The team’s marquee player Adrian Mutu too was pleasantly surprised with the camp in Turkey. “Gloria Sports Arena matches the top facilities that I have come across. The team’s gelling well and the coach and the support staff

Signposts City veterans set for World badminton Eleven shuttlers from Pune have qualified for the World Veterans Championships to begin in Sweden on September 20. The players qualified on the basis of their performances in the 39th Masters Veterans National Badminton Championships held in Himachal Pradesh in April. The squad: Women (Singles 35+) Prerna Joshi; doubles (35+) Prerna Joshi/Anika Lele; doubles (45+) Rajshree Bhave/Deepali Joshi; singles (50+) Manjusha Sahasrabuddhe, Pratibha Nair; doubles (50+) Anjali Kunte/Pratibha Nair; women’s singles (60+) Sunita D’Souza; doubles (60+) Shaila Sardesai/Sunita D’Souza; singles (65+) Anjali Lagu; singles (70+) Shaila Sardesai; mixed doubles (50+) Manjusha Sahasrabuddhe; mixed doubles (40+) Deepak Patwardhan/Deepali Joshi.

Dukle, Sarfaraz win Off-road Carnival The duo of Gaurav Dukle and Sayyed Sarfaraz won the diesel category event, while Imran and Faisal Saudagar emerged winners in the petrol category in the Annual Offroad Carnival organised by the city based Pune Pathfinders. The teams were declared winners after being tested over a specially crafted gruelling track, in six sections. Over 300 participants participated in three different categories. Sameer Chunawala and Sajid Fakih won the Chief’s Challenge Trophy for the toughest task, and received a winch worth Rs 50,000.

FC Pune City players in a training session at Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey

are ensuring that the team comes back to Pune with top notch fitness levels,” said Mutu. The squad will be back in Pune for the final phase of training before the season starts for the club with a tie against state rivals Mumbai FC at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune, on October 5. NEW SQUAD FC Pune City co-owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan finished sixth in the previous season. They had a strong team on paper, including big names like former Juventus striker David Trezeguet, two-time Super League ‘Greek footballer of the year’, Konstantinos Katsouranis, winner of Polish professional league, with Wisła Kraków team, MacPherlin Dudu Omagbemi along with Lenny Rodrigues,

the I-League’s player of the year in 2012. The club was linked with ACF Fiorentina, a Seria A club from Italy, and was looking forward to Italian expertise from Franco Colomba, who has had previous experience with the clubs like Napoli, Reggina and Livorno. Yet, the team failed to deliver when it needed to the most. With just four wins in 14 games (4 draws and six defeats), the Pune side finished sixth with 16 points, and thus joined the other teams from city, which underperformed in their respective leagues. Therefore, the club has come up with a whole new set of players along with head coach and support staff. The team hasn’t retained a single player and under the guidance of former Manchester City assistant boss David Platt, they have invested heavily in an array of top players. They include ex-Everton and Rangers

goalkeeper Steven Simonsen and former Barnsley midfielder James Bailey, not to forget former Tottenham midfielder Didier Zokora, ex-Middlesborough striker Tuncay Sanli, and Romanian international top-scorer Adrian Mutu, as the marquee player. The club had failed to secure the transfer of Mutu last season and went for the talent from the school of Ajax, John Goossens. But this time they have got what they desired right from the start and are hoping for better results. The 36-year-old Mutu was a part of the Juventus side that won the Serie A twice in a row in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The talismanic winger began his career with Romanian club Arges Pitesti and has played for clubs like Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Chelsea and Juventus. To the attack force, the club has signed Nigerian striker Kalu Uche and Dutch winger

For Chinmay, academics and sports are two sides of a coin City paddler wins double crown in state table tennis while managing studies well BY ASHISH PHADNIS @phadnis.ashish Chinmay Datar, Pune’s ace paddler, is struggling to balance out his twin passions. The third year engineering student excels at both academics and sports, and his balancing act is set to continue for a few more years. Besides outstanding results in his exams, he has also brought in i laurels to the city in the table tennis sphere. He won his maiden double crown in the 4th State Ranking table tennis tournament at YMCA, Mumbai recently, outplaying top ranked players like Noel Pinto. The success surprised everyone, including the paddler himself. “I was preparing for the state championship to be held in Pune next month. So I decided to take part in the

Ravi Kumar wins shooting championship Ravi Kumar of Air India defeated Maharashtra’s ace shooter Pooja Ghatkar 11-6 to win the 10m rifle challenger cup in the 5th edition of Gun for Glory national level shooting championship at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Pune recently. In the 10m pistol challenger cup Rio Olympic Quota winner and Karnataka’s player PN Prakash prevailed over Rajasthan’s Bhupendra Singh Rathore 10-6.

Wesley Verhoek, while at the back former Birmingham City defender Roger Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the team. Along with the players, the team has signed on a new set of support staff that includes Niall Clarke as their sports science specialist, while Matt Radcliff as the injury prevention specialist.

Chinmay Datar

state ranking tourney as a warm up for the major tournament. I never thought I was going to win a double crown, and I would have laughed it off if anyone had predicted this,” said Chinmay. TOUGH GOING Chinmay faced a tough opponent in Rishabh Sawant of Mumbai in the third round of the youth category. After prevailing over Sawant, he had another uphill task when he faced Nashik’s Punit Desai. “It was the toughest match of the tournament. Punit is a service specialist and I had no answer to his crafty service. I was down 1-3 before I knew it and really had no clue. Then, for the fi rst time in my career, I resorted to a toilet break, changed my T-shirt and spoke to

my coach Upendra Muley. Th is break worked miraculously well for me and I faced Punit with a fresh mind. I had a plan and instead of attacking his serve, I paid more attention to keeping the ball on the table. The strategy brought about the expected results and I levelled the score at 3-3. Then Punit was stuck by nerves and he started making mistakes. I won that match comfortably,” said Chinmay. “That was the turning point of the tournament for me. I was able to handle the pressure and I faced an even tougher opponent with an ease,” he said. Chinmay then stunned Thane’s seventh seed Aniruddha Marathe 11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 and clinched the youth boys title with 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 win over Mumbai’s Shubham Ambre. In the men’s category, fi fth seed Chinmay emerged as giant killer, and he registered wins against fourth seed Arbaz Sheikh (Thane) in the quarterfinals, and knocked out Mumbai’s top seed Noel Pinto in the semis. “Noel is a versatile player and he changes his game plan frequently. One can’t just stick to a plan against him. So I went in with an open mind and altered my game according to the situation. I had beaten him twice in state ranking tournaments, so he was under pressure and I capitalised on that,” said Chinmay.

Chinmay is aiming for top spot in the State TT Championship to be held in Balewadi from October 20

UP AHEAD Chinmay is aiming for a similar performance in the State Table Tennis Championship to be held in Balewadi from October 20. “I have two passions, one is table tennis and another is my engineering studies. I like to give equal time to both,” said Chinmay, who is studying Mechanical engineering at Sinhagad College, Pune.

SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT To reach out to the fans, the club has launched their official website The website is designed to keep fans abreast with all of the club’s initiatives, from new player signings to training sessions, from merchandise to ticketing, from social media to traditional media. The club also held its campaign titled ‘Forces of Football’ to muster support of the locals to make the city a football hub. The initiative aims to bring corporations, schools, PDFA-registered clubs and people on a common platform. Even co-owner Hrithik Roshan had his share in promoting his team, and has shot a promotional video for his team. The video shows off the actor’s footballing skills. Th is official theme song teaser has a distinct Pune flavour to it and has been shot in the city.

Rohan makes big waves at sea TGS NEWS NETWORK @TGSWeekly Rohan More of the city, known for his longdistance swimming feats, added another feather to his cap by crossing the Tsugaru Channel in Japan. Rohan is the fi rst Indian to accomplish this. Tsugaru Channel stretches 32km from Honshu Island to Hokkaido Island. Crossing it considered to be one of the toughest challenges in the world for swimmers. The strong undercurrents, the presence of sharks Rohan More and freezing conditions chilly weather make the Tsugaru crossing a formidable task. Only three swimmers have completed the crossing this year. The experienced Rohan, however, got off to an inauspicious start before his campaign. “I had decided to start from a lighthouse near Tappi, and we took a boat to Tappi fi shing port. Though the journey lasted hardly 45 minutes, the rough seas made me sea-sick, and I threw up twice before starting my swim,” Rohan said. “Then my fi xed the emergency ladder on the right side of the boat. He said that I should use the ladder to escape from the sharks if there were any. Th at was a scary thought, but I was undeterred,” he said. The rough seas calmed soon enough, fortunately, and Rohan settled into a good pace thanks to the calm conditions and the absence of headwind. He had covered 22km and was just 10km from the fi nish after fi ve hours. His support crew were expecting for Rohan to complete the crossing within eight hours. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED However, the weather gods then turned hostile, the wind rose up, the currents got stronger, and the calm seas turned choppy, not to mention the rain. “I know that the weather can turn at sea, but the conditions turned completely adverse, and I was being literally pushed back. The strong current was pushing me backwards and swimming the same stretch over and over again was demoralising,” he said. How did he overcome the odds? “I kept looking at the boat and I would see my mother Vijaya cheering me on. There also was the Indian tri-colour aloft on the boat, which was enough motivation for me to keep going,” he said. HOKK AIDO IN 10HR 37MIN “It was a really good learning experience about how to cope when things go wrong. When you have a dream and a target to reach, nothing can stop you,” he said. Rohan, who is IT professional, had crossed the English channel in July, to become the second solo swimmer in the year to complete the task, in an overnight stint. He was guided by veteran swimming trainer Freda Streeter and her daughter Elisa.

The Golden Sparrow on Saturday 19/09/2015  
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