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BJP in big trouble in Maharashtra as Shiv Sena severs links while party leaders resent saffron brigade’s stance on Vidharba problem

January 24: Close on the heels of the decision of the Shiv Sena to sever its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party and asserting that it would fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls in Maharashtra on its own strength, resentment has been brewing in the state unit of the BJP over the saffron brigade’s complete silence on the demand for a separate Vidarbha region. The woes of the Bharatiya Janata Partys in Maharashtra has augmented. Following Nana Patole, yet another BJP leader from the home town of Nagpur of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is considering alternate possibilities with regard to BJP’s position on a separate Vidarbha. Ashish Deshmukh, a BJP legislator from Katol near Nagpur, has commenced a Vidarbha Atmabal (self-respect) Yatra to seek the claim for a discrete Vidarbha state, a topic that BJP utilized to garner votes during the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly polls in 2014.

Deshmukh revealed that he had written to the Chief Minister retelling him of the assurance for a discrete Vidarbha the BJP had made prior to the commencement of the polls but it seemed that he had ignored the assurance.

He also highlighted topics of agricultural suffering, chiefly that of suicide by farmers and the current pink bollworm contamination that has devastated cotton crop in considerable portions of Vidarbha.

Deshmukh is the second leader from Vidarbha who is displeased with the BJP over the pledges made to the electorate on a distinct state and execution of the Swaminathan Committee endorsements on the farm segment.

Previously, BJP Lok Sabha member Nana Patole vacated his seat and cut off links with the party subsequent to an argument with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the strategy of the Maharashtra government in tackling the problems of farmers. Patole afterwards bonded with the Congress.

Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, who was component of the NDA, quit the ruling coalition over the supposed indifference of the Modi government towards agriculturalists.

Deshmukh, the son of previous Maharashtra Congress chief Ranjit Deshmukh furthermore divulged that people were disillusioned with the BJP and that he had requested leaders from all political outfits to join his yatra on fortifying Vidarbha. But no BJP leader had reacted. Ashish combined with the BJP in 2009 and vanquished his uncle Anil Deshmukh, a NCP leader and a minister in the preceding Congress-NCP government, from Katol assembly seat in 2014.

Deshmukh had commenced the yatra on January 7 that will comprise all the 62 assembly seats throughout 11 districts in Vidarbha.

He stated that he would be directed by what the people of Vidarbha would reveal to him but was not clear whether he would continue to be with the BJP.

Deshmukh will coordinate a gathering of youth and farmers in Nagpur on February 13 where he is anticipated to proclaim his forthcoming tactics.

Articulating concern a senior BJP leader told exoticecho.com from Delhi that the party would have to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to cope up with the problems at the earliest.

Devouring the unpalatable to survive, mud now an addiction for Jharkhand farmer

Jan 21: The revelation that a farmer from Jharkhand Karu Paswan has subsisted on mud since he was eleven to stave of poverty is shocking and brings to the fore how the underprivileged in the country are compelled to find ways and means just for their survival. Karu Paswan has now developed a liking for mud which has turned into an addiction of sorts and his mature age of 99 in which he is fit and strong makes many wonder whether the secret to his long life is the consumption of the filth as is commonly referred to by the advantaged classes. . The fact that Karu has been consuming mud since he was 11 prompts one to ponder over the fact how people can go to any extent to fulfill their hunger.

Though Karu Paswan is fit and healthy even after eating mud which in common parlance is often labelled as dirt, it does not necessarily mean that such habits should be encouraged. There are weird reports in India even today of the deprived surviving on leaves which are not commonly eaten and even grasses and weeds. Bizarre instances of the starving, eating fruits unfit for consumption have also come to the fore. While India boasts of many technological accomplishments and grand progress made on the economic front both the rural as well as the urban poor continue to be victims of a system where their voice is seldom heard. Before every election political outfits make significant electoral promises for the voters especially the poor who form the bulk of the electorate only to forget the pledges once in power.

It is high time that the people at the helm of affairs give a serious thought to the progress of the underprivileged class who can go to any extent to consume food unfit for human consumption for satisfying their hunger and fulfilling the demands of the family. Karu Paswan took to eating mud as he had a large family to feed. Such a pathetic tale should goad the politicians to review their strategy about the welfare of the poor and not rely merely on publicity stunts.


Government order to restrict benefits to armed fotces personnel slammed

December 4:A section of army personnel are peeved by the decision of the centre to cap the educational aid to children of matyrs at Rs10,000 a month.Following the move,the government hopes to restrict the flow of funds from the government exchequer by Rs 400 crores, a sum considered a pittance againt the backdrop of the immense sa rifices of soldiers in safeguarding the country from malevolent forces. Terming the order as draconian an officer who served in a senior position in the Indian Army observed that such a measure would have a demoralizing effect on the armed forces and discourage youth from joining the army.

Speaking to exoticecho.com from Delhi the veteran army personnel said that the defence ministry should immediately revoke the order so that the interest of soldiers are not compromised with.He slammed the bureacrats for misleading the government and appealed to the defence minister to reconsider the order

Sources close to the BJP leadership in New Delhi did not rule out the possibility of a rollback of the order if pressure kept on mounting from personnel of the armed forces.

Another top serving official explained that there existed a subtle covenant between the establishment and army personnel under which a soldier would lay down his life for the country under the assurance that the government would take sufficient care of his next of kith and kin in his absence.The government was violating the bond by this unfortunate step.

Ironically the government order comes at a time when the nation is observing a week devoted in highlighting the supreme sacrifices of armed forces personnel and creating public awareness about the need to stand by them.


Great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi snubs Rahul Gandhi on comments about RSS in open letter

Dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi,

Gandhiji was my great grandfather. He was assassinated by Mr. Nathuram Godse.

Many inquiry commissions have researched the case and none has implicated the RSS.

My grandfather Ramdas Gandhi wrote to the then Home Minister, Sardar Patel to spare Mr. Godse the capital punishment.

Our family had moved on even then... but...just for your information..when Ramdas Gandhi lay dying in Mumbai (1969), Mr. Gopal Godse, the younger brother of Mr. Nathuram Godse did pay him a visit.

So as it stands, this issue is squarely in the past and my family has moved on........

My humble suggestion -- your folks who own Congress (I) and your goodself...should move on AND QUIT milking the name of Gandhi and this issue for YOUR SELFISH BENEFITS.

Have the magnanimity to accept the verdicts of the various commissions. To keep harping that the RSS killed Gandhi is akin to saying the Sikhs killed your GRANDMOTHER ... which would be such a petty falsehood is not it?

A couple of guys do not make for a community.... So please stop charade stop this opportunistic usage of the Gandhi name.


Feroze Gandhi was in reality Feroze Khan, son of a Gujarati Pathan Nawab Khan of Junagadh and his wife was a Parsi who had converted to Islam.

Your grandmother Indira was also a Muslim having converted to Islam to marry Feroze.

You are a mixture of Muslim and Christian.

There is no Rahul or Gandhi in you. YOU are nowhere close to being a HINDU but a combination of MUSLIM/CATHOLIC DNA - with due respect to all the communities.

I am putting this in the public domain as someone from the Gandhi family has to call your bluff. Stop fooling people, you are no Gandhi.

- Krishna Kulkarni

Big jolt to TMC; Veteran leader Mukul Roy Joins BJP

New Delhi, Nov 3: In a significant political development that could have considerable ramifications in the political scenario of West Bengal, Mukul Roy, once a close confidante of Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee joined the saffron brigade on Thursday. Earlier Roy had resigned from the Trinamool party following a series of incidents that had reduced him to a virtual non entity in the political outfit.

Roy a founder member of the party was known for his organizational skills in mobilizing party workers and utilizing them to good effect during the time of electoral activities.

Roy joined the BJP at the party headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. Sources close to the top BJP leadership told exoticecho.com that the veteran’s inclusion in the party would give the much needed fillip to the West Bengal unit of the BJP.

Roy was suspended from the Trinamool for six years in the wake of his revelation that he would quit the party in October. After the TMC decided to strip Roy of the various positions he enjoyed, the veteran TMC leader relinquished his Rajya Sabha membership and resigned from the TMC earlier this month.

Some political observers feel that Roy’s decision to join the BJP could put the TMC in an awkward position as he was once considered the second most important leader in the party next to Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee while others are of the opinion that Roy’s decision to join the saffron brigade could force Mamata to chalk out a strategy to offset this development.

A senior leader in the TMC told exoticecho.com that though the TMC is claiming that Mukul’s decision to quit the party could have little or no impact on the functioning of the TMC, it could in effect be jittery about this abrupt turn of events.

By Anjishnu BIswas

Congress MLA wants cow to be acknowledged as National Animal to prevent social misgivings

April 11: In a significant development a Congress MLA in Gujarat has urged that the cow ought to be acknowledged as a national animal and a law should be ordained to prohibit cow slaughter throughout the nation.

"What stops the BJP from bringing a law banning cow slaughter in states like Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, West Bengal and Goa?" a statement citing Dariyapur MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh revealed in Ahmedabad.

"As per the Hindu belief, 33 crore gods and goddesses reside in the body of a cow, and therefore the BJP government should declare it as a national animal," Shaikh asserted. He also censured the BJP’s tactics of taking advantage of the cow to divide society.

He observed that while the Congress government led by Chimanbhai Patel was the first to introduce the law prohibiting the slaughter of cow in Gujarat, the BJP government revised the act twice but has taken no measures to aid sustain cows.

"Gujarat BJP government sold off grazing land to industrialists, forcing cows to roam on the road and eat plastic garbage. BJP government gives no fund to cow shelter homes. BJP is only trying to polarise votes in the name of cows," he further stated.

Articulating his disgust over the means in which people are being slain in the name of cows, Gyasuddin revealed, "Muslims respect Hindu religious sentiments and do not indulge in slaughtering cows. But police declare they have seized beef even without FSL test which hurts Hindu religious sentiments. Police should understand the sensitive nature of the issue."

"The way people are killed by groups in the name of cows is a serious matter...even when our Constitution gives us right to food and follow our religion in our own way, but Muslims still do not indulge in cow slaughter in order not to hurt Hindu religious sentiments," he as well stated.

Shaikh disclosed there are numerous Muslims who are engaged in nurturing cows and have even been acknowneldged for their work by the state government as well as the Swaminarayan Gurukul.

Setback for Renowned Dairy Enterprise, Four Amul Stores Bulldozed in Vadodara

April 10; In a stunning event that has raised many an eyebrow the Vadodara civic body has bulldozed four milk stores of Amul, an action censured by the well-known dairy group which stated the action was conducted without prior warning and for strange causes.

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells the Amul brand of milk and milk products, revealed the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) flattened its four stores without warning yesterday.

It revealed the Gujarat High Court gave a stay on the flattening of additional nine stores built by the GCMMF in public gardens throughout Vadodara after obtaining consent from VMC in 2015.

"A VMC committee had passed a resolution and thereafter permission was granted in 2015 to construct 21 Amul parlours in public gardens across Vadodara. We surveyed the sites and paid necessary deposits and constructed parlours at 13 locations," GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi stated.

"However, for reasons unknown to Amul, and without any prior notice or intimation, four parlours were demolished by VMC. This caused a loss of Rs 40 lakh to milk farmers who own these outlets and also to consumers," Sodhi furthermore commented.

"Today we moved the High Court against this act of VMC and it passed an order staying any further demolition," he remarked.

Nonetheless, Vinod Rao, VMC Commissioner, supported the act of the civic body.

In a speech in Vadodara, he told the Amul parlours were built without consent.

"Amul, to save its face, has unfortunately made gross misrepresentation of facts involving criminal breach of trust. No formal agreement was signed (between VMC and Amul) and many conditions of (space) allotment were violated," he revealed.

"They agreed to remove structures on their own to avoid confrontation with VMC. All four shops were vacated by franchisees on their own under instructions from Amul officials and not VMC officials," Rao stated.

"It is unfortunate that a prestigious brand like Amul has stooped so low as to grossly violate rules and regulations and then defend itself by making allegations against VMC," the civic commissioner asserted.

The demolished parlours were situated in Alkapuri, Badamadi Baug, Khanderao Market as well as Railway Station expanse.

Setback for Renowned Dairy Enterprise, Four Amul Stores Bulldozed in Vadodara

April 10; In a stunning event that has raised many an eyebrow the Vadodara civic body has bulldozed four milk stores of Amul, an action censured by the well-known dairy group which stated the action was conducted without prior warning and for strange causes. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells the Amul brand of milk and milk products, revealed the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) flattened its four stores without warning yesterday. It revealed the Gujarat High Court gave a stay on the flattening of additional nine stores built by the GCMMF in public gardens throughout Vadodara after obtaining consent from VMC in 2015. "A VMC committee had passed a resolution and thereafter permission was granted in 2015 to construct 21 Amul parlours in public gardens across Vadodara. We surveyed the sites and paid necessary deposits and constructed parlours at 13 locations," GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi stated. "However, for reasons unknown to Amul, and without any prior notice or intimation, four parlours were demolished by VMC. This caused a loss of Rs 40 lakh to milk farmers who own these outlets and also to consumers," Sodhi furthermore commented. "Today we moved the High Court against this act of VMC and it passed an order staying any further demolition," he remarked. Nonetheless, Vinod Rao, VMC Commissioner, supported the act of the civic body. In a speech in Vadodara, he told the Amul parlours were built without consent. "Amul, to save its face, has unfortunately made gross misrepresentation of facts involving criminal breach of trust. No formal agreement was signed (between VMC and Amul) and many conditions of (space) allotment were violated," he revealed. "They agreed to remove structures on their own to avoid confrontation with VMC. All four shops were vacated by franchisees on their own under instructions from Amul officials and not VMC officials," Rao stated. "It is unfortunate that a prestigious brand like Amul has stooped so low as to grossly violate rules and regulations and then defend itself by making allegations against VMC," the civic commissioner asserted. The demolished parlours were situated in Alkapuri, Badamadi Baug, Khanderao Market as well as Railway Station expanse.

Prime Minister Modi commends Bangladesh while censures Pakistan for attempting to destabilize region with violence

New Delhi, Apr 8: While lavishing commendation on Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condemned another neighbor Pakistan in an oblique way, articulating it favors "backstabbing over trust" and that its "thought" is an obstruction to tranquility in the expanse.

He made the remarks as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showered praises on Indian heroes of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan and remembered their sacrifices at an exclusive occasion In New Delhi.

He disclosed doors of India were at all times unbolted for collaboration, but for that violence has to be rejected, an obvious allusion to Pakistan.

Concerning his well-known catchphrase Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (everybodys collaboration, everybodys progress), Modi said it is not simply limited to India but likewise to the adjacent nations as progress of India is partial without the development of the expanse.

"We have extended a hand of friendship towards every country (of the region) and have invited them to be a part of our growth. Without being selfish, we have wished good for the entire region," stated the Prime Minister who had requested frontrunners of all the SAARC nations to join his swearing-in ceremony in 2014.

"We truly think that citizens of all nations of the region progress and prosper. Our doors are open for cooperation, but for this terrorism has to be shunned," he stated.

Without mentioning Pakistan but clearly alluding to it, Modi said, "There is one thought in South Asia which breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism. The thought whose priority is not humanity, but extremism and terrorism."

India is a prey of that "thought" which emboldens violence, he revealed.

"The thought, whose policymakers prefer terrorism over humanity, destruction over development, destruction over creation, backstabbing over trust, is the biggest challenge to the society and its economic development," he stated.

Observing that 1,661 Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War, Modi disclosed the fight of the Indian army in this cannot be overlooked.

Prior to the function, Modi and Hasina converged and postured for photographs with Major Ashok Tara of 14 Guards who had saved the family of Bangladesh creator Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from a house in Dhanmandi where they had been detained by the Pakistani soldiers in 1971.

Rahman was the father of Sheikh Hasina.

"The Indian army never shied away from its duty and set an example by following conventions of the war. Over 90,000 Prisoners of War were released safely after the 1971 war. The humane gesture shown by India is one of the biggest events in the century," Modi revealed.

The Prime Minister said the slaughter by Pakistan in 1971 was commenced to annihilate a complete generation of Bangladesh and each person who was pleased with the notion of Bangladesh was removed.

"The purpose of this genocide was not just killing the innocents, but to uproot the idea of Bangladesh," he asserted.

Communicating at the occasion, Hasina stated, the past of Bangladesh has been engraved with the blood of Indian supporters together with brave freedom fighters of Bangladesh.

"They fought together for the independence of Bangladesh. The story of their sacrifice will be remembered from generation to generation in our two countries," she asserted.

Jammu and Kashmir police nab top militant

September 13: Jammu and Kashmir Police has detained the Kandahar hijack 'suspect' from the rocky Kishtwar terrain of the state. Backed by intelligence reports, police on Wednesday night began a hunt in an inaccessible stretch of Kishtwar district and nabbed a key activist, who is thought to be a 'suspect' in Kandahar hijack of 1999.

Known as Mehrajuddin a.k.a. code Javed, a trusted accomplice of United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin and gangland don Dawood Ibrahim, was apprehended during a search action in Kishtwar forest expanse.

He was a member of a group of five ultras which included Salahuddin who went to PoK in 1987 to obtain training in the use arms. The police are locking into the affair and his 'suspected' connection in furnishing logistical backing to hijackers of IC-814 to Kandahar from Nepal. Mehraj-ud-Din is a dweller of militancy prone Sopore town of north Kashmir and belonged to UJC, an umbrella collection of quite a few militant units active for the last 25 years in the state.

He is closely linked to nearly all militant units, comprising Islamic Front, Muslim Mujahiddin, Hizbul Mujahiddin and others, In the course of questioning the key ultra has provided facts about his connection with Salahuddin as well as Dawood Ibrahim, who appear in the catalog of 20 most wanted persons India has furnished to Pakistan. The Indian Airlines plane, with mostly Indian travelers, took off from Nepal on December 24, 1999 and when it ventured into Indian airspace, the ultras hijacked it to Kandahar in Afghanistan and killing a passenger.

The drama ended when the Indian government released three terrorists, including Maulana Masood Azhar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh for the safe return of the passengers.

exotic echo.com news team

Apex Court refuses to restrain Government from loading nuclear fuel

September 13: The Apex Court on Thursday declined to hold back the government from loading up fuel at Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu.

A bench consisting of Justices K S Radhakrishnan alongwith Dipak Misra, nonetheless, resolved to hear the appeal on September 20.

Previously, the government apprised the Supreme Court of the fact that loading of fuel was a primary action and the production shall begin only after two months. Prashant Bhushan represnting the petitioner stated before the court that the nuclear plant should not be made operative till all protective steps are adopted and the government should be held back from loading up fuel.

The appeal had been made against the verdict of the Madras High Court which had rejected the plea.Tamil Nadu has witnessed aggressive campaigns against the setting up of the plant.

exoticecho.com news team

No discussion on fuel hike by Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs

September 11: The assemblage of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs(CCPA), listed for this evening in which fuel price augmentation could have been revealed, has been postponed even as Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy noted that the price rise was necessary.

No fresh dates for the gathering have been slated, sources revealed. The Committee was expected to deliberate on augmenting diesel, cooking gas as well as PDS kerosene costs.

Convinced of the politically susceptible character of the topic, there was ambiguity on whether any conclusion could be arrived at. After a resolution on the pricing of these three products is adopted, the public sector oil marketing companies will also elevate the cost of petrol, which they at present trade approximately Rs 6 a litre lower than the market value.

Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy while speaking to newspersons in New Delhi said that his Ministry has distributed a letter to the CCPA. Although there is a CCPA conference, this point is not planned for deliberation as yet. Mr. Reddy made this comment said following his discussion with Finance Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Tuesday.

exoticecho.com news team

Anti-nuclear agitators clash with police in Tamil Nadu

September 10: The almost 400-day old resistance to the setting up of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) by the anti-nuclear agitators took a vicious turn as the police fired teargas shells and took recourse to lathi charge following a clash between the agitators and the police, with the situation remaining tense at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, this afternoon.

Unrest erupted when a segment of agitators, who were following a 'Satyagraha struggle' on the beach at Vairavikinaru Hamlet, nearly half-a-kilometre away from the nuclear plant, made an effort to lay siege to the plant. Notwithstanding several ultimatums from the cops, the agitators forcibly tried to move inside the plant, which compelled the police to apply force on them to thwart their attempt.

This infuriated the agitators who hurled stones and wooden logs on the security forces trying to bring the situation under control. As the protestors grew violent, police burst teargas shells and took recourse to a lathi charge to disperse the aggressive mob.

The campaigners tried to elude the police by moving into the sea. The police dispersed the picketers and tried to restore normalcy in the area.Nonetheless, several activists were allegedly wounded in the police action.

exotiocecho.com news team

Renowned Chennai surgeon advocates fortifying our immune system

In an exclusive interview to Anjishnu Biswas, the editor of exoticecho.com renowned Chennai based surgeon Dr K, Shriram(M.S) throws light on some of the basic tenets of enhancing one's immunity system. Dr Sriram is currently pursuing his MCH the highest degree in surgery at Tamil Nadu Medical College and Hospital. Dr. K. Shriram is the Head of the Department of Surgery in Pondicherry.The following is the excerpt of the interview.

Our body is constantly exposed to dangers from various quarters in the form of pollution, contamination, germs, bacteria and viruses. It is therefore imperative to strengthen our immunity system to safeguard ourselves from the onslaught of diseases and ailments that come in various forms.

We should remember that in order to augment our immune system we ought to base our diet on a balanced food pattern. We should ensure that our system is supplied with a steady source of vitamins and minerals in a regular manner. Dr. Shriram is of the opinion that lack of vitamins and minerals often tend to weaken our immune system. Natural source of vitamins and minerals like milk, eggs, fish, meat soyabean, vegetables should form an indispensable part of our diet.

He further elaborates that at times we do not get the required quantity of vitamins and minerals from natural sources and so it is vital that our diet should be supplemented with vitamins and minerals in the form of medication from outside. However, the well know surgeon from Chennai points out that people should not go for expensive medications but should avail themselves of vitamin and mineral supplements that are reasonably priced.

Soft spoken and unassuming Dr. K. Shriram is credited with successfully curing patients with various types of problems, some which requires great aptitude on the physician's part. A doctor with a busy schedule, Dr. K. Shriram is accessible to all types of patients whom he treats with the same degree of sincerity without any prejudice or bias.


Parliament session concludes amid chaos over Coalgate topic

September 7: Accompanied by BJP tumult on the Coalgate topic, the Monsoon sitting of Parliament concluded in a disappointment with the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha being suspended indefinitely on Friday.

The procedures on the 13th successive and ultimate day of the gathering were botched by chaos and upheaval. The Lok Sabha was suspended till noon prior to being suspended indefinitely. The Rajya Sabha experienced two suspensions ahead of the curtailment on the Monsoon Session. Speaker Meira Kumar suspended the Lok Sabha indefinitely at 1205 hrs, minutes subsequent to the House regrouped in the post-Question Hour sitting at 1200 hrs, thus finishing one of the most fruitless sittings in the history of the Lower House.

With over half of the session registering nearly no dealings, tarnished by remonstrations as well as chaos, the Monsoon Session was essentially the prey of Coalgate topic where the Opposition wanted the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over deficiency of clearness in coal blocks allotment under him.

While the BJP-led NDA wanted Dr Singh's resignation over the Coalgate topic which purportedly resulted in the exchequer losing Rs 1.86 lakh crore as stated by the CAG assessment, the AIADMK showed a vigorous remonstration over newspaper reports on Finance Minister P Chidambaram's land grab topic in Tamil Nadu concerning his family.

A segment of Congress members yelled 'BJP, bahar jao, bahar jao' (BJP go out) in reply to their 'Pradhan Mantri istifa do, istifa do' (Prime Minister resign) Members from Tamil Nadu also exhibited posters close to the well of the House claiming annulment of the consent given to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to be present at a Buddhist event afterward this month in Madhya Pradesh.

The Speaker did not articulate the conventional facts connected with the running of the House's during the session. Instead, the House was suspended indefinitely promptly after members sang the national song 'Vande Mataram'.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as well as Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy, on behalf of the government and BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman L K Advani, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Karia Munda, ex Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha from the key Opposition BJP kept quiet all through the activities that rocked Parliament.

. exoticecho.com news team

Coalgate scam rocks Parliament

September 4: Parliament was rocked by chaos and suspension for the tenth day successive day on Tuesday over topics related to the coalgate scam in the midst of claims for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign with the Lok Sabha being suspended till Wednesday and the Rajya Sabha till 1600 hrs. In the middle of the tumult, the Rajya Sabha presented the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2012, which had previously been endorsed by the Lok Sabha.

When the Rajya Sabha gathered at 1400 hrs following two prior suspensions, Opposition BJP members instantly rose to their feet, vociferously raising slogans and asking the Prime Minister to resign from his office.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien made an attempt to placate the BJP members saying "if you shout like this, I will not be able to proceed." He repetitively told the BJP members to end the commotion and permit the House to work. However, the BJP members did not give in.

Amid the uproar, the Deputy Chairman asked Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to advance the Bill. Mr. Azad was fast to put forward the legislation. The commotion did not end and Prof Kurien suspended the House till 1600 hrs.

Political workers owing allegiance to the Left were as well witnessed to be remonstrating. However the claims made by them were incomprehensible in the middle of the ruckus that engulfed the Upper House.

exoticecho.com news team

Byju Raveendran, CAT topper opens novel approach to teaching, working professionals attend lecture

August 27: Each weekend in Bangalore, approximately 1200 CAT applicants, comprising hundreds of people who are employed in various organizations, gather in a particular classroom to get educated for CAT by Byju Raveendran, who topped the CAT examination, winner of National Mathematics Olympiad and creator of Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd., the parent organization of Byju's Classes. The awareness is more akin to a film, with 1200 students in an enormous auditorium, taking part in the class with absolute concentration. More than 10,000 students concurrently and synchronously participate in the same class all over the nation by means of satellite, making this the largest virtual classroom of India.

Byju's extraordinary accomplishment tale can be credited to his firmness to pursue his enthusiasm to teach. At the youthful age of 26, he walked the trail less journeyed by giving up an esteemed place in the IIMs and a well-paid corporate occupation to alter the manner people "Think & Learn".

Think & Learn has been expanding remarkably with 200 students in 2008 to more than 20,000 this year. It has teamed up with the finest teachers for every subject of the majority of the competitive examinations, consisting of the CAT, UPSC, engineering entrance, GMAT, GRE, GATE, campus enrollment and even formal school education. With a conviction that his novel learning types should extend to even more students, Think & Learn has commenced reshaping the forms of content deliverance. Currently, Byju's greatly authoritative speeches are being distributed by means of VSAT points and tactics are steadfastly in position to commence first of their type educational tablets, which will have both pre-loaded as well as adjusted content together with examination. "Good teachers cannot be at every place all the time. So we believe in providing the best platform to them to broadcast their teaching as widely as possible. Every student deserves the best teacher. This is our philosophy," observed Byju.

Think & Learn has in recent times been bestowed with the distinguished CNBC-TV18-CRISIL promising India award for ground-breaking work in the teaching segment. It is the youngest association over the categories to obtain this reward. "Good content, when delivered through the right carrier, speaks for itself. This is the reason why our students become our brand ambassadors," observed Byju, whose group obtains 60% of its employment by means of recommendation. It is barely amazing then that the Facebook page of Byju's Classes has above 2 lakh 'likes', transforming the organization into the most loved Educational Services group in India.

exoticecho.com news team

Yoga expert Ramdev taken into custody while moving towards Parliament

August 13: Renowned yoga guru Ramdev who popularized the yogic postures among the populace and made this form of exercise a household practice in the country was on Monday taken into custody together with his followers when they attempted to go towards Parliament on an anti-Congress protest making claims that measures be taken to expedite the process of bringing black money to the country and curb fraudulent acts. Ramdev was apprehended close to the Ranjit Singh flyover, roughly three kms away from Parliament, under Delhi Police Act terms for precautionary detention when he ordered thousands of his supporters to walk in the direction of Parliament House.

With Government overlooking his remonstrations and declining to hold talks with him, Ramdev had been warning of revealing his future tactic since Saturday. Police had assembled numerous buses to remove the yoga guru and his followers from the vicinity of the Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi, the location of his fast dissent since Thursday after BJP President Nitin Gadkari and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav spoke to the crowd proffering to back him in the morning on Monday.

Giving a lecture to the congregation, Gadkari asserted Ramdev that he was not alone in his struggle and that his outfit had interrupted Parliament on Monday concerning black money stored away in overseas countries. "Delhi Police is a puppet in the hands of the Central Government. We will not do anything that disrupts peace. We wanted to march towards Parliament in a peaceful manner to make our voices heard. But they are detaining us," the yoga specialist directed his followers, urging them not to provoke the police to arrest them.

"Our intention is not to disrupt peace. We will cooperate with the police and go according to the law. We have respect to the law of the land," Ramdev observed, prior to being removed by police from the top of his vehicle to a bus. As his followers obstructed the whole expanse of the flyover, Ramdev appeared from the bus window and made a plea to his followers to enable the automobile to travel.

Delhi Police spokesperson revealed that the yoga expert as well as his followers was being transported to Bawana on the fringes of the capital. Grasping the national flag, Ramdev jumped on to an open automobile from outside the Ramlila Maidan and commenced the protest rally at 1:15 PM. He was quickly united with thousands of his followers.

"Let us start the march to Parliament. Our march is not to gherao Parliament. But to agitate. None of our volunteers should indulge in violence," he appealed o his followers prior to commencing his walk.

exoticecho.com news team

Kolkatans beware: Conmen on the prowl to dupe unsuspecting people

August 11: Kolkatans beware a group of con men are on the prowl to dupe unsuspecting people of their valuables using their trickery. Posing as experts in polishing objects made of metals and offering a guarantee of making them look new these swindlers enter households targeted by them. After polishing the metal objects with due vigour and making them look new they then claim to make old gold jewelry look new by the unique technique they possess.

In a number of cases women lured by their promise have handed their gold ornaments to them to make them look new but were deceived when they found the bangles missing. The ploy employed by these swindlers is simple. After taking the gold ornaments from the person they would put the same in a bag and keep it in presence of the owner of the gold ornaments and say that they would return after gathering some more gold ornaments from other sources and polish them in front of them.

But once they leave they never return, keeping the owner of the jewelry in a mood of suspicion till her suspicion turns into fear. A lady in South Kolkata who refused to be named said that she lost nearly 30 grams of gold after letting in two people into the house to shine her brass antiques and consequently agreeing to give her gold ornaments a new look by getting them polished by the two men. The lady who was with her two other women relatives said that for some reason or other they felt mesmerized and handed over the gold jewelry to them only to be duped in the end. Kolkatans are advised not to let any stranger enter their house in the absence of any male member and if possible not to allow any unknown faces into the house if possible.

exoticecho.com news team

Shankar, one of the greatest Bengali writers of all times recounts his early days in an exclusive interview to the Editor of exoticecho.com

In an exclusive interview with exoticecho.com Shankar, one of the greatest Bengalee writers of all times speaks about how he defied all odds to turn into a writer of great passion and vigour. Shankar is credited with a number of Bengali best sellers that have captivated the readers for over a long period of time. His stories are fascinating and keep the readers spellbound. His works include some of the most widely read thrillers such as Chowringhee, Simabaddha, Jana Aranya, Ghorer Bhetor Ghar and a number of enthralling works of literary creations. The following is an excerpt of the interview given by the legendary writer to Anjishnu Biswas, Editor of exoticecho.com in which he recalls his early childhood struggles that motivated him to become a writer of eminence. Simabaddha and Jana Aranaya were consequently made into films by the film maestro Satyajit Ray.

Shankar had turned up to inauguarte the book fair organised by the Kolkata Publishers Guild in association with the Utsav-Utsarg Co-operative Society when exoticecho.com caught up with this prolific writer.

After my father's untimely death we had to pass through hard times. Our neighbours had taken electricity by foul means and we received a bill of unimaginable proportions which we were unable to pay and so our electricity was disconnected. But my mother who had to look after the household chores was an avid reader. In the evening after finishing her work she would take a story book of her choice which she had borrowed from a neighbourhood library and read them under the lights of a lantern. In those days kerosene seemed costly to us and we were not in a position to buy the fuel as much we would have liked.

Often while reading the books the lanterns would go out because of a lack of the fuel and mother would not be able to complete reading the book. It would be a big disappointment for her because it would so happen that the frequency with which the supply of kerosene ran out mother could never complete the stories quite often. She used to borrow the books from a library called Friend's Union in Howrah and would try to complete reading them within the stipulated period within she would have to return the book. Once she told me that she had to pay a fine for a book which she had borrowed earlier and did not want to pay the fine again as she could not afford it.

So whenever the lanterns went out which would happen rather often she would tell me to read the book by the day time before returning the book to the library. I would take these unfinished books to school and sit at the last bench going through the concluding pages as fast I could. Once in a while I would get caught by my teacher who would castigate m me for not attending the classes and mockingly ask what the ending was. Has it ended in happy conjugal union or has something gone astray with the main characters of the stories. After listening to these words I decided that I would write books that would have no stereotypical endings but would be something different that the readers were yet to experience.

When my father was alive there were quite a number of magazines that would come to our house and of course Desh, the renowned Bengali weekly was one of them. But the weekly stopped coming after my father's demise and we had to borrow the magazine from the library. My mother was very fond of the stories that would appear in these magazines but again because of the limited time for which we could keep the books we had to timely return the magazine to the library.

But my mother always wanted to follow the stories that were published in parts in subsequent issues and it would be my duty to read the remaining sequence and narrate the rest of the story to her. I would go the library but there was an old gentleman who would lay his hands first on those magazines but to my dismay he was a very slow reader and I had to wait for hours to get my turn. I devised a plan and whenever the old gentleman began reading this magazine I would read the book over his shoulder and this continued for days. Having developed a practice like this I could no longer read books from a close distance but had to keep them far because of the habit of reading over someone else's shoulder. I also had some problems with my neck and a nagging pain pestered me for a while. This is how my mother ingrained in me the urge to read books. I have written numerous books for the readers and have won many laurels but the most rewarding acknowledgement would be if the readers continue to enjoy reading the books in my absence.


Ruckus in Lok Sabha over Advani's remarks

August 8: BJP leader L K Advani's remarks terming UPA-II as "illegitimate" raised a tumult in the Lok Sabha but took back his comments following violent remonstrations from Congress. Advani, who was under fire with Congress President Sonia Gandhi spearheading the attack noted that he was talking about the 2008 confidence vote for which "crores of rupees were spent" to bail out the government.

Pandemonium reigned supreme in the House soon after Advani termed the UPA-II as illegitimate while commencing a deliberation on the bloodshed in Assam after Speaker Meira Kumar accepted an adjournment motion on the topic. The UPA-II is illegitimate. It has never happened in the history of India ... crores of rupees were never spent to get votes," Advani alleged, exasperating the Treasury benches.

As a livid Gandhi was observed vehemently protesting against the comment and seemingly asking for the exclusion of the remarks, Leader of Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde urged him to take back the expressions. "Advani is a senior leader. We all respect him. But today he has said the entire (2009) election was illegitimate. This is an insult for all of us. I think he should withdraw his words," Shinde noted in his opening involvement as the Leader of the House.

The Speaker also told Advani that she had permitted adjournment motion as people were worried about the condition in Assam. "But one word used by you has hurt the sentiments of everyone. If you want, you can withdraw it." Advani acknowledged that he committed an error by referring to UPA-II and what he truly meant to articulate was the 2008 vote of confidence acquired during the UPA-I. "My comments were on the confidence vote and not on election. ... Those who were whistle-blowers were sent to jail."

When the House reconvened after lunch, the Speaker noted that Advani had taken back those comments and they would not form component of the records. Reacting to the boisterous remonstrations by Congress, DMK and Trinamool Congress members, Kumar had previously asked Advani to take back his comments and observed that she would examine the records and obliterate any offensive or unparliamentary word.

With the commotion persisting, the Speaker suspended the House for lunch.

Ahead of the adjournment, the BJP leader said he was talking about the suspected cash-for-vote scam that witnessed BJP MPs flaunting bundles of cash in the Lok Sabha during deliberation on the confidence motion, which they alleged was given to them for voting so that the government did not fall.

The Treasury benches, comprising ministers, rose on their feet objecting to Advani's comments, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal vigorously pointing out that Advani was straying from the topic on which he was permitted to talk.

"He has made extraneous remarks which have denigrated the Parliamentary system, the people and democracy," Bansal observed.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj explained that Advani had not brought up any unconnected topic. She said he was just talking about the glitch of the government on economic as well as social facades, as well as curbing incursion in Assam.

Even after the deferment, the ambiance remained tense in the House with Gandhi, who is also the UPA Chairperson, intermingling with MPs as well as ministers.The members in the Opposition benches were violent with some owing allegiance to BJP reproving the Congress of making a fuss over a trifle subject and prolonging the topic notwithstanding a veteran leader like Advani taking back his utterances.

A number of BJP members also cautioned that the House would not be permitted to run easily if the Congress approach remained as it was on Wednesday.

correspondent exoticecho.com

Voting in progress to decide on next Vice President of India

August 7: Voting commenced on a quick note for the Vice Presidential polls in which UPA candidate Hamid Ansari seems poised to repulse the challenge put up by NDA candidate Jaswant Singh. A total of 788 Lok Sabha along with Rajya Sabha MPs comprising nominated members, are entitled to take part in a ballot to opt for the 14th Vice President.

Ansari, who is in quest of re-election, has the backing of the UPA, and its associates, the Left political outfits together with other parties backing the UPA combine from outside. Singh, a former Minister of External Affairs and Finance, has the backing of the NDA as well as the AIADMK.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with Rahul Gandhi reached the venue in tandem to cast the vote in the Vice Presidential election. BJP stalwarts L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj also voted for the polls to elect the next Vice President of India.UPA sources are certain that 75-year-old Ansari will obtain no less than 500 votes in a fight giving him a clear advantage as far as the calculation is involved.The polling commenced at 10 AM and will carry on till 5 PM. Counting of ballots will begin at 6 PM.

Those who cast their votes early were Congress MPs Priya Dutt along with Abhishek Manu Singhvi together with Union Minister R P N Singh and V Narayanasami.

exoticecho.com news team

Renowned Environmentalists warn of major environmental catastrophe in 'City of Joy'

With Kolkata experiencing less than normal rainfall for the past three months of the ongoing monsoon period, experts in environmental sciences warn of far-reaching consequences on the overall ecological system of the burgeoning metropolis if this trend continues in coming years. In an exclusive interview to exotic echo.com Dr. Pradip Sikdar dean of environmental studies at the Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata observed that as a consequence of scanty rainfall, the groundwater pattern of Kolkata could undergo a catastrophic sequence. He said that the lack of rain is a major cause of depletion of the groundwater resources of Kolkata and the diminishing level is a major cause of concern. Dr. Sikdar noted that normal rainfall during the monsoon helps to replenish the dwindling groundwater level as a certain percentage of rain water permeates to the ground beneath. Rampant consumption of groundwater in the city by towering high rises and used for varied activities has taken a toll on the ground water reserve. With gradual decrease in the water table underground, a void is being created which is considered as a great peril to the surface on which the city stands. Dr Sikdar clarified that ground water acts in keeping the surface land firm and prevents land from subsiding and if this trend continues the existence of Kolkata would be at stake with massive subsidence in areas where there has been a great deal of extraction of groundwater. Dr Sikdar warned that unless rainwater harvesting undertaken and efforts made to artificially infuse rain water below the ground, Kolkata could experience a natural calamity of unprecedented proportions in years to come.

Dr Subhajyoti Das another stalwart in groundwater studies and former Director of Central Ground Water Board speaking exclusively to exoticecho.com sounded a similar word of caution urging the Government of West Bengal to take adequate steps to prevent large scale extraction of groundwater for domestic as well as commercial purposes. Dr Das who is the Editor of a magazine that brings to the fore the threat which the Environment of our country faces from various quarters also observed that Bangalore too was facing a similar crises in terms of groundwater over usage and had in an earlier interview to exoticecho.com comprehensively spoken about it. Dr. Das who spent a great part of his career in studying the nature of groundwater of Kolkata cautioned that with the amount of rainfall not being sufficient in Kolkata, activities to safeguard the groundwater reserves ought to undertaken on a war footing to thwart any major environmental catastrophe in the 'City of Joy'.


Former Gujarat Chief Minister quits BJP to form new outfit

August 4: The Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a jolt in Gujarat with Keshubhai Patel, who established BJP supremacy in Gujarat in the 90s, rebelling against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and quitting the party. The veteran BJP member has revealed proposals to start a new party which he claims would be the genuine BJP.

Talking to newspersons in Gandhinagar on Saturday, the 83-year-old leader who was also the former chief minister unraveled his plans together with the revelation of the withdrawal from the party of Kanshiram Rana, a former Union minister.

"Kanshiram Rana and I, who have served the party for the last 60 years, are very sad to send our resignations, from the party that we have nurtured here, to party president Nitin Gadkari. We are not switching the party but we are going to form the real BJP," Keshubhai noted.

The former chief minister criticized Modi bitterly observing that the party had turned into a one-man show and deviated from the philosophy of the BJP.

The underprivileged along with the middle class were dissatisfied with the government and Modi was trying to avoid those who he feared might question his style of functioning.

The statement by Patel, controlling an anti-Modi group inside the state BJP prior to the Gujarat Assembly polls (slated for December), was anticipated for quite some time, and the creation of the new party would cause a triangular contest. Though a dominant OBC leader during his glory days, what consequence his exit would have on the party remains to be observed since his power has weakened in the state politics for quite sometime now.

In Gujarat, regarded as the Hindutva forces' hub, Keshubhai had surfaced as a potent leader of the numerically powerful Patel community, which is the fortitude of BJP's support base. The saffron party has been governing the state for the last 15 years.

"BJP has not remained the real BJP which we had formed by working for the last 50 years. This party has become a one- man party and gone far away from its principals," Keshubhai noted, attacking Modi. "I will tomorrow announce the formation of our new party," he added.

"The present BJP has gone miles away from democracy and has become insensitive towards the people," Keshubhai said. In the last 10 years, people were anguished, verdicts of courts were not being appreciated, women and children were affected by undernourishment, and if the parents of missing children tried to approach the chief minister, they weren't allowed to meet the chief minister, he alleged.

"In this situation, I cannot remain silent and be a mute spectator, and that is the reason I have decided to form a new party which will be the real BJP," he asserted. Modalities of creating the new political outfit were being worked out, he said. Close aide of Keshubhai told exoticecho.com that the new political outfit would fight all the 182 Assembly seats.

Keshubhai was rudely moved from the post of the Gujarat chief minister in 2001 by the BJP leadership with Modi taking his place. At this ripe age, I am not forming a new party for grabbing power, as people have given me enough. My only aim is to give a better alternative to the people," Keshubhai clarified.

Rana, a potent leader from Surat, who was the union textile minister in the NDA regime stated, "Vajpayeeji had once told Modi to follow 'Raj-dharma', and inspired by that, we have decided to follow 'Praja-Dharma'". Keshubhai has the backing of a segment of the Sangh Parivar in Gujarat, consisting of RSS 'pracharaks' as well as members of VHP.

Gordhan Zadafia, former minister of state for home in the Modi government, who afterwards created his own Maha-Gujarat Janta Party, had sometime back revealed that he would combine his party with Keshubhai's new political outfit.

exoticecho.com news team

The Golden Beach: Exquisite coastline of Chennai with an enthralling ambiance

The Golden Beach in Chennai is an exquisite beach with clear blue waters and enchanting waves. The beach is wide and is happy tourist location both for locals and those who come from other parts of the country as well as abroad. Sitting on the wide expanse of the beach and looking at the dancing waves is a fabulous experience. Mostly on weekends hordes of crowds throng the beach to relax and get a feel of the refreshing air of the coastline.

Though the sea is rough and bathers are warned not to venture too far into the ocean, bathing near the shoreline in a safe location is a real joy in itself. One of the most unique features of the Golden beach is the prevalence of an amusement park in close proximity of the beach itself. On weekends the place buzz with the foot tapping music that is played in one or several entertainment sections of the park where people enjoy the different rides on offer.

The crowd is sober and the Golden beach is the perfect place to have a great outing with family and friends. During my visit to Chennai, the visit to the Golden Beach, so called presumably because of the colour of the sand was a really fascinating experience. So those planning a trip to Chennai should not miss out on this spectacular coastline though the majority of tour operators include them in their ternary. But with tour operators offering not adequate time, it's worth visiting the beach on one's own. Only then can the ambiance be felt in all its attractive glory.

Anjishnu Biswas Editor exoticecho.com

Renowned Hydro geologist, Subhajyoti Das warns of water crises reaching alarming proportions in Bangalore

In an exclusive interview to Anjishnu Biswas, editor of exoticecho.com, Mr. Subhajyoti Das who visited the USA on UNDP Fellowship for training connected with 'Integrated Use of all Water Resources' expresses his deep concern over the growing water crises plaguing Bangalore, referred to as the software hub of India. Mr. Subhajyoti Das, one of the eminent Hydro geologists of India has contributed significantly to groundwater research in the country by means of his revolutionary work and connected activities in groundwater studies. Mr. Das who visited the USA on UNDP Fellowship for training connected with 'Integrated Use of all Water Resources', in the Colorado State University (Fort Colins), US geological Survey (Tucson), American Water Foundation and Salt River Project (Phoenix) was also the Regional Director of the Central Ground Water Board of India. Mr. Das is currently the editor of a journal published by the Geological Society of India, Bangalore. In the interview to Anjishnu Biswas, the editor of exoticecho.com, Mr. Subhajyoti Das warns that if corrective steps are not taken Bangalore could witness problems of extraordinary nature in terms of non availability of water to the required extent. The following is an excerpt of the interview with Anjishnu Biswas.

Bangalore, the software hub of India, also referred to as silicon city, is a rapidly expanding territory with a populace of 8 million people and dotted with numerous multistoried buildings, housing and commercial complexes along with Malls and Multiplexes The IT boom has resulted in unparalleled commercial activities together with the need to keep the sector going . As a consequence the demand for the city's water supply has augmented considerably. Water is a major component of the infrastructure of a city where varied forms of activities takes place. However Bangalore does not enjoy the privilege of having a perennial river in close proximity. The city has to rely chiefly on the waters of Cauvery River, transported from a distance of roughly 100 km and raised to a height of 500 m from the source. But in comparison to the water supply requirement of 1200 million litres per day (MLD), the water that the river Cauvery provides to the city is to the extent of only 870MLD, thereby leaving a difference of 330 MLD. Apart from this demand for water is the industrial necessity of nearly 60 MLD, thus, increasing the deficit further.

A considerable quantity of Cauvery water is also lost in transmission creating additional stress in the accessibility of water for consumption by the city dwellers. Following an upsurge in population growth, expansion of industries, as well as commercial activities, the difference between demand and supply by the year 2025, will be tough to fulfill. Rampant urbanization has created an adverse impact on a number of the surface water bodies, with much of the precipitation water lost as runoff with the resultant reduction in groundwater recharge and decrease in water supplies. This dwindling water supply has resulted in the city's growing reliance on bore wells, of which there has been no appropriate evaluation so far, - 1.5 lakh to 3 lakhs by a number of assessments made so far. This has led to groundwater overexploitation, deepening of groundwater levels, jeopardizing the ecosystem in the process. This problem becomes severe every summer as reservoir levels are at the lowest. This affects the water supply, and growing stress on groundwater. Under these circumstances of dwindling water supply trade in commercial marketing of water is thriving. The burden of the suffering is endured by the low income group or the deprived as they are compelled to pay a number of times extra on water tankers than their wealthy counterparts, who live in luxurious apartments or buildings, furnished with safe BWSSB water supplies at subsidized charges.

Till the first half of the 20th century Bangalore did not encounter any water shortage with numerous flowing lakes and stream around the city furnishing continuous supplies of water to the city. Currently the city's water supply network encounters two-pronged difficulty of dwindling surface water resource because of drying up of lakes and reducing ground water because of excessive utilization. To discover an enduring solution to the water shortage, the origin of water crisis has to be comprehended in the correct angle. Mr. Das backs the refurbishment of waste land and lakes, rainwater harvesting, and water conservation actions to cope up with the dual crisis of surface water and groundwater.

Dr. Das points to the exercise of water conservation as the only crucial answer to the uncontrolled water crisis. He envisages retrieving considerable amount of water by means of domestic level wastewater treatment and recycling as well as recovery of enormous transmission wastes through suitable actions.

Affidavit filed in Adarsh Society fraud by ministry of defence

July 18: Labelling Maharashtra government's opposition to a CBI investigation into the Adarsh fraud as "illegal and malafide", the Defence ministry on Wednesday rebuffed the verdict given by a state-appointed judicial board that the land on which the contentious building is located is owned by the state.

In an official avowal filed in the Bombay High Court, the ministry made it obvious that it had not acknowledged the Judicial Commission's verdict resolving the possession of the plot in favour of the state government, calling it as "completely flawed" adding, "Dispute over the ownership of the land is not yet over".

The Commission's report is not obligatory on either the government or the court. The Ministry of Defence has not acknowledged the report.

"The report of the Commission is completely flawed, contrary to the evidence on record and is made on patently incorrect interpretation of law," the defence ministry observed in an affidavit filed before a division bench of Justices S.A Bobade and Mridula Bhatkar.

The Maharashtra government and Adarsh Society have challenged CBI's authority to investigate the suspected fraud on the argument that neither the state nor the High Court had asked the CBI to probe the case as necessitated by the law. The CBI commenced its inquiry into the irregularities on the orders of the defence ministry after a probe by the army chief.

It officially registered an FIR in January the previous year. At the earlier trial, the Court had permitted the Defence ministry to arbitrate in the PILs regarding the case and urged it to file its reply to the Maharashtra government's position that CBI was not authorized to conduct a probe regarding the issue. Consequently, the ministry filed its affidavit following the Court's order.

exoticecho.com news team

Cakewalk victory for Pranab anticipated for country's top most position

July 18: The arena is all geared up for the Presidential election on Thursday with UPA contender Pranab Mukherjee anticipated to win comfortably against the BJP nominee P A Sangma. Approximately 4,896 lawmakers consisting of 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs are qualified to vote in Parliament as well as state assemblies.

The entire vote worth is 10.98 lakh and a candidate requires obtaining 5, 49,442 vote value if all of them cast their votes to emerge victorious. UPA election organizers are confident of a comprehensive win for Mukherjee who is anticipated to garner around 7.5 lakh vote value.

The votes will be counted on Sunday and the outcome is likely to be revealed early evening. The occurrences leading up to the Presidential election witnessed its unpredictability with top UPA associate Trinamool Congress opposing Mukherjee's candidature in the beginning but afterwards resolving to back him.

Apart from the UPA and the four political outfits -SP, BSP, RJD, JD(S), NDA members JD (U) and Shiv Sena together with the CPI (M) and Forward Bloc have avowed their backing for Mukherjee. The CPI, RSP, TDP as well as TRS which collectively have approximately 36,000 votes are expected to refrain from voting.

There are about 32,000 votes with minor political outfits that have no existence in parliament but have legislators in the states. Sangma, an ex- Lok Sabha Speaker, joined the contest by emphasizing the need for a tribal nominee to contest the polls and occupy the position with the backing of the BJD and AIADMK.

The BJP together with Akali Dal resolved to extend their support to Sangma, who resigned from the NCP, the party he formed with Sharad Pawar, to fight the election. With the backing of SP (66,688 vote value), BSP (45,473), JD-U (40,737), Shiv Sena (18,495), JD-S (6,138) and CPI-M and Forward Bloc (roughly 41,000), Mukherjee can anticipate vote size of roughly 7.5 lakh.

In the electoral calculation, Sangma is estimated to trail Mukherjee by a large extent and is anticipated to gather approximately 3.15 lakh vote value. Sangma, who is being supported by several rival political outfits, acknowledged that TMC resolving not to vote for him was an obstacle.

But the tribal leader, who is supposedly deliberating on filing a plea in the Supreme Court against Mukherjee for supposedly occupying a workplace of earnings, has still not given up expectations of a win. When queried about his chance he retorted, "You wait till July 22".

exoticecho.com news team

Congress Chief's luncheon for UPA allies and outside supporters

July 18:UPA presented a show of unity ahead of the Presidential elections with all the partners comprising Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress along with the political parties backing the Congress nominee gathering for a lunch organized by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

K D Singh as well as Sukendhu Sekhar Roy, both Rajya Sabha MPs of the Trinamool Congress, was present on behalf of their party at the lunch, a day subsequent to the Trinamool Chief offering her party's backing to UPA's Presidential contender Pranab Mukherjee.

While SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav sat with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Rahul Gandhi, RJD leader Lalu Prasad, BSP chief Satish Chandra Mishra and RLD leader Ajit Singh joined Sonia Gandhi at the table.

Union Minister Sharad Pawar, whose party was apparently glum with the new realignment in the Cabinet that has downgraded him to the third place after A K Antony, was also at the table with Sonia Gandhi.

Veteran party leaders Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, Ambika Soni, Rajiv Shukla and Shakeel Ahmed accorded the visitors a warm greeting at the location which was a five-star hotel. Addressing newspersons following the lunch veteran Congress leader Ambika Soni termed it as a "routine" affair.

She noted that such types of lunch were organized by the Congress President annually for UPA associates and the political outfits backing the government from outside and it was merely a coincidence that this time it occurred a day earlier than the voting for Presidential election. The Congress President had on Tuesday conferred with party MPs from a number of states on Presidential election where she urged them to conclude all official procedures for voting so that every vote could be cast.

Land, coal accessibility should meet goal: Shinde

July 17: State governments should categorically make the procedure of land acquirement unproblematic for power projects to assist in fulfilling the capability accumulation objective of 88,000 MW over the next five years, Power Minster Sushilkumar Shinde revealed on Tuesday.

Furthermore, he noted that the degenerating financial condition of state power distribution companies as well as problems concerning fuel supply to plants were great tests confronting the power segment and required to be tackled right away.

"With the target of about 88,000 MW, which includes 5,300 MW from the nuclear power proposed during the current plan period (2012-17)...we will have to address the issue of fuel availability and equally important is the issue of finding adequate land for setting up new power stations." Shinde revealed this at a convention with state power ministers.

"More projects would move faster if the state governments play a proactive role in identifying and facilitating the procurement of land," he noted.He stated further, that the concentration in the 12th Plan period (2012-17) had to be on augmenting domestic coal production.

The problem of acquiring land also acted as an obstacle in the creation of the transmission infrastructure, considering the reality that in the existing plan period the country had an objective of constructing a number of 37,800 MW of inter-regional transmission capability, Shinde observed. He as well articulated worries over the feasibility of state discoms. "The single biggest challenge to the viability and sustainability of the power sector is the deteriorating financial health of the distribution utilities in most states," he affirmed.

exoticecho.com news team

Trinamool to back Pranab in Presidential elections

July 17: In a total volte-face culminating a month-long expectation, Trinamool Congress revealed its resolution to vote for UPA's presidential contender Pranab Mukherjee 'in the interest of coalition'.

After recommending the name of A P J Abdul Kalam as well as two others a month earlier fashioning a near catastrophe for the UPA government last month, Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday unveiled the party's choice, asserting that it had no other alternative and that it was not to prop up any personality.

The resolution of the political outfit, the second biggest component in the UPA with 19 MPs in Lok Sabha and 9 in Rajya Sabha, comes ostensibly under compulsion from inside the party to support Mukherjee, who would be the first Bengali to turn out to be a President, and not to overlook local emotion.

"We have taken the decision with pain and not from our heart. We have taken the decision without any provocation or financial deal," Banerjee made this revelation while addressing the media following a convention of party leaders.

She made a clear suggestion to the Bengali roots of the UPA contender saying "Pranabda is from Bengal but we have taken the decision due to our commitment to the people". The Trinamool resolution was right away greeted by the Congress party in Delhi and by Mukherjee's son Abhijit, an MLA in West Bengal.

With Trinamool's resolution, Mukherjee has the backing of almost 7 lakh vote value in an electoral college of practically 11 lakhs. As well as the UPA allies, he also has the backing of the CPI (M) and Forward Bloc together with BJP associates JD (U) and Shiv Sena.

CII wants relaxation of FDI norms to augment investor trust

July 17: The government should reveal confidence boosting reforms for example permitting FDI in multi-brand retail to tackle the worries articulated by US President Barack Obama on India's investment ambiance, industry body CII affirmed on Tuesday.

CII President Adi Godrej in a pronouncement asserted, "It is time to announce a few confidence building reform measures such as increasing FDI (foreign direct investment) in defence production... opening of FDI for multi-brand retail," These measures would greatly help in enhancing awareness about India worldwide, he noted.

There has been a claim to elevate FDI ceiling from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in the defence production.

In an interview to Indian news agency PTI, Obama had observed that it was still very tough to invest in India.

"In too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits the foreign investment... which is necessary for India to continue to grow," he noted.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had as well emphasized on Monday that India required making attempts to boost the investment character. He said, "I think many countries have been expressing concerns on investment climate...we need to strengthen it".

CII revealed that worldwide investors' opinion on India had been influenced because of the current occurrences akin to tax evasion rules, which have since been set aside.

"With the introduction of General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) which was intended to plug taxation loopholes and the announcement on retrospective amendments to income tax law have affected business sentiments and investors' confidence globally," it affirmed.

Congress MP's call on Sonia to guarantee Pranab's triumph

July 17: The Congress party on Tuesday augmented endeavors to make certain the victory of UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the upcoming Presidential elections.

Party President Sonia Gandhi participated in talks with Congress MPs from all the states. Election for the post of the President is slated for Thursday.

AICC in charge of the respective states came with the Congress MPs and called on Mrs. Gandhi in groups that were unconnected.

Those who called on her comprised the majority of the Union ministers belonging to various states.

Coming out of the discussions, Union Minister Harish Rawat rebuffed the likelihood of cross voting in the UPA cluster.

Team India players in Chennai for training camp

July 15: Led by Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian cricket team has begun assembling in Chennai for the two-day training camp prior to the tour of Sri Lanka. While Dhoni, the Team India captain reached early in the morning, five players Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, and Irfan Pathan together with Zaheer Khan were in the city on Sunday afternoon.

The other players are anticipated to reach the Tamil Nadu capital by Sunday night. The training camp which will cover a period of two days will commence from Monday at 2:30pm.

The Indian squad will take part in five One-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20 international all through the tour, commencing on 21st July. The Indian squad will play the T20 match on 7th August which will be the concluding game of the forthcoming Indian tour of Sri Lanka.


Bollywood celebrity Amir Khan calls on Prime Minister

July 16: Amir Khan renowned Bollywood actor and currently the anchor of a popular television programme 'Satyamev Jayate' called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to articulate his worry over manual scavengers who are assigned with the job of cleaning excreta.

Prime Minister listened with patience to what the actor had to say on the issue and urged him to meet the Social welfare minister Mukul Wasnik.

In a recently telecast episode of his TV programme 'Satyamev Jayate' the 47-year old actor had concentrated on the prevalence of three lakh manual scavengers who are engaged in the job of removing excreta even today and are regarded by a large number of people belonging to the society as those who do not deserve to be treated equally.

Amir Khan's programme 'Satyamev Jayate' which has gained immense popularity in a short span of time since the show was first telecast showcases one crucial social issue in each episode. Wide arrays of problems that affect communities at large such as female foeticide, child sexual abuse as well as domestic violence have been the focal point of discussion in the show with experts giving their valuable opinion.

Life term for Amarmani Tripathi for killing poetess

July 16: The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday endorsed the life sentence granted to ex- Samajwadi Party MLA Amarmani Tripathi and others charged in poetess Madhumita Shukla killing case.

Giving its verdict, the High Court noted that no reprieve can be given to Amarmani or anyone connected with the crime since their function in Madhumita Shukla's murder had been confirmed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani and two others were charged with life imprisonment by a Dehradun court in 2007 for plotting a scheme and murdering Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.

Pawar: Drought like conditions yet to set in the country

July 16: Agriculture Minster Sharad Pawar observed in New Delhi on Monday that drought like conditions were yet to affect India, although it had to confront the task of sustaining record food grains production in the context of unsatisfactory monsoons this year.

"We have not reached the drought situation yet. This year monsoon is playing hide and seek. It is a challenge for our farmers to maintain the same performance as compared to last two years," he noted.

South-west monsoon, which is the chief source of sustenance for agriculture in the country had arrived in Kerala on 5th June but its movement across the nation has been tardy, influencing the planting of crops for example paddy and coarse cereals.

"This year, we have a challenge to maintain 4 per cent agriculture growth against the backdrop of weak monsoons," the minister made this observation at the 84th ICAR Foundation Day, where ex President A P J Abdul Kalam was also a participant.

India was confronted with the test of supporting food grain productivity because of scarce monsoon, Pawar affirmed.

The nation yielded a best ever 252.56 million tonnes of food grain in 2011-12 crop year (July-June), assisted by the unprecedented high production of wheat as well as rice.

"For the first time, we have exported 5 million tonnes (MT) of non-basmati rice, 1.5 MT of wheat, 2.5 MT of sugar, 11.5 million bales of cotton due to good production last year," Pawar revealed.

Previous week, the minister had noted that the government was apprehensive about inadequate rains in Karnataka and central Maharashtra, which could have an effect on the production of coarse cereals as well as supply of drinking water.

"As on today (July 11), the country as a whole, the rainfall situation is definitely improving vis-a-vis 10 days back. But the worrisome areas are Karnataka and central Maharashtra," he had revealed following a convention with IMD officials.

exoticecho.com news team

BJP stalwart Jaswant Singh to contest vice-presidential elections

July 16: The name of veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh has been revealed as the NDA contender for the Vice Presidential elections.

The National Democratic Alliance headed by the BJP assembled on Monday at veteran BJP leader L K Advani's place and adopted a resolution to project him as the NDA candidate for the Vice Presidential elections that will take place on the 7th of August.

Jaswant Singh will be pitted against UPA's candidate as well as serving Vice President Hamid Ansari.

NDA was eager to nominate JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav as their candidate, but he refused to accept the proposal.

BJP sources said that that the NDA would get in touch with all those political parties which were yet to confirm their support for the UPA candidate.

Giving his response to his choice as the Vice Presidential candidate for the BJP led NDA alliance, the 74-year-old Jaswant Singh noted, "It is a matter of great respect that the NDA has unanimously chosen me as their candidate for the post of Vice President. It is a big responsibility and also a challenge".

exoticecho.com news team

Public outcry against teenage molestation stirs Assam Government

July 13: With a massive public outcry emanating against molestation of a teenager by a mob of nearly 10 men on Guwahati streets earlier last week, the state government in addition to the police set up has undertaken special efforts to nab the offenders.With the state witnessing the second most rate of offense against women in the nation, the newest event resulted in bigger alarm.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi along with state Director General of Police J N Choudhury, l have acknowledged that it was an offense that should not have taken place and affirmed that no such incident would be allowed to be repeated.

A girl in her teens was mobbed and physically abused by a group of onlookers, several in drunken condition, when she was emerging from a pub following a party with friends at around 2100 hours on July 9 on the main GS Road region of the Assamese capital.

The occurrence, encapsulated by local television channels, had sent jolts across the state and the nation.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, articulating worry over the matter, has supposedly appointed a group from New Delhi that will go to Guwahati on Saturday for an on the spot inquiry.

Union Home minister P Chidambaram has also uttered his distress over the happening and assured that the state government would tackle the issue.

The offenders have been recognized on the basis of video recording and four of them have been detained so far, with the police on the look out for the other culprits.

A local group, Assam Public Works, on Friday put up pictures of the offenders across the city and appealed to the populace to warn the police if they notice anyone of them.Social networking sites, akin to Facebook as well as YouTube, have also been working against the crime and claiming greater safeguard for women in the city.

exoticecho.com news team

CBI special court sets aside verdict in Shehla Masood killing

July 13: A Central Bureau of Investigation special court on Friday set aside its verdict on two appeals put forward in association with the killing of Right to Information campaigner Shehla Masood.

Judge Anupam Shrivastav set aside the verdict till July 21 after taking into account the positions of both the sides. The appeals are connected with the completion of ensuing hearings in Bhopal, where the killing occurred on August 16 last year together with the placing of Legislator Dhruv Narayan Singh's polygraph test report, apart from call details.

Meanwhile, indicted Saba Farooqui's advocate gave a submission and a medical certificate in quest of an order from the Court to exempt her from working in the jail because of weakness. Farooqui is being made to clean the location and conduct other activities.

exoticecho.com news team

Crucial to preserve self-esteem of Presidential election: Congress

July 13: Terming as unfair the words used by its rivals in the Presidential election contest, the Congress on Friday observed that it was necessary to uphold the self-esteem of the post of the President.

''It is unfortunate the way in which the campaign for the Presidential elections is being conducted by our opponents. There is no greater insult than to say that Rashtrapati Bhavan is being used as a dumping ground. It is important to maintain the dignity of the post of the President,'' Rashid Alvi Congress spokesperson made this observation wile addressing the media in New Delhi on Thursday. Mr Alvi affirmed that the President was a depiction of reputation for the nation.

''Decent language should be used in the campaigning for the august post. Article 51 A of the Constitution says that every citizen will protect and preserve the culture of the country,'' Mr Alvi noted.

During his canvassing for the Presidential election, BJP-supported Presidential candidate P A Sangma commented that the Rashtrapati Bhavan was being utilized as a 'dumping ground' for ex finance minister who had 'failed' to deliver.

''The Raisina Hill is being used as a dumping ground for the failed finance minister,'' Mr Sangma made this observation to reporters on July 10.

The Congress retort comes in the wake of UPA Presidential contender Pranab Mukherjee appealing to political outfits not to bring the fight down to the rank of common election. Mr. Mukherjee's remarks came in response to Mr. Sangma urging for votes on the basis of tribal affiliation.

''I have appealed to all political parties not to bring the campaign to the level of ordinary elections because Presidential election has its own significance and stature,'' Mr Mukherjee said. The election for the President's office is slated to take place on July 19.

exoticecho.com news team

Jagdish Shetter to be new Karnataka Chief Minister

July 11: Jagdish Shetter was appointed as the Chief Minister of Karnataka by Governor H R Bhardwaj on Wednesday who asked him to form the Government in the wake of his election as leader of the BJP legislature party. Mr. Shetter will take his oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday. Prior to the Governor's action Karnataka BJP President K S Eshwarappa conveyed to the Governor about his new role as leader of BJP legislature party and urged him to ask Jagdish Shetter to lead the Government.

D B Sadananda Gowda who resigned as the Chief minister was asked to continue in his position as the Chief Minister till appropriate steps were taken. Addressing the media, Mr. Sadanand Gowada articulated optimism that the party would fight the polls in the upcoming year unitedly.

Before this top BJP leaders took part in deliberations with the two groups of the Party to arrive at a settlement on the formation of the government in Karnataka. Mr. Arun Jaitly alongwith Mr. Rajnath Singh participated in talks with Mr. Sadanand Gowda who resigned as Karnataka chief minister together with Mr. B S Yeddyurappa, the former Chief Minister on the subject.

Government to curb financial shortfall: Chidambaram

July 10: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday guaranteed that the National Counter Terrorism Centre, NCTC would before long turn into a certainty subsequent to concentrating on the apprehensions put forward by a number of Chief Ministers. Addressing newspersons in Bangalore on Tuesday, he observed that a number of of the apprehensions revealed by the Chief Ministers, for example the NCTC coming under the purview of the Intelligence Bureau as well as on the authority of the NCTC to start any action on its own in the states would be tackled shortly.

Referring to the condition of the economy, the Home Minister noted that because of the precautionary actions and incentive packages, the expansion rate existed at 6.7 percent the preceding year, which was one of the utmost in the globe. The government was making an effort to curb financial shortfall by firming up revenue collection and putting an end to uneconomical expenses.

The Current Account shortfall was being checked by adopting assurance creating procedures to draw more funds. He noted that the Government had taken steps to augment the human development index. The infant mortality Rate had reduced from 58 to 47 per thousand. The Maternal mortality rate had declined from 301 per one lakh to 212. The literacy rate had grown from 64 percent to 75 percent.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid who was also present observed that exclusive pendency cutback operation in courts was assisting in settling long pending cases. He added that the previous year witnessed six lakh cases being solved under the action. He as well observed that the number of minorities in public sector undertakings had augmented as revealed by accessible data.

exoticecho.com news team

Shettar to take the place of Gowda as Karnataka CM

July 7: BJP has resolved to remove Sadananda Gowda and appoint Jagdish Shettar as Chief Minister of Karnataka. Sources in the party who spoke on terms of anonymity said the resolution was adopted at its core committee conference in New Delhi on Saturday. This is the third alteration in leadership in the state in 11 months. Sadananda Gowda noted that he was ready to acknowledge whatever resolution was undertaken by BJP central leadership.

Jagdish Shettar, a Lingayat leader and the Rural Development Minister, has been preferred by Yeddyurappa, who is a prominent Karnataka BJP figure even after he gave up the Chief Minister's post the previous year.

Following the nucleus group conference, BJP representative Ravishankar Prasad observed that Gowda would reach Delhi on Saturday evening and would have discussions with party supremo Nitin Gadkari, L K Advani as well as other leaders. He noted that a verdict would be revealed after that.

Yeddyurappa, who was replaced as Chief Minister last year following charges of corruption against him, has been emphasizing for a while now that Gowda should be substituted with his devoted colleague Shettar.

However, Gowda, who had troubles with the Yeddyurappa camp, had urged the party not to take any resolution quickly.

Brisk polling in elections to five municipalities in West Bengal

Five municipalities in West Bengal which went to the polls on Sunday witnessed brisk polling with nearly 85% of voters casting their polls in the crucial electoral contest. The chief political outfits in the fray are the CPI (M) led Left Front, the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. The Trinamool Congress and the Congress which fought the Assembly elections unitedly against the ruling Left Front ousting the Left Front Government from power after 34 years of Communist rule in the state decided to contest the municipal polls separately with the Congress alleging that the Trinamool Congress was not co-operating with the Congress and trying to dominate the political atmosphere of the state.

The polls took place in Durgapur, Nalhati, Panskura, Haldia, Dhupguri and Coopers Camp notified area authority. Except for a few stray occurrences of violence,the Secretary of the State Election Commission, Mr. Tapash Roy revealed in Kolkata on Sunday evening that the polls were by and large peaceful.

However the CPI (M) alleged that supporters of the Trinamool Congress ransacked the camps erected by the party outside polling booths and forced their polling agents out of a number of polling booths. The Congress too alleged that Trinamool party activists had assaulted their supporters. The Trinamool leadership however rubbished the charges saying that the allegations were totally baseless.

exoticecho.com news team

Daylight assault on Delhi MLA stuns commoners, BJP critical of law and order condition

June 2: In a vicious attack that took place this morning in New Delhi, an independent MLA from the state Bharat Singh was shot by unidentified gunmen in his office. Police sources said that the assailants entered the office of the MLA without facing any resistance and shot at Bharat Singh. Police said four bullets hit the MLA before he slumped to the ground. He was rushed to the emergency wing of a nearby hospital where he is under close observation of the medics.

Talking to exoticecho.com without revealing his name, a source close to the police said that the motive behind the attack was yet to be ascertained. He said that Bharat Singh was the brother of Kishan Pahalwan known to have links with the underworld. Bharat Singh too according to sources in the police who did not want to disclose their names had a nexus with antisocial elements. BJP leader V.K Malhotra said that he was appalled by the manner in which an MLA was shot in broad day light in the national capital. He said this incident threw light on the poor law and order conditions prevailing in the city and wondered about the vulnerability of the common man.

Meanwhile the Delhi police have said that they would look into all the probable motives behind the shooting including every aspect that they are suspicious of. Sources in the police said that whether the incident was related to political rivalry, personal grudge or connected with criminal activities would be looked into. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms Sheila Dixit said that every effort would be made to unearth the truth and the persons responsible for attacking the MLA would be given exemplary punishment .

Overjoyed Shah Rukh Khan says he is happy with his team's IPL success

En route to Kolkata from Chennai, owner of Kolakata Knight Riders Shah Rukh Khan spoke briefly with the Editor of exoticechoecho.com on the lounges of the Chennai Airport while taking a flight to Kolkata. Co-owner and Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla was accompanying the Bollywood superstar. In a candid conversatiojn Shah Rukh Khan said that he was greatly overwhelmed by the team's success in the fifth edition of the IPL. He said that he had kept faith in his players and was certain that their efforts would bring them success.

He categorically stated that perseverance, resilience and self belief were vital for attaining success in life. Shah Rukh thanked all those who were a source of encouragement to him during his difficult times when his team was not doing well in the earlier editions. He rushed off by saying that he was optimistic of his team's achievement in the future editions of the IPL and congratulated Gambhir for his leadership qualities that led to the team to victory in the IPL finals against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai.

Yercaud: A hill resort in Tamil Nadu, little known but great in beauty

Located about 50 kilometers from Salem, a buzzing town in Tamil Nadu in South India, Yercaud is a mountainous region extending up to 5000 feet from the sea level. The region is accessible by winding roads that are well maintained by the authorities and are a boon for motorists. The region being dry for most parts of the year the dangers of landslides are minimal. Travelling by car it takes about 4 and half hours from Salem to reach the top most point of these mountain ranges. The pristine beauty of the mountains with a varied flora and fauna makes it a treat for nature lovers. However going uphill is not an easy proposition. There are about 20 hair pin bends on the way to the top. There are many strategic locations at the topmost points of the mountain ranges where tourists go to have a bird's eye view of the surrounding regions and the vast green hill tops that exist below. Some of the joints where tourists can stop to have a look around have uncommon names likes ladies' seat but they have nothing to do with a particular gender as member of every sex can go to the spot and enjoy the panoramic view of the valleys and hill tops.

Unlike other well-known hill stations of India, Yercaud is a quiet place where tourists can enjoy their time in a leisurely manner. The view from the top most point of Yercaud is breathtaking as one is greeted with pristine greenery all around. The best way to reach Yeracaud is to take a cab from Salem or go by government or private buses which are available readily. Yercaud is known for its famed bhajji or fries. The mouthwatering dishes are very popular among the tourists. Fries of every type are available ranging from chilly fries, cauliflower fries, brinjal fries, potato fries ET all. The sauce which comes with the fries is really delicious and for sure one cannot stop at eating a plate. Several plates of hot bhajjis are required to fulfill a food lover's appetite. RadhaKrishnan, owner of Jay communications in Salem has visited this picturesque hill resort a number of times. He says whenever he wants to refresh himself after a tiring week's work he moves to Yercaud with his wife and son and after spending a couple of hours in the tranquil environment rejuvenates himself , ready to take on the drudgery associated with work. Kishore Ananth now studying BCA in Chennai who lives at Salem says that whenever he gets an opportunity he comes down to Salem on the bike with his friends accompanying him only to have Bhajji. These Bhajjis are superb and are unique to this place. From Chennai there are buses which one can take to travel to this beautiful and serene hill resort. It is an overnight journey from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. A must see for those who love nature in its pristine form. However one should be aware of the place teeming with monkeys of all shapes and sizes and could be a source of bother if one tends to show that one belongs to a different world.

There are a number of hotels in Yercaud catering to the requirements of the tourists. While there are small cottages on elevated spots there are the bigger luxurious ones like the Sterling Hotel resorts and the like.


Excessive stress not good for human well-being: Dr.K.Sriram

In an exclusive interview to the editor of exoticecho.com, Anjishnu Biswas, renowned Surgeon of Chennai Dr. K. Sriram spoke at length on how to minimize stress and anxiety, how to follow a proper sleep rhythm and the correct diet to keep oneself healthy) Dr Sriram has done his Masters in Surgery and is currently pursuing the MCh degree.Dr Sriram is associated with the Tamil Nadu Government College as well as Government College of Pondicherry.He is a surgeon with a proven track record and has rendered yeoman's service to his patients belonging to all classes of people.

Following are the excerpts of Dr Sriram's conversation with Anjishnu Biswas, Editor exoticecho.com

Those who suffer from anxiety and stress often tend to suffer from panic attacks. It is vital for people with such symptoms to relax once they find the pressure of a situation difficult to cope up with. Dr Sriram says that a proper sleep rhythm is often helpful in overcoming conditions associated with stress and anxiety disorders. He recommends a minimum of 8 hours of sleep for people with anxiety turmoil. He discourages people suffering from such conditions from watching too much television before going to bed. Reading a book can help a person to fall asleep more effectively. A balanced diet is also elementary to lessen stress and anxiety. Too much of spicy food can have an adverse effect on the digestive system leading to the aggravation of stress and anxiety. Dr Sriram advices the consumption of fruit juices, salad and light meals to keep the body in good shape. Dinner ought to be light as Dr Sriram suggests.

Dr Sriram also advocates the consumption of adequate quantity of water for the organs to function properly. The intake of sufficient water helps in the discharge of toxic elements from the body which is essential to keep the body in good shape. Dr Sriram also recommends the consumption of food rich in minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in plenty in certain vegetables, fruits, nuts and soya beans. Dr. Sriram says Soya Bean is a good source of protein and if taken regularly can assist in preventing a number of diseases. Soya protein is also beneficial for all the organs of the body. He says that awareness has to be created among the people regarding the potential of soya beans as a very cheap and effective food to stave off a number of diseases.

Unbearable Kolkata Summer Caused by Destruction of Water Bodies: Expert

May 18: Kolkata is currently reeling under a severe heat wave with the mercury touching 40 degree centigrade in the last several days. Meteorological officilas say this is the hottest spell that the city has experienced in a decade. With forecast of no rain the the coming days the ordeal of the Kolkatans is likely to continue for some time. Schools and colleges have closed eraly for the vacation as many students have fallen sick owning to the oppressive summer conditions. The meteorological office has sounded a heat wave alert in the city with the searing heat showing no signs of abetting. Rajesh Bose who works in a private company in the city said that he was trying to reach his office as early as possible to avoid being exposed to the severity of the summer conditions. Though his office starts at eleven he is in his office by 10 am like several of his colleagues who have adopted the same tactic to beat the heat. A traffic police constable said that it was a tough job controlling traffic under the scorching heat of the sun but he had no choice. But he said that gulping down waters in plenty and standing under a shade whenever possible.

Environmentalists blame the oppressive summer conditions of rampant unlawful constructions on water bodies and illegal felling of trees. Speaking exclusively to exoticecho.com, Dr Pradip Sikdar, Dean of Environmental Studies at the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management observed that unlawful filling up water bodies to facilitate construction of buildings and high rises was a major cause for the spiraling growth of temperature over the years. He added that numerous water bodies have been destroyed by unscrupulous constructors in connivance with a section of government officials to pave the way for high rises and buildings that fetch lucrative prices to those associated with the real estate business. The state government has failed badly to stop this practice. He said that vast stretches of water bodies along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass numbering over hundreds with greenery surrounding them assisted in keeping the temperature to a bearable limit. Of the hundreds of water bodies that existed even a decade back has drastically reduced to a few causing this dramatic change in climatic conditions. He said that unscrupulous promoters of high rises and buildings easily turned water bodies into stretches for construction by changing the very nature of the land with the help of corrupt government officials. He added that a great deal of damage had already been done and the only way out was to preserve the existing water bodies at any cost.

An exoticecho.com exclusive by Anjishnu Biswas

Shah Rukh perturbed by action of security men on children

May 18: Angered at the manner in which security personnel behaved with a group of children playing outside the cricketing arena but withn the periphery of the Wankadhe Stadium in Mumbai, celebrity and owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, Shah Rukh Khan lambasted the security for their action. Shah Rukh's daughter was amomng the children playfully engaged in throwing cricket balls and catching them. But security personnel shooed them away almost physically.

Shah who reached the spot from his home was visibly agitated to see the action meted out to the children along with his daughter. He rushed towards the concerned security personnel and gave vent to his anger. The security in charge of maintaining law and order in the ground alleged that Shah Rukh Khan was drunk and had abused the men who were on duty. Denying the allegations Shah Rukh Khan said that all the allegations against him were baseless but he certainly reprimanded the security men for their misconduct with children. Shah Rukh was not present in the match that featured Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumai Indians which the former won convincingly on Wednesday.

Anjishnu Biswas

Centre all set to work with states to deal with terror campaigns

April 16: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday called for united and synchronized endeavors to cope with dangers of terror campaign whatever its basis, whether internal or external. Unveiling the yearly convention of Chief Ministers on internal security in New Delhi, Dr. Singh observed that there was no doubt that the trouble of the struggle against violence falls mostly on the states machinery. He noted that the Centre was geared up to toil with the states to establish tough and efficient institutional apparatus to deal with this predicament.

The Prime Minister affirmed that planned National Counter Terrorism Centre would be deliberated on May 5th in a disconnected conference as recommended by a number of Chief Ministers. Dr. Singh stated that in the previous two years, the Integrated Action Plan had brought expansion to villages in the most underdeveloped as well as aggression hit districts in the nation.

The Prime Minister cautioned that dangers from terror campaign, left wing radicalism, religious fundamentalism and racial aggression were prevalent in the nation. The Prime Minister termed the internal security condition in the nation has generally been reasonable since February last year for which the attempts of the states along with the Centre required to be lauded. Labelling the job of coping with the security challenges as compound and arduous, Dr. Singh revealed that it was an effort that needed the combined attempt of everybody.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime minister asserted that there had been a discernible enhancement in the security and law and order condition. Dr. Singh observed that the state perceived the utmost inflow of visitors as well as pilgrims during 2011. He claimed that the Panchayat elections were an accomplishment and were further evidence of the people's yearning to be capable of lead regular lives bereft of the gloominess of brutality and violence.On left wing radicalism, Dr. Singh noted that 2011 was better in contrast to 2010 with regard to the number of deaths caused by Naxal aggression.

He acknowledged that the condition in a number of of the North-Eastern states had been difficult adding that the pilferage of expansion resources by radical elements was damaging the nation's attempts to advance the lives of the populace of the expanse.

exoticecho.com news team

Nation observes Good Friday with solemnity

April 6: Good Friday is being observed with due solemnity by Christians all over India. The day is observed to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. Christians comprising Catholics, Protestants as well as Syrian Catholics, Orthodox Christians paid their tribute by organizing exclusive prayers reflecting on the agony of Christ on the Cross for the sake of humanity and the seven verses he stated on the cross.

In the country special prayers will be organized in churches in New Delhi, Kerala, Goa, Orissa, Mizoram, Meghalaya as well as other regions. Along with the other parts of the nation, Christians in Nagaland are also commemorating Good Friday, with people taking part in exclusive prayers in all the churches all over the state.

exoticecho.com news team

Jharkhand HC orders EC to examine dissolution of Rajya Sabha elections

April 6: The Jharkhand High Court ordered the Election Commission to commence an investigation by an expert agency into accusations that resulted in the annulling of Rajya Sabha polls in the state .The bench of Chief Justice Prakash Chandra Tatia as well as Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh gave out the order to the EC, rebuffing a writ appeal entreating to nullify its resolution to annul RS polling in two seats, amid allegations of use of money power and horse-trading. New Delhi Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said it is yet another success against corruption.

Mr Quraishi noted that the election commission will officially write to the Union Home Ministry for the CBI investigation. He as well observed that the investigation by this central investigating agency was one of the choices which was under the deliberation of the Election Commission early this week.

The EC annulled the polls in the aftermath of confiscation of 2.15 crore rupees from a car on the fringes of Ranchi by Income Tax official as well as Ranchi police hours prior to the elections.

exoticecho.com news team

Maoists expand cut-off date till Saturday in abduction crisis

April 6: Although the Odisha government has resolved to free 27 detainees from various prisons, an Andhra Odisha unit of the Maoists has expanded their time limit for the government to 7th of this month.

The state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had revealed the names of 27 prisoners on Thursday to be freed from prisons in lieu of the obtaining the liberation of one BJD MLA Jhinna Hikaka as well as the second Italian abducted by the Maoists. After revealing the names of the detainees the state Chief Minister noted that his government had taken this action on compassionate grounds. He articulated optimism that equal character would be revealed by the Maoists organization in obtaining the liberation of the MLA Jhinna Hikaka as well as the second Italian.

Meanwhile, the Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Mondteforte acclaimed the effort of the government in Odisha to acquire the liberation of the abducted Italian along with an MLA.

exoticecho.com news team

All party conference on Friday to talk about Lokpal bill

March 21: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has organized an all party conference on Friday to thrash out the topics connected with the Lokpal bill. This was revealed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal while addressing newspersons in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Sources observed that the convention was being set up against the background of contradictory analysis by the diverse political outfits. The Lokpal as well as Lokayukta Bill, was ratified by the Lok Sabha in the winter assembly.

It could not be endorsed in the Rajya Sabha on the ultimate day of the gathering for lack of time, as there were numerous revisions.

Prime Minister: Centre not to breach nation's federal configuration

March 20: The Parliament on Tuesday approved the Motion of Thanks on the President's address with the Rajya Sabha ratifying it after opposing the Opposition revision. The Lok Sabha endorsed the Motion on Monday. Responding to the discussion in the Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh firmly guaranteed that nothing would be done by the centre to breach the federal organization of the nation.

With connection to the operationalisation of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Dr. Singh affirmed that the government had set up a meeting of the Chief Ministers on the 16th of next month for talks. He asserted that all disparities would be resolved by means of discussions and talks. He noted that the government was loyal to offer completely protected living surroundings to its citizens from the threat of terrorism as well as left wing radicalism. Dr Singh, in his concise response, furthermore guaranteed the House to sustain the Constitutional imperative in letter and spirit.

Replying to apprehensions articulated by some members on Tamil populace in Sri Lanka, Dr. Singh guaranteed them that the government totally shared their emotions concerning their wellbeing. The Prime Minister as well observed that India would vote in support of a resolution on encouraging settlement and responsibility in Sri Lanka at the ongoing 19th assembly of the U.N. Human Rights Council conference in Geneva.

News team exoticecho.com

India's fiscal expansion to be between 7.5-8 % for next economic term

February 22: Prime minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), has gauged India's pace of fiscal expansion for the next fiscal to be between 7.5 percent to 8 percent.

Unveiling the Review of the Economy for 2011-12 in New Delhi, PMEAC Chairman C. Rangarajan noted that the economy developed at 7.1 percent in 2011-12 and India might also be capable of accomplishing 9 per cent expansion eventually if worldwide fiscal circumstances recover. He as well noted that the High amount of Budget Deficit was a topic of apprehension.

Mr. Rangarajan gave advice for chalking out a road map for economic fortification, actions to curb price rises further and to draw investments in vital segments together with infra structure, coal, and Railways. He observed that the Indian economy required to be adjusted to control the Current Account Defecit and be positive to draw Capital inflows. Mr. Rangarajan also warned against unwarranted appreciation of the Rupee noting that it was not beneficial for the economy.

The regular GDP growth rate for the agricultural segment in first half of 2011/12 was 3.7 per cent. The PMEAC observed that mining as well as quarrying segment had revealed specific flaw this year while electricity division had functioned agreeably. Accomplishments of Manufacturing and Construction have not been on top of things. The Growth of GDP in the services zone was 9.6 percent in the first half of 2011/12 and expansion in the segment has been anticipated to be robust.

News Team exoticecho.com

Kingfisher offers new flight agenda to DGCA

February 22: Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday offered a new flight agenda to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA, bringing down its services to approximately 170 flights on a daily basis with 28 operating aircrafts. The regulator had provided the airline with a time limit till Wednesday to offer a pragmatic new flight program .The airline put forward an altered winter agenda of flights it would run till March. The program is being assessed by the DGCA. DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan as well updated Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on the bleak fiscal condition encountered by the carrier. With reports emanating that banks were making offers to bail out the airline, the Minister once more made it unambiguous that the government would not provide any financial assistance to a private carrier.

For now the fight schedule continued to be distressed for the sixth day with more than 30 flights being annulled by Kingfisher. According to the altered timetable, the airline would run almost 170 flights on a daily basis, in place of more than 400 it had wanted consent for last October when the winter timetable for the airlines came into action.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday dismissed any rescue package by the government. He nonetheless asserted that if banks were keen to offer them credits, they could do so according to the RBI rule.

News Team exoticecho.com

DGCA: No unforeseen rise in air tariffs because of flight disruptions

February 21: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday revealed that there had been no exceptional augmentation in tariffs as a consequence of extensive postponement of Kingfisher flights. Speaking to newspersons in New Delhi, DGCA Mr. Bharat Bhushan noted that it had been closely monitoring prices of air tickets since December 2010 and there were no instances of unforeseen increase in the prices of tickets to exploit the conditions.

The government has given a time of 24 hours to the airlines to offer an altered timetable of flights to circumvent any adversity to travelers. Mr. Bharat Bhusan observed that the airline had been urged to guarantee that the plight of travelers were not aggravated.

Kingfisher Airline's CEO Sanjay Aggarwal also conveyed to the aviation regulator, their propsals to bring to an end the extensive trouble of operating flights and their fiscal crises.Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister Mr Ajit Singh negated the offer of any rescue package for the private airline.

News Team exoticecho.com

Apex Court serves notice to Jaya for purportedly getting unlawful transfer of funds

February 21: The Apex Court on Tuesday served a notification to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on a CBI appeal contesting the Madras High Court ruling, which had nullified a case, listed against her for purportedly obtaining an unlawful allowance of US 3 lakh dollars in 1992.

While serving the notice to the Tamil Nadu CM, a bench of Justices Altmas Kabir along with S S Nijjar, nonetheless, restrained from adjourning the September 30, 2011 verdict of the Madras High Court, served on a plea by Jayalalitha for repealing the FIR against her.

The CBI contends that Jayalalitha had obtained a payment of three lakh US dollars in 1992 by means of a demand draft offered by banker's trust company in New York, drawn on ANZ Grindlays bank, St Helier Jersey. As stated by the CBI, the acceptance of such a enormous money was constituent of an unlawful agreement, which was being explored. Jayalalitha was the chief minister of the state at the period of the suspected offence.

News Team exoticecho.com

Elementary countrywide retail price rises facts unveiled

February 21: Price rises rooted to the all India Consumer Price Index was positioned at 7.65 per cent in January, as stated by the first countrywide retail price rises figures unveiled by the government on Tuesday. While food as well as beverages reported a balanced charge of price rise of 4.11 per cent year-on-year in January, the inflation specifics for fuel and light, and clothing, bedding and footwear sectors were in double-digits.

On the whole retail price rises in rural as well as urban regions continued at 7.38 per cent and 8.25 per cent in the equivalent month. Vegetables were less costly by more than 24 per cent on a countrywide base in January over the equivalent month the previous year.

Nonetheless, additional food as well as beverages experienced an augmentation in costs. In rural as well as in urban regions, price rises in the group continued at 4.18 per cent and 3.98 per cent. Milk as well as milk yields turned out to be 16.53 per cent more costly on a yearly basis, while cost of oils and fats augmented by 13.47 per cent in January. Condiments along with spices turned out to be expensive by 11.83 per cent and fruits by 10.62 per cent in the month.

The all India CPI will be obtainable apart from the three retail price guide for agricultural labourers, rural labourers as well as industrial workers formed by the Ministry of Labour. The fresh countrywide CPI is being readied by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) and is ultimately anticipated to substitute the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as the yardstick of price rises.

News Team exoticecho.com

Model Code breach to remain within Election Commission's ambit

February 21: The government has rebuffed suggestions of efforts to remove the Model Code breach outside the purview of the Election Commission. In a report circulated in New Delhi on Tuesday, the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances elucidated that the contents of the details in a segment of the media, were completely false as there was no such attempt under consideration of the government or the Group of Ministers.

It has been circulated in a segment of the Press that the Government had commenced working to accord the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) a legal back up and that if it was successful, grievances with reference to codes breached would go out of the purview of the Election Commission.

The statement has further explained that the topic of State Funding of Elections was one of the mandates granted to the Group of Ministers on Corruption under its conditions of reference. The emphasis has, therefore, been attracting the notice of the Group of Ministers at its deliberations from time to time and the Ministry of Law and Justice has been keeping abreast the Group of Ministers on a number of plans accepted by that Ministry and by the Election Commission on the question of state financing of voting together with other electoral alterations.

News team exoticecho.com

Prime Minister says farming segment probably to attain 3.5 % yearly expansion during 11th Plan

February 20: The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh asserted that the farming segment was expected to attain about 3.5 per cent yearly expansion in the 11th Five-Year Plan, but emphasized on augmenting it up to 4 per cent or more in the subsequent Plan, 2012-2017.Speaking at the Golden Jubilee Convocation of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, IARI, in New Delhi, Dr Singh observed that the government was dedicated to no less than doubling the expenditure on study and expansion in the farm segment by the conclusion of the 12th Five Year Plan from the existing stage of about one per cent of gross domestic produce, GDP.

Dr. Manmohan Singh affirmed that the farming segment stayed lethargic all through the 10th Plan phase attaining just 2.5 per cent growth. He stressed that a resolute attempt was required by both Central as well as State governments to realize the higher expansion. Observing that agricultural study was a vital component to attain elevated growth, the Prime Minister noted the agricultural study organization required to be fortified to cope up with the prospective tests. He as well added that the government had accepted a multi-pronged approach to enhance proceeds to farming and augment outlay in rural infrastructure. Dr Singh revealed that over the previous seven years, the government had engineered a change concerning business in favour of farming by boosting considerably, the support as well as procurement costs.

Dr Singh noted that food production at the conclusion of the 11th plan will overtake 250 million tonnes, an all time maximum. Reminding that both land as well as water assets were restricted, Dr Singh urged the need for enhancing agricultural expertise which can guarantee high produce while relying on water and are also competent of enduring water pressure. The Prime Minister asserted that the National Agricultural Research System required to be additionally fortified to cope up with the tests of the upcoming years. The Prime minister warned that there was a requirement to cope up with the risk of climate change. He noted that climate change as well as soaring requirement for viable energy is anticipated to have a noteworthy effect on farming in the nation.

exoticecho.com news team

Canvassing for first phase of UP Assembly polls concludes

February 6: In Uttar Pradesh, canvassing for the first phase of Assembly polls concluded this evening. Elections for the first stage are going to be conducted on Wednesday in 55 constituencies of the ten districts of Basti, Devipatan, Faizabad and Lucknow divisions. A total number of 867 candidates are in the fight in this stage.

The filings of nominations for the seventh and final stage of Assembly elections commenced on Monday after notifications were made public by the Governor. In the concluding stage, polls will take place in sixty constituencies of ten districts, mostly from western UP.

In the meantime, veteran political stalwarts tried to put their message across to the electorate by attending various rallies in a number of places on Monday. The BSP Chief and Chief Minister Mayawati, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Samajwadi party President Mulayam Singh Yadav and a number of other veteran leaders of major political outfits addressed gatherings in various districts, chiefly where polls will take place in first and second phases.

Monday was also the final date for pulling out of the race by withdrawing nominations for the fifth phase. For this stage, voting will take place on the 23rd of this month in 49 Assembly constituencies.

Defence Minister evaluates security condition in New Delhi

February 6: Defence Minister AK Antony evaluated the security condition at a conference in New Delhi on Monday. National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh along with Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma took part in the conference.

In the company of Admiral Verma, Mr. Antony will expend two-days on Indian Navy's platforms off the coastline of Vishakhapatnam, commencing on Tuesday, to view Theatre Level Operational Preparedness Exercise 'TROPEX'. TROPEX is a key yearly exercise of the collective fleet of the Navy performed to check the Indian Navy's awareness to cope up with any eventuality.

Approximately 40 ships from the two Fleets along with submarines, 13 naval aircraft in addition to UAVs are being utilized for the exercise. Troops of the Indian Coast Guard together with 18 aircraft of the Indian Air Force will as well form the component of the drill. A range of missile firings, Air Defence Exercises and anti-submarine exercises will be conducted.

exoticecho.com news team

Apex Court verdict on 2G allocation not directed against government

February 3: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid observed that the verdict given by the Apex Court on the distribution of 2G spectrum to various organizations was not a condemnation of the government policies and it would be accorded its full nobility. The Law Minister made this observation while speaking to newspersons, in Shohratgarh, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had greeted the Supreme Court's ruling stating that according to the directives of the Supreme Court his ministry would go ahead in the topic subsequent to the suggestions put forward by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI.

Addressing newspersons in New Delhi, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, Chairman J S Sarma termination of 122 2G licenses of eight companies would not have much bearing on subscribers.

Opposition parties comprising the BJP as well as the CPI also hailed the Supreme Court decision. BJP leader Arun Jaitley noted that the Home Minister P.Chidambaram himself must think about continuation in his present capacity as flawed.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan observed that it was Chidambaram's task as the then Finance Minister to thwart wrongdoing.

By exoticecho.com news team

Security beefed up in Assam Following Calls by Rebels to Boycott Republic Day Celebrations

January 25: In Assam, security has been fortified all over the state in the wake of a call to reject Republic Day observance by no less than six radical factions of the North-East, together with the anti-talk group of the proscribed ULFA. The State Chief Secretary N.K. Das is keeping an eye on the precautions being taken and assessing it with key police as well as other security organizations. A rigorous watch is being kept at river as well as border entry paths of the state to curb incursion of rebel elements.

Nonetheless, all the arrangements have been concluded to observe the 63rd Republic Day in an apposite way all over the state. The State Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik will unfold the National Flag at the Veterinary Field, the chief venue of the celebration at Khanapara in Guwahati on Thursday morning. Comparable functions are also going to be arranged in all the district as well as sub-division headquarters of the state.

exoticecho.com news team

Krishna files petition in Apex Court over suspected unlawful mining case

January 25: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has filed a petition in the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a private objection and investigation by Lokayukta police against him over purported unlawful mining during his term as Karnataka Chief Minister from 1999 to 2004.

The appeal made by Krishna has contested the January 20 verdict of the Karnataka High Court in which his request for nullifying the private criticism and actions taken against him by the Lokayukta Special Court was rebuffed.

The petition argued that the Cabinet resolution was a joint one taken by 34 ministers and a person could not be made liable for it. The high court had directed that probe ought to go on into wrongdoings connected with de-reservation of forest locale in mineral-rich frail zones.

exoticecho.com news team

Former President Emphasizes on the Need for enriched politics

January 25: Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam former Indian President emphasized on the necessity for enriched politics so that India can become an advanced nation by 2020.

Addressing a gathering in New Delhi to mark the 2nd National Voters' Day, Dr Kalam urged the youth to take part in the electoral procedure to opt for the apt candidates who are enthusiastic to undertake activities related to economic progress in their constituencies. He observed that people have the prerogative to vote and only by means of participating in this democratic procedure, they can guarantee expansion and wealth of the Nation.

During the event, the former President also allocated badges as well as Voter I cards to 20 newly registered voters from various regions of Delhi. These voters who earned their right to vote also vowed to elect their representatives courageously and without showing any bias for caste and religion. The Chief Election Commissioner revealed that over 3.8 crore new voters have been enrolled this year and among them over 1 crore, 10 lakhs belonged to the age Group of 18 to 19 years.

He noted that this year the key concentration of the Election Commission had been on women voters and the Election Commission was trying to enlist as many women voters as feasible by conducting women specific drives. Four officers were honoured at the event for their exceptional role in fortifying the electoral procedure.

exoticecho.com news team

1695 Radicals Surrender Weapons in Assam

January 24: In Assam, on the whole 1695 revolutionary cadres owing allegiance to nine racial tribal radical groups on Tuesday gave up before the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the state Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a weapons surrendering event held in Guwahati on Tuesday morning. The radicals put down nearly 200 weapons at the event.

Speaking at the gathering, Mr. Chidambaram observed that the day was notable as far as tranquility and ceasefire in Assam was concerned. He affirmed that all disparities could be sorted out by means of nonviolent discussions. The Home minister emphasized on the fact that there were no obstacles that could not be resolved by means of nonviolent discussions.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi affirmed that it was only by virtue of the democratic procedure, that the predicament of rebel activities could be resolved. He asserted that the centre along with the state government was enthusiastic in solving the troubles created by the radicals. He as well made a plea to the Paresh Barua commanded ULFA faction to volunteer for discussions.

exoticecho.com news team

PIL Contesting EC's directive on Wrapping Statues of Elephants Rejected

January 24: The Allahabad High Court has rejected the Public Interest Litigation contesting the Election Commission's directive of covering statues of elephants, the symbol of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

The Bench consisting of Justice Amar Saran together with Justice Ramesh Sinha on Tuesday rejected the basis on which the PIL was filed. Ahead of this the High Court bench had set aside its directive on 16th January after conclusion of hearing on this topic.

Taking into consideration the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls the Election Commission had given directions on the 7th of this month for covering statues of elelephants, the BSP party symbol primarily constructed in the state capital Lucknow and in Gautam Buddhnagar district.

exoticecho.com news team

Key Maoist Operative Apprehended in Odisha's Baragarh district

January 24: One of the key Maoist operatives has been apprehended by the cops in the Baragarh district of Odisha. Apprising the media about the arrests, Baragah Superintendent Police Kavita Jalan on Tuesday revealed that Dhiren Mahato also called Girish was taken into custody by a group of police personnel from Kharamunda village under Attabira police station more than 350 km from Bhubaneswar at some point in a search action.

She as well noted that Mahato was the second in control of the proscribed Communist Party of India Maoist's Odisha unit chain of command. He was furthermore an associate of the State coordination group of the CPI Maoist. Mahato was sought after for his connection with dozens of unlawful cases both in Odisha and adjoining Jharkhand.

In Odisha only, no less than 27 cases were pending against him, which consisted of a number of killings, kidnappings, forcible collection of money, explosions, arson and pillage.The Police as well apprehended his assistant Shankar Cherua also known as Munda in search action and retrieved one mouser, Maoist writings along with 12 live cartridges from them.

exoticecho.com news team

Prime Minister Urges Political Outfits to Co-operate for a Tough Lok Pal

January 21: The Prime Minister has urged all political outfits not to adhere to narrow views and assist in creating a tough Lok Pal.

Speaking at a public meeting at Amritsar he noted that sleaze was a major crisis necessitating a multi-dimensional reaction. He affirmed that the UPA Government was unwavering in coping with fraud in an efficient way and dedicated to tabling a tough Lokpal. The Lok Pal bill was given the go-ahead in the Lok Sabha but was not endorsed by the Rajya Sabha.

He emphasized that under the given circumstances every political outfit should collaborate in accomplishing this. He was optimistic of a tough Lokpal in existence in the coming days. Alluding to the methods adopted in e-governance to curb the threat of corruption he noted that attempts were underway to eliminate this malady.

Dr.Singh accused the Shiromani Akali Dal - BJP coalition in Punjab for the poor fiscal condition, burdening the state with a massive liability of one lakh 20 thousand crore rupees. He alleged that the resources made available by the centre for public gain were utilized for other activities, which did not benefit the common man. He observed that this was the cause that had stood in the way of the state's progress and had deprived it from its top position from among all the states in the country.

exoticecho.com news team

Two Great Maestros Come Together in Kolkata after 21 Years, Enthrall Music Lovers

(An exoticecho.com exclusive)

January 21: Renowned classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty along with famed tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain enthralled a packed Science City audience in Kolkata with their scintillating performance. The exclusive jugalbandi by Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty together with Ustad Zakir Hussain was organized by Friend's 91.9 FM service. The musical extravaganza witnessed two supreme exponents of classical music churning out a melodious rendition that kept the audience spell bound for nearly two and half hours.

Ustad Zakir Hussain was his normal brilliant self playing the tabla with a passion that is difficult to emulate. Pandit Ajoy Chakroborty with his masterly voice in tandem with the deft touches on the tabla by Zakir Hussain was a treat for the music lovers of Kolkata. Lauding Ustad Zakir Hussain for his exceptional skill as a tabla player Pandit Ajay Chakraborty said that Zakir was his constant companion in his nascent years as a classical singer and was in many ways responsible for his gradual rise to fame.

Talking to exoticecho.com Zakir Hussain commended Kolkata's music lovers for their knowledge of classical music. He said that performing with Pandit Ajay Chakraborty was a rare honour for him and he was glad to perform along side him on an evening that saw the two stars together on the stage at Kolkata after twenty one years.

The song Aeya na balam keya karu sajini made famous by Bare Ghulam Ali and a revelation in the world of music was enriched by the talent of Zakir's father Allah Rakkha Khan as a tabla player. Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty performed the same song today with Zakir as his accompanist on the tabla. The packed audience went in raptures as the song gradually unfolded and both the maestros showing their skills in their respective spheres. While Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty kept the audience spell bound with his vocal skill Zakir regaled the audience with his nimble fingers that struck the tabla at an incredible pace. At the end of a scintillating evening the audience at the Science City auditorium gave a standing ovation to two of the finest musicians that played in unison and made music sound celestial, archetypal of the ultimate maestros that have redefined music.


EC wants videography of complete procedure of filing of nominations in UP Assembly polls

January 13: The Election Commission has given directions for video graphing the complete procedure of filing of nominations for the Assembly Polls in Uttar Pradesh.

In Uttarakhand, nearly 900 aspirants contesting the elections have filed their nominations for 70 Assembly seats with the filing of nominations concluding on Thursday in the state. Evaluation of the nomination papers would be conducted on Friday. Polls in the state would be conducted on the 30th of this month.

1880 contestants for the polls have filed their nominations for 117 seats in Punjab, Thursday being the final day for filling nominations.

Nomination papers of 11 independent candidates were discarded on Friday in the wake of evaluation by the State Election Commission in Manipur. The State Assembly polls in Manipur are scheduled for the 28th of this month. Following this, the nomination papers of 271 contestants have turned out to be acceptable for the 60-member State Assembly elections.

Bearing in mind the threat posed by militants, special protection is being given from Friday to every candidate who have asked for security cover. In the meantime, the primary stage of deployment of Central Para-military Forces for the polls were accomplished on Friday with 151 companies of the defense personnel arriving at their designated areas.

The second as well as third stages of security deployment would commence from the 15th and 21st of January. Apart from personnel from the state police, a total of 350 companies of Central Para-military Forces would be pressed into service for the State Assembly polls in Manipur.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

Khurshid rebuffs breaching model code of conduct during canvassing for UP elections

January 13: Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has put forward his response to the Election Commission following the notice served on him for purported breach of model code of conduct. In his rejoinder, Mr. Khurshid observed that he did not breach the model code of conduct by guaranteeing nine percent quota to Muslims, if his party was voted to power in the approaching Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

According to reports, Mr. Khurshid in his response contested that guaranteeing nine percent quota was the component of Congress party's electoral policy.

Mr. Khurshid's response to the EC notice would be deliberated on Friday at a complete gathering of the Election Commission to be presided over by Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi.

The Election Commission had on January 10 slapped a show-cause notice on Mr. Khurshid for purported breach of Model Code of Conduct during canvassing in Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

National Counter Terrorism Centre Gets Nod From Cabinet Committee on Security

January 13: The Cabinet Committee on Security endorsed the formation of a National Counter Terrorism Centre, NCTC, to combat terror campaign efficiently. The NCTC would be a solitary window group assembling and distributing intelligence to central as well as state security establishments. Addressing the media in the aftermath of the meeting on Thursday, Home Minister P Chidambaram revealed that the government would before long release a communiqu' for the appointment of Directors and other members of the nucleus of the NCTC.

Mr. Chidambaram noted that the NCTC, being set up following the 26/11 Mumbai terror assault, would function under the Union Home Ministry. A veteran IPS officer of the status of Additional Director General of Police and beyond would lead the exclusive counter-terror unit.

He added that the NCTC would as well synchronize with related probe as well as intelligence agencies to make certain that the architects of terror are brought to book apart from preserving a broad data base of terrorists, their accomplices as well as followers.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Apex Court urges Sukhram to surrender before court

January 5: The Apex Court on Thursday released a notification directing ex-Telecom Minister Sukhram to give in to the trial court, with relation to the 1993 telecom swindle.

The Supreme Court as well denied reprieve to ex- administrator Runu Ghosh along with P Rama Rao the businessman operating from Hyderabad, directing them to surrender.

The three had made a plea to the Apex Court, contesting the Delhi High Court's December 21st pronouncement, maintaining the conviction in the Advance Radio Masts case.

While Sukhram together with Ramarao were served with a verdict of three-year jail terms, Runu Ghosh was sent to two years in jail.

Anjishnu Biswas and exoticecho.com news team

Apex Court stays HC order debarring 5 MLAs of Haryana

January 4: The Apex Court on Wednesday stayed a Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling debarring five state MLAs of Haryana Janhit Congress for uniting with the governing Congress party as well as the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.

A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir along with S S Nijjar stayed the December 20, 2011 verdict of the High court on a Special Leave Petition, SLP initiated by the Haryana Assembly Speaker in addition to several of the distraught MLAs, contesting the ruling.

The Supreme Court while staying the verdict wanted to know about the stance of the Election Commission of India as well as Haryana Janhit Congress, HJC leader Kuldeep Bishnoi on the SLP. The High court had previously given the verdict for provisional disentitlement of the MLAs and had nullified the ruling delivered by the Speaker sanctioning HJC's combination with the governing Congress party.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Delhi court denies bail to five CWG accused

January 4: A Delhi court on Wednesday rejected the bail petition of five people, apprehended for their suspected role in a Commonwealth Games connected fraud case and resolved to conduct everyday procedures in the case. The exclusive CBI Judge Talwant Singh rejected the bail applications of CWG Organising Committee General Secretary Lalit Bhanot, Joint Director General (Sports) A S V Prasad, OC's ex- Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal, ex- treasurer M Jaychandran along with A K Reddy the promoter of AKR Construction who is based in Hyderabad.

The five CWG swindle indicted had applied for bail asserting uniformity of their conditions with those charged in the 2G case.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

PM emphasizes on alteration in governance structure to tackle corruption

January 1: The Prime Minister has emphasized on alterations in organization of governance to cope up with the menace of corruption. In his New Year day communication to the nation, Dr. Manmohan Singh observed that such a system would enhance simplicity and lessen the range of mis-governance. He noted methods to check corruption would take time to have a complete outcome and appealed to the populace to be tolerant.

Dr. Singh noted that he would individually toil to offer a sincere and most competent government. He acknowledged as major tests employment protection, education, food, health as well as service, fiscal protection, energy safety, environmental protection as well as countrywide defense.

Urging the populace to stay united and work as a country to tackle these tests the Prime Minister noted that greater stage of manufacture require additional energy and it was point in time to chalk out a considerable expansion in energy accessibility.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Lokpal Bill to be tabled in Budget session

December 30: The Government on Friday revealed that the Lokpal Bill would be initiated in the Rajya Sabha for deliberation and endorsement during the Budget session of Parliament.

Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy addressing the media in New Delhi stated that after examining the amendments, the government would take an ultimate decision on the amendments and get in touch with the Opposition parties.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team Talking about the amendments pointed out by major UPA ally Trinamool Congress on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Narayanasamy noted that its objections were connected with the appointment of Lokayuktas in the states and that they had no complaint against Lokpal.

Nonetheless the minister affirmed that Trinamool was a component of the Cabinet resolution to endorse the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill tabled in Lok Sabha not many days ago.

This Bill could not be approved in the expanded session of Rajya Sabha on Thurday night as there was disorderly conduct on the part of members belonging to opposition political outfits when the Minister of State for Personnel was wrapping up the discussion. The legislation had earlier been endorsed by the Lok Sabha.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Central PSEs to undertake renewable energy venture

December 30: The government has resolved to direct all Central Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) to establish renewable energy schemes or obtain Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on their own, as a component of their Energy Management Programme for continued expansion.

A formal notification revealed that the ambit of the Energy Management Programme has been enlarged by incorporating Renewable Energy as a precise action to be followed by the Central PSEs.

This resolution, which will become a component of the MoU inked by the CPSEs together with the administrative Ministries and Departments, is anticipated to step up the expansion of the growing market for RECs in the nation and project it as a crucial business form.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Lok Pal Bill fails to get consent of Rajya Sabha amid unruly scenes

December 30: The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011 could not be endorsed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday following uproar when the Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy stood to reply to the deliberations. In the middle of the tumult, Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal delivered an avowal in the House that the government was dedicated to put in place an efficient Lokpal to cope up with fraud.

He revealed that since numerous amendments had been initiated, it was not feasible for the government to examine all of them prior to the voting procedure. Mr. Bansal furthermore noted that several of the amendments initiated were conflicting in character.

Leader of the opposition in the House, Arun Jaitely accused that the government had knowingly prolonged the event as it did not possess adequate backing in the House to endorse the bill. He said that the government no longer had the moral authority to govern the nation. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury appealed to the government to reveal a schedule when the bill would be tabled for deliberation and endorsement.

Previously, replying to the discussion, Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy rebuffed the opposition charges and stated that the bill initiated by the UPA government was much more efficient in contrast to the outline provided by the then NDA government. His utterances were lost in the din as a number of members barged towards Mr. Narayanasamy and tried to tear several papers.

As ugly scenes unfolded, the Speaker Mr. Hamid Ansari observed that it was not feasible to conduct the proceedings of House and suspended it indefinitely on Thursday night. Lok Sabha proceedings were earlier suspended indefinitely on Wednesday.

The winter gathering of Parliament was marred by unruly scenes with the topic of price rise, black money and corruption getting predominance in the conduct of the business of both the Houses. The anti-graft bill, Lokpal was accepted in the Lok Sabha following an extensive discussion but the Constitutional Amendment Bill could not be endorsed.

A number of other vital legislations were approved during the session besides initiation of several fresh bills. The session was prolonged by three days from 27th to 29th December, 2011 to argue on Lokpal as well as Judicial Accountability Bill.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Food price rise plummets to six-year low of 0.42%

December 29: Food price rise plunged remarkably to a six-year low of 0.42 per cent in the week concluding December 17th. As calculated by the Wholesale Price Index, Food inflation stayed at around 1.81 per cent in the preceding week. It was registered at 15.48 per cent in the same week of 2010.

In accordance with authorized facts made available on Thursday, onions became less expensive by 59.04 per cent during the week under assessment, while potato prices fell by 33.76 per cent. Prices of wheat as well plunged by 3.30 per cent. On the whole, vegetables turned out to be 36.02 per cent less expensive. Nevertheless, additional food products became more costly on a yearly basis with protein-based items remaining at the top.

Pulses turned out to be 14.07 per cent dearer all throughout the week under appraisal, milk became costlier by 11.30 per cent, while eggs, meat as well as fish became more expensive by 11.56 per cent. Fruits as well turned out to be 8.46 per cent more costly on a yearly basis, even as cereal prices soared up by 2.15 per cent. Price rises in the general key articles group remained at 2.70 per cent, in contrast to 3.78 per cent in the earlier week.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Lokpal bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha for debate and endorsement

December 28: The Rajya Sabha will begin deliberations on the Lokpal bill and consequent endorsement on Thursday. This was revealed d by Deputy Chairman of the House, K. Rehman Khan following the opposition's objection to get the whistle blowers bill endorsed discretely in the House. This bill was endorsed by the Lok Sabha together with the Lokpal bill. Gauging the disposition of the House, Mr. Khan affirmed that the anti-graft bill would be tabled for discussion on Thursday.

Prior to this, the President gave her nod to the bill as it was approved by the Lok Sabha with a number of amendments. A number of Ministers had previously said that the bill will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday afternoon. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla unveiled that the governing Congress party was engaged in discussions with its partners to acquire support for the approval of the Bill. Charging the BJP of hypocrisy, Mr. Shukla noted that the outfit wanted to stir Team Anna's protest but did not provide their support for the approval of a tough Lokpal.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday articulated contentment over the endorsement of the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha. Addressing the media in New Delhi, Mrs. Gandhi affirmed that the collapse of the constitution amendment bill had revealed the true character of the BJP. She stated that the BJP had previously revealed its commitment to support the efforts to provide constitutional status to the Lokpal.

The Lok Sabha had approved the bill on Tuesday night, making it evident that the formation of Lokayukts by the states would not be compulsory. But the Constitution Amendment bill aimed at bestowing constitutional status to the anti-corruption regulator did not fructify, since the government could not acquire a two-third backing in the House. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed it a day of remorse for the democratic system.

Anjishnu Biswas and exoticecho.com news team

Opposition accuses government of tabling weak Bill in Lok Sabha

December 27: The Lok Sabha is currently deliberating the Lokpal as well as the Lokayukta Bill, 2011. Raising the matter for debate, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Mr. V. Narayanasamy rebuffed Opposition charges that the Bill was weak. He elaborated on the conditions resulting in Government resolution to bring this legislation.

He noted the Bill had been completed following frantic deliberations with all the major stakeholders and the suggestions of the Parliamentary Standing Committee. Mr. Narayanasamy accused the then NDA government of keeping the Bill in abeyance for two years regardless of then Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee concurring with the observation that the Office of the Prime Minister should be incorporated in it.

He observed that the Bill makes an attempt to establish a Lokpal to counter efficiently the nuisance of fraud among public servants. It also makes an effort to form a public ombudsman for combating cases of fraud at all stages, together with the Prime Minister with specific protection. Together with this, the Minister also brought in a Constitutional Amendment Bill to offer the Lokpal constitutional grade.

Commencing the debate on the Bill, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, accused the Government of forwarding a weak Bill in the House dashing the anticipations of the populace. She noted that the Bill made the formation of Lokayuktas in the states compulsory which was contrary to the federal principles of the Constitution. She also charged the Government of not paying attention to the mood of the House while completing the outline for it to be presented and termed it as unlawful.

In her speech that continued for over an hour-long, she also accused the Government of making the CBI and the planned Lokpal acquiescent to it. Swaraj also contested the religion-based combination in the Lokpal structure. Rebuffing vehemently the Opposition's accusation, Union Minister Kapil Sibal charged that the BJP was overlooking its note of dissent offered to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. He noted that the plan to establish the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the state level had been taken after gauging the mood of the House.

Strongly condemning the Opposition for its double standards on the topic, Mr. Sibal charged the BJP of undertaking efforts to thwart the passage of the current anti-graft Bill. He revealed that the Gujarat Government had not chosen Lokayukta in the last nine years for coping up with fraud. Mr. Sibal also rubbished the Opposition accusations that the Bill made formation of Lokayuktas compulsory and stated that it would be an enabling prerequisite for them. The Minister firmly backed the inclusion of SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities in the Lokpal structure. He affirmed that equilibrium between executive, judiciary as well as Lok Pal was essential in the midst of agitated conversations between the treasury as well as opposition benches. He affirmed that the Government had adopted a slew of actions, including introduction of judicial liability, citizens' charter bills to purge the life of the populace.

In the meantime, Anna Hazare commenced his three-day fast in Mumbai on Tuesday insisting on a strong Lokpal bill. The Mumbai Police have beefed up security at the location of the fast. Nearly 2000 police constables, 200 senior police officers, six platoons of state reserve police force, three teams of Quick Response Team and two Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads are maintaining a close watch at the MMRDA Ground to keep the situation under control. There are six emergency exits, 16 fire extinguishers as well as six metal detector components, apart from twenty four hour ambulance services as well as 12 doctors whose services are will be obtainable.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

West Bengal earmarks 7 districts for enhanced health care services

December 24: The West Bengal Government has earmarked seven new districts for undertaking sweeping health reforms to augment the poor conditions prevailing in the health services in the state.

The districts where the health services will be given a new look are Bankura, Bishnupur, South 24 Parganas, Diamond Harbour, North 24 Parganas, Basirhat, West Midnapur, Jhargram, Burdwan, Assansole, Birbhum, Rampurhat, East Midnapur and Nandigram.

Besides efforts are also on to enhance health services in the underdeveloped regions of the state where 27 new super specialty hospitals will be set up in 11 districts costing the exchequer a sum of 2 thousand crore rupees.

Addressing the media at the Writers' Buildings in Kolkata on Saturday the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee noted that following these steps the rush from various hospitals will subsequently lessen.


Election Commission reveals poll schedule for five states

December 24: The Election Commission on Saturday unveiled poll dates for five states of Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa where elections will be held. Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi while addressing newspersons in Delhi revealed that the seven-stage polling would take place for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on 4th, 8th, 11th, 15th, 19th 23rd and 28th February in the coming year.

Mr. Quraishi noted that elections for Manipur Assembly would be organized on one stage basis on January 28th.Punjab together with Uttarakhand would go to the polls on January 30 while polls would be held in Goa on March 3rd.Votes for all the five states would be counted on March 4th.The Chief Election Commissioner noted that the Model Code of Conduct in all the five poll bound states as well as for Union Government would be applicable from today itself. On the aspect of security preparations for the electoral procedure, he affirmed that enough Central Paramilitary Forces apart from state police would be on duty in these states to ensure trouble free polls.

He revealed that those contesting the elections would have to open a fresh bank account to allow the observers to monitor the poll costs. Saying that a number of steps have been adopted to tackle poll connected misconduct, Mr. Quraishi noted that district as well as state level groups were being formed to curb the nuisance of paid-news.

A fresh slew of regulations have been adopted for two-stage randomization of the Electronic Voting Machines. Extensive videography of the elections would be carried out in maximum number of polling booths as feasible and the electoral rolls would be reorganized with January 1st being considered as the cut off date in the poll bound states.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

Pranab: Concerted attempt on to create agreement on fiscal bills

December 23: The Government is making a concerted bid to create broad agreements on vital fiscal Bills, including the Pension Fund Regulatory Development Act (PFRDA).

Speaking at a fiscal convention in New Delhi on Friday the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee noted that though the Bill was tabled in Parliament it could not be endorsed as the Government did not obtain necessary backing from other political outfits. Mr. Mukerjee added that the plan to permit FDI in retail has not been abandoned.

Speaking about the health of the banking segment in the nation Mr. Mukerjee guaranteed that the banking segment has adequate resources to respond to any slowdown. He revealed that the non-productive resources with the Bank are below one percent.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Apex Court's authorized group to examine Mullaperiyar Dam

December 21: Two trained specialists of the Supreme Court's sanctioned committee, C D Datte and D K Mehta will examine Mullaperiyar Dam on 24th of December. The technical associates will be studying the dam as guided by the directives of the authorized group Chairman and previous chief Justice of Supreme Court, A.S. Anand. In the meantime, in Tamil Nadu, diverse political groups controlled by MDMK have undertaken road obstruction rally on Wednesday in view of augmenting the height of Mullaperiyar dam to 142 feet.

Exoticecho.com reports indicate that agitators have obstructed nearly all roads going to Kerala from Tamil Nadu in safeguarding the interests of Mullaperiyar Dam. MDMK stalwart Vaiko is spearheading the agitations in Theni. A large number of cops have been positioned in border regions such as Kaliyikkavila in Kanniyakumari, Pollachi in Coimbatore, and Sengottai in Tirunelveli along with Naduthani in Nilgiri districts. Tamil Nadu truck operators have ceased to accept bookings to move freight to Kerala. Peasants are distressed as costs of vegetables such as potato, cabbage, carrot along with cauliflower have plummeted in the Nilgiris as they are not being transported to Kerala bazaars.

Guarantee of bringing useful Lokpal Bill accomplished: Congress

December 21: The President of the Congress Party, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday avowed that the Congress has accomplished its electoral pledge to bring a useful Lokpal Bill. Speaking at the Congress Parliamentary Party in New Delhi, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi noted that the government is on its route to accomplishing its 2009 election program to bring the Food Security Bill. The CPP representative Janardan Diwedi told newspersons that the party has kept all pledges, it had made all through various Congress sessions.

Mr. Diwedi observed that the Congress President revealed that the Cabinet has endorsed the Lokpal Bill on Tuesday and anticipated that it will be presented and approved. She noted besides the momentous bill, three additional bills with key suggestions to eliminate the threat of dishonesty are estimated to be accepted. These Bills are connected to the security of whistle blowers, augmenting judicial responsibility, thwarting money laundering procedure and curbing enticement of Indian public officers by overseas business.

Besides this, modifications are being launched to additionally fortify regulation with reference to deterrence of money laundering. Mrs. Gandhi noted that the Citizens Right to Grievance Redressal Bill presented on Tuesday will guarantee time bound delivery of public services. It will in addition take care of public complaints and the peril of fraud down to the block stage. She believed that Food Security Bill will shield a vast number of people from food shortage along with undernourishment and it is a component of Congress party's extensive rights based attitude to expansion.

Previously, the UPA government had created Right to Information Act along with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Condemning the BJP guided NDA, Mrs. Gandhi stated that its only purpose is to block procedures of Parliament. She said they wanted to disrupt legislative programme of the government but the government will not be discouraged as it is loyal to the wellbeing of the populace. She also lauded the measures adopted by the Finance Minister to cope with black money topic.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

Lokpal bill outline finalized by concerned group of ministers

December 19: The authorized Ministers group has readied the summary of the Lok Pal bill. Union law Minister Salman Khurshid made this revelation to newspersons following a conference that continued for two and a half hours adding that the officials would complete the concluding outline on Monday night. He furthermore noted that the cabinet conference listed tonight might fail to take place. Mr. Khurshid observed that the government was unambiguous on every aspect of the Lok Pal Bill and it was not functioning under any compulsion.

He affirmed that following the go-ahead by the cabinet, the ultimate position on the bill had to be endorsed by Parliament. He as well noted that it was not essential to prolong the Parliament session.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy took part in the meeting besides the Law Minister.

Sources revealed that the conference as well deliberated on the self-rule of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Sources in Parliamentary Affairs Ministry offered suggestions to the extent that the government was not opposed to the idea of bringing group 'C' employees under the purview of Lokpal.The Cabinet had on Sunday taken part in basic deliberations on the bill anticipated to be moved in the present sitting of Parliament. The Government has clarified that it was not opposed to other views that emerged at the all-party gathering organized by the Prime Minister, together with the encompassment of advices put forward by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Addressing the media outside Parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal revealed that the cabinet would consider the Lokpal bill for deliberation and endorsement on Tuesday morning.He articulated optimism that there was on the whole a political agreement on the bill and the anti-graft bill would be endorsed by Parliament in the present sitting.The Minister observed that he was optimistic that all political outfits would acknowledge the draft arranged by the government after meticulous deliberations and counsel by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Mr. Bansal also revealed that the Citizens Grievances Redressal Bill along with Rajiv Gandhi National Insitute of Youth Development Bill would be tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday.

By ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com Team

Food security bill deliberated in cabinet gathering

December 18: The Union cabinet assembled at the residence of Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh in New Delhi on Sunday evening to deliberate on the draft legislation to guarantee food security.

The food security bill which aims at providing rice at 3 rupees per kg as well as wheat at 2 rupees per kg to half of the nations populace, was deliberated in the previous cabinet gathering. The bill furthermore makes an effort to offer one rupee per kg coarse grains to this populace. It also makes an attempt to encompass India's 75% rural as well as 50% for urban families.

The Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh has avowed that government would undertake every probable attempt to endorse the bill in the ongoing session of parliament. He observed that there should be no uncertainty about the earnestness of the government. This bill has been mulled over by the National Advisory Council led by UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

The Prime Minister on Saturday noted that the cabinet would take into account the planned Lok Pal bill in the gathering. Veteran cabinet ministers assembled prior to the gathering to thrash out and modify the draft bill. Dr. Man Mohan Singh organized an all party gathering to assess the opinions of opposition parties on the Lokpal topic.

The cabinet had previously endorsed judicial liability and whistle blowers bills besides legislation about citizens charter to cope up with fraud efficiently.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com News Team

Opposition disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings over Chidambrams alleged favouritism to hotelier

December 15: Opposition parties on Thursday vent their ire on Home Minister P Chidambaram in connection with a media report on the removal of three FIRs against an hotelier operating from Delhi. This resulted in tumultuous scenes that affected the functioning of both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha. They alleged that the Home Minister had wrongfully utilized his official status to assist a former client. The Lok Sabha was suspended for the day following frequent adjournments in the midst of commotion with the opposition BJP members seeking adequate measures against the Home Minister.

The Rajya Sabha was suspended till noon in the aftermath of tumultuous scenes on similar topic. No sooner had the House assembled for the day, NDA members protested against Home Minister's supposed intervention in a criminal case lodged against a hotel owner from Delhi. However Congress members wielded newspapers projecting the news about the supposed seizure of land by the Maharashtra Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, with social activist Anna Hazare being a key member.

BJP as well as CPI leaders affirmed that these accusations seemed to be extremely plausible and wanted Chidambaram to relinquish his post.

The Home Ministry responding to the charges asserted that Chidambaram did not have any say in the removal of three FIRs against S P Gupta, who operates M/s Sunair Hotels Pvt Ltd and was charged with corruption and falsification.

ANJISHNU BISWAS with exoticecho.com news team

Government optimistic of broad political agreement on FDI in retail segment

December 15: The government has articulated optimism that a broad agreement among the various political outfits will come forward on Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, in the retail segment.

Speaking at the Delhi Economic Conclave in New Delhi on Thursday morning, Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee observed that the government had made efforts to draw out the National Manufacturing Policy as well as the FDI in retail segment in a bid to augment the financial system of the nation.

He noted that the Euro Zone problem was yet to be solved and had been affecting the world wide fiscal system which in all likelihood would have its effect on India also. Affirming that India had a fortified monetary base, the Finance Minister noted that India had to spend in infrastructure segment for continuous expansion.

ANJISHNU BISWAS with exoticecho.com news team

Shortage of demand from outside cause for depletion of rupee: Finance Minister

December 14: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday cited the shortage of demand from outside the country as the main cause for the deteriorating condition of the Indian rupee in the global market and asserted that the government was taking necessary steps to enhance the situation.

He said that India would quickly be on the expansion mode as the current recession in the financial system was a transitory stage.

The Finance Minister made this observation while speaking at a convocation on fiscal tactics in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Mr. Mukherjee affirmed that the Indian financial system was better placed compared to a number of advanced economies of the world. Mr. Mukherjee noted that the government was concentrating on the inclusive expansion of the nation with emphasis on the marginalized segments.

This he observed was being attained by means of prolific expenditure in Public welfare schemes like National Rural Health Mission and MNREGA apart from education.

The Economic consultant to the Finance Ministry Kaushik Basu asserted that Food inflation would fall under 3 percent in the approaching weeks. He urged the government to adopt certain resolutions to augment the expansion modes.

ANJISHNU BISWAS and exoticecho.com news team

Energy needs of the nation certain to augment: Prime Minister

December 14: The Prime Minister on Wednesday affirmed that for attaining the goal of nine percent GDP expansion in the 12th Five Year Plan, the energy requirements of the nation are certain to augment.

Speaking at a function in New Delhi on Wednesday to commemorate the National Energy Conservation Day, he noted that since the nation depended on imports for a massive section of its energy needs, it was crucial to increase the attempts two fold to boost energy competence. He emphasized on the need to concentrate exclusively on energy competence of thermal power plants.

Dr. Manmohan Singh further stated that the government was devoted to augmenting the percentage of clean energy. He noted that the national solar power mission would generate 20 thousand mega watts of solar energy by 2020.

The Prime Minister as well observed that the National Mission on augmented energy competence would result in yearly fuel savings to the tune of 23 million tones of oil, coal, gas along with other petroleum products. He anticipated that would as well assist in bringing down green house gas discharge.

The Prime Minister while praising energy efficiency efforts, also revealed that attempts were on to encourage energy competence in machines, buildings as well as industry. Dr. Singh said that the stress was on energy savings by consumers as well as industrial units that utilized 35 percent of the total energy used in the country. He as well stated that endeavours were being made to augment energy competence in residential lighting along with agricultural pumping.

News Team of exoticecho.com

Commotion over Copyright Amendment Bill leads to Rajya Sabha adjournment

December 13: Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha came to a standstill after the House was adjourned twice in the post lunch period on Wednesday in the aftermath of frenzied exchanges between the opposition and treasury benches over discussing the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010. When the Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal tried to place the Bill for consideration and deliberation, Mr. Shivanand Tiwari of the JD (U) and Mr. M. V. Mysoora Reddy of the TDP objected to the move saying that the Minister could not do so as there was a divergence of opinions.

Citing the regulations of the House, Mr. Tiwari accused that Mr. Sibal's son was the advocate for a private group involved in the manufacturing of audio music cassettes which falls under the purview of the Copyright Act.

This resulted in vehement remonstrations from Congress members.

Reacting to the developments, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal observed that the prevailing conditions in the House were not acceptable. He affirmed that it was unfair to bring such accusations against the Minister.

When the House regrouped, the condition remained tumultuous and in the midst of the commotion the Deputy Chairman, Mr. K Rehman Khan suspended the House for the day.

News Team exoticecho.com

Government deliberating on formation of credit risk fund on loans

December 13: Government is contemplating on the prospect of creating a 1,000 crore rupees Credit Risk Guarantee Fund to persuade banks to offer loans to the underprivileged. Unveiling a National convention of Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, JNURM, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh affirmed that this would persuade banks to offer loans in noteworthy volumes to the financially weaker segments and low wages groups. Prime Minister assured that strategies could not be the same for both big as well as small cities. He observed that the results of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, JNNURM, had been varied since its inception in December 2005. He noted that the government had set up groups two led by Arun Maira and Isher Ahluwalia and in all likelihood would execute several of the suggestions put forward by them to enhance JNNURM. He warned against the formation of an all encompassing strategy.

The Prime Minister noted that fast expansion would yield a quicker rate of urbanisation. Consequently, the urban populace has been forecast to augment from 377 million currently to 600 million by 2031.He regretted the fact that blueprints in the past did not take into account spatial needs for survival and functioning of the underprivileged and emphasized that this should be altered. He noted that unless the national establishments are upgraded and run efficiently, they would neither draw the massive investments needed to construct and sustain city infrastructure nor offer competent services in a persistent way .The Prime Minister recommended that the problems of smaller cities should be redressed in a different way compared to big cities along with metros connected with financing, content as well as rate of transformation. He furthermore noted that Public private joint venture should be promoted to have a bigger part in big cities. He backed the Citizens' Charters for providing facilities to guarantee that public agencies as well private sector service contributors are answerable to the people of the country.

News Team of exoticecho.com

Finance Minister says functioning of Parliament essential for building confidence in economy

December 13: Worried over the sluggish fiscal growth, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday stated that political outfits should show that Parliament and other organizations work on order that buoyancy comes back to the financial system.

Against the background of negative expansion, exposed by the industrial production figures, he observed that the financial system had the ability and robustness to tide over the catastrophe.

While taking part in a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Appropriation Bill, he noted that the government would make attempts to create an extensive agreement on reforms as the monetary system had the strength to conquer the difficulty.

Articulating displeasure with regard to regular commotion in Parliament, the Finance Minister observed that for the financial system to make progress, it has to be shown that Parliament along with other organizations can operate without fracas.

Rejecting an observation that the decision making procedure was affected by stagnation, the Finance Minister noted that the government had adopted a slew of measures which comprise national manufacturing strategy, encouragement to small industries as well as package to handloom weavers affected by debt.

The Minister as well as stated that the Congress party had restricted authorization making it crucial that a board agreement was needed. He also stated that there had been apprehensions whether the economy was going to be disrupted in the aftermath of IIP figures proving to be negative and the general expansion becoming sluggish.


Government to consult allies on Lokpal Bill tomorrow

December 12: Government will consult its allies on the Lokpal Bill on Tuesday prior to the introduction of the Bill in Parliament. While the government has affirmed that it was in favour of smooth passage of the Bill in the ongoing session of Parliament to cope up with the contentious issue of corruption successfully, the opposition parties are strongly demanding that Prime Minister and the Lower Bureaucracy be brought under the ambit of Lok Pal. The Cabinet will accept the Bill for deliberation in the coming week.

Responding to Team Anna's Open Debate on the Bill, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday noted that there should be deliberations on every vital topic with Parliament being the ideal stage for holding debates. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni accused the Opposition of resorting to double standards and asserted that political leaders should not have taken part in the open discussions. She made this observation while speaking to newspersons outside Parliament.

The Congress alleged that it was regrettable that Political hypocrisy by opposition political outfits had belittled the significance of Parliamentary democracy. Addressing the media in New Delhi, party representative Renuka Chaudhary observed that the Team Anna's campaign against corruption was politically motivated. She furthermore noted that Congress did not feel hesitant in getting in touch with team Anna and incorporating them in the democratic procedure.

However, the BJP ascertained that it was not disrespectful towards Parliament by attending the open discussion. Addressing the media outside Parliament, Party representative Ravi Shankar Prasad noted that there was nothing unethical in taking part a discussion outside Parliament. He affirmed that the law making right is entrusted totally with Parliament.


Government wants opposition help in undertaking reforms

December 8: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee noted that a number of factors connected with unsatisfactory distribution network, global financial system as well as surge in global petroleum were the cause for price escalation. Responding to the discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on the topic, Mr. Mukherjee rebuffed opposition claims of the governments role in augmenting price rise and cited figures to back his observation. He affirmed that price rise was on a gradual decline and urged the opposition to offer their assistance in undertaking reforms, specifically in foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

Mukherjee revealed that price rise had lessened from 11.8 percent in week-ending Oct 29 to 6.6 percent in week-ending Nov 26. He furthermore affirmed that prices of petroleum were not completely deregulated and held the international conditions responsible for the augmentation in petrol prices. The discussion on price rise figured in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

Prior to the Finance Ministers comments the opposition members taking part in the discussions in the house vehemently censured the government for its purported incompetence to tackle the topic of price rise. The Lok Sabha as well adopted the topic for deliberation. Starting the discussion Mr. Gurudas Dasgupta blamed the government for its role in curbing price rise. The leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj pointed to the lack of government effort to successfully find a solution to the problems linked with the price rise. She asserted that no tangible action had been taken though the house deliberated on the topic a number of times.

Congress members that included P C Chakoo revealed the measured adopted by the government in coping with the price rise. The deliberation on the topic of price rise is yet to be completed.


Opposition greets government move to shelve decision on multi-brand retail

December 7: The government has resolved to set aside its position on permitting 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the multi-brand retail segment. Articulating the Centres position in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee observed that the government would keep in abeyance the resolution till a unanimous approach is arrived at by the stakeholders. He noted that the stakeholders consisted of the state chief ministers as well as the stalwarts of the political outfits.

While lauding the revelation, the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj affirmed that by making public the governments position, the government had given due importance to public sentiments. She asserted that this had fortified democracy. In the Rajya Sabha, the Commerce Minister, Mr. Anand Sharma made an identical utterance. Nonetheless, a number of members owing allegiance to the BSP walked out of the House remonstrating against the proclamation. Afterward, Question Hour was conducted in both the Houses.

The BJP commended the government move to shelve the FDI in retail. Talking to newspersons in New Delhi on Wednesday, veteran Party leader S S Ahluwalia noted that the Parliament could have dwelt on vital legislative business if the government had made its stance known earlier.

However, the CPI (M) articulated its contentment over the governments resolution. Addressing the media in New Delhi on Wednesday, veteran party leader Sitaram Yechury noted that deliberations on vital topics such as price increase, black money as well as corruption can crop up because the standoff has concluded. Mr. Yechury as well made a claim for forthwith prohibition on forward trading of all farming products to manage price rises.


National Common Mobility Card unveiled to expand public transport in nation

December 6: The Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday unveiled a National Common Mobility Card, NCMC with an objective to modernize urban transport network all over the nation.

The minister observed that the facility would assist users to make payments for Railways, Metro rail, buses, taxi, toll taxes and parking. He made this observation while speaking at a function in New Delhi.

The card will act as a cashless mode of journey and will permit a traveller to undertake a journey effortlessly through any means of transport without need for various cards for diverse means of transport.

Mr. Nath noted that this card had been initiated to expand public transport in the nation. He observed that Jaipur would be the maiden city where this card would be initiated in the upcoming year.

He added that the card would be amalgamated in a phased way and once the technicalities are chalked out, the amalgamation would be enhanced with the assistance of several transport agencies.

Mr. Nath as well noted that the government was trying to boost public transport network all over the nation to lessen traffic congestion on roads.

Praising the task of Delhi Metro in offering secure as well as eco-friendly transport facility in the national capital, the Minister revealed that the government had given the go-ahead for the third phase of Metro project to be concluded by March, 2016. He observed that under this stage, an extra 103 kilometers network would be appended in the prevailing network.

Mr. Nath furthermore stated that the Urban Development Ministry was as well engaged in making ready a comprehensive project report for the 4th stage of Delhi Metro.

By exoticecho.com news team

Safety Industry Expansion Anticipated to Reach Rs 50,000 Crore in India

New Delhi, December 6: The booming populace of 1.1 billion Indians consists of 40% of the population residing in the urban segments of key cities. 30% of this urban populace is engaged in some form or occupation or other and 65% have right of entry to an average 11-12 million sq ft of public locations where a quarter of a million or in excess people are in attendance, at any point of time. Similar numerical figures are applicable to transport terminals such as bus, train as well as air.

With a whooping total of 15-20 million sq feet of area encircling public as well as private utilities or services, the security and protection of the populace having entry to them continues to be uncertain. The recent slew of rebel assaults along with mishaps and occurrences triggered by human faults has thrown up questions, not merely on the role of the government but also on confined levels like commercial as well as residential segments. Naturally the question has cropped up regarding the security and protection of the immediate vicinity.

A study reveals that there will be a surge in production of safety tools along with a growing use of security personnel. It is anticipated that in excess of two lakh security professionals will be needed in the forthcoming years.

Nigel Luke Brown, Director- Exhibitions, UBM India observed, "The security industry, which has been growing in India at 25% over the past 5-7 years, would achieve a growth rate of 125% by 2012. India's Private Security Agency (Regulation) Act of 2005 has aided industry growth and it is expected to touch Rs 50,000 crore as security becomes top priority."

The requirement for safety tools has enhanced in educational organizations, hospitals, shopping malls, giving rise to the need to import additional goods to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore in the subsequent couple of years.

To cope up with this steep increase in requirement and anticipation of safety, UBM India is ready to stage IFSEC India 2011 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India from 08 - 10 December 2011. Billed as India's Largest Exhibition for Commercial & Homeland Security, the extravaganza is backed by UK Trade & Investments & APSA- Asian professional Security Association & Certified by US Commercial Services. The Homeland Security India symposium will as well be organized in association with ASSOCHAM.

250 top Security Companies will be showcasing their expertise and there will be pavilions that will highlight the special know how of the USA, UK, Sweden, France as well as Taiwan.

An exoticecho.com special by Anjishnu Biswas

Centre asks Maoist affected states to be vigilant

December 6: Following the recent killing of the dreaded Maoist leader in a joint operation conducted by Counter Insurgency Forces and the West Bengal police, the Centre has urged all the states affected by Naxalite violence to be vigilant and press into action extra forces in vulnerable points.

Official sources revealed in New Delhi that the Home Ministry issued directives to Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to take precautionary measures in railway stations, bus terminus, roads, bridges as well as other public places.

Ministry of Railways has as well been urged to press into service extra forces and keep a close watch on the railway tracks to pre-empt any attempt by Maoist elements to disrupt railway movement.

The Centre has also urged the security forces to be on maximum alert while going from one place to another and while undertaking any operation to flush out Naxalites as the rebels could make an attempt to inflict maximum casualty on them.

The Centre has urged the states to be vigilant in the aftermath of a spate of Naxalite aggressions.

News Team exoticecho.com

Apex Court declines to offer any guideline to Government on nuclear safety

December 6: The Supreme Court yesterday refrained from providing any guideline to the Government on the formation of an autonomous regulatory group to monitor nuclear plants. The Supreme Court, nonetheless, kept its stance open by urging those opposing the construction of such plants to come forward with the solution on nuclear safety by means of public discussions and guaranteed them that the Apex Court would look into the matter.

A bench led by Chief Justice S H Kapadia observed that the Apex Court was aware of the reality that the matter was vital as it was linked to Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution but articulated reservation in probing the safety trait of all nuclear plants for its dearth of know how.

The Supreme Court, simultaneously, urged the petitioners to present before it within four weeks the archetypes taken up by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada as well as other nations on the formation of a regulatory group, free from the control of the government as well as establishment, to supervise the aspect of nuclear safety.

The Apex Court made this observation against the backdrop a Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO.

News Team exoticecho.com

Government convenes all party meeting to deliberate on FDI in retail

December 6: The Centre has summoned a conference of all political outfits on Wednesday to deliberate on FDI in retail with a view to ending the stalemate in both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha. This is the second congregation of all the parties that has been called to resolve the contentious FDI topic in Parliament.

Sources revealed that the gathering would take place in Parliament Complex at around 9. 30 A.M. Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee will speak at the Congress Parliamentary conference on Thursday. The Finance Minister deliberated on the topic with the leaders of a number of Opposition parties to see to it that the proceedings in Parliament are not disrupted. Mr. Mukherjee discussed the FDI topic with BJP stalwarts like L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj and CPI (M) Leader Sitaram Yechury to elucidate the position of the government on the subject.

Both the political parties have strongly favoured an all party congregation to mull over the topic. Mr. Yechury revealed afterwards that Mr. Mukherjee told him that the decision on FDI has been kept on hold. The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj affirmed that she vehemently wanted the decision on FDI to be withdrawn or favoured a deliberation on the topic with reference to the adjournment motion.

Addressing the media in New Delhi, party representative Ravi Shankar Prasad noted that BJP wanted the forthwith withdrawal of the decision on FDI.

Mr. Mukherjee has nonetheless clarified that he will reveal his position only in Parliament tomorrow.

Congress has asserted that it would take into account the views of all political outfits to arrive at a unanimous decision to permit, FDI in retail. Speaking to newspersons in New Delhi, party representative Renuka Chaudhary affirmed that Congress would take the suggestions from other parties without any rigidity. She also stated that the opposition should provide viable causes for its demand for a roll back of FDI in retail.

By Anjishnu Biswas

President Patil: Universities should be centres of learning humanism & patience

December 3: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has emphasized that the Universities of India should be representatives of learning, humanism, patience and unbiased way of thinking. Education has a basic responsibility in producing dependable, novel, logical as well as also sympathetic citizens.

Speaking at the 8th Convocation ceremony of Symbiosis International University in Pune on Saturday she made a plea to the students to toil for abolition of poverty, unawareness together with ailment that trouble the people.

Honorary D.Litt was awarded to Professor Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Sundeep Waslekar, President of Strategic Foresight Group her. Almost four thousand students comprising of learners from the nation as well as students from abroad were awarded PG Diploma and Degrees in varied disciplines by Chancellor of the University Dr. S. B. Mujumdar.

Students representing 75 dissimilar nations wearing their national costume presented their national flags to the President during the ceremony. The Symbiosis International University provides a number of courses by means of its 27 institutes. Noted academicians as well as numerous dignitaries from a variety of fields were in attendance at the programme.

By exoticecho.com news team

Mamata: Centre shelves resolution concerning FDI in retail

December 3: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that the Centre has kept the contentious resolution on FDI in retail segment under wraps. She made this observation in Kolkata on Saturday following her meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the topic.

Mamata Banerjee revealed that the Finance Minster had conveyed to her that decision on the FDI had been shelved. She said the resolution was not short-term and maintained that till an agreement on this was reached by all key political outfits, the topic had been shelved. Trinamool Congress had vehemently resisted the decision and the topic had resulted in several disruptions in both Houses of Parliament.

However the Centre has not officially corroborated the claims made by the West Bengal Chief Minister.

By exoticecho.com News Team

PM makes an appeal to the people of Manipur to eschew aggression

December 3: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has made a plea on Saturday to the people of Manipur to eschew the course of aggression and allow their claims to be expressed by means of Constitutional ways.

The Prime Minister made this observation while speaking at a public rally at Kangla in Imphal on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Singh affirmed that a favourable condition has to be generated in order that the remarkable promise of development of Manipur and skills of Manipuris can be utilized for creative and resourceful quest. He articulated optimism that the state will keep on to march ahead to get rid of violent activities and fortify the foundations of democracy.

Dr. Manmohan Singh observed that there was no requirement for deliberations for formation of Naga-Supra State Body by the Centre as the media had reported. He asserted that the territorial integrity of Manipur was the key concern of his government.

Referring to the Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singhs plea for providing a financial package of 6000 crores of rupees to the state, the Prime Minister noted that the exclusive requirements of Manipur would be fittingly addressed in the 12th Plan.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi while articulating her views observed that difficulties could only redressed by means of talks. She noted that eschewing the gun culture and entering into the mainstream to fortify the parliamentary democracy was the only enhanced and advanced future of Manipur.

Earlier Dr. Manmohan Singh together with Mrs. Gandhi, unveiled the recently built structures of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, High Court, City Convention Centre, Manipur Film Development Corporation Auditorium as well as Inter-State Bus Terminus at Imphal on Saturday.

By exoticecho.com news team

Centre asks Maoists, NE rebels to come forward for deliberations

November 30: The Centre has asked the Maoists and rebel elements operating in the north east to volunteer for discussions after turning away from the course of aggression. Talking to newspersons in New Delhi on Wednesday P. Chidambaram the union Home Minister affirmed that the state would not stoop before any force which utilizes aggression as a tool of strategy to attain political objectives.

The Home Minister noted that a three-way memorandum of agreement signed among the centre, Assam Government as well as United People's Democratic Solidarity would act as a case in point for other radical outfits and encourage them to enter into deliberations for securing a resolution of their troubles by virtue of political means.

Refuting accusations of adopting to a forged combat to slay Maoist leader Kishenji, Chidambaram noted that there was no misgiving that he was killed last week in an exchange of fire with security agencies engaged in anti-rebel activities in West Bengal. He further added that the West Bengal government had started a probe into the matter.

The Home Minster revealed that a red alert had been issued in the insurgency hit North Eastern state of Manipur and steps undertaken to bring the existing state of affairs under control.

Chidambaram articulated optimism that the political outfits in Andhra Pradesh would mull over the issue of Telangana before the month of December comes to a close. This, he asserted would facilitate the centre to organize an all party conference.

news team exoticecho.com

Opposition stalls Parliament on FDI topic

November 28: Proceedings came to a standstill in both the Houses of Parliament with the Opposition creating a ruckus over government's resolution of permitting FDI in retail segment. The Opposition was making claims for instant abandonment of the resolution. Tumultuous scenes were witnessed in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha with regard to the topic and both the Houses could not conduct much business. Members owing allegiance to a number of political outfits, consisting of the UPA coalition partner Trinamool Congress rushed into the Well of both the Houses with regard to the contentious topic. The two Houses were suspended first till noon and afterwards for the day. The similar topic resulted in the setback of proceedings in both the Houses on Friday.

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has summoned a meeting of all the major political outfits on Tuesday to find a solution to the stalemate over the FDI topic. Interacting with newspersons outside Parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal revealed that modalities of the convention were being chalked out. He noted that the session has a busy legislative schedule for deliberation and the go-ahead for vital legislations like Seed Bill and Judicial Accountability Bill were on the cards.

By Anjishnu Biswas

Prime Minister meets airline chiefs to discuss crisis of aviation sector

December 26: Key figures of Indian air carriers on Saturday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi to request government assistance for the financially burdened airline industry including rationalization of taxes on jet fuel.

Those who participated in the conference that extended to nearly an hour comprised Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal, Indigo patron Rahul Bhatia, Spice Jet CEO Neil Mill as well as the owner of Go Air Jeh Wadia.

The conference was held in the aftermath of several airlines making claims for an alteration in the aviation guidelines to permit foreign airlines to pick up stake in Indian carriers. Prior to the assembly, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi had noted on Friday that the airline segment in the nation was incurring losses and creating difficulties for the nation.

He said, "PM is concerned about it; it's the major institution of connectivity, supporting the development of the country."

The Industry Ministry has forwarded a draft Cabinet note with regard to allowing 26 per cent FDI by foreign airlines in the carriers that operate within the country.

By News Team of exoticecho.com

India urges Pakistan to take action against 26/11 perpetrators

November 26: India on Saturday urged Pakistan to take stringent action against the perpetrators and conspirators of 26/11 Mumbai rebel assaults and expedite the procedure of bringing the culprits to book. Talking to reporters in New Delhi to commemorate the third anniversary of the terror aggression, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said proof furnished by India was enough to charge those responsible for the brutal attack. Mr Krishna cautioned Pakistan that the actions to curb terrorism cannot be discriminating.

Mr Krishna further noted that the facts provided by the Home Ministry to Pakistan in the Mumbai terror aggression were ample for any customary court to indict the guilty. The External affairs minister affirmed that the bane of terrorism has to be combated with grit and should be annihilated in all its types and expression. He clarified that the use of terror attacks as a tool of state policy cannot be accepted in the present world and is self devastating.

Mr Krishna added that topics have to be determined by means of nonviolent discussions and in an ambiance devoid of terror and aggression.

Questioned about the trip of Pakistan Judicial Commission to India to question those associated with the 26/11 terror assault investigation, Mr Krishna revealed that the two nations were mulling over the modalities. He noted that India was steadfast in keeping a nonviolent, responsive and supportive link with all its neighbouring nations for growth as well as opulence in the expanse.

By Anjishnu Biswas

Charter of demands to Chidambaram by ULFA leaders

August 5: An eight member ULFA group headed by Arbind Rajkhowa called on Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on Friday. They offered their charter of requirement. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also took part in the gathering, which continued for almost 40 minutes. Following the meeting Gogoi told newspersons that it was a friendly conference targeted at giving new thrust to tranquility in Assam.

When enquired about the charter of requirement given to the Home Minister by the ULFA leaders, Gogoi observed that he has not viewed it and is not aware of its content. Prior to the meeting, the leader of pro discussion ULFA group Rajkhowa revealed that they have come with an optimistic tactic and are confident about the discussions. On Thursday , he had affirmed in Guwahati that they want the liberation of Anup Chetia currently in custody in Bangladesh in order that he is capable of attending the discussions.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Delhi CM censured for wrongdoing in CAG report

August 5: The report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India - CAG - on Common Wealth Games was placed in the Lok Sabha on Friday. It leveled accusations against Delhi Chief Minister reproving her for wrongdoing and extravagance in the games.

The report articulates that the Delhi government was responsible for errors and abnormalities in the bidding procedure for obtaining various Games-linked items and revealed numerous examples of lavish expenses. The report as well charges a number of ministries along with different agencies together with the DDA, MCD, NDMC as well as PWD for the whole disarray. The CAG scrutinized a number of cases of uneconomical expenses by the Delhi government and civic agencies to nearly 100 crores rupees over streets-capping and a surplus expense of more than 31 crores on street lighting by MCD, NDMC and PWD. The 743-page CAG report states how Spage Age - one of the banned firms bidding for street lighting - was afterward affirmed capable erratically subsequent to the firms request to the Chief Minister.Talking to newspersons, Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta observed that treaty administration to the lead of the October 2010 Games was greatly erratic and there were many examples of single tendering, with contracts given to unimportant vendors. She revealed that the Organising Committee made extremely doubtful expenses and charged it of enormous mismanagement.

The report, also levels charges of misgiving at Organizing Committee of the Games led by Suresh Kalmadi, currently in prison. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has also been mentioned for choosing Kalmadi as the Committee's leader notwithstanding opposition from the late Sunil Dutt, who was then Sports Minister. It assumed that Kalmadi had opted for a number of organizations by favouring them.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

2G Scam: What Vikramaditya taught us about Manmohan Singh

Amal Bhattacharjee

Does the Indian Prime Minister have any responsibility for the 2G scam, which is taking toll among the Prime Ministers cabinet? This vital issue has been in round among Indians for quite some time. Here is a piece, written by a senior citizen, who went into the traditional theory of Governance from mythology.

Once there lived an old and pious man, renowned for his honesty. One day his neighbor, a rich merchant comes to him with a request. The merchant was leaving on a voyage and wants the old man to safeguard his wealth, until his return. The old man agrees and with God as witness promises to protect and safeguard the merchants wealth. The old man then entrusts the safe keep of the merchants wealth to his son, from whom he takes an oath of propriety and honesty. Slowly the son starts dipping into the merchants wealth; people notice this and warn the old man of the sons misdeeds. The old man calls his son asks him to explain, he also reminds him of his oath on following the right path. The son rubbishes the accusations as rumors and the idle gossip of jealous people, who could not bear to see his prosperity. The old man accepts the sons explanation and things go on as before.

The merchant returns and demands his wealth. The old man calls his son, who hands over a quarter of the merchants wealth saying that is all there was. The merchant realizing that he has been cheated approaches the King. The King listens to the merchants complaint and summons the old man. The old man comes to the court with his son and handing him over to the King says your majesty, the merchant is right. My son has confessed to the crime. Please punish him.

The king has the son flogged and imprisoned. He then praises the old mans honesty and dismisses the case. But the merchant demands punishment for the old man saying, I have still not received justice. I had entrusted my wealth to the old man which he swore by God to safeguard. The old mans integrity is intact, but what of me, I have been robbed of my lifes savings, and made a pauper. It was the old mans decision to entrust my wealth the son for safe keeping. As far as I am concerned the old man is the culprit, and should be punished.

The king is astounded by this demand. The old man, was neither a party to the theft nor did he benefit from it. In fact, he had sent his son to jail. Yet, the merchant was asking for the old mans punishment. The Betal asks Vikramaditya, What should be the Kings decision.

Vikramadityas replies, Though the old man is innocent of the actual theft, he is guilty of dereliction of duty. The sons crime was a straight forward one, the old mans was a graver crime. He did nothing to protect the merchants wealth. Far from being vigilant he failed to take action even when he was warned of his sons misdeeds. Because of his laxity the merchant is condemned to a life of penury. He should be punished.

India 2010, Dr. Manmohan Singh, esteemed economist, former Governor of RBI, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, former Finance Minister, a man whose personal ethics and integrity are unblemished, takes oath to protect and safeguard the Nation and its assets. He appoints Raja, as his Cabinet Minister for IT & Telecom. Unlike the story, this heist of a precious national asset is carried out in full view of Dr. Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleagues. Newspapers across the country cry out at this outrage in front page headlines.

The Indian Constitution grants the Prime Minister absolute power in running the country. He is the head of the Government and the Union Cabinet functions at his pleasure. As per the Transaction of Business Rules the Prime Minister has the unrestricted right to demand and get any file, any record from any Ministry. Dr. Man Mohan Singh could have at any time stopped this heist of a National asset, yet he chose to remain silent. The Ministers failure to exercise his constitutional rights has caused irreparable loss to the Nation.

Dr. Singh did not profit personally from Rajas shenigans, but his failure to act, to honor the oath of office, to protect and safeguard the nation and its wealth is unforgivable. Like the old man, he has sacked Raja from his ministerial berth, but does his culpability end there.

The people of India had entrusted their faith and the future of the Nation in Dr. Manmohan Singh, believing him to be a man of integrity and honesty, and not to Raja. Does dismissing Raja absolve Dr. Singh or like the old man is he guilty of dereliction of duty and failure to safeguard the Nation and its citizens. Does he deserve punishment?

It is for the Indian citizen to decide.

Special Investigation Team Chosen by Apex Court to Scrutinize Black Money,br>

July 5: The Supreme Court has chosen a high-level Special Investigation Team, SIT, led by ex- apex court judge B P Jeevan Reddy to scrutinize the exploration and the measures being adopted to regain black money stored away in overseas banks. Apart from Justice Reddy, who will be the Chairman of the SIT, the apex court also selected its ex- judge, Justice M B Shah as the Vice-Chairman of the board.

A Bench consisting of Justices B Sudershan Reddy along with S S Nijjar ordered that the High-Level Committee formed by the government to investigate the topic of black money, would "forthwith" be a component of the SIT. The Bench furthermore ordered the government to reveal the names of all the people who have been given out show cause notices by the authorities concerning the exploration into the black money topic.

Apex Court asks West Bengal Government not to return land to Singur farmers

June 29: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the West Bengal government to put an end to allocation and restoring land to peasants in Singur which was obtained for Tata Motors' Nano car project.

A vacation bench consisting of justices P Sathasivam along with A K Patnaik in a provisional judgment urged the state government not to allocate or restore land to peasants affected until further judgment given by the Calcutta High Court.

The bench furthermore revealed it was making it obvious that this was an "interim arrangement" and it was not articulating any view on the qualities of the case.

Tata Motors had on Wednesday appealed to the Supreme Court opposing the West Bengal government for ratifying the law in alacrity to occupy land in Singur offered to it for its Nano car venture and utilizing police force unlawfully to gain control of the plot.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Government devoted to countering fraud

June 29: Government is devoted to adopting every probable action to cope with blackmoney, tax avoidance along with corruption in the nation. Addressing a group of limited editors in New Delhi on Wednesday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed, that it was not a one-shot action. Dr. Singh said, he had no unwillingness in exposing his office to the legal options of Lokpal. Nonetheless, several of his Cabinet colleagues argued that bringing the establishment of Prime Minister under Lokpal would generate instability.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

FM convinced of Indian financial system expanding about 8.5 pc this fiscal

June 28: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has shown buoyancy by observing that the Indian financial system will prolong to expand just about 8.5 per cent in 2011-12 fiscal replicating the activity of the previous fiscal year. Mr Mukherjee made this revelation while giving a crucial lecture at a Conference on US-India Economic and Financial Partnership in Washington consistent with an official press release, Mr Mukherjee noted that augmenting saving along with investment rate in the nation and quick growth of infrastructure along with Information and Technology segments will facilitate the nation to uphold a lofty expansion rate of 8 to 9 per cent in the approaching few decades.

The Finance Minister guaranteed the assembly of Indian-American corporate leaders that the reorganization procedure will go on unabated. He added that the deliberations were in progress to come to agreement on additional opening up of the FDI guidelines in the retail along with defence segments. On the worldwide trade circumstances, he noted, India plans to double its sell abroad to attain a phase of 500 billion US dollars in the following three years. Mr Mukherjee, nonetheless, affirmed the challenge is to continue GDP growth in the context of worldwide expansion and control domestic price rises, which is floating at approximately 9 per cent.

Rangarajan: Price rises will fall to 6.5 per cent by March 2012

June 26: Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan termed the government's resolution to enhance prices of diesel, cooking gas along with kerosene as unavoidable and noted that it would thrust price rises into the double-digit zone.

Nevertheless, Mr.Rangarajan noted that he anticipated that following early rectification, price rises would reduce to 6.5 per cent by March 2012. He affirmed that the resolution to augment fuel costs was unavoidable considering the growing crude prices in the worldwide market and its effect on the financial deficit. The PMEAC chief's opinions were backed by other specialist along with economists.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for all registered domestic workforce,br>

June 23: The government on Thursday expanded medical insurance advantages to approximately 47.5 lakh domestic helps across the nation under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). It was resolved in the cabinet gathering officiated by the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan singh in New Delhi. The system, which envisions smart card-based cashless health cover cover of up to 30,000 rupees under any empanelled hospital anywhere in the nation.

Talking to the media Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni revealed , the RSBY would be offered to those domestic workforce who are registered and are between 18-59 years of age, furthermore stating that the greater part of them are women. Mrs. Soni observed the finances for expanding the RSBY, which would also grant maternity reimbursement, would be provided from the National Social Security Fund for unorganized workforce.

Century's greatest and darkest complete Lunar eclipse

June 15: This century's greatest and darkest lunar eclipse will be noticeable in the nation in late hours tonight. The entire stage of this lunar eclipse will last more than hundred minutes. The moon will be totally sheltered by Earths silhouette at 11.52 p.m. and the eclipse will go on till 2.32 a.m.

Inflation not worrying: Cabinet Secretary

June 15: The government on Wednesday categorically stated that it was keeping an eye on inflation, which had traversed the 9 per cent mark. Talking to newspersons in the aftermath of a conference with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in New Delhi, new cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth affirmed that there was no reason to be worried about the current inflation. Mr Seth asserted that the government was aware of the prevailing condition and would adopt correct action if required. The Finance Ministry together with the Reserve Bank has articulated unease over high inflation.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Rangarajan: Fiscal Expansion in 2011-12 anticipated to be 8.5 %

June 14: Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan on Tuesday affirmed that India's fiscal expansion in the 2011-12 financial year is expected to be around 8.5 per cent, less than the Budget prognosis. Giving a lecture at an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) event in New Delhi, Mr Rangarajan nonetheless, conveyed assurance that India has the ability to clock GDP augmentation of 9 per cent in the medium term.

In his Budget communication, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had gauged financial expansion for 2011-12 at 9 per cent. Conversely, the Reserve Bank, in its fiscal guidelines in May, noted that GDP expansion all through 2011-12 would be just about 8 per cent. Mr Mukherjee, on Monday asserted that the expansion drivers of the nation were intact, as the government will try to achieve GDP expansion of 9-9.5 per cent all through the twelfth Five-Year Plan.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Kharif crops: Minimum support price revealed

June 10: The Government has arrived at a consensus for the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for Kharif Crops for 2011-12 and resolved to augment the same by 80 rupees for every quintal for paddy to enhance production of rice. The MSP of common Paddy has been set at 1080 rupees for every quintal, whereas that of Grade A Paddy will cost 1110 rupees for every quintal.

An official statement released on Thursday following a conference of the Cabinet Committe on Economic Affiars reveals, the MSPs of Jowar (Hybrid), Bajra and Maize, each has been augmented by 100 rupees for every quintal and set at 980 rupees for every quintal apiece. The MSP of Ragi has been set at 1050 rupees for every quintal, augmenting it by 85 rupees for every quintal over the previous years MSP. The MSPs of Arhar, Moong and Urad have been augmented by 200, 330 and 400 rupees and predetermined at 3200, 3500 and 3300 rupees for every quintal.

Likewise, the backup cost of Groundnut-in-shell, Sunflowerseed and Sesamum have been augmented by 400, 450 and 500 rupees for every quintal, whereas the MSP of Cotton has been augmented by 300 rupees and predetermined at 2,800 rupees for every quintal.

Consent on paper given to draft National Manufacturing Policy

June 10: Government has given endorsement on paper to the draft National Manufacturing Policy targetted at generating 10 crore supplementary jobs by 2025. It will as well augment the contribution of manufacturing segment in the GDP from the current 16 per cent to 25 per cent in the subsequent 14 years.

The top level convention with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh acting as the chairman was organized in New Delhi on Thursday evening in which the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industries Minister, Mr. Anand Sharma, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with others took part. Taking to news persons Mr. Anand Sharma revealed that the draft guidelines had been forwarded to the Committee of Secretaries to polish it up.

The draft policy has been completed after deliberations with the connected Ministries, State Governments as well as industry associations.

By Deepak Pandey

Ordinance promulgated to restore Singur land to cultivators

June 10: An ordinance has been promulgated by the West Bengal Government to restore 400 acres of land to the reluctant peasants of Singur. State Governor, M.K. Narayanan gave his consent on the order on Thursday. Revealing this in Kolkata on Thursday evening, State Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee noted that the government has recommenced attaining roughly 1,000 acres of land at Singur which was rented out to Tata Motors for establishing a car plant at Singur.

Ms. Banerjee asserted that 400 acres of land would be given back to the reluctant peasants while the left over 600 acres of terrain would be retained for industry. The Chief Minister affirmed that Tata Group could establish the plant on 600 acres of land or they could obtain recompense if they wanted. Ms. Banerjee added that the details of restoring terrain to the reluctant peasants would be completed after discussions with the spokespersons of the local populace.

Exotic Echo News Team

Greater comprehensive expansion in 12th five-yr plan approach

May 31: The Planning commission has resolved to adopt further comprehensive as well as sustainable course while creating the extensive aims of the 12th five- year plan as it has appreciated that one method for expansion cannot tackle the needs of all states.The Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia revealed in Patna that the plan panel was trying to achieve a countrywide regular expansion pace of 9 percent.

Mr Ahluwalia observed that Bihar together with other underprivileged states had requested for exceptional category but, the planning commission was not able to make a decision on conferring this rank. He noted that It comes under the aegis of the National Development Council.

Union Minister of State for Planning Aswani Kumar acknowledged that private venture was a key subject as the states were of the view that everywhere fewer private ventures have been made it should be recompensed with greater public venture.

The planning commission is in Patna to deliberate on the notions of the five eastern states of Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal as well as Chattisgarh ahead of concluding the tactic paper for the 12th five year plan.

Limitations on media clamped by Manipur Government

May 29: Manipur government has clamped limitations on both print as well as electronic media in the state from bringing out news items, news bulletin or report which openly or circuitously backs illegal actions. A government directive concerning this was released yesterday by the state special secretary (Home) A K Sinha. Official sources revealed in Imphal on Sunday that firm steps would be adopted against the connected media if they kept on doing so.

The sources furthermore noted that the media together with the electronic media operating from the state had been without restraint bringing out news bulletins or reports which openly or circuitously backed illegal or banned actions of a number of radical groups for several months in the past. Even the news accounts which endangered the oneness and accord of India were made obtainable, the sources revealed.

Government orders new review of black money

May 29: Centre has ordered a thorough as well as new review, appointing three key national level organizations for evaluation of unaccounted earnings and assets accessible in and beyond India. The review which commenced in March this year will be concluded within a time of 18 months. Consistent with a finance ministry communiqu, this review will elicit the character of actions that promote money laundering and its consequence on national safety.

As previously reported, the Government has formed a Committee to scrutinize means to fortify regulations to curtail the creation of black money in the nation, its unlawful relocation overseas as well as its retrieval. Sudhir Chandra, Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes will be in charge of the nine-member group.

The review is being conducted by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, National Institute of Financial Management and National Council of Applied Economic Research. The committee will as well recommend techniques and measures for uncovering and deterrence of unaccounted wealth as well as making the same available for the mainstream of financial system as well as ascertaining vital areas of financial system in which unaccounted funds is created.

Food price rises up by 8.55% for week concluding May 14

May 26: Food price rises has surged to 8.55 per cent for the week concluding on May 14. The increase is blamed for rise of prices of fruits, cereals as well as protein-based commodities.

Food price rises, as gauged by the Wholesale Price Index or WPI, was on a waning course for the earlier three weeks. The figure for the seven-day phase under evaluation was 1.08 percentage points greater than the 7.47 per cent price increase rate noted in the earlier week.

Costs of fruit surged by 32.37 per cent, milk by 5.53 per cent while costs of eggs, meat as well as fish rose by 8.26 per cent correspondingly.

Rice also became expensive by 2.63 per cent and potatoes 0.17 per cent more costly on a yearly basis. Costs of vegetables along with pulses came down by 1.46 per cent and 9.49 per cent, correspondingly. Wheat became less costlier by 0.30 per cent on a yearly basis.

Apex Court nullifies land allocation to Sourav Ganguly

May 26: The Supreme Court has repealed land allocation to former cricketer Sourav Ganguly by the West Bengal Government in 2000. Ganguly captained the Indian side in his unique and aggressive fashion and left a mark with his batting as well as bowling abilities.

Nullifying the allocation of 63.04 'katha' land in the aristocratic Salt Lake city in the neighbourhood of Kolkata, a bench led by Justice A K Ganguly ordered the cricketer to return the land within two weeks.

The court gave the judgment based on an appeal filed by a West Bengal-anchored NGO, Humanity and others, contesting the Calcutta High Court's judgment which had endorsed the state government's resolution of allocating the land to Ganguly.

Okaying the petition of NGO, the bench repealed the allocation and as well ordered the government to repay the money paid by Ganguly for the land.

The NGO had accused that the land was unlawfully allocated to Ganguly as it was assigned for a college.

Salaried taxpayers with yearly earnings under 5 lakh rupees exempted from filing returns

May 24: The Finance Minister while delivering a lecture at the 27th Annual Conference of Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Income Tax in New Delhi revealed that people whose yearly earnings are below 5 lakh rupees and do not have other avenues of making profits would not have to file income tax return.

The Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee observed on Tuesday that this would be effective in the 2011-12 evaluation year for the profits gained in 2010-11. He added that a notification in this connection would be unveiled quickly.

Urging the Central Board of Direct Taxes to be watchful in alleged money laundering cases, Mr. Mukherjee warned that rebel actions together with other offenses were being financed by anti-national elements by means of unlawful transfers. Mr. Mukherjee revealed that to curb these transfers, government has agreed to form Directorate of Criminal Investigation in Income Tax Department itself. The Directorate will trail the unlawful actions prior to, all through and subsequent to the unlawful act being completed. Articulating his eagerness on economic fortification, Mr. Mukherjee emphasized that fiscal deficit has to be lessened considerably to attain the target.

Mamata takes over as new West Bengal Chief Minister

May 20:Following her remarkable appointment today that culminated in the termination of the unbroken 34-year sovereignty of the Left Front in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee entered into the Writers' Building while people in unprecedented numbers lined up on both sides of the street to get a glimpse of Mamata Banerjee who walked from the Raj Bhavan to the state secretariat to take control as the new Chief minister after taking the oath of office at the Raj Bhavan.

The new West Bengal Government led by Mamata Banerjee has resolved to give back 400 acres of land to the peasants at Singur who reluctantly gave away their land for setting up a project run by the Tatas for manufacturing Nano cars. This was revealed by Mamata Bannerjee subsequent to her first cabinet meeting on Friday evening in Kolkata after taking charge as the Chief Minister of West Bengal. The newly elected Chief Minister observed that her government was open to the prospect of the TATA Group launching a car factory in the 600 acres of land that would be available. She noted that establishing law and order in the state would get utmost preference and urged the government to accord emphasis to the unearthing of unlawful weapons.

Mamata revealed that the state cabinet has as well resolved to form an appraisal group for releasing political prisoners. Banerjee also emphasised on the requirement to evolve a strategy for tackling the current troubles in Darjeeling hill as well as Jungle Mahal. Unveiling an exclusive expansion sheme for the area she noted that the Government was geared up for deliberations with any group presently organising agitations in Jungle Mahal. She furthermore added that the state cabinet had as well resolved to establish a new Ministry for quick accomplishment of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme and efficient allocation of BPL cards.

Mamata took the oath of secrecy and office alongwith 37 other ministers with the State Governor M. K. Narayanan supervising the event.

Exoticecho News Team

Rahul Gandhi to launch UPCC conference in Varanasi

May 17:Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will launch a two-day conference of UPCC at Nadesar in Varanasi on Wednesday, a party representative said.Congress representative Subodh Srivastava as well revealed that Congress president Sonia Gandhi would give a lecture at the valedictory gathering of the conference on May 19 - the second day.

"After convention, a rally will he held in Beniabagh which will be addressed by Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, besides other leaders," Srivastava added.He observed that prior to the conference a convention of recently composed state executive would be organized and chaired by the state party leader Rita Bahuguna Josh.

Tarun Gogoi assumes post of Assam Congress Legislature Party Chief

May 17: Tarun Gogoi was on Tuesday collectively nominated as the Leader of the Assam Pradesh Congress Legislature Party for the third successive tenure.The decision to choose Gogoi as CLP leader was stated formally by the state Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita.Gogoi's name was put forward by Bhumidar Barman and backed by Rameswar Dhanowar, veteran MLAs G C Langthasa, Amiya Gogoi as well as Chandan Sarkar. Every freshly voted Congress MLAs subsequently put up their hands backing of Gogoi.

He was chosen with the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, AICC General Secretary and Congress in-charge of Assam Digvijay Singh being present on the occasion. Gogoi is expected to take vow as Chief Minister on Wednesday at the Raj Bhawan and subsequently arrive in Delhi for talks with the party high command to confirm his ministry.After being elected Gogoi said,"It is the love and blessings of the people of Assam which helped the Congress to gain such a huge mandate of 78 out of the 126 Assembly seats".He further added,"Our responsibilities have increased as people have a lot of hope and expectations from us. We cannot be complacent, but must remain alert and cautious. MLAs have to work very hard to uphold the peoples' faith in us."People want economic development, peace, solution of problems like poverty, unemployment and floods and the state to march forward.

Gogoi asserted that consultations with rebels for peace in the state had commenced and people are anticipating that enduring peace would come back. He as well expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Finance Minister Pranab Myukherjee, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh as well as Rahul Gandhi for the triumph.

Prime Minister assures RLD of Government effort to amend Land Acquisition Act

May 10: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday guaranteed a deputation by Rashtriya Lok Dal leaders that Government will push the vital bill to revise the Land Acquisition Act in the approaching session of Parliament. Coming out of a meeting with the Prime Minister that went on for half-an-hour, the RLD chief Ajit Singh observed that he explained to the Prime Minister the consequences of the aggression that had erupted with connection to land acquisition in Noida and made him aware of his pledge to pass the bill. He as well noted that the Prime Minister gave him assurances that he would urge the Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to organize discussions on the amendment bill subsequent to the RLD deputation bringing up a number of lacunae in the prevailing amendment bill of the government. He contended that while farmers' land was being purchased at low-priced rates, the state government was vending it at nearly the double value to businessmen.

In a separate meeting, Congress MP Jagdambika Pal, who called on the Prime Minister with connection to the similar topic, revealed that the Prime Minister had articulated regret and alarm at the occurrence of aggression in Noida with regard to land acquisition. Charging the Mayawati government on the topic, he alleged that five occasions of firing at peasants had occurred in Uttar Pradesh during BSP's reign.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

BJP organizes two-day conference of its Chief Ministers

May 9: The BJP is organizing a two-day conference of Chief Ministers belonging to the party in New Delhi to evaluate the welfare measures undertaken their states. The two day long convention that will commence later on in the day is expected to mull over the execution of the thriving projects in other states and evolve a combined tactic against the UPA government.

The meeting would appraise the present political condition and come up with suggestions connected with effective management. According to sources the partys objective is not only to focus its accomplishments in a number of welfare projects for example the 20-point programme in states governed by the BJP which have performed adeptly in comparison to the other states but also take into account how governance can be made more clear and answerable. Veteran leaders owing allegiance to the BJP will speak at the convention.

Five million tonnes of extra wheat, rice to allocated for BPL families

May 3: The government has resolved to allot five million tonnes of extra wheat as well as rice for allocation by means of ration shops to the families whose members live below poverty line .This extra endorsement is anticipated to provide them some respite from high food price rises which was 8.76 per cent for the week-ended April 16.The resolution was adopted by an authorized set of ministers (EGoM) led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday evening.

Sources maintained that the supplementary allotment for the 65.20 million BPL families is apart from the 35 kg per family per month, vended through the ration shops at greatly sponsored rates. Wheat is retailed to these families at 4.15 rupees for every kg and rice at 5.65 rupees for every kg.

The EGoM, on the other hand, adopted no resolution on the claim for permitting wheat exports, which has been prohibited following high food price rises. In a further resolution, the ministers' group accepted export of one lakh tonnes each of wheat flour and non-basmati rice to Maldives on ambassadorial basis. India has been making exemption to the export controls on wheat and non-basmati rice for a number of bordering as well as small nations.The EGoM consists of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma along with Food Minister K V Thomas.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Trouble free fourth phase polling in West Bengal

May 3: The fourth phase of elections in West Bengal extending across East Midnapur, Howrah, Hoogly as well as portions of Burdwan districts was on the whole calm expect for a few sporadic events. Sources in the election commission revealed that 171 electronic voting machines had to be substituted in a number of polling stations because of technical flaws. More than 75 percent voters exercised their franchise in the fourth phase of the election.

Election Commission officials replaced two presiding officers as well as two polling personnel for breach of regulations governing the voting procedure and for falling sick. Voters of three polling stations stayed away from casting their votes in Howrah together with Burdwan over issues connected with local problems. Sixty-nine people have been taken into preventive custody by the police to thwart the prospect of any untoward incident during the polls.

Exoticecho News Team

Extensive outline of Lokpal bill to be confirmed by next month: Sibal

May 2; Government today affirmed that the wide outlines of the Lokpal bill would be confirmed by 30th of next month. Talking to newspersons following the second convention of the Joint Drafting group in New Delhi today Union Minister Kapil Sibal repeated the government's pledge to put in place a convincing Lokpal Bill to counter the threat of corrupt practices. He termed the convention as encouraging and observed that the bill would be tabled in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

He noted that civil society members offered two documents concerning the aims and common opinion on which the law has to be anchored. Mr. Sibal further noted that both sides resolved to consider and mull over on each others attitude.

Talking to the media following the convention, the civil society spokesperson and well-known Lawyer Prashant Bhushan observed that it was resolved to augment the regularity of conventions. The subsequent conference is anticipated to take place on Saturday. He noted that in todays conference aims together with the philosophy of the draft Lokpal Bill were thrashed out, taking into account the requirements of United Nations resolutions against corrupt practices.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Fourth phase of polls in West Bengal; canvassing to end today

May 1: Canvassing for the fourth phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal will end today with 63 constituencies stretching across Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore and portions of Burdwan districts going to the hustings in this stage on Tuesday.

Political outfits are making a desperate attempt to lure the electorate. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya as well as Trinamool Congress Chief Mamta Banerjee accused each other for failing to expedite the process of industrialization in the state. Speaking at public meetings in numerous places, Chief Minster Buddhadeb Bhattacharya asserted that if voted to form the government the Left Front would take steps for unprecedented industrialization of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee as well extensively toured a number of constituencies in the four districts. Speaking at a public gathering at Pandua in Burdwan district, she accused the ruling Left Front of ruining the States fiscal condition by making it bankrupt. Responding angrily to the supposed utilization of black money by her party, Mamata Banerjee contended that the state's funds were utilized by the CPM to construct party offices all over the state.

Central as well as State BJP stalwarts are as well vigorously canvassing in Howrah together with Hooghly districts, where a large number of candidates from the party are in the fray.

In the meantime, veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee yesterday rebutted the claim for a judicial probe by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his outfit into the political motive behind the arms drop in Purulia that occurred 16 years ago. Addressing newspersons in Kolkata, he noted that those allegedly linked to the case were leveling accusation and uproar was being generated on that foundation. Observing that the CBI had probed the matter and placed its report, Mr. Mukherjee noted that the episode had occurred on the midnight of December 17-18, 1995 and subsequently the Centre was ruled by a non-Congress government for eight years.

Exoticecho News Team

Bengal ready for next round of polls

April 30: Frantic canvassing is taking place for the fourth phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal, where election is slated on the 3rd of the subsequent month. Canvassing for the elections will conclude on Sunday for 63 seats extending along the regions of Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore and portions of Burdwan districts.

Election Commission has selected, the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, Sudhir Kumar Rakesh as an exclusive observer for the fourth segment of polling.

Speaking at a poll gathering at Arambag in Hooghly district, West Bengal Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharya has affirmed that there will be no conciliation with express industrialization of the state.

Outspoken Trinamool chief Mamta Banerji conversely repeated her stance that she was not opposed to industrialisation, but her party would counter forceful acquisition of land chiefly the fertile expanses for the objective.

Exoticecho news team

Congress terms Joshi's PAC report as falsification of truth

April 30: Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi today placed the contentious details on 2 G swindle to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar regardless of the negative response of the draft account by greater part of members. Today was the ultimate day of his tenure as leader of the Committee.

Joshi observed that the Speaker should acknowledge the facts on 2G and place the report in Parliament. He affirmed that he had not accorded clean chit to any person. He as well asserted that the rebuff of the facts by 11 PAC members was unlawful.Lok Sabha sources maintained that Joshi dispatched the report with a covering note via representatives who put it forward to the Speaker's office.

The contentious draft account was snubbed by the greater part of members in the 21 member Committee on Thursday throughout a frenzied convention.Joshi observed that he had suspended the convention. But Congress members claimed that he had stormed out following which they nominated Rajya Sabha member Saifuddin Soz to chair the conference which rebuffed the report. 11 members owing allegiance to Congress, DMK and one apiece from SP along with BSP voted against acceptance of the report.

They as well asserted that they would offer to the Lok Sabha their account of the result of the convention and confirmation of negation of the report. The report was supposedly disapproving of the PMO, Prime Minister as well as others in the 2 G swindle question.PAC Chairman Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi observed that the Congress was misrepresenting the particulars of the report compiled on 2G scam. Countering arraignments of Congress's intrusion in functioning of PAC, Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi noted that Dr. Joshi attempted to force his report on the members of the parliamentary committee which was rejected consequently by means of democratic actions. He revealed that the Speaker of the Lok Sabha would take an ultimate decision on the state of affairs currently.

By our special correspondent

Prime Minister unveils a number of projects for Bundelkhands growth

April 30: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has revealed a number of schemes as well as projects to the tune of thousands of crore of rupees for the expansion the underdeveloped Bundelkhand area in Uttar Pradesh. Articulating the Centre's pledge to the growth of the area, he noted he has already made vaialable 1800 crore rupees to the both UP along with MP state governments through the previous two fiscal years for diverse schemes for this expanse.

Speaking at a massive congregation at Banda in Bundelkhand region today he observed that the centre had unveiled an financial package of over 7200 crore rupees in 2009. But, he contended that both the state governments were not vigorous in expending the funding for the expansion of Bundelkhand. He observed that according to the unique package in excess of 7200 crore rupees would be expended for the period of three financial years.

The Prime Minister as well revealed an exceptional package. A project of 200 crore rupees will furthermore be executed in this expanse to offer good drinking water to the general populace. He proclaimed that a bill will be produced in subsequent parliament sitting for establishing a central agricultural university at Jhansi. He clarified that congress leader Rahul Gandhi has made a strong plea for the university. Dr. Singh also proclaimed that the government has endorsed a plan for enhancement of Jhansi medical college at some point of the third segment of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna.

Previously speaking at the meeting congress leader Rahul Gandhi contended that abnormalities have been witnessed in completion of BPL catalogues in Uttar Pradesh. He noted that numerous families entitled to the facility were omitted from the current lists. He claimed that the Uttar Pradesh government was not taking any steps to correct the glitch. He claimed that if the state government was not eager to address the problem then the centre should act. He also called for the execution of RIGHT TO FOOD program to rescue people from dying owing to non-availability of food grains.

People from the majority of the seven districts of Bundelkhand area in Uttar Pradesh took part in the rally. Political experts are of the opinion that the congress has commenced its election canvassing for the subsequent assembly polls in the state with this massive gathering.

By Exoticecho news team

Royal wedding marked by pomp and grandeur

April 29: In a glittering exhibition of majestic spectacle and pomp, Prince William and Catherine Middleton tied the nuptial knot today at Westminster Abbey. Enthusiastic followers packed the street from the Abbey to take a view of the regal pair and their 1,900 visitors coming to attend the festivities.

The multitude went up in roars as an elegant Prince William donning a remarkable red tunic of the Irish Guard Colonel, his main voluntary engagement - and best man Harry reached Abbey. Catherine, 29, came in Queen Elizabeth's traditional Rolls Royce limousine, referred to as the Phantom VI, to turn into a noble and commence life in the glow of the media limelight.

People in large numbers worldwide saw the live telecast of the couple exchanging pledges to become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The wedding between 28-year-old Prince William, second in contention for the throne, and Catherine, has fortified the resurgence in the monarchy's fame. British Prime Minister David Cameron noted that the regal marriage has been emotive for his nation.

By Our Special Correspondent

Elections in Kolkata peaceful: Central security forces keep things under control

Kolkata, April 26: Voting in the third phase of the six phase assembly elections went off peacefully in Kolkata as well as North 24 Parganas together with South 24 Parganas without any major untoward incident except for stray cases of skirmishes near some of the polling booths where rival parties tried to flex their muscles. Elections to 75 seats for the 294 seat West Bengal State assembly were held in the third round of polling which saw heavy weight candidates belonging to both the ruling left Front as well as the Trinamool Congress and Congress pitted against each other. In Jadavpur constituency the West Bengal Chief Minister is pitted against former chief secretary of the state Manish Gupta who had served under him while in Khradah Asim Dasgupta is facing a tough challenge from FICCI chairman Amit Mitra. Election Commission sources told exoticecho.com that while the turnout in South 24 Parganas along with North 24 parganas was nearly 80 percent in Kolkata the turnout was comparatively lower with almost 60 per cent exercising their universal adult franchise. Exoticecho.com visited a number of polling booths in the city and found that polling was by and large peaceful. The presence of Central Security forces in adequate numbers ensured that no political outfit could disrupt the electoral procedure. Paramilitary forces like the BSF, CRPF together with security personnel from other states such as the Karnataka State police were deployed in large numbers to thwart political parties from using their muscle power to coerce voters. The West Bengal police assisted the central forces to maintain law and order on polling day.

Sukharanjan Das a well known realtor who went to cast his vote at a school in South Kolkata said that he was quite satisfied by the arrangements made by the Election Commission and observed that the security measures were unprecedented which meant that voters could cast their votes in a secure environment without the prospect of violence tormenting them.

Sources close to the CPI (M) told exoticecho.com that they were confident of securing the majority of the 75 seats that went to the polls today while the Trinamool Congress camp exuded confidence about the victory of their candidates in the majority of the constituencies.

Meanwhile Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee urged her followers to remain calm and warned them not to react to any provocation from the Left Front supporters and said that the people would vote her party to power as they were fed up by the misrule of the Left Front Government for the last 34 years. Veteran CPI (M) stalwart Gautam Deb, who is also contesting the elections noted that the common people would vote for the Left Front for all the good work the government had undertaken for the underprivileged.

Talking to exoticecho.com a Left Front supporter observed that the combine would have to surmount a big obstacle as the people were disillusioned with the land acquisition policy of the government which had forcibly taken away land from their owners without adequately compensating them and allocating the land to people with dubious backgrounds.


Usual monsoon projected this year

April 20: The nation will undergo regular monsoon season this year. Unveiling the long range Forecast for the prevailing year, Science and Technology Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal noted that the rain is expected to be approximately 98 per cent with a model fault of plus minus 5 per cent.

Consistent with the most recent anticipation, there is extremely small likelihood of scarce or excess seasonal rainfall this year. Director General of Indian Metrological Department, Ajit Tyagi observed that the comparatively low temperatures in the month of April will have no effect on the commencement of the monsoon spell.

PSU bankers and Finance Ministry scheduled to meet on April 26

April 13: Finance Ministry will undertake yearly performance appraisal of public sector banks in New Delhi to assess different features including non-performing resources as well as financial inclusion. The convention scheduled for the 26th of this month will evaluate the financial performance of the banks throughout the financial year concluded March 2011.Sources revealed that the Finance Ministry will mull over on non-performing resources, agriculture credit, loans to infrastructure segments as well as topics connected with human resources in the public sector banks.

One of the vital traits ofthe meeting would be on offering banking facility in regions not supported by it. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Budget communication previously this year has already observed that banks would proffer banking services to areas having a populace in excess of 2000 by March, 2012.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Anil Ambani together with others quizzed in 2G spectrum scam

April 5: was Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, PAC, on Tuesday quizzed Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani concerning supposed abnormalities in the 2G spectrum allotment.

Etisalat DB Telecom CEO Atul Jham was as well queried by the board led by veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

On Monday The PAC had interrogated Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata as well as corporate activist Niira Radia about the 2G spectrum scam.

S-Tel CEO Shamik Das along with Unitech Wireless Managing Director Sigve Brekke are as well listed to be present before the PAC afterward in the day.

By Deepak Kumar Pandey

Corporate lobbyist Nira Radia quizzed by PAC

April 4: Murli Manohar Joshi chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday revealed that the committee would look into every facet of the 2G scam. Corporate lobbyist Nira Radia was grilled by the PAC on Monday regarding the supposed indiscretion in the allotment of 2G spectrum.

A vital component of query into the 2G spectrum scam consists of Radia's tapped discussions over the phone with politicians, corporates, bureaucrats, as well as journalists.

A well placed source linked to the PAC noted that the group led by veteran BJP leader, Murli Manohar Joshi questioned Radia on the tapped exchanges which comprise accusations of efforts to persuade reported portfolio allotment to a number of ministers.

By Deepak Kumar Pandey

Jat leaders urged to adjourn campaign on reservation issue

March 16: The Government on Wednesday urged the Jat leaders to adjourn their campaign on the topic of reservation in Central Government jobs.

The Home Minister P Chidambarm and Social Justice Minister Mukul Wasnik deliberated o the topic with the protesting Jat leaders from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu as well as Kashmir and Maharashtra on Wednesday morning.

The chief leader of the Jat delegation Yashpal Malik revealed that the government has wanted three days time to explore their requirement as they have to confer with the Law Ministry on the topic. About the postponement of current protest, he observed that their core group will meet this evening or tomorrow to adopt a resolution on the topic.

Meanwhile the Congress advised the BJP to proceed more sensibly as an opposition. Party representative Jayanti Natrajan asserted that political outfits should not make remarks prior to exploring the aspects of the topic.


Self regulatory apparatus for private television channels finalized by Government

March 15: The Government has completed a self regulatory apparatus to manage the material on Private Television Channels. The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mrs. Ambika Soni revealed in the Lok Sabha that a regulatory group led by a retired Judge will have renowned members from the diverse parts of the society comprising broadcasters as well.

The group will give opinion and resolve public criticism. Mrs. Soni observed that a group formed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to evaluate the TRP measurement in India had previously put forward its account. The group led by Dr. Amit Mitra, Secretary General of FICCI had offered 15 vital proposals which the government is reviewing.

She noted that the Television Ratings Point, TRP scheme is not perfect and attempts are on to augment the people's meters from accessible 8,000 to 30,000 for superior effects. Responding to a supplementary, the Minister revealed that 110 crore rupees have been offered to fortify transmitters positioned in bordering regions of Jammu and Kashmir to offset the misinformation put out by the Pakistan Television.

Talking about 11,000 vacancies in Doordarshan, she affirmed 3000 emergency postings will be given preference at the aerliest. Mrs. Soni revealed that Prasar Bharati has by now completed the recruitment regulations and a GoM led by Home Minister is also aware of the subject. With connection to the Direct to Home services DTH, the Minister asserted the figure of such channels will be 200 by next year from the accessible 58 channels.

Naveen Patnaik: BJD not to back Congress-led UPA

March 8: Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik who is also the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president has affirmed that his party will not back the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre. With a total strength of 14 Lok Sabha members, the BJD has not made its position clear about its ties concerning the UPA as well as National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The party severed its links with the NDA prior to the 2009 general elections and entered into an alliance with the CPI, CPI (M) as well as NCP all through the elections. Reports in the media had in recent times cited veteran BJD leader as well as Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra as observing that the political outfit could assess a plan to offer support to the UPA following the DMKs threat to walk out of the Cabinet. He, nonetheless, clarified that no offer had come from the UPA looking for BJD's support.

30 member JPC to review allotment and cost of 2 G spectrum

February 24: The government on Thursday revealed that a 30 member JPC team has been formed to probe the allotment and fixing up of prices of 2 G spectrum from 1998 to 2009. The House accepted a resolution moved by the leader of the Lok Sabha Mr. Pranab Mukherjee following deliberations. Mr. Mukherjee while providing details about the committee observed that it would consist of 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. The Speaker of the House would be entrusted with the task of choosing the Chairman of the committee.

Mr. Pranab Mukherjee while setting the resolution in motion observed that it would study wrongdoing and abnormality of every kind and what their results have been in the accomplishment of the Government's resolutions apart from policy suggestions on the topic in the particular time.

The panel would as well offer suggestions to make certain that proper approaches are taken for accomplishment of policies that have been given the go-ahead.


Balwa detained in 2G spectrum scam case

February 9: The CBI has taken into custody Dynamix Balwas, DB group Managing Director Shahid Usman Balwa concerning the 2G spectrum allotment swindle. Sources in the CBI revealed that Balwa was detained at his Bandra house in Mumbai on Tuesday night and will be escorted to Delhi so that he can meet face to face with previous Telecom Minister A Raja whose CBI detention was augmented by two more days. The detention of Balwa comes two days prior to the 2G case is taken up for hearing in the Supreme Court. The sources also stated, he would be presented before a magistrate today for travel remand to Delhi.

Balwa who marketed DB Reality promoted Swan Telecom. Raja supposedly assisted Swan in securing 2G licences for 13 circles, comprising Mumbai as well as Delhi, for 1,537 crore rupees but Swan vended 45 per cent shares to the UAE telecom major Etisalat for roughly 4,500 crore rupees within a shot time after securing the spectrum. Following Raja, together with his earlier personal secretary R K Chandolia as well as previous Telecom Secretay Siddharth Behura, Balwa is the fourth person to be detained in the 2G spectrum event.

Exotic Echo news team

S-band spectrum allocation: Government clarifies position

February 9: The government has affirmed that there it has no loss of returns in the allotment of S Band spectrum. Speaking to newspersons in New Delhi, Secretary in Department of Space K. Radhakrishnan observed that the procedure of ending the agreement between Antrix and Devas multimedia for S Band spectrum has already been started. He asserted that in 2005, Antrix, an ancillary unit of ISRO, and Devas Multimedia signed a contract for functional expansion.

Elucidating the causes for rescinding the agreement, he noted that it was anchored on the present countrywide tactical as well as public necessity. He also noted that the Space Commission had evaluated the agreement in December 2009 and resolved to end the contract in July 2010. He as well revealed that ending the contract was being protracted because of a complicated procedure concerning the episode.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

No JPC probe into 2G spectrum scam: Pranab

December 4: Rejecting the possibility of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday made a plea to the opposition political outfits to allow Parliament to run smoothly so that a discussion on the topic could occur.

While talking to newspersons in Kolkata on Saturday, the Finance Minister observed that he had entreated the opposition to assemble in the House and enable the entire subject to be discussed in Parliament. The Finance Minister assured that the opposition was free to articulate their views on the floor of the house and the government would react in the proper manner.

Exotic Echo News

Government says no to withdrawal of AFSPA from the North East

November 30: The Government has negated suggestions of withdrawing the contentious Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from a number of the North-Eastern states because of the security condition prevailing in the region.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran made this observation while responding to a query in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The members of the House wanted to know the governments stance on the topic of revoking Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the North-Eastern states that consisted of Manipur as well.

Numerous organizations have claimed that the Act should be withdrawn from the North-East keeping in mind the welfare of the populace.

. By Our Delhi Correspondent

India and US to endorse contracts in diverse fields

November 4: Expanding their tactical collaboration, India as well as the United States will be endorsing contracts in various fields, and additionally strengthening their teamwork in counter terror campaign. The contracts are anticipated to be endorsed in the spheres of farming, science as well as expertise, space, clean energy as well as health President Barak Obama arrives in India.

Addressing newspersons in New Delhi on the State visit of Barack Obama spanning for three days commencing on Saturday, the Foreign Secretary Mrs. Nirupama Rao observed that the two nations will thrash out ways to enlarge their tactical basis of their association on the foundation of mutual principles as well as benefits. A strategy will be chalked out in exact fields of assistance in offsetting terror campaigns as a result of an MoU signed last year.

The Foreign Secretary noted that both the nations are of the opinion that the control of the U.S. on twofold utilization of technology requires to be assessed and viewed once again to scrutinize how obstructions can be eradicated and articulated confidence of a likely step forward.

Obama's Trip of Great Significance to Country

November 3: The Government on Wednesday stated that it accorded enormous value to the trip by US President Barack Obama to India commencing from Saturday. While addressing newspersons in New Delhi on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Prithviraj Chauhan observed that the ties with New Delhi and Washington were developing quite admiringly.

He noted that the United States together with India, two of the major democracies enjoy mutual values and consequently, there was usual likeness between them. Mr. Chauhan asserted that the collaboration between the two nations on nuclear energy, science as well as technology or trade which was launched in 2005 has been expanding.

Mr. Chavan revealed that several contracts were anticipated to be signed during Obamas stopover with Science and Technology featuring on the agenda. On civil nuclear energy assistance, Mr. Chavan clarified that everything was complete at the inter-governmental stage and it discussions were required at the business level. He assumed that the civil liability law along with the Indo-US pact was on trail and whatever India pledged has been completed and India needs collaboration in this spheres to expand.

The US President will reach Mumbai on Saturday for a three day State visit to India. He will have consultations with the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday. He will deliver a lecture to a combined gathering of the both Houses of Parliament on Monday evening.

Prime Minister to evaluate CWG arrangements on Tuesday

September 13: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is expected to assess the arrangements for the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday. Dr. Singh would be evaluating the preparations for the grand event for the second time within a month. Previously, he had requested the authorities to augment their attempts to rapidly complete outstanding work saying that people are looking forward a perfect opening to the Commonwealth Games. In the meantime, the chairman of the Organising committee of the Games Suresh Kalmadi has noted that all locations for the forthcoming grand event are complete and proficient of staging any event at quick notice.

Sensex gains 33 pts

September 10: Widening its profits for the fourth consecutive session, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange augmented to 33 points, or 0.7 percent, to a new 31-month closing gain of 18,800, in the midst of stable international markets, on Friday.

The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange climbed to 32 points, or 0.6 percent to 5,640. Stock markets in South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, along with Singapore soared between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent.

Sonia worried over elevated dropout rate in schools of villages

September 8: National Advisory Council Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday articulated apprehension over the soaring dropout rate and the nonexistence of teachers in village schools. Sonia observed that "one fourth of the teachers" in the village schools stay out and noted that the dropout rate, chiefly amongst the minority along with poor was elevated.

She made this obsrvation at a function after unveiling 31 Navodaya Vidyalayas in several corners of the nation and revealed, "Everyone has a right to education and it was not limited to a few".She emphasised that the Right to Education Bill would tackle all topics with reference to learning in the nation.

"The UPA government under Manmohan Singh is giving scholarships...Awareness about these has to be spread," she observed, expressing optimism that the Right to Education Bill would be capable of accomplishing this. In her communication, Gandhi, who is as well the Chairperson of the UPA, remembered that the notion of Navodaya Vidyalays was established by the late Rajiv Gandhi.

"I can say that the students studying here are on the right track. Rajiv Gandhi was concerned about the poor, backward and their children. He felt that the country would not progress till their upliftment." Sonia Gandhi made this observation in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Government Concessions for Exporters

August 23: The government will continue to offer concessions valued at Rs 1,052 crore to exporters, chiefly for the labour oriented textile, handicrafts as well as leather segments, to assist them undergo the weak fiscal revival worldwide.

"We are not yet out of the woods," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma observed while making available the schemes akin to DEPB, by virtue of which taxes are compensated to exporters, as well as financially backed interest and concessions for import of capital goods are offered.

Unveiling the yearly supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14 in New Delhi on Monday, he noted that the significance of these actions in terms of revenue would be Rs 1,052 crore.The government clarified that the well-liked Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) system, which has been in existence for more than a decade, would be extended for the final time.

Recognising the fragile recovery and the prevailing uncertainties (in the global markets), I have been able to obtain extension of DEPB one last time for a further period of six months till June 30, 2011", Sharma remarked.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Early Polls in West Bengal Ruled Out By Election Commission

August 21: The Election Commission has once more discarded the likelihood of bringing forward the Assembly polls in West Bengal. Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi made this remark while addressing newspersons in Kolkata saying that the Assembly elections in West Bengal were expected to take place in June next year and the commission could arbitrate on the topic just six months prior to it.

He assessed the current revision of electoral rolls at a top level conference. Talking about the objections aired by a number of political outfits concerning nearly 56 lakh fresh submissions for enlistment in the voters lists, Qureshi noted that it was fairly usual in an election year as peoples fervor was great all through this period.

Members Of Parliament Emphasize on Greater Salary Enhancement

August 20: Government on Friday encountered agitation in the Lok Sabha, hours subsequent to its resolution to enhance the salary of Members of Parliament to Rs 50,000 with a number of supporters belonging to the opposition political outfits rushing to the well and forcefully asking that it be enhanced to Rs 80,001.

Supporters belonging to the SP, BSP, JD(U), RJD, Shiv Sena as well as the Akali Dal said aloud, "Stop the insult of MPs and implement report of the parliamentary committee" , compelling Speaker Meira Kumar to suspend the House two times.

Earlier the House was adjourned till noon while members stood up all through Question Hour asserting that government had "insulted Parliament" by not accepting the suggestions of its own Committee to enhance the basic salary to Rs 80,001 every month, a rupee greater in comparison to the maximum paid to a government officer.

This occurred as news came that the Union Cabinet, at a gathering previously in the day, had agreed to a suggestion to enhance the basic salary of MPs to Rs 50,000 from existing sum of Rs 16,000.When the House again gathered at noon, Mulayam Singh Yadav leader of the SP and Lalu Prasad leader of the RJD, led their slogan shouting followers to the well of the House with Shiv Sena, Akali Dal as well as JD(U) members joining them. With the agitation continuing, the Lok Sabha Speaker suspended the proceedings of the day.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Government gives assurance on land acquisition Bill

Aug 17: The government on Tuesday announced that it would put forward a wide-ranging Bill on the topic of land acquirement at the earliest. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of the Lok Sabha, gave an assertion to the House that the concerns of the peasants could not be endangered.

Reacting to the apprehension of members belonging to different political outfits in the House with regard to the topic of land acquirement as well as the firing on cultivators in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Mukherjee asserted that a group led by Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar was taking the required efforts to give proper shape to the Bill. Previously, members belonging to various political outfits said that they wanted the government to alter the prevailing Bill on land acquirement and rehabilitation, keeping in mind the interest of the cultivators.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

RBI rate augmentation to curb price rise: Pranab

July 27: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has observed that the Reserve Bank's resolution to enhance short-term key rates would curb price rise without affecting expansion. "I expect this policy will lead to further easing of inflation which already is going down and it should also keep us fully on track in terms of growth," Mukherjee made this revelation while talking to the media within the Parliament compound on Tuesday.

In its first quarter fiscal evaluation, the central bank on Tuesday augmented short-term lending as well as borrowing charges by 0.25 percent and 0.50 percent correspondingly.

Prime Minister says inflation to lessen by December

July 24:Facing severe criticism for growing prices especially of food items, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday observed that the country anticipates good rainfall to assist in bringing down inflation by half to six per cent by December.

"We expect to see the rate of inflation in wholesale prices to come down to around 6 per cent by December," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made this remark in his opening speech at the conference of the National Development Council, in which a number of central ministers and the majority of the chief ministers of the states are participating.

Women's bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha

July 23: Government has revealed that the contentious Women's Reservation Bill would be tabled for deliberation in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, an effort actually meant to break the unity amongst opposition parties.

"We hope to bring it in the Lok Sabha. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has announced on the floor of the Lok Sabha that we will bring it after consultation with all concerned. We will carry out some consultations," Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal made this observation while talking to the media in New Delhi on Friday.

NSCN-Centre discussions in Delhi from today

July 16: The next phase of peace discussions between the representatives of the Centre as well as leaders of the NSCN-IM will take place in New Delhi from Friday to chalk out a satisfactory resolution of the prolonged Naga political divergence. NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah as well as other leading members of the group will take part in the deliberations, according to outfit sources.

Muivah concluded his almost one-and-a-half-month-long 'peace mission' by organizing the final public rally at Jalukie in Peren district of Nagaland.Embarking on the peace objective in early June, he toured several regions of Nagaland as well as held talks with the populace at grass-roots stage.

All through his stopover, he emphasised on compromise and consideration among Nagas anchored on the tenet of 'forget and forgive' to have a united say to be put forward to the Centre.

Price rise concerns to ease; Pawar

May 14: Sharad Pawar, Food and Agriculture Minister has observed that the most awful phase concerning food price rises have come to a close and the costs have begun to plummet, and would lessen more in the upcoming weeks. Addressing the media at Indian Women's Press Corps in New Delhi Mr.Pawar noted the that Indian customers and peasants should expect superior conditions.

Mr.Pawar furthermore acknowledged that it was a great task to stabilize the concern of peasants as well as customers. Offering the causes for the cost escalation, the Minister stated that sharp augmentation in the Minimum Support Price, MSP, of food grains had affected costs to a certain amount. Also, the opening of the financial system as well as amalgamation with the worldwide market too had direct and oblique effect on costs of necessary commodities.

New Defence Technology Commission to be formed

May 14: The government has taken a resolution to establish a new Defence Technology Commission with the Defence Minister as its Chairman with a view to provide a fillip to defence research in the nation. This will as well guarantee efficient contribution by the private segment in defence expertise.

Revealing facts about the resolutions adopted by the government with this connection, Defence Ministry Spokesman Sitanshu Kar observed in New Delhi that the DRDO has been urged to develop second generation of Arjun tanks as well as Akash surface-to-air missiles apart from creating a business section by means of a clear procedure. The resolutions as well comprise extension of Aeronautical Development Agency for design along with creation of war aircraft and prolongation of the Kaveri aero-engine venture.

State organs to adhere to constitutional obligations: Manmohan

May 8: The legislature, judiciary, as well as executive should not go beyond their respective capabilities in accordance with Constitutional obligations, but act in unison for the well fare of the people in general, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has observed.

The Prime Minister made this remark at the national convention on 'Law and Governance' to commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Bar Association of India (BAI) in New Delhi on Saturday asserting, "It is assumed that none of the organs of the state, whether it is the judiciary or the executive or the legislature, would exceed its powers as laid down in the Constitution."

The Prime Minister noted, "Even though their jurisdiction may be separated and demarcated, it is expected that all institutions would work in harmony and in tandem to maximize the public good."

Prime Minister: Government to adopt a resolution on caste based census

May 7: Accompanied by claims for a census based on caste, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave an assurance in the Lok Sabha on Friday saying that government would adopt a resolution as quickly as possible on the topic.

In a short proclamation Singh said, "I am aware of the views of the members of Parliament belonging to all sections. I assure you that the Cabinet will take a decision shortly."

The Prime Minister's proclamation pacified disconcerted opposition members who had compelled adjournment of the House following Home Minister P Chidambarm almost rejecting the possibility of taking into account the topic of caste in the activities connected with the census.

West Bengal Chief Minister calls on Manmohan Singh

May 4: The topic of assuming a comprehensive attitude concerning a number of states to combat the Maoist threat is anticipated to have figured in the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Bhattacharjee, who took part in the talks for nearly 30 minute with the Prime Minister at Parliament House on Tuesday morning, is thought to have expressed concern with reference to the topic of political encouragement being purportedly offered to the Maoists in his state.

The Chief Minister, nonetheless, avoided revealing anything concerning his talks with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Government not to augment employment tenure under NREGA

May 4: The Government has turned down suggestions for augmenting the number of days of guaranteed employment with reference to the rural employment assurance venture since the countrywide average was not more than the assured 100 days.

Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain revealed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that under one crore people residing in the villages had benefitted from 100 days of work but the countrywide average was 52 days.

He noted at Question Hour, "When demand is not touching 100 days, it will not be logical to increase the number of days."

The aim of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is to boost employment protection to the homes in villages by offering no less than 100 days of assured work annually to each family on requirement for performing physical work that needed no skill, he stated.

Trinamool chief says her telephone being tapped

May 3: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the chief of the Trinamool Congress has claimed that her telephone has been under scrutiny for the last four years. She asserted that although she brought this topic to the fore a long time ago, no one gave any significance to it. While Ms Banerjee did not give details on the topic, Mukul Roy Trinamool Congress leader and Union minister had alleged the previous month that both landline and mobile phones of Banerjee were being monitored by the ruling Left Front combine which is in power in West Bengal.

He as well made allegations that a number of other leaders of the Trinamool Congress were also victims of the Left Front action. The telephones of well-known leaders belonging to the world of politics such as Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as well as CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat have been monitored by the UPA government as revealed by a magazine the previous month triggering a chaos. Home Minister P Chidambaram had revealed in the Parliament that the government had not approved the monitoring of telephones. He as well observed that additional probes were being conducted into the accusations labelled by the magazine.

Chidambaram affirms governments commitment to thwart Maoist violence

May 3: The government has affirmed that its two-pronged tactic of speeding up expansion along with necessary action by the police to combat the Maoists will not be watered down.

Home Minister P Chidambaram made this observation while speaking at a seminar of the Consultative Committee of his Ministry in New Delhi saying, "There will be no dilution in government's two-pronged policy in dealing with the naxal menace."

He noted that augmented expansions as well as requisite action by the police were the chief activities of the government to thwart the ultra left wing forces.

The Home Minister revealed that on both the spheres, the fundamental task would be performed by the state governments while the Centres job was also vital.

He furthermore stated, "On the police action front, the Centre has to provide para-military forces to the state, but it is the officers of the state police who have to lead the operations. Success of the operations largely depends on the soundness of the plans, prepared by a state government and its efficient implementation."

Woman rebel follower apprehended in Ramban

April 28: Security agencies have raided a hideout belonging to rebels and taken into custody a woman rebel follower in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, as stated by a defence spokesman.

A combined team of Rashtriya Rifle along with police in Dachan region of Ramban district raided the hideout of the rebels yesterday, he observed.

The seizures from the rebel hideout comprised eight pistol rounds, a pistol magazine, a chinese grenade as well as some other objects.

In one more raid, security forces took into custody the 26-year-old woman militant follower Tasleema from her residence in Cherwari district of the same district and handed her over to the police for further probe, the spokesman revealed.

Privilege notice against PM in Lok Sabha

April 28: A breach of privilege notice was tabled by fifty BJP MPs in Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday. The notice was tabled after the Prime Minister revealed outside Parliament his resolution to rebuff the creation of a combined parliamentary group on the topic of purported tapping of phones. The petition by the MPs was presented to Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary. Their move comes in the wake of Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj countering the Prime Minister's proclamation on the topic. Sushma Swaraj observed in the Lok Sabha, "This is disrespect to the House. The Prime Minister should give a statement in the House on the issue."

Delhi Chief Minister gives assurance of compensation to people affected by CWG work

April 24: Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit on Saturday assured that measures have been adopted to recompense those disturbed by expansion activities leading to the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Delhi.

While speaking at an event near Azadpur flyover in New Delhi, she observed, "People whose houses or shops were demolished to facilitate the Commonwealth Games project will be compensated soon. I have asked (PWD Minister Raj Kumar) Chauhan to direct the DDA to distribute the compensation amount within a week".

Chauhan revealed that the government had concluded 14 of the 24 ventures connected with the Commonwealth Games and was right on track to meet the cut-off date concerning the remaining expansion ventures.

Observing that the complete expenditure of the flyover venture turned out to be 20 to 30 per cent less than the expected sum, the first such case, the chief minister commended the engineers and those connected with the activity.

The chief minister noted, The design of flyovers in Delhi is the unique concept of PWD engineers. You cannot see such type of flyovers even in foreign countries."

Labeling the Commonwealth Games as an option to accelerate expansion in the capital city, Dikshit observed that her government was acting correctly to enhance the life of the populace.

Manmohan Singh: Panchayat a tool for combating Maoist threat

April 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday observed that troubles created by Maoists or extreme left wing forces could be thwarted by giving power to the underprivileged in the villages and those living on the margins of society by means of the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

While unveiling a convention to observe the National Panchayati Raj Day, the Prime Minister noted, We should pay special attention to ensure that PRIs function effectively in remote and backward areas, which include tribal areas. This will help us in tackling the challenges such as the Maoist menace."

The Prime Minister affirmed that contribution of Panchayats in a range of expansion programmes was necessary as they comprehended the local requirements.

"Panchayats not only make direct participation possible for the marginalised section of society in governance, but also play an important role in ensuring transparency and accountability in the functioning of government institutions and officials," he furthermore stated.

Cabinet sanctions 1,000 extra schools

April 23: A further 1,000 model schools would be established in the Educationally Backward Blocks (EBB) of the nation acting as a yardstick for quality.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) endorsed the creation of 1,000 extra model schools in the government segment. A formal notification revealed that these extra schools would expand the number of model schools to be established in the government segment to 3,500.

Further, 2,500 additional model schools would be established at village block levels on public-private-collaboration system for which the basic necessities were being worked out. The 1,000 extra schools are anticipated to cost Rs 3,304 crore with the allocation of the Central Government being Rs 2,478 crore, the notification confirmed.

Tumult in Rajya Sabha Question Hour

April 23: Leaders owing allegiance to opposition parties on Friday disrupted the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha for 10 minutes concerning the non-attendance of Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister M K Alagiri from the House, subsequent to a day the topic was brought up in the Lok Sabha.

AIADMK member V Maitreyan on Friday demanded an explanation from Chairman Hamid Ansari whether the leader of the DMK party, who is at present overseas, had taken the consent of the House for not participating in the proceedings of the House.

When Maitreyan got a chance to raise a supplementary to a query concerning the ministry, he said, "I would like to know whether a minister (without taking Alagiri's name) who is normally absent from the House and is currently abroad, has taken the Chair's permission before proceeding on leave."

Ansari requested Maitreyan to raise his supplementary and the topic of nonattendance could be deliberated upon afterward in his chamber.

Cops had prior reports about Babri Mosques destruction

April 23: A veteran IPS officer, who was in charge of BJP leader L K Advanis personal safety in Ayodhya, on Friday made a revelation to an exclusive court that Faizabad Police had prior intelligence reports that an effort could be made to damage the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

All through the period of questioning by the defence in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Gulab Singh at Rae Bareli, Anju Gupta, an IPS officer belonging to the 1990 batch, revealed that she had taken part in a review conference summoned by Inspector General of Police, Faizabad, A K Saran on December 5, the day prior to the structure was destroyed.

To precise questions from the defence, Gupta noted that Saran had asserted all through the conference lasting for 40-45 minutes, that as said by the intelligence reports, the dangers were at two stages.

Safety to be accorded top priority but Delhi police silent on US advisory

April 22: Delhi Police on Thursday revealed that its personnel were on a continuous watch to thwart any rebel attacks in the national capital and every precautionary measure have been taken in this connection. Spokesperson of Delhi Police Rajan Bhagat observed, "Security is our prime concern".

His observations follow the US advisory to its citizens not to go crowded places of Delhi in the wake of growing signs of terror elements plotting assaults.

He stated, "We have made elaborate arrangements to handle any kind of terrorist strikes. We are on vigil all the time to avert such incidents but we have no comments or reaction to such reports (by the US)."

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Home Affairs said that earlier in the day the government had warned Delhi Police on the US directives and urged it to adopt required measures to beef up safety measures.

Minister allays fears over construction of dam

April 22: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna stated in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that China had asserted that the dam being constructed by the nation on Brahmaputra would not obstruct the downstream course of the river into India.

The minister made this observation at Question Hour saying, "It is a fact that when I met my Chinese counterpart recently, the question of the hydel project over Brahmaputra river being built by it in Zangmu did come up. However, the Chinese foreign minister assured me that it is a small project which will not have any impact on the river's downstream flow into North-east India."

Articulating discontent concerning the reply, the opposition BJP asked for a deliberation on the topic on a short term basis. They were backed by Birendra Prasad Baishya as well as Kumar Deepak Das both belonging to the AGP while the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was there in the House.

Apprehension in Lok Sabha over widespread utilization of cell phones

April 22: A leader owing allegiance to the BJP articulated worry in the Lok Sabha with reference to widespread utilization of mobile phones and construction of towers in expanses where people resided and making claims that it gave rise to a number of ailments that included brain cancer.

Speaking about the topic at Zero Hour, Jaishriben Patel of the BJP observed that scientific researches had revealed that excessive utilization of cell phones were responsible for ailments of the heart, joints, skin, and eyes, and exposed children to the risk of brain cancer.

Emphasizing firmly for chalking out a right strategy on cell phones, she said establishing cell phone towers in regions where people resided should not be permitted as its emission was unsafe for health.

Worries over pulling down of slums for Delhi Commonwealth Games

April 22: The topic of dislocation of the underprivileged and pulling down of slums in Delhi to finish construction connected with the Commonwealth Games was brought up in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by a member not belonging to any political outfit.

Bringing up the topic at Zero Hour, Tarun Mandal from West Bengal pointed to reports concerning the displacement of 358 families following the demolition of the slums close to the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station and observed that there was no proposal to offer rehabilitation or pay compensation to them.

Alleging that the human rights of these groups were being abused, he observed that the slums were pulled down as a pretext for construction of buildings for the Games but roads were being raised and a parking area was being created.

He revealed that people dwelling in slums had been forcibly removed from other regions of Delhi as well saying that they were in a great deal of trouble staying in this extreme heat in open areas.

MPs of 33 Maoists affected regions to participate in meeting called by Government

April 22: A convention of MPs representing the 33 districts of the country badly disturbed by extreme left wing violence has been called by the government on April 30 to convey to them the governments tactics to combat the Maoists and ask for their assistance in the effort.

Home Minister P Chidambaram along with key Home Ministry officials would enlighten the MPs about the severity of the threat posed by the Maoists as well as their actions and the measures that were being adopted by the government to cope with the danger.

All through the convention the government would as well enlighten the Parliamentarians on the activities with reference to the well fare projects undertaken by the government in the 33 Maoist affected districts and ask for their total collaboration for actions undertaken by the government.

An official told the media that the meeting was component of the governments elaborate tactics to counter extreme left wing forces taking into account the threat posed by them.

Paswan terms association with RJD as rock solid

April 21 Ramvilas Paswan, chief of the political outfit LJP chief on Wednesday termed his party's coalition with RJD for the forthcoming Assembly polls afterward this year in Bihar as "solid as rock".

Paswan made this observation in New Delhi while responding to queries from the media if his party would form a coalition with Congress in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Articulating his lack of knowledge of Congress forming an association with his political outfit he noted, "I don't know about this. I have said that we have an alliance with RJD as strong as rock. I can't say what strategy Congress party would adopt. Congress has announced that it will go alone in Assembly polls."

Talking with reference to another theme, the chief of the LJP revealed that he had asked for a clarification from the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar on the Centre's allegation that his government was not correctly executing road construction projects in the villages of the state.

Congress leader accuses BJP of organizing rally with black marketeers

April 21: A veteran leader owing allegiance to the Congress party labeled the 'maha rally' organized by the BJP in protest against the soaring costs of goods, as a "show organised by black marketeers and hoarders".

Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh Jagdambika Pal made the accusation saying, "BJP has mobilised 6,000 buses and 30 special trains to organise the rally against the price rise. The whole show is being organised by the black marketeers and hoarders who are solidly behind the BJP. Pal revealed that the agitation by protesters had badly affected traffic in countrys capital.

On Wednesday the BJP organized a gathering in the capital of the nation to express the partys grievances against the escalating costs of essential commodities.

Pal accused that the state governments were responsible for the escalating cost of goods saying, "The state governments have a direct role in controlling the price. The Centre has taken all possible steps in the matter." He furthermore emphasized on the necessity fortify the public distribution system in states across the country.

Prime Minister acknowledges growth of extreme left wing activities in backward regions

April 21: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday acknowledged the fact that extreme left wing activities thrived in backward regions but asserted that quick and well thought-out measures would be adopted to curtail the actions of the elements posing a threat to the power of the State.

Speaking at the Civil Services Day function in New Delhi, the Prime Minister urged civil servants to work out novel means to guarantee that the advantages of the government's grand expansion ventures get to the general public of the country.

The Prime Minister termed Left-wing radicalism as the most severe internal safety risk encountered by the country saying, "Recent events have underscored the need for urgent and considered action to root out this problem".

He furthermore observed, No quarter can be given to those who have taken upon themselves to challenge the authority of the Indian state and the fabric of our democratic polity."

Sangma takes oath as new chief minister of Meghalaya

April 20: Mukul Sangma has taken the oath as the 22nd Chief Minister of Meghalaya on Tuesday, a day following the resignation of D D Lapang from the position and ending a revolt lasting for a month by a bulk of the 28 Congress legislators. B M Lanong, an MLA belonging to the United Democratic Party (UDP), a vital partner of the Congress, took the oath as deputy chief minister.

The government led by Sangma would be the 22nd in the state in the past 38 years as the 11th in the preceding 10 years. The revolt by Congress MLAs that lasted for a month reached the climax on 17th April when the 45 year old Sangma along with rebel Congress legislators made a rush to New Delhi with the argument that Lapang no longer enjoyed support from the greater part of the Congress MLAs.

The event took place subsequent to a day when 20 Congress MLAs in the 60-member House convened at Sangma's house and guaranteed their loyalty towards him.

Finance Minister: Augmentation of key rates by RBI would fortify money supply

April 20: Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Union Finance Minister asserted that the new fiscal strategy revealed on Tuesday would curb price rises and sustain expansion.

The Finance Minister while addressing the media outside the Parliament on Tuesday, observed that fiscal expansion was on trail and the stress created by rise in prices were on a descending path with the government witnessing no more than 5.5 percent headline price rises in the financial year 2010/11 (April-March).

He noted that time had come to adopt unbiased policy rates, that is rates that should exist when a financial system is constant and on the right course. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee as well observed that the general financial state appeared exceptionally vigorous and the credit tightening was not expected to reduce expansion in durable goods segment.

Centre would shortly make public Right to Food Act

April 19: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram revealed on Sunday that the Centre would shortly make public a wide-ranging Right to Food Act. He furthermore stated, "After the Right to Information Act, Right to Work Act and Right to Education Act, the Government will unveil the Right to Food Act."

While taking part in an event in Chennai, the minister asserted that the Centre was acting on this and it would quickly be launched. Observing that the UPA Government would adhere to its responsibility of making available learning that was superior, he noted that release of credits and scholarships to pupils, chiefly Dalits, had attained unprecedented levels".

In 2008-2009, learning credits amounting to Rs 25,000 crore were given out to underprivileged pupils and this number was anticipated to leap to Rs 45,000 crore all through 2009-2010, profiting roughly 25 lakh students, he commented.

Delhi to enhance safety measures for 19th Commonwealth Games

April 19: Delhi is enhancing safety measures for the 19th Commonwealth Games to be organized in October in the capital of the nation. Subsequent to conducting a comprehensive safety review, Delhi Police have branded 500 crucial establishments as well as locations in the capital of the nation as vulnerable to assaults by rebel forces.

The locations belonging to the most vulnerable group comprise Akashwani Bhavan, Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar market, Dilli Hatt, South Extension, Qutab Minar, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi Railway Station as well as Delhi University site.

Delhis metro railway as well could be targeted by rebel outfights. Personnel connected with the security have been urged to enhance safety measures by fitting gadgets for observation and positioning well equipped security forces to guarantee that no unpleasant event occurs all through the 14 day episode.

Congress Party Criticises BJP for Not Countering Fraud Cases

April 19 The Congress party asserted that it had adopted a strong ethical view and launched an offensive against the BJP for not undertaking any measure in circumstances of suspected fraud connected with Karnataka mining tycoon the Reddy brothers.

Spokesperson of the Congress Party Jayanthi Natarajan made this observation while addressing the media outside Parliament House on Monday, "Congress has always taken a high moral ground. BJP has never done this whether it was Tehelka, George Fernandes or the demolition of the Babri mosque."

Questioned whether the BJP would feel justified following the removal of Tharoor from his ministerial position as the BJP had been continuously making a claim, Natarajan noted, "BJP is quick to criticise but has never taken action." She alluded to the Reddy brothers in Karnataka while criticizing the BJP for not acting to combat alleged fraud committed by them.

President emphasizes on synchronized attitude towards womens welfare projects

April 16: The President Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil has emphasized on a synchronized attitude towards accomplishment and regulation of programmes and ventures for the wellbeing of women. She noted that although the Government had undertaken several projects for women, a large chunk of the advantages do not go to those who deserve them.

Mrs. Patil made these observations while participating in a convention on Gender Justice and Empowerment of Women with particular allusion to Sikkim in Gangtok on Friday. The convention that would be a day long affair has been organized to observe the culmination of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the High Court of Sikkim.

The President stressed on the fact that gender parity was not a method to stir up provocations but symbolized common reverence and uniform scopes for everyone in a fair way.

Sonia Gandhi Presides Over Convention Of Key Leaders

April 16: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday presided over a convention in which veteran Congress leaders participated to chalk out the partys tactical approach on various topics.

Mrs. Gandhi convened a meeting which was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony as well as Political Secretary to the Congress President Ahmed Patel.

The three leaders are furthermore component of the core group of the Congress party. A number of topics featured in the talks prominent among them being the controversies surrounding the Indian Premier League cricket tournament which has rocked the current session of Parliament.

Recommencement Of Budget Session Of Parliament

April 15: The Budget Session of Parliament will recommence on Thursday after a break following the conclusion of the earlier session.

During this phase of the budget session the passage of the finance as well as the womens reservation bill in the Lok Sabha will be the focus of attention of all political outfits concerned.

Media report suggests that the topics related to escalating costs of goods will probably take centre stage at the Budget Session with both the Left as well as the BJP resolving to put the government under pressure on the price escalation topic that has proved to be a source of great difficulty for the common man.

SC to mull over petition for gathering facts on OBCs in survey

April 13: The Supreme Court on Monday wanted the aid of the Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to understand whether any census was being prepared for Other Backward Classes as conducted for Scheduled Castes as well as Scheduled Tribes.

The Supreme Court was talking about the general census, which started on 1st April, this year but ascertained it was not certain whether any facts was being gathered for the OBCs.

"Some data is being collected. Is it for some development," the Bench said while urging the Solicitor General to let it know within a period of three weeks whether any census was being conducted with reference to OBCs.

The court was considering a petition asking for guidance for assortment of facts connected with Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the 2010 census.

A bench led by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan consented to hear an entreaty filed by Nagpur based Mahatma Phule Samta Parishad which wanted its guidance observing that such account was required to abide by the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution as far as the topic for reservation was concerned.

Karnataka Chief Minister censured over second capital status

April 13: The Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa's proclamation that his government would consider according second capital status to Belgaum has stirred up angry outbursts from Maharashtras political outfits.

Maharashtra has been making claims that Marathi speaking regions of Karnataka, together with Belgaum, be amalgamated with the state. Leaders owing allegiance to NCP, Congress as well as the Shiv Sena and NCP criticized the proclamation. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan alleged that Yeddyurappas revelation was unnecessary.

The Maharashtra government's appeal to unite Belgaum and Karwar with Maharashtra is awaiting an opinion from the Supreme Court, Ashok Chavan observed.

"The statement is uncalled for and we will seek legal recourse on the issue, as stated by NCP leader and Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal.

Diwakar Raote leader of the Shiv Sena firmly stated that his party would resist any effort by the Karnataka government to clamp its directive on the large numbers of Marathi-speaking people staying in the region.

The border row between the states is more than half a century old. After reshuffling of states, there has been a claim to combine Marathi-speaking expanses of Karnataka, with Maharashtra.

Convention of political outfits to mull over escalating price rise scenario

April 12: Leaders belonging to a number of political outfits comprising the SP, RJD, AIADMK , BJD, RLD,JDS , INLD, along with the left parties are gathering in New Delhi this evening to deliberate on escalating food price rises.

The convention is expected to confirm the political approach of these parties on the price rise topic notwithstanding acute disagreement between the SP, Left and RJD on topics concerning the Women's Reservation Bill.

The parties are as well expected to decide their floor tactic for the second tenure of the Budget Session commencing on Thursday.

The topic of nuclear liability bill along with escalating Maoist aggression may as well feature in the deliberations.

According to reports in the media, the Bahujan Samaj Party had been asked to take part in the conference but sources close to the part revealed that they could abstain from the discussions.

Government to Undertake Venture for Population Stabilization

April 12: The Government has revealed it was in the procedure of creating a widespread scheme on populace stabilization in discussion with the state governments but was opposed to any legislation to realize it.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad while speaking at a gathering to observe five years of the National Rural Health Mission in New Delhi on Monday noted, "While we are making all efforts to improve health care, time has come for all of us to think and accord priority to population stabilization."

"I would like to make it clear that Government doesn't want to achieve this through any legislation" he furthermore stated.

IAF ready to confront threat posed by Maoists

April 12: Affirming that it was at all times prepared to confront any danger posed to the nations internal safety, the Air Force has stated any resolution on utilization of air power to combat the Maoist violence ought to pursue an unambiguous policy to lessen collateral damage.

Simultaneously, he observed that his own opinion was that the armed forces were not necessary to combat the Maoists.

Air Chief Marshal P V Naik made this observation while talking to newspersons in Allahabad on Monday saying, We have the capability to conduct strikes with utmost precision. However, it must be understood that if a 250 kg bomb is dropped at a spot, its impact will be in a radius of at least 800 metres and that may affect many people who may not themselves be insurgents".

The IAF chief noted, If at all a situation arises where the use of Air Force becomes inevitable, there has to be a clarity on the magnitude of the force we are supposed to use so that the collateral damage is minimum. After all, we are dealing with our own people in our own territory".

Responding to a question, he revealed, "So far we have not been approached by the Home Ministry for any type of help in combating Naxalites".

Routine life disrupted by PCPA bandh in several areas of West Bengal

April 9: Routine life was disrupted in several areas of Bankura, West Midnapore, and Purulia districts of West Bengal because of an indefinite bandh organized by the Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocity (PCPA).Vehicles did not ply on the roads and shops downed their shutters in Goaltore, Binpur, Jhargram town, Lalgarh, Belpahari, Jambani, and Salbani regions of West Midnapore district.

Routine life was also disrupted in Raipur, Barikul regions of Bankura and Bandwan region of Purulia district, police sources revealed. The PCPA organized the bandh to disapprove of a police foray on their health unit at Mathurapur in Salbani close to the district headquarters of Midnapore town.

The police as well as paramilitary troops have been keeping a close watch on all major thoroughfares running through the bandh affected districts.

Centre forms three working units of chief ministers to cope with price rise

April 9: Looking for bigger contribution of states to tackle rising costs of farming commodities and guarantee proficient countrywide allocation of food grains, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday formed three working units of chief ministers.

The resolution to form the working units was adopted following a four-hour extensive conference of the core group encompassing 10 chief ministers, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia along with veteran Cabinet ministers. The conference was presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Centre has resolved to engage the states in coping with the price situation at a point when both are reproaching each other for growing food price rise, which augmented to 17.70 per cent.

Addressing newspersons following the conference, Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar revealed that the first working assemblage on farming output would be led by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and will consist of chief ministers of Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will lead the working cluster on consumer affairs with chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh serving as associates.

The third working unit on food and public distribution will be led by Ahluwalia and will encompass chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Assam along with chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) C Rangarajan as associates.

The working clusters will put forward their account within two months.

Apex Court Says Land Acquisition Cannot Be Contested After Certain Period

April 8: The Apex Court of the nation has observed that people who own land cannot dispute acquisition procedure after a considerable time as it means violating the legal course of action.

A bench of comprising Justices B S Chauhan along with J M Panchal ascertained this view in a directive saying, "When a person challenges Section 4 Notification (land acquisition) on any ground, it should be challenged within a reasonable period and if the acquisition is challenged at a belated stage, the petition deserves to be dismissed only on this count."

The Supreme Court made the comments while rejecting the plea of Swaran Lata and some other owners of land disputing the Haryana government's resolution to obtain enormous stretches of private terrain.

In this situation, the government had obtained the private terrain in 2004 subsequent to releasing the required notice in May, 2001.

Left protestors volunteer in getting arrested over price rise campaign

April 8: Workers and leaders owing allegiance to the Left parties on Thursday voluntarily allowed the police to apprehend them following their participation in an agitation in New Delhi as component of their countrywide protest to draw the attention of the people to the unsuccessful efforts of the government to curb soaring costs of essential commodities.

Key leaders of the left parties consisting of Prakash Karat of the CPI (M), A B Bardhan and D Raja of the CPI and Abani Roy of the RSP voluntarily allowed the police to apprehend them. Delivering a speech aimed at the campaigners Mr. Prakash Karat observed that it was necessary to reduce the cost of petroleum which was augmented recently and blamed the enhanced cost for price rises of food while Promila Lumba of the CPI accused the government of failing to chalk up a strategy to check the rise in costs of food products.

Police had to take the aid of water cannons to scatter a mob of agitators when they made an attempt to forcibly make their way into the Parliament Street Police Station.

Protestors belonging to the Left Parties assembled at Jantar Mantar this morning voicing their dissent against the government. The CPI (M) has commenced primary deliberations with other secular parties belonging to the opposition such as the BSP, RJD.TDP, JD (U) and the SP with the objective to fortify the anti-price rise campaign against the government.

Mobile banking to be launched by government

April 7: With the objective of making it easier for the people in general to pay tax, take loans from banks, procure tele-medicine and enhance other banking services the government would shortly commence mobile banking in the nation. Mr. A. Raja, Minister of Information Technology and Communications, made this revelation at a programme in New Delhi on Wednesday. He ascertained that his ministry had commenced the activities to make the venture a success.

Mr. Raja observed that mobile banking would assist the people with connection to payment of tax, bank loans, tele-medicine as well as other banking conveniences.

Convention on Women's Bill Yields No Fruit

April 6: The Governments attempts to guarantee prompt endorsement of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday suffered a jolt with its partner Trinamool Congress joining forces with the Samajwadi Party, the Rahtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) in resisting the planned legislation in the current state.

A convention of all political outfits convened in New Delhi on Monday to end the stalemate over the bill yielded no result as opinions differed, forcing even UPA collaborators and those backing the proposed legislation not to hurry through its launch till all the parties agreed on the topic.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee organized a discussion that lasted for two hours with leaders owing allegiance to the Janata Dal (United), Rastriya Janata Dal, and Bahujan Samaj Party, who have put up firm resistance to 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assemblies as envisioned in the bill.

Sushma Swaraj Leader of Opposition also participated in the convention along with leaders belonging to Left parties, who are supporting the legislation. The other political outfits which took part in the deliberations consisted of UPA partners, National Congress Party, DMK as well as the National Conference.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony and Law Minister Veerappa Moily represented the government in the convention.

Following the convention, it was resolved that more deliberations would take place , a revelation which showed that the bill may not be tabled in the Lok Sabha in the second half of the Budget Session commencing on 15th April.

Indo-US fiscal collaboration takes off in New Delhi

April 6: Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and the touring American Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner together launched the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership in New Delhi on Tuesday. The objective of the collaboration is to fortify the joint loyalty and comprehending the macro-economic monetary segment as well as topics connected with infrastructure.

In his commencing observation, Mr. Mukherjee stated that the collaboration would allow to set free the vigor and activity of the populace. He asserted that it would make the association between the two countries more vivacious and assist in tackling worldwide challenges.

The US Treasury Secretary ascertained that the fortification of connection between India as well as the Unites States was vital for the widespread universal endeavor to create an agenda for a convincing, sustainable as well as stable expansion. He furthermore observed that this would lead to the progress of greater commerce, outlay and formation of employment opportunities in the two nations.

Prior to the launch of the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership Mr. Tim Geithner called on the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

West Bengal Chief Minister objects to Union Home Ministers remarks

April 6: Buddhadev Bhattacharjee the Chief Minister of West Bengal has firmly condemned Union Home Minister, P. Chidambarams recent observation connected with the law and order condition in the State. Addressing the media in Kolkata on Monday, Mr. Bhattacharjee stated that the comments made by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was not up to the mark and urged him to be careful while revealing his opinion on concerned subjects.

The Chief Minister acknowledged that maintaining law and order in West Bengal was his task and he was making attempts to enhance it. The West Bengal Chief Minister revealed that he had urged the Union Home Minister to persuade the opposition to collaborate with the State Government to enhance the law and order situation. Mr. Bhattacharjee emphatically observed that he opposed the Home Ministers remarks and furthermore stated that he was aware of his job which he should be allowed to carry out while the Union Home Minister should fulfill his responsibilities . Mr. Chidambaram on his trip to Lalgarh in the Maoist affected region of West Bengal recently had stated that the Chief Minister of West Bengal was responsible for tackling the law and order condition, specifically thwarting conflicts between the ruling party and the opposition parties in West Bengal.

Regional collaboration required for free trade contracts

April 5: The Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Monday stressed on the requirement for regional collaboration for free trade contracts. While speaking at a convention in New Delhi, Anand Sharma said that India would adhere to its responsibility to sustain worldwide commerce system which was vital to rejuvenate global trade. The Minister restated India's pledge to the Doha Round and observed that other nations that had advanced economically should as well replicate the same on the topics connected with business collaboration.

The minister appealed to the Asian nations to form a regional forum such as the European Union which has been created in Europe to augment their financial systems. Mr. Sharma articulated assurance that the nations contribution to global commerce would rise twofold by the year 2020.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Convention of political outfits to end stalemate on Women's Reservation Bill

April 5: A convention of all political outfits on Women's Reservation Bill commenced in New Delhi on Monday to end the stalemate over the topic. The convention has been organized by the leader of the Lok Sabha Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. While the Bill guarantying 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was endorsed by the Rajya Sabha with a thumping majority, it could not be tabled in the Lok Sabha because of the resistance put up by Rastriya Janata Dal, Samjwadi Party along with the Janata Dal United.

Participating in the convention are the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Defence Minister Mr. A.K. Antony, the Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram, the Law Minister Mr. Veerappa Moily, the Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Basudev Acharya owing allegiance to the CPIM, T.R. Balu of the DMK, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah together with Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Rastriya Janata Dal leader. Mr. Sharad Yadav, the Janata Dal United leader along with Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party leader are also taking part in the convention.

Prior to the convention Mr. Lalu Prasad ascertained that the stance of the party on the topic had remained unaltered.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

No Military Action to Counter Maoists: Chidambaram

April 4: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that the services of the Army would not be taken to curb violence by the Maoist rebels, the extremist left wing outfit waging a war against the country. He revealed that the combined operations by the state police along with paramilitary forces which has been launched would continue to cope up with the menace posed by the ultra left rebel elements. He made this observation on his first trip to the regions of West Bengal which has seen a rise in Maoist aggression in recent times.

Mr. Chidambaram on Sunday undertook a trip to Lalgarh in West Midnapore district for an evaluation of the condition and appraisal of the actions taken to thwart Maoist violence. Speaking to newspersons following a deliberation with key police and administrative officials in Lalgarh that lasted for nearly an hour, he revealed that while discussing the topic with the Chief Minister of West Bengal in Kolkata, he had told Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that the state government had to tackle the activities of the Maoist rebels competently and that discussions could take place with ultra leftist forces if they give up the path of violence. Chidambaram stated that if the Maoist violence continued unabated the administrative machinery of the state needed to be geared up.

Prime Minister: Census to assist government in a major way

April 3: The Prime Minister has categorically stated that the census would assist the Government in chalking out the expansion activities of the country. Dr.Manmohan Singh, who was enumerated in New Delhi on Saturday, labeled the census figures as a great resource for statistics.

Urging every civilian to take part in the 15th National Census, he observed that they should guarantee the association of each person in the activities. He stated that the Census of India was the most elaborate procedure for collecting figures anywhere in the globe. A number of this statistics creates a vital foundation for setting up the level of fiscal and social actions.

The largest Census activity ever to be tried in human history will encompass India's populace of 1.2 billion. It was commenced on last Thursday with the enumeration of President Pratibha Patil who became the first to be covered by the exercise.

Tough summer ahead for Army in Jammu and Kashmir:

April 2: Security agencies of the country will encounter a tough phase all through summer with constant efforts being made from across the border to smuggle a greater number of rebel elements, Defence Minister A. K Antony said on Thursday.

"Those inimical to India's interest are sending more and more terrorists across the border and it is going to be a hot summer as far as security is concerned," Antony made this observation while addressing newspersons following the launch of third destroyer constructed by Mazgaon Docks to cater to the needs of the Indian Navy. He said that the army was prepared to confront efforts to smuggle in a greater number of rebel elements from across the boundary this summer.

With more than 300 radicals operating in the valley as well as a further 400 waiting to sneak into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Army fears augmentation of incursion and aggression in Jammu and Kashmir in the upcoming months.

Prime minister appeals for countrywide effort for RTE Act success

April 1: With the momentous Right to Education Act becoming effective from Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged for countrywide loyalty in the attempt to make universal right of entry to education a certainty for all.

In a speech that was telecast all over the country on the enforcement of the Act, the Prime Minister guaranteed that paucity of resources would not obstruct the procedure for executing this Act.

He furthermore stated that dalits, minorities as well as girls would be the focal point of the attempt to offer education to every one.The Prime Minister said the Act that made the right to education obligatory reveals the pledge of the government to recognize the fundamental right of the populace to be knowledgeable.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Meeting of political outfits called by Pranab Mukherjee

March 31: Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister and leader of the Lok Sabha, has called a meeting of all political outfits with connection to the strong opposition shown to the Women's Reservation bill by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav as well as Sharad Yadav, which has already been endorsed by the Rajya Sabha.

With the government resolute to push the Women's Reservation Bill forward, a convention of leaders of political outfits in the Lok Sabha has been called in New Delhi on 5th April. BSP chief Mayawati has also been resisting the bill in its current state. The bill aims at offering 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha as well as state assemblies.

Lt Gen V K Singh to be the new Army Chief

March 31: The Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, who will end his professional association with the Army by retiring on Wednesday, cautioned that Pakistan was assisting and facilitating the incursion of extremist forces into Jammu and Kashmir and articulated worry that incursion efforts would augment this summer. Mr. Kapoor told newspersons following his farewell Guard of Honor in New Delhi that the security forces would quell such efforts and guarantee tranquility and constancy.

Lt Gen V K Singh, the veteran infantry officer with a great deal of understanding of actives connected with counter- insurgency and currently the GOC-in charge of Eastern Command, will be the next Army Chief from tomorrow replacing Mr. Kapoor. Lt Gen V K Singh who is fifty nine years old has witnessed army operations in the 1971 Bangladesh conflict and also worked in the Military Operations Directorate at Headquarters of the Army. He has been conferred with the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for his notable role while leading a counter-insurgency unit.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Chidambaram: Law to thwart communal violence

March 31: The Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram revealed on Wednesday that the government wants the law that would assist in thwarting Communal Violence functional towards the closing stages of this year. The Home Minister made this observation during the opening function of the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commission in New Delhi. P Chidambaram further stated that the government was eager to encompass advice to make the law more competent.

The Communal Violence bill which was formerly tabled in 2005 was once more tabled in Rajya Sabha in December the previous year. Mr Chidambaram noted that in the upcoming bill, assistance to the victims of communal violence would be accorded top precedence. He proclaimed that 13 states had already established Minorities Commission and requested all other state governments to form for the advancement of the nation.

Army: No troop withdrawal from Jammu and Kashmir

March 29: Opposing the government's proclamation that 35,000 troops were removed from the border state, the army has stated that security forces were just repositioned according to safety requirements and that there had been no significant removal.

Brigadier General Staff (BGS), 16 Corps, Brig Gurdeep Singh made this observation while responding to a query from newspersons about troop removal in Jammu on Monday saying, "There is no major troop pullout or withdrawal in the state. There have been redeployments and relocations of troops as per the security assessment from time to time."

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stated in the Assembly the previous week that 35,000 troops had been removed, their camps shut and they were no longer in the state following the NC-Congress assuming power in the state.

Congress lashes out at BJP for projecting Bachchan as CWG brand representative

March 29: Condemning the BJP for projecting Amitabh Bachchan's name as brand representative of Commonwealth Games, Congress said the political outfit had a tendency of "fishing in troubled waters".

The reaction of the Congress party came a day after the senior BJP leader and Indian Olympic Association's senior vice-president Vijay Kumar Malhotra advocated Bachchan's name as the chief brand representative for the Commonwealth Games, with the leader of the Congress Ambika Soni, alleging, "BJP has a habit of fishing in troubled waters. Without any background they have to interfere in each and every matter. I don't want to comment on this statement any further. On a daily basis, BJP raises some issue and we cannot spend time on reacting to each and every statement of theirs."

Chidambaram accuses left parties of resorting to lies

March 27: Stating that the left political outfits will be routed in the forthcoming assembly elections, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday charged them of giving false notions of poverty in the nation.

Responding to a query, Chidambaram alleged that the Left parties had been projecting the fact that 77 per cent of the populace of the nation earned a meager livelihood of Rs 20 everyday.

"That is a myth that is being spread in the last three four years by the Left parties in West Bengal. But, they will meet their Waterloo in the next 12 months," Chidambaram stated while talking about the future assembly voting in West Bengal.

Previously giving a lecture at the national conference on 'Law, Justice and the Common Man', Chidambaram severely criticized khap panchayats for violating the law of the land.

"What are these panchayats? Who gave them the powers? Who gave them the right to lay down the law," he questioned terming the rural councils that support honour killings as social menace and an offence to human self-esteem.

Prime Minister Wants Justice for the Common Man

March 27: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday emphasized on the government's responsibility for judicial reorganization and sustained attempts for trouble free, reasonable, prompt justice for the general populace. He as well urged the state governments to launch prompt activities to make the Act to set up Gram Nayalays functional. He said that with this the nation would boast of over five thousand fast track courts at the transitional Panchayat stages that would offer justice to the populace at their doorsteps.

The Prime Minister made this observation while addressing the National convention on Law Justice and common man in New Delhi. Dr. Manmohan Singh revealed that the power of the legal network in the nation had been reduced by the large number s of unsolved cases at each phase. He added that this was not the single topic to be settled as there was a requirement to remove or alter specific regulations which had turned out to be unrelated and trimming and reforming the procedural laws.

He also talked about the necessity to be responsive and cautious in tackling the weak and marginalized segments of the community. He noted that the weaker sections of the nation required to be allowed to enjoy their fundamental privileges.

CPI (M) Firmly Against Civil Nuclear Liability Bill

March 26: The CPI (M) has restated that the party would strongly and completely counter the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill. The political outfit subsequent to the daylong Politburo convention through a proclamation revealed today that the detrimental conditions of the bill such as the exclusion of accountability for the overseas contributors of nuclear tools along with the curb on the accountability for the operator would not be supported. The party articulated its sharp resistance to the existing edition of the Food Security Bill. The Politburo also censured the Foreign Education Providers Bill anticipated to be tabled in Parliament. The convention also focused on the general political state of affairs of the nation.

Escalating its crusade against the government, the CPI (M) has resolved to bring cut motions on soaring costs of petrol as well as diesel in the Lok Sabha when it reassembles on the 15th of next month. While the left political outfit is opposing the UPA at the centre, in West Bengal the party is making an attempt to create divisions in the Congress coalition with the Trinamool Congress. The party which is apprehensive of the results of the Assembly elections in the forthcoming year in West Bengal will deliberate on its political tactics at the expanded Central Committee that will take place in August.

Parliamentary board favours enhanced loans to farming segment

March 24: A Parliamentary board has articulated disappointment over the unsatisfactory availability of farming loan and emphasized on the requirement for adopting prompt techniques to advance the condition for enhanced prospect of the rural financial system. The report tabled in Parliament observed that cooperatives along with provincial rural banks had not succeeded in accomplishing the yearly credit payout objectives. The panel has appealed to the government to offer precise schemes to enhance the availability of loans in this crucial segment of financial system.

The government has adopted several techniques to enhance the loan that is affordable in the farming segment. This comprises making easier conditions for opening accounts, trouble free access to kisan credit cards, execution of farming liability waiver proposal, interests grant on credits, utilization of NGOs as well as Self Help Groups as mediators in offering fiscal and banking services as well as credits up to 50,000 with no collateral assurance.

Prime Minister wants accordance of key precedence to augmentation of infrastructure

March 23: The Prime Minister has urged the Centre along with the States to accord key precedence to the accomplishment of infrastructure augmentation and fixing objectives for the same. Launching a convention that will continue for the whole day in New Delhi today on the Challenges and Opportunities of Building Infrastructure, Dr. Manmohan Singh observed that the Planning Commission had been urged to furnish approved objectives for all the ministries concerned with infrastructure. The Prime Minister as well exhorted the States to assume firm supervision of the achievement of infrastructure augmentation to attain the top potential result in the remaining two years of the 11th Plan.

Stressing on the requirement for successful private sector contribution to infrastructure, Dr. Singh was of the view that this would necessitate a lot of generation of resources with the assistance of monetary organisations. He as well urged for an achievement strategy for attaining the outlay to the extent of one thousand billion dollars for infrastructure augmentation for the 12th Plan period. The Prime Minister revealed that for really comprehensive augmentation, it was necessary for the infrastructure to be expanded in every sphere. He observed that the government had created a strong agenda for public-private contribution in the sphere of infrastructure growth.

Maoists explode tract of land along Railway trail in West Bengal

March 22: Maoists caused an explosion on a tract of land along the railway trail between Midnapore and Godapia Sal stations in West Midnapore district in the early hours on Monday as the call for a 48-hour bandh made by them commenced. The explosion which took place at Bhalukkhunia did not damage the tracks, as revealed by N S Nigam District Magistrate.

In the aftermath of the explosion, running of trains was affected on the tract as safety checks were being conducted in the area, Nigam further added. Nigam observed, "Through such incidents, the Maoists are trying to divert the attention of the combined forces engaged in the combing operation to flush out Maoists from the Jangalmahal area".

The 48-hour call for bandh has been made by the CPI(Maoist) rebels from Monday in Jharkhand Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, , Andhra Pradesh and three districts of Maharashtra to oppose 'Operation Green Hunt' commenced against them by security forces.

FTII completes golden jubilee amidst celebration

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the foremost film and television organization of the nation offering training to students in Pune observed the golden jubilee year on Saturday.

The function was presided over by Ambika Soni, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting while, evergreen actor and producer of films Dev Anand was the chief guest for the celebrations.Giving a speech to mark the festivities, Soni asserted that the government would guarantee that the leading organization became "financially viable" and there was no scarcity of resources in the means of augmenting its infrastructure needed for preparing the students.

Urging FTII students to toil vigorously to attain superiority to cope up with universal level, the Minister noted, "Money will come. Government, students and the faculty should come together in partnership to achieve global excellence".

Bollywood celebrity Dev Anand who was the Chief Guest termed entertainment business as the "best profession" that offers artistic success to an artist, saying "FTII students are future entertainment leaders".

Cornered Maoists Want Security Operation to End

March 20; With the security operation to nab Maoists gaining momentum expanding across new districts in Jharkhand, the rebels on Saturday appealed to the government to end the process of giving them a raw deal as they were "patriots" resisting the evil designs of the capitalists.

Rajdeo, CPI (Maoist) spokesperson of the 'Bihar-Jharkhand-North Chhatisgarh Simant Committee' revealed in a press announcement in Latehar."We are patriots of the country. We are fighting against the capitalists and their associates who are aiming at acquiring land of the poor. Stop this killing of patriots."

For the moment, police have resolved to widen their security operations in three additional districts-with one unit of India Reserve Battallion (IRB) being positioned on the boundaries of Hazaribagh-Chatra.

Draft Food Security Bill Gets Nod from Empowered GOM

March 19: The Empowered Group of Ministers on Friday gave the go-ahead for the draft Food Security Bill that attempts to offer lawful privilege to the poverty stricken people to obtain 25 kgs of food grain at three rupees per kg. It is expected to be presented at the Cabinet next week.

The group led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as well resolved to suggest to the Cabinet for expansion in the amount of food grain for the 11.5 crore families over poverty line via ration outlets.

Addressing newspersons following the conference Mukherjee revealed that the two topics which will be placed at the Cabinet are boosting APL allocation along with the draft Food Security Bill. Mr. Mukherjee observed that the Congress had pledged in its election program that each BPL family would receive 25 kg of rice or wheat every month at three rupees per kg. Finance Minister noted that after the Cabinet sanctions the Bill it will be placed in the public sphere for getting the reaction prior to going to Parliament.

Food and Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar observed that the EGOM board furthermore offered conditions for duty-free import of pulses and the prohibition on their sales to foreign countries till March 2011.

Effort to form National Population Register to commence in April

March 19: Effort to launch the National Population Register, the exclusive system in the globe to document biometric facts of the total population, will begin in April this year and is anticipated to finish by September. The Union Cabinet giving the nod to this on Friday, allocated Rs 3539.24 crore for the enormous task to embrace 1.2 billion people, the objective of which is to offer superior distribution of services as well as augment countrywide safety.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni addressing the media following the Cabinet meeting observed that the task would encompass creation of a digital list, recognition particulars together with snaps, finger-prints and biometrics, When concluded, the facts would be dispatched to the Unique Identification Authority which will give out unique identification numbers to each and every one, she revealed.

National Population Register (NPR) is the only effort of its kind to form a broad distinctiveness record in the nation connected to which the cards, each one priced at Rs 28, would be offered to citizens. NPR, will enable the government to retain complete facts of every people aged 15 years and over. The census will not record facts based on caste.

Export of surplus wheat ruled out by government

March 18: Revealing that the prices of essential commodities were easing in local markets, the government on Thursday rejected the notion of the export of wheat at present. Union food and agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar made this observation on the sidelines of a programme in New Delhi, negating any likelihood of permitting the export of wheat till June.

He observed that the government could mull over the need to export wheat only when its overall buying procedure was complete. The minister noted that wheat and sugar yields were anticipated to reveal a vast gush in the ongoing year.

Mr. Pawar furthermore stated that the draft National Food Security Bill was complete and would be tabled before the Group of Ministers. He noted that the planned bill would offer greater accessibility to food grains for the people living over the poverty line via government organizations.

Centre reprimands state governments for not paying NREGA recruits timely

March 18: The Centre has severely criticized the state governments for stoppage in recompense of earnings to NREGA recruits and urged them to make certain that the payments are given at the appropriate time.

In a performance appraisal board convention, Rural Development Minister C P Joshi also censured the states for not paying unemployment grants to people with NREGA job cards and urged them to make the payment to which they were entitled.

Secretaries as well as representatives of every state governments as well as Union Territory organization, which are in charge for accomplishment of rural expansion plans, are taking part in the two-day convention.

Antony criticizes Pakistans approach to terror outfits

March 17: Defence Minister A K Antony revealed on Wednesday that there were 42 rebel camps within Pakistan and it was not undertaking effective methods to destroy the rebel bases.

Mr. Antony made this observation while addressing the media in Panaji subsequent to the commissioning of an Indian Coast Guard Ship 'Vishwast' at the Goa Shipyard limited.

Talking about the Indo-Pak talks procedure, Antony revealed that India should be lauded that even after encountering all these difficulties, the country was willing to look at every opportunity for negotiations with Pakistan on the topic.

When queried with reference to the growing penetration into India by rebel groups from Pakistan, Mr. Antony observed that this just showed that the peace process was on trail in Kashmir.

Gunfight at crucial ISRO location

March 16: Two people suspiciously loitering in the vicinity of a vital ISRO location on the fringes of Bangalore opened fire at security forces guarding the sensitive organization early on Tuesday morning following which the sentries struck back but the miscreants fled. The two were confronted by the security forces when they spotted them loitering around suspiciously, ISRO sources revealed.

S Satish, ISRO spokesperson, told a news agency that adequate safety measures existed and the plan to assault the sentries was thwarted adding that a probe was on.

The ISRO establishment where the episode occurred accommodates the Indian Deep Space Network as well as the monitoring unit for ISRO's satellite ventures.

The Centre has asked for details from the Karnataka government following the gunfight at the vital ISRO establishment on the fringe areas of Bangalore. Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram while talking to newspersons outside Parliament, guaranteed total fortification in the ISRO establishment. Mr. Chidambaram revealed that a security evaluation by the CISF was in progress. Responding to a query whether it was an assault by extremist forces, Mr. Chidambaram noted that as revealed by preliminary account the raid appeared to be unprofessional. He added it was too untimely to state anything about the type of the violence.

By Our Delhi Correspondent

Cabinet approves overseas university bill

March 15:Government on Monday endorsed a bill to permit overseas educational organizations to establish campuses in India and provide degrees. The Union Cabinet which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave the clearance for the Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, thereby making it easy for the bill to be tabled in Parliament.

Following the endorsement of the bill by Cabinet HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said, "This is a milestone which will enhance choices, increase competition and benchmark quality".

The bill aims to control the entrance and functions of overseas organizations, which will establish branches and give degrees in India. Because of resistance from a number of groups that consisted of the Left parties as well, concerning specific terms, the bill was under consideration for the past four years.

The previous year, it was put forward to a Committee of Secretaries which made changes to specific terms that were there previously. The Cabinet endorsed the bill without any alterations on Monday.

Board formed by government to examine prospect of CET

March 14: The Government on Saturday formed a board of Vice Chancellors to examine Common Entrance Test for admittance into professional courses and best possible use of the infrastructure in Universities.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal formed the board, comprising seven Vice Chancellors, at a convention in Hyderabad. The board would as well put forward methods for relocation of students from one University to another. The government is mulling over the prospect of conducting a countrywide level entrance examination for admittance into courses like engineering along with medicine, economics as well as commerce.

The board will scrutinize the prospect of such examinations and recommend modalities. Sibal, who chaired the convention of Vice Chancellors of Central Universities at Hyderabad Central University, observed that the infrastructure in that exists in the Universities was not properly made use after the classes were over.

Pranab: Government to confer with all before tabling Women's Bill in Lok Sabha

March 12: The stalemate concerning the Women's Reservation Bill came to an end on Thursday with the government revealing that the planned legislation would be tabled in the Lok Sabha only after discussions with all those who mattered.

The stand off ended after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as well as UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi took part with Pranab Mukherjee and other leaders in the second bout of deliberations with Lalu Prasad Yadav of RJD, Mulayam Singh Yadav of SP, and Sharad Yadav of the JDU.

Others who took part in the discussions consisted of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, DMK leader T R Baalu and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Following the discussions, Mukherjee revealed in the Lok Sabha, Some sort of assurance was sought on the progress of the Constitution Amendment Bill (Women's Reservation Bill) before bringing it to the Lok Sabha. Government will complete the process of consultations with all concerned."

Congress President: No danger to UPA constancy

March 9: An exultant Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday seemed to articulate self-assurance over the strength of the UPA government but wanted past associates like SP as well as RJD to back it on the subject of the women's reservation bill.

Sonia made this observation while talking to newspersons in New Delhi noting, I think so. One can never tell. I am not an astrologer. I wish our former partners remained with us". She was questioned whether she was convinced with reference to the constancy of the government following warnings by SP as well as RJD of not backing the UPA government if it emphasized on the passage of the women's reservation bill. Queried about the tactic with reference to the Bill when it is placed at the Lok Sabha, Sonia observed, "Let us get it passed here (Rajya Sabha). I am keeping my fingers crossed."

Prime Minister: Government adopting measures to Curb Price Rise

March 5: While responding to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address in both Houses of Parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed in the Lok Sabha that the manner in which India tackled the effect of the worldwide financial crises and the difficulties connected with meager South-West monsoon was commendable.

The Prime Minister observed that this year the nation anticipated to obtain 7.2-7.5 per cent fiscal augmentation while in the subsequent financial year the country anticipated to attain 8 per cent and the year following it, the country was optimistic of reverting to 9 per cent growth augmentation.

The Prime Minister as well noted, "If we manage our economy well, if we manage creation of social infrastructure well, there is no barrier to India's entry in the age of double digit growth".

Pranab gets Sonias nod for stable budget

March 4: At the Congress Parliamentary party conference on Thursday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi termed the bills connected to Food Security along with Women's Reservation as most important legislative programme of the government .Sonia has firmly supported Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on budget and revealed that there were no plans to reduce the petroleum and diesel costs.

She was critical of the opposition parties for engaging in political activities on price rise that were unfavorable for the nation.

She made her observation while speaking at the Congress Parliamentary Party. She revealed, the government has many essential social obligations and it is necessary to raise resources to meet them".

Government to discuss price rise topics with UPA partners

March 3: Offering ample suggestions that a reduction of costs of diesel and petrol would not be easy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday revealed that the government would discuss the matter with its UPA partners. As revealed by sections of the Congress Party, Mukherjee apprised the Congress MPs of the prominent aspects of the budget in the midst of claims for reverting to the earlier fuel costs and clarified why lessening the excise charges on petroleum products was not easy.

The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed to the Congress MPs the difficulties being encountered by the government in the existing fiscal circumstances. Mukherjee is believed to have revealed to the MPs that as no fresh taxes have been clamped on the Budget with the government anticipating a GDP of 8.5 percent from 7.2 per cent in the fiscal year gone by, some measures were needed to generate profits. This was necessary especially as the government proposes to spend a lot in the social segment, a section within the party revealed.

Sensex augments by 243 points in commencing transactions

March 2: Guided chiefly by a recovery on worldwide bourses, the Bombay Stock Exchange level Sensex soared by a massive 243 points on Tuesday accounting for 1.47 per cent, in the commencing transactions on capital inflows by overseas finances.

The 30-share guide, which had grown by 175.35 points in the preceding session on Friday, augmented by 243.55 points to 16,673.10 points, with oil and gas, metals and auto segments spearheading the recovery.

The broad -anchored National Stock Exchange index Nifty as well soared by 74.10 points accounting for 1.26 per cent to 4,996.40 points, slowly approaching the vital 5,000-points mark.

No Reduction of Petrol and Diesel Prices: Prime Minister

March 1: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday rebuffed any suggestion of reverting back to the previous costs of petrol and diesel asserting that the financial system had the competence to cope up with the augmentation without giving rise to difficulties connected with price rise. His observation came against the growing dissent by the opposition political outfits demanding a rollback on the petroleum and diesel prices.

"Any increase in prices does hurt some people, but we have to take a long-term view," he revealed while addressing newspersons travelling with him on his return journey from Saudi Arabia.

Singh asserted that resorting to populist economic tactic could have an adverse result on the financial system of the country in the long run.

He noted, "We cannot save people from inflation if we follow all populist fiscal policies. Sooner or later these populist policies if persisted for a long time to come will lead to the erosion of the investment climate."

Development of Villages Top Priority: Finance Minister

February 26: While tabling the Union Budget 2010-11, in the Lok Sabha on Friday the Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, asserted that augmentation of infrastructure of villages in the nation continued to be of great concern for the Government. A total of Rs.66, 100 crores has been allocated for enhancement of villages for the year 2010-11. The allowance for NREGA has been elevated to Rs. 40,100 crores while for Bharat Nirman a sum of Rs. 48,000 crores has been allocated for 2010-11.

The Finance Minister proclaimed that unit expenditure connected with Indira Awas Yojana was being augmented to Rs. 45,000 in the regions belonging to the plains while the expenditure has been enhanced to Rs. 48,500 in the regions covering the hills. Allowance for this plan has been augmented to Rs. 10,000 crores for the period 2010-11.

The Finance Minister revealed that further central aid of Rs. 1,200 crores will be offered for drought alleviation in the Bundelkhand area. He noted that as a component of the tactic to narrow the gap in infrastructure in under developed regions of the nation, the Backward Region Grant Fund has turned out to be a useful tool. The Government has planned to augment the allotment to this fund by 26 per cent to Rs.7, 300 crores in 2010-11as compared to Rs. 5,800 crores in 2009-10.

General Budget for 2010-11 Tabled By Finance Minister in Lok Sabha

February 26: The Government on Friday observed that the soaring rise in food prices was a source of apprehension and a slew of techniques adopted by the government were expected to lessen price rises in a period of two months. The Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee while tabling the General Budget for 2010-11 in the Lok Sabha today, revealed that a four-point tactic was planned for enhancing agriculture output as well as food security in the nation. These comprise expansion of green revolution in eastern regions of the nation with an allowance of 400 crore rupees. A further 300 crore rupees has been allocated for a 60 per cent augmentation in the spheres for nurturing of pulses as well as oilseeds. A goal of offering loan to the cultivators by the banks has been fixed at 3, 75,000 crore rupees as compared to 3, 25,000 crore in the previous financial year. Mr. Mukherjee as well proclaimed the augmentation of the period for of re-payment of sum unpaid by farmers by an additional six months. Interest offered to the farmers who make payment in time has been enhanced from one per cent to two per cent. To make certain quicker expansion course, the Finance Minister revealed a sum of 1, 73,552 crore rupees, which is 46 per cent of the entire plan allowance. With a view to enhance the prospects of the housing sector, Mr. Mukherjee proclaimed that the prevailing system of reduced interest of one percent for loan to the extent of ten lakh rupees will remain in place for the next financial year. But, the price of the house cannot exceed Rupees 20 lakhs. He revealed that a sum of Rupees 700 crores have been allocated for the objective.

Pranab: Financial system to expand by 8.5% in next financial year

February 25: The Economic Survey reveals that India will register approximately 8.5 per cent growth rate in the upcoming financial year and it will move to nine per cent in 2011-12. The study mentions that the nation can attain double digit expansion in the following four years, with the potential to be the greatest budding financial system in the globe.

The Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presented the Economic Survey 2009-10 along with Report of the 13th Finance Commission in the Lok Sabha. It reveals that enhancement in infrastructure as well as reorganization in authority is essential to accomplish superior expansion purpose. The survey mentions superior expansion rate combined with focused government involvement will elevate the living standard of the underprivileged and wipe out poverty. A number of the government measures have already been launched and several are on the scheme of the government.

Referring to the financial shortfall, the survey revealed that it was gauged at 6.5 per cent of the GDP in the budget for the existing fiscal chiefly because of the economic incentive. The shortfall is likely to lessen to 5.5 per cent of the GDP in the approaching financial year and to 4 per cent in 2011-12.

Passenger Fare and Freight Charges not to be augmented

February 24: While lessening the charges by Rs 100 per wagon in carrying of food grains, kerosene as well as fertilisers to cope up with the price rise, there are no probabilities of augmentation of passenger fares as well as freight charges in the Railway Budget for 2010-11 tabled by Railway Minister in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The Railway Budget also envisages the decrease on the upper limit of service taxes on e-booking of tickets to Rs 10 for sleeper class as well as Rs 20 for AC class. The current maximum tax is Rs 15 and Rs 40 correspondingly.

For the seventh consecutive year passenger fares have not been augmented. Proclaiming a number of privileges for railway travellers, Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee projected free of charge journey for cancer afflicted people travelling for cure in three-tier AC as well as sleeper class and continuation of allowances for madrassa students as well as scribes.

Parliament rocked by topics concerning price rise

February 23: Parliament on Tuesday was rattled by topics concerning price rise with an united Opposition pressurizing the government by making claims for deliberations with regard to regulations that allows voting, resulting in an altercation with the treasury benches.

The opening day of Parliament following the President's speech to a combined session of the Lok Sabha as well as the Raja Sabha witnessed vociferous arguments as a combined opposition accused the Congress-led alliance for not being able to curb soaring costs of food.

There was pandemonium in both the Houses as in the Lok Sabha the members owing allegiance to the opposition parties vehemently pressed for admittance of an adjournment motion, while the opposition in the Rajya Sabha stressed on a deliberation according to regulations which necessitates voting.

Both the Lower as well as the Upper House of Parliament were suspended for day in the afternoon after members owing allegiance to the BJP, Left, RJD, Shiv Sena, and Samajwadi Party, rushed to the well chanting slogans against the government.

President: Top Priority to Be Accorded To Curb Food Prices

February 22: The government t has accorded a great deal of priority to protect the people in general from the difficulties arising out of price rise even as warning that augmentation of prices in food was unavoidable because of the deficit in agricultural output together with the prevailing worldwide catastrophe.

President Pratibha Patil, while addressing both the houses of Parliament on Monday, observed that the economy would rise by 7.5 percent this financial year and above eight percent in the subsequent financial year, but did not say anything on the government's attitude towards getting rid of the schemes to give incentives that has sparked off a controversy in the midst of financial recovery.

The previous week, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council wanted limited removal of schemes to offer incentives and resort to economic fortification, an opinion backed by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Patil noted, While we were able to avert any threat to our food security, there has been an unhappy pressure on prices of food grains and food products...Higher prices were inevitable given the shortfall in domestic production and prevailing high prices of rice, cereals and edible oils globally."

Manmohan Singh: Government willing to deliberate on all topics at Budget session

February 20: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given an assurance to Members of Parliament saying that the Government is willing to deliberate on all topics when the General Budget for 2010-11 is tabled on 26th February.

"We are ready to discuss all issues in Parliament," Dr. Singh made this revelation while addressing the media following a conference attended by chiefs of political outfits and summoned by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar prior to the Budget sitting of Parliament beginning on Monday. The Bharatiya Janata Party has firmly stated that it would deliberate on topics connected with soaring costs of goods and raise their voice for strengthening domestic safety all through the sitting.

The sitting would commence with President Pratibha Patil's speech to the combined assembly of both Houses of Parliament and would terminate on 7th May. On 26th February the General Budget for 2010-11 will be tabled while the Railway Budget for 2010-11 would be tabled on 24th February.

With the objective of making it easy for the Standing Committees to review the claims for funding of different Ministries and departments and finalise their appraisal, the Lok Sabha will not assemble on 16th March and will resume functioning on 12th April. The Rajya Sabha will as well commence its session from the 22nd of February.

Every key political outfit have revealed that they would emphasize on the need to have a deliberation connected to the subject of burgeoning costs of goods on the day when the budget session of Parliament commences.

By Deepak Pandey

PMEAC: Fiscal expansion to go beyond 7.2 per cent in 2009-10

February 19: The economy is likely to augment by more than 7.2 per cent all through the present financial year and go beyond 8 per cent in 2010-11, because of enhanced fiscal actions, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) revealed.

"We are making an initial estimate that the economy would grow by 8.2 per cent in 2010-11 and by 9 per cent in 2011-12," PMEAC chairman C Rangarajan stated while announcing the fiscal potential.

With connection to the present financial year, he observed that the pace of expansion could over the 7.2 per cent mark as envisaged by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).Friday's forecast is as well greater than the 6.5 per cent the PMEAC had anticipated in October.

He as well advised the government to adopt financial strengthening techniques in the approaching budget as the existing stage of economic and revenue shortfall were untenable.His proposal emerges prior to next week's union budget to be tabled in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

By Deepak Pandey

West Bengal Chief Minister Talks Of Continued Action to Counter Maoist Violence

February 18: The Chief Minister of West Bengal Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has categorically stated that the aggression by Maoists in a barrack housing security forces in West Midnapore district will not have any bearing on the current joint actions by Central and State forces to curb the activities of the Maoists.

He revealed that the action to deal with the rebel outfit would go on and the government would be capable of getting a firm grip over the circumstances. Addressing the media in Kolkata, he proclaimed that a team has been set up to explore the aggression that took away the lives of twenty-four security personnel at Silda.

Alluding to the trip of the team from the Home Ministry to the location of the violence, the West Bengal Chief Minister observed that his government would cooperate with the Centre to curb the threat posed by the Maoists. He also revealed that the camp that was devastated in the Maoist attack would be repositioned quickly and a place had been earmarked with the objective to transfer the camp to a new location.

States approval not required for CBI Enquiry: Supreme Court

February 17: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that courts enjoyed the rights to give the go ahead for CBI enquiry without the permission of state governments with a condition that this should be enforced carefully and only when the occasion demands. A Constitution Bench comprising five judges led by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan arrived at the ruling clarifying that such rights should be enforced carefully by the Supreme Court together with the High Courts.

The Bench consisting of Justices J M Panchal, R V Raveendran, D K Jain as well as P Sathasivam noted that such authority have to be wielded cautiously in special and unusual conditions in cases having nationwide as well as worldwide consequences. Or else, the CBI will be bombarded with such directives in regular cases, the Bench noted. The Supreme Court together with the High Courtsof the country enjoys such authority to guarantee safety of fundamental privileges of citizens as slated in Article 21 of the Constitution, the ruling observed.

The ruling came on a slew of pleas filed by the West Bengal Government along with some others who claimed that the CBI can carry out an enquiry in a state only with preceding approval of the government associated with a case under the requirements of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

By Deepak Pandey

States approval not required for CBI Enquiry: Supreme Court

February 17: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that courts enjoyed the rights to give the go ahead for CBI enquiry without the permission of state governments with a condition that this should be enforced carefully and only when the occasion demands. A Constitution Bench comprising five judges led by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan arrived at the ruling clarifying that such rights should be enforced carefully by the Supreme Court together with the High Courts.

The Bench consisting of Justices J M Panchal, R V Raveendran, D K Jain as well as P Sathasivam noted that such authority have to be wielded cautiously in special and unusual conditions in cases having nationwide as well as worldwide consequences. Or else, the CBI will be bombarded with such directives in regular cases, the Bench noted. The Supreme Court together with the High Courtsof the country enjoys such authority to guarantee safety of fundamental privileges of citizens as slated in Article 21 of the Constitution, the ruling observed.

The ruling came on a slew of pleas filed by the West Bengal Government along with some others who claimed that the CBI can carry out an enquiry in a state only with preceding approval of the government associated with a case under the requirements of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

By Deepak Pandey

Home Minister Denounces Maoist Aggression

February 16: Condemning the act of violence in a police barrack in West Bengal the Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday observed that such an act was an audacious effort by the prohibited Maoist outfit to subdue the recognized power of the State.

He revealed that while there were signs of flaws in certain quarters, a comprehensive appraisal only would bring to light how the well fortified police camp was attacked by the Maoists at day time and who have admitted to their role in the violence and warned of more such violence in the forthcoming days.

. In a firmly worded proclamation in New Delhi, the Home Minister assured that while the majority of the populace of this nation would denounce the senseless brutality resorted to by the Maoist and back attempts of both the Centre and State Governments to eliminate the rebel outfit, he would like to take notice of disapproval of such violence from those who have, mistakenly, offered sustenance to the Maoist in the form of moral support and material backing.

West Bengal Government Firm: No let Up in Action to Counter Maoists .

February 16; The West Bengal Government on Tuesday emphatically stated that actions to counter the threat from the Maoists, the ultra left-wing outfit operating in the state would be prolonged notwithstanding Monday's atrocious violence unleashed by the Maoists on security force in which twenty six personnel belonging to the Eastern Frontier Rifles were killed .

On Tuesday morning, the State Chief Secretary, Mr. Ashok Mohan Chakraborty revealed that there was no possibility of retreating from the combined action by Central and State forces in flushing out the Maoists. The Chief Secretary observed that the government will not accept any effort to generate volatility in the State and security agencies were prepared to react to the threat posed by the Maoists.

According to a news agency the State Director General of Police, Mr. Bhupinder Singh is touring the Binpur Police Station region in West Midnapore district to attain a direct account of the episode. Mr. Singh acknowledged that there were flaws in safety measures that led to the violent aggression. He revealed that the barrack at Silda which housed the security personnel has been relocated.

The DGP further observed that three Maoists were shot dead during the gun battle with security forces on Monday night. Mr. Singh in the company of veteran police and other officers of the State Government revealed to newspersons that apt measures were being adopted to nab the Maoists. He as well urged his matching part in Jharkhand to conduct parallel actions to eliminate the members of the rebel outfit.

Kapil Sibal Urges Private Sector to Come Forward and Help Education Sector

February 13: Kapil Sibal, Human Resources Development Minister has urged the private sector to come forward and take part in offering superior learning skills to the populace of India.

"In the next few years, around 40,000 more colleges and institutes of higher education would be required to absorb the students and this cannot be done by the government only, private sector's role is a must here," he observed while giving the Justice P D Desai Memorial speech in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

He, nonetheless, asserted that the government would not permit the private segment to utilize education to make gains although the government would encourage the private sector to take part in the scheme of things.

Sibal revealed that India utilizes roughly three percent of its Gross Domestic Product in the education segment and consequently there is enormous opportunity for the private sector to come forward and take part in nurturing the upcoming generations of the nation.

He as well firmly observed that the Centre would try to guarantee quality education through government-administered or private organisations.

The minister revealed that the Centre has commenced a scheme to link all IITs and more than 2,000 additional colleges as well as educational organizations via the Internet.

"Currently, the Central government has set its focus on opening vocational courses institutes so that skills which are required in the labour market, are imparted and better work force can be created to cater to the growing demand of skilled work force," he noted.

Chidambaram not averse to negotiations with Naxalites if they shun aggression

February 9: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday revealed that he was not opposed to negotiations with the Maoists; the ultra left group provided they did mot resort to violent means to achieve their goals.

Chidambaram made this observation while addressing the media following a conference at Writer's Building in Kolkata on Tuesday of the chief ministers of the four states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar to give their consent to the combined security raids to nab the Maoists.

With a view to obtaining an agreement connected with the sanction of the combined action to track the Maoists in four states, Chidambaram observed that the objective of anti-naxalite action was not to exterminate any person saying that they were the people of the country.

He noted that the conference had deliberated upon the combined tactics of the central and state forces to cope up with the Naxal aggression.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik and State Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee participated at the top-level conference, while the Home Secretary and the DGP of Bihar attended the conference on behalf of their chief minister.

Both the Deputy Chief Ministers of Jharkhand represented the Chief Minister of the state at the conference.

GDP to expand at 7.2 percent in current fiscal

February 8: The government anticipates the financial system to expand by 7.2 per cent in 2009-10 fiscal, compared to 6.7 per cent the previous year, notwithstanding reduction in farm output.

The anticipated GDP estimates for the ongoing financial year, as revealed by the advanced estimates of the Central Statistical Organization, are less than the Reserve Bank and the Finance Ministry's anticipation.

The Finance Ministry estimated GDP expansion at 7.75 per cent in the mid-term economic evaluation, while the RBI anticipated the financial system to expand by 7.5 per cent in its quarterly fiscal strategy appraisal last month.

Nonetheless, the financial system is anticipated to expand at a greater rate in the second half compared to seven per cent in the first half.

As revealed by the data proclaimed on Monday, agriculture and connected actions are, though, expected to contract by 0.2 per cent this financial year compared to .6 per cent the previous year.

The estimated augmentation this financial year is probably to be propelled by 8.9 per cent growth in the manufacturing segment compared to 3.2 per cent the previous year.

The segment in question had received financial assistance from the government following the worldwide economic meltdown.

Prices to become stable: Nightmare over says Prime Minister

February 6: Facing severe criticism with regard to soaring costs of goods that have affected the common people, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed that the most awful period of food price rises has ended and the condition would no more be a cause for generating problems.

"The worst is over as far as food inflation is concerned. I am confident that we will soon be able to stabilise food prices," Dr. Singh made this observation while speaking at the Chief Ministers' conference on food prices that was organized in New Delhi on Saturday.

"Food prices have softened in recent weeks and I expect this to continue," he said while reacting to the anxieties of the Chief Ministers who expressed their feelings connected to the surge in prices.

Cautioning the hoarders of strong action, the Prime Minister vowed that rules governing the Essential Commodities Act would be adopted against them to put an end to the creation of fake shortage.

Propelled by surging costs of essential food products consisting of vegetables and pulses, food price rises attained the topmost level of the decade amounting to 20 per cent in December prior to softening to a certain extent in January.

Air India: Group of Ministers to evaluate rejuvenation scheme

February 3: The topic of equity fortification to bail out Air India from the problems encountered by the national carrier and evaluation of its rejuvenation schemes would be taken up for consideration by a Group of Ministers led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.

Apart from Mukherjee, the Group of Minister consists of Home, Law and Civil Aviation ministers, correspondingly.

The government had previously resolved to offer the unfavorably placed carrier a help of Rs 800 crore this financial year.

Prime Minister wants co-coordinated response from states

February 1: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday urged the states of the nation to respond in a coordinated manner to cope up with the tests of comprehensive expansion, law and order, farming yield, infrastructure as well as climate change.

With pressure mounting with regard to soaring costs of goods, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday urged the state governments to deal with scarcity of necessary provisions while pledging all feasible support from the Centre.

"It will never be possible to insulate ourselves from the pulls and pressures of international demand and supply. The State Governments must forge appropriate strategies to bolster food production and tackle shortages of essential supplies," he observed.

Speaking at the first yearly convention of the Chief Secretaries, Singh reiterated the Centre's pledge to aid States in every way it could.

Enhanced protection to be offered to visitors to Goa

January 29: Against the backdrop of the purported rape of a nine-year old girl from Russia in Goa in recent times, the Centre on Friday urged the state government to adopt measures to enhance the safety of visitors travelling to Goa and put adequate stress on the topic.

"Goa government should, on priority basis, take some steps to prevent such incidents," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni revealed this while talking to the media in New Delhi.

She noted that on earlier occasions the Goa police had apprehended a number of people linked with similar offences.

"As tourism minister earlier I had suggested to all states to set up a body comprising retired army and police personnel who could man tourist spots for providing security to tourists. However, it could not materialise," she regretted.

Government launches plan to offer leadership ability to women from minorities

January 27: The Government on Wednesday commenced a system to offer leadership guidance to women belonging to the minority section to facilitate them to be aware of their privileges and advantages from the different state-managed programmes.

The leadership expansion system aims to communicate with women by means of NGOs, which will be offered fiscal help for fulfilling schemes in rural areas.

The plan will allow women to claim their privileges jointly or separately, in utilizing facilities offered in terms of education, health, drinking water supply and privileges linked to the RTI Act, Minister of state for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid with Independent Charge revealed this while addressing the media in New Delhi.

Khurshid told newspersons, "Step by step we continue to move towards the destination that has very significantly been indicated in documents like Sachar Committee report and the Rangnath Mishra committee report towards a sense and accomplishment of equity amongst communities in our country, with a special emphasis on minorities".

Top-level talks to chalk approach to probable negotiations with ULFA

January 27: With a view to draw up a tactic for conducting probable deliberations with the rebel outfit ULFA which is active in Assam in North East India, the Centre has called for a top level conference next month.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi together with key officials will take part in the conference to be presided over by Home Minister P Chidambaram. Home ministry officials revealed on Wednesday that the conference will try to adopt a strategy for prospective negotiations with ULFA.

The decision by the Centre to conduct a meeting to evolve a scheme to cope up with the ULFA problem gains value with key ULFA leaders at present lodged in prisons except for the failure of the security agencies to detain ULFA military wing Chief Paresh Baruah .

The Centre has asserted that it was not opposed to conducting negotiations with the ULFA if the group did not resort to the path of aggression together with the claim for total autonomy of Assam.

Security beefed up in Assam

January 22: The North East Frontier Railway in Assam has taken a resolution to temporarily stop the running of trains at night in the State commencing from 6 p.m. on January 24 and continuing up to January 27. The movement of trains at night will recommence from January 28. Formal sources revealed that the government adopted the step as a precautionary move in a congregation of the North East Frontier Railway officials with the State Government officials which took place in Guwahati on Thursday. Security has been enhanced in the entire state of Assam which has been placed on utmost caution before the Republic Day celebrations in the wake of intelligence reports about probable assaults by ULFA rebels and the group belonging to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) that is opposed to discussions to resolve their problems through negotiations.

Rebel threat to capture plane: Airlines put on alert

January 22: With a view to guarantee passenger safety, flights that are in service in the neighbouring countries of India have been asked to beef up security. Consequently Air India together with other airlines has been warned o f prospective rebel attacks. The move comes in the wake of reports by intelligence agencies about efforts by rebel outfits such as Lashkar-e-Toiba operating from Pakistan to take control of flights operating in the Indian neighbourhood. . The Airlines have been urged to enhance security on flights that crisscross the SAARC zone besides taking the help of sky marshalls. Reports in the media based on formal sources reveal that intelligence agencies are worried about a probable LET, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamat-ul-Dawa attempt to capture a plane chiefly of Air India that operates flights in the SAARC zone. Subsequent to the reports given by intelligence agencies the Civil Aviation Ministry has released directives to every airline that operate flights on the SAARC zone. The External Affairs Ministry has as well ordered its foreign missions to apprise the workers of Air India other Indian Airlines of the danger.

South Bengal Bandh Disrupts Normal Life

January 13: The 12 hour South 24 Parganas Bandh in West Bengal called by the CPI(M), the major constituent of the ruling Left Front Government, passed of peacefully without any major cases of violence being reported from the areas where the Bandh was enforced. An exotic.com team visited several areas under the purview of the Bandh which was almost total and brought life to a standstill. As a result of the Bandh people could not commute to the places of their work in Kolkata and elsewhere as public vehicles kept off the road and private vehicles were prevented from plying. A resident of Patuli who works in a government office could not go to office as the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass from Ruby onwards fell under the purview of the Bandh. Many schools in Kolkata declared a holiday as some parts of the city fell within the jurisdiction of South 24 Parganas although officially they are within the city of Kolkata. This occurred as several areas which formerly belonged to the South 24 Parganas administration were afterwards considered as part of the greater Kolkata region with the postal code matching that of the metropolis. People residing in the Bandh affected region stayed in their offices in Kolkata overnight. The Bandh was called in protest against the murder of four CPI(M) activists by alleged Trinamool followers.

Jyoti Basus condition still unstable

January 12: The condition of veteran CPI (M) leader Jyoti Basu showed little signs of progress on Monday with doctors treating him saying that the sign was not good. Basu who was admitted to a Salt Lake Hospital with pneumonia eleven days ago has developed severe physical complications forcing doctors to take the advice of experts from the AIIMS in New Delhi after Prime Minister who called on the ailing Basu offered all central assistance possible.
With Basus condition remaining unstable, Dr Susrut Bandyopadhyay a member of the medical team overseeing Basus condition told reporters in Kolkata on Monday, "It is not a good sign. We expected a bit more improvement, but there has been no change in Basu's health. A patient staying in ICU without any improvement is a bad sign.
Hospital sources revealed that Basu's blood pressure did not show any signs of abnormality and that the 95 year old former chief minister of West Bengal was reacting positively to broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Rapid Action Force Personnel Urges West Bengal Government to Fight Maoists Judiciously

(An exoticecho.com exclusive)

Sijua is a small hamlet under Salboni Police Station in Maoist infested West Midnapore District of West Bengal. Sijua is surrounded by the dense forests of Goaltore, Tirekota and Salboni. exoticecho.com talked to a RAF personnel staying at the barracks of a Rapid Action Force Squad in Sijua, currently engaged in a joint anti-rebel operation with the Central Security Forces in the area. The village of Sijua is strategically located and Maoists or the ultra Left Wing forces are desperately trying to capture the region as the ability to secure the area would offer the Maoist guerillas a distinct advantage by giving them a border region to wield their authority and offer tougher resistance to the security forces.

Talking to exoticecho.com a senior officer of the Rapid Action Force told exoticecho.com on conditions of anonymity that the Maoists had failed to penetrate Sijua because of a sizeable population of CPI (M) supporters who have robustly defended relentless attacks by the Maoist rebels.

However this is not the scenario in the adjoining areas where the writs of the Maoists run large. The officer however urged the West Bengal government to be judicious in the tactical deployment of troops from the West Bengal police in the war zone. He asserted that deployment of troops at the barracks for a prolonged span of time enabled the Maoists to spot and target them with ease while the personnel of the Rapid Action Force are traveling elsewhere in civilian dresses.

According to the officer deployment of police officials from the lower levels for a long time without the presence and guidance of an official belonging to the rank of an IPS officer was not a wise choice. He revealed that high ranking police officials hardly stayed for a week or two and were provided with all sorts of comfort, the officials belonging to the lower ranks had to languish in the barracks for months without adequate provisions for a proper living.

The RAF official pointed out that an uncovered well, the only source of water for the cops was utilised for drinking after passing the water through a strainer. He nonetheless said that despite numerous constraints work for constructing a drinking water tap had already started and lauded the administration for the effort.

As far as the weaponry provided by the government to combat the Maoist rebels was concerned, the RAF official said though the weapons provided by the government were satisfactory in thwarting Maoist assaults, the bullet proof jackets provided to the troops of the Rapid Action Force were cumbersome as they were quite heavy and exerted a great deal of strain on the troops while patrolling large stretches. He appealed to the government to offer modern bullet proof jackets that are light in weight so that they could perform the task of patrolling Maoist affected regions more efficiently.

Referring to the spate of attacks on cops fighting against the rebels and blaming them for the casualties suffered by them for their lax attitude, the RAF personnel told exoticecho.com, Cops are humans. They too need rest after long hours of patrols. At times they take a break from their tiring schedule by relaxing at tea stalls and roadside village eateries. Taking advantage of the circumstances, Maoists posing as customers engage them in conversation and shoot them from point blank range and snatch their weapons. He refused to further elaborate on the topic.

Amar Singh steps down from key Samajwadi Party positions

January 6: Prestigious Samajwadi Party representative Amar Singh on Wednesday stepped down as the General Secretary of the political party along with additional positions in the wake of growing disagreement with party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, revealing that his current emphasis was on his health and family.

Singh, who is presently staying in Dubai, conveyed his message to a top Indian news agency by means of telephone that he has quit as Spokesman, national General Secretary, as well as member of the Samajwadi Party parliamentary board.

He furthermore revealed that he had dispatched the news of his resignation from all the three posts to Yadav by means of fax.

Singh observed, "I have resigned from all the three posts with immediate effect and I have faxed my resignation to Mulayam Singh Yadav."

Plea to political outfits in resolving Telangana problem

January 5: Home Minister P Chidambaram urged political outfits of Andhra Pradesh to offer assistance to the central government in resolving the Telangana problem and obliquely referred to the fact that ultra left forces like the Maoists would take advantage of the situation if they are unsuccessful in resolving the vexed topic.

In his commencing speech at a congregation of eight acknowledged political outfits from Andhra Pradesh, he observed the program was to "deliberate on the mechanism and lay down a road map for the consultations".

Chidambaram noted in New Delhi on Tuesday, "I urge each of the political parties represented here to show accommodation and goodwill. Ultimately you must find the answers and you must help the central government find a solution."

Officer suggests banning of cellphones to lessen troop anxiety

January 1: A veteran officer belonging to the Indian Army on Thursday recommended the prohibition of cellphones for the troops in operational regions since the gadgets were augmenting their degree of worry by aiding them in getting frequently aware of the troubles in their families.

This revelation was made by Lt Gen Dipankar Ganguly, an Army Medical Corps officer while talking about a research conducted by the Army in Jammu and Kashmir. While addressing the media on the occasion of the 246th anniversary of the Corps, he observed, "The problem is not the stress in encounter, the problem is the cellphone and that should be banned."

Ganguly noted that cellphones enabled the troops to remain in frequent touch with their families and made them conscious about their troubles, which led to augmentation of worry among them.

Reacting to the topic, Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services, Lt Gen N K Parmar observed that the services had adopted a slew of measures to cope up with the topic of anxiety that worried the troops.

He added that in the recent past cases linked to anxiety had lessened among troops.

Centre summons meeting of recognized political outfits of Andhra Pradesh

December 31: With a view to resolve the Telangana stalemate, the Centre on Wednesday summoned a convention in New Delhi on 5th January of eight acknowledged political outfits in Andhra Pradesh for a deliberation on the topic.

In the meantime, excepting minor skirmishes, the Telangana bandh enforced on Wednesday by the all-party Joint Action Committee with the objective of creating a distinct state of Telegana carved out of Andhra Pradesh was mostly trouble free. Supporters demanding a separate Telangana state obstructed traffic on roads and held agitations in the districts comprising the Telangana expanse. The Andhra Pradesh government withdrew the services of more than 9,000 buses in the Telangana expanse.

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday dispatched summons to leaders of the eight political outfits in the wake of his 23rd December proclamation in which he had pledged to organize comprehensive discussions with all political outfits as well as organizations in Andhra Pradesh on the topic of a distinct Telangana state.

The politically acknowledged outfits in Andhra Pradesh consist of TDP, Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, CPI, CPI(M), Praja Rajyam, BJP and MIM.

The Centre's resolution comes following comprehensive deliberations in the government as well as at the top political echelon in Congress party in the past few days while political outfits were at odds on provincial terms in Andhra Pradesh and made claims for urgent measures on creation of the state of Telenga..

Centre Favours Withdrawal of President's Rule in Jharkhand

December29: Centre on Tuesday suggested that President's Rule be withdrawn in Jharkhand to enable the establishment of a new government in the state on Wednesday. The resolution was adopted by the Union Cabinet which assembled this evening in New Delhi presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Media reports said that the suggestions offered by the Cabinet will at the moment be offered to President Pratibha Patil who will hand over guidelines for withdrawal of the central rule clamped on 19th of January 2009. This was required in the wake of Governor K Sankaranaryanan asking JMM Supremo Shibu Soren to take pledge as Chief Minister.

The President shortened her trip to southern states because of the turmoil in Hyderabad with connection to the Telangana agitation and went back to New Delhi. Rashtrapati Bhavan sources revealed that the President would not leave for Hyderabad for the time being and would prefer to be in Delhi at the stage when President's Rule in Jharkhand is withdrawn to enable the setting up of a government there. Soren, 65, who will function as the chief minister for the third occasion, will lead a combination that will have the BJP as its partner.

The Soren government that will be formed in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Presidents Rule is banking on the BJP for the first time, and will be the seventh alliance group in the state since it came into existence in November 2000. The JMM guided alliance has the backing of 44 MLAs in the Assembly consisting of 81 members,

India, Japan endorse joint proclamation

India, Japan endorse joint proclamation

December 29: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh along with his Japanese equivalent Dr Yukio Hatoyama endorsed a combined proclamation on the next phase of their tactical as well as worldwide collaboration following their discussions on a broad array of topics consisting of civil nuclear energy as well as energy precautions.

Both the nations have revealed a blue print to boost their defense collaboration anchored on the combined pronouncement that was endorsed by the two nations on the topic in October the previous year. Both the leaders have consented to accelerate the discussions on the wide-ranging fiscal collaboration accord so that it can be endorsed at the earliest. Both the leaders consented towards the wrapping up of the contract for the chief loan for the opening stage of western backed goods passageway by March the coming year with the objective that that it can begin functioning from 2010.

The leaders of both India and Japan were of the belief that the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor is moving forward from planning to execution level and expressed their determination for rapid accomplishment of the venture.

Prime Minister calls on President with regard to Copenhagen Summit talks

December 22: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday met President Pratibha Patil apprising her of the discussions that took place at the recently organized UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

The face to face talks continued for nearly 40 minutes, as revealed by a spokesperson of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The meeting on climate change had taken into account a US supported non-binding contract with India as well as three additional budding economies which was rebuffed by a number of underprivileged countries.

The Prime Minister as well apprised the President of the recently completed assembly of the Lok Sabha together with diverse topics of countrywide and worldwide significance, according to the spokesperson.

CPI (M) opposes formation of smaller states

December 21: Prakash Karat, leader of the CPI (M) party has observed that claims made for the formation of an independent state cannot be the foundation to eliminate regional discrepancies but emphasized on the fortification of the Sixth Schedule regions for a comprehensive as well as valuable autonomy within the States

He made this revelation while speaking to newspersons at Guwahati on Monday in the morning and added that no additional severance of larger states of the nation should be commenced with connection to the formation of states that are small in size.

"The need of the hour is not creation of smaller states but fulfilling demands of the people and curbing price rise," he asserted.

With regard to the topic of discussion with rebel elements, Karat urged the centre together with the state government as well as leaders owing allegiance to the rebel political outfit the ULFA to participate in talks without any conditions attached to solve the prolonged rebel complications prevailing in the North-East.

"This is a long drawn problem and has to be solved through negotiation," he noted.

Telegu Desam Party MPs disrupt Lok Sabha Proceedings

December 15: Members owing allegiance to the Telegu Desam Party on Tuesday vehemently protested against the formation of a separate Telangana state by dividing Andhra Pradesh in South India, resulting in a short commotion during the Lok Sabha Question Hour

When the House assembled for the day, members owing allegiance to the TDP exhibited posters emphasizng on the unity of Andhra Pradesh and made vociferous protests against the formation of Telangana.

Members belonging to TDP outfit rushed to the Well of the House in their floor leader Nama Nageswara Raos absence, while Speaker Meira Kumar conducted the Question Hour proceedings.

The agitated TDP members did not pay attention to the Chair's frequent requests to return to their seats.

But, when Kumar assured the TDP members that they would be permitted to bring up the topic at Zero Hour, the Members of Parliament belonging to the TDP calmed down and went back to their seats.

Finance Minister wants Public Distribution Systems to be tightened

December 1: Articulating his uneasiness with regard to price augmentation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday observed that it was chiefly because of lack of vital supplies like edible oil, pulses, as well as sugar and advised fortification of the public distribution system to offer assistance to the general populace.

"Price rise is a matter of concern as it affects the common man the most. This situation is mainly due to shortage of essential commodities like pulses, sugar and edible oil. To ameliorate the effect the inflation, PDS needs to be strengthened," he said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

He noted that pulses were cultivated by a small number of nations such as Pakistan and Bangladesh and since they devour the majority of the crop, there was no chance of selling pulses overbroad.

"Availability of sugar is 16 million tonnes but the requirement is 23 million tonnes, similarly availability of edible oil is 92 million tonnes while the requirement is 158.64 million tonnes," Mukherjee noted.

Mukherjee observed that price rise had no direct link with fiscal expansion and the present condition had been caused because of a real inequity between requirement as well as supply.

"However, at the same time we are encouraged by the 7.9 percent economic growth during the July-September period. If this continues, then we hope to grow, but we need to be cautious," he noted.

Mukherjee noted that the government was frequently scrutinizing the difficulty of hoarding and had been deliberating with state governments on methods to check the trouble.

"Strengthening PDS is important but hoarding is continuing. States have to control it as Centre can only give them directions," he noted.

Central teams visit to assist West Bengal in resolving violent political actions

November 30: The Government has asserted Parliament that the trip to West Bengal by a team from the centre was aimed at providing aid to the state government in tackling the conditions emanating from soaring actions of political aggression in the state.

Home Minister P Chidambaram gave this assertion to both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha.

When the Lok Sabha assembled at 12 in the afternoon, the Home minister gave a concise speech in the House in the aftermath of claims made by all the opposition parties.

They warned the government of wrongly using Article 356 of the Constitution with regard to the topic. L K Advani, the Opposition leader of the House observed that the article should be utilized only if the conditions necessitated the use of the Article.

Speaking at the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram revealed that the Centre has no row with the state government and has extended co-operation to settle all topics through negotiations.

The topic cropped up during the zero hour in the House with the CPI(M), CPI, SP, and BJP members asking for an explanation from the government that the topic will not cause meddling by the centre in the functioning of the state government.

When the House gathered for the day, leader of the CPI(M), Sitaram Yechury attempted to focus on the topic following the suspension of the question hour and was backed by other members owing allegiance to the opposition parties.

Dr Pradip Sikdar: Need to safeguard Kolkata wetlands to avert groundwater catastrophe in metropolis

(In an exclusive interview to exoticecho.com, Dr Pradip Sikdar noted hydro geologist explains the significance of the wetlands of Kolkata and the need to safeguard them to prevent ground water contamination and maintaining the ecological balance of The City of Joy.)

Wetlands can be termed as transitional lands between terrestrial and aquatic system where the level of water is present at the surface or near it. According to RAMSAR Convention 1971 wetlands have been defined as regions consisting of marsh, fen, peat land or water, natural or artificial in form, temporarily or permanent in nature that can be static or brackish. This also comprises areas of marine water the depth of which does not exceed six meters.

Wetlands play a crucial role in sustaining an environment that is benign and helps in providing a healthy atmosphere for human beings. Wetlands are vital resources that offer eco-system services while at the same time regulate ecological activities that occur naturally. These include water storage, ground water recharge and discharge, flood control and river regulation, water purification as well as sediment retention. Wetlands are significant in terms of provisioning services that entail water supply both for humans and non human beings like birds and animals. Provisioning services of wetlands also include acting as resources for activities related to fisheries, agriculture, forage, craft materials and growth of medicinal plants. The cultural services that the wetlands offer come in the form of augmenting bio-diversity besides acting as cultural sites.

Wetlands act as a sink that absorbs Carbon Dioxide thereby reducing environmental pollution. They also absorb water and thus prevent flooding catastrophes in surrounding regions.

On 19th August 2002, East Kolkata wetlands were declared as RAMSAR site.

East Kolkata Wetlands is spread over an area of 12,500 hectares consisting of 45.93 percent of water bodies and 38.92 percent of agricultural terrain with the remaining area being occupied by urban and rural settlements, furthermore acting as garbage disposal sites.

Speaking exclusively to exoticecho.com Dr. Pradip Sikdar, professor of environmental management at the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management noted that East Kolkata wetlands are of great significance in terms of maintaining the ecological balance of nature in and around Kolkata. He observed with caution that lax measures to safeguard these vital water bodies could augment the environmental problems already being faced by Kolkata in the form of abnormal weather temperatures recorded in both summer and winter coupled with odd rainfall conditions witnessed in the rainy seasons. Dr Sikdar observed that the existence of these water bodies offered a natural water treatment resource to the city of Kolkata by collecting 800,000 metre cube of water flowing out of the city everyday and subsequently treating it naturally. Expressing his concern about the way in which large stretches of the East Kolkata wetlands have been converted to fallow land, settlements, waste disposal ground and canals between 1965 to 1998, Dr Sikdar warned that attempts were covertly being made to convert parts of these crucial East Kolkata wetlands to enable human settlements to flourish. In this connection he referred to the alarming rise in rampant construction of high rises along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass of the city, resulting in the destruction of several water bodies in the region. The alteration to the wetlands all through 1965 to 1998 and purportedly beyond the period which has remained unnoticed have resulted in massive exploitation of ground water for drinking, agricultural as well as industrial purposes in the absence of any other alternative source of water. Consequentially there has been a remarkable fall in the ground water level of the affected regions. This has also enhanced the risk of ground water being contaminated.

According to Dr Sikdar the setting up of the leather technology complex on the eastern fringes of the East Kolkata Wetlands in Kolkata have led to the exploitation of large quantities of groundwater for coping up with the activities connected with the procedure of manufacturing leather goods. The current massive utilization of ground water posed a serious threat to the flow pattern of ground water enhancing the threat of pollutants from solid waste disposal grounds in the East Kolkata Wetlands travelling long distances and contaminating the ground water in the zones where the screens of the pumping wells that extract water for human consumption are located. As a result the deep tube wells that extract water for domestic utilisation in Kolkata as well as the adjoining regions may pump out water containing toxic metals and metalloid like copper, nickel, cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic.

Dr Sikdar clarified that several areas of the East Kolkata Wetlands do not have the top confining layer of clay but consisted of sand that occurred at the top, making these areas vulnerable to ground water contamination through poisonous metals at a more rapid pace.

Dr Sikdar observed that in a bid to lessen the risk of pollution in the aquifers that existed in Kolkata and adjoining regions efforts should be undertaken to minimize interaction between wetland water and ground water. This can be achieved by regulating deep tube well operation time, making available treated water supply system and adopting measures to harvest rain water. Artificially recharging the aquifers by means of harvested rainwater is also vital for safeguarding the ground water level from decreasing alarmingly.

Dr Sikdar warned of the prospective threat to the ecological system of the city if exploitation of groundwater for human consumption and activities linked to the construction of dwelling units continued unabated in the upcoming township of Rajarhat as well as in areas located along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass of the city.


Finance Minister notes current price rise propelled by growth

November 27: Taking part on the debate with regard to the augmentation in costs of basic goods such as essential commodities that were affecting the common people, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the parliament that ongoing price was propelled by expansion and the government was adopting economic as well as financial measures to curd the price rise.

Finance Minister as well apprised Parliament of the fact that the government had not enhanced the issue costs of commodities pertaining to PDS since 2001, and vehemently reprimanded state governments to cope up with the difficulties of supply in the public distribution network

Poachers apprehended in Assam

November 27: A total of six notorious offenders connected with activities related to poaching gave themselves up to the Bodoland Territorial Council authority at Bansbari in Baksa district of Assam on Thursday.

They formally surrendered five country made guns, a pistol, a mesh and a number of volatile materials to the Deputy Chief Executive Member of the BTC Mr. Khampa Borgoyary at an event organized for giving the poachers a chance to give up.

The poachers were engaged in slaughtering of animals and birds together with the unlawful felling of precious trees in the globally renowned Manas National Park, situated in the region bordering Assam and Bhutan.

In the meantime, the authorities of the Kaziranga National Park have apprehended four notorious poachers with global connections from Dimapur and Nagaon.

Acting on a tip off, forest authorities commenced raids and took them into custody with the assistance of police. They were engaged in unlawful killing of tigers, rhinos, and other uncommon animals of the national park and delivering them to a number of Asian nations via Myanmar.

Parliament offers tribute to victims of Mumbai rebel assaults

November 26: Both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha paid rich tributes to the victims of the Mumbai rebel assault that took place on the same day last year with the Lok Sabha affirming to combat in a cohesive way the menace of terrorism and avowed to vanquish terrorist elements that endangered the lives of the people

Alluding to the Mumbai rebel attacks Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari noted that unconquerable courage of human race cannot be suppressed by such mindless deeds of aggression.

Members of both the Lok Sabha along with the Rajya Sabha observed a minutes silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the terror strikes.

"The House salutes the indomitable courage of the security forces who gave a crushing blow to the terrorists on November 26, 2008 and the fortitude of the people of Mumbai," the Speaker of the Lok Sabha noted.

The Lok Sabha as well urged the government to adopt every essential measure to root out the curse of terror campaign from the nation.

India pays tribute to victims of Mumbai rebel assaults

November 26: Observing the first anniversary of the 26th November rebel assaults, the Mumbai police on Thursday organised a march in Mumbai and offered their respect to those who perished in the reprehensible aggression.

Force One, the unit of state police that specializes in combating extremist activities together with Quick Response Teams took part in the march that commenced from the Nariman Point region, which is near the Trident hotel, one of the locations targeted by the rebel forces last year.

Apart from this, sophisticated combat vehicles as well as additional weapons acquired subsequent to the 26/11 assaults were also exhibited.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan along with deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal as well attended the proceedings. The march terminated at Girguam-Chowpatty in south Mumbai.

In the meantime in Nashik, a number of events were organised in the district together with Jalgaon in north Maharashtra to offer reverence to the people who laid their lives for the country during the 26/11 rebel assaults. Police Jawan Arun Chitte as well as Jalgaon's Muralidhar Choudhari lost their lives in the violence that occurred last year.

Children belonging to various schools took part in Prabhat Pheri' on Thursday morning at Nashik to observe national integrity day and offered their respect to the people who gave their lives for the sake of the nation that included slain chief of Anti-Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkare.

Government asks Pakistan to destroy rebel networks

November 25: New Delhi on Wednesday stressed on the need for Pakistan to destroy the terror network existing in their territory and take fitting action so that people responsible for Mumbai rebel attack could be penalized.

Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Shashi Tharoor made this observation while speaking to newspersons outside Parliament, adding that notwithstanding the regular talks and worldwide demands, the rebel strongholds in Pakistan were getting a boost.

With regard to a connected event, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr. Ajay Maken noted that the security agencies were keeping a close watch on the border as well as the Line of Control to curb incursions from across the border.

Talking about the Mumbai rebel assaults, he affirmed that apt measures were being adopted in the coastal along with other regions to thwart similar events. The Minister revealed that procedures to set up a populace catalogue for coastal regions, making available of i-cards as well as further actions were ready.

Meghalaya forms State level Task Force for showcasing Meghalaya as a film destination

November 25: The government of Meghalaya has formed a State level Task Force to showcase the state as a film destination in the northeastern region of India. Mr. A. Som, Commissioner and Secretary of Industries Department as well as the convener of the Task Force revealed that a notice concerning the subject was released on Tuesday.

The State Task Force will organize the strategy for promoting Meghalaya as the destination for films. He furthermore stated that the state industry department has been assigned the job to plan a strategy for actions relating to the advancement of the state as locale for films. Mr. Som added that the state industry department would as well look at the option of establishing a Film City taking inspiration from the Film City in Mumbai as well as the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.

The Task Force has been formed in the wake of the trip undertaken in recent times by the Chief Minister to Mumbai. The State Chief Minister Dr DD Lapang will act as the chairman of the Task Force as well. The government additionally revealed that bigwigs of the Indian film industry like N Chandra, Shyam Benegal and Sunil Shetty were a part of the Task Force. Yash Chopra, a famous and thriving stalwart of Bollywood would be exclusively invited to join the Task Force.

Nine additional Border Outposts to be established along regions bordering India and Bangladesh

November 24: In an endeavor to beef up defence in the regions adjoining the Indo-Bangladesh boundary, the Border Security Force would establish nine additional Border Outposts.

The sites of 17 Border Outposts would furthermore be altered which are spread across the 856 km extended boundary in Tripura to thwart rebels from entering the Indian terrain unlawfully.

Director General of Border Security Force Raman Srivastava noted, "We are looking for new lands near the zero line of the International border for setting up of 26 BOPs or Border Outposts for more stringent vigil along the Indo-Bangla border so that insurgents using the soil of the neighbouring country cannot sneak into Indian Territory."
The DG who reached Tripura on Monday took part in a number of deliberations with key BSF representatives of the state, and undertook trips to two Border Outposts and called on Governor Kamala as well as Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in Agartala.

"At present there are 245 BOPs in Tripura and nine more would soon be added," he revealed.

Srivastava affirmed that if the state government was eager, BSF could start combined raids for capturing members belonging to rebel outfit.

Liberhan Commission findings placed in Lok Sabha together with Action Taken Report

November 24: The Government has placed the Liberhan Commission Report as well as the Action Taken Report in Lok Sabha that looked into the Babri Masjid destruction in 1992, following a political row that erupted over the leakage of the report.

The English account of the findings was placed by Home Minister P Chidambaram during Zero Hour a day subsequent to charges about the leakage of the probe kicking off a political tumult.

The resolution to place the findings of the Commission was adopted at a convention of the Union Cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the nonattendance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is currently on a trip to the United States.

The Commission, led by Justice M S Liberhan, looked into the Babri Masjid destruction in 1992 and put forward its report to the government on June 30 this year following an investigation spread over 17 years.

Revelations of portions of the findings had triggered an uproar with the chief opposition BJP condemning the government for discerningly revealing the findings which is supposed to have accused key BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, L K Advani, as well as other members of the organization for destroying the construction.

Congress had retaliated by stating that the entire nation was aware of the fact that the BJP had just expressed its false compassion after its veteran leaders had observed the activists resorting to destructive actions.

R.D. Burmans accompanists recreate Pancham magic in Kolkata

November 21: Fourteen musicians, who accompanied R.D.Burman when he was alive while producing some of the eternal Hindi songs which are still popular among music lovers even today, enthralled a packed audience at Kala Mandir in Kolkata on Saturday with the instrumental rendition of some of the classic R.D. Burman songs that are widely adored even today.

The unique programme was organised by euphony an R.D.Burman fan club based in Kolkata. Manohar Singh, the renowned saxophone player weaved a magic spell on the audience in as he played some of the evergreen hits of R.D Burman also fondly referred to as Panchamda. Usha Uthup who made a guest appearance said that R.Burmans music retained the same old magic of yesteryears and cast a magic spell on music lovers even today. The fourteen musicians formed a part of R.D. Burmans team when the legendary musician gifted to the Hindi film industry a large number of greatly popular Hindi songs. Paachamdas novelty in experimenting with sounds which he later incorporated in his songs have still remained exclusive and the credit for bringing in modernity to the world of Hindi music goes to him.

Son of Sachin Dev Burman, the famed music director of Bollywood, R.D.Burman assisted his father and learned the nuances of music from him. Some of the songs that were produced in the 1970s and early eighties have still retained their charm as they are hugely popular even among the present generation of music lovers.

Jayanta, one of the members of the euphony told exoticecho.com that the programme had evoked a great response from both the young as well as the old generation of music lovers. He said that R.D. Burmans followers were spread all across the globe and euphony had witnessed a sizeable boost to its membership in recent times.


Government to present Liberhan Commission report in ongoing Parliament tenure

November 23: Notwithstanding the government's assertion that the Liberhan Commission report on the destruction of Babri Majid together with the ATR would be put forward in the ongoing session of Parliament, the topic disrupted the functioning of the Parliament on Monday

Reacting to opposition members' apprehension with regard to the seepage of the report, Home Minister P Chidambaram revealed in the Lok Sabha that the report together with Action Taken Report would be presented in the ongoing session which ends on 21st December.

Subsequent to the tumult the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha has now been suspended till Tuesday. Both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha was previously suspended till 2 pm.

Chidambaram noted there was only a single text of the report which was in the secure care of the Home Ministry.

"It is unfortunate that a newspaper has carried ... what purports to be the contents of the (Liberhan) Report. I refrain from commenting on correctness or otherwise.....No one from the Home Ministry has spoken to any journalist..., he observed.

The Liberhan Commission report was presented to the Government on June 30 and the Government needs to place it in both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha together with the ATR within a span of six months.

"We have already announced that it will be tabled in the current session", he affirmed.

Tumultuous scenes were noticed in both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha shortly after they met for the day with members owing allegiance to the BJP subsequently rushing to the well emphasizing that the government should present the crucial report together with the ATR.

Home Secretary: No compassion for Maoists

November 21: Terming Maoists as terror elements Union Home Secretary G K Pillai noted that he had no compassion for them. He as well labelled their most recent violence on a passenger train in Jharkhand as a dastardly action. Mr

Pillai made this observation while speaking to newspersons following a convention with top level Orissa government officials in Bhubaneswar to reassess the Maoist condition in the state. He observed that CPI-Maoist was a terror outfit as they were targeting railway stations, trains, mobile towers as well as schools. Mr Pillai, nonetheless rejected the probability of air assaults on Maoists hiding in forests as well as mountainous territory.

The comments emanated only four days following the Ministry of Home Affairs suggested utilisation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to attack naxal strongholds in the forests of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand as well as West Bengal. He further asserted synchronized operations by different states together with central assistance could surely vanquish the Maoists' design. The states had also commenced sharing of intelligence among them, he added, but most were not correctly policed. On Maoists utilising weapons made in China, Mr Pillai said unlawful weapons trade had surfaced as an enormous trade in the globe and Maoists were obtaining weapons from China, Bangladesh as well as Myanmyar. He made it clear that he had not at any occasion revealed that a Chinese government agency was responsible for delivering weapons to Maoists.

Sonia favours a steady Jharkhand government

November 20: Speaking at an election rally in Dhanbad, Congress President Sonia Gandhi emphasized on the requirement to create a steady government in Jharkhand. She also avowed that sleaze in public life could be removed with the assistance of all political outfits.

Alluding to the activities performed by the state government under President rule, she noted that approximately nine lakh underprivileged people were offered employment under NREGA in the state. Referring to the accomplishments of UPA government in the Centre, the Congress President revealed that distinct minority welfare ministry was formed during the previous UPA government.

Furthermore, credits of the farmers were not claimed and thousands of villages were electrified under Rajiv Gandhi Electrification Venture. Coping with with naxal menace in the state, she observed that the naxalites could be wooed into normal social order only by means of negotiations. Mrs. Gandhi is also slated to speak at an election gathering in Dumka in the afternoon

Government to alter sugarcane Ordinance if required

November 19: The government will modify the Ordinance on sugarcane prices if it has a bearing on the activities of cultivators, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh noted on Thursday.

The reassurance was offered by Prime Minister to Rahul Gandhi who called on him on Thursday, AICC Secretary Pervez Hashmi revealed this to newspersons, furthermore observing, "PM has said that we will not do anything that goes against the farmers".

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh stated that the Prime Minister had reassured Gandhi that the "government will look into the matter again and assured him that if it is in the interest of farmers the Ordinance will be suitable amended".

Gandhi called on the Prime Minister amid the row concerning the new sugarcane pricing guidelines that provided a tumultuous commencement to the winter spell of Lok Sabha that was adjourned on the topic.

Hashmi accused that protests by cultivators was the opposition strategy to vilify Congress. "It is a political drama by regional parties against Congress. It has led to the loss of Rs 1,200 crore".

"Congress appeals to all sugarcane growers of Uttar Pradesh to have faith in pro-farmer policy of UPA government and assures them that it will ensure the highest possible sugarcane price in the present context," Digvijay Singh revealed.

Sugarcane cultivators express dissent over sugarcane pricing guidelines

November 19: Sugarcane cultivators from north India on Thursday took part in an agitation in New Delhi objecting to the recently launched sugarcane pricing guidelines of the government and made claims for an enhancement in buying prices.

Displaying sugarcane stems and vociferously raising their voices against the government, the cultivators walked in a procession from Ramlila grounds to Jantar Mantar, a protest center in the capital, on Thursday morning as the Winter Session of Parliament commenced.

The agitation has been prearranged by Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal, Bharatiya Kisan Union of Mahendra Singh Tikait as well as Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan.

The Centre launched a guideline in recent times fixing a value of Rs 129.85 per quintal for sugarcane throughout 2009 to 2010 crushing term with regard to the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) scheme, which according to the agitators is not adequate.

In the event a state government determines the state advisory price (SAP) above the FRP, it will have to recompense for the variation.

Tikait noted, "We are protesting against the government's FRP ordinance. We are also asking the government to hike the prices of sugarcane and paddy. The price of sugarcane should be increased to somewhere between Rs 280-400," while talking to a news agency.

While giving a speech to the agitators, Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh observed, "the FRP is something right for industrial tycoons but not for farmers. It is forcing farmers to commit suicide."

Cops: Rahul Bhatt an eyewitness in case against Headley

November 18: Bollywood movie bigwig Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul is an eyewitness in the event connected with investigation against American citizen David Headley terror offences, a high level police official revealed.

"Let the investigation be done. At the moment, Rahul Bhatt is a witness. The investigation is going on", Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria observed.

Rahul became familiar with Headley, blamed for planning rebel assaults in the US as well as India, when the American national had travelled to Mumbai between 2006 and 2009.

In the meantime, gym trainer Vilas Warak, who acted as a conduit between Rahul and Headley, noted, "I have done a great service to the nation by going to Maria and telling him everything that I knew about Headley.He was a nice guy and now I find that he was not a genuine friend....I never went to meet Headley, he came to me".

Warak, who no longer works as a trainer at the gym, revealed that when he went to the site of his work to report for duty , the manager of the gym told him to leave the place and keep a low profile till the topic was settled.

Headley-Tahawwur connections with 26/11 assault being evaluated

November 17: The National Investigation Agency is evaluating alleged LeT rebel David Coleman Headley and his associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana's connections with 26/11 Mumbai attack.

The agency has asked for accent tests of Headley from the US Federal agency, following revelations that both of them were in Pakistan till 8th December 2008.

In the meantime, the NIA has additionally extended its appraisal related to the trips undertaken by Headley to a number of Indian cities that included Mumbai as well as Kochi.

It has created almost two-dozen groups that have traveled all over the nation to trace the footprints of the LeT operatives.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said that topics related to the approval of visa to David Headley by Indian Consulate General in Chicago without Home Ministry's go-ahead and trips by Tahawwur Hussain Rana to a number of Indian cities were being probed cautiously from the point of view of security.

Krishna furthermore revealed that topics linked to cross-border violence and cases of anti-India actions from territories of Indias border nations have affected the procedure of regional financial expansion.

Bal Thackeray censured for comment on Sachin

November 16: A number of political stalwarts, belonging to different political parties on Monday severely criticized Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray for condemning Sachin Tendulkar, noting that the cricket genius comment that Mumbai was for was absolutely correct and no one could oppose it.

The Indian Cricket Board as well retorted furiously to the Sena veterans observation in the party mouthpiece 'Saamna' with the Boards representative Rajiv Shulka saying that Thackeray should be penalized for his vocal assault on Tedulkar.

Mr. Thackeray noted that Tendulkar had, by means of his comment, had moved from the crease and entered the pitch of politics thereby upsetting the Marathi emotion.

Tendulkar had previously observed that he was a Maharashtrian and greatly pleased with that but he was an Indian and Mumbai belonged to all his fellow citizens.

Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nitish Kumar Chief Minister of Bihar together with Union Ministers Salman Khurshid and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, stated that they appreciated Tendulkar, a Maharashtrian and cricket genius of India, and that he had revealed what was aptly correct since every Indian had a right over Mumbai.

NIA tells Rahul Bhatt to stay in Mumbai

November 16: A National Investigation Agency (NIA) group carrying out searches related to the suspected part of David Headley, US terror suspect as well as LeT rebel in the Mumbai assaults has told Rahul Bhatt, son of movie director Mahesh Bhatt not to travel out of Mumbai, as a precautionary step.

The NIA has as well conveyed to Rahul that if he wished to travel elsewhere from the city, he should notify them prior to his trip. Rahul Bhatt has been under the observation of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after it was found that Rahul had come in contact with Headley while he was in Mumbai.

The NIA has filed a complaint against Headley as well as his Canadian collaborator Tahawwur Hussain Rana with regard to the rebel assaults in India that included the 26/11 Mumbai violence. NIA on Sunday explored five sites in Mumbai. NIA squad carried out searches in Goregaon, Pali Hill, Khar, Lokhandwala (Andheri) as well as the Breach Candy flat where Headley remained during his trip to Mumbai last year.

Apex Court Directive to Centre, J&K Government on ban on pre-paid mobile

November 16: The Supreme Court on Monday handed out notifications to the Centre as well as the Jammu and Kashmir Government on an appeal contesting the enforcement of the prohibition on pre-paid mobile use in the state bordering Pakistan.

A bench, led by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, wanted to know the reaction of the Ministries of Home and Telecom and the state government in two weeks.

The appeal, made by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party on 5th November, had contested the prohibition and urged for a prompt consideration of the topic.

Advocate Bhim Singh, the Chairman of the party, had argued that the government's directive to prohibit pre-paid cellphone use in the state from 1st November was "authoritarian and arbitrary".

"The ban order is unconstitutional, improper, authoritarian and arbitrary and violative of the Article 14, 19 and 21 among other provisions of the Constitution of India," the appeal noted.

Alleging that the government was not focusing on the prohibition topic, the appeal observed why the equivalent method could not be approved for confirmation of the subscriber requiring a pre-paid arrangement as taken with regard to the post-paid service.

The government has passed an order stating that no new pre-paid mobile links should be offered in Jammu and Kashmir and that obtainable pre-paid SIM cards should not be reissued in the state after 1st November as a precautionary step.

Mamata mulls setting up of rail coach factory in Singur

November 14: Establishing a rail coach manufacturing unit in association with the West Bengal government or on the public-private-collaboration basis at the dumped Tata Motors' Nano project location at Singur was on Friday suggested by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Mamata made this revelation while speaking to a news agency saying The Railways are ready to set up a railway coach factory in joint venture with the state government. If the state government gives us 1,000 acre (acquired for the Tata's Nano car project), we will set up the factory,"
Her suggestion was offered subsequent to a day on which the state government declared its proposal to establish a 1,600 MW power plant with public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited at the location in Hooghly district.
"Of the 1,000 acre, the coach factory would come up on 600 acre, while the remaining 400 acre will be returned to farmers," Banerjee, who was at the forefront of a campaign for giving back 400 acre to their owners compelling the Tata to leave Singur, noted.

She furthermore observed that land would be shared with the state government for the venture, but if the state government did not how show any willingness to participate n the venture, the Railways could establish the venture on the public-private- collaboration basis.
She also revealed that the key coach manufacturing unit could be established at Singur while the subsidiary group could be established at Dankuni.
She as well observed that the Tatas, which owned the land under a lease arrangement, could establish a venture of their choice, but on 600 acre.

Talks likely only if Maoists give up violence: Chidambaram

November 13: The Government has revealed that it is prepared to re-examine topics such as land acquirement, configuration of government as well as tribal privileges emphasized on by the Maoists but for the process to commence the Naxal rebels have to give up the path of aggression and join the negotiation effort.

Speaking at an event in Delhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram noted that aggression had no position in a democratic nation akin to India and consequently the Maoists should give up violence and take part in deliberations with the government to resolve their crises. He also revealed that a number of bordering nations, chiefly, Bangladesh had been extremely helpful recently and providing assistance to tackle activities connected with rebels in the Northeast.

India expresses worries over continuing assaults on students in Australia

November 13: With assaults on Indian students in Australia continuing, India has expressed its anxiety with regard to the attacks targeted against its students in Australia, which vowed that it was its duty to guarantee their protection and safety.

The subject of ongoing assaults on Indian students since the tenure of the last six months cropped up at a face to face meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as touring Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Prime Ministers of both the nations as well looked at measures to augment collaboration in the spheres of defence, fortification, business, commerce along with culture, but the touring dignitary made it apparent during his public functions previously that Australia cannot alter its guidelines on providing Uranium to India owing to its customary strategy.

"I have conveyed my concern to Prime Minister Rudd over the safety, security and the well-being of our students in Australia," Singh noted in his speech in the company of Rudd following their convention in Hyderabad House.

The Prime Minister cited Rudd as having guaranteed him that Australia is wholly devoted to the safety of the students and would adopt all measures in this connection.

Meghalaya, Assam consent to uphold status quo to solve their border row

November 12: Assam as well as Meghalaya Governments has resolved to agreeably solve their border row with both the states consenting to uphold status quo. The two states as well resolved to chalk out tactics to resolve the topic jointly.

This was resolved at the opening congregation of the particular group on border controversies at Shillong on Thursday. The group was formed by both the states last year. Health Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma was the representative for Assam.

The Chairman of the Committee and Meghalaya Revenue Minister Mr. Prestone Tynsong noted that deliberations were fruitful with both the states consenting to solve the discrepancy along the boundary in no less than 12 locations.

He revealed that the Meghalaya Government would get ready a record comprising the names of villages as well as the community living in those disputed regions. It will be presented to the Assam Government within 15 days for authentication. The Minister as well sated that the Special Committee will assemble in Guwahati in 45 days.

Large accumulation of volatile substances confiscated in Bihar

November 12: The Special Task Force in Bihar confiscated a massive accumulation of approximately 40 to 45 quintals of explosives from two locations in the Maoist stronghold of Gaya district in the early hours on Thursday. Superintendent of Police S M Khopade revealed to a news agency in Patna that based on prior information police conducted searches in a shop that was closed at Kaulakhshni region and confiscated 29 gunny bags filled with volatile substances. The STF as well conducted searches in a residence within the jurisdiction of Delha police station in the district and confiscated 70 bags of volatile substances.

The volatile substances were extremely combustible and forensic experts are being dispatched to Patna for assessing the substances.

The Bihar Police had confiscated 30,000 live ammunition of point 315 bore as well as two AK-47 rifles, and four Insas rifles along with large amounts of volatile substances from a dwelling unit on Tuesday.

PM: Wooing the most excellent skills for key establishments a difficulty

November 11: As the nation begins the procedure of establishing additional IITs, IIMs as well as Central universities, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday observed that luring the most excellent skills for these key establishments continued to be difficult.

"We must find ways of attracting the best talents as faculty in our premier institutions. We today face difficulty in finding top-level professors and lecturers in the newly created IITs, IISERs and other such institutions," he noted.

Speaking at the National Education Day event in New Delhi to observe the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, sovereign India's first education minister, Dr Singh observed, "This state of affairs cannot be allowed to prevail".

The government has commenced key extension of advanced learning by launching eight additional IITs as well as 15 Central universities.

The government has also resolved to establish six IIMs, 10 NITs, and 20 IIITs along with 6,000 archetypal schools all through the 11th Plan in the years extending from 2007 to 2012.

Noting that attempts should be made to trace methods to enhance the excellence of teachers, the Prime Minister urged the scholars and strategists to tackle this trouble of lack of excellence of coaching in schools, colleges as well as universities.

Centre urges states to offer additional meals to children of Anganwadi Units

November 10: The Centre has urged the states to offer above one meal to the children belonging to Anganwadi Centers. It enphasised that the food should comprise a snack in the morning in the shape of milk, banana or egg or seasonal fruit after which the children should be offered a meal that is freshly prepared. States have as well been urged to offer extra food articles in the shape of micro-nutrient strengthened food or energy rich food to extremely malnourished children in the between 3-6 years.

A letter with connection to this has been dispatched to all the state chief secretaries. The recommendation by the centre comes in the wake of the amendment to the supplementary nutrition standard. Giving a speech in New Delhi to the congregation of Parliamentary Consultative Committee related to her ministry, Mrs. Krishna Tirath emphasized the requirement for a diverse approach to deal with undernourishment of children. She observed that the Government had taken a resolution to give the nod to Anganwadi on claim. She noted that quickly a general Mother and Child Protection Card would be launched for Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) along with National Rural Health Services (NRHS).

Government launches new housing loan format for urban poor

November 10: The government has created a format for offering interest related financial sustenance on housing for the urban underprivileged. According to the format the underprivileged segments of the populace will be in a position to receive 5 per cent financial support in the interest recompense to the tune of 1 lakh rupees for loans for building of new residence. Families with monthly returns of up to 33 hundred rupees with regard to the Economic Weaker Section and earnings up to 73 hundred with regard to the Lower Income Groups will be entitled for the advantage of this format. The credit can be obtained from commercial banks as well as HUDCO.

The loan refund time will vary from 15 to 20 years. Special benefits will be accorded to people belonging to the scheduled caste along with scheduled tribe, minorities and physically challenged people together with women. In accordance with a formal notification there will be no collateral security or third party agreement for credit extending to 1 lakh rupees.

Normal life disrupted in Assam by ULFA Bandh call

November 9: In Assam, routine life has been disrupted in nearly all the regions of the Brahmaputra Valley districts of the Stat in the wake of a 12-hour bandh called by prohibited ULFA rebel outfit from six this morning. According to official reports the bandh had little bearing in the three districts of the Barak Valley while it evoked varied reaction in the city of Guwahati. Work in educational institutions as well as bank together with other business activities were disrupted as a consequence of the effect of the bandh call. Private cars are not plying on the roads while buses belonging to the Assam Government and Assam State Transport Corporation are, nonetheless, moving on the roads under the cover of protection. The bandh has failed to disrupt Train as well as Air services.

ULFA has called the bandh call disapproving of the recent detention of two of their high level Bangladesh-anchored members . The two extremists - self-proclaimed foreign secretary of the rebel group Sasadhar Choudhury as well as finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika- were put in the custody of the Border Security Force by Bangladesh Rifles four days ago. The rebels are currently being questioned by the Special Investigative Team at an undisclosed location following the Chief Judicial Magistrates Court in Guwahati remanding them to 10 days police confinement.

Maharashtra Home Minister Accords Precedence To Security

November 9: Fortifying safety measures to avoid yet another 26/11 kind rebel assault would be the top precedence of the Maharashtra Government, Home Minister R R Patil asserted. Speaking to news persons in Mumbai, he observed that strengthening the protective network and augmenting synchronization among related organizations will be accorded top precedence. Mr Patil, who has returned to the Home department a year following the rebel assaults, clarified that coastal safety measures were already being fortified.

He revealed that the first group of Force One commandos, the exclusive unit created according to the lines of the National Security Guards was prepared and would be functional shortly. The Minister furthermore stated that the Government would as well expedite the up gradation of police units and fortify intelligence apparatus. The veteran NCP leader had relinquished from his position following the 26/11 Mumbai rebel assaults, and was appointed as the chief of the party's state unit.

Maoist rebels kill three ahead of Buddhas visit

November 7: Just some hours prior to the arrival of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Midnapore, alleged Maoists shot dead three members of the CPI(M)- backed Gana Pratirodh Committee at Kushboni forest under the jurisdiction of Binpur police on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, M K Varma revealed that Manoranjan Mandi, Joyram Murmu as well as Laxmi Das, all belonging to the Gana Pratirodh Committee, created by the CPI (M) to oppose the Maoists, were abducted from their houses to a forest close by where their hands were fastened and several bullets sprayed in their bodies, killing them on the location.

SDO Jhargram P Ulaganathan noted that the three owed allegiance to the Jharkhand Jana Mukti Morcha and subsequently crossed over to the Gana Pratirodh Committee and were at the forefront of resistance campaigns against Maoist rebels.

A Maoist poster was discovered close to the bodies of the slain Gana Pratirodh Committee members in the forest close to Dahijuri, in which the rebels accused that the dead resorted to the practice of collecting money by force from the people of the area.

Security was beefed up in Midnapore Town with the roads as well as lanes in the town being fortified by armed police prior to the Chief Minister's trip to evaluate the law and order condition and regulate the expansion actions for the welfare of the underprivileged.

Chairmen of all Railway Recruitment Boards Replaced

November 7: In a directive Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought the withdrawal of chairmen of all Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) all over the nation, chosen during the term of RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

According to sources in the Railways, the Ministry has agreed to select fresh chairmen of 20 RRBs as component of an effort to give a face-lift to the procedure related to appointment of staff in the Railways. .
The directives regarding the selection of the new chairmen were released two days earlier.

According to Railway sources these chairman were given appointments during the term of ex- railway minister Lalu Prasad.

Generally a veteran railway staff is chosen for the position of RRB chairman for a term of three years.

The RRBs are located at 20 cities all over the nation.

At present, several of the chairmen were stuck in controversy with accusations of major wrongdoing and frequent leak of question paper relating to examinations conducted by RRB .

The substantial overhauling procedure is targeted at reforming the recruitment procedure in RRBs, according to sources in the Railways.

India affected by condition in Pakistan, Afghanistan; Manmohan

November 6: Speaking at the India European Summit in New Delhi on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh observed that India was greatly disturbed by the existing conditions in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

Dr. Singh noted that there was no news from Pakistan with regard to David Coleman Headley, who had been taken into custody by the FBI for planning a severe assault in India at the order of extremist faction Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Prime Minister furthermore stated that India was severely affected by conditions in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan as Delhi was a potent force that was responsible for ensuring tranquility and peace in the affected nations.

Dr Manmohan Singh as well articulated optimism that comprehensive deliberations on commerce as well as spending contract with European Union would be completed within a period of one year.

With regard to the climate, Dr. Singh observed that climate was a complicated topic but an effective arrangement required to be in place on the topic within a short time.

Tardy action: Government workers cannot be penalized

November 5: Punitive action taken against a government worker can be nullified if there is "inordinate and unexplained" stoppage in starting it, the Central Administrative Tribunal has observed.

The tribunal released the directive while nullifying a departmental probe against a CPWD engineer on the basis that the government had started the probe after 13-years had elapsed.

"The inordinate and unexplained delay in issuing the charge memorandum, the non-supply of the most crucial piece of evidence, very slow progress of the inquiry and the tone and tenor of the inquiry officer's report, on balance, go against the government," the tribunal, consisting of Vice-Chairman L K Joshi as well as Member Dharam Paul Sharma, noted.

The CAT released the directive on an appeal made by P K Mathur, who retired as superintendent engineer of Central Works Public Department (CPWD), contesting the departmental action taken against him.

The tribunal directed the CPWD to discontinue the probe against Mathur and nullified the consequence of the report with the order to provide every post-retirement resultant advantage to the petitioner.

Rs 300 crore to Bengal for safeguarding tigers

November 5: The Centre has made an allocation of more than Rs 300 crore to West Bengal for saving of tigers in Sunderban as well as Buxa sanctuaries of the state.

The finance was offered shortly in the aftermath of the West Bengal Government agreeing to the tripartite contract in mid-October with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) representing the Centre as well as directors of the two tiger sanctuaries.

A top NTCA representative revealed that approximately Rs 260 crores as well as Rs 38.58 crores was granted to Sunderban and Buxa refuge respectively to ensure that the parks remained out of bounds for humans and their enhanced administration.

According to the government's rehabilitation strategy, Rs 10 lakhs is being every family units to shift from the parks to make it secure for the tigers in danger of extinction. The numbers of tigers has fallen to about 1,400 compared to 10,000 only a decade before in accordance with a current official approximation

Rs 300 crore to Bengal for safeguarding tigers

November 5: The Centre has made an allocation of more than Rs 300 crore to West Bengal for saving of tigers in Sunderban as well as Buxa sanctuaries of the state.

The finance was offered shortly in the aftermath of the West Bengal Government agreeing to the tripartite contract in mid-October with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) representing the Centre as well as directors of the two tiger sanctuaries.

A top NTCA representative revealed that approximately Rs 260 crores as well as Rs 38.58 crores was granted to Sunderban and Buxa refuge respectively to ensure that the parks remained out of bounds for humans and their enhanced administration.

According to the government's rehabilitation strategy, Rs 10 lakhs is being every family units to shift from the parks to make it secure for the tigers in danger of extinction. The numbers of tigers has fallen to about 1,400 compared to 10,000 only a decade before in accordance with a current official approximation.

Government anticipates GDP at 6.5% all through the current financial year

November 4: The Planning Commission anticipates the economy to expand by 6.5 percent all through the present financial period and expects moderation in the rise in prices of food articles in the approaching months with the onset of rabi crops.

The Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission made this revelation while speaking to newspersons at the Economic Editors' Conference in New Delhi on Wednesday adding that the evaluation of fiscal expansion was a bit higher than 6.3 percent as estimated by the Commission before.

Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) as well had estimated 6.5 percent financial growth in the current economic period.

Conveying apprehension with regard to price rise, particularly related to food articles, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Ahluwalia observed that the prices had begun to lessen and would fall additionally in the subsequent months with the onset of rabi crop.

The Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar noted in the convention that the costs of the food articles could lessen just subsequent to the onset of Rabi spell.

He revealed that because of the effect of sparse rainfall coupled with the effect of floods the costs will not lessen at once. He observed that the expansion of agriculture would linger in the region of 1.5 percent this year.

The agriculture minister also revealed that 10 lakh tonnes of wheat together with 5 lakh tonnes of rice have been offered for open market trade to restrain the costs.

Manmohan: Violence a barrier to progress in tribal areas

November 4: In an unambiguous communication to Maoists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asserted that continued economic progress was not achievable under the fear of violence in tribal regions where deprivation and lack of progress was taking a threatening shape.

He acknowledged that there had been a general flaw in according tribals a place in the contemporary fiscal procedures and stressed that calculated mistreatment as well as social and economic neglect of the tribal communities could not further be accepted.

Speaking at a convention of Chief Ministers as well as State Ministers of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi, Dr Singh observed that the crisis encountered by tribals were complicated and needed empathetic comprehension, based on various aspects of tribal life.

"The alienation built over decades is now taking a dangerous turn. We must change our ways of dealing with tribals. We have to win the battle for their hearts," he avowed.

"It cannot be said that we dealt sensitively with these issues in the past. More could be done and more should be done (for tribals)," he furthermore noted.

Simultaneously, his observation, "No sustained economic activity is possible under the shadow of gun. Nor have those who claim to speak for the tribals offered an alternate economic path that is viable", is being regarded as an unambiguous communication to Maoists who profess to be the upholder of tribals' interests..

Emphasizing that tribals must be the chief recipients of the growth procedure, the Prime Minister noted that the path of aggression would only fetch more wretchedness to the populace.

He asserted that violent behavior could not be accepted and the danger would be opposed with grit.

Chidambaram: India cannot regard Islam as an "alien faith"

November 3: In an endeavour to send his message of goodwill to Muslims in no uncertain terms, Home Minister P Chidambaram has observed that the nation could not regard Islam as an "alien faith" and that it was the responsibility of the majority to ensure the safety of the minority.

Chidambaram as well termed "our Muslim brethren" respected populace of the nation which, he noted, can disregard the minorities only at its "peril."

Recollecting the destruction of Babri Masjid in 1992, he labelled the episode as an action of religious extremism and acute chauvinism.

"We cannot view Islam as an alien faith. Our Muslim brethren are honoured citizens of India. This is the land of your forefathers, this is the land of your birth; and this is where you will live and work. It is a matter of our pride for us that all major religions of the world, including Islam, exist and thrive in India ", he made this observation while delivering a lecture at the 30th general conference of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind at Islamic seminary Deoband on Tuesday.

Chidambaram revealed to almost 10,000 Ulemas who had assembled, "A nation can ignore its minorities only at its peril. The golden rule in a democracy is that it is the duty of the majority to protect the minority."

PM: Structural transformations in healthcare segment required

November 3: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has acknowledged that India required structural transformation in the healthcare segment to enhance distribution of facilities at the grassroots level and assist the needy receive the services.

"India has made substantial progress in health determinants over the past decades. The critical indicators of health have shown consistent improvement over the years. But our progress has been much less than what we would have liked to achieve and are capable of achieving," he observed.

"It also does not compare well with what a number of other countries, particularly in South East Asia, have achieved," the Prime Minister made this observation while speaking at the 30th convocation observance of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Singh asserted that like economics, in medicine as well it is effortless to "get lost in high-level research and forget ground realities".

"A common perception among the public is that institutions running with public money end up as ivory towers. It is widely felt that the poor and underprivileged sections of our population do not have access to healthcare system. The system needs structural reforms to improve the quality of delivery of services at the grassroots level. It has to be more sensitive to the needs of women and children," he furthermore observed.

Centre urges naxal-affected states to guarantee NREGA jobs

November 2: With an objective to tackle rebel naxalite activities at grass-root stage, the Centre has urged the states to guarantee that 100 days of jobs is furnished to every entitled rustic family under NREGA in districts hit by ultra left-wing rebel violence.
In a recommendation conveyed to the states, Ministry of Rural Development has as well urged them to adopt successful procedures to make certain that rustic families obtain their "due entitlement" under the Act in the drought affected regions.

"In a recent review of the implementation of NREGA in drought-affected and 33 left-wing extremism-affected districts, it has been found that a large number of rural households have not yet availed of 100 days of employment under NREGA," the Ministry observed.

"It is imperative to intensify efforts to ensure that the rural households (in naxal-affected and drought-hit districts) receive their due entitlements in accordance with the Act," it furthermore revealed.
The ministry recommended the states reeling under naxalite aggression to offer enough jobs in projects, to be carried out under the aegis of NREGA, with prepared valuation and appropriate endorsement and consent.

No suggestion before West Bengal government for negotiations with Maoists

October 31: There was no suggestion offered to the West Bengal government for negotiations with Maoist rebels, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen revealed on Saturday.

"There is no proposal for talks with Maoists," Sen observed while reacting to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's pledge on Friday that if Maoists gave up the course of aggression, the Centre would argue wild the state governments to begin discussions with them.

Making his observation on the presently formed armed unit of the Maoists-supported People's Committee against Police Atrocities in West Midnapore, he noted, "We will have to tackle this."

He further revealed that six extra companies of CRPF would reach West Midnapore for combating Maoist violence.

While giving his reactions to a query on the safety of state secretariat Writers' Buildings, he asserted, There is no real Maoist threat in Kolkata. But we are alert. There is no specific input about any security threat to Writers' Buildings. If we find something, steps will be taken accordingly.

Sen observed there was no warning from the Centre regarding a probable Maoist assault on Kolkata when asked to comment on the topic.

No suggestion before West Bengal government for negotiations with Maoists

October 31: There was no suggestion offered to the West Bengal government for negotiations with Maoist rebels, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen revealed on Saturday.

"There is no proposal for talks with Maoists," Sen observed while reacting to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's pledge on Friday that if Maoists gave up the course of aggression, the Centre would argue wild the state governments to begin discussions with them.

Making his observation on the presently formed armed unit of the Maoists-supported People's Committee against Police Atrocities in West Midnapore, he noted, "We will have to tackle this."

He further revealed that six extra companies of CRPF would reach West Midnapore for combating Maoist violence.

While giving his reactions to a query on the safety of state secretariat Writers' Buildings, he asserted, There is no real Maoist threat in Kolkata. But we are alert. There is no specific input about any security threat to Writers' Buildings. If we find something, steps will be taken accordingly.

Sen observed there was no warning from the Centre regarding a probable Maoist assault on Kolkata when asked to comment on the topic.

Prime Minister emphasises on unrelenting activity

October 30: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has made a strong plea for unrelenting enterprise to attain 9 to 10 per cent expansion pace.

Speaking at the two day Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2009 in New Delhi on Friday, Prime Minister restated that India earnestly desires to settle all unresolved problems with neighbors my means of talks.

'Vision 2020: Challenges for the Next Decade' is the subject for this year's Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

Referring to China, Dr. Singh observed that both India as well as China has enormous prospects to operate jointly and there was generous room on the earth to have scope for the expansion objectives of both the nations.

Looking for tranquility in the neighbouring regions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hoped that Pakistan, struggling with numerous domestic crises, emerged successfull in curbing terror campaign.

Extending his allusion to Pakistan for the third successive day, Dr. Singh observed that the fates of the two nations as well as other additional South Asian nations were strongly connected.

CPI (M) supporters abducted in West Midnapore

October 29: Tribal protestors from Goaltore region in troubled West Midnapore district of West Bengal kidnapped three CPI (M) sympathizers on Thursday morning, as revealed by the police.

According to the police, the three local committee members of the CPI (M) were kidnapped to take revenge following the abduction of a PCPA follower purportedly by supporters owing allegiance to the CPI (M), on Wednesday.

One more local committee member of the CPI (M), Dilip Mahato (40) was abducted from his residence at Manidaha village in the region and killed by the Maoists who shot at him. Police said that his residence was also set on fire by ultra left-wing rebels.

In the meantime, the bandh called by the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) for an indefinite period from 27th October was called off on Wednesday.

PCPA followers had on Tuesday hijacked the Bhubaneswar-Delhi Rajdhani Express at Banstala in the district but security forces took control of the train following a five-hour hostage crisis with all the travelers remaining secure.

West Bengal government to discuss train safety topic with Railways

October 28: Following the takeover of the Rajdhani Express traveling to Delhi by Maoist-supported tribals, the West Bengal government on Wednesday revealed that it would deliberate with the Railways on the topic of adopting safety procedures including personnel with weapons to accompany 35 trains shuttling everyday on the Kharagpur and Jamshedpur segments.

"Daily 35 trains, including eight to ten long distance ones, pass through these areas. The situation demands armed escorts, pilot engines and sanitising of tracks to be ensured for them," Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen made this revelation while talking to newspersons in Kolkata.

Observing that such procedures existed in the regions such as Chhatisgarh, Assam as well as the Northeast, which were affected by ultra left-wing activities, Sen noted, "We are considering such measures in trains in our state. A 42-45 km stretch between Kharagpur and Chandil is the most vulnerable."

The Home Secretary, nonetheless, acknowledged that the procedures would put a strain on the resources of the government.

He was talking to the media in the aftermath of a congregation summoned by Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty to evaluate protection furnished to the Railways.

Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani express resumes journey to Delhi

October 28: The Bhubaneshwar-Delhi Rajdhani express is likely to arrive at Delhi on Wednesday afternoon. A short time after 10 pm on Tuesday, the train left Midnapore station in West Bengal, following a 7-hour torment while a band of Maoists protesters hijacked the train wanting the liberation of Chhatradhar Mahato, who was at the forefront of the Lalgarh blockade earlier. CRPF personnel are accompanying the train to guarantee the security of the travelers for the remaining part of the trip. Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday individually supervised the condition, staying in connection with security agencies at the location as well as the state government.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has told that doctors are present on the train to take care of passengers affected by the event.The Union Home Secretary G K Pillai confirmed while speaking to a television channel that the total train detention episode was chalked out by the Maoists, who conveyed a note that they will prolong their violent campaign. West Bengal Home Secretary has as well acknowledged that Maoists are connected with the episode.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has labelled the show of aggression on the Rajdhani Express as an unpardonable offense. Speaking to reporters in Bhuvaneswar, he alleged that the protesters had subjected hundreds of travellers consisting of women as well as children to difficulty. Mr. Naveen Patnaik asserted that the State governments along with the Railways and the Union Home Ministry required adopting greater caution to guarantee that such events do not take place in the coming days.

He revealed that both Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as well as Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee apprised him of the well-being of travelers.

Mr. Patnaik, who as well deliberated on the topic with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apart from West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, observed that the occasion has emerged for countering the Maoist threat jointly.

Home Ministry censures Maoist assault on CISF team in Dantewada

October 26: The uncalled-for and dreadful assault by the CPI (Maoist) on security personnel on a regular vigil in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday was severely criticized by the centre on Monday .

"The government strongly condemns this unprovoked and heinous attack by the CPI (Maoist) on a public sector security force that was on a routine patrol in an area falling under the jurisdiction of a public sector corporation," a release from the Home Ministry observed.

It observed that the CISF squad was on regular vigil of the region in the neighborhood of a public sector undertaking, National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC), which is associated with the expansion of minerals, provides jobs, augments fiscal action, and performs numerous charitable work for the well being of the people in the region as component of its community social task.

The Ministry raised queries over the motives of "not only the CPI (Maoist) but also to those who speak on their behalf and chastise the government" regarding the cause behind the assault and what point the CPI (Maoist) wants to put across to the nation.

Four personnel of the CISF, consisting of a sub-inspector, a head constable along with two constables, perished and two more were seriously wounded in a landmine explosion in the mines region of NMDC in Bacheli in Dantewada on Sunday.

30 police stations in West Bengal to be fortified

October 25: Following the spate of assault by Naxal rebels on police stations, the West Bengal government has acknowledged that 30 police stations in West Midnapore, Bankura as well as Purulia districts call for urgent fortification to prevent further attacks by the ultra left-wing group.

A safety network has also been put in place to ensure the security of Kolkata although the city was not vulnerable to attacks; Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen made this revelation while addressing the media following his participation in an emergency conference summoned by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya at the state secretariat in Kolkata on Sunday.

"Even though there is no threat perception in Kolkata, the Maoists have maintained link with the city often paying visits," he noted.

Sen affirmed that the chief minister had given the nod to the plan to fortify 30 police stations under LWE (Left Wing Extremism) region to guarantee safety.

"Fortification of the police stations, particularly under Jhargram Sub Division area, will be done with enhancement of manpower, alertness training and sophisticated arms for policemen," Sen added.

A total of Rs 7.5 Crore had already been approved for the objective, Sen observed, furthermore stating that the resolution was adopted after the Chief Secretary had evaluated the show of aggression by the Maoists on Sankrail police station in West Midnapore District on Saturday.

Previously on 20th October, the Maoist rebels, in the first such assault in West Bengal, attacked a police station in West Midnapore district and killed two police officers in a shoot out and abducted the officer-in-charge of the police station.

Ambika Soni: Centre opposed to gagging of TV programmes

October 24: The Centre has revealed that it was opposed to gagging of TV programmes, but backed the creation of a monitoring unit to scrutinize their matter.

"We are not for censorship of TV programmes... there is a debate going on for a long time on what kind of a body should be there to regulate the content of private channels," Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni made this observation while addressing the media on the sidelines of an event in Chandigarh.

The ministry was currently into a discussion with Indian Broadcasters Association, Editors Association and other groups of broadcasters on self control and on the topics of TV channels that were offered to the civil society, she noted.

"I feel that there should be a regulatory body to look into contents of TV channels," she observed.

Revealing that currently about 500 private channels are functioning in the nation, she noted her ministry was opposed to fresh channels becoming functional till the formation of the unit body was deliberated about.

She, nonetheless, told, "The ministry will allow only those new channels which are found financially sustainable for three to five years to operate in the country."

"Only experienced hands will be allowed to operate new channels... besides, the company should ensure that it guarantees employees welfare," she added.

Cong to make a bid for establishing Government in Haryana

October 24: Congress Party Chief Sonia Gandhi has been given a free hand by the Congress Legislature Party in Haryana on Friday to adopt an ultimate resolution connected with the subject of leadership in the state while the Maharashtra CLP will congregate on Saturday to opt for a new leader.

Previously Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called on Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi and conveyed to her that the congress party has already made a strong assertion to establish the government as it has the backing of seven independent MLAs.

On the other hand Indian National Lok Dal as well is convinced of attaining the requisite majority with the backing of independent candidates.

INLD on Friday appealed to the Haryana Governor to offer a chance to other political outfits or units, observing that the electorate has not delivered a convincing support for the Congress.

In a missive to Governor Jagan Nath Pahadia, INLD President Om Parkash Chautala observed that other political outfits should be offered an opportunity to establish a non-Congress government.

The Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party will congregate on Saturday to select a new leader to commence the procedure to select the subsequent chief minister.

Previously on Friday Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi but asserted that he was not in the running for the top post.

He revealed to newspersons in New Delhi that the party's Central leadership as well as MLAs will settle on on the topic of leadership in the state.

Bengal Government opposed to discussions with Maoists

October 24: The Government of West Bengal has adhered to its position of not holding negotiations with Maoists unless they surrender their weapons. Mr. Ardhendu Sen, the State Home Secretary told media persons in Kolkata yesterday that the position of the Government has stayed unaltered on the topic. Mr. Sen acknowledged that the Government adopted a flexible stance by not contesting bail appeals of the Maoists supporters in the Midnapore Court to guarantee the release of kidnapped Police Officer of Sankrail Police Station in West Midnapore district of the state.

In the meantime, CPI General Secretary Mr. A.B. Bardan has exhorted the State Government to hold without any reservations discussions with the Maoists to solve the crises of ultra left-wing insurgency. Speaking to newspersons in Kolkata, Mr. Bardan nonetheless resisted the option of the utilization of the army to combat the Maoists actions and urged for political settlement of the crises in its totality. Reports suggested that the State Government has resolved to fortify police arrangement in 18 police stations at Maoists affected regions relating to the police upgrading system. The Centre has also fixed an exclusive amount of six crore rupees for this objective.

Parliaments Winter session to commence in November

October 22: Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal revealed that the winter session of Parliament will begin from 19th November and finish on 22nd December with the session comprising a total of 24 sittings,

A resolution with regard to this was adopted at a congregation of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs presided over by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.

Towards the closing stages of the budget session this year, the government along with the opposition had preferred no less than 100 sittings of Parliament annually and the winter session to extend for six weeks.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had also believed that Parliament should extend for a period of 110 days in a year.

Usually, the winter session continues for four weeks starting in the closing week of November and finishing immediately prior to Christmas

Moily: Government to re-examine process for appointing judges

October 21: Government may re-examine the procedure of selection of judges to higher judiciary and wants to chalk out a wide-ranging bill to cope with objections raised against corrupt practices of judges, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily revealed.

He made this observation while talking to newspersons in New Delhi on Wednesday adding that Government would not accept the appointment of "tainted" persons as judges.

Simultaneously, he declined to comment on Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran whose appointment to the Supreme Court has not been cleared with regard to accusations of land grabbing.

"Already there is a memorandum of procedure (on appointment of judges) which we are going by as of today. I am not reiterating that the same thing will continue. May be, we have to revisit the procedure. Whatever we do, we need to take the judiciary into full confidence" he observed.

He was responding to a query whether the Government was thinking of altering the process for such appointments.

5 pc disinvestment in NTPC sanctioned by Government

October 20: The Union Cabinet has adopted a resolution to disinvest 5 percent in National thermal Power Corporation, a public sector undertaking while stating that 10 percent disinvestment will be effected in one more public sector organization, namely Satluj Vidyut Nigam Limited.

The government's share in NTPC will stay at 84.5 per cent following this disinvestment. This was revealed by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma while addressing the media in the aftermath of the congregation of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in New Delhi on Monday.

Presently the government enjoys a stake of 89.5 per cent in NTPC.

At the current assessment, the government may be capable of garnering in excess of Rs 8,000 crore in the wake of divesting five per cent stake in the company, which produces above 30,000 MW of power yearly.
Presently its market capitalisation is estimated at Rs 1, 72,000 crores.

Anand Sharma as well revealed that disinvestment to the extent of 10 percent would be effected in one more public sector organization namely Satluj Vidyut Nigam Limited, which is connected with hydropower production.
Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam is a combined undertaking between the Centre as well as the Himachal Pradesh government. The Centre enjoys a 75 per cent stake in the JV, while the remainder is in the possession of the state government.

PM discusses national safety topics with President

October 18: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on President Pratibha Patil on Saturday and deliberated on a number of nationwide and global subjects, consisting of topics connected with national safety.

The deliberations come in the wake of enhanced Maoist aggression and the government already giving the go-ahead for an anti-Naxal drive.

Rashtrapati Bhavan sources revealed that the two leaders were closeted for 30 minutes. The Prime Minister met the President and conveyed his greetings on the occasion of Diwali.

"They also discussed various issues of national and international importance, particularly internal security issues, agricultural production and food security," Rashtrapati Bhavan sources revealed.

The Prime Minister as well apprised the President with regard to his approaching trip to Thailand where he will take part in the ASEAN India summit. Singh will journey to Thailand on 24th October lasting for two days and is as well anticipated to call on a number of world leaders, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao being one of them.

Centre is undivided on tackling Maoist violence: Rahul

October 16: Against the backdrop of a significant increase in naxal agression, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday revealed that there was total agreement at the Centre with regard to tackling the Maoist aggression and blamed the non-Congress governed Orissa and Chhattisgarh for not succeeding in going to the populace to curb the crises.

"There is complete unanimity as far as the government is concerned on naxalism. State governments should reach out to the people to combat it but governments like Chhatisgarh and Orissa are not doing so," Gandhi observed.

Responding to a query on augmentation in naxal aggression, he noted that apart from for several areas the general law and order condition in the nation was good.

The arrival of complicated arms, he observed, was accountable for violent behavior all over the globe.

Mamata wants forces to be removed from Lalgarh

October 15: Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee has called for the removal of combined operations by security agencies in strife torn Lalgarh, making accusations that the CPI(M) had utilized raids by security personnel to let loose panic in an attempt to achieve dominance of the region.

"We demand that the Centre take steps to ensure withdrawal of the joint forces at Lalgarh where the CPI-M is capturing village after village with the help of joint forces," she made this observation following a party congregation in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Banerjee noted that her party was against aggression and slaughter of people, but what was taking place under the garb of combined action was a "farce".

She revealed that just the CPI-M was permitted to stage congregations in the region while restrictions were clamped on Opposition outfits in West Midnapore district where Lalgarh is positioned.

Rahul: Arunachal belongs to India

October 15: Against the backdrop of China's protest to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Arunachal Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday affirmed that the state belonged to India.

"Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian state, Tamil Nadu is an Indian state, and Jharkhand is an Indian state. My attitude towards all the states is the same and it will not be changed. For me Arunachal Pradesh is like any other state. It doesnt make any difference," he made this revelation while talking to newspersons in Ranchi.

He was queried about his tactics to fortify the Youth Congess in Arunachal when China was opposed to the Prime Minister's visit there.

Gandhi did not respond to one more query on how relations with China would advance when Beijing was resorting to such objections.

AI pilots recommence normal activities

September 30: Air India executive pilots have shelved their cease work agitation led by Capt V K Bhalla, who revealed to the media in New Delhi that the agitation was being shelved in the backdrop of guarantee provided by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel that status quo would be maintained on related subjects. He observed that Executive Pilots would recommence their duties without resorting to any fur agitations. Capt Bhalla expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for arbitrating on the topic. He as well expressed regret to the public for the troubles triggered by the protest.

Nearly 200 Air India pilots had abstained from work on health grounds since Saturday in complaint against a 50 per cent slash in their output connected payments and recompense of their outstanding flying payments of three months. The action had compelled the national carrier to terminate above 240 flights in the previous four days.

On Tuesday Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel requested the agitating pilots to recommence their activities and cautioned them that if they failed to resume their normal activities Air India management was at liberty to adopt any step against them. Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav observed that output connected payments and grants of July had been released and it would be revealed in the financial credit of pilots by the 6th or 7th of October.

DMK, Cong MPs call on PM on TN fishermen assault

September 22: A group of DMK along with Congress MPs on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and exhorted him to engage in talks with the Sri Lankan government with regard to the troubles of dislodged Tamils together with the recurrent assaults on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The group consisting of Union ministers A Raja, P Chidambaram, Dayanidhi Maran along with G K Vasan, observed that Colombo should be urged "in no uncertain terms" to direct its navy not to launch assaults on the fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu. The MPs as well called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi in this connection.

In a communication to the Prime Minister, DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu and Tamil Nadu PCC president K V Thangkabalu appealed to the Centre to urge the Sri Lankan authorities to guarantee a respectable existence to the thousands of dislodged Tamil populace and also offer an enduring way out of the difficulties encountered by Tamil fishermen.

There should be attempts to retain the Katchatheevu Island and the adjoining ocean no less than on "lease on perpetuity" condition to allow Indian fishermen to carry out their activities devoid of any additional persecution, the communication noted.

With regard to the crisis faced by over 2.6 lakh Tamils, it observed, "We cannot completely close our eyes and shy away from projecting the gross human rights violations and the gruelling experience being undergone by the displaced Tamil civilians."

Mahendi episode: Probe ordered by Bihar Government

September 22: In the aftermath of the extensive occurrences of acute allergic effect caused by contaminated Mehendi on women and children all over the state, the Bihar Government has given directives for a top level probe. State Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar has urged the state Director General Police to examine every phase of the occurrence.

Three FIRs have been registered with connection to the episode. Agency reports have revealed that the state health department has gathered quantities of contaminated mehandi and dispatched it to laboratories for examination. Above 1,500 occurrences of mehendi allergic contaminations have been received. Women together with children were plagued by irritation and reactions on hands after putting the mehendi concoction.

Reports of women and children troubled by mehendi contamination were received from Jehanabad, Patna, Arwal, and Nawada along with Darbhanga. People suffering from allergic reactions caused by mehendi were given saline and anti allergic medications at hospitals and afterwards they were released.

Krishna; India anticipates Pakistan to take action against Hafiz Saeed quickly

September 22: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna strongly observed that India anticipated Pakistan to take action quickly against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the Chief of the prohibited Jamaat-ud-Dawaa, the brain responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai rebel assaults.

Mr. Krishna made this observation while talking to a Private television Channel, Mr. Krishna noted India would be keen to notice how Pakistan progresses with connection to the Mumbai rebel assaults .

He noted that Hafeez Saeed masterminded the violence and India anticipates Pakistan to take action quickly. In reply to a query linked to Pakistan supposedly placing Saeed under house detention, the External Affairs Minister affirmed that there were contradictory facts related to the topic and he was awaiting a complete account of the real situation.

He restated India's stance that those accountable for the Mumbai aggression have to be tackled and penalised. The External Minister S.M Krishna who reached New York yesterday is slated to take part in deliberations with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the periphery of the UN General Assembly.

Security forces prepared to combat terror perils: Chidambaram

September 22: Home Minister P Chidambaram has asserted that security forces would offer a quick as well as critical reaction to any likely terror perils from across the border.

"We are increasing our level of preparedness to meet any terror threat or terror attack. And in case of a terror threat or terror attack our response will be swift and decisive," he made this observation while addressing the media on the periphery of an event to observe the unveiling of 22 additional police stations in New Delhi.

Chidambaram noted that security together with intelligence agencies were competent to tackle any menace to the country.

On the episode of the inaugural ceremony of the police stations, Chidambaram as well praised the Delhi Police officers with regard to the detention of a key naxal leader Kobad Gandhi subsequent to a warning from Central intelligence forces

Hunger strike by IIT professors on September 24

September 21: Nearly fifteen hundred Professors associated with 7 IITs considered as premier educational institutions attracting the best talent of the nation would go on a hunger strike on the 24th of this month in protest against what they accuse of unfairness in pay structure. The teaching staff federation which assembled at IIT Kharagpore on Monday resolved to adopt this measure against the pay scale, which they affirm places limitations on encouragement and is devoid of feat oriented encouragement.

The President of the Federation, Prof. M. Thenmozhi told the media that the protest would take place without disruption of work and classes in these academic establishments would continue in the normal way. He noted that the Federation would put forward a new memorandum connected to their claim to the Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal.

Governments wait and watch approach to stimulus packages

September 19: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has ascertained that the government would adopt a wait and watch strategy prior to taking a resolution on withdrawing the incentive packages proclaimed as India's economic expansion slowed down because of the worldwide fiscal catastrophe. He made this observation while talking to news persons in Bangalore. Mr. Mukherjee noted that the global vision was that incentive package should not be rolled back till complete revival in Europe along with North America was noticeably observable.

On augmentation of prices, Mr. Mukherjee revealed that even when wholesale price rise was downbeat, it did not offer any relief to the general populace, as the purchaser price rise was climbing. He affirmed that with a view to avert the unfavorable brunt of growing prices, bringing in of necessary supplies, including sugar, edible oil and pulses from overseas was being supported where there was inadequate provision. The Finance Minister added that the Centre had as well urged the states to refurbish the public distribution system to shield those living beneath poverty line from the brunt of price augmentation by offering subsidy in food items.

Mr. Mukherjee also revealed that attempts were being made to guarantee that the simplicity campaign does not neglect the defensive actions to safeguard individuals.

Nirupama Rao: Pak should tackle rebel aggression from its terrain against India

September 19: New Delhi avowed that Pakistan should tackle in complete earnestness India's apprehensions on terror campaign. Addressing the media in New Delhi prior to the UNGA Meet in New York along with G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in the coming week, the Foreign Secretary, Mrs. Nirupama Rao observed that India could not close its eyes to terror campaign aimed at India from Pakistan's terrain. India's hope is that Pakistan should concentrate earnestly and significantly to its apprehensions on terror campaign aimed at it from there. She noted that it was the task of Pakistan to end the escalating occurrences of terror campaign, aimed at India from Pakistan's terrain.

Mrs. Rao revealed that dates were being confirmed for congregations between the Foreign Minister of India along with Pakistan and between her and her Pakistani equivalent.

Responding to a query on Pakistan's position that delaying the composite dialogue procedure would only aid those who are opposed to tranquility in South Asia, Mrs. Rao, noted that meeting between India and Pakistan favours the enduring concerns of both the nations, but the composite dialogue procedure is reliant on an ambiance bereft of aggression, Pakistan should tackle directly the topic of aggression from their territory.

SC prolongs stay on commemorative buildings in Lucknow

September 18: Articulating its displeasure with regard to the Uttar Pradesh Governments appeal with regard to the purported breach of a responsibility for cessation of activities at Kanshi Ram Memorial Sthal in Lucknow, the Apex Court observed that the stay on all similar activities would remain.

"The affidavit (of the UP Government) is not satisfactory," a Bench consisting of Justices B N Agrawal along with Aftab Alam noted.

The Bench affirmed it has to resolve whether the provisional directive will remain in force to observe what had occurred subsequent to its orders.

"The question here has many, many burning issues," it remarked at some point in a short trial in the case.

Jammu and Kashmir forms Apex Committee to scrutinize return of Kashmiri Pandits' to the region

September 16: The Jammu and Kashmir government has formed a top level Apex Committee led by Minister for Revenue, Mr. Raman Bhalla to scrutinize the arrival of migrant Kashmiri Pandit to the Valley. The committee will as well supervise efficient accomplishment of Prime Ministers Package previously made known for migrant Pandits coming back to the region.

The Prime Minister had revealed a package of Rs 1618 crore for the objective. The Prime Minister previously in his package had revealed a Rs. 7.5 lakh fiscal aid for a family for restoration and renovation of their residences positioned in the valley. In his package the Prime Minister had as well proclaimed 6000 government jobs for Kashmiri pandits in the valley, with the state government providing 3000 jobs. Salaries of the remaining 3000 will be sustained by the Central government in the opening stages.

Every Kashmiri pandit migrant who arrives in the valley will keep on obtaining the aid for 2 years as previously stated in the package. Their children will also receive monthly compensation.

Congress-NCP coalition discussion indecisive

September 16: Discussions related to the seat-sharing arrangement between veteran Congress as well as NCP leaders for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Maharashtra to be conducted next month stayed indecisive last night with both the political outfits resolving to congregate once more on Wednesday morning.

The two political entities termed the opening official discussion regarding seat-sharing for the 13th October Assembly elections as acceptable.

Sources in the Congress termed the negotiations as the beginning of the procedure where the two parties recognized constituencies where they were powerful. Congress is prepared to allocate between 113 to 115 seats to the NCP from the overhaul seats of 288, the sources revealed. In 2004, Congress fielded its candidates in 164 seats and occupied 69 while NCP fought in 124 seats and bagged 71.

The discussions which lasted for two hours were held at Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's official residence Varsha', located in south Mumbai.

Stones thrown at Rahul Gandhi's train

September 16: Three coaches of the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi express in which Rahul Gandhi was undertaking a trip as part of an austerity measure were struck by stones on Tuesday night close to Panipat, approximately 100 km away from Delhi. However the AICC general secretary was not travelling in the compartments which were stoned.

Following the episode, reports of passengers getting hurt were not received while sources in the SPG revealed Rahul was not exposed to any danger regarding the occurrence.
As revealed by a Northern Railways spokesman the incident took place as several children threw stones at the train as it was nearing a railway crossing in the vicinity of Ghokrunda station in Panipat district in Haryana. A number of window panes of three compartments -C1, C2 and C4 - were damaged following the occurrence.

When the episode occurred the train was moving at a speed of 20 km per hour according to railway sources. The Congress leader was present in the C-3 compartment in the midst of revelations by railway authorities that he was least troubled by the episode.

Prime Minister warns of augmented cases of incursion from across LoC

September 16: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has warned that the augmentation in cases of incursion from Bangladesh, Nepal, from across the line of control along with the sea course is a subject of apprehension. The Prime Minister made this observation while delivering a talk at the Directors General Police congregation in New Delhi on Tuesday. Dr Singh also noted that subversive forces along with radical factions in Jammu and Kashmir were once more trying to generate the notion of extensive chaos in the state.

Affirming that the condition in the north eastern regions of the nation was a subject of alarm, Dr Singh asserted that strict but considerate tackling of law and order in the North East was essential. Terming left wing radicalism as the most severe danger to national safety, the Prime Minister observed that notwithstanding the government's endeavours, the degree of aggression persisted in mounting in the disturbed states.

Emphasizing on the need to accord great importance to the up gradation of police, the Prime Minister observed that every police station should be self-reliant and provided with necessary paraphernalia with regard to anti-riot equipment, enhanced arms, transportable forensic unit and should have right of entry to data base administration network linked to offenders. He as well emphasized on the need for each city to possess a state of the art police control room equipped with digitized maps.

Pranab: Drought not as upsetting as estimated before

September 15: Lessening apprehensions linked to the drought condition to some extent, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee observed that the condition at present was not as precarious as it seemed in the opening stages, because of enhanced agricultural segment scenario following fresh augmented showers.

"Thanks to late monsoon, the problem (of drought) is not as alarming as it was visualised in the month of July and early part of August," he noted.

He made this observation at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi noting, "Despite this drought, why we felt a little confident was because of huge buffer stock which we were having in respect of foodgrain," furthermore stating that the nations rice along with wheat reserve were over the buffer requirements .

Mukherjee observed that the nation would enjoy augmented rice along with wheat production. He affirmed that there would be an excess of 17.7 million tonnes of wheat in the vending term.

Government rubbishes news of aggression by Chinese forces

September 15: The government on Tuesday described as erroneous news in the media which revealed that a couple of ITBP jawans suffered wounds as Chinese forces opened fire on them in Sikkim in recent times.

"A media report about two ITBP jawans having been injured due to firing from across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has come to notice. The report is factually incorrect," according to a statement released by External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash in New Delhi.

The news had revealed that the ITBP personnel were hurt when Chinese forces opened fire on them in Kerang located in the north of Sikkim roughly a fortnight back.

Rahul Gandhi follows example set by mother

September 15: Following in the footsteps of his mother Sonia Gandhi who is also the UPA Chairperson, in the commitment to reduce lavish lifestyles, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday made a trip to Ludhiana travelling in the chair car of Shatabdi Express.

Following a day his mother journeyed to Mumbai in the economy class, Rahul entered the train as a passenger on Tuesday morning from the New Delhi Railway Station to go to the industrial city located in North India.
Rahul declined to receive flowers offered to him at the station, terming it as the right of the travelers who make use of the executive class and as well made claims that water in a plastic cup that is given to others ought to be provided to him.

Those making their journey by the train were glad to hear that the youthful leader was their co-passenger.

Sonia commends IT commerce of the nation

September 15: Commending India's attempts to attain the top slot in Information technology, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has observed that its accomplishment has brought to the fore the determination of Indian aptitude, resourcefulness and tough activity. She made these comments subsequent to unveiling the Infosys technology site in Mysore on Tuesday.

The Global Education unit of the organization has been established at an expenditure of Rupees 800 crores. Mrs. Gandhi congratulated Infosys for creating biggest solitary building along with the biggest guidance site in Asia.
She as well termed her trip to Infosys campus as an enjoyable diversion from her life related to political activities.

Sonia begins canvassing for 13th Oct elections, avoids coalition topic

September 14: Avoiding the topic of coalition with Sharad Pawar's NCP, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday commenced her party's canvassing for the 13th October Maharashtra Assembly elections with an urge to activists to go to the masses with new energy.

Sonia confirmed her outfits binding obligation to safeguarding the wellbeing of the "aam admi", who was the focal point of the congress' principles and ventures.
"Your enthusiasm and vigour gives me confidence that the Congress will emerge victorious in the Maharashtra Assembly elections once again," she made these comments while addressing party activists on the occasion of unveiling the recently refurbished Mumbai Congress head office.

The refurbished Congress head office has been named after ex Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"You deserve kudos for ensuring that the fruits of the policies and programmes of our government in the state reached the targeted beneficiaries," she noted, urging them to get in touch with the general populace.

Both Congress, BJP bag one seat in Rajkot district

September 14: Both the BJP as well as the Congress on Monday secured one assembly seat in Gujarat where by-elections for seven constituencies was conducted on 10th September.

Congress bagged the Dhoraji Assembly seat which it had previously won as its contestant Jayesh Radadia vanquished his BJP opponent Jayshukh Thesia by a margin of 15,988 votes.

BJP extracted the Jasdan seat from Congress as its contestant Bharat Bhogra vanquished Congress opponent Bhavna Bavalia by a margin of 14,774 votes.

By-elections were conducted in Dhoraji when the seat remained unoccupied following the victory of Vitthal Radaidia from Porbandar Lok Sabha seat. Congress had furnished the ticket to his son.

The Congress, nonetheless, suffered reverses in its stronghold Jasdan, which it had always won since the time of Independence. The seat remained unoccupied when the sitting MLA Kuverji Bavalia got nominated to Lok Sabha from Rajkot.

Rajbhasha honours conferred by President

September 14: President Pratibha Patil conferred honours that included the esteemed Indira Gandhi Rajbhasha Award to 47 people for their outstanding activities related to Hindi in Central government offices on the event of Hindi Diwas.
The honours distributed in a variety of types included shield, certificate, cash, also consisted of the Rajiv Gandhi National Award for Original Book Writing on Gyan Vigyan, Indira Gandhi Rajbhasha Award for Original Book Writing in Hindi and Hindi Grih Patrika Award as revealed by an official announcement.

The honours are conferred to promote officials to spread the application of Official Language by Central government staff, as well as Public Sector Undertakings, Corporations, Banks etc. by virtue of enthusiasm, encouragement as well as support.

Magazines, periodicals and journals published by the Department of Official Language are an additional vital device in the sphere of promotion of Official Language.
The event was chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram while Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken felicitated the invitees.

Chidambaram: terror dangers critical

September 14: Home Minister P Chidambaram has observed that in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror assaults, groups operating from Pakistan such as Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue in their attempts to commence terror assaults in India, subjecting the country to serious threats.

Unveiling a three-day convention of Directors General and Inspectors General of police coordinated by Intelligence Bureau, Chidambaram noted that aggression from across the border was a topic of great apprehension and the police force in India at all times encountered problems and subsequent to 26/11, the task has turned out to be more critical.

In the convention Home Minister P Chidambaram as well observed that Maoists were trying to enter into an association with north-east rebel factions.

The Home Minister noted the nations safety is exposed to a number of dangers from sections comprising terror campaign, Left Wing Radicalism and rebellion in various states.

Jet Airways stops 281 flights; discussions to recommence in Mumbai

September 12: Jet Airways stopped 281 flights on Saturday, 21 of them worldwide, as the cease work by the pilots continued for the fifth day following prolonged discussions between them and the management resulted in a stalemate.

The pilots noted that were optimistic of a solution on Saturday as talks between the administration and National Aviators' Guild (NAG), the union heading the protest over dismissal of several pilots, will recommence in Mumbai this evening.

"We have cancelled 281 flights for the day. Of these, 260 are domestic and 21 international," a Jet spokesperson revealed this to a news organization.

The private carrier runs 365 national and 74 worldwide flights everyday.

Pakistan launches rockets at India, BSF strikes back

September 12: Two rockets were launched by Pakistani forces last night in the direction of Indian terrain which landed in farming expanses in two adjoining villages, with the BSF striking back utilizing machine guns.

There was, nevertheless, no sufferer on the Indian terrain in the Pakistani act, BSF Inspector General Himmat Singh noted.

Singh revealed that Pakistan launched rockets which fell in an uncovered expanse at villages Modhey and Dhoneya Khurd at after 10 pm following which the BSF forces retaliated by started firing from machine guns.

He also stated that BSF officials contacted their Pakistani equivalents for a flag assembly where India would register a robust objection against the act.

The assault took place on a day when the BSF positioned its first group of women constables at the border to make the process of bodily checks of women going for work in agricultural land easier.

Brinda Karat detained in Tamil Nadu

September 12: Brinda Karat a member of the CPI(M) Politburo was detained along with several other All India Democratic Women's Association campaigners in Tamil Nadu on Saturday while they ere going to a village in Madurai district, which was rocked by violence because of a conflict between upper-caste Hindus and Dalits the previous year.

Together with Karat, AIDWA General Secretary Vasuki, Treasurer Jhansi Rani, State Secretary Thirumalli Rani as well as six other campaigners were detained by Thirulparankundram police, thwarting their trip to Uthaopuram village.

A Dalit was killed in firing by the police in the village the precvious year after a conflict with regard to a controversy linked to a local temple.

Police offered no immediate cause for the detention..

Flood warning announced in National Capital

September 11: Delhi Government on Friday sounded flood warning in the aftermath of continual showers in the national capital.

Official sources revealed that the flood monitoring section has as well been urged to adopt basic plans to remove people from the regions bordering the Yamuna River and other locations which are situated at lower levels.

The resolution to sound flood warnings was adopted at a top-level congregation to evaluate the condition as a result of showers which has led to deluge-type condition in a number of areas that are located at lower levels.

Mayawati government suffers jolt as SC orders cessation of building actions at Kanshi Ram Memorial

September 11: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the cessation with immediate effect of all future building, restoration and preservation actions at the seven locations of Kanshi Ram Memorial Sthal in Lucknow.

The Supreme Court as well gave orders to the state government to guarantee that excepting the workers keeping vigil, no one else shall be permitted to stay in the vicinity the locations after 7 pm on Friday.

A Bench of Justices B N Agrawal along with Aftab Alam also released show cause directives to the state Chief Secretary for purportedly flouting its 8th September ruling in which the UP government had provided a guarantee that it will not perform any additional building actions.

The Supreme Court observed that the Chief Secretary shall in "unambiguous" conditions elucidate the type of building action allegedly being executed at the location as revealed in media reports.

The Supreme Court urged the newspersons of the media establishments, who exposed the building actions to provide all facts to back their claim.

CBI forms exclusive panel to look into YSR's death

September 11: CBI has created an exclusive panel to look into the demise of ex Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in a chopper disaster last week following the state government making a claim for a probe by the centre.

The panel under SP CBI Vizag G Nageshwar Rao will look into the baffling conditions under which the chopper with Reddy along with two others got destroyed in the thick woods of Nallamala forest expanse in Kurnool district resulting in the demise of all the five passengers including the two pilots.

The team will scour the location where Reddy's chopper met with the catastrophe and examine the log facts of the Air Traffic Control in Hyderabad along with Chennai.

Officials in the agency revealed that orders for the investigation have been given under section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Flood claims six lives in West Bengal

September 11: With the floods claiming the lives of three additional people, the casualties resulting from the deluge in West Bengal has climbed to six, with an Air Force helicopter dropping packets of food in the most badly affected regions in Hooghly district as a venture of the state government's aid support.

Evaluating the condition at a conference with Food and Supply Minister Paresh Adhikari and veteran officials of the related departments, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta told newspersons that the Air Force had assisted the state government in dropping packets to the most badly distressed Khanakool and its adjoining areas in Hooghly district.

Overall five districts have been distressed by the flood because of heavy showers and discharge of above three lakh cusecs from the DVC basin till previous Tuesday. .

While the discharge of water by the DVC was lessened, time would be required to recover from the devastation caused already including the fissures in river guard walls.

Dasgupta, nonetheless, articulated apprehension at the worsening condition in Howrah along with Hooghly districts.

Government expands compensation package to anti-Sikh violence sufferers

September 11: Government on Thursday resolved to expand the compensation package to the sufferers of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence with an objective to accomplish a guarantee provided to Parliament.

A congregation of the Union Cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its consent to expand the package to the states and Union Territories which did not figure in the earlier compensation package for which an expenditure of Rs 714.76 crore has been allocate.

"It is possible that all the relief supposed to have been given to the victims has not been given, so it has been extended to enable the Centre to fulfill its assurances given in Parliament," I&B Minister Ambika Soni said.

The compensation was designed for offering help to the sufferers in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, and Punjab along with Delhi.

Sibal: 21400 additional schools, 52000 teachers to be appointed this year

September 10: Over 21400 additional schools will be established and more than 52,000 teachers will be appointed in the course of the present year under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Aid will be provided to states to establish 100 additional polytechnics in districts where these establishments are absent and archetypal degree colleges will be founded in districts with noteworthy populace of underprivileged segments.

This was revealed by the Human Resource Development minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal while talking to newspersons on the condition of the accomplishments of his ministry in the opening 100 days of the UPA government. He as well referred to various bills which are in the offing for presentation in Parliament .These consists of a bill for obligatory evaluation and official approval in higher education by means of an autonomous monitoring authority, a bill to avert, forbid and penalize educational mismanagement, a bill to control overseas educational contributors and revising the copyright Act. He noted these are expected to be tabled in the following sitting of parliament.

Stress between financial and economic plan to affect constancy: RBI

September 10: The Reserve Bank on Thursday observed that it was not capable of ensuring price constancy if the Centre kept on taking loans of big sums from the market to finance its expenses. Cautioning the government that augmenting strain between economic and financial policies could affect economic constancy, RBI Governor D Subbarao observed that elevated price rises could thrust the yield curve in the upward direction, leading to unfavorable consequence for bank's prosperity.

He made these comments while delivering a lecture at a valedictory seminar of the FICCI-IBA in Mumbai this afternoon. Emphasizing on attempts for quickly going back to the course of financial strengthening, he noted that in India as well, there was a quandary of balancing the stress between economic and monetary policies.

Mr. Subbarao further added that, India's swift assimilation with the rest of the nations could also create intricate tests to its fiscal constancy and the nation would chiefly be subjected to the stress of globalization. He, nevertheless, affirmed that regardless of the worldwide recession India's fiscal segment continued to be stable as well as secure.

Krishna affirms Pakistans efforts to safeguard Saeed

September 10: Prior to his talks with Pakistani equivalent Shah Mehmood Qureshi, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna affirmed that Pakistan was engaging in a ploy to obstruct the probe into the 26/11 Mumbai terror assaults for its own sake. He revealed that Pakistan was protecting the Hafiz Saeed who masterminded the Mumbai aggression. While appearing in Television Channel he stated that there clear that Saeed was the mastermind of the Mumbai violence and it was established by facts.

Mr. Krishna as well emphasized that terror campaigns would feature in talks with Qureshi at the UN General Assembly in New York afterward this month. Previously Mr. Krishna had noted that proceedings against terror operatives like Saeed will assure New Delhi of Islamabad's genuineness in fighting cross-border aggression.

New Delhi has clarified on a number of occasions that it had provided sufficient proof to book Saeed, the originator of the prohibited Lashkar-e-Taiba that afterward changed to Jamaat ud-Dawa, law court.

Army major sacrifices life in thwarting incursion attempt in Jammu and Kashmir

September 9: Army thwarted an incursion attempt in Mendhar region of the Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir, exterminating three ultras but Major Akash Singh of the 5 Maratha Light Infantry sacrificed his life while thwarting the terrorist design. .

Major Singh exterminated two militants prior to succumbing to injuries as the ultras fired bullets at him.

While observing the action of invaders close to LoC in Sona Gali region of Mendhar segment, approximately 200 kilometres from Jammu, troops encountered them at roughly 2300 hrs on Tuesday night, sources in the defence ministry revealed.

The invaders started firing at the security personnel who reacted and in the following conflict two ultras were exterminated while Major Akash Singh who received bullet wounds lost his life while trying to defend the nation.

Government asserts NREGA & SGSY performing efficiently

September 9: The Government has resolved to reorganize the rural service venture to abolish the difficulties faced by the segments of the society in the BPL class and attain the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

He made this observation while launching a day-long meeting of state ministers of Rural Development along with Panchayati Raj in New Delhi.

Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that NREGA along with Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana were performing competently and were safeguarding the underprivileged against natural catastrophe.

With a number of states falling back in the accomplishment of rural job venture NREGA, Dr. Singh urged them to augment their feat in the flagship venture of the government.

"We still have miles to go before we achieve the full potential of this unique legislation. The performance of the programme has been uneven across states. Some states have shown good results, some are lagging behind. I urge them to catch up," he noted.

UAE aircraft with weapons seized at Kolkata airport‎

September 8: The aircraft belonging to the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates which has been seized at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport in Kolkata will be granted consent to leave only after obtaining authorization from Defence, Civil Aviation and External Affairs Ministries.

An official of the Airport Authority revealed in Kolkata on Tuesday that Intelligence Bureau along with Defence Ministry personnel are still questioning the pilot along with cabin group of the aircraft.

The flight was seized as it was transporting weapons without previous notice though the obligatory assertion was required. Central Industrial Security Force Personnel are protecting the aircraft currently.

In the meantime, the topic has been taken up by the Defence and External Affairs Ministries in Delhi with their equivalents in United Arab Emirates. The flight was on its course from Abu Dhabi to China that made a landing in Kolkata for refilling.

Ishrat Jahan exterminated in false conflict, probe reveals

September 8: A Metropolitan Court in Ahmedabad has delivered a verdict that the murder of college student Ishrat Jahan and three others in June 2004 was as well an example of false conflict.

Previously, the Gujarat Police I.G. D.G. Vanzara and a number of other cops had admitted before the Apex Court that the extermination of Shohrabuddin Sheikh was as well a result of false conflict. The Gujarat Governments submission before the Court in Ishrat Jahan's case was challenged by Ishrat's mother Shameema Kausar.

India makes light of Chinese invasion in Leh

September 8: Attaching little significance to the latest Chinese invasions in Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has affirmed these events were not a "cause of concern" and these will be "taken care of".

"Certainly it is not a cause of concern. I would like to reassure everyone concerned that our boundaries are intact and we will certainly take care of such incidents," Krishna told reporters at New Delhi on Monday when queried if the invasions by Chinese were a basis of apprehension for India.

Terming as "most peaceful" the border with China, he revealed "with China, I think the boundary has been one of the most peaceful. So, there is no issue on that. There is no problem on that. These incursions will be certainly sorted out".

CPI (M) urges EC to summon conference with regard to EVMs

September 7: The CPI (M) has urged the Election Commission to summon an all-party congregation to dispel their misgivings about the dependability of Electronic Voting Machines.

Subsequent to the political outfits debacle in the General elections, CPI (M) has been troubled on the topics that led to its electoral catastrophe.

Unable to reveal a specific cause publicly announced, the party blamed EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) accountable for the miserable performance at the polls.
The CPI (M) urged the Election Commission on Monday to summon an all-party congregation to dispel their misgivings with regard to the dependability of Electronic Voting Machines.

The claim was made at a two-hour long talks between top CPI(M) leaders, Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury to have urged for the full Commission in the company of specialists and technical experts from both sides, including those from public sector firms ECIL and BEL which manufacture the EVMs.

"The EC has taken note of all doubts expressed by us and said they will consider the suggestions we have made," Yechury revealed this to a news agency subsequent to the congregation.

Buddhadeb suffers jolt in advancement venture

September 7: West Bengal government on Monday abandoned its grand IT township venture where major organizations like Infosys and Wipro were preparing to establish their units in the aftermath of accusations of abnormality in land acquirement.

The development comes as a major blow to the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government which experienced a big discomfiture subsequent to aggressive campaigns with regard to land purchase at Singur, from where Tata withdrew its famed Nano project, and Nandigram that was rocked by large scale violence.

The government had set up a five-member group on 4th September to probe the accusations of abnormality in land acquirement for the IT center following the detention of one of the directors of a joint sector company created for establishing the venture.

The government revealed that sectors linked to Urban Development Housing, Land and Land Reforms, and PWD preferred the abolishment of the ventures.

Manmohan troubled by conviction rate linked to SC/ST Act

September 7: Articulating regret in connection with under 30 pc conviction rate for cases of violence against SCs and STs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the states to pay extra thought to the topic and observed court cases linked to to such topics ought to be given due precedence.

Reports of atrocities against SCs, STs and senior citizens continue to appear with disturbing regularity. I have in fact written to the Chief Ministers of all states recently to enforce the provisions of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It is shocking that conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SCs and STs is less than 30 percent against the average of 42 per cent for all cognisable offences under IPC.

The state governments need to give more attention to this issue, he made these comments while launching a convention of state ministers of welfare and social justice at New Delhi on Monday.

CPI(M) Politburo Congregates

September 5: The CPI (M) Politburo on Saturday commenced a two-day congregation to confirm a document to cope with its organisational crises which resulted in its defeat in the latest elections in its bastions of West Bengal and Kerala.

The aim of the congregation is to provide finishing strokes to amend and reinforce its "rectification document" that had been arranged a number of years before.

The congregation is being graced by the presence of all top leaders excepting West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is not in good physical condition , along with the party's Kerala Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Central Committee had congregated nearly t two months before to deliberate on the group squabbling in its Kerala unit. The party leadership had subsequently assembled and expelled its senior-most leader and Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan from the Politburo.

Earlier, the CC had as well argued over the electoral catastrophe which led to the CPI(M) parliamentary force to declining appreciably from 42 in the 14th Lok Sabha to 16 in the 15th.

Pak not adopting required action in dealing with Mumbai aggressors

September 5: Alleging that Pakistan was not exhibiting any sincerity in bringing to justice the aggressors of the Mumbai terror assaults, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has noted that India has furnished adequate proof for their trial.

He as well asserted that Pakistan was to be accused for the postponement of the composite discussion following the 26/11 rebel assaults and further noted that it has to take the necessary steps for the recommencement of the procedure.

"According to legal experts, the six dossiers which we have provided to Pakistan contain enough evidence against the conspirators, abettors and perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to get them punished in a court of law," he made these comments while talking to newspersons at Bangalore on Saturday.

Gujarat High Court removes prohibition on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

September 4: The Gujarat High Court on Friday pronounced as null and void Modi governments directive prohibiting Jaswant Singh's book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, observing that the announcement by the authorities did not meet the needs of the conditions of the law under which it was delivered.

The state government had pronounced a notice relating to section 95 of the CrPC on 19th August prohibiting g Singh's book 'Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence' on the basis that it was in opposition to "national interest" and the materials were "misleading".

The three-member bench led by Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan also observed that the prohibition was a severe intervention on the fundamental rights of the people of the country

Simultaneously, the court noted that there was no limitation on the state government if it desires to release new notice.

On the book prohibition topic on 1st September, the Supreme Court had made a proclamation to the Gujarat government on an entreaty.

Kapoor: .Truce contravention from across LoC

September 4: Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has alleged that Pakistan has augmented the truce c contravention ''of late'' and these were regarded as a ploy to make incursions into India prior to the commencement of the winter season.

He made a strong bid for the continuation of the truce but observed that India does present its worries to Pakistan from time to time. He made these comments while speaking at the sidelines of a programme linked to the signing of an MoU between the Army and IGNOU.

Civil Aviation Ministry Establishes Group to look into chopper disaster

September 4: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday night established a group consisting of four members to investigate the origin of Andhra Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's chopper disaster in which he perished.

The group has been directed to finish its inquest and present its account to the government within two months.

R K Tyagi, Chairman and Managing Director of Pawan Hans Helicopters will lead the group in the investigation, the Civil Aviation Ministry noted in a proclamation.

The group will as well take the aid of additional specialists from Indian Air Force where necessary, it revealed.

Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi pay tribute to departed Andhra CM

September 4 Following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and a number of party leaders paying their last respect to the deceased leader, the final journey of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy commenced from his residence in Begumpet in Hyderabad.

As well as the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers comprising P Chidambaram, A K Antony, Veerappa Moily, Prithviraj Chouhan together with Chief Ministers Sheila Dixit and Ashok Gehlot offered their solace to the family members of Reddy.


Wreaths were placed on Reddy's body with grieving party workers and leaders writing messages of grief at the Chief Minister's camp office in Begumpet.

Afertward the CMs body was draped in a tri-colour and placed in an uncovered army truck adorned with flowers for carrying it to its final destination.

Dikshit assures that Commomwealth games related activities will be timely concluded

September 3: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit ascertained on Wednesday that activities related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games would be concluded according to schedule but array of establishment was creating a number of difficulties.

"Though we are a bit late, the work will be completed in time. But at the same time we will do it properly," she made these comments while addressing a news agency in Bawana, an industrial town at the sidelines of a programme.

Dikshit asserted that the Delhi government was receiving assistance from all quarters that consisted of the Centre along with the related establishments. "But, multiplicity of authorities, besides some others, are creating some obstacles," the Chief Minister revealed further stating, "Hosting the Commonwealth Games in a well-planned manner is a matter of prestige for the country."

With regard to the 1500 MW power venture in Bawana, planned to commence in April the following year, she observed it would be "delayed by 3-4 months".

In March the previous year Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the gas-based power venture, the objective of which is to boost the power condition in the city prior to the commencement of 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Four more succumb to Swine Flu virus

September 3: With four more people succumbing to the lethal swine flu virus, taking into account the two casualties in Andhra Pradesh, the nationwide casualty of the flu on Wednesday climbed to 105.

Two people alongside a woman succumbed to the virus in Andhra Pradesh, the first because of flu affecting the state.

A 25-year-old government worker, who was taken to Government Chest hospital in Andhra Pradesh on 31st August and had confirmed of being afflicted by the H1N1 germ, perished last night, state health officials revealed further stating that a 35 year old woman, 35, died after being afflicted with the disease at a corporate hospital.

Shania Minstar aged 36, today died of H1N1 germ at a private hospital in Karnataka, health officials revealed.

Pane, the most badly distressed city reported the death of Agenda Dace a 53-year-old man who succumbed to the virus at the government-operated Sassoon hospital on Wednesday, augmenting the casualties in the viral contamination to 33, hospital authorities revealed.

With the four swine flu casualties, deaths because of the ailment have reached 105.

Till now, 56 people have perished in Maharashtra, eight in Gujarat, 28 in Karnataka, three apiece in Tamil Nadu as well as Delhi, two apiece in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and one apiece in Goa, Chhattisgarh along with Uttarakhand.

Prime Ministers office authenticates Andhra CMs fatality

September3: The Prime Minister Office has authenticated the fatality of Y.S. Rajshekhera Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister along with four others following the emergency landing of their Bell 430 helicopter nearly 40 nautical miles east of the elevated Kurnool terrain.

The body of Reddys principal secretary has as well been located. Sonia Gandhi President of the Congress Party is likely to go to Hyderabad soon.

A formal announcement would be released soon with regard to the facts linked to the recovery of the five bodies from the spot of the disaster that has been obtained. Those who perished in the disaster comprised Reddy, his principal secretary, his personal security officer and two pilots. Previously, Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai revealed that the chopper that crashed was in an extremely devastated condition.

The Home Ministry had commanded the airdrop of paratroopers right away at the disaster area to evaluate the precise bodily condition of Reddy and the others who also died in the mishap.

HC says CJIs office comes within the preview of RTI Act

September 3: In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has observed that the office of Chief Justice of India comes within the jurisdiction of the Right to Information Act and the particulars related to the properties of judges' could be exposed according to the terms of the rule.

"The CJI is a public authority under the Right to Information Act and the CJI holds the information pertaining to assets declaration in his capacity as Chief Justice. That office is a public authority under the Act and is covered by its provisions," Justice S Ravindra Bhatt affirmed.

"Declaration of assets by Supreme Court judges is an information under Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. The information pertaining to declaration given to the CJI and the contents of such declaration are information and subject to the provisions of the RTI Act," the court noted.

The court adhered to the Central Information Commission's decree urging the Supreme Court to make public facts if judges were revealing their properties to the Chief Justice of India or not.

On the topic whether revelation of information was "unworkable" because of scarcity of transparency regarding the particulars and absence of protection, the court observed CJI can develop consistent principles and work out appropriate system and tenure of proclamation .

"These are not insurmountable obstacles. The CJI, if he deems it appropriate, may in consultation with the Supreme Court judges evolve uniform standards, devising the nature of information, relevant formats and, if required, the periodicity of declaration to be made," the court noted in its 72-page ruling.

Andhra CM, along with four others perish in chopper collapse

September 3: The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y S Rajasekhara Reddy along with four others perished in a chopper crash in the Nallamala Hills due to unfavorable weather conditions on Wednesday, snapping radio links an hour subsequent to flying from Hyderabad.

On Rudrakonda Hill, 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool, the badly damaged wreckage of the helicopter together with the bodies of 60-year-old Reddy, who guided his Congress party to an amazing second triumph in a row in the Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections, and his Special Secretary P Subramanyam, Chief Secretary A S C Wesley, pilot Group Captain S K Bhatia along with co-pilot M S Reddy were recovered.

There was no formal acknowledgement of the deaths, but top Congress sources in Delhi noted that the bodies had been recovered. A formal announcement is anticipated soon. .

A planned congregation of the Union Cabinet was postponed in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

Apex Court directive to Gujarat government on Jaswant's appeal on book prohibition

September 2: The Supreme Court released directives to the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday on an appeal registered by dismissed BJP leader Jaswant Singh contesting the decree prohibiting his disputed book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Gujarat.

A bench consisting of Justice Cyriac Joseph along with Altamas Kabir directed the state government's advisor to look for orders on the subject and listed the topic for further trial to 8th September.

Veteran Advocates Fali S Nariman along with Soli Sorabjee, pleading for the senior politician, contested that prohibition of the book flouted the basic privileges guaranteed to its author along with the publisher as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

The government of Gujarat had prohibited the book on Pakistan's creator on 19th August, two days following its publication, over allegations that the observations made in the book were against communal accord and benefits of the country.

Tatas willing to give back Singur land if recompensed

September 2: Ratan Tata chairman of Tata Sons revealed on Tuesday that the organization was prepared to give back the land at Singur in West Bengal provided the West Bengal government recompensed it for the money spent there. "We do not want to sit on the land. We will return it if the state government compensates us for the investments made there," Tata revealed this to newspersons on the sidelines of Tata Tea's Annual General Meeting in Kolkata. Tata Motors had been provided with approximately 997 acres of land at Singur by the state government on rent for establishing its 'Nano' car manufacturing unit which was later relocated to Sanand in Gujarat following protests against the venture by the opposition in West Bengal

The company had to dump the venture in October the previous year following a protracted demonstration against the project by Trinamool Congress, with Mamata Banerjee at the forefront, claiming the return of 400 acres of the land given for the car plant to farmers. The political outfit accused that the land was attained by force. The company had previously revealed that it had spent around Rs 1,500 crore for the venture. Tata affirmed that Tata Motors did not have any proposal for Singur currently. "We are ready to cooperate with the state government if it had any plans with the land", he said. When queried if the state government had provided any new plans with connection to the land, he clarified that there were no plans from both the sides.

Pakistan not earnest in taking action against 26/11 rebels

September 2: India on Tuesday alleged that Pakistan was not acting seriously in punishing the rebels of the Mumbai assault and further added that the extremist framework which aided such attacks remained unaltered.

"Pakistan is not serious about prosecuting and punishing those responsible for perpetrating the Mumbai attack. They are still in Pakistani soil," Home Minister Chidambaram revealed this to the media when he was asked to give his views with regard to the type of reaction by Pakistan to the reports provided by India.

Chidambaram as well noted that the rebel framework, which boosted assaults similar to the one in Mumbai to be executed, was prevalent on the Pakistani terrain. "That is my complaint against Pakistan and that is my disappointment with Pakistan," he affirmed.Queried with regard Islamabad's frequent doubts on the reports, he observed, "I hope that they will not be able to invent more questions"

5 militants exterminated: Incursion attempt thwarted in Gurez, J&K

September 2: Army on Wednesday thwarted an incursion attempt by insurgents from Pakistani soil by exterminating five terrorists who were armed with a large number of weapons in Gurez Sector of North Kashmir.

As revealed by a defence official an assemblage of terrorists were observed creeping into the Indian territory in the early morning hours.

After they crossed over to the Indian territory, security forces defending the borders challenged them and told them to lay down their arms but they started firing. In the resultant conflict, five terrorists were exterminated, the defence official revealed.

Haryana, Maharashtra, Arunachal go to polls on 13th October

September 1: Assembly polls in Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra will be a solitary phase affair and will be conducted on October 13. The procedure associated with the counting of votes will be conducted on October 22. Revealing the agenda for polls in the three states the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. Navin Chawla noted in New Delhi that the model code of conduct will be applicable with instant effect. The notice for assembly elections will be released on the 18th of September.

The nomination of candidates will be received up to September 25, inquiry will be conducted on September 26 and the final day for pulling out of the contest has been fixed on September 29. Voting will take place for 60 seats in Arunachal Pradesh, 288 seats in Maharashtra and 90 seats in Haryana. The Electronic Voting Machines will be utilized for the elections in each of the three states. Directives have as well been given for election booths to be positioned on ground level together with slopes to assist the voters who are physically disabled to cast their votes.

Kapil Sibal: Board exams for class X to be made elective

September 1: The Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal has revealed that standard 10th Board Examination will be made elective in all CBSE Schools from the forthcoming academic session. A plan in this connection was sanctioned by the Central Advisory Board on Education, CABE at its congregation in New Delhi on Monday. Talking to newspersons in the aftermath of the congregation, Mr. Sibal noted that a ranking arrangement in standard 10 will also be commenced in every CBSE School from the existing academic term. He observed that the Advisory Board has as well resolved to establish an authority for higher learning and exploration in the nation. Its operation will be different from monitoring operation.

Human Resource Development Minister furthermore stated that a core group has been established for this. He said the congregation also accepted the suggestion of creating collegiums of renowned people for selecting chairpersons of the National Commission of Education along with Vice Chancellors in universities and additional reputed educational organizations. The HRD minister also revealed that the states have also backed the proposal of a discrete authorization organization for higher learning. He further noted that the congregation also gave its nod for setting up of academic Tribunals on a countrywide as well as statewide basis for prompt settlement of controversies and mismanagement in the learning segment.

PM assesses effect of worldwide fiscal recession on India's advancement

September 1: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday observed that the worldwide fiscal recession which had distressed the Indian economy also, was currently on the way to conclusion with sluggish restoration to normality.

"We have been through a difficult year because of the global economic downturn which is only now coming to end with a slow return to normalcy in the months that lie ahead," Singh made this observation in his commencing statement while presiding over the congregation of the absolute Planning Commission, which was evaluating the financial system and condition of Integrated Energy Policy (IEP).

"The country has also seen poor monsoon," he noted, further stating that it would be constructive for the Planning Commission to offer its estimation of the general fiscal condition.

Apart from the members of the Planning Commission along with its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the opening congregation of the complete group in the second tenure of the UPA government is being graced by the presence of over a dozen ministers that comprise Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar as well as Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Advani, Rajnath will reflect on their task in BJP: RSS Chief

August 31: Practically according credibility to revelations that veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Rajnath Singh may have to relinquish their posts, RSS head Mohan Bhagwat has ascertained that they would deliberate on their responsibility in the party.

"Rajnathji, Advaniji and others will decide on their role (in the party). Everything will be fine in the BJP in future," he made these comments while addressing newspersons at Haridwar on Monday.

"There are people with moral standing like Advani and under their guidance, they will solve all problems. We have nothing to do with this. What we had to say we have said," he observed.

Although the BJP had noted on Sunday that Rajnath Singh will not continue in his position as party president further than his three year tenure that concludes in December, there were suggestions that Advani might resign as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha but the onus of taking such a step has been given to him.

Bhagwat reached Haridwar subsequent to concluding deliberation with the party leadership on its potential course of action. He met Advani during a breakfast meeting on Sunday and held talks with other veteran leaders.

The RSS on Sunday attained a pledge from squabbling BJP leaders that they will put an end to their bickering within the party following its strong message to the BJP to end the crises afflicting the political outfit.

Left to commence country wide agitation on price augmentation, drought

August 31: Accusing the Congress-led UPA of not succeeding in accomplishing its electoral pledges, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has revealed that the Left political outfits would commence a country-wide protest on price increase, food guarantee and drought aid steps.

The Left parties would organize public meetings in the states of the nation from September on three chief topics comprising price augmentation, food guarantee and aid for the victims of drought affected and which would conclude in a national conference in New Delhi by November, Yechury made this observation while talking to newspersons at Hyderabad on Sunday.

"Despite completion of the first 100 days of the second edition of the UPA, the Parliament Standing Committees of different ministries have not been constituted yet," he observed.

Ahead of the polls, the UPA had articulated 25 schemes that included the one on Women Empowerment Bill, 50 percent representation in the local administrative units amid other pledges but it had not succeeded in adhering to these pledges, the CPI (M) PolitBuro member affirmed.

Revealing that the Food Security Act, being planned by the UPA Government, in its current arrangement would only lead to uncertainty with regard to the accessibility of food, Yechury made a claim for assurance of 35 kg of food grain at Rs 2 every kg for each family in the legislation.

Yechury, who was in Hyderabad to participate in the two-day State Executive Committee congregation of the party, made a claim for prohibition on all potential transactions in essential commodities and fortifying the public distribution system.

Mamata: Railways form land expanse with over 1.12 lakh hectare

August 31: With a goal to use excess land for business activities, Railways have currently formed a land stock of 1.12 lakh acres all over the nation.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee revealed this while launching three trains in New Delhi on Sunday. She asserted, "Our land bank is ready now as we have surplus land of 1.12 lakh acres at 103 sites across the country. This will be utilised for commercial purposes," Delivering a speech during the event she referred to the benefits of the Kisan Vision venture which aspires at operating exclusive trains from manufacturing centres of unpreserved goods to customer units carrying fruits as well as vegetables.

The venture aspires to profit cultivators by offering cold storage services for vegetables along with additional unpreserved goods, she observed, further stating, "Experts are examining the scheme. She also proclaimed the launch of the greatly discussed Duranto train facilities for Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai from Delhi from the middle of September.

Apart from this, she affirmed that over 40 of the overall 79 trains proclaimed in the budget are set to be launched within a period of 15 to 20 days.

North India experiences heavy rainfall

August 30: Torrential rain on Sunday lashed the countrys capital and many stretches of the Northern region as the general deluge condition remained grim in Bihar where 1.5 million people are facing the wrath of the floods.

Temperature declined noticeably across Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and New Delhi because of nonstop showers providing greatly required relief from the existing heat conditions.

Mercury dipped by almost nine degrees in Delhi on Sunday morning as the city experienced heavy showers, which was experiencing humid weather for the last couple of days.

Maximum temperature plummeted to 26.2 degrees from Saturdays 35.5 degree Celsius, while moisture levels which rose to 98 percent in the city also lessened to 59 percent.

128 more confirmed for swine virus contamination in nation

August 30: Swine virus contamination in the nation sustained to expand with 128 persons confirmed of being afflicted with the viral contamination on Sunday, as a result of which H1N1 cases have climbed to 3,881, an official announcement revealed.

The majority of swine flu cases was reported from Uttar Pradesh with 27 cases followed by Delhi which accounted for 22 cases, while Tamil Nadu with 21, Karnataka with 17, Maharashtra with 12 and West Bengal with 10 were the other affected states.

Until now, 21,477 persons were tested for the virus out of which 3,534 were confirmed of being contaminated, the proclamation revealed on Sunday.

Rajnaths term as BJP President not to be extended

August 30: Following frantic deliberations with the RSS leadership with regard to the current problems afflicting the political outfit, the BJP on Sunday asserted that the party president Rajnath Singhs tenure will not be extended for another term. Party spokesperson Mr. Prakash Javdekar made this proclamation in New Delhi at the conclusion of a three-day trip of RSS Chief to New Delhi.

The BJP president has been under pressure for rather a while at present from a segment of party leadership following the party's Lok Sabha Poll disaster. Mr. Javadekar nonetheless noted that there would be no alteration in leadership in Lok Sabha and Mr. L K Advani will carry on in his position as Leader of the Opposition.

Casulaties mount to 52, 1.5 million people affected in Bihar deluge

August 29: The total number of casualties in the ongoing bout of deluge in Bihar on Saturday climbed to 52 with the death of 23 additional people as approximately 1.5 million people were affected in 11 districts.

Officials said the reports of new casualties came from Purnia (12), Sitamarhi (4), Saharsa (3) and Madhubani and Darbhanga (two apiece).

Aid and salvage activities were augmented with the assistance of four National Disaster Response Force squads armed with with 1000 boats, they said.
Chief rivers such as Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, the Adhwara cluster of rivers and Kosi were still flowing dangerouly , Central Water Commission revealed.

Storm over Pokhran-II unnecessary: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarked that the current argument with regard to the 1998 Pokhran tests was "needless" and that ex president A P J Abdul Kalam had spelled out that the results of the explosions was positive.

"A wrong impression has been given by some scientists which is needless. Kalam has clarified that the tests were successful," Dr. Singh made this observation while addressing newspersons in Ramsar on Saturday.

He was questioned about the controversy stirred by an ex DRDO scientist K Santhanam that the Pokhran-II tests were not completely successful.

Santhanam who acted as the representative for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the tests had asserted that the thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb was of small generation and was not capable of responding to the nations tactical goals.

Soni: Government endeavour , media responsibility curb swine virus contamination

August 29: The contamination of swine virus epidemic has been curbed to a great deal because of the endeavours of the government and the vital responsibility undertaken by the media in enlightening the populace about the lethal ailment, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni revealed today.

"The Government has been successful in providing information to people on swine flu. Even television channels have played a major role in educating people by inviting doctors and experts in their studios every day to provide information about the deadly virus," she observed.

Soni made these comments while addressing newspersons following the unveiling of a film festival spread over two days in New Delhi of short documentaries by renowned photographer and art historian Benoy K Behl.

Government organizes congregation of Common Wealth nations representatives

August 28: The government has scheduled a congregation of Chiefs of Missions of 71 Commonwealth nations in New Delhi on September nine to get rid of their safety apprehensions for the 2010 commonwealth games slated to commence in New Delhi.

The congregation comes in the background of prowling safety fears that forced the English team to pull out from World Badminton Championship in Hyderabad and the rebel assault on Sri Lankan cricket players in Lahore sometime in the beginning of the current year.

Elite security specialists in the nation will apprise the representatives about the measures being adopted by the government to guarantee infallible protection during the fortnight-long show in order that they could communicate the state of affairs back home, a highly placed Home Ministry source Friday said on Friday.

Home Minister P Chidambaram is expected to speak to the Heads of Missions at the congregation.

A two-day congregation of security chiefs of the Commonwealth nations will also be organized in New Delhi on 23rd and 24th September for a related activity.

Jaswant: Advani was at core of money for vote scam in Lok Sabha

August 28: Unleashing a new barrage against the leadership, expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh has asserted that veteran BJP leader L K Advani was "at the centre" of the cash-for-votes scandal fuss witnessed in the Lok Sabha in the previous year.

"It's a great sense of pity. Here was a man who has consumed by an ambition to be Prime Minister, and that desire made him commit so many mistakes.

"Do you know this whole wretched thing of money for votes is a classic example of wrong decision making and it's extremely troubling that he did not stand up and say no. Advaniji was at the centre of this whole drama," he made this observation while giving his views to a periodical.

Singh was alluding to the event in the Lok Sabha for the duration of the Trust Vote in July in the previous year when three BJP MPs exhibited packs of cash amounting to Rs one crore alleging that they were being given as enticement to back the government.

PM: Fiscal back up to MSMEs to augment twofold in five years

August 28: The government is devoted to augmenting twofold the volume of fiscal support given to micro, small as well as medium ventures, which provide work for 6 crore people and add 45 per cent to goods produced in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh noted on Friday.

"Credit is the lifeline of any business. The government is committed to double the flow of credit to MSMEs in five years," Singh affirmed subsequent to conferring national honours to entrepreneurs in the segment in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister, who evaluated the feat and troubles of the segment with representatives from the industry on Wednesday, maintained that public sector banks boosted credit to MSMEs by 25 percent in 2008-09.

In terms of assessments, MSMEs are granted fiscal back up of almost Rs 1,50,000 crore by Public Sector Undertaking banks annually. There are approximately 2.60 crore components in the segment which accounts for 40 percent of exports.

Temporary dismissal of three Rajasthan MLAs annulled

August 27: Rajasthan Assembly brought to an end the temporary dismissal of three BJP MLAs on Thursday through a voice vote on a suo motu proposal brought by the governing Congress in the House.

The three MLAs,-Gyandeo Ahuja, Bhawani Singh Rajawat and Hemsingh Bhadana were suspended by the Speaker on 28th July, 2009 for their disorderly actions and behavior but their suspension was annulled which came into force immediately..

Although they were dismissed from the Assembly for a year, Congress Chief Whip Virendra Beniwal observed that their dismissal for a month was adequate. "One-month suspension is sufficient," Beniwal stated in the House.

Speaker Dipendra Singh Shekhawat adopted the proposal which was approved through voice vote.

Union Law Minister greets resolution of SC judges to reveal property

August 27: Political outfits together with veteran lawyers have greeted the pronouncement made by Supreme Court judges to reveal their resources, terming it as a "step in the right direction" which could have been made "earlier" to steer clear of unnecessary debate.

Following prolonged tenure of forceful deliberations with regard to exposure of properties of higher courts, a resolution "in principle" was adopted on the topic at a congregation organized by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Wednesday.

Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily observed, "It is a welcome move. It is for the judges to decide how it should be done because what is in the best interests of judges; they are the best judges of that,"

He affirmed that it was "not that the judges were unwilling" to reveal their properties but "there are certain things for judges... they are not elected people... as a government we do not want them to be embarrassed or inconvenienced. If they have come forward themselves to disclose it, it is welcome."

Representative of political outfit the BJP, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, welcome the step as well.

Flood condition grim in Bihar; but relief in UP flood affected regions

August 27: The Flood condition has deteriorated in Bihar, while in Uttar Pradesh the flood condition has shown signs of abating.

In Bihar, six Panchayats of Amdabat block in Katihar district were flooded subsequent to a rupture in the right embankment of Mahananda at Gobindpur. The rupture in the embankment has augmented to approximately 500 feet.

Road connections to these panchayats have been disrupted. In Uttar Pradesh, the deluge condition has eased in the eastern as well as terai expanses as the key rivers, Ghaghra, Rapti, Burhi Rapti, and Sharda sustained their diminishing tendency in the flood hit districts. The flood water has moved away from nearly hundred villages. Reports suggested that the state government has undertaken aid and rescue actions for the flood victims.

Cabinet sanctions 50 per cent reservation for female members in Panchayats

August 27: The Union Cabinet on Thursday endorsed fifty percent reservation for women in Panchayats all over the nation and as well sanctioned the establishment of seven additional IIMs. Article 243 of the Indian constitution will be revised to incorporate this section.

Five states are currently offering 50 percent reservation to members of the weaker sex in Panchayats. The cabinet as well sanctioned the establishment of seven fresh IIMs.

Four of the seven additional IIMs would be established with one in Trichurapally one in Tamil Nadu, one in Ranchi one in Jharkand, one in Raipur in Chattisgarh and one in Rohtak in Haryana and will commence functioning from the 2010-11 academic tenure.

The site of three remaining ones is yet to be confirmed. The fiscal assistance to the National Minority development Finance Corporation has been augmented as well.

Complete interest financial assistance on loans for underprivileged students

August 27: In a major development, the government has resolved to offer complete interest financial support on academic loans obtained by underprivileged pupils to take up technical as well as specialized courses and set the restrictions on the salary of their parents to Rs 4.5 lakh annually to gain the advantage.

A congregation of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the venture to facilitate pupils from financially backward segments to pursue any sanctioned course in acknowledged technical along with specialized establishments in the nation.

The venture would be of great advantage to more than five lakh students to enable them to take up higher learning in technical and specialized subjects, Home Minister P Chidambaram revealed, further stating that the amount of credit as on 31st March this year was 16 lakh and the entire unpaid amount was Rs 24,000 crore.

The venture, to be put into effect from the current academic year, would offer complete interest financial assistance all through the tenure of moratorium on loans obtained by students from listed banks.

SC judges to reveal their property

August 26: Faced with growing demands by the general populace, the judges of the Supreme Court on Wednesday resolved to reveal their properties, a topic that had been bothering the higher courts for fairly for a while.

"A decision in principle has been taken on the issue at a meeting convened by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and the details of the assets to be declared by the judges would be put on the Supreme Court website," a highly placed Supreme Court official revealed following the discussions that lasted for two hours.

The pronouncement has been made following months of community argument with regard to revealing the facts of higher courts, chiefly the Supreme Court judges along with their families, from the time when the Right to Information law generated a uproar on the topic.

Centre: Low consciousness among rural folks disturbing NREGA accomplishment

August 26: The Centre on Wednesday acknowledged that low consciousness amongst people living in villages, tardy disbursement of salary and lack of proper maintenance of records in a number of states have disturbed the achievement of NREGA.

"Lack of awareness, inability of workers to submit written applications (for job), delayed payment of wages, non-maintenance of records such as muster rolls, and quality of assets created under the programme" are a number of the crises aspects with reference to the accomplishment of NREGA, Union Minister for Rural Development CP Joshi revealed in New Delhi in an all party congregation presided over by him.

Joshi apprised the leaders of the party that emphasis of the ministry is currently to guarantee "convergence of NREGA with other schemes".

The all party congregation, organized for the first time by the Ministry of Rural Development to deliberate on the topics connected with the accomplishment of NREGA, was graced by the presence of leaders representing the key Opposition party the BJP, CPI (M), SP as well as RJD chief Lalu Prasad apart from leaders of the governing Congress along with UPA partner NCP.

BSP as well as CPI have, nonetheless, stayed away from the congregation, as revealed by ministry officials.

PM exhorts CBI to take action against corrupt practices

August 26: Urging the CBI along with state anti-corruption bureaucrat to forcefully trail "high level corruption", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has observed that the view of "big fish" avoiding penalty must alter and they should take action quickly and devoid of apprehension.

Unveiling a congregation of CBI as well as state anti-corruption officials in New Delhi, Dr. Singh noted that there was no solitary cure for tackling corrupt practices which has to be fought at numerous stages, one of which was to ensure that prevailing networks were less flexible.

"High-level corruption should be pursued aggressively. There is a pervasive feeling that while petty cases get tackled quickly, the big fish escape punishment. This has to change," Singh affirmed. Dr. Singh observed that while rapid probe was vital and essential, it was not enough to penalize the offenders.

"Trials should be conducted expeditiously and judgments delivered quickly. To begin with the aim should be to conclude the trial in two years so that punishment could be given to the offenders within a period of three years or so, he asserted.

Pranab: Tackled worldwide crises; concentration on monsoon effect

August 25: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee noted that the Indian economy appeared to have endured the worldwide fiscal crises and ameliorating the difficulties caused by scarce monsoon was a "top priority" for the time being.

"Despite the global economic crisis, we grew by 6.7 per cent last year...This year, we are getting mixed signal," Mukherjee revealed, while asserting that signs emerging from industrial output data and with regard to business requirement and financier buoyancy was optimistic.

The Finance Minister, nonetheless, affirmed that the government was not in a situation to be complacent, because of the worries in the worldwide financial situation.

"At this juncture, delayed monsoon has impacted many parts of the agrarian economy...Mitigating the impact of deficient monsoon is a high priority," he made this observation while participating in a group deliberation on reshuffling procedures on a private TV channel.

Mukherjee affirmed that the procedure of financial alteration, which commenced towards the beginning of 1990s, would go on with genuine endeavour in order that the economy goes back to an expansion of above 9 percent very quickly.

Hawker killed in exchange of fire between terrorist and security forces

August 25: An alleged militant on Tuesday began shooting at the railway platform at Ludhiana, exterminating a hawker and wounding two GRP constables when they made an attempt to examine his baggage, according to police sources.

The violence occurred when the two Government Railway Police constables of the narcotics unit made an attempt to examine the luggage of the alleged militant in Jhelum Express traveling to Jammu which reached Ludhiana from Pune at about 3.30 am at platform No 4 of the railway station, as revealed by the police.

The man recognized as Balbir Singh Bhootna straight away alighted from the train and remained away from public view by taking shelter close to a coach of the Jhelum Express and began firing at the police which returned the fire from the platform.

"Bhootna was arrested after an exchange of fire which lasted around one hour," Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh observed. A woman, who was in the company of the alleged militant, has also been detained, Singh noted.

The hawker died on the location as he was trapped in the firing from both the sides, according to GRP Superintendent of Police S J P Sharma.

The two wounded GRPF personnel have been recognized as Karanpal Singh and Naranjan Singh, he furthermore revealed.

Jaiswal; UP Government yet to apprise Centre about flood condition

August 25: Condemning the Uttar Pradesh government for showing laxity in coping with the flood condition, Union Minister of State for Coal Sri Prakash Jaiswal revealed that the state had not dispatched any facts to the Centre with regard to the catastrophe.

The UP government had not dispatched any facts to the centre concerning the deluge triggered by the rivers originating from Nepal nor had provided facts regarding the isolated villages in a number of districts, Jaiswal made this observation while speaking to newspersons at Basti on Tuesday.

The Minister all through his trip to the area also evaluated the flood condition in Siddhartnagar, Basti, and Sant Kabirnagar apart from participating in a programme arranged by Jagdambika Pal the local Congress MP

He affirmed that neither Chief Minister Mayawati nor her ministers had toured the regions affected by the flood.

"Even the relief commissioner has not visited these areas". Jaiswal noted that the state government's approach concerning the floods was like the one adopted by the government to tackle the drought condition.

"It was only after the agriculture minister made a statement in the parliament that a report on the drought conditions was sent to the centre", he revealed.

"It is required on the part of the state to start relief works immediately and send its teams to help the affected people, Jaiswal noted, furthermore stating that in the event of a claim put forward by the state, the centre would explore it.

Venture sanctioned by PM to trim down yearly energy utilization

August 25: The Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change on Monday offered the go-ahead to National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency facilitating approximately Rs 75,000 crore outlays of energy dealings that are expected to reduce yearly energy utilization.

"In doing so, it (the mission) will, by 2015, help (the country) save about five per cent of our annual energy consumption and nearly 100 million tonnes of carbon dio-oxide every year," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh noted while endorsing the venture.

He observed "Our success in reducing the energy intensity of our growth will also reduce the carbon intensity of our growth. This will have a beneficial impact on our emissions trajectory," according to comments released by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO).

Expressing optimism about the venture, Singh was of the opinion that its accomplishment would convey a powerful gesture to the global population that "We are willing to contribute in a significant manner to meeting the global challenge of climate change."

The Prime Minister also stressed that it must also contain intrinsic prerequisite for scrutiny along with assessment in order to guarantee unambiguousness, responsibility and awareness, the comments further noted.

Energy Efficiency Mission is among the eight ventures under the aegis of Indias National Action Plan on Climate Change revealed by Singh in the previous year with the objective of tackling climate change dangers.

Flood condition in Bihar gloomy

August 24: The flood condition in seven northern districts of Bihar deteriorated on Sunday with water from surging rivers flooding regions in low-lying stretches and some expanses of national highway 105, disrupting traffic.

Nonetheless, no new fatalities were obtained with the casualty figure lingering at eleven.

Whirling waters of Adhwara cluster of rivers flowed over national highway 105 close to Khirma village in Darbhanga district, resulting in disruption of vehicular movement through the expanse.

Darbhanga Commissioner Rana Awadhesh Singh, who studied the flood-hit regions, has given directives for closing the Darbhanga-Jainagar highway. He furthermore gave orders to officials to dole out assistance to the sufferers of flood.

More than five lakh people were distressed as deluge waters flooded Darbhanga, Kishanganj, Saharsa, Supaul, Sitamarhi, Purnia, along with Muzaffarpur districts with rivers Mahananda, Bagmati, Kosi, Kamala Balan, and Adhwara cluster of rivers surging over the threat level.

Maoists destroy railway trail, mobile tower in Jharkhand

August 24: Maoists blasted a railway trail in Latehar, on Monday approximately an hour subsequent to the Rajdhani Express moving over the section, and bombarded a mobile tower in adjacent to Palamu district for the period of a 48-hour bandh announced by them in five states, together with Jharkhand.

Movement of trains was disrupted between Barwadih-Barkakana sections in the aftermath of the occurrence.

Approximately 20 rebels blew up the trail between Kumundi and Hehegarha railway stations, nearly 150 km from Ranchi, as revealed by Latehar Railway stationmaster P N Tiwari. The explosion took place subsequent to the Rajdhani Express leaving the location at 5:30 am with the explosion occurring at about 6:30 am.

Latehar Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Diwedi affirmed that the explosion was not aimed at any train. In a disconnected occurrence in adjoining Palamau, the Maoists blasted a mobile tower in the wee hours on Monday. Approximately 50 Naxalites carrying weapons arrived at the location of the tower positioned on Aurangabad-Medininagar course in the district, packed it with explosives prior to triggering a blast, Deputy Superintendent of Police Brajmohan Paswan, revealed in Latehar.

5-day Convention of Overseas Indian Heads Of Missions Commences in New Delhi

August 24: The five-day convention of Heads of Indian Missions overseas commencing in New Delhi on Monday will deliberate on major topics relating to the fiscal condition, worldwide economic catastrophe as well as climate change

The convention taking place following the creation of the new government will offer a chance for the Centre to provide guidelines to the Ambassadors on key course of action targets.

The convention will facilitate the Head of Missions to offer the government with their own knowledge obtained all through the past one year of executing overseas guidelines in various nations as well as expanses.

The congregation will be attended by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and a number of Union Ministers.

A same kind of convention took place in December 2008 where it was resolved to turn this into a yearly occasion.

BJP suffers another jolt: Kulkarni resigns from Party

August 23: Beleaguered by squabbling within the party, BJP has undergone one more unpleasant experience with devoted assistant of Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani, Sudheendra Kulkarni resigning from the political outfit on the basis of principles. The party is currently encountering troubles since its Lok Sabha debacle previously this year. The troubles expanded following the removal of veteran leader along with ex- External Affairs Minister Mr.Jaswant Singh over his favourable comments on Jinnah in his book.

Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni revealed in comments in New Delhi that he is finishing his relationship with the BJP.

The barred BJP Leader Mr. Jaswant Singh, nonetheless, noted that Mr. Kulkerni had been urged to quit the outfit.

Rajnath Singh says Advani will continue to guide the BJP:

August 22: BJP President Rajnath Singh has affirmed that L K Advani will persist in guiding the political outfit and offered unambiguous signs that rebellion and unruliness will not be endured. He was speaking to newspersons in Shimla at the end of gathering of key party leaders. Mr. Rajnath Singh revealed that the 'chintan baithak' deliberated on the Lok Sabha election disaster but no one was held responsible or guilty for the rout.

On ideological divergence against the backdrop of Jaswant Singh affair, the BJP President noted that the party would persist in adhering to the political philosophy and reflection on the root of which the party was established. Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani had observed that internal strife in the party had debased its vision and resulted in discouragement amongst party workers.

Concluding the party's contemplation gathering in Shimla, he observed that from the three-day deliberations, the party would come out great vigour with leaders settling divergences reciprocally. Mr. Advani noted that alliance politics is crucial to finish Congress supremacy. Mr. Advani depicted the removal of Jaswant Singh as an agonizing but obligatory pronouncement. He made it clear that what Mr.Jaswant Singh composed opposed the fundamental principles of the party. In the meantime, the RSS said that it was in no way connected with Jaswant Singh's removal with its leader Mohan Bhagwat asserting that the Sangh Parivar had no role in the abrupt expulsion of the BJP leader. Speaking to newspersons in Jammu yesterday, the Sangh Chief affirmed that the exclusion of Jaswant Singh was the BJP's pronouncement and the RSS was not linked to it.

Mamata tenders railway domain for business use

August 22: The Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has appealed to the industrialists to volunteer for profitable employment of railway domain. In a conference with major industries in Kolkata on Friday Ms. Banerjee observed that the railway was currently occupying 1 lakh 12 thousand acres of empty terrain where industries could be established in combined business enterprise.

She observed that the Railway Ministry had established a specialist board to recommend efficient utilization of domain for manufacturing units. The Railway Minister on the other hand was against forcible acquirement of territory for commerce. The Railway Minister emphasized on the requirement for advancement of agriculture as well as industry in equal rate.

Mixed results for Congress in by elections in five states

August 22: The Congress and its associates on Friday emerged victorious in nine of the 17 seats in assembly by elections stretching across five states. In Tamil Nadu, the triumph for the Congress and its partner the DMK was chiefly assisted by the refusal of the opposition AIADMK along with its allies to participate in the elections. DMK secured three seats comprising Cumbum, Burgur as well as Ilayankudi. The other two seats Srivaikuntam and Thondamuthur were won by the Congress. DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi credited the feat to accomplishments of the UPA Government as well as his government in Tamil Nadu.

Congress's poor show in BJP governed Karnataka, where by polls were conducted for five seats, carried on. It managed to hold on to just Govindarajanagar of the four seats it possessed but had the relief of witnessing the rout of Housing minister V Somanna, who deserted the Congress prior to the Lok Sabha elections.

The setback for Congress was tough in Chitapur where Priyanka Kharge, son of Union Labour Minister M Mallikarjun Kharge, was defeated by BJP's Valmiki Nayak.

JD-S emerged triumphant in two seats holding onto Ramnagara and extracting Chennapatna from Congress and the BJP also grabbed two. Apart from Chitapur, the BJP emerged victorious in Kollegal.

BJP's might in the 224-member Karnataka assembly will currently mount to 117 and that of JD-S to 27 while Congress total will weaken to 74.

In Uttar Pradesh, BSP staged a fine performance and it was a major gain for Chief Minister Mayawati with the governing party bagging three seats, Moradabad, Malihabad and Bidhuna while Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal held on to Morena.

Samajwadi party was the nastiest victim in UP as it not only succeeded in triumphing in any seat surrendered two seats to BSP. Articulating contentment with regard to the partys remarkable feat in by elections on four assembly seats, BSP chief Mayawati said that the outcome had confirmed that her political strength had not declined in the state.

In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, maintained its supremacy by emerging triumphant in both Bowbazar as well as Sealdah seats previously occupied by Congress, which did not contest by not putting up any contender this time.

In Meghalaya the Congress candidate and Meghalaya Education Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh triumphed in the bye elections to the Laitumkhrah constituency vanquishing the United Democratic Party (UDP) contender Malcolm Tariang by over 2327 votes.

Government proclaims 18 point action-plan to tackle drought

August 22: The Centre has organized a course of action to alleviate the unfavorable effect of drought because of scarce Monsoon. The key focus of the 18 point course of action, to be executed both by the Centre as well as the state governments, is to capitalize on output from the existing harvest and arrange greater crop output in the approaching Rabi term. It puts stress on guarantying that cultivators earnings along with source of revenue is not disturbed.

Addressing newspersons regarding the result of State Agriculture Ministers' congregation in New Delhi yesterday, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar observed that it was vital that the Centre as well as State governments do not waste any moment in executing crucial events sketched in the action plan. The Centre for its role will offer extra power to the states for irrigation activities, guarantee accessibility of fertilisers and accelerate consent of aid to the states under National Calamity Contingency Fund. The action plan as well necessitates Control Rooms to be made ready without delay at State Headquarters with pertaining to area sown, accessibility of seeds and fertilisers, drinking water condition. Yesterdays congregation took place following the announcement of 246 districts drought affected.

Speaking at the meeting, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee revealed that the Centre was prepared to bring food grains from abroad to cope with the tests of the drought which has distressed 44 per cent of districts in the nation. In his speech, Rural Development Minister CP Joshi noted that his ministry had offered Rs 24,000 Crores under NREGA to cope with the trying conditions.

India together with Maldives consent to augment defence collaboration

August 21 India together with Maldives has consented on a sequence of actions to boost defence collaboration between the two nations. The resolutions were adopted through discussions that took place between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Maldivian President Mohd Nasheed along with the countrys Defence Minister Amin Faizal. Defence Minister A.K. Antony is currently on a trip to the Maldives.

Afterward, speaking at a combined news conference in Male with Mr. Faisal, Mr. Antony asserted that both the nations were confronted with numerous safety tests particularly from the ocean and it would be New Delhis attempt to aid its neighbor in any method it could undertake.

The Defence Minister restated Indias sustained encouragement to help the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) in their endeavour to create facility and augment capability. He articulated assurance that the two defence armed forces would keep on functioning strongly in a collective way to guarantee a nonviolent sea atmosphere in the oceans surrounding them and to set up combined systems to efficiently fight terror campaign, illegal drug trade as well as maritime violence.

The defence minister acknowledged the MNDFs requirement for a rapid opening reaction competence in occurrences of catastrophe - both normal and artificial as well as medical removal and Search and Rescue (SAR) necessities, an authorized spokesman revealed. The range of the current combined MNDF Marines and the Army and the Coast Guard actions will also be augmented.

Flood condition deteriorates in rural Uttar Pradesh

August 21: In UP the deluge condition has deteriorated as over 400 villages in 11 districts have been distressed by flood. The chief rivers Ghaghra, Rapti, Sharda as well as Burhi Rapti are gushing over the threat level in the majority of the areas.

Approximately 175 villages in Siddarthanagar as well as 186 villages in Bahraich district have been devastated by flood because of a rise in in Rapti as well as Ghaghra rivers. Over 90 hectares of existing crop in Siddharthanagar has been damaged. Gonda-Lucknow thoroughfare has been rendered inaccessible to traffic because of the surging waters.

Centre exhorts states to accelerate endeavor to combat swine virus

August 21: The Centre on Friday exhorted the states in the nation to additionally get ready to efficiently curb the contamination of Swine flu germ. Speaking at the state Health Minister's meeting in New Delhi on Friday the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad strongly condemned a number of states for their negligence in coping with the condition. He urged the states to launch alertness drive and organize everyday media conferences to furnish data about the condition.

Mr. Azad revealed that his Ministry was functioning day and night to curb the contamination of the germ and that the virus had been restrained for the time being. He observed that up to the previous night reports of just 36 casualties arrived, while the media was furnishing a much greater figure. Mr. Azad noted that the government was attaching carefulness on this topic following reports that three persons succumbed to the virus in Pune because of the virus but afterward it emerged that they had perished because of some other disease. Mr. Azad stated that 43 examination laboratories together with 20 in the private segment were functioning and the majority of the states have created segregation zones in various hospitals. Mr. Azad revealed that three companies which have been authorized to produce vaccine for Swine virus would be capable to make it shortly and the vaccine will be obtainable in the market by January-February. He furthermore guaranteed that there was adequate supply of Tami flu for cure of H1N1.

Talking about the National Rural Health Mission Mr. Azad observed that the states had been urged to spot rural locations for relocation of doctors as there was a proposal to augment the pay of doctors two fold who work in rural locations. The Health Minister showcased the accomplishments of the National Rural Health Mission and appealed to the states to function tirelessly to attain the preferred goals.

Pawar urges states to offer assistance to farmers affected by drought

August 21: The Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday urged the states to adopt urgent measures to offer assistance to the farmers affected by drought, mostly those who cultivated on a small way and farmers who possessed little land. He expressed the condition in 246 districts in 10 states as bleak, and said agriculture departments in the states must get ready to guarantee that the farmers were completely sustained at this vital period. Mr.Pawar furthermore observed that rabi crops could be sown before time and on large stretches to compensate for the kharif losses because of meager and unpredictable rainfall. Revealing that there could be a probable deficit of 15 per cent in paddy transplantation, Agriculture minister noted that there was a pressing requirement to encourage the cultivation of pulses, sunflower, bajra, fodder as well as vegetables.

He warned that the condition was bleak not only for transplantation of crops as well as crop vigor but also for supporting the animal wellbeing, living, chiefly for cultivators of small land and labourers without any land. Pawar urged the states to establish monitoring centres in state capitals as well as the district stage to cope with drought condition. Mr. Pawar furthermore observed that the augmentation in costs of sugar, which is a consequence of lessening output, required to be curbed.

DMK coalition ahead in Tamil Nadu, Congress triumphant in WB, Meghalaya bye elections

August 21: In Tamil Nadu, the reigning DMK led coalition is scheduled to emerge triumphantly in every one of the five constitutes where by polls were conducted on the 18th of August. In Srivaikuntam electorate, DMK's partner Congress has triumphed with the party outfits contender Mr. Sudalaiyandi vanquishing his close adversary by more than 31,000 votes. In the remaining four electorates the coalition has gained a sizeable advantage of more than 20,000 votes.

In West Bengal, the opposition party in the state, Trinamool Congress has grabbed the two seats in Sealdah as well as Bowbazar assembly bye polls. Mrs. Sikha Mitra emerged victorious in the Sealdah seat vanquishing her close CPI opponent Mr. Prabir Deb by approximately 16,000 votes while Mr. Swarna Kamal Saha won the Bowbazar seat trouncing his close Left Front backed independent aspirant Ms. Minoti Gomes by above 21,000 votes. By election to both the seats were necessitated after they remained unoccupied subsequent to the exclusion of Mr.Somen Mitra as well as Sudeep Bandhyopadyaya from the state assembly. Nonetheless, afterward they were voted to the Lok Sabha. Congress, which earlier occupied the two seats allowed its partner Trinamool Congress to put up their candidates for the by polls.

In Meghalaya, Congress aspirant Ms. Ampareen Lyngdoh vanquished her close adversary of UDP Mr Malcolm Tariang by 2327 votes in the bye elections. 10,582 legitimate votes were cast overall. The seat became empty as Ms Lyngdoh quit as UDP MLA and switched his allegiance to the Congress. With this triumph, the force of Congress has climbed from 26 to 27 in the sixty member state legislature.

Centre to launch horde of actions to curb counterfeit drugs

August 20: The Centre has resolved to launch a series of actions, consisting of requisitioning private detective agencies as well as establishing a distinct intelligence system to curb the augmenting nuisance of counterfeit and contaminated drugs in the nation.

Union Health Ministry sources revealed have that measures are as well being adopted to establish drug assessment centres at a number of ports apart from making available concessions in upper limit price to drug companies making use of most up-to-date packing expertise to offset the nuisance.

A distinct intelligence-cum-legal unit in the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is being established and if required the assistance of private detective agencies would as well be sought to expose these reprehensible actions.

The Ministry is furthermore going into the viability of having a compensation arrangement scheme for informers similar to the Central Board for Excise and Customs.

The Ministry would also seek veteran guidance of the rank of Additional Solicitor General for administering the cases of counterfeit drugs to be contested by senior counsels to curb the estimated Rs 17,500 crore unlawful trade the sources revealed.

Nepal PM urges Indian Industry to extend trade to the Himalayan country

August 20: The Nepalese Prime Minister Mr. Madhav Kumar requested Indian industry to invest in the Himalayan country in a range of areas. In his conference with the major forces of Industry in New Delhi, he guaranteed them of favorable ambiance for industrial expansion. The touring personage recognized roads, bridges, and infrastructure, production, and going to places of interest, agro-processing along with fiscal services as prospective zones of venture.

Mr. Nepal held wide-ranging talks with Dr. Manmohan Singh last evening at Hyderabad house on entire range of mutual associations. Official sources say that growing fiscal association between the two nations stayed at the core of the deliberations with the concentration on investment in hydro power segment.

The topic of utilizing Nepal's terrain for anti-India actions is supposed to have cropped up in the discussions. The Nepalese Prime Minister guiding a top level delegation held discussions with their Indian equivalent for approximately an hour. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was accompanied by the External Affairs, Home, Finance, Commerce Minister as well as National Security Adviser. The Prime Minister afterward hosted a formal meal as a mark of respect to the touring Prime Minister.

Government releases new course of action to curb swine virus contamination

August 20: The government revealed a new course of action to curb the contamination of swine virus. The course of action released by the Union Health Ministry asserts that there is no requirement to shut down schools. It has, nonetheless, counseled them to keep away from big congregations, segregation of pupils and workers exhibiting H1N1 signs and monitor frequent sanitization of school buildings.

The 16-point course of action for the schools as well advocates them to put off tours and put on show Dos and Don'ts for H1N1 virus at all vital locations. In the course of action for the testing Centres and hospitals having segregation units, they have been urged to follow basic management with the concentration on waste supervision and sophisticated life sustaining ambulances apart from the utilisation of triple surgical masks.

They furthermore laid stress on keeping patients in solitary segregation quarters and construction of 10-bed services with a particular part set aside from out patient care portions besides thorough hand wash and wash room services.

In the meantime, 216 established cases of swine virus have been reported from several regions of the nation on Wednesday. The greatest number of 48 cases was received from Mumbai with Pune following next with 36 cases while 30 new cases from Chennai and 25 from Delhi have also been received. Reports of swine flu have come from other cities as well. As a result, the overall figure of swine flu cases has now climbed to 2,242 out of which 758 people have been released from cure facilities.

As said by the official announcement, the collective death reported till now is 28. A central group is already positioned in Maharashtra to aid the state government in adopting apt community health actions.

Jaswant condemns prohibition on book by Gujarat government

August 20: BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who was removed from the party for his favourable comments on Jinnah, censured the prohibition clamped on his book by the Gujarat government. Addressing newspersons in Shimla he said the prohibition on his book about Jinnah was equivalent to prohibition on opinion. He observed that outlawing his book was equivalent to the measure adopted against renowned writer Salman Rushdie for his contentious observation in 'Satanic Verses'. Singh furthermore noted that he was really disappointed by it.

On his continuation as MP from Darjeeling, he told the media that he had received a call over the telephone from his constituency asserting that the people of the region wished him to carry on in the position as the voice of the region in the Lok Sabha. Jaswant Singh was removed by the BJP yesterday for writing a book in which he has lauded the creator of Pakistan M A Jinnah.

246 districts countrywide proclaimed drought-hit

August 19: Two hundred and forty six districts in the nation extending across 10 states have been proclaimed drought-hit. As said by the Agriculture Ministry, every district in five states of Assam, Himachal Preadesh, Jharkhand, Manipur along with Nagaland have been confirmed as vulnerable to drought. UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh together with Karnataka are the additional states which have been terribly distressed with over half and in a number of cases over two thirds of their districts being affected by drought.

Nonetheless, in what could offer a little reprieve, the Met Office has revealed that monsoon is anticipated to renew from the 24th of this month because of depression forming along the shoreline of Orissa along with North Bengal.

Rice production to be poorer by 10 million tones in kharif season: Pawar

August 19: Rice output all through the kharif period this year may lessen by approximately 10 million tonnes because of poor rainfall in the nation, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar observed on Wednesday.

"This shortfall in monsoon may result in shortfall in area coverage of paddy by about 5.7 million hectares compared to last year and production of rice may be reduced by 10 million tonnes," Pawar noted while participating in talks with state food ministers in New Delhi.

The output in rice in both rabi and kharif periods in 2008-09 in the country was almost100 million tonnes.

"Some shortfall in production of oilseeds and sugarcane is also expected," Pawar further revealed.

Because of poor rainfall in a number of states, there were apprehensions regarding the output of food grain during the kharif season in the 2009-10 tenure.

CWC congregation commences to deliberate on drought condition in nation

August 19: An exclusive congregation of the Congress Working Committee, the CWC to deliberate on the drought condition in the nation has commenced in New Delhi. Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is presiding over the congregation and a number of key leaders of the party consisting of chief ministers are participating in the meeting. The CWC is furthermore anticipated to assess the measures adopted by governments of Congress governed states and thrash out what steps can be adopted by party chief ministers to guarantee that susceptible segments of the public is not troubled any more.

The Congress leadership has urged the Centre to adopt measures to guarantee the accessibility of necessary supplies and arrange an action preparation with reference to food items such as cooking oil, sugar as well as pulses. An authorized Group of Ministers has been established to adopt crucial tactics on how to cope with the state of affairs. It will endorse fresh ventures that require to be formulated or ease regulations in the prevailing ones in order that the profit can get to the beleaguered segment of the general public in an efficient way. The Prime Minister while guarantying that the country had adequate food grain supply asserted that there was nothing to be apprehensive about.

Congress rubbishes Advani censure of PM on Indo-Pak pronouncement

August 19: The Congress rubbished the charges made by veteran BJP leader L K Advani's condemnation of PM Manmohan Singh for not making any mention to the Indo-Pak combined announcement in his Independence Day speech. It also reacted in comparable attitude to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's critical remarks on Congress with regard to the anti-terror bill GUJCOCA.

"This does not behove anybody to dig up a controversy over the issue related to the country's foreign policy. It's BJP's habit to rake it up again and again," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi noted while reacting to a query about Advani's condemnation of the PM.

"It is wrong to ignore the facts (regarding the joint statement) presented by the Government of India and go by what Pakistan says over the matter. There has been no any doubt in the government or Congress party over the issue," he stated in a recent comment.

The Congress spokesperson further said that there could be no fruitful deliberations with Pakistan unless steps are adopted by them against militants.

"This was our stand in the past as well as now, which was also reiterated in Congress President's speech in the party's Parliamentary Party meeting," Singhvi affirmed.

To a query concerning Modi's sharp criticism of the central government for not sanctioning GUJCOCA, the contentious anti terror bill of the BJP guided state government, Singhvi observed, "Modi and BJP are raising stereotyped shallow issues."

"Modi is as usual playing politics on GUJCOCA. He is only playing politics on terror and is not serious about tackling it," Singhvi claimed.

The Congress spokesperson also condemned comments of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who on Sunday referred to a militant way of struggle" to attain a break away Telangana state.

"If it is true, I am astounded. ...there is no place for violence in a democracy. If it has been said, it is condemnable," Singhvi added.

EC crticises Karnataka CM for 'wilful' breach of model code

August 18: The Election Commission on Monday criticized Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa for "wilful violation" of the Model Code of Conduct prior to the bye-polls in the state and notified him to be more cautious in the days ahead.

The EC had previously conveyed a notification to the Chief Minister to clarify for the election pledges given by him during a trip to Kollegal assembly constituency where polling will be held on Tuesday together with four additional constituencies.

The EC has referred to the Chief Minister giving several assurances to the voters such as offering credits to cultivators to purchase cows, buffaloes, and giving the go ahead for expansion ventures for girijans and proclaiming a number of districts as drought-hit.

Yeddyurappa in his reaction said the ventures were previously publicized in the state's 2009-10 budget.

BSF confiscate 6 Kg heroin close to India-Pakistan border in Punjab

August 18: Vigilant recruits of India's para-military Border Security Force confiscated six kilograms of heroin from the farming regions of Attari village close to the India-Pakistan border in the nations northern state of Punjab on Monday.

Officials of the BSF revealed that these packages could have been flung by the Pakistani smugglers when they were confronted.

Narcotics agencies said that India, sandwiched between two chief drug- supplying areas, the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent, is a key shipment location for drug unlawful transportation of drugs to the West where prices are rewarding.

Congress stand not clear on pre-poll coalition with NCP in Maharastra

August 18: Congress is continuing to keep NCP speculating on their pre-election coalition in Maharashtra with no resolution adopted with regard to it even on Monday at a congregation of veteran party leaders presided over by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"No decision on alliance with NCP has been taken," Mumbai Congress President Kripashankar Singh, who took part in the vital congregation, revealed this in New Delhi on Monday.

At present, there are both pro- and anti-coalition notions inside the party with ex- state Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh resolutely backing a no pre-poll association with NCP.

In the congregation which spanned for a one hour period in which veteran leaders of Maharashtra with those at the Centre took part, the state leadership is supposed to have conveyed to the party high command that the backing of the people for the Congress had augmented following the Lok Sabha election in which the partys performance excelled in comparison to the NCP.

"The party high command took views of the state leadership and also listened to the views of central leaders. State leaders were confident of support of people to the party in the election and they apprised the high command of their opinion," sources within the party said.

Congress sources further stated that there was a common perception in the party that Congress has become more powerful in Maharashtra subsequent to the Lok Sabha elections.

Sources within the party gave adequate clue that the party may be bargaining for a greater share of the total 288 assembly seats.

At the congregation, Gandhi is believed to have ordered those activists entrusted with organisational jobs for the state to conclude unfinished activities following which one more congregation will be organised next week to finalise tactic for the forthcoming assembly elections.

Government has adequate skill to deal with a catastrophe like drought: PM

August 18: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the Chief Ministers of states saying that there was nothing to worry about as the nation has an enhanced comprehension of how to cope with a catastrophe akin to drought.

Addressing the exclusive meeting dedicated to the drought condition at some stage in the Chief Ministers congregation on Internal Security, Prime Minister observed that there was sufficient supply of wheat as well as rice in godowns and employment ventures akin to NREGA along with Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are in position to alleviate the condition.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee observed that NREGA could be broadened for drought assistance objective and applauded the Gujarat form as to how NREGA could be utilized for re-establishment of water bodies. He noted that the widespread PDS system required to be readied up in an efficient way.

Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar has requested the State Chief Ministers to individually keep an eye on drought along with price augmentation and to ensure that the measures launched by the Centre as well as the States are efficiently put into practice.

Swine Flu Toll Climbs to 28

August 17: The swine flu death toll in the nation climbed to 28 with a 36-year-old woman succumbing to the virus in Sasson hospital in Pune late Sunday night, official sources revealed. Till date thirteen people have perished after being afflicted by the deadly swine flu virus. Five people have died of the disease in Bangalore which ranks next to Pune with regard to the number of deaths caused by the virus.

In the meantime reports of 152 new cases of Swine Flu have poured in on Sunday from several regions of the nation. The greatest of them numbering 97 cases were received from Maharashtra, of which Mumbai accounted for 60 and Pune 18. In Delhi eleven people have been afflicted by the virus while 10 persons in Bangalore have been contaminated by the disease. Several cases of people with swine flu symptoms have been received from other cities as well. With this swine virus cases in its entirety has currently augmented to 1707 and 694 people out of the total number of cases have by now been released from hospitals and cure centres while those revealing symptoms of the disease are in hospital undergoing medication.

Rahul Gandhi on 3-day trip to Amethi

August 17: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will undertake a trip lasting for three days to his parliamentary constituency of Amethi commencing on Monday.

Gandhi will, at some point in his stopover, offer to the people the centralized stamping unit of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) at Jagdishpur, party spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh revealed in Lucknow.

The programme will also be graced by the presence of Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Vilasrao Deshmukh along with Minister of State Arun Yadav.

The Congress MP will take part in a sequence of functions during his three-day trip and is also likely to pay unplanned trips to villages to evaluate the progress of developmental ventures and achievement of NREGS, he noted.

Rajnath Thinks Raje's "positive message" signals that she will quit

August 17: The predicament in the BJP with regard to a rebellious Vasundhara Raje's rejection to quit as Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan assembly looked to reveal signals of calming subsequent to a pacifying proclamation by her but the party emphasized that she should resign, for which no fixed time was given. Following a congregation of the BJP Parliamentary Board at its central office, party president Rajnath Singh revealed Raje's comments made previously that she would follow by the party's resolution was a "positive message".

"BJP Parliamentary Board is confident that the message conveyed by me to her (to step down) will be followed by her," Singh observed. He corroborated for the first time on record that it was communicated to her that the ex- chief minister should resign as Leader of the Opposition. He said this resolution was adopted by the Core Group of the political outfit.

"No time-frame has been set (for her stepping down) so I cannot say that party's authority has been undermined," he responded while reacting to a query on whether a time limit has been fixed and her rejection destabilized the party's clout.

Following three days of rebelliousness, when Raje dispatched the MLAs backing her to Delhi to communicate to the party authority that she would not resign, she ascertained in Jaipur in the morning that she had on no account taken into consideration the prospect of establishing another party. The MLAs were upset when veteran party leader L K Advani turned down their claims to meet him.

"Whatever the BJP Parliamentary Board decides, it will be acceptable to the BJP legislature party" guided by her, Raje's trusted assistant Gyan Dev Ahuja revealed in Jaipur prior to the conference. After the parliamentary board meet, Raje and her supporting MLAs met briefly in Jaipur. Ahuja said a final decision would be taken only after getting a formal communication from the board.

Militant groups in Pak plotting further assaults in India: PM

August 17: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday affirmed that there was convincing reports that militant outfits anchored in Pakistan are getting ready to unleash further assaults in India and emphasized on the requirement for extreme watchfulness.

"There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks," the Prime Minister made this comment while speaking at the Conference of Chief Ministers in New Delhi.

He observed that cross-border terror campaign continues to be the "most pervasive" danger.

"After Mumbai attacks, we have put in place additional measures. There is need for continued utmost vigilance," Dr Singh noted.

Gram Nyayalayas to be functional all over the nation shortly

August 16: The Gram Nyayalayas stretching across the nation will shortly be functional for handing out quick justice. Speaking at a joint press conference in New Delhi on Sunday together with the Chief Justice of India, Mr. K.G Balakrishnan, the Union law Minister Mr. Veerappa Moily revealed that the state as well as the chief justices of the High Courts have been urged to generate extra positions of judicial executives to combat the mounting number of cases awaiting trial all across the nation.

Articulating apprehension with regard to the great number of cases awaiting trial in all the high courts and Supreme Court, the chief justice noted that the pending cases are great because 20000 positions of judicial executives were unoccupied in various courts.

Nitish asks for central funds to tackle Bihar drought

August 16: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday delivered a missive to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a plea for a support of Rs 23,071 crore to tackle the fiscal trouble created by the "unprecedented" drought condition existing in the state.

Prior to setting off for New Delhi to take part in the Chief Ministers' meeting organized by the Prime Minister, Kumar's missive, which was made available to the media, observed that the fiscal necessity to cope with drought condition could escalate if the other districts also experienced sparse rainfall in the upcoming weeks.

The state has already proclaimed 26 out of its total of 38 districts as drought-affected, in which almost 1.26 crore families have been distressed with paddy coverage revealing on the whole a deficit of 57 per cent.

Swine flu death toll climbs to 4 in Karnataka

August 16: The death toll in swine flu in Karnataka rose to four with a 27-year-old woman succumbing to the virus on Saturday night at Baptist Hospital, as said by an official.

Begum, who was taken to the hospital on 10th August, had been afflicted with problems related to breathlessness for the last three months and was also suffering from cough, fever and cold recently, Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Chandy Abraham revealed.

"When she came in she was diagnosed as patient with cardiovascular problem and signs of early pneumonia," he said.

Her X-ray as well revealed symptoms of pneumonia and sputum culture confirmed bacteria.

"She showed signs of a patient with cardiac problems with bacterial pneumonia information, who usually responds with antibiotics if they are young patients," he said.

Though Shamshad in the beginning displayed certain signs of progress, in the past three days her condition degenerated, Abraham noted, further stating she afterward exhibited symptoms of H1N1 and given Tamiflu tablets on 14th August. She had been kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ever since she was hospitalized, he added.

Begum's throat swabs, which were forwarded for examination, tested positive. Her details arrived late on Saturday night, a health official stated.

He observed they were following her past medical conditions to confirm her other related medical problems.

Abraham stated all employees and workers who came in touch with her and her family has given Tamiflu tablets

PM: Government establishing 71 additional CBI courts

August 16: With the objective of coping up with a large number cases pending in courts the government has resolved to set up 71 extra CBI courts all over the nation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh affirmed on Sunday.

"The government on the advice of Chief Justice of India, has agreed to establish 71 additional CBI courts in different states. Fast-track courts should conduct their business differently and faster than normal courts, only then we shall be able to tackle the pendency in cases," Singh made this observation while addressing a meeting of Chief Ministers as well as Chief Justices of states in New Delhi.

Little impact of plea for Kosi flood aid on MPs

August 16: The plea of presiding officers of Lok Sabha along with Rajya Sabha to MPs to donate to Kosi flood relief from their local area expansion financial account in the previous year evoked a tepid reaction from members of the Lower House while it was a little bit better in the Upper House.

The request of Lok Sabha speaker in quest of donation from MP's Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund for restoration works following the Kosi flood in the previous year extracted reaction from barely 155 of the entire force of 545 members, which is approximately 28 percent.

The reaction of Rajya Sabha members was somewhat better with 149 of the 250 members voluntarily contributing to the restoration ventures in flood-hit areas of Bihar, the facts from Ministry of Statistics and Program implementation revealed.

Paratrooper Ahmad Malik conferred with Ashok Chakra By President

August 15: Paratrooper Shabir Ahmad Malik belonging to the armys young top Special Forces commando from Kashmir, has been conferred with the Ashok Chakra posthumously by the President of India for defending the life of his companion and exterminating two militants all alone.

Malik, a dweller of a rural community in Srinagar and an ex student of Manasbal Sanik School who joined the Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in March 2007 and afterward voluntarily opted for the Special Forces, was component of a group following the movement of ultras entering the country unlawfully and was and the forefront of the squad as a volunteer scout when he become aware of the existence of terrorists. He cautioned his commando associate, but a volley of bullets by militants from three directions led to his companion receiving wounds.

Fearless, the youthful paratrooper who was chosen to the 1st Battalion of Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) out of almost 200 trainees in March 2008;advanced in the face of severe firing and freed his associate. Apart from this, he rushed towards the terrorists and exterminated two from close range in face-to-face clash.

All through this, the paratrooper received critical gunshot injury, but rejected proposals to be taken out of the troubled zone and continued encouraging and commanding his group companions against the militants. He ultimately yielded to his wounds, but not prior to assisting in successful removal of his associate.

President Calls For Responsible And Accountable Governance

August 15: The President Mrs. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil appealed for a more responsible and visible authority to make certain that the advantages of flagship and additional project stretched to the underprivileged sections of the society. Giving a speech to the people of the country on the occasion of Independence Day Mrs. Patil noted that development in authority is vital for successful release of community services to transform the existence of citizens. Underlining the requirement for responsibility, keenness and truthfulness, Mrs. Patil observed that there is a rage when funds intended for the benefit of the poor is siphoned off by means of dishonest procedures.

Talking about the growing hope of the people, the President affirmed that they were turning out to be increasingly conscious of their privileges and yearn for enhanced prospects. Demanding the best possible execution of the different flag ship projects of the government, Mrs. Patil emphasized on the requirement for granting opportunities to the helpless and susceptible segments of the population. She noted that they were still not complete associates in the expansion and growth procedure of the nation and lingers on the margins of the society.

Mrs. Patil believed that these segments should be having the right of entry to education, health and talent creation in order that they can be attracted into the countrywide mainstream. The President observed that each national is vital and the Principle of extensiveness is vital for democracy. She added that every voted member stands for on an average the proclamation of 1.3 million voters and this entails an enormous task to stand for the ambition of those who have voted for them.

Re-establishing development rate to 9% is the supreme test: PM

August 15: The Prime Minister on Saturday guaranteed the people of the nation that the government will be competent to encounter the condition because of scarce rainfall. Delivering a speech to the country from the parapet of the momentous Red Fort in New Delhi this morning on the occasion of the 63rd Independence Day, Dr. Singh assured that the nation has ample supply of food grains and every attempts will be made to restrain the augmentation in the costs of food grains and other necessary produce.

The Prime Minister also urged to the state governments to utilize their ability to avert stockpiling and black marketing of necessary produce. Guaranteeing the cultivators of assistance to cope with drought the Prime Minister revealed that date for refund of bank credits has been deferred and the cultivators are receiving extra sustenance for the payment of interest on short period speech. In his 6th Independence Day communication consecutively and the first subsequent to the UPA government commencing its second tenure, the Prime Minister observed that the supreme test the country encounters nowadays is to bring back development rate to nine per cent.

He noted that attempts will be made in this regard and articulated the optimism that the condition created by worldwide recession will get better by the closing stages of this year.

Government favours weapons manufactured in the nation: Antony

August 14: The government is dedicated to updating the security forces and will give precedence to weapons manufactured in the country over weapons procured from abroad , Defence Minister A K Antony said on Friday.
"We are firm in our resolve to provide our armed forces with the latest equipment, but at the same time, we must reduce our dependence on foreign products," Antony made this comment while addressing the armed forces personnel in his Independence Day eve speech.

"Armed Forces all over the world are modernising and becoming technology-intensive. Our government remains committed to the modernisation of our armed forces.

However, the modernisation process must go hand-in-hand with indigenisation," he observed.

Referring to India's first domestically manufactured nuclear-propelled submarine INS Arihant, which was unveiled for sea tests the previous month, he affirmed, "Our short-term and long-term aim should be to make such examples the norm".

Rajasthan MLAs call on Rajnath; Demonstrate Outside Advanis House

August 14: A team consisting of 45 Rajasthan BJP MLAs backing Vasundhara Raje called on party president Rajnath Singh on Friday in an effort to coerce him against the high command's resolution to eliminate her from the position of leader of opposition in the assembly.

A bold Vasundhara Raje on Friday declined to relinquish her post as Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan and dispatched 55 BJP MLAs to the capital to press for their claim to L K Advani, creating new crises for him five days prior to the party's brainstorming session in Shimla.

The cluster of legislators together with the four BJP MPs from Rajasthan, arrived at Advani's house this afternoon but the BJP chief declined to give them an audience , encouraging them to perform a sit-in outside his residence.
Afterwards, BJP chief whip in Rajasthan Assembly Rajendra Singh Rathore along with the outfits leader Kiran Maheshwari put forward a communication of their claim to Advani's office.

Raje is believed to be in the good books of Advani and her followers anticipate him to resolve her problems.
Raje's followers assert that they enjoy the backing of 57 of the 78 BJP MLAs. In the 200-member assembly, Congress has a total of 101 MLAs.

Want of identity evidence leads to rejection of profit to underprivileged: PM

August 13: According great emphasis to the Unique Identification venture, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed that want of identity evidence results in persecution and rejection of services to the underprovided people and resulted in weakness in several government ventures.

Presiding over the opening congregation of the 11-member council created to offer suggestions to the recently formed Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI), he noted, the venture will particularly augment distribution of Flagship ventures of the Centre.

Stating that his government accords "high priority" to this venture, which is being led by ex Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, the Prime Minister observed, "lack of identity proof results in harassment and denial of services to the poor and marginalised."

He affirmed want of identity evidence leads to problems in a number of projects for the well being of the underprivileged.

EVMs cannot be manipulated: Election Commission

August 13: Amidst charges by a cluster of political outfits that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) could be manipulated, the Election Commission on Thursday said that no one has been able to manipulate the EVMs and in the future nothing could be done to make the EVMs work according to the whims of the operator.

"In the view of the Election Commission, EVMs were and are tamper proof. Nobody has been able to demonstrate that they can be tampered with," Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla told newspersons in Mumbai.

On the claims made by several outfits that printouts of ballots should be made available, Chawla observed "We believe a paper trail would foil the essence of democracy, which is secrecy of individual ballot, and it would be seriously compromised."

"The whole purpose of democracy is that individuals' preference must be secret and it is the whole pillar of free, fair and transparent election process," he noted.

Bangalore reports first swine flu death

August 13: The first swine flu casualty was reported in Bangalore today when a 26-year-old teacher succumbed to the virus in Bangalore while an infant and two women perished in the country most badly affected region Pune on Thursday. With this the countrywide toll in deaths resulting from swine flu has climbed to 21. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that people should not unnecessarily be apprehensive of the disease and the government was doing all it could do to keep things under control. .

The augmentation in flu cases in the nation was deliberated upon thoroughly at the congregation of the Union Cabinet in Delhi, all through which Dr Singh urged Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to act in order to bring back self-assurance of the people and making certain that alarm is not generated.

Officials said Azad delivered a on the flu condition before the Cabinet subsequent to which the topic was comprehensively deliberated upon.

Articulating worry over the swine flu condition, Dr Singh is believed to have revealed that this was a crucial difficulty that the nation was confronting and at the Government level everything was being done to keep things under control.

Swine Flu Toll Climbs To Fifteen

August 12: The death toll in Swine flu pandemic climbed to 15 on Wednesday with three more persons - two in Pune and one in Nashik perishing after being afflicted by the virus while schools, colleges as well as cinema halls in Mumbai were closed to curb the contamination from spreading.

29-year-old Shrawani Deshpande and 33-year-old Balu Kuland succumbed to the virus in Pune, taking the toal number of deaths in the most badly affected city in Maharashtra to 8, officials revealed.

Nashik recorded its first flu casualty when 38-year-old doctor Rupesh Gangurde died because of the viral contamination at the Nashik civil hospital on Wednesday morning. He was taken to a private hospital on Monday after he showed signs of vomitting and fever. His blood sample was forwarded to Pune which confirmed H1N1.

So far, the swine virus has resulted in the deaths of 15 people; one each in Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Thane, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, two in Mumbai and eight in Pune.

Central Teams being sent to States to combat Swine Flu condition

August 15: Central teams consisting of high level officials from the Central Government are being relocated to States to assist them in creating ability to deal with the swine flu condition.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday spoke to all the Chief Ministers of States with connection to readiness to combat H1 N1 conditions. Chief Ministers have been urged to preside over the first congregation of these squads in order that urgent steps are adopted for quick execution. The central squads will deliberate with state governments about the fresh advisory offered by the Ministry with connection to competence creating topics.

Centre to organize all-party congregation on NREGA execution

August 12: With apprehensions expressed in Parliament with regard to execution of the NREGA, the Centre will rapidly organize an all-party convention to make its accomplishment more successful all over the nation.

"We will have to address the issues relating to the implementation of NREGA when Parliamentarians are saying that there are grievances. I am not talking about Congress only but others (other parties) also," Union Minister for Rural Development C P Joshi revealed this today.

"We will invite representatives from (all) the political parties to interact with them and take feedback on NREGA to consider how to make the programme (NREGA) more effective," he observed.

The Minister affirmed his ministry will also hold talks with other stakeholders on NREGA to get reaction from them in this regard.

"I welcome criticism. I will also visit states to take stock of the situation," he made this observation to newspersons in New Delhi.

Buddhadeb: Forces to remain in Lalgarh till condition normalises

August 12: Acknowledging a jolt to security operation against Maoists by combined units consisting of security personnel from the centre as well as the state, in Lalgarh, Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has affirmed that Central security personnel together with the police would remain in the volatile region till the condition calms down.

He observed that the security forces received a jolt after Maoists recommenced their reckless slaughter but was optimistic that it would be resolved in the following stage of maneuver which would be strategically dissimilar. We are not claiming full success for the anti-Maoist operation, though there was success in the initial phases," Bhattacharjee told the media at Midnapore on Tuesday.

He said concurrently with the security drive, activities to uplift the conditions of people would also be undertaken in the Lalgarh tribal stretch.

One more perish in swine flu as total climbs to 6

August 11: One more person became a victim of the dreaded swine flu virus in Pune when a 13-year-old girl lost her life at the Sasoon Hospital in the wee hours on Tuesday, taking the over casualty all over the country to eight. Shruti Gawade, a student of Ahilyadevi School, was the sixth to succumb to the effect of H1N1 virus in Maharashtra. Pune reported the maximum number of deaths with five people falling prey to the virus. The virus claimed a life each in Chennai and Ahmedabad. Dr Pandurang Pawar, Medical Superintendent of Sasoon hospital revealed that Shruti, who stayed at Narayan Peth locality, had been put on ventilator since August 7 when she was admitted to the hospital in serious state after a private nursing home referred her to the hospital for treatment.

The Maharashtra government has augmented its anti-swine virus action. State chief secretary Johny Joseph revealed that the state was completely ready to deal with the epidemic and offered suggestions to the people in the form of an advisory urging them not to be alarmed and to keep away from locations packed with people. 22 fresh swine flu contaminations were reported in Mumbai, on Monday. 95 new contaminations, half of them from Pune, have poured in from all over the nation, on Monday with the total number of swine flu cases touching 960.

The Centre has proclaimed a slew of techniques to cope with the crises. It has taken a resolution to append an extra two crore tami flu capsules to its reserves.

22,000 additional checking gadgets will also be procured from abroad. The Indian Council of Medical Research will scrutinize the option of creating affordable checking gadgets to be offered all across the nation. Checking of travelers coming to India will go on. Thermal scanners are to be obtained and set up at all international airports on the basis of urgency. Central squads will be dispatched to States and Union Territories to spot government and private hospitals for the cure of the affected victims of the virus. Strategies have also been approved to offer support to private diagnostic clinic for checking swine flu virus. The diagnostic capability of prevailing 19 chosen laboratories will be augmented two fold.

Food production expected to decline: Pranab

August 11: Food production in the present economic condition is expected to plummet because transplantation will be 20 per cent lesser because of the poor monsoon. The Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday made these comments while addressing the media on the side lines of a programme in New Delhi and added that 161 districts have been proclaimed as vulnerable to drought. He nonetheless, observed that this phenomenon was not likely to weaken the general economic state of affairs. Mr. Mukherjee noted that he was of the same view as that of the Reserve Bank of India's augmentation forecast of six per cent and beyond for the present economic scenario. .

On the other hand Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got in touch with Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Chairman Mahendra Dev on Monday. Official sources revealed that he conveyed to him the techniques necessary to deal with the condition on account of the scarce and deferred monsoon.

In the talks, which were held following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with Chief Secretaries, deliberations were held on the drought condition, the right to food regulation and lasting strategy to develop the farm segment. Dr.Singh also held discussions with 13th Finance Commission Chairman Vijay Kelkar and Planning Commission Secretary Sudha Pillai and is understood to have mulled over the drought condition in various parts of the nation.

BSF alerted over 'Long March' against dam plan

August11: With 12,000 protestors from Bangladesh moving in the direction of Indias boundaries for a 'Long March' objecting to the construction of Tipaimukh dam project at the trijunction of Assam-Manipur-Mizoram, a high degree of alert has been sounded to the Border Security Force patrolling the region. The 'Long March' was launched in Dhaka on Saturday.

The protestors are moving towards Sylhet, 272 km northeast of Dhaka, where they would arrive on Tuesday and then advance in the direction of the Indian border. Official sources said Sylhet district shares boundaries with Assam as well as Meghalaya, "We will ensure that no untoward situation arises," a BSF official revealed, asserting that the forces were as well ready to prevent any likely incursion effort by agitators exploiting the assemblage of large mass at the borders.

Bangladesh has expressed dissent against the planned Tipaimukh dam as it is apprehensive of a disastrous consequence in the greater Sylhet region as it would obstruct the surge of Barak River, the chief river running through the flatlands of Bangladesh to Bay of Bengal. A number of top NGOs and chief Opposition party of Bangladesh - Bangladesh National Party (BNP), are taking part in the 'Long March'.

Manmohan Singh for new deal to city street hawkers

August 10: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has urged the states to adopt positive tactics to allow street hawkers to carry on with their business devoid of any persecution. A bill relating to the cause has been approved by Parliament to allow the government to execute the altered national policy on city street hawkers. Dr. Singh has as well appealed to them to reconstruct master planning regulations and local area tactics to make them comprehensive and cope up with the necessities of locations for street hawking.

The other measures on which emphasis has been accorded in the letter consist of separation of limitation free vending areas and transportable hawking locations in each city as well as town. The Prime Minister has as well urged states to adopt measures for convergent release of an assortment of government ventures for the advantage of roadside hawkers. These comprise Swarna Jayanti Yojana, Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission as well as Prime Minister's job creation projects. Dr. Singh has appealed to the states to give a new treatment to roadside hawkers as this section requires locations and services for their lawful actions.

Three ultras killed in Jammu Kashmir encounter

August 10: Three extremists were shot dead in an encounter with security forces in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Based on prior information, police together with security forces commenced a raid after sealing off locations in Loopjal region in the Mahore forest stretch in the district, in the wee hours of Monday, police sources in Jammu revealed.

The exchange of fire between the security forces and the ultras erupted after the rebels started firing on the combined group consisting of the police and the army that was engaged in the raid, police sources revealed adding that three rebels were exterminated in the skirmish.

The combined action by the police and security personnel is still continuing, according to police sources

Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand refuses transfer of forces to J&K

August 10: Himachal Pradesh as well as Uttarakhand has refused to offer the services of India Reserve Police (IRP) to Jammu and Kashmir, consequently putting a temporary stop to the procedure of relocating four additional regiments of the CRPF from the Jammu and Kashmir for combating Left-wing rebels in other regions of the nation.

Following the pullout of five battalions consisting of 5,000 security personnel from the Kashmir valley, four additional regiments were to be transferred from Baderwah, Gandoh, Poonch as well as Rajouri zones of Jammu area and substituted by India Reserve Police forces to be furnished by Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab along with Haryana, according to official sources.

While Punjab together with Haryana has consented, the other two states referred to law and order troubles and opposed the move.

The relocation of the CRPF is a component of the Governments tactics plan to transfer no less than 23 regiments of paramilitary forces and move them to regions affected by left wing violence in regions areas outside Jammu and Kashmir.

This comprises 16 regiments of the CRPF; 10 from Kashmir valley as well as six from additional regions areas together with five regiments of Border Security Force as well as two regiments of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

26 of 38 districts 'calamity hit' Proclaims Bihar Government

August 10: The Government of Bihar has proclaimed as "natural calamity-hit 26 districts out of 38 districts in the state" in the aftermath of scanty showers, and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant an exclusive package to cope with the catastrophe.

The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, adopted a resolution in this regard at an extraordinary congregation in Patna on Monday.

Following a comprehensive and exhaustive evaluation of the condition in the state and reports obtained from district collectors, the cabinet announced 26 districts as "natural calamity-hit", Kumar revealed subsequent to the congregation.

Kumar made a plea to the Prime Minister to right away dispatch a team of Central ministers for a review of the condition and requested for an exclusive financial package to the state.

Regarding claims made by the opposition proclaiming the total state as drought affected, the chief minister asserted that the cabinet deliberated on the topic and resolved to incorporate additional districts after a careful assessment of the condition.

The state government has proclaimed as "calamity-hit" the districts of Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Kaimur, Siwan, Arwal, Nawada, Munger, Aurangabad, Sheikhpura, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Bhagalpur, Banka, Saran, Jehanabad, Muzaffapur, Sitamarhi, Begusarai, Madhepura, Kishanganj, Katihar as well as Vaishali.

This year during the period spanning from June 1 to August 6, Bihar experienced only 331.7 mm of rain in comparison with the usual 568.5 mm, a deficit of 42 per cent. This led to 58 per cent deterioration in paddy transplantation which was slated to cover 87, 722, 41 acres.

Health Minister meets Cabinet Secretary to chalk out tactics to curb swine flu

August 10: With deaths caused by swine flu soaring, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday deliberated on the condition in the country owing to the spread of the flu with Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar.

The meeting, also attended by Health Secretary Naresh Dayal, came soon after two more deaths due to swine flu were reported in the country and the trio discussed the measures to restrain the further spread of the disease.

Swine flu has up till now accounted for the lives of six people. A 35-year-old ayurvedic doctor today became a victim of the virus in Pune, while a four-year-old boy died after being afflicted by the virus.

With a rise in the number of patients being afflicted by swine flu augmenting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday urged the Health Ministry to synchronize with state governments endeavour to curb the further rise in cases regarding the flu.

Prime Minister Forms Group To Accelerate Road Ventures

August 9: With road projects encountering obstacles, PM Manmohan Singh has formed a group to suggest techniques to accelerate them and make them alluring for banks as well as private investors in the midst of the worldwide downturn.

The resolution was adopted at a congregation chaired by the Prime Minister on Saturday to assess the Transport Ministry's grand arrangement of constructing 35,000 km of National Highways in the following five years.

The group, to be led by Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi, will put forward its assessment to the Prime Minister in two weeks, according to a formal announcement in New Delhi on Sunday.

The committee's conditions of suggestions to offer techniques to accelerate the procedure of carrying out the road projects gain importance as Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath articulated apprehensions at the congregation with regard to the prolonged time span necessary for road project execution.

Swine flu claims Gujarat NRIs life

August 9: A Non Resident Indian from Gujarat perished after being afflicted by swine flu in Ahmedabad on Sunday claim a total of four lives in the nation, as PM Manmohan Singh directed the Health ministry to work in tandem with state governments to curb the virus.

Three people who had been contaminated by the virus were in a crucial state in Maharashtra which declared a holiday in educational establishments in badly affected Pune for a week.

A number of schools in Mumbai as well as adjoining Navi Mumbai were also closed as a preventive step.

Rocked by augmentation in cases of swine flu which has resulted in the death of three people in his state, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan stated that his government was contemplating private hospitals to offer cure to the victims.

Bihar proclaims swine flu warning

August 9: The Bihar Government has announced a Swine Flu warning in the state chiefly in regions near the Indo-Nepal International Border. A Swine Flu alarm has been proclaimed particularly in border towns of Raxaul as well as Jogbani apart from Gaya. A caution has been proclaimed in Gaya as well where overseas travelers visit the pilgrim locations by means of international flights.

The Health Minister of Bihar Nand Kishore Yadav asserted that exclusive provisions have been put in place for Swine Flu checks in the state and the total of six medical college hospitals and district hospitals in the state have been directed to set aside 10 and 5 beds respectively for the victims of the flu.

PM urges people not to panic over swine flu

August 9: The Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh on Sunday evaluated the condition related to the outbreak of swine flu and appealed to the people not to be apprehensive about the situation. Dr. Singh spoke to Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday morning and mulled over the H1N1 condition prevailing in the nation. He urged Mr. Azad to commence a media operation consisting of specialists to generate consciousness with regard to the flu. The Prime Minister observed that the movement to make the people of the country conscious was essential to avoid people to avert public places and neither get themselves in trivial testing nor utilize Tamiflu arbitrarily.

Prior to this Union Health Ministry urged crisis management squads in all states to tackle and keep an eye on the condition frequently to restrain the ailment. The Health Minister has furthermore appealed to the people to assist in thwarting the spread of contamination. He directed the states to establish distinct Out Patient Departments in the government hospitals for diagnosing and cure of swine flu ailment.

Banks to recommence usual operation after strike

August 8: Usual operation of banks will recommence today following a two-day cease work resorted to by public sector bank staff making claims for a hike in their salaries. A 17.5 per cent salary augmentation was put forward by the management all through a peace-making conference the leaders had with the Indian Banks' Association IBA, in the company of the Chief Labour Commissioner S K Mukhopadhyay yesterday. Bank staff nonetheless, did not seem to be contented with this boost.

In the conference, it was resolved that they would soon organize mutual deliberations on salary augmentation. The IBA had previously decided to provide an average 17.5 per cent boost to banking staff, but afterward trimmed it to 13 per cent. At yesterday's conference, they were presented with the initial 17.5 per cent boost, but United Forum of Bank Union's organizer C H Venkatachalam stated that this was not adequate for the time being

PM to speak to chief secretaries on monsoon condition

August8: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, together with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, will speak to chief secretaries of states on Saturday to thrash out techniques to boost agricultural production considering the weak monsoon.

"The Prime Minister will be interacting with the chief secretaries on the drought-like situation in the country. Though normally the Prime Minister addresses Chief Ministers, because of the urgency of the issue, both the PM and the Agriculture Minister has decided to attend the meeting along with the Cabinet secretary," sources in the Prime Minister's Office revealed this to a news agency.

Singh additionally wishes to coach the bureaucracy in the states to offset any crisis because of the monsoon condition, they stated.

The Prime Minister is expected to assess the condition of monsoon and the sowing procedure in the current kharif season together with the accessibility of crucial agricultural requirements such as seeds, fertilisers, water as well as electricity.

The congregation may furthermore deal with activities with regard to the approaching Rabi season, alteration in the macro-management of cultivation plans, the accessibility of farm loan, and rehabilitated emphasis on Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana, under which states are encouraged to augment expenditure in the agricultural segment.

President launches Armed Forces Tribunal

August 8: The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), which will deliver judgment regarding litigation linked to service topics in addition to pleas against court martial sentences, was launched by the President Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in New Delhi this morning.

Established with reference to an Act of parliament in December, 2007, the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal will be located in New Delhi along with eight provincial benches stretched all over the nation. The Tribunal will encompass 15 courts overall, - three each in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow and one each in Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Kochi.

Distressed armed forces staff will currently have the right to plead against verdicts given by the court-martial. The Tribunal will as well have authority to award bail to any anyone in military detention. It is anticipated to be operative soon after the government furnishes the appropriate announcement. Presently approximately 9,000 such cases are awaiting trial before different courts all over the nation, the majority of them with the high courts.

Buta Singh's son granted bail

August 7: A special CBI court approved bail to Sarobjit Singh, son of National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman Buta Singh, and three others in connection with a bribery scam with the judge observing that if imprisoned jail they would become hardcore offenders and may carry out more grave offenses. Special CBI judge S P Hayatnagarkar approved bail to Sarobjit Singh, Anup Degi, Madan Solanki together with Dukh Singh Chauhan on a security of Rs one lakh for every offender.

The judge asserted that CBI can probe the case without the detention of Sarobjit and his accomplishes because if held in prison for additional time, they would turn out to be hardcore offenders and may carry out more dangerous acts of crime. CBI had apprehended Sarobjit on 31st July for purportedly making claims for a bribe to the tune of Rs one crore from Ramrao Patil, a businessman from Nashik, for absolving of charges in a case registered against Patil under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The judge ordered all the offenders to surrender their passports to the officer conducting the probe. He also directed them to turn up at CBI office regardless of their places of location every day.

Strike by PSU bank staff affects trade

August 7: Staff of government-operated banks persisted with their shut down making claims for augmented salaries for the second day on Friday, disrupting mass cash as well as current account dealings while cash stocks in ATMs started diminishing all over the nation. Even though private banks functioned normally greater part of business as well as industry was disrupted in the aftermath of the shutdown by employees of 25 nationalised banks who are making claims for alteration of salaries and a second alternative for pension in the midst of additional things.

The Indian Banks' Association (IBA), a conglomeration of public sector banks, has so far not officially reacted to the claims made by the staffs who have resorted to the strike to press for their demands. "The strike has been very successful. Operations in most of the banks have been completely hit," United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) organiser C H Venkatachalam had revealed on Thursday.

The UFBU is an organization of nine bank staff unions of the nation and asserts that the association has members from public, private as well as overseas banks.

Information Commissions Established in 27 states

August 7: The government on Thursday revealed that all the 27 states excluding Jammu and Kashmir in the nation have established their own Information Commissions in accordance with the RTI Act.

"All the 27 states to which the Right to Information Act, 2005 applies have constituted the Information Commissions. Union Territories are covered by the Central Information Commission," Minister of state for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Prithviraj Chavan notified the Rajya Sabha in a written response to the members of the House.

Government has launched a federally supported project on "Strengthening, Capacity Building and Awareness Generation for Effective Implementation of the RTI Act" by offering finances to State Information Commissions for IT activities as well as dissemination of right to information, providing training to several stakeholders and creating consciousness via the media, he affirmed.

India and China to deliberate on boundary related topics

August 7: India together with China would be optimistic of positive efforts in finding a solution to the tricky boundary topic when their Special Representatives assemble in New Delhi on Friday to deliberate on the agenda of the ultimate resolution.

National Security Adviser M K Narayanan as well as Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo will participate in the 13th sequence of discussions on the subjected related to boundary problems for two days. Prior to the talks, sources in New Delhi revealed that both the countries were taking measures to promptly settle the "complex" subject while sustaining tranquility and calm on the border.

As a major development the talks between the Special Representatives would for the first time deal with regional and other issues of mutual interest" apart from the boundary dispute. The discussions on the border subject between the Special Representatives, commenced in 2003, are in the second stage and are being conducted in terms of Political Parameters as well as Guiding Principles arranged between the two nations in 2005.

The two sides are at present searching for the agenda for the ultimate component of the decision that will comprise all area of the border, sources revealed on Thursday. The talks are aimed at taking into consideration the regions with settled populace also, the sources added. Following the finalization of the agenda, the real demarcation of the boundary will begin, sources observed.

Two persons test positive for swine flu in West Bengal

August 7: A Japanese citizen along with another person tested positive for swine flu on Thursday, taking the total number of people contaminated by the virus in West Bengal to eight.

"Two persons, Bahadur Feroze Shah and a Japanese national Uki Nakazawa, tested positive. With this, eight persons have been detected to be affected by the disease," Tapas Sen, Health department's swine flu Nodal Officer confirmed.

The Japanese citizen was removed to the Infectious Diseases hospital subsequent to revealing signs of flu at a private nursing home where he was undergoing treatment for diarrhoea, sources in the Health Department stated, stating that Shah was undergoing treatment at the hospital previously with signs of the virus.

As said by the officials of the Health Department, three of the eight contaminated patients were currently being treated in the ID hospital, while the rest have been released.

Four persons supposed to be contaminated with the virus were still undergoing treatment, the sources revealed.

With the ID Hospital's segregation zone possessing just 12 beds, it was resolved at a Health Department congregation that district hospitals would be ordered to establish provisional segregation zones as was the case at the time of bird flu, Sen remarked

2 Hizbul militants apprehended in Delhi with AK-47 rifles

August 7: In the aftermath of the government sounding an alert about a likely terror assault prior to Independence Day celebrations, Delhi Police detained two alleged Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists on Thursday night, who were reportedly making preparations for carrying out terror strikes in the capital of the nation.Javed Ahmed together with Ashiq Ali, the alleged terrorists, were detained by the Delhi Police's top anti-terror branch from Central Delhi's Daryaganj region at about 11 pm on Thursday night.

Ahmed along with Ali, who were traveling in a white car, were stopped by police at Mahavir Vatika parking site after receiving an intelligence report, Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P N Agarwal revealed this to a news agency.
"We had inputs about their movement and tracked them," he observed.

Police asserted that they had confiscated two AK-47 rifles, two grenades and approximately 100 cartridges, apart from certain papers from the radicals, who were in their early 30s.Probes are on to establish their citizenship, but a veteran police official revealed that they seemed to be Indians. Queried about the locations they had targeted in Delhi, police said that they were questioning them. The detentions came soon after Union Home Ministry publicised intelligence reports with connection to LeT plans to orchestrate terror strikes in three major cities of Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata prior to Independence Day celebrations.

Subsequent to intelligence reports linked to terror assaults, the Delhi Police has pressed into service hundreds of policemen as well as paramilitary personnel all over the national capital. Security agencies are continuously assessing measures to fortify the Red Fort, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hoist the national flag. Exclusive teams such as Quick Reaction Teams, Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) as well as Vajra (of the Rapid Action force) are being pressed into service, an official revealed.

Assaults on Indians to get top priority in talks

August 6: Assaults on Indian students and topics of removing the prohibition on uranium exports will be will be accorded top priority on the agenda of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna when he commences negotiations with Australian leaders on Thursday.

Mr. Krishna will participate in a meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, his Australian equivalent Stephen Smith and will be present at the Annual Post Forum Dialogue Meeting of the Pacific Island Forum in Cairns all through his visit lasting for five days.

Sources in the External Affairs Ministry stated, Mr. Krishna will go to Sydney as well as Melbourne on Sunday and Monday to gain knowledge exactly regarding the troubles being encountered by Indian students and would talk about the topic of their security and protection with the Australian leaders.

Mr. Krishna will also assess the taken, in this respect, by the Australian law enforcement agencies. At both locations, the External Affairs Minister will take part in meetings with well-known members of the Indian community as well as Indian students.

Meeting of Chief Secretaries called

August 6: Cabinet secretary Mr. K M Chandrasekhar has organized a congregation of the chief secretaries of the states as well as union territories on Saturday in New Delhi to deliberate on the drought condition existing in several regions of the nation. The conference will also evaluate the needs of the states and union territories that have received scarce rainfall and chalk out a strategy to cope up with prevailing conditions.. The government is apprehensive about the poor sowing of paddy this kharif season because of scanty rainfall in the rice-sowing states. The congregation will also assess the price augmentation of essential commodities since the past several weeks

Judicial Custody for Butas son

August 6: Turning down CBI's entreaty for additional detention of NCSC chief Buta Singh's son Sarobjit and three others apprehended on allegations of accepting bribes, a special court in Mumbai has remanded them to judicial custody and would consider their plea for bail on Thursday.

Special judge S P Hayatnagarkar turned down the CBI entreaty observing adequate time was provided to the agency for investigation.
In my opinion further custodial interrogation of the accused was not required," Hayatnagarkar asserted.

Sarobjit, Anup Begi, Dhukhsingh Chauhan as well as Madan Solanki arrested in the bribery case remained silent when the judge wanted to know if they had to anything to reveal. The accused were detained last week.

CBI accused Sarobjit of not assisting with the investigation and he had ruled out his part in the offense. CBI also made claims to transfer Sarobjit to Delhi for interrogation and to make certain the consequence of actions and the planning behind the scam.

Bank employees launch 2-day countrywide shutdown

August 6: Staffs of public sector banks all over India have started a two day strike from Thursday to press for salary increase, among other claims.

"We are on strike from today as Indian Banks' Association (IBA) did not concede to the bank unions demand for the wage hike," observed United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) convener C H Venkatachalam on Thursday.

Apart from not consenting to a salary increase to the level as claimed by the unions, Venkatchalam noted that the IBA had as well pulle4d back from its previous stance that the prevailing pension scheme will be provided to the rest of the employees who are currently in PF scheme.

The UFBU is an amalgamation of nine bank employees unions of the nation and says its members belong to the public, private as well as overseas banks.

The UFBU asserted that nearly 10 lakh employees, consisting of officers, are taking part in the strike and operations in almost 60,000 bank branches in the nation have been disrupted. PSU banks are in command of approximately 70 per cent of the banking services in the nation.

Multi-dimensional tactics to contain swine flu

August 6: Government on Thursday asserted that a multi dimensional tactics has been adopted to efficiently contain swine flu also referred to as H1N1 influenza. This consists of thorough screening of travelers arriving from distressed nations and the presence of correct cure and assessment locations all over the nation. Health Minister Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad told a news agency that persons are being tracked and examined who are discovered to be located close to the contaminated people in several global flights. He observed 482 out 596 persons have been released from hospitals after effective cure of swine flu and are taking a break and recuperating quickly. Mr. Azad affirmed two additional checking laboratories have also commenced operation in New Delhi since yesterday raising their number to 40 in the country.

Expressing regret at the demise of a Pune girl because of swine flu, Mr. Azad made a plea to the media not to make people unnecessarily panicky and urged them to play their part rationally. He also urged the people not to be apprehensive as there was nothing to be anxious of.

Akali Dal resists attempts to form another SGPC for Haryana

August 6: Opposition BJP as well as Akali Dal on Thursday created an upheaval in Rajya Sabha over purported attempts to form a distinct Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee for Haryana resulting in the suspension of the House till 1200 hours.

Shortly following the procedure of new members taking oath or affirmation, BJP and Akali Dal members stood up making claims for adjournment of the Question Hour to deliberate on the topic .Chairman Hamid Ansari observed that the topic was dealt with in the morning and it was resolved that the topic will be taken into consideration subsequent to the Question Hour.

Currently, there is only a single SGPC for Punjab as well as Haryana at the moment another unit for Haryana is being put forward. In the midst of slogan shouting, the Chairman urged the members to return to their seats and permit the Question Hour to proceed.SGPC todna nahi chalega (SGPC will not be allowed to be divided)," screamed the opposition members as Ansari suspended the House till 1200 hours. Lok Sabha was suspended on two occasions on Thursday during Question Hour when Opposition members resented the attempt to form another Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee by the Congress government in Haryana

Three given death sentence for Mumbai explosions

August 6: Three offenders that consisted of a woman were awarded the death penalty by an exclusive court on Thursday for their connections with the 2003 explosion at the landmark locations of Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai which resulted in the death of 54 people and wounded 244 others. Mohammed Hanif Sayed, his wife Fahimda and Ashrat Ansari were given the death penalty by an exclusive Prevention of Terrorism Act court.

This is the only time that a couple is being sentenced by a POTA court for their links in triggering explosions .The three were found culpable of keeping two bombs that went off at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar on 25th August, 2003. They had as well placed a bomb on 28th July, 2003 in a municipal bus in suburban Ghatkopar that led to the death of two persons.

Giving his comments outside the court, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam observed that it was right that the three perpetrators of the crime were awarded the death penalty as the case belonged to the rarest of the rare type.

"We are happy that all three got the death penalty. It is a message to people who indulge in terrorism that the law will not spare them if they commit such barbarous acts," Nikam observed.

Three given death sentence for Mumbai explosions

August 6: Three offenders that consisted of a woman were awarded the death penalty by an exclusive court on Thursday for their connections with the 2003 explosion at the landmark locations of Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai which resulted in the death of 54 people and wounded 244 others. Mohammed Hanif Sayed, his wife Fahimda and Ashrat Ansari were given the death penalty by an exclusive Prevention of Terrorism Act court.

This is the only time that a couple is being sentenced by a POTA court for their links in triggering explosions .The three were found culpable of keeping two bombs that went off at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar on 25th August, 2003. They had as well placed a bomb on 28th July, 2003 in a municipal bus in suburban Ghatkopar that led to the death of two persons.

Giving his comments outside the court, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam observed that it was right that the three perpetrators of the crime were awarded the death penalty as the case belonged to the rarest of the rare type.

"We are happy that all three got the death penalty. It is a message to people who indulge in terrorism that the law will not spare them if they commit such barbarous acts," Nikam observed.

"Only Ladies" Exclusive Trains: Mamatas Rakhi Gift

August 5: With the aim of providing secure and trouble-free train trips for women and adhering to her Budget pledge, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday launched two trains exclusively meant for ladies.

Termed as a Rakhi present on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan to women, Mamata Banerjee flagged off the Delhi-Palwal and Mumbai-Panvel ladies exclusive trains to cope up with the requirements of growing numbers of women office goers.

Both the trains were flagged off concurrently by the minister from New Delhi through a distant regulating technique.

"We will be running more ladies trains to Panipat, Aligarh and Ghaziabad soon," observed Mamata Banerjee while flagging off the maiden "Only Ladies" train to Palwal.

Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister of State for Railway E Ahamed together with senior officials from the railway attended the opening ceremony of Northern Railway's first train exclusively reserved for ladies.

Security forces competent of tackling terror threats

August 5: Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor on Tuesday asserted that the armed forces of the country are "capable and confident" of combating terror menace while commenting on inputs by intelligence sources of possible terrorist assaults in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Any infiltration or militants trying to target security forces, I think we are very capable and confident of taking on any such attacks," Kapoor affirmed while asked to give his reactions about possibilities of terror strikes on army installations in Jammu and Kashmir.

On news of alterations of strategies by terrorists in launching assaults on military locations, he said, "We are aware of change in tactics but we have also refined our procedures to respond to such tactics."

Following last Saturday's rebel assaults on armed forces in central Srinagar claiming the life of an army man and wounding two others, intelligence agencies had sounded alerts that militants could launch more attacks on military establishments in the state.

Terrorists getting violent, utilizing novel expertise

Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday cautioned that terrorists were turning out to be more violent by embracing novel expertise in their venture but said the defence ministry will organize itself to combat these challenges.

"Terrorists are getting more and more aggressive in their activities the world over and they are adopting newer techniques and technologies in their operations," Antony observed after making public the Guidelines for Management of Chemical (Terrorism) Disasters compiled by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi.

"The defence ministry will also prepare itself (along with NDMA) to meet these threats from terrorists," he observed.

Maintaining that the 132-page strategies were "comprehensive", the Minister said they would assist in a big way in efficient deterrence and administration of chemical catastrophe in the nation.

He said the guiding principles were aimed at catastrophe administration including avoidance, scrutiny and intelligence collection, as well as competence building and infrastructure expansion for an efficient reaction, assistance and cure of regions affected by chemical catastrophe.

Articulating optimism that the new guiding principles would assist in successful avoidance and administration of chemical catastrophe, Antony maintained the test lay in realistic function of these on conflict like situations.

Ruling in 2003 Mumbai twin explosion case on Thursday

August 5: A chosen POTA court will fix the degree of sentence to be given to three convicts on Thursday who the police said were culpable for their role in the execution of twin bomb explosions at the Gateway of India as well as Zaveri Bazaar in 2003.

Last week, Special Prevention of Terrorism Act Court had sentenced Ashrat Ansari, Hanif Sayed Anees as well as his wife Fehmida Sayed for their part in triggering the explosions that claimed the lives of 52 people and wounded more than 100 others.

The offenders are likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment or be given death penalty, and Special Public Prosecutor has asserted he would demand the most severe sentence.

The court would take into consideration points of view of prosecution as well as defence lawyers prior to delivering its judgment on the ruling.

Mulayam censured by CAG for Safai airstrip

August 5: The Comptroller and Auditor General has labelled as rash the crores of rupees squandered on the renovation as well as expansion of the airstrip in Safai, Mulayam Singh Yadavs native village, while he was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

In its report put forward to the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, the CAG has censured the outlay of 48.04 crore rupees between 2004 and 2007 for renovating the airstrip for operating Boeing 737 and its marketable utilization afterward.

While RITES limited, which was appointed as advisors for the project in September 2004 in its comprehensive project analysis could not validate its viable reasonableness, it was argued that prospect of non aviation actions be surveyed and activities related to the air strip be expanded.

Although the project was concluded in February 2007, the airstrip was neither utilized for operating Boeing 737 services nor was there any expansion of flying club or shopping complex launched.

The report affirms that in its response in July 2008, the state government had observed the airstrip was completely operational although no air traffic control network existed.

But the government noted that the second level of activities akin to construction of air terminal building and additional services related to it were not necessary.

It was also observed that the utilization of the air strip runway for government flights was extremely minimal. Although in 2005-06, the number of flights that operated was 156 while it decreased to a meager 35 in 2007-08.

Upheaval in LS over India's tackling of Pak on militant topic

August 4: NDA, SP as well as RJD collectively criticized the government in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday over Pakistan's delaying strategy of prosecuting Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

Making claims for an instant reaction from the government on the progress, members from these parties produced an upheaval resulting in suspension of the House for half an hour.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav referred to the topic of the prolonged deferment of the trial of Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud Dawa faction, by Pakistans Supreme Court during Zero Hour.

Right to Education Bill Sanctioned By Parliament

August 4: The Parliament has collectively sanctioned the Right to Education bill ensuring free and obligatory education for children between 6 to 14 years of age. Deliberations on the Bill took place in the Lok Sabha today, which sanctioned the bill.

Referring to the Bill, Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal stated that it was the duty of the state governments to execute the provisions of the Bill. He affirmed that correct measures had been adopted in the Bill with regard to the disabled clause.

He as well asserted that access to funds for executing the bill would not be a difficulty and the Centre and state governments would resolve the topic.

Referring to the subject of members raising suspicions about the non-existence of any apparatus to make available pre-school education to children before reaching the age of six years, Sibal observed, "This Bill is drafted in accordance with the constitutional amendment that provides for free and compulsory education for children between the age of 6 and 14 years."

"However the states are free to provide pre-school education to children since these days education starts at the age of three or four years in the country", he affirmed.

Rajya Sabha sanctions continuation of reservation to SC/ST

August 3: A bill continuing with the practice of furnishing reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for ten more years was approved by the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill as well has provisions for keeping in force the convention of nominating Anglo-Indian Community members in both the Upper as well as Lower Houses of Parliament. The Constitution 109th Amendment Bill, 2009, which will be effective from 25th of January 2010, was accepted by all the 135 members who were in attendance and voting by means of a division.

The Deputy Chairman, Mr. K Rehman Khan gave directives for a physical verification of the members who were in attendance and cast their votes as the electronic voting machines malfunctioned. According to the stipulation, Constitutional amendment bills must be accepted by a majority but not less than two thirds of members in attendance giving their opinion through votes

PM Establishes Top Level Council to Guide UIDAI

August 3: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has set up a top level Council to guide and offer suggestions to Unique Identification Authority of India, UIDAI. The Council which will function with the Prime Minister as the Chairman will offer suggestions to UIDAI on the programme, tactic and accomplishment to guarantee harmonization between the various Ministries, stake holders as well as partners.

Besides a number of cabinet ministers comprising the Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the External Affairs Minister Mr. S.M.Krishna as well as the Home Minister Mr. P.Chidambaram, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia is also in the Panel along with the chairman of the authority Mr. Nandan Nilekani. The Council will also categorize precise targets for prompt conclusion of the project. The Authority was established in recent times with Mr. Nandan Nilekani elected as its Chairman

Dispute over Bundelkhand topic leads to disruption in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha

August 3: The attempt to establish a development board for Bundelkhand region purportedly without consulting the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments severely disrupted the activities in Parliament on Monday.

The Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha was suspended within minutes as activists belonging to the BSP as well as the BJP stood up and emphasized on the fact that the Bundelkhand subject be deliberated upon promptly adjourning the Question Hour.

The attempt to establish Bundelkhand Development Authority without conferring with the state governments was symbolic of imperialistic designs, BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj alleged. With the pandemonium continuing for quite sometime, Speaker Meira Kumar suspended the House till 12:00 noon.

In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari requested that the Question Hour be given due importance but his appeals were ignored. I am afraid; all this is against the rules. Members themselves are breaking the rules," he observed adding, I have no option but to adjourn the House till 1200 hours."

India: Pak has adequate proof to take action against Hafiz Saeed

India: Pak has adequate proof to take action against Hafiz Saeed

India on Monday has affirmed that there was adequate proof to start criminal proceedings against the "main brain behind" the Mumbai terror strikes and other such related attacks and Islamabad should reveal "conviction" to track them down.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna stated that India's tolerance was being subjected to pressure by the Pakistani procedure. "India has provided all the evidence through our dossiers.... We have provided dossiers on March 5 and 13, May 20, June 9 and August one and I don't know what more do they want," he asserted while addressing the media in New Delhi on Monday.

"If they (Pakistan) have the willingness, basic conviction than they should go after those who engineered the heinous attacks on India, on Mumbai," he observed with firm determination. Krishna said "whatever we have provided, according to our assessment that is evidence enough to punish them and Saeed is one of those who is the main brain behind the attacks."

He clarified that India had completed its component of the responsibility to penalize those who were responsible for the terror assaults "and it is for Pakistan to act. Responding to a query he firmly stated "it certainly is a test of patience of India."

Charismatic CPI (M) leader and minister Subhas Chakraborty passes away

August 3: Charismatic CPI (M) leader Subhas Chakraborty who was known for his organizational skills and his close contact with the masses died in a hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday. Chakraborty who was the Minister for Transport, Sports and Youth Affairs of the ruling Left Front Government was admitted to hospital on Thursday. Chakraborty was as suffering from cancer and was a patient of high blood sugar. The veteran CPI (M)s leader blood pressure fluctuated dangerously and he was put on ventilation. Doctors performed a second dialysis in a last ditch effort to save him. Sources said Chakrabortys end came at four in the morning on Tuesday but his death was officially confirmed by the Left Front Chairman Biman Bose at around 11.30.

Left Front Chairman Biman Bose went to Indira Bhavan, the residence of CPI (M) patriarch Jyoti Basu and broke the news to him. Basu 97, who has been keeping well for quite sometime was with his personal assistant Joy Krishna Ghosh when Bose broke the news to him A visibly stunned Bose said, I was supposed to go but a young worker whom the party needed left before me

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya described Chakraborty, his cabinet colleague as a man who led from the front with his bold and courageous approach.

Trinamool Congresss Chief Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences to the bereaved family and said that she had no personal rivalry with him and had worked together on many occasions regarding administrative policies and tactics.

Chakraborty who was 68 is survived by his wife and son. Chakraborty entered politics as an SFI activist, the Students wing of the CPI (M) in Motijhil College in Dum Dum in the Northern fringes of Kolkata. Afterward he joined the DYFI, the youth wing of the party prior to becoming a minister and holding several portfolios during his tenure in the state cabinet.

A large number of party activists thronged the hospital campus after Chakrobortys condition started deteriorating on Sunday. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharayee together with other cabinet and party colleagues visited the critically ill Chakraborty on Sunday as well as today when he breathed his last.

Mohit Bhattacharjee who was closely associated with Chkraborty on a number of occasions with regard to the activitivities of the party told exloticecho.com, He always wanted to help those in distress. Many people have benefited from his magnanimity. He will always be remembered as a true comrade who believed in action and not mere theories.

Despite suffering from a severe medical disability, Chkraborty was quite active in his ministerial capacity before he was admitted to hospital. Recently he held a meeting with representatives of the Transport Owners Association to discuss the topic of the Kolkata High Court verdict banning the movement of vehicles of fifteen years old from the city streets from August1, 2009.

Exoticecho News Division

Hard Time For Commuters as Government Enforce Court Order

Kolkata, August 2: Commuters in Kolkata had a harrowing time on Saturday and Sunday as the government swung into action to prevent the movement of vehicles that are fifteen years old following a High Court order banning them from operating from August 1. The Transport Owners Association had contested the verdict in the Supreme Court but it failed to get a stay on the earlier Kolkata High Court ruling on the ban. A special leave petition has been filed in the Apex Court after the Supreme Court refused to entertain their plea for a stay order. The hearing will come up on Tuesday. On Saturday a large number of buses, minibuses and autorickshaws belonging to private owners stayed off the road. Though the state government pressed into service additional buses to mitigate the sufferings of the commuting public, the number of buses was not adequate enough. In areas where auto rickshaws are the only means of communications, manual rickshaws exploited the situation to the fullest. Rajen Bose a commuter who travels regularly in an autorickshaw to his place of work said that he had to pay double the amount he usually pays for a ride on Saturday. Sunday being a holiday, the situation was not as bad as Saturday but many complained that they had to wait for hours to get to their destination. Papiya Bose traveling to a relatives place in the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass of the city said that she had to wait for an hour before managing to squeeze into a packed government bus.

In Kolkata, personnel of the Traffic Police Department along with officials of the Motor Vehicles Department are examining the papers of the vehicles that are plying on the road to ensure that no rules were being violated with regard to the High Court order. The government has deployed the Rapid Action Force to prevent any untoward incident. However auto rickshaws which have complied with the court order and run on gas were seen on the roads but were forced to withdraw their vehicles by unions owing allegiance to various political parties.

Sources in the Transport Department of the West Bengal Government said that the drive against vehicles flouting the existing norms would continue until the Apex Court gives its verdict on Tuesday. On Saturday several autorickshaws not complying with the court orders were seized by the police from a number of places in Kolkata in the morning. A section of the autorickshaw drivers turned violent as they damaged quite a few government vehicles by pelting stones. On Monday, commuters could also face a tough time reaching to the destinations as the condition is unlikely to improve with the government determined not to allow the movement of errant vehicles.


Buta Singh may be questioned by CBI in bribery case

August 1: The CBI on Saturday revealed that Buta Singh may be interrogated with regard to the one crore rupee bribery scam in which his son Sarobjit was taken into custody. The CBI detained Sarobjit on Friday on allegations of claiming a bribe of Rs.one crore.

"If necessary, we will. No decision has been taken on it yet. We will go by the law," CBI Director Ashwani Kumar told newspersons in New Delhi on Saturday when asked if the investigating agency would interrogate Buta Singh, chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

When questioned if there was any political coercion on the agency with regard to the case, Kumar rebuffed the suggestion. "No, there is no political pressure". He also rubbished claims that the agency has forwarded a report linked to this case to the Home Ministry. "Absolutely not", he stated while replying to a query.

The CBI detained Sarobjit on Friday on allegations of claiming a sum of Rs.one crore as bribe from a contractor hailing from Nashik to absolve him of charges with regard to a case against him. Three others comprising Anup Begi, the middleman along with two hawala operatives, who were alleged to be associated with Sarobjit, were also taken into custody.

The CBI earlier on Saturday had carried out a search operation at the house of Buta Singh's son in New Delhi and unearthed three illegal weapons and several live ammunitions. A complaint under the Arms Act has been filed against Sarobjit at Nizamuddin police station.

Responding to the confiscation, Buta Singh said that his son was in the possession of the licenses for all the weapons unearthed from his house during the search operation. The licenses are there. Only my son knows where they are. When he comes (out of custody), he will produce them."

Centre expresses concern with regard to Bengal and Kerala

August 1:Severely censuring the two left governed states of the nation, the Centre has expressed its concern saying that a number of districts in West Bengal have become "killing fields" while Kerala has not succeeded in establishing coastal police stations, which could endanger the security of the country.

"I did not point finger of blame on anyone. At least not yet. All I said was that many districts in West Bengal have become killing fields," Home Minister P Chidambaram made this observation while addressing the media in New Delhi on Saturday. His comments came in response to questions regarding his recent statement on the law and order condition of West Bengal.

Chidambaram maintained that when he made the comment; he had in his possession a letter written by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharyya as well as another letter and facts provided to him by the Trinamool Congress apart from his own intelligence testimony.

"All these led me to say with deep sense of regret and concern that killings have become a routine affair in West Bengal in clashes between political parties. And therefore, I expressed my deep concern".

"Political parties can be adversaries, but killings must not take place. It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that killings do not take place," he affirmed.

On Thursday Chidambaram had stated, "We are concerned. It (killings) should stop. After all who are being killed are average political workers".

The Home Ministers comments surfaced following Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjees meeting with him as well as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with regard to the "killings" of her party activists in West Bengal.

Questioned with regard to the alleged inability of Kerala to establish coastal police stations assigned to it, Chidambaram stated, "There is a plan, there is an allocation. If the Government of Kerala is able to complete only one out of 12 police stations, I can only express my regret and ask them for quick completion of the other police stations. Ultimately, if the coastal police stations do not come up on time, in that extent security measures are compromised. I hope that the government of Kerala will get into the job and complete the police stations," he observed.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror assaults, in which the terrorists had arrived utilizing the sea course, the government has accorded great emphasis on beefing up coastal safety and provided funds to states in the coastal regions as well as Union Territories to establish police stations along the coastal belt.

Indias security condition reviewed in high-level meeting

August 1: The security situation in the nation cropped up for assessment at a congregation of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Saturday.

The congregation was held following intelligence inputs of likely terror danger through the sea to Maharashtra and Goa, which resulted in the Navy as well as the Coast Guard commencing activities to trace a suspicious vessel in the Arabian Sea.

The augmented coastline precautionary vigil is talking place against the background of the daring terror strikes in Mumbai on November 26, the previous year.

The meeting in which Union Minister A K Antony, P Chidambaram and S M Krishna, together with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan participated lasted for almost three hours. The congregation is reported to have assessed the safety measures adopted for the current Amarnath Yatra, a yearly pilgrimage, in Jammu and Kashmir.

No untoward incident has so far been reported from this years Amarnath Yatra and the government would like to ensure that the Yatra remains safe for the pilgrims for the remaining period this year, sources revealed.

Indias security condition reviewed in high-level meeting

August 1: The security situation in the nation cropped up for assessment at a congregation of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Saturday.

The congregation was held following intelligence inputs of likely terror danger through the sea to Maharashtra and Goa, which resulted in the Navy as well as the Coast Guard commencing activities to trace a suspicious vessel in the Arabian Sea.

The augmented coastline precautionary vigil is talking place against the background of the daring terror strikes in Mumbai on November 26, the previous year.

The meeting in which Union Minister A K Antony, P Chidambaram and S M Krishna, together with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan participated lasted for almost three hours. The congregation is reported to have assessed the safety measures adopted for the current Amarnath Yatra, a yearly pilgrimage, in Jammu and Kashmir.

No untoward incident has so far been reported from this years Amarnath Yatra and the government would like to ensure that the Yatra remains safe for the pilgrims for the remaining period this year, sources revealed.

Indias security condition reviewed in high-level meeting

August 1: The security situation in the nation cropped up for assessment at a congregation of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Saturday.

The congregation was held following intelligence inputs of likely terror danger through the sea to Maharashtra and Goa, which resulted in the Navy as well as the Coast Guard commencing activities to trace a suspicious vessel in the Arabian Sea.

The augmented coastline precautionary vigil is talking place against the background of the daring terror strikes in Mumbai on November 26, the previous year.

The meeting in which Union Minister A K Antony, P Chidambaram and S M Krishna, together with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan participated lasted for almost three hours. The congregation is reported to have assessed the safety measures adopted for the current Amarnath Yatra, a yearly pilgrimage, in Jammu and Kashmir.

No untoward incident has so far been reported from this years Amarnath Yatra and the government would like to ensure that the Yatra remains safe for the pilgrims for the remaining period this year, sources revealed.

Buta Singh's son held in bribery connection

July 31: The CBI on Friday detained Buta Singh's son Sarobjit for purportedly asking for a bribe of Rs one crore from a contractor from Nashik for absolving him of a case.

"Sarobjit Singh also known as Sweety has been arrested along with his three accomplices for allegedly demanding bribe from a Nashik based contractor Ramrao Patil, CBI Joint Director Rishiraj Singh stated according to media reports, adding "We are also probing the hawala angle."

Sweety was brought from Delhi on Thursday and was taken to Mumbai where he was interrogated the entire night by the Anti Corruption Bureau of the CBI following which he was put under detention. Sweety together with the three other detained offenders would be presented before a special CBI court in south Mumbai afterward today.

While he was being queried, Sweety had to deal with telephone calls that he purportedly made to Patil whose case is awaiting trial at the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission led by Buta Singh. In accordance with the litigant, Sweety had asked for an amount of Rs one crore from him to put an end to the case recorded against him in terms of the SC/ST Act.

Patil had supposedly received a credit of nearly Rs 10 crore from a cooperative society as a representative of more than 100 persons belonging to the Dalit community. He purportedly collected the money subsequent to which a case was filed against him.

Navy warned about doubtful ship moving in the direction of Goa

July 31: The Indian Navy together with the Coast Guard has beefed up their vigil off Konkan shoreline subsequent to intelligence alerts that a doubtful ship was moving in the direction of Goa. Goa police obtained the intelligence record last night from the cops in Sindhudurg in Maharashtra which warned them regarding a "suspiciously moving ship".

Captain Manohar Nambiar, public relation officer, Indian Navy, revealed this to a news agency today. "We were informed by Goa police about such movement of the ship. But we are still verifying the reports." The Sindhudurg police had compiled their records on the facts offered by the fishermen.

There were no exact particulars with reference to the ship. The particulars did not even state whether it was a big vessel or a ship resembling a small trawler, according to a senior police spokesperson.

"The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard launched search mission immediately after the inputs were conveyed to them but till now we have not received any feedback. That means the vessel was not traced or inputs were improper," Atmaram Deshpande, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch), stated.

Goa police revealed that with regard to the inputs, the vessel was expected to arrive at the state's shoreline this morning. These days there is hardly any ship movement in the sea due to rough weather. So, if there is any vessel, it is not difficult to locate it," Deshpande affirmed. Goa police stated that they have sounded a warning to the shoreline police stations which will augment observation along the beach stretch as they did mot want to take any risk.

Following the Mumbai terror strikes the probability of an assault from sea was expected by intelligence agencies which had also warned that Lashkar-e-Toiba's 'sea wing' was expected to strike at the western shoreline.

S M Krishna: Pakistan rejects to surrender 42 offenders including Dawood

July 31: The Indian Government has asserted that it has provided a catalogue containing the names of 42 fugitives including Dawood Ibrahim to Islamabad but regretted that Pakistan was not willing to collaborate.

Responding to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, the External Affairs Minister, Mr. S.M. Krishna observed that a catalogue consisting of the names of citizens of both India and Pakistan including those connected with 1993 Mumbai explosions as well as Mumbai terror strikes in November last year, has been provided to Islamabad.

However, Pakistan has stated the nature of proof as well as record that has been made available to them was not sufficient and could not be confirmed in a court of law. The Minister also notified the House that notorious offenders for example Tiger Memon and Chota Shakeel are as well in the catalogue. He observed that Pakistan has furthermore not reacted in a concrete way to Indian plans to complete an expulsion accord.

Omar Abdullah returns to office following Governors rejection of PDP allegations

July 31: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Thursday rejected PDP's accusations that Omar Abdullah was connected with the 2006 sex scandal and urged him to function as the Chief Minister and perform his tasks in his position.

The Governor while refusing to accept Omar's willingness to resign stated that there was no reality in the accusations brought against him in the assembly by PDP leader Muzaffar Hussein Beigh regarding his supposed link in the sex scandal. An apparently comforted Abdullah went back to office on Friday.

A notification by the governors spokesperson said, "The Governor has advised the Chief Minister that, based on the information supplied to him by the Union Home Ministry, there is no basis for Omar seeking to resign.

Omar had relinquished his post on 28th July following Beighs accusation on the floor of the State Assembly that the Chief Minister was an accused in the scandal.

The Governor advised the Chief Minister to most vigorously devote himself to discharging the responsibilities of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister.

SC rebuffs stay on Calcutta HC directive to bar old commercial vehicles

Kolkata, July 31: The West Bengal government is getting ready to execute the Calcutta High Court order prohibiting the movement of commercial vehicles that are fifteen years old in the city from Saturday.

In the meantime owners of private buses as well as minibuses have filed an extraordinary leave petition in the Supreme Court opposing it. Joint Council of Bus Syndicates general secretary Sadhan Das said that the entreaty contesting the high court verdict was filed by a number of associations belonging to bus owners in Kolkata.

Principal Secretary of the Transport Department, Sumantra Chowdhury warned that if these buses plied on the roads subsequent to Friday, they would be confiscated at once for which the police have directed to adopt measures.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, the state government would offer a period of two months to owners to change their vehicles or permits would be revoked routinely.

Chowdhury affirmed that in case the operators resorted to a strike, government buses that cover long distances would be run in the city to cope up with the crises. He added that franchised vehicles as well as buses from other states would be pressed into service as well.

Pak has acknowledged LETs role in Mumbai strikes: PM

July 30: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed while responding to the deliberations related to the subject of Indo-Pak joint comments in the Lok Sabha saying that ties with Pakistan can not be totally stabilized until it made attempts to stop terrorists from utilizing its country for attacking India.

Singh made an enthusiastic observation spanning for 45 minutes on the deliberations related to the contentious joint statement during which the Opposition charged him with violating the countrys agreement on foreign strategy. Singh, whose comments were continuously backed by the benches in which the ruling party members sat, rubbished as "not correct" a notion that discussions with Pakistan would go on disregarding the fact whether Islamabad adopts measures against extremism or not.

He maintained his position on the reference to Balochistan in the joint comment stating that India was prepared to deliberate upon every subject including Pakistan's "misgivings" as well as "false allegations" on the subject as it does not desire to conceal anything. Singh also affirmed that Pakistan has acknowledged the fact that the terror assault in Mumbai on 26th November was planned, funded and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba.

During his previous intervention in the deliberation, Singh asserted that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani provided no record on Balochistan all through his meeting with him in Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt.

PIL to restrain minors from 'dahi handi'

July 30: An NGO in Mumbai has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court appealing for a prohibition refraining minors from taking part in 'dahi handis', an accepted manner of observing Janmashtami in Maharashtra. The Support India Foundation has filed the PIL two weeks prior to this year's 'dahi handi' on 14th August.

The Foundation utilized the RTI and discovered that children were receiving wounds while taking part in the conventional 'dahi handi' festivities where they ascend a pyramid formed by humans, which is at times could be high as a five-storied building, Geeta Singh, Director of the Foundation, made these comments to a news agency.

Nearly each pyramid has a child at the uppermost point because they are trouble-free to carry and quick to ascend, she said. Youths make an attempt to smash 'handi', an earthen pot filled with curd, sugar, blend of beaten rice, and adorned with flowers, fruits as well as currency notes by creating pyramid consisting of humans.

In the course of the previous five years, almost 100 children wounded in 'dahi handi' festivities were sent to a number of hospitals in Mumbai, according to Singh.

Foundation's advocate Khushnumha Khan noted, "Imagine a child falling from a height of 45 feet. The potential for injuries is severe and every year children suffer major injuries to the head, limbs and chest" adding that the PIL has been listed for hearing on Friday.

PM receives Sonias backing on Indo-Pak joint statement

July 30: Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi stood firmly behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the topic related the Indo-Pak joint statement on Thursday and told Congress workers that there should be no uncertainty or misapprehension amidst them regarding the subject. She as well observed that India's overseas guidelines with connection to Pakistan have remained unaltered.

"Till Pakistan shows concrete steps on anti-terror front there is no point of dialogue," she noted at a Congress Parliamentary Party congregation in New Delhi, subsequent to a day the Prime Minister offered his comments in the Parliament with regard to the joint statement with Pakistan in Egypt.

Recommencement of talks with Pakistan relies on whether it complies with its pledges of adopting tough measures against those responsible for the Mumbai terror strikes and does not permit its territory to be utilized for attacks on Indian soil, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari cited Gandhi as stating in the congregation. Those who took part in the CPP congregation comprised the Prime Minister, Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee, Cabinet ministers as well as above 200 MPs.

At the congregation, Gandhi emphasized on the requirement for carry out the pledges that the party made to the voters at the time of the elections. She as well urged the ministers to pay heed to the difficulties faced by Congress workers and the hope of the populace in their constituencies.

Pak has acknowledged LETs role in Mumbai strikes: PM

July 30: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed while responding to the deliberations related to the subject of Indo-Pak joint comments in the Lok Sabha that ties with Pakistan can not be totally stabilized until it made attempts to stop terrorists from utilizing its country for attacking India.

Singh made an enthusiastic observation spanning for 45 minutes on the deliberations related to the contentious joint statement during which the Opposition charged him with violating the countrys agreement on foreign strategy. Singh, whose comments were continuously backed by the benches in which the ruling party members sat, rubbished as "not correct" a notion that discussions with Pakistan would go on disregarding the fact whether Islamabad adopts measures against extremism or not.

He maintained his position on the reference to Balochistan in the joint comment stating that India was prepared to deliberate upon every subject including Pakistan's "misgivings" as well as "false allegations" on the subject as it does not desire to conceal anything. Singh also affirmed that Pakistan has acknowledged the fact that the terror assault in Mumbai on 26th November was planned, funded and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba.

During his previous intervening in the deliberation, Singh asserted that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani provided no record on Balochistan all through his meeting with him in Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt.

Omar absolved of accusation

July 29: Clearing Omar Abdullahs name from the accusations brought against him from the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said his name did not feature in the chargesheet recorded by the CBI in the notorious sex scandal.

Chidambaram observed that there was only a single case, which shook Jammu and Kashmir in 2006, following which an FIR was recorded on 14th March 2006. He said, "CBI investigated the case and filed the chargesheet against 17 accused. The case is now before the District and Session court, Chandigarh, adding, The CBI has concluded the investigation. Mr. Omar Abdullah's name does not figure in the list of the accused," Chidambaram told the media while reacting to PDP's accusations against Omar.

Omar absolved of accusation

July 29: Clearing Omar Abdullahs name from the accusations brought against him from the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said his name did not feature in the chargesheet recorded by the CBI in the notorious sex scandal.

Chidambaram observed that there was only a single case, which shook Jammu and Kashmir in 2006, following which an FIR was recorded on 14th March 2006. He said, "CBI investigated the case and filed the chargesheet against 17 accused. The case is now before the District and Session court, Chandigarh," adding, The CBI has concluded the investigation. Mr. Omar Abdullah's name does not figure in the list of the accused," Chidambaram told the media while reacting to PDP's accusations against Omar.

Chidambaram says honour killings a shame for the nation

July 29, July 29: Articulating fierce resentment with regard to aggression against women, the Government on Tuesday said "we should hang our heads in shame" for occurrences akin to honour carnage in the nation in the 21st century.

Home Minister P Chidambaram observed with righteous anger, The vilest crimes are committed in the name of defending the honour of the family or women and we should hang our heads in shame when such incidents take place in India in the 21st century,"

His comments came in reaction to calling attention notice of Brinda Karat (CPI-M) in the Rajya Sabha on rising occurrences of honour carnages.
He regretted by saying, "I recoil with shame" while referring to newspaper reports that two teenagers comprising a Dalit boy as well as a Muslim girl, were cruelly exterminated in a village in close proximity to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh for the sake of honour.

He noted, "However, the Government of India is deeply concerned about violence against women and recognizes that real progress can only be made by addressing the causes that are rooted in anachronistic attitudes and false values."

PDP rubbishes CBIs clean chit to Omar

July 29: Opposition PDP on Wednesday refused to accept the clearance given by the CBI to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah regarding the notorious 2006 sex scandal case and ask for a judicial investigation with reference to the subject.

The claim was raised by members of the PDP in the state assembly when Speaker M A Lone announced in the state assembly that "we have received a clarification from the CBI that Omar Abdullah's name does not figure in the list of accused in the case". However Omar was conspicuous by his absence in the state assembly.

Prior to the Speakers proclamation, CBI in a message to the Speaker said, "This is clarified that nine charge sheets in the CBI case were filed in the competent court against 17 accused persons. The name of Omar Abdullah, son of Farooq Abdullah, does not figure in the list of the accused persons who were charge sheeted in the case." The Speaker presented the communiqu from the CBI in the assembly.

Nonetheless, annoyed members of the PDP with their chief Mehbooba Mufti at the forefront of the [protests suspected that the CBI was making an attempt to wrap up the contentious topic to protect a number of VIPs.

Mufti, who ripped a duplicate of the CBI correspondence, noted, "We demand a judicial probe into the allegations. The CBI probe is not acceptable".

Following the PDPs assertion on Tuesday that Omar was one of the persons linked to the case, the National Conference leader went to the residence the Governor N N Vohra and tendered his resignation. Omar, who was told to carry on performing his role of CM, had had made a claim for a probe into the issue as he was keen to clear his name from the charges leveled against him.

Price rise topic to crop up in LS on Wednesday

July 28: The Lok Sabha will mull over the subject of price augmentation right away subsequent to question hour on Wednesday. A declaration to this effect was given by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal with reference to the protests aired by Left as well as members owing allegiance to other parties who made a claim to deliberate on the topic on Tuesday itself by delaying the question hour.

As the House assembled in the morning, the Left together with other parties consisting of SP, RJD, TDP and BJD made objections to the growing cost of essential commodities even after a ruling by the Speaker Mrs. Meira Kumar that the topic would be taken up for discussion under rule 193 after obtaining a notice from them. This did not convince the members belonging to the Left parties who along with agitated members of other parties rushed to the Well of the House. This compelled the Speaker to suspend the House for half an hour.

Congress attaches no significance to Presidents clam on farm credit waiver proposal

July 28: Congress has accorded little significance to the demand that President Pratibha Patil had given her proposal to the government's bold farm credit waiver scheme, asserting that suggestions for it had come from different areas.

Party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi made this observation while reacting to a comment made by the Secretary to the President Christy Fernandes who claimed that Patil had offered suggestions to the government for taking adequate steps to mitigate the troubles of the farmers. Congress has affirmed that the proposal was its creation.

Fernandes, who gave the comments in Pratibha Patils presence, had revealed that many people were ignorant of the reality that it was the President who was at the forefront and offered suggestion to the government that it must adopt apposite means to redress the problems encountered by farmers and that led to the elaborate credit waiver programme of the earlier government.

Singhvi stated, "The comments are being misinterpreted. Broad issues of public interest like farm loan waiver have inputs from diverse quarters. All inputs together form the final policy".

Giving full credit for the programme to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Secretary, AICC Media Department, Tom Vadakkan observed, "It is Mrs. Gandhi and Mrs. Gandhi herself (who is) behind the whole farmers' strengthening process that has been launched by the Congress."

Red alert in entire Kosi sounded by Bihar Government

July 28: The Bihar Government announced a red alert in the entire Kosi stretch on Tuesday in the aftermath of a record release of 3 lakh 12 thousand cusec of water in the river Kosi. Heavy showers in the catchments regions of Nepal were responsible for the huge release of water. High level personnel of water resource department together with Engineer- in - Chief Rajeshwar Dayal made a dash for the Kosi barrage location at Birpur to keep an eye on the day and night vigil on the recently constructed bundhs in addition to structures revamped on the river sides. This comprises the Kusaha embankment in Nepal that had collapsed on August 18 in the previous year.

The Disaster Management Department has also sent urgent messages to the district authorities of Saharsa, Madhepura as well as Supaul and directed them to relocate the people momentarily established in the area between the two embankments of the Kosi. Water Resource Department Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav assured that there was nothing to be apprehensive about. Mr. Yadav revealed that the embankment was capable of counterbalancing a release of up to 4 lakh cusec of water. He affirmed that officials of the recently established Flood Fighting Force guided by its chairman were operating at the location and the department would take appropriate measures to tackle the condition. .

Omar Abdullah ready to relinquish post following accusations

July 28: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that he was willing to relinquish the post following accusations leveled at him by a veteran PDP leader that he was connected with last year's sex scandal.

"I know it is a false allegation. But I want to resign till I am cleared of this false allegation. I cannot work till I am proved innocent. It is a blot on my character." "Any amount of investigation by the home department will not help. Till I am able to prove my innocence, I am going to give my resignation to the Governor," he made it clear to the State Assembly, a comment that stunned his party MLAs as well as Ministers. The MLAs along with Ministers tried to convince the Chief Minister that the party would not acknowledge his resignation and tried to restrain him.He was practically compelled to take his seat by the agitated members but he rose to scream at them stating "allow me to take this first step".

Trouble started when PDP leader and ex Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Beig made the accusations that Abduallah was connected with the notorious Srinagar sex scandal. He revealed that he had a record of people connected with the scandal in which Abdullah's name appeared on number 102.

"I have to say with regret, there is the name of Omar Abdullah, son of Farooq Abdullah, in the list. He has lost the moral authority to rule the state. He must resign," Beig stated amidst claims that the scandal has been investigated by the CBI.

Four cheetal helicopters in IAFs arsenal

Kolkata, July 27: The first lot of four Cheetal helicopters was delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Barrackpore in the northern fringes of Kolkata by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Saturday.

HAL's Helicopter Complex Managing Director R Srinivasan observed,"IAF had placed an order for 10 Cheetals, of which the first batch of four has been delivered. The remaining six are expected to be handed over by September," adding "We expect IAFs order to be followed up by the Army and also the Government of India which is looking at procuring helicopters for various roles, especially for internal security."

The Cheetal is an enhanced edition of the Cheetah helicopter, which has been given extra capability by constructing it with a more competent engine- TM333-2M2.HAL's Design and Development Director N C Agarwal officially entrusted the helicopters to Air Vice Marshal M Bahadur on the occasion.

After obtaining the helicopters, AVM Bahadur noted, "The re-engined Cheetals will increase our operational capabilities, especially for high altitude operations. The IAF has in its arsenal more than 200 Cheetah as well as Chetak French origin choppers, which are chiefly utilized by it to preserve Army's locations in highly elevated terrains and performing observation as well as search and salvage assignments. The Cheetal has state of the art traits for example light weight up to date technology cockpit and contemporary avionics for precise direction-finding networks, Flight Monitoring System (FMS), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) as well as Emergency Locator Transmitter.

India pays tribute to brave Kargil martyrs on victory anniversary

The resonance of the final post in remembrance of Kargil martyrs on Sunday echoed from New Delhi to the previous combat regions of Ladakh, where families of a number of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation assembled for the first time in 10 years.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was at the forefront in remembering the martyrs, the first during the tenure of a UPA government.

"After the demise of my son it is the only happy day of my life. I am thankful that my son is finally recognised and remembered," observed S P Kalia, father of Lt Saurabh Kalia who was killed in the Kargil battle after being taken into custody and cruelly tormented by the Pakistani army.Kalia is in Drass with families of other soldiers who gave their lives for their country after being invited by the armed forces to participate in the 10th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas.

Accompanied by a grand flypast by Mig 21 Bison aicraft and spraying of petals by Chetak helicopters, wreaths were placed at the War Memorial. The relations obtained a description of the courage of their dear ones from the officials of the forces, colleagues as well as acquaintances.In New Delhi, a group of tri-services guards offered the salute and bugles played by army personnel signaled the final post as Singh placed a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. A silence of two-minute was observed in remembrance of slain in the battle that lasted 60 days.

"I join the entire nation in paying homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war. They sacrificed their lives in defence of Indian unity and integrity," the PM noted in the book where visitors give their comments. The Prime Minister of UPA coalition for the first time was present at a ceremony observing conquest in Kargil battle that was fought when the NDA government was in power.

Pranab: NREGA-type projects to be started to counterbalance recession

Kolkata, July 27: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee asserted that measures were being adopted to increase the purchasing capacity of average Indians to counterbalance the impact of global downturn. "Apart from NREGA, other schemes will be introduced to augment the buying power of poor people so that productions by companies are not affected because of less demand," Mukherjee affirmed at the opening of the 28th convention of the West Bengal branch of the INTUC on Sunday.

The Minister revealed that he had held discussions with Congress President Sonia Gandhi who had urged him to interact with INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy to learn about the workers' stance and hopes prior to planning the prospective economic strategy. We will sit in Delhi next week and discuss the issue of 'aam admi's' needs before formulating the policies," he told a packed audience at the Rabindra Sarobar stadium in Kolkata.

Mukherjee noted that the government would adopt measures and take decisions on economic strategies bearing in mind the wellbeing of common people and the labour class. "Though we want that exports to Europe and America rise, we can not wait till their economies look up in the present world economic scenario, so to keep our economy vibrant, we have to ensure that the buying power of people in our country rise," he observed.
Stressing on the fact that the Indian economy has not been greatly distressed by the international recession since it is not a market-propelled economy, Mukherjee said that while banking network in the advanced world were experiencing tough times, the Indian banks were performing reasonably well.

"Our banking system has not collapsed as over 90 per cent banking in India remains in government control," he stated. PSU banks have done a great job while guarantying that the nations economy continued to be strong, he observed.

6 CRPF jawans perish in Dantewada landmine explosion

At least six CRPF Jawans perished and two others were wounded in a landmine explosion set off by Naxalites in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

The rebel attack took place when the CRPF Jawans were coming back to Barsur village from regular guard in the weekly bazaar at Geedam village.The Maoists destroyed a police van in which the security personnel were making their trip.

Sub Inspector Naresh Kumar Yadav and Constable Jayant Rai were the victims of the terror assault. The names of other security personnel who lost their lives are yet to be ascertained. Police reinforcements have been rushed to the location and a probe is continuing.

Chaos rocks J&K Assembly

There was upheaval in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Monday as PDP President Mehbooba Mufti removed a microphone from the Speakers desk and flung it in his direction.

The PDP chief tried to bring up the episode of rape and murder of Shopian women but the speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone rejected her from doing so.

Following a spell of chaos caused by 21 vociferous PDP members, the restless Mufti ran in the direction of the speaker's desk and flung the microphone targeting the Speaker.

The security forces acting on the directives of the Speaker forcibly ejected the PDP members from the house

No Further exports of non-basmati rice & wheat

The Government on Friday proclaimed that it will discontinue the entire process of sending abroad non Basmati rice as well as wheat and compensate half of the financial support on diesel furnished to farmers by the states. This declaration was given by Food and Agriculture Minister, Mr. Sharad Pawar, while responding to a calling attention notice in the Rajya Sabha on Saturday. Dispelling apprehensions of scarcity of food grains, he affirmed the stock situation has no room for worry and the government has enough supplies for 13 months in its pool. Articulating worry with regard to the increase in the cost of food items, Mr.Pawar termed it as a fleeting occurrence and revealed that financial assistance to the states is under contemplation in this respect.

Specifically revealing the strategy to overcome the condition, he said center will furthermore think of rescheduling of agricultural subsidies. He observed paddy yield may be unfavorably because of the feeble and irregular monsoon. Mentioning a list of short-term steps for tackling the problems associated with sparse rainfall, Pawar affirmed that his ministry has been continuously supervising the sowing progress with the states. For diverse situation, he stated that emergency crop tactics for particular agro-climatic environment have been put in place. Mr.Pawar observed that 15 lakh quintals of additional seed are in the possession of the government to sustain substitute tactics. He added states have been granted flexible options to make use of resources offered under crop development schemes such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna and National Food security Mission to tackle the condition in case of scarce showers

Court permits FBI officers to appear in 26/11 attack case

Mumabi, July25: A special court on Friday permitted questioning of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) representatives in the 26/11 terror assault hearing but, directed that their names as well as addresses should not be revealed as there was a risk to their existence.

"I am satisfied that their identities should be kept secret as they fear danger to their lives," Judge M L Tahaliyani observed and banned reporters as well as journalists from circulate their names as well as addresses. Breach of this directive would make the offenders liable to three years imprisonment and fine, the judge observed in his verdict. Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam notified the court that he would furnish by 29th July a timetable to investigate FBI staff that will turn up as eyewitness.

Nikam observed FBI has gathered strong proof which the prosecution would like to depend on. He stated that it was discovered at the time of inquiry that offender Ajmal Kasab and eliminated ultras had worked together with several sought after offenders by means of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) positioned at New Jersey in USA. The probe agency consequently made an appeal for letter of Rogatory before a Magistrate for gathering proof. In a follow up to this letter, FBI gathered hard proof which prosecution would depend on, he observed.

Nikam observed that it was essential to scrutinize FBI workers to ascertain why and how Mumbai extremist assaults were premeditated and carried out, how they went ahead and completed their heinous offence with the death of 166 innocuous persons, as well as overseas citizens.

UP to pronounce 20 districts as drought-affected

Bearing in mind the sparse rainfall the state has received, Uttar Pradesh government has come to a decision to pronounce 20 districts in the state as drought-affected.

Officials assessed the existing condition in the state after frail monsoon and came to a decision to pronounce no less than 20 of the 71 districts in the state as drought-affected during a high level meeting presided over by Chief Secretary A K Gupta on Friday, An official proclamation with respect to the decision taken is expected to be made afterward on Saturday, officials affirmed.

The districts which are experiencing dry hot spells and has been hit by drought are Deoria, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur, Mau, Unnao, Ballia, Sant Kabirnagar, Basti, Hardoi, Sultanpur, Fatehpur, Rai Barely, Ghazipur, Kannauj, Bareilly, Manpuri, Farrukhabad, Kanpur Dehat, Kanshiramnagar and Hathras.

The Chief Secretary has furthermore asked for a new evaluation account from all districts for revising an action plan for effectively countering the drought.

UP to pronounce 20 districts as drought-affected

Bearing in mind the sparse rainfall the state has received, Uttar Pradesh government has come to a decision to pronounce 20 districts in the state as drought-affected.

Officials assessed the existing condition in the state after frail monsoon and came to a decision to pronounce no less than 20 of the 71 districts in the state as drought-affected during a high level meeting presided over by Chief Secretary A K Gupta on Friday, An official proclamation with respect to the decision taken is expected to be made afterward on Saturday, officials affirmed.

The districts which are experiencing dry hot spells and has been hit by drought are Deoria, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur, Mau, Unnao, Ballia, Sant Kabirnagar, Basti, Hardoi, Sultanpur, Fatehpur, Rai Barely, Ghazipur, Kannauj, Bareilly, Manpuri, Farrukhabad, Kanpur Dehat, Kanshiramnagar and Hathras.

The Chief Secretary has furthermore asked for a new evaluation account from all districts for revising an action plan for effectively countering the drought.

Neel in mission Europe for Echo Self Help Group

Shillong July 25: Indranil Biswas popularly known amongst his friends and acquaintances as Neel has left for Europe today. During his European tour he will make presentations in Portugal and France about the activities of Echo Self Help Group consisting of the underprivileged section of the society and sustained by Neel and his associates.

Echo Self Help Group regularly organizes diabetes camp in the North Eastern region of India and monitors the conditions of diabetic patients through frequent checks. Neel along with other members of Echo Self Help Group has contributed substantially to improve the condition of weavers in North East India through a series of well fare schemes.

Echo Self Help Group is fundamentally a self sustained group that is financially supported by Neel and his associates. The objective of Echo Self Help Group is to spread awareness about diabetes among the populace of North East India whose staple food is rice, a major cause of the disease.

Neel along with his associates are constantly making endeavours to improve the condition of weavers of North East India as well by promoting their craft with financial support and making significant efforts to sell them to prospective buyers through vigorous campaigns.


Pak should act against anti-India outfits

India has urged Pakistan to resort to the same "force" to cope with extremist factions akin to Laskar-e-Toiba as well as Jaish-e-Mohammed similar to the action it has taken against the Taliban in Swat Valley.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna observed that India furthermore anticipated Pakistan to adopt appropriate measures against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, whose group is held responsible for the Mumbai terror strikes of 26th November last year.

Addressing the media while coming back from Phuket in Thailand after taking part in India-ASEAN and ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial congregations, he noted, "Pakistan has taken certain steps in fighting Taliban in Swat. We expect Pakistan to go after those terrorist groups the activities of which are directed against India with the same force as they have shown against the Taliban in Swat,"

Transport strike disrupts normal life in Kolkata

Kolkata, July 24: Normal life in Kolkata was disrupted following an indefinite transport strike by private bus, minibus and a day specific strike by taxi owners, protesting against the governments decision to execute the High Court ruling of banning the movement of all vehicles that have functioned for tenure of fifteen years. The High Court has fixed July 31st as the last day till which such vehicles can ply on the roads of the city. Autorickshaw operators however did not join the strike and somewhat lessened the inconvenience of commuters. School buses too along with pool car owners joined the strike.

A number of schools declared a holiday on the day. However the state government pressed into service additional buses to alleviate the crises. The Underground Metro Railways increased its frequency by operating trains at an interval of six minutes instead of the normal eight minutes after office hours during which the train runs at a frequency of a five minutes gap. However the city was not its usual busy self and appeared significantly less congested.

People relied heavily on autorickshaws, the underground metro railways to reach their places of work. Those traveling out of the city by trains or flights too had to board government buses to arrive at the airport or railway stations.

Suburban trains operated on schedule but were overcrowded as private vehicles coming to the city from the suburbs did not ply. The underground metro railways too saw a heavy rush of passengers, officials said.

However the indefinite strike by the owners of private buses and minibuses has been called off. According to a member of the Private Transport Owners Association, they will challenge the High Court order in The Supreme Court and wait till the outcome of the ruling and decide on their future course of action


Govt keeping an eye on world oil situation: Deora

New Delhi,July 23:The Government has given an assurance that it was properly keeping an eye on the worldwide oil price condition. Responding in writing to a query in Lok Sabha on Thursday, the Petroleum Minister Mr. Murli Deora affirmed that it will take an apposite position s with respect to the fixing of prices of petroleum products to safeguard the wellbeing of ordinary man particularly the susceptible segments of the society.

He said that the government has adopted a number of methods to make certain that the load of international oil prices is not totally passed on to the customers. He observed the load is being shared by all stake holders, together with the upstream oil companies, public sector oil marketing companies as well as the clients.

Exclusive personality numbers to be delivered in 12 to 18 months

New Delhi,July 23: The opening series of unique identification numbers will be complete in 12 to 18 months. Addressing the media in New Delhi on Thursday after taking charge as the first Chairman of the Unique Identification Data Base Authority, Mr. Nandan Nielkarni observed that the directive of the authority is to provide recognition numbers to Indian inhabitants. Mr. Nelkarni affirmed that most excellent of the capacity obtainable in the government and in private sector will be concerned with the project to attain the preferred consequences. He noted it require some time to provide finishing touches to the mission.

Responding to a query whether this identification number will abolish the requirement for accessible identification card similar to electoral photo electoral cards, ration cards, driving licenses, passport or PAN number, Mr. Nelkarni elucidated that this is not a card but just a number which can be utilized by diverse departments and ministries for confirming of recognition of a specific Indian citizen.

Court to give verdict on Kasab's testimonial today

The special court connected with the 26/11 militant assault hearing will deliver its verdict on Thursday whether it would acknowledge solitary existing gunman Mohammad Ajmal Kasab's comments confessing his responsibility in the attack.

Special Judge M L Tahilyani observed that the court will deliver its verdict on the declaration on Thursday.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam contended that the court may acknowledge Kasab's admission of guilt but should permit the prosecution to present additional proof in the case, as Kasab has not made a complete revelation about his part in the terror assault. He added, "The prosecution has to establish before the court why Mumbai was targeted why foreigners were attacked and has to also expose the infrastructure and operations of LeT."

He said if given the go-ahead by the court, the prosecution would conclude the hearing by August-end.

Upheaval in Parliament over removal of NSG protection to Mayawati

The Government has guaranteed that the level of security provided to Mayawati, Lalu Prasad, Mulayam Singh as well as Murli Manohar Joshi will not be decreased.

Proclaiming this in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Rehman stated that the government had given a declaration to the chairman Hamid Ansari with regard to the subject.

Previously, the subject of removal of protection to UP Chief Minister Mayawati triggered pandemonium in both the houses of Parliament on Thursday.

All activities in the Lok Sabha came to a standstill and the House was suspended for 30 minutes subsequent to a tumult created by BSP members regarding the subject.

The House was afterward suspended till noon in spite of the Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee stating that no such resolution has been adopted as yet.

Admission of guilt not to escape ultimate punishment: Kasab

Mumbai, July 22: The solitary terrorist connected with the 26/11 Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab who escaped the retaliatory actions by security forces said on Wednesday that he did not give his declaration of guilt to avoid death penalty and urged the trial court to hang him if required. The trial, however, does not acknowledge Kasab's declaration of guilt entirely.

They have observed that there are incongruities in it and he is making an attempt to protect his superiors in Pakistan.

Ajmal Kasab had earlier said on Tuesday that orders were given to him to start firing at random at CST and seize people "hostage" on the upper floor, as the special judge for the Mumbai assault hearing took into account three choices on how to cope with the admission of guilt of the solitary insurgent who escaped the attacks by security forces to exterminate him along with his associates.

Measures in place to safeguard PM, Sonia Gandhi: Chidambaram

Regarding the warnings given by a Maoist leader in Jharkhand about attempts by the banned ultra leftist outfits to physically harm the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Home Minister P Chidambaram assured the nation that adequate safeguards were in place to safeguard them.

A Maoist leader in Jharkhand has threatened that his group could employ LTTE-type assaults against Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following the governments stern actions to counter naxal activities.

"The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi are fully secured. Don't worry," Home Minister P Chidambaram said with regard to the warning given by the Maoist leader.

The Home Ministry has also directed the state government to adopt all preventive actions after the warnings, Home Ministry sources said.

Government allays fears on Swine Flu

The government on Wednesday enlightened the Lok Sabha about Swine Flu saying that it had prevented the disease from getting out of control and no deaths were reported from the disease.

Responding to a supplementary in the House, the Health Minister Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad observed that 320 people had been afflicted with the disease, also referred to as H1N1, and 234 of them had been released from hospitals following proper medication..

He affirmed that the majority of the infections have their roots in foreign countries and extensive monitoring is taking place at the international airports of the country.

Commending the job of doctors and Para-medical staff, Mr. Azad stated that screening is essential at points through which people from the countries where the disease is widespread enter, to contain the tendency of people being afflicted by the flu.

The Health Minister gave an assurance that nodal centers have been set up in each state for separating the people carrying the disease from others.

Continental Airlines Expresses Regret for action on Kalam

Continental Airlines headquartered in America has expressed regret for its action of frisking former President Abdul Kalam. The Airlines had made it clear on Tuesday that all passengers were treated equally as far as frisking was concerned and Dr Kalam could not be singled out for special treatment. The Airlines expressed its apologies to A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday subsequent to a political upheaval in the nation.

In its request for forgiveness to Kalam for subjecting him to body checks at the international airport in violation of etiquette, it stated that it did not mean to insult the ex- President or the emotions of the citizens of the nation.

In a statement the airline said, We have tendered a formal apology to Dr Kalam and we sincerely hope he will fly with us again,"

The expression of regret from the Airlines comes in the aftermath of the upheaval in Parliament on Tuesday with regard to the conduct of subjecting the 77-year-old ex- President to body checks prior to his embarking on a flight to Newark of the airline on 21st April.

Nation observes longest solar eclipse

July 22: Thousands of star gazers turned out euphoric as darkness fell almost immediately following sunrise as the moon moved in between the earth and the sun all through the total solar eclipse on Wednesday morning.

Keyed up scientists as well as researchers both belonging to India as well as those from overseas were all prepared to carry out experimentations in a number of institutions when the solar eclipse moved at a fast pace all over India. The eclipse was initially witnessed in Surat during sunrise in South Gujarat

The extraterrestrial manifestation, because of its course over China and India, resulted in being the most observed eclipse in history and lasted for three to six-minute in the cities where the silhouette of the eclipse traveled.

Astronomers as well as amateurs who had assembled in Dibrugarh in Assam observed the total eclipse between 6:31 a.m. and 6:34 a.m.

But, residents of Taregna in Bihar, flaunted as the most excellent site to gaze at the longest eclipse in a century were not as lucky as clouds covered the sun and dampened the mood of the sky gazers.

Star gazers wait for longest solar eclipse of the century

New Delhi, July 21 People are gearing up to witness an exceptional extraterrestrial occurrence tomorrow when the total solar eclipse spanning for the maximum period of time in the 21st century will take place.

A total eclipse takes place when the Sun is totally covered by the Moon. The extremely dazzling surface of the Sun is substituted by the dark shadow of the Moon.

When total eclipse occurs, it is seen in its entirety only from a constricted trail on the Earths surface. The cities in India through which the silhouette of the eclipse in its entirety will be seen comprise Bhavnagar, Surat, Ujjain, Indore, Bhopal, Sagar, Jabalpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gaya, Patna, Bhagalpur, Jalpaigudi, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

The nations to observe the course of the Moon's umbral silhouette are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar as well as China.

Rains wreak havoc in Ten Orissa districts

Bhubaneswar July 21: Heavy showers wreaking havoc in Orissa have resulted in flash floods in 10 districts with key rivers of the state surging threateningly. The state government has announced a warning and proclaimed a two-day holiday for schools in Balasore district, according to reports provided by the officials.

The condition is expected to worsen with the Meteorological Department warning that the depression over Bay and Bengal is anticipated to set off heavy to extremely heavy showers in the state accompanied by stormy wind with speed varying from 45 km per hour to 65 km per hour.

Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Nayagarh, Balangir and Sundargarh districts were badly distressed by flash floods as well as heavy showers. According to the Meteorological Department water heights in the Maharani, Devi, Baitarani, Brahmani, Subarnarekha, Tel, Hati, Bansadhara and Rushikulya rivers were close to their threat levels at many locations.

Kasab divulges particulars of 26/11 assault

Mumbai July 21: Ajmal Kasab on Tuesday said he was given the directive to start firing at random at CST and seize people "hostage" on the upper floor, as the special judge for the Mumbai assault hearing took into account three choices on how to deal with the admission of the solitary gunman pleading guilty who survived the retaliation by the security forces. Special Judge M L Tahilyani postponed a verdict on Kasab's remarkable declaration of guilt on Monday and confessing to his participation in the terror assault and looking for a fast judgment.

The judge postponed the hearing till tomorrow subsequent to the prosecution asking for time to furnish its response. As a part of his comment, 22-year-old Kasab said he and his eliminated associate Abu Ismail were ordered to commence firing randomly at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal (CST), seize hostages and assault cops making an attempt to save those affected by the attack.

Show cause notice slapped on US-based airline on Kalam issue

New Delhi, July 21: Reacting strongly to the "unpardonable" action of subjecting ex President of the country, A P J Abdul Kalam to body checks at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, the Government has served a show cause notification to the US-headquartered Continental Airlines for breaching rules.

"Not only the preliminary inquiry has been ordered but we also have a preliminary report on the basis of which the Continental Airlines has been issued a show cause notice why action for willful violation should not be taken," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel affirmed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Patel was reacting to the agony articulated by the full House, together with Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, regarding the "humiliation" faced by the nations Bharat Ratna, whom they termed as the most eminent personality and a hero of the country.

Kalams body was subjected to checks by the Airlines at the boarding site some time ago while he was making a trip to the US.

Historic Education Bill Passed in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi, July 20: In a momentous act, the Rajya Sabha on Monday sanctioned the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Bill 2008 with slight adjustments making it mandatory on the Government to guarantee a scheme to make this a certainty.

The Constitutional Bill headed by Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal offers that ''every child from six to 14 years of age has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school that satisfies certain essential norms and standards''.

The Bill affirms that free education will signify that no kid particularly from deprived sections shell out any charges, costs or expenses which may thwart him or her from taking up and finishing his basic education.

The Bill also clarifies responsibilities and tasks of the Governments, Local Authorities, parents, schools as well as teachers in making available education for children varying from six to 14 years of age.

Government to furnish high-tech equipment to armed forces: Antony

New Delhi, July 20: The Defence Minister Mr A K Antony said that the government was devoted in fulfilling its commitment to furnish high-tech equipment to the armed forces to counter any probable security threat to the nation.

He was responding to a barrage of queries on the self-reliance of Defence forces in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

He asserted that the Defence acquirement process was being made less complicated to accelerate the procedure. Mr Antony observed that priority would be accorded to purchase Defence equipment from national units, whether it belonged to the private or to the public sector. He asserted that Defence equipment would be purchased from the global bazaar only if they are not obtainable nationally.

The Minister also stated that Public Private Partnership is the approach ahead to narrow the fissure between requirement and delivery of superior equipment.

SC refuses to stay HC ruling on homosexuality

New Delhi, July20: The Supreme Court refused to pass a provisional judgment to adjourn the Delhi High Court decree permitting gay sex among compliant adults on Monday.

The apex Court observed that it would not act in haste and will not intervene till the
Government made its position clear on the subject that has generated a lot of controversy over the years.

A Bench consisting of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam noted.
"We are not for stay as there is no threat of any consequences. We will hear the government, what is their stand." "Why not wait till government takes a definite stand," the Bench observed prior to posting the subject for 14th September.

Kasab pleads guilty in 26/11 terror assault

Mumbai, July 20: The solitary rebel who remained alive in 26/11 Mumbai militant assaults, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab pleaded guilty at his appearance at the trial court to the terror strikes that resulted in the death of more than 180 dead people. Kasab gave his statement on Monday to the special court saying that he was admitting to his connection with the terror assaults.

He as well acknowledged that he was also responsible for the terror strikes at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus together with the Cama hospital in south Mumbai located close to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Kasab confessed that he travelled in a boat from Karachi together with nine other associates to perform the reprehensible action on the night of 26th November in four locations including the famous landmarks of Mumbai, The Taj and Oberoi Hotels.

The hearing in the case which commenced on 17th April was conducted in a temporary court room in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail.

Mayhem By Govt Job Applicants At Examination Venue

Kolkata, July20: An irate mob of engineering graduates went berserk following their discovery that the institute lacked the necessary amenities to meet their basic requirements. The rampage occurred at Durgapur in West Bengal about 150 kms from Kolkata. The engineering graduates were appearing for a government job.

Police sources said that around 1,170 candidates had been asked to appear for the selection examination of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) at Bidhan Chandra Institute But when the candidates arrived at the venue of the exam on Sunday, they realized that there was provision for accommodating 600 aspirants at the most.

Peeved at this lack of inadequate infrastructure, the candidates ran amok and destroyed the furniture of the institute, police said. Police thwarted the possibility of further violence and restored normalcy in the area.

In the meantime, SAIL Public Relations Officer B R Kanungo said, "We are investigating the matter. We have cancelled the exams and a fresh exam date would be announced soon.

Chaos in Rajya Sabha Over Ministers Response in English

New Delhi, July 20: Tumultuous scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha on Monday when Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh responded to a query in English and a BJP member vehemently expressing his opposition to it.

The chaotic condition occurred during the Question Hour when Ramesh responded in English to a supplementary provided to him in Hindi, sparking off an angry response from Kalraj Mishra (BJP) who wanted to know why the minister was not responding in Hindi though he was well versed in it.

Countering the sharp reaction of the BJP member Ramesh stated in Hindi: "Kalraj Mishraji yeh Mulayam Singhji ki bimari aap ko bhi pahuch gayi hai (you have been infected by the 'disease' of Mulyam Singh Yadav)", alluding to the SP leader highlighting the reality that despite having adequate knowledge of Hindi, ministers gave preference to English while making comments in the Parliament.

The minister's comments elicited angry reactions from the BJP, SP as well as BSP members, who observed that Hindi was not an ailment.

Centre urges states to alter regulations for inexpensive housing

The Centre has urged all state governments as well as union territories to revise town development and other connected regulations for inexpensive housing.

Conveying this message through letters sent to all Chief Ministers, the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja has wanted the modification to town development for reservation of land for inexpensive housing and assessment of all slums in cities all over the nation.

Furnishing a list of the measures being taken into account by the ministry, Ms Selja observed that creation of a record on slums, envisioning cities and states devoid of slums, producing a lawful structure to endow property rights to slum residents and urban underprivileged are several of the chief components of the action plan. In her letter, Ms Selja emphasized on the requirement for an inclusive database on prevailing slums within three months.

Pranab negates possibility of bifurcating West Bengal

Amidst the growing unrest in Darjeeling over the demand for a separate state for the people of the region, Pranab Mukherjee who is the Finance Minister as well as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President dismissed suggestion of further division of West Bengal on Sunday. Darjeeling known as the queen of hill stations has remained volatile and tense following an indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which is at the forefront of the campaign for separate statehood for Darjeeling.

Talking to the media regarding the indefinite bandh called by the GJM for granting of statehood status to Darjeeling which is located in North Bengal Pranab Mukherjee gave a firm assertion saying "There is no question of any further division of Bengal The minister observed that violence and aggressive methods were solution to problems and expressed optimism saying that the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) would bring life back to normal by putting an end to its indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling Hills. The Centre has called for tripartite talks with the GJM and the West Bengal government to discuss the demands made by the GJM on August 24, he stated adding, "I hope that the GJM would participate in the talks to sort out the problems," Mukherjee.

Pictures of sari clad ministers and bureaucrats stir controversy in Kolkata

Kolkata July 19: A leading Kolkata English newspaper faced the wrath of two womens organizations on Saturday for portraying a section of the bureaucrats including the chief minister and several of his colleagues draped in saris to project their incompetence to prevent violence on the day of the Bandh called by the Pradesh Congress Committee. The twelve hour Bangla Bandh called by the Congress to protest against the assault on their legislators in the Burdhwan district of West Bengal. The newspaper tried to convey the message that the sari clad bureaucrats and ministers acted like women while dealing with the Bandh situation and failed to take necessary measures to pre-empt the Bandh or thwart the mayhem that was associated with it. On earlier occasions Bandhs called by opposition parties were strictly dealt with by the state government. But this time the administration preferred to remain a mute spectator as Congressmen resorted to violence on the day of the Bandh while trying to enforce it. No attempt was made by the part of the state administration to confront the Bandh enforces.

The day preceding the Bandh also witnessed large-scale mayhem in the city as Congressmen acted aggressively in protest against the attack on the legislators, torching buses and putting up roadblocks and completely paralyzing the city. The failure of the government to act thwart violence on the day of the Bandh and the day preceding it prompted the English daily, the largest circulated newspaper in Eastern India to compare the sari clad bureaucrats and ministers with women. In Bengal the actions of a timid male is often referred to that of a female. Reacting strongly to the photographs of sari clad bureaucrats and minister in the front page of the newspaper, two womens organizations have criticized the newspaper for their act. Maitree a womens organization working to safeguard the rights of women said in a letter dispatched to the newspaper office in which it stated that by portraying the failure of the men to appropriate action as the inability of the women to tackle situations effectively was embarrassing for the weaker sex. Women have occupied high offices and some of their actions have been exemplary.

The Paschimbanga Ganatrantik Mahila Samity, The CPI (M)s women's wing too was severely critical of the way in which bureaucrats and ministers were projected as sari clad personalities. The left womens wing criticized the newspaper by saying that its against exposed its prejudices against women though it regarded itself as a liberal and modern newspaper. Talking to Exoticecho, Minu Bhattacharjee a member of the Paschimbanga Gantrantik Mahila Samity
and resident of South Kolkata said that such methods of portraying bureaucrats and ministers for their incompetence showed that in the contemporary society attempts were still made to suppress the weaker sex by comparing timid people with them. The mindset needs to change otherwise despite all the demands for the empowerment of women the fate of the women in India will never improve, she added.

By Anjishnu Biswas

Maoist Rebels Destroy Railway Track in West Bengal

In a lethal Maoist assault in West Bengal, alleged Maoists insurgents destroyed a railway track by triggering a violent explosion close to Urma station. The Maoist aggression occurred prior to the movement of a local train on the destroyed tracks in the Purulia district of West Bengal on Saturday.

Police sources said that the Maoists triggered the lethal explosion with the help of remote controlled gadgets. Railway authorities observed that the explosion on the Adra section of South Eastern railway was quite strong to destroy the coaches in which passengers travel.

In the meantime, an unidentified person made a call to the BSNL office in Purulia stating that a bomb had been placed on the location.

However a thorough search by personnel of the bomb squad for two hours at the location where the bomb was said to be planted yielded no result.

Parliament endorses extension of Prez's rule in Jharkhand

New Delhi, July 18: Parliament has endorsed augmentation of President's rule in Jharkhand by an additional six months with Rajya Sabha sanctioning the move following an assertion by the government that assembly polls would be conducted in the state "at the earliest opportunity. Prior to the extension of Presidents rule in Jharkhand, Home Minister P Chidambaram had revealed in the Lok Sabha that the voting process in the state should begin.

Nevertheless, the Home Minister said realistic problems in conducting elections during the rainy season in the state have to given adequate importance. "I have to provide forces," he observed. We will hold elections at the earliest opportunity. Whether the House is dissolved or kept in suspended animation, it is necessary to extend the President's rule", Home Minister P Chidambaram stated in the Upper House while responding to the debate on the proposal for expansion of the Central rule.

Blaming the Centre for the political impasse in Jharkhand, BJP as well as the Left parties on Friday stressed on the need for instant suspension of the state assembly and asked the Centre to make arrangements for fresh elections. Opposing Chidambaram's comments that the government had in mind to inform the Election Commission to conduct assembly polls after monsoon, Prasad said "the judgment (about timing) should be left to the Election Commission". This remark about making references to the poll agenda to the EC was also made by CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.

EC Says EVMs To Remain

Chandigarh, July 18: Against the background of suspicions voiced by some political leaders on the performance of Electronic Voting Machines, the Election Commission affirmed there was no attempt to cease the utilization of EVMs claiming these were "100 per cent tamper proof".

"These machines are 100 per cent tamper proof and cannot be manipulated as they are not connected to any network or a computer", Election Commissioner S Y Quarishi told the media in Chandigarh on Friday.

"These are designed with simple techniques and cannot be hacked...there is no move to revert to use of ballot papers and the Commission is fully satisfied with the functioning of EVMs," he observed.

Quarishi, who is visiting Chandigarh to evaluate poll-linked issues as state assembly polls in Haryana are scheduled next year, was told to make a statement on the suspicions expressed by a number of political leaders, including those of the BJP as well as the CPI (M), in recent times connected with EVMs and speculated whether ballot papers should be made use of again.

"It had taken 25 years of approvals and testing before EVMs were finally put to use in the country in 2004 parliamentary polls. Two technical committees, which includes one Parliamentary committee, had fully approved these machines," he observed, rejecting any necessity to go back to the utilization of ballot papers.

He noted that at different points in time a specific section of people had been criticizing and expressing suspicions and even writ appeals had been recorded in different courts, including the High Courts as well as the Supreme Court, but EVMs have constantly been regarded as machines which cannot be fiddled with.

Govt to start housing scheme for slum occupants and urban underprivileged

The Government on Friday asserted that it was making arrangement to commence a new housing scheme for slum occupants as well as the underprivileged class living in cities because the scheme has proposals for offering financial assistance up to five per cent on a credit of Rs one lakh taken by the deprived.

"Government proposes to launch 'Rajiv Awas Yojana' in the country for slum dwellers and urban poor. The scheme would extend support to states willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas," Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja gave a notification in the Lok Sabha.

"Government's effort would be to create slum free India through the scheme in next five years," she affirmed in a response given in writing.In 2009, the Government has undertaken interest funding scheme for accommodating the underprivileged section of the populace living in cities. In the meantime, reacting to one more query, Selja observed the government would amend building by-laws to make rain water garnering compulsory in all houses.

Centre to provide Soil Health Card to farmers

New Delhi, July17: The Government is making arrangement to offer Soil Health Card to each cultivator in the nation. The card will enlighten them about the types of soil, kinds of flaws in it and the nature of fertilizers, which could be utilized to augment the fertility.

Responding to queries in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, the Union Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar observed flooding has posed severe trouble for the productiveness of the soil. Mr. Pawar observed, reasonable as well as sensible utilization of chemicals chiefly utilized in cultivation in the nation is not believed to trigger damage to soil vigor and productiveness.

Tumult in Lok Sabha linked to assaults on Cong MLAs in Bengal

New Delhi, July17: Chaotic scenes were seen in the Lok Sabha on Friday in the aftermath of allegations brought by a Congress MP from West Bengal that nine MLAs belonging to his party in West Bengal came under assault by miscreants backed by the Left parties who are in charge of the state. The attack occurred in the Mangalkot area of Burdwan district.

Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary alleged during the Zero Hour that the Congress Legislators were assaulted when they visited the region to hand out assistance to those who have been forced to leave their homes after their houses were set on fire by several troublemakers. He contended that miscreants backed by the ruling party assaulted the Congress MLAs that led to angry outbursts from Left members.

As the vocal conflict followed between the Congress as well as Left members, Speaker Meira Kumar observed that matter was connected to a state and suspended the House for lunch break. Previously, during the Question Hour as well, chaotic scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha when Chaudhary referred to the attack on Congress MLAs. He claimed the adjournment of the Question Hour to discuss the deteriorating condition and of the law and order of the state, which was rocked by aggression on Thursday following protests by the Congress party in West Bengal.

Congress Bandh paralyses Kolkata

Kolkata, July 17: Normal life in Kolkata was completely paralyzed on Friday following the twelve hour Bangla Bandh called by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress as a mark of protest against the attack on their legislators in Burdwan District on Wednesday. Yesterday the city witnessed rampant mayhem as a number of buses belonging to the state government were burnt or damaged. Private vehicles including buses also bore the brunt of the Congress activists on Thursday. Fridays 12-hour bandh, which started at 6 am and will continue till 6 in the evening, brought normal life in the city to a complete standstill. Fearing violent protests and damages to Government vehicles the West Bengal government decided against operating buses in the city. Auto Rickshaws controlled by CITU, the labour wing of the CPI (M) also refrained from running their vehicles on the road. Most of the roads were deserted and shops and educational institutions remained closed. All private schools in the city declared a holiday yesterday in view of the prevailing unrest. Unlike in the past when government buses and CITU affiliated auto rickshaws used to ply on the days of Bandh called by the opposition, making it possible for a section of the populace willing to attend work possible, this time lack of government vehicles forced most of the office goers indoors.

In Broad the Street area in South Kolkata, a pro bandh procession ransacked a number of shops, which did not down their shutters. An employee of an eatery in Broad Street told EXOTICECHO, Since our shop opens early in the morning we have to prepare the foodstuff that is served to the customers overnight. We thought that after exhausting our stock we would down our shutters. But before that a Congress procession raising pro bandh slogans came and started abusing all the employees. We pleaded with them not to harm us but to no avail. Some of the employees were beaten and abused and the shop was completely ransacked. The procession left when people of the locality arrived at the troubled spot. Those who dared to take their private vehicles out in the street were prevented from traveling by roving Congress supporters. The Congress activists in their bid to enforce the bandh set up a number of roadblocks in the city. A long distance bus coming from Balurghat in North Bengal to Kolkata was stopped at Baguihati in the northern fringes of the city and was badly damaged by an enraged group of pro-bandh supporters.

Congress supporters clashed with police in the Hazra area of South Kolkata while forcibly trying to down shutters and prevent people from entering the under ground metro station. However underground metro railway continued its services but passengers were scarce. Seven flights from the Kolkata airport had to be cancelled because of the cascading effect of the bandh. Rita Ghosh, a resident of south Kolkata who had booked a 7o clock flight said she would leave for the airport at 2 at night so that she could reach the airport before the commencement or the bandh. Train services in West Bengal were severely disrupted as passengers squatted on the tracks to prevent their movement. Long distance trains were stranded at different stations as enforcers of the bandh stopped them from progressing further.

While Mamata Banerjee yesterday asserted that Trinamul activists would lend moral support to the bandh and not actively participate in ensuring the success of the Bandh, scores of Trinamul activists with their party flags were seen alongside Congress supporters trying to enforce the bandh.


Kolkata rocked by violence: Normal life disrupted

Kolkata, July 16: Agitated Congress supporters brought the city to a standstill on Thursday, putting up road blocks at a number of places in Kolkata and damaging numerous state government buses as well as private vehicles. The Congress agitation was triggered by an assault on some of their legislators by CPI(M) activists in a village in the Burdwan district yesterday. The legislators had gone to the village to enquire about the condition of Congress supporters who were victims of attacks by the CPI (M), the dominant political force in the area. The Congress has called a 12 hour bandh in the city on Friday.
Kolktata was gripped by severe violence as a number of buses were set ablaze by agitating Congress mob. A government bus was stopped at Gariahat Crossing by Congress supporters who set it on fire. Government sources said that another bus was set alight on the Sealdah flyover. A Congress leader speaking on conditions of anonymity said that they would continue to register their protests in an aggressive manner unless the culprits who assaulted their legislators were apprehended. Traffic was completely thrown out of gear in the city with vehicles standing bumper to bumper for hours.


UP Cong chief's detention triggers chaos in Parliament

New Delhi, July 16: The detention of Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi by the UP police resulted in tumult in both the Houses of Parliament. When the question hour commenced, members owing allegiance to the ruling congress stood up aggressively making a demand for adjournment of question hour to deliberate on the issue. BJP members too became vocal relating to the charge sheet filed against Varun Gandhi.

The Speaker made a plea to the restive members to restore and maintain the decorum connected with the regulations of the Lok Sabha and guaranteed them that the matter would be discussed following the question hour. The members shouted relentlessly in the House with the speaker adjourning it thrice, first for 15 minutes, and subsequently till Noon and afterward till 2 p.m.

Rajya Sabha, too witnessed ugly scenes with the BSP members making a demand for explanation on the supposed disparaging comments against the UP Chief Minister by the Congress leader. With the situation remaining chaotic, the House was adjourned till noon, as the Chairman Mr. Hamid Ansari's request to bring back calm were rejected. The Rajya Sabha, was adjourned first up to Noon and afterward for the day.

Chidambaram says Naxal menace under-estimated" for long

New Delhi, July 16: Home Minister P Chidambaram observed that the Naxal menace was miscalculated for several years and that the Centre was getting ready to confront the serious threat caused by the extreme left wing rebels. Responding to queries in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Chidambaram affirmed that a military consultant has been chosen to organize an operational strategy.

He furthermore clarified a combined action tactic was being chalked out in consultation with Naxal-hit states such as Orissa as well as Chhattisgarh.

Chidambaram's observations emanated came while BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu told the media that the UPA government does not recognize the profundity and significance of the crises.

Union Minister of state for Home Affairs Ajay Maken revealed that overall 1,726 civilians were exterminated in naxal related aggression during the previous three years.

The Home Minister also asserted that he was in contact with chief ministers of the Naxal-hit regions and will hold a congregation with them in August to thrash out ways to oppose Left-wing radicalism.

14-day judicial detention for UP Cong chief Bahuguna Joshi

Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief, detained for purportedly making disparaging comments against Chief Minister Mayawati was on Thursday sent to 14 days judicial custody.

Joshi was charged under 153 A for making provocative statements and section 109 of IPC for making use of offensive language as well under stipulations of SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act and was presented in front of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Prashant Kumar who remanded her to 14-day court detention.

Joshi, who purportedly made several disparaging comments against Mayawati at a public meeting in Moradabad, was detained in Ghaziabad on Wednesday night while she was going to Delhi.

Security agencies warn of potential terror strikes in Maharashtra

The Intelligence Bureau has warned of new terrorist attacks in no less than seven locations in Maharashtra. The possible targets that can come under terrorist strikes consist of a famous bank as well as three railway stations in Mumbai.

Security reports revealed that the peril was exposed in the aftermath of the seizures of photographs of locations targeted in Maharashtra from an alleged terrorist who was apprehended in Jammu and Kashmir.

The sources proclaimed that terror modules could utilize the sea course to launch their strike and termed the warning as the most severe in two years. For the moment, an extensive coastal vigil has been commenced subsequent to the report furnished by the Intelligence Bureau.

Left-wing extremist groups pose 'formidable challenge': Govt

The Indian Government has acknowledged that merger of key Left-wing radical factions is a "formidable challenge" and revealed its keenness to cope with the danger by means of inclusive plans.

The Yearly statement of the Ministry of Home Affairs for 2008-09 furthermore stated that almost 87 percent Naxal aggression occurred in the four most badly rebel hit states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand as well as Orissa.

The amalgamation of key units such as People's War Group and Maoists Communist Centre beneath a particular banner has been coupled with rising modernization of their armed units in their organization and strategies, consequently posing a "formidable challenge", it said.

There were 1,591 cases of Naxalite related aggression as well as 721 fatalities in 2008 in comparison to 1,567 Naxalite related cases and 696 fatalities in 2007.

The report observed, "Left-wing extremist violence registered an increase of 3.4 per cent over the previous year. The four worst affected states accounted for 86.39 per cent of total incidents of Naxal violence in 2008".

Heavy showers throw normal life out of gear in Mumbai

Torrential downpour continued to hit the commercial hub of the nation for the third day on Wednesday, disrupting normal life, resulting in unprecedented flooding and upsetting road, rail and air travel to a great extent. According to the meteorological department the amount of rainfall received by the city in the last 22 hours since 8.30 am on Tuesday was 240.1 mm

Fishermen have been warned against going out into the sea for the following 24 hours because the sea is violent to extremely violent with southwesterly to westerly waves, the Meteorological department stated. Insufficient visibility at the airport resulted in flights being delayed by a few minutes.

The meteorological department has predicted recurrent bouts of showers or thundershowers with torrential to extremely torrential downpours in several areas of the commercial hub as well as the suburbs. Sharp squally current of air are also expected.

Heavy showers throw normal life out of gear in Mumbai

Mumbai,July 15: Torrential downpour continued to hit the commercial hub of the nation for the third day on Wednesday, disrupting normal life, resulting in unprecedented flooding and upsetting road, rail and air travel to a great extent. According to the meteorological department the amount of rainfall received by the city in the last 22 hours since 8.30 am on Tuesday was 240.1 mm

Fishermen have been warned against going out into the sea for the following 24 hours because the sea is violent to extremely violent with southwesterly to westerly waves, the Meteorological department stated. Insufficient visibility at the airport resulted in flights being delayed by a few minutes.

The meteorological department has predicted recurrent bouts of showers or thundershowers with torrential to extremely torrential downpours in several areas of the commercial hub as well as the suburbs. Sharp squally current of air are also expected.

Heavy showers disrupt normal life in Mumbai

Mumbai,July14:Normal life was disrupted in Mumbai on Tuesday because of severe downpour all through the night that resulted in substantial inundation in several areas and awfully upset road, rail as well as air travel.

The heavy showers along with squally winds since last evening resulted in traffic disruptions in a number of areas. Suburban trains were also not operating in time and were delayed by 30-45 minutes owing to water logging on the tracks.

A number of low lying regions together with King's circle, Sion, Andheri Milan subway, Hind Mata were flooded and according to traffic police sources the traffic on western and eastern highways was adversely affected. Mumbai International Airport Limited sources said that visibility at the airport has dropped to 800 ft.

Chhattisgarh put on high alert after Maoist assault

A "high alert" has been announced all over Chhattisgarh, a day subsequent to the Naxal strikes that resulted in the cde3ath of 30 police personnel , with a distressed state government promising to alter its tactic to cope with the Left-wing rebels. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Naxal) Pawan Dev said on Monday "All police stations have been put on high alert, especially those near the state's border."

Thirty police personnel that included a Superintendent of Police perished in surprise attacks as well as landmine blasts by Maoists in three different rebel assaults in Rajnandgaon, 90 km from Raipur on Sunday.

Refuting that the attacks mirrored intelligence breakdown, the DIG said the security forces were conscious of naxal actions in the region and STF had been positioned there.
"But despite the steps, the attacks could not be averted," he said.

The most recent attacks related to Maoist aggression which has so far resulted in the loss of 148 lives in Chattisgarh this year took place at Madanwada, Khoregaon area and Sitagaon.

NHRC wants prompt action against Naxalites

Terming as a "disturbing incident" the Maoist aggression in Chhattisgarh that killed 30 policemen including a superintendent of police, the NHRC has demanded quick legal action against the "killers. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also stressed on the need for adopting "immediate and suitable" methods for offering sufficient compensation to families of the police personnel who died in the tragedy and expected that the government would take appropriate measures in this respect.

Those critically wounded in the Maoist assault should be given "adequate financial aid", the rights body added."Thirty police personnel including a superintendent of police have been killed by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh while discharging their duties. This is a disturbing incident which calls for prompt legal action against the killers," according to an NHRC statement on Monday.

Performance of overseas universities to be monitored

New Delhi, July13: The Government is contemplating about establishing a regulatory body to keep an eye on the performance of overseas universities as it is resolute to thwart the mistreatment of Indian students, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, responding to a query on whether the Government had carried out any survey to assess the performance of overseas universities, observed that the Ministry was conscious of the affair and would like to create a unique law not only to control and scrutinize the entry of overseas universities but also their performance.

''We will not allow our students to be exploited by any one...'' he said. He further observed, we have our eyes firmly on setting up several world-class educational institutions which could make our children compete with others anywhere.''

Agreeing to Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav's proposal for persuading nations intelligentsia as component of the procedure of enhancing education segment, than opting for uncontrolled opening of overseas institutions, Mr Sibal noted that the government would greet universities who come with courses which were not obtainable earlier.

Kerala CM Ceases To Be CPI (M) Politburo Member

With a view to end the factional feuds in its Kerala unit, the CPI(M) on Sunday removed its most veteran leader and Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan from the Politburo for breaching its organisational code and regulation. However his role as the Chief Minister will continue. He would as well continue to be a member of the party central committee.

Achuthanandan's chief critic and Kerala party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was untouched as the Central Committee just mentioned the SNC Lavalin contract case concerning him and observed that he was "not involved in any corrupt practice whatsoever."

After a two-day congregation to thrash out the issue, the Central Committee allowed the Politburo to adopt "necessary steps" to execute its decisions on the continuing factional fueds.

It urged the Kerala party unit to "unify the party in its entirety and meet the people with the political and organisational responsibilities which have been stated after the assessment of the Lok Sabha elections," according to a party statement.

The factional feuds have adversely affected the CPI (M) in its bastion in Kerala where the number of its Lok Sabha seats reduced from 16 to four in the last general elections.

The party said it would politically and legally tackle the Lavalin case, in which Vijayan is being prosecuted by CBI.

Lethal Maoist attack kills 30 in Chattisgarh

In a devastating assault on security forces by Maoists, thirty police personnel, including a Superintendent of Police, were killed in two different rebel attacks on Sunday in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
Superintendent of police P V K Choubey along with 30 personnel of the state police force was killed when Maoists attacked the team of police personnel under the charge of Choubey. The security personnel who lost their lives in the ambush were en route to a police camp at Madanwada.

DIG (Naxal) Pawan Dev said Choubey's unit came under the assault of the rebels in Khoregaon region. Reinforcements have been sent on an emergency basis to the region and a search operation has been started, he said.
IG Durg Range Mukesh Gupta said the bodies of Choubey and 23 other policemen were being taken to Manpur police station.

Micro-level planning apt for solving water crises in India

Kolkata, July12: India is a country where a number of regions face a severe shortage of water. With a view to solve this perennial problem of water crises in the affected areas of the country, dams are constructed for the purpose. Eminent environmentalist Dr Pradip Kumar Sikdar associated with the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management institute in Kolkata favours the water shed management plan that entails the construction of smaller water bodies in drought prone areas for catering to the demands of the people for water. Water shed management is also suitable for areas where rainfall is not sufficient and ground water level is not adequate for utilization.

According to Dr Sikdar there are two methods available for tapping and storing water. They are the soft engineering type and the hard engineering approach. Dr Sikdar says that the soft engineering type or micro level planning is preferable in comparison to the hard engineering approach which envisages the construction of huge dams with a great potential for triggering off an ecological catastrophe in the ecological system of the region where such dams are constructed. The soft engineering approach is preferable as it does not have any disastrous effect on the environment and does not render people homeless. Dr Sikdar observes that another serious threat that dams of great magnitude can pose is the triggering off deep seated fault associated with seismic activities thereby causing earthquakes and consequently causing great damage to life and property.

Dr Sikdar is of the opinion that people in dire need of water should not subjected to difficulties owing to delays arising out of controversies surrounding linked to the construction of dams. In this regard he cites the example of Sardar Sarovar dam that had resulted in a conflict between the proponents of the dam and those opposing it. Dr Sikdar feels that if dams have to be built proper rehabilitation of the people living in the region should precede its construction. He adds that measures to safeguard the ecological balance of the region should be adopted and proper examination of the seismic zone should be carried out before the project is launched. Constructions of dams can cause inundation of large areas adjoining it and transborder rehabilitation is the most apposite way of settling people affected by the downstream effect of dams during their construction.


Army censured for insufficient supply of Igla, Milan

New Delhi,July11:The Comptroller and Auditor General - CAG - has censured the Army for insufficient supply of Russian-produced Igla surface-to-air missiles and Franco-German Milan anti-tank missile disturbing its war assets and operational promptness. The report tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday noted that in spite of the operational exigency, the acquirement of these missiles took four years. The delivery was slated to commence with the supply of 50 missiles annually starting in 2008 and the total supply would have been concluded by 2012.

But, astonishingly, the Army had already resolved to phase out these missiles by 2013 by the time the final batch arrives. This reveals the extremely poor preparation in attainment of important missiles, the report observed.

One more CAG reproached the HRD Ministry for discharging money to Bihar for specific educational projects without appropriate screening. The report stated that it had led to non-utilization of 8.73 crore rupees.

WB Govt not to offer fertile land to entrepreneurs

Following the recent drubbing in the Lok Sabha as well as the municipal elections in West Bengal which the ruling Left Front Government attributes to the acquisition of fertile land for setting up industrial units, the government has taken a decision not to permit the setting up of Industrial units in lands that are fertile in Bengal. However, industries will be given the option of choosing land from five districts of the state where barren land is obtainable, according to government sources. Making a statement in the Assembly land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah said that industrialists would from now on not be permitted to demand for locations of their choice like areas like Singur but in the Western districts of the state.

The five districts earmarked for the purpose of offering land to the entrepreneurs in the state are Bankura, Purulia, and West Midnapore along with portions of Burdhwan and Birbhum. Speaking to ExoticEcho on conditions of anonymity, a CPI (M) leader said that the government was compelled to take a decision not to utilize fertile land for industrial purposes following a strong expression of resentment among the peasant wing of the organization.


Pawar apprehensive about SW Monsoon Progress

New Delhi, July 10:The government on Friday stated that it was worried about the monsoon condition chiefly existing in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Western UP, Himachal Pradesh and several areas of Bihar and is as well prepared with two emergency tactics for the sowing period.

Responding to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar observed that the government was closely monitoring the situation.

The Agriculture Minister furthermore notified the members that the government bearing in mind the monsoon condition has chalked out two emergency tactics.

Sharad Pawar observed that the primary arrangement of supplying seeds as well as fertilizers has already been prepared.

He also told that if the monsoon condition does not progress, the government would execute the second arrangement of supplying extra seeds for second sowing.

12-hour bandh called against police action

A 12-hour bandh in Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal has been called by the SUCI

along with People’s Committee in opposition to police brutalities. The bandh has been called

in protest against the activities of the combined forces of the Central as well as State

forces against Maoists.

The effect of the bandh has been quite significant. In the areas that fall under the

jurisdiction of the bandh, the greatest consequence of the bandh have been witnessed in

Jhargram, Midnapore, Goaltorh as well as Shalboni. While shops downed shutters in the area,

vehicles did not ply on the roads.

Kerala Opposition Decries CPI (M) Students Wings Act

Expressing dissent against violence on educational establishment as well as the police force of the state, the opposition party stormed out of the Kerala Assembly on Thursday. Leader of the opposition Mr.

Oommen Chandy brought severe accusations against the ruling government for failing to rein in the CPI (M) Students Wings from committing acts of violence. He revealed that recurrent violence unleashed on educational institutions reveal very poorly the state of affairs in the Government.
Even the police force is assaulted by the students section of CPI (M). When the Speaker rebuffed consent to debate the issue by adjourning the house, the Congress-led opposition party stormed out in remonstration

Govt Apprehensive Of Rapid Ground Water Depletion

The Government has articulated apprehension with regard to the rapid exhaustion of ground water in a lot of regions of the nation. Water Resources Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, notified the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the Central Ground Water Board has recognized above 800 blocks in the nation, experiencing excess utilization of ground water.

A number of 5,700 blocks were reviewed. Minister of State for Water Resources, Vincent Pala, however observed, that the study of average yearly surge data of key rivers does not specify any considerable declining tendency. The current stage of exploitation of water has been evaluated at 450 billion cubic meters, a government report said.

Indian Armed Forces Personnel for French National Day parade

New Delhi, July 8: With a view to participate in the French National Day celebrations on July 14, 2009, a 270 personnel delegation of the Indian Armed Forces comprising marching columns and a joint military band from the Army, Air Force and Navy set off from here today for Paris, according to Defence Ministry Sources

On Tuesday the initial group consisting of 130 Armed Forces Personnel had set off for their journey to Paris. The 400 strong procession, placed under the charge of Air Commodore RK Mathur, will participate in the march past on the Bastille Day.

The French National Day commemorates the anniversary of the raid of the Bastille fortress-prison on July 14, 1789. This year the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will be the Guest of Honour at the French National Day Celebrations in Paris.


People Greet Jyoti Basu on his 96th Birthday

Kolkata, July8: Jyoti Basu, the CPI (M) patriarch who was the ex- Chief Minister of West Bengal will turn 96 years on Wednesday. An ailing Basu who is no longer actively involved in the political activities of the party except for occasional comments and remarks regarding political developments rarely appears in public and is mostly confined at his residence at Salt Lake in Kolkata.

A number of important political personalities comprising the governor of West Bengal Mr.Gopalkrishna Gandhi, ex- Lok Sabha Speaker Mr. Somnath Chatterjee and several ministers of the state cabinet conveyed their best wishes to the veteran political leader. People belonging to different sections of the society including school children turned up at the residence of Basu in hordes at Salt Lake since Wednesday morning and prayed for his good health. A small event was as well arranged at his house to commemorate the day. Giving a brief speech on the occasion, Mr.Basu observed that he at all times yearned for the wellbeing of the people as well as the progress of West Bengal.


Prime Minister Says Budget to Tackle Worldwide recession

Responding to the budget, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has observed that the Finance Minister has performed a commendable task and the key endeavor of the budget was to lessen the brunt of global downturn.

Allies of the UPA government have greeted the budget while the BJP, Left parties as well as the Samajwadi party have censured it. Congress representative Manish Tiwari justified the budget by terming it growth oriented, all-encompassing with an emphasis on development.

The Home Minister Mr. P Chidambram, who was the finance minister in the previous UPA government, asserted that it has been arranged with enormous dexterity and acumen.

BJP leader and ex- Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha termed the budget as tentative and halfhearted.

CPI leader Gurdasdas Gupta was critical of the budget saying that it was trivial and botched to deal with the issues of job losses and economic recession, while the CPM felt the budget was packed with inconsistencies.

Industry bodies summoned the elimination of the Fringe Benefit Tax and FICCI Chairman Harshpati Singhania hailed the pledge of the government for the launch of Goods and Services Tax from April next year.


Congregation of CMs of Naxal-affected states: Chidambaram

New Delhi, July 7: A congregation of Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected states will take place next month to reflect on the threat which has attained distressing magnitude in some states, Home Minister P Chidambaram observed.

The conference will make extensive deliberations on the Maoist crisis and modify tactics to deal with the hazard caused by the Naxals to internal defense; Chidambaram observed while responding to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The Home Minister furthermore urged the Chief Ministers of the concerned states to revamp their plea to the Naxal leaders to surrender arms and come to the discussion table.

The plea came at the proposal of SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, who asserting that he had effectively solved the crisis in a number of districts in Uttar Pradesh by means of discussions.

The chief ministers will be updated about the tactics drawn up to deal with the Naxal hazard, Chidambaram said acknowledging that the crisis has become "intense and grave" in the last couple of months.


Pro-people, growth-propelled 2009-10 Budget From Pranab

New Delhi, July 7: The Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on Monday planned to elevate private income tax exclusion by no less than Rs. 10,000, eliminate IT surcharge and Fringe Benefit Tax, while concentrating on employment, low-priced food for underprivileged and credits for peasants.

In a budget that meets several Congress' poll assurances while combating the stress of global recession, Mr. Mukherjee laid emphasis on infrastructure as well as farming segment to thrust economic augmentation to nine per cent. He enhanced the private income tax exclusion by Rs. 15,000 for elderly citizens over 65 years and by Rs. 10,000 for others together with women and eliminated FBT that would assist employers in offering additional profits to workers.

The budget, with provisions for an outlay of Rs. 10.20 lakh crore, kept the corporate tax, customs, excise and service tax rates untouched but alterations in particular levies would make gold, silver and textile products expensive, while making LCD TV and approved jewellery less expensive. It as well has provisions for 25 kg rice as well as wheat for poor at Rs. three a kg, an assured lowest Rs. 100 a day rural employment, a countrywide electronic job exchange and in excess of Rs. 71,000 crore prerequisite for social sector proposal.

PM Welcomes Railway Budget

New Delhi, July 3: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh while welcoming the positive aspects of the Railway Budget said that the concentration was on enhancing services, security and protection. Addressing the media in New Delhi today Dr Singh said,Railway Minister Kumari Mamata Banerjee has done a very competent job in a short period of time. She has presented a budget without imposing any burden by way of increase in freight charges or passenger fare. At the same time she has in keeping with our partys election promise focused on improving amenities for passengers, improving safety and security of railways and making rail travel a desirable experience. She has outlined a programme of modernizing 50 railway stations to world class standards. A large number of facilities have been included by way of using the innovative finance mechanism of public private partnerships to improve the productivity of the Railways and to finance more investment. I therefore complement the Railway Minister for a very competent job she has done in a very short period.

Mamata Offers Sops For Diverse Sections Of Travellers

Keeping passenger fares and goods charges intact, the Railway Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on Friday revealed a series of concessions for unorganized sector, women as well as youth. She proclaimed the commencement of 12 long-distance trains that will start from one point and end at another without any interim stoppage and also revealed the running of air-conditioned double-decker coaches for inter-city journey.

Tabling the first rail Budget of the latest UPA government, she pronounced plans for raising the status of 50 stations to world class standard, improvement of 375 as archetypal stations as well as creation of multi-operational complexes at 50 stations acting as points of pilgrimage, traveller interest as well as trade.

Ms. Banerjee planned to operate exclusive trains in Delhi, Chennai as well as Kolkata similar to those that run in Mumbai all through rush office hours in suburban trains. She observed that for ensuring the safety of the weaker sex, women RPF personnel would be positioned in trains

The plan for unorganised sector, labeled Izzat, will give the right to people with monthly earnings not exceeding Rs. 1500 to attain a monthly season ticket at Rs. 25 for journey unto 100 kms. She furthermore proclaimed concessions for learners of Madrassas by offering concessional travel charges to them.. The Railway minister also announced sops for the youth by stating that Yuva trains -- low-priced air-conditioned trains with seating arrangements, will be provided for the assistance of youth as well as low-income families from village surroundings going to metros as well as cities at a charge of Rs. 299 unto 1500 kms and Rs. 399 unto 2500 kms. These will be operated once a week on a pilot basis inside three months linking Mumbai and Delhi as well as Delhi and Kolkata.

Unprecedented ruling by Delhi HC on Homosexuality

In a significant development marking a new beginning in relationships among individuals, the Delhi High Court has sanctioned homosexuality between consenting adults.

Delhi High Court on Thursday gave its sanction on gay sex between willing adults. The Court observed in its ruling that Section 377 of the IPC is in contravention of fundamental rights to the extent that it makes gay sex a criminal offence between adults willing to indulge in the act. The court additionally stated Section 377 will persist for non-consensual, non-vaginal sex. While permitting appeal of gay rights campaigners for decriminalisation of homosexuality, the court affirmed any type of bias is in contrast to the right to equality.

Spectacular Gains For Trinamul-Congress in WB Municipal Polls

Following the debacle in the last Lok Sabha Polls, the ruling Left Front Government led by its major partner suffered a further jolt with the opposition Trinamul Congress and Congress combine emerging victorious in 13 municipalities while the ruling Left Front managing to secure its hold over only three municipalities.

The Trinamul Congress has bagged 10 out of the 13 municipalities in which the opposition won while the congress accounted for the remaining three municipalities.

Elections to the 16 municipalities in 10 districts of West Bengal were held last Sunday.
Trinamul chief termed the victory of the opposition as the victory of Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Earth, People and dedicated the victory to the people of the state. She said that the oppressive Left Front in the state which cared the least for the well being of the poor should learn a lesson from the debacle and quit. She further added that the victory celebrations would be held on Sahid Diwas, the day on which several Trinamul Congress supporters lost their lives in police firing.

Previously the Left Front had 11 municipalities under its command while 5 were dominated by the opposition.

Left Front monopoly in the municipalities of Madhyamgram, South Dum Dum, Dum Dum in North 24 parganas, Maheshtala in South 24 Parganas, Uluberia in Howrah, Asansol in Burdwan, Dunkuni in Hooghly have been crushed.

The ruling Left Front triumphed in Rajarhat-Gopalpur in North 24 Parganas, Gangarampur in South Dinajpur while snatching the Mal Municipality from Congress in Jalpaiguri District.

Sonia Gandhi Unveils Bandra-Worli Sea Bond

Following ten years of extensive preparation and toil, the Bandra-Worli Sea connection in Mumbai was on Tuesday unveiled by the UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in Mumbai.

This cable propped sea overpass will lessen traffic overcrowding in Mumbai. The sea connection will ease the 40-minute tour gap between Bandra and Worli to seven minutes.

The 5.6-km Bandra-Worli Sea Link, that cost 1600 crore rupees, is India's primary open 8-lane sea overpass that will be made available to the public on Tuesday midnight.

A mechanical arrangement will spot vehicles exceeding the 50-kilometer limit. Executives of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation stated that CCTV cameras on the sea linkage could take rapid 360-degree turns and acquire the visuals of the type of automobile within 1.5 km. A couple of cameras attached to the cable-propped parts of the connection will keep a vigil on the activities of boats as well as ships.

Numerous leaders, comprising Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, central ministers Sharad Pawar, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Praful Patel, state ministers, legislators as well as parliamentarians participated in the inauguration programme.

Liberhan Commission investigating 1992 Babri Masjid destruction presents report to PM

The Liberhan Commission inquiring the 1992 destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on Tuesday presented its findings to the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh. The Commission, which obtained 48 extensions, presented the report to the Prime Minister by Retd Justice M S Liberhan in the company of the Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram. Seventeen years ago the commission was established within ten days of the destruction of the mosque.

The Commission was authorized to find out into the conditions resulting in the destruction of the Babri mosque. During the total procedures consisting of over 400 sittings, the Commission noted the testimony of veteran BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and subsequently chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh. The board had concluded hearing the final witness in 2005.

Talking to reporters after presenting the report to the Prime Minister, Justice Liberhan declined to make a statement on the gist of the report, until it is submitted prior to the coming session of Parliament.

The Home Minister Mr P.Chidambaram told reporters that the report will be dispatched to his ministry later on the day.

Center of tribal protest seized by security forces

The West Bengal Government has stated that security forces on Monday had taken control of nearly 95 per cent of the areas earlier controlled by rebels belonging to extreme left wing organizations in West Midnapore district.

Paramilitary personnel on Monday established a police camp after four years in Kantapahari, the centre of the Maoist-supported tribal protests and took control of the area.

Approximately 1600 recruits of paramilitary forces, police as well as CoBRA, the specially trained elite force trained to combat Naxalite terror, arrived at Kantapahari from both Lalgarh and Ramgarh regions with a helicopter keeping an eye on rebel movements from above.

The Maoists exploded a landmine and exchanged fire with security forces in a wooded area between Pirakata and Lalgarh but the security forces thwarted their attacks.

Siddhinath Gupta DIG CID (Special Operations Group) said that the police and paramilitary personnel were currently in total command of Kantapahari.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee affirmed that the combined operations launched by the paramilitary forces, the state police as well as the specilaised anti Naxalite unit had managed to take control of almost 95 per cent of the violence affected areas.

Govt negates suggestions of drought-like condition

The Government has allayed fears that there was no possibility of a drought-type condition in the country because of the late onset in monsoon. Speaking to newsmen in Mumbai on Sunday, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar observed that the delayed monsoon had deferred the process of sowing of seeds, by only a week, and this would not affect agriculture production. Mr.Pawar asserted that there was sufficient stored food supply to deal with a drought-like condition if it occurred. He as well rejected apprehensions of a price hike, affirming that that the acquisition of food was improved this year in contrast to the previous year. The Minister was responding to media reports of drought like conditions because of the late onset of monsoon.

The observations gain importance following the progress of the southwest monsoon further into several areas of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh as well as the southern portions of Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Meanwhile Manipur has proclaimed that the state was hit by drought but the Centre asserted that it has chalked out a Crisis Management Plan to cope with the drought the country may encounter in following a delay in the monsoon.

WB Government Rules Out Talks With Maoists

Kolkata,June 23: In a major development the West Bengal Government has refused to hold any negotiations with the Maoists unless they gave up their violent activities that have resulted in large scale violence in several areas of the state. The State Chief Secretary, Mr. Ashok Mohan Chakraborty made this observation at the volatile Lalgarh region in West Midnapur district today.

Mr. Chakraborty affirmed that the main concern of the government at present was to bring back normality in the region so that the people could live peacefully. He assessed the existing state of affairs of Lalgarh at a meeting consisting of senior officials and went to several of the aid camps as well as local Primary Health Centre.

Mr. Chakraborty assured that the Government would enhance the volume of relief supply to the trouble torn region at Lalgarh and neighboring regions and as well added that the Public Distribution System in the region would start functioning soon.

In the meantime, the people's committee opposed to alleged police brutalities protested at Lalgarh against police excesses by participating in a procession wielding arms at Dharampure in the violence hit region.

Government Agrees But Ruling Left Front Differs

The West Bengal Government has acknowledged the Centres prohibition on the CPI (Maoist) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The Chief Minister, Mr. Buddhadev Bhattacharjee made this public following a State Cabinet meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Mr. Bhattacharjee asserted that the implementation of the ACT will be resolved by the State Government. The Cabinet on Tuesday evaluated the current action of the combined forces at Lalgarh and adjacent regions to curtail Maoist activities. The Chief Minister who presided over the Cabinet meeting also resolved to accelerate developmental activities at tribal dominated regions of West Bengal.

Mr. Bhattacharjee affirmed that the Government preferred to tackle the Maoist menace in the State through political action. The Cabinet also took a resolution to create an exclusive force under Kolkata Police to cope up with the rebel actions.

In the meantime, the ruling left front is against the prohibition of Maoists in West Bengal.

Azad urges people not to panic on swine flu outbreak

New Delhi, Jun 9: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that the people of the country should not unnecessarily be wary about the outbreak of the swine flu in the country and added that the government was fully prepared to tackle the situation which is very much under control.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi the Union Home Minister observed that his ministry was in total control of the situation and urged the people not be scared.

He added that in contrast to 70 other countries where H1N1 cases have surfaced the situation in India was not alarming and did not require any special focus.

Asserting that there is sufficient supply of medicines to counter the effects of the swine flu in the country, Azad said that passengers entering the country from the affected zones would continue to be medically examined.

Ragging Claims Yet Another Life

Warangal, Jun 9: Embarrassed and disgraced with the "ragging" unleashed on him by students of senior classes, a second-year student of Vasavi Engineering College committed suicide. The 22-year-old MCA student was forced to end his life unable to bear the trauma of the physical and emotional distress.

Devender Kumar, a second-year student of Vasavi Engineering College, Ibrahimpatnam in Hyderabad, committed suicide by flinging himself in front of a moving train close to Dharamaram village here yesterday, according to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Warangal town, Venkateshwar Rao.

A suicide note recovered from Kumar's pocket stated that he was resorting to the extreme measure as he was finding it hard to tolerate the ragging actions by his seniors, Rao observed.

Devender Kumar, a resident of Chopadandi village in Karimnagar district was going back to appear for his Semester Exam scheduled on June 9 in Hyderabad when the episode took place, the police official noted.

The body of Devender Kumar was recovered close to the railway tracks of Dharmaram yesterday subsequent to which his parents were told about the tragedy, he added.

Afterward, the body was identified and removed to the MGM hospital for postmortem, according to the police.

Ragging Claims Yet Another Life

Devender Kumar, a second-year student of Vasavi Engineering College, Ibrahimpatnam in Hyderabad, committed suicide by flinging himself in front of a moving train close to Dharamaram village here yesterday, according to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Warangal town, Venkateshwar Rao.

A suicide note recovered from Kumar's pocket stated that he was resorting to the extreme measure as he was finding it hard to tolerate the ragging actions by his seniors, Rao observed.

Devender Kumar, a resident of Chopadandi village in Karimnagar district was going back to appear for his Semester Exam scheduled on June 9 in Hyderabad when the episode took place, the police official noted.

The body of Devender Kumar was recovered close to the railway tracks of Dharmaram yesterday subsequent to which his parents were told about the tragedy, he added.

Afterward, the body was identified and removed to the MGM hospital for postmortem, according to the police.

Meira Kumar, UPA Nominee for Lok Sabha Speaker

New Delhi, June 1: Expressing gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA allies for recommending "a woman" for the office of the Speaker, Meira Kumar on Monday stated that she has been chosen as a contender for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker by the UPA.

Meira Kumar, who has stepped down from his position as Union Minister for Water Resources, told reporters "Yes I have resigned from the post of the Union Water Resources Minister. UPA has nominated me for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker.

She, however, refused to answer any additional query, observing, "I will talk on this only after June 3 when the election of the Speaker is scheduled".

Meira Kumar had stepped down as Water Resources Minister last night, merely two days after assuming charge of the ministry.

Meira's resignation was straight away sent by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to President Pratibha Patil for acknowledgment. The resignation was accepted by President Patil.

ExoticEcho News Division

Agitated Aila Victims Demonstrate In Front Of CM

Kolkata, June1: Peeved at the district administrations failure to provide succour during their hour of crises in the aftermath of cyclone Aila devastating their lives, a group of agitated villagers on Sunday demonstrated in front of West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to draw his administrations apathy to their plight. Bhattacharya who had gone to Gosaba in the Sunderban region to take stock of the situation and expedite the relief process was surrounded by angry villagers who tried to draw the chief ministers attention to their hapless condition with very few relief material reaching them after cyclone Aila lashed the region and rendered thousands homeless.

A villager said that there was little drinking water left in the village after the ponds became flooded with saline water and other water sources like tube wells being uprooted by the ferocious storm that struck the village. The only food he said that the district administration had managed to provide was a handful of parched rice and molasses, grossly inadequate for them at this stage. A visibly perturbed Bhattacharya left the place in a hurry and boarded the launch which had taken him to the Aila affected region. A Block Development Officer who had accompanied the Chief Minister in his survey of the affected areas was heckled by the villagers. The villagers pounced on him after the chief minister left the region.

Villagers fear that a high tide during New Moon in a few days time could drastically worsen the situation unless the embankments battered by the recent cyclone were rebuilt. Many villagers are leaving their homes in search of safer places as panic looms large in the area as the High Tide can cause water levels to rise significantly.


Chaotic Kolkata Reeling Under Aila Effect

Kolkata, May 27: Cyclone Aila that hit Kolkata on Monday left a trail of devastation in the city uprooting scores of trees and rendering many people living in shanties homeless. At least 15 people have been reported killed in the destructive storm. Power supply to large parts of the city was disrupted as overhead wires snapped as the cyclone lashed the city. In many parts of the city power supply could not be restored even on Wednesday evening. Angry residents set up road blocks in different parts of the city protesting against the failure of the CESC that supplies power to the city to restore power supply. Many trees that were uprooted by the storm are yet to be cleared. Angry residents blocked roads in South Kolkata, the worst hit in the aftermath of the storm.

Traffic was disrupted on Tuesday and Wednesday as residents put up road blocks in protest against the administrations failure to provide drinking water to them. Many Kolkata households went without water as prolonged power cuts prevented pumps from functioning. Many areas in the EM by-pass are still under water and angry residents have stopped traffic on the road for three days since Monday. Toady also traffic was disrupted on the road that carries a substantial amount of traffic to and from the airport. People trying to reach the airport had a hard time with many detained for hours.

On Tuesday evening Kolkata had turned into a chaotic city with residents of many areas protesting against power cuts and lack of drinking water in their areas. People returning from office had a trying time returning home and for many a one hour journey by bus took four hours and beyond.



Kolkata, May 23: In an endeavour to unearth the real causes behind the Left Front debacle in West Bengal, the CPI (M) state leadership has directed all its members to send their opinion for the Left Fronts poor showing in the Lok Sabha elections. The party has asked its workers to send their opinion in total confidentiality to the state leadership. A CPI (M) leader speaking on conditions of anonymity told exoticecho.com that his party would seek the honest opinion of its grass root level workers to assess the ground reality and take necessary steps to win back the confidence of the people. He also rubbished charges that there was growing discontent within the Left Front over the Chief Ministers industrialization policy or the failure of the national leadership headed by Prakash Karat to project a viable alternative to the Congress led UPA government at the national level.

However another leader who too refused to be named admitted of sharp differences within the party over Prakash Karats decision of withdrawing support to the UPA government over the nuclear deal and aligning with the BJP during the no confidence motion brought against the then UPA government. He admitted that many in the party felt that this could have led to the about turn by the Muslims on whom the CPI (M) had banked heavily in past elections. Sources within the party also said that the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya regime could also go slow on the vigorous industrialization policy which it had undertaken prior to the commencement of the Lok Sabha elections in the country.


Congress Stance Peeves DMK

New Delhi May 21: Peeved at the refusal of the Congress to comply with its demands for ministerial berths in the UPA government, a disgruntled DMK leadership announced that it would accord outside support to the UPA government at the centre. Sources said that the Congress found the demand of the DMK for seven ministerial berths including three cabinet ministries untenable and offered six ministerial berths to its Southern pre poll ally. The DMK leadership is stated to have expressed its displeasure at the Congress stance and said that the position of the Congress was unacceptable to them. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi today TR Baalu of the DMK said that the Congress offer was not acceptable to them. He said that there had been a complete collapse of talks between the Congress and the DMK following the telephonic conversation between Dr Manmohan Singh and DMK chief M Karunanidhi after the former clarified the Congress stand on allocation of ministerial berths to the latter. However Congress leaders are hopeful of placating the DMK and are certain that an acceptable formula can be chalked out. Sources in the Congress said that veteran Congressman Pranab Mukherjee would be assigned the job of breaking the stalemate.

Exoticecho News Division

Concluding Phase of Lok Sabha Polls Sees 62 per cent turnout

New Delhi, May 13: An anticipated 62 per cent of the voting public today cast their votes in the fifth and concluding stage of elections to the Lok Sabha polls, thereby putting an end to the polling process which extended to nearly a month and thought to be the most protracted in the globe.

Except for a few clashes leading to the death of two people, the concluding phase witnessed polling in 86 constituencies where almost 11 crore voters were entitled to vote, spread over nine states as well as two union territories, comprising all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, regarded as a chief oscillating state, where nearly 60-62 percent of the voters cast their ballot in the 39 seats.

Conflicts tarnished elections in certain locations in Tamil Nadu leading to the death of one local DMK activist in Dindgul district.

Nearly 70 per cent of voters cast their votes in 11 constituencies in West Bengal where elections were held today and the poll process was in general trouble free apart from the death of a local CPI (M) leader at the hands of Trinamool Congress supporters.

Fifty two percent of the electorate voted in the 14 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh covering the Rohilkhand region and western portions of the state which will be a tough contest for the Muslim-Yadav electorate of Samajwadi Party.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla has stated that the general attendance of voters concerning almost 714 million voters in the five stages was 59-60 per cent.


Stray Violence Mars Final Phase Of Bengal Lok Sabha Polls

Kolkata, May 13: Except for stray incidents of violence in some pockets of the eleven Lok Sabha Parliamentary constituencies spread across Kolkata as well as South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas that went to the polls today, voting was by and large peaceful in the final phase of polling in West Bengal. Reports suggest that nearly 65 to 75 percent voters cast their votes in the 11 Lok Sabha Parliamentary constituencies. Voters started queuing up in the booths since early in the morning to cast their votes with the hope returning to the comfort of their homes as quickly as possible. Renudebi a resident of Panchasayar that falls under the Jadavpur Parliamentary constituency in Kolkata went to cast her vote at around 6.30 am with the hope of casting her vote early and return home to complete her household chores. But to her surprise there were already 20 voters who had already arrived before her.

Polling could not be held in almost 101 booths in the Mathurapur Parliamentary constituencies as water seeped into the Electronic Voting Machines following a downpour yesterday. The polls will be held tomorrow in all the affected booths.

In poll related violence clashes broke out between CPI (M) and Trinamool activists in the Rajarhat area in the New Town area of the city. The Trinamool Congress claimed that one of its supporters lost his life in the conflict. Meanwhile the CPI (M) claimed that its supporters were beaten up by alleged Trinamool supporters in the Bhangar area in the Jadavapur Parliamentary constituency. Polling was held up for nearly three hours in a booth in Beliaghata after miscreants hurled bombs on the road to scare away voters. The identity of the miscreants could not be established. Early in the morning Kolkata Police Chief Gautam Mohan Chakraborty assured the people of adequate safety measures that had been adopted by the police and urged the people to come out and vote without any fear.

In the Mahestala area of the Diamond Harbour constituency voters alleged that the paramilitary personnel manning a booth in the area resorted to an unprovoked lathi charge following complaints by a particular party that attempts were being to rig the votes. Clashes between political adversaries broke out in Khardah in the northern fringes of the city while in Kasba in South Kolkata clashes between supporters of rival parties were also reported.

Sudip Banerjee the Trinamool Congress candidate from North Kolkata alleged that CPI (M) cadres heckled him after he went to a booth in Paikpara to enquire about irregularities in voting after receiving complaints from his party workers. Mohammad Salim, CPI (M) candidate from the same constituency alleged that he was denied entry into a booth in his constituency where he had gone to take stock of the proceedings.

Veteran CPI (M) leader Jyoti Basu failed to cast his vote for the first time in his political career. Basu who is in his nineties is suffering from a host of problems related to old age.

Political analysts estimate that the Trinamool- Congress alliance could likely emerge victorious in 15 to 18 constituencies with the Left Front emerging triumphant in the remaining constituencies out of a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs


West Bengal on High Alert on Eve of Third Phase Poll

Kolkata, May 12- With the final and third phase of polls slated for tomorrow, adequate security arrangements are being made in West Bengal to ensure a free and fair poll. More than 200 companies of central paramilitary forces are likely to be deployed across the eleven Parliamentary constituencies that go to the polls tomorrow. The Central paramilitary forces will be assisted by the state police force to make certain that no untoward incidents take place on the day of polling. Additional security personnel are being deployed to thwart miscreants from creating trouble in some of the booths marked as sensitive.

Security has been beefed up in Kolkata in view of tomorrows polls in all the Parliamentary constituencies of the city. The city police will man all the booths in the city and share the responsibility of ensuring a trouble free poll together with their Central Paramilitary counterparts. Police are making random checks of vehicles that are entering the city to prevent the entry of illegal arms into the city. Special flying squads of the Kolkata Police will patrol the city streets to thwart any attempts by trouble makers to disrupt the poll proceedings. With violent clashes breaking out in the aftermath of the second round of polling in West Bengal, security has been tightened to prevent the outbreak of clashes among political parties.

Political Rivals Blame Each Other For WB Post Poll Clashes

Kolkata, May 11: The ruling Left Front as well as the Trinamool Congress combine are blaming each other for the post poll clashes that have taken a violent turn in the aftermath of the second round of polling in the state that concluded on May 7. The third and final round of voting is slated for May 13. Sources close to the CPI (M) leadership told this correspondent that the opposition alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool had unleashed a reign of terror to dissuade voters from voting for the political outfit of their choice. The sources maintained that the Congress- Trinamool alliance was fast losing ground in the political scenario of the state and was indulging in strong arm tactics to brow beat their political adversaries. Nearly fifteen people have lost their lives in the political skirmishes that have erupted in the aftermath of the first two phases of the poll.

On May 10, the CPI (M) alleged that their candidate from the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency was heckled by a group of miscreants belonging to the Trinamool. The CPI (M) woman MLA from the Bhatar area of the same Parliamentary constituency was also physically assaulted by the Trinamool goons according to allegations made by the CPI (M). Later the woman MLA was hospitalized. Brinda Karat terming the violent attacks on her party comrades as atrocious said that the attack on a woman MLA had never occurred in the country before. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya also condemned the incident in strong words and said that such actions were unthinkable. The State Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said that the opposition was alarmed by the strong reaction of the people to its reactionary policies and hence were indulging in violence to scare the people and prevent them from voting.

Meanwhile the Trinamool Congress as well as the Congress has strongly refuted the charges and said that the spontaneous response of the people in general to the CPI (M) arrogance and highhandedness had resulted in the skirmishes which the state CPI (M) was blaming on the Trinamool-Congress combine. A Trinamool Congress leader observed that in the past the people were intimidated by the CPI (M)s terror tactics but were now boldly resisting the strong arm tactics of the CPI (M). With people facing the CPI (M)s policy of coercion with courage, there was bound to be a clash of political forces.


Amar warns of leaving SP

In what is seen as a growing fissure with his party boss, SP General Secretary Amar Singh has strongly made public his desire to leave the party if chief Mulayam Singh Yadav does not restrain Azam Khan, who has been indulging in making unfavorable comments against him.

Singh observed that he would make his stance clear with regard to his association with the party after the conclusion of the final stage of the Lok Sabha polls.

He was alluding to Yadav's comments that "party mein rehna hai to Azam Khan ko khush rakhna hai which means if you wish to stay in the party, you must keep Azam Khan contented".

"Azam Khan is a favourite of Mulayam Singhji and in spite of his (Khan's) intolerable utterances against me, I was being asked to keep silent," Singh asserted while speaking at a public rally in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

Nepal parties commence crucial meeting

No less than 20 political parties are congregating in Nepal in an attempt to structure a new coalition a day subsequent to Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahals move to step down. The Maoist prime ministers decision to quit followed the opposition of Nepal's president to his resolve to dismiss the army head Gen Rookmangud Katawal.

In the meantime, the Maoists have organized a number of minor street campaigns in the capital, Kathmandu, and additional towns. A large number of policemen have been positioned in the region of the president's palace with the police arresting 40 protesters.

Mr. Dahal, also referred to as Prachanda, spectacularly publicized his resignation in a television speech to the country. Reports suggest that Prachanda's decision to step down has thrown Nepal into a new political calamity subsequent to a poll victory by the Maoists last year.

Nepal PM resigns over army chief controversy

The Maoist Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, has stunningly proclaimed his resignation while addressing the country during a television appearance. "I have resigned from the cabinet," the prime minister who is also referred to as Prachanda told in his speech to his countrymen.

The development came in the aftermath of his attempt to dismiss the chief of the army who has snubbed claims to induct ex-Maoist insurgents into the force. The Prime Ministers move has been opposed by the President.

The president had observed that Gen Rookmangud Katawal's dismissal was undemocratic. Reports suggest that the resignation has thrown Nepal into a new political calamity subsequent to the triumph of the Maoists in elections last year.

Congress- RJD alliance in rough weather

The Congress received a severe jolt ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Jadav making it clear that his party would contest in 28 of the 40 constituencies in Bihar and would not accommodate the Congress claims for three seats which Sonia’s party had won in the previous election. .

After making his political objective clear, the RJD chief released his party’s list of candidates but declined to make any comment.

The RJD had originally formed a pact with Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP according to which Lalu Prasad's party was slated to put up candidates in 25 of Bihar's 40 seats while LJP was given the go-ahead to contest 12 seats while the remaining three seats were allotted to the Congress.

But, in the aftermath of the Congress refusing to accept the deal and sticking to its decision to put up candidates for 37 seats giving up the two seats of Saran and Pataliputra, to its two partners, Lalu resolved to contest in the three seats in which the Congress emerged victorious in the earlier Lok Sabha elections.

While Lalu Pasad is contesting from Saran, the LJP chief is seeking voters’ blessings from Pataliputra.


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