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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition www.thestudentage.com

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 2 No: 27

Modi 100% secular, my choice for PM: Ram Jethmalani

Impact of Social Networking Sites On Youth

Obama To Sign Aid Bill Modi for PM pitch rises in BJP, Shiv Sena supports Sushma
A day after Yashwant Sinha said the Gujarat Chief Minister should be declared the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, eminent lawyer and party Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani said Modi is the best candidate and that he is "impeccably secular". "According to me Narendra Bhai is the most and the best Prime Minister for this country. Nothing has happened to change my mind... Modi in my definition of secularism is 100 per cent secular," Jethamalani told reporters here today. The noted lawyer said he had supported Modi as BJP's Prime contd on page 2

Aircel launches free roaming service
NEW DELHI: Aircel launched a product that offers users one rate for voice, SMS and data in home circles and on roaming. 'One Nation, One Rate', offers one rate for voice, SMS and data in home circles and on roaming on Aircel network, the company said in a statement."Incoming calls while contd on page 2

13 BJP legislators quit Karnataka assembly

BANGALORE: The BJP government in Karnataka, which has been in perma-crisis mode for months, is now visiting a new problem. In a jolt to Karnataka's ruling BJP, 13 legislators loyal to the party's former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa Tuesday submitted letters resigning from the assembly to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah. The 13 would also quit the Bharatiya Janata Party soon to join the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), which Yeddyurappa formed and is leading after he left the BJP and the assembly Nov 30. decide on the quit letters, though these legislators are demanding their immediate acceptance. Among the 13 are three who were ministers in the Shettar cabinet. While C.M. Udasi and Shobha Karandlaje quit as ministers last Wednesday, Sunil Vallyapure had resigned last month. Udasi handled public works department, Karandlaje energy, and Vallyapure infrastructure development. The BJP, in an apparent strategy to delay the acceptance, has made two of its assembly members petition Bopaiah to disqualify 12 of these legislators for "antiparty" activities as they had participated in a public rally to formally launch the KJP and took part in other meetings of that party. The petition was filed Monday. The resignation of the 13 legislators from the assembly would not threaten the survival of the Shettar ministry as the ruling party would still have 105 members, including the speaker, in the 225-member assembly with two vacancies. The BJP also has the support contd on page 2

Karnataka BJP in crisis

Sheila Dikshit releases helpline numbers booklet for women

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit released a booklet featuring various helpline numbers and safety precautions needed to be taken by women in distress. The booklet has been brought out by National Commission for Women (NCW) to make the fairer sex aware of the various helplines contd on page 2

The resignations are part of a plan by Yeddyurappa to try to prevent Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar from presenting the budget for 2013-

14 in the assembly on Feb 8. The assembly's 10-day budget session is scheduled to begin Feb 4. Bopaiah is expected to take some time to

NEW DELHI, JAN 29:The voices within BJP pitching for Narendra Modi as the party's Prime Minister grew louder today with two MPs Ram Jethmalani and C P Thakur backing him but discomfort among NDA allies was visible with Shiv Sena batting for Sushma Swaraj for the top post.

Cabinet to discuss amended Omar for enhancing capacity Lokpal Bill on Thursday building of panchayat members
SRINAGAR, JAN 29: Reviewing status of devolution of powers to panchayats in Kashmir Division at a marathon interaction session with officers of 14 departments of whose various functions have been transferred to Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI), Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the process of transaction of powers and laid emphasis on capacity building of panches and sarpanches to utilize these powers in full. "Elections to panchayats in the State were held after over 30 years and the period of transition from one system to another takes some time", he said adding that the feedback he received at Jammu and Srinagar interaction sessions regarding the transfer of powers and their utilization reflects positivity. However, there is need to further gear up in this direction and build necessary capacities in panchayat members so that they utilize these powers fully", he said. The Chief Minister said that the commitment of government for an empowered 3tier Panchayat Raj system in the State is firm and final. "We are creating an atmosphere in which panchayats will be responsible for plan formation and implementation of development schemes at panchayat Halqa, Block and District levels", he said adding that BDC elections are in offing which wil further catapult the process of involvement of panchayats in the plan formation and development. "Sometimes we come across with stories in media about empowerment of panchayats. Had we not transferred powers from 14 departments to panches and sarpanches, the criticism could have been well taken but when the fact is that government has already transferred powers to panchayats and these are being utilized by them, and the high level nodal officers of the rank of Additional District D e v e l o p m e n t Commissioners are monitoring the utilization of these powers by panches and sarpanches in each district, then one gets surprised on such stories which are devoid of facts", he said maintaining that contd on page 2 NEW DELHI: The Cabinet will meet on Thursday and is likely to discuss the amended Lokpal Bill. If approved by the Cabinet, the amended Lokpal Bill will be sent to the joint Parliamentary panel for its approval. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote a letter to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with assurance that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the upcoming Budget Session. The Lokpal Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, but could not be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha due to shortage of time. Since then the government has not brought the Lokpal Bill to Parliament. Sonia's assurance came two days before Hazare is set to begin his nationwide tour for strengthening the organi-

Anna accuses UPA govt of cheating people on Lokpal Bill

PATNA: Unhappy over delay in the Parliament passing the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare on Tuesday accused the Congress-led UPA government of cheating him and people. "The central government has been cheating us over the issue (passing the Lokpal Bill)," Hazare said. In reference to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi's letter to him in which she promised that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in coming sessation of farmers. Hazare announced on January 16 that he would begin his nationwide tour from Bihar on

Cold wave intensifies in Punjab, Haryana

CHANDIGARH: Cold wave on Tuesday intensified in Punjab and Haryana with mercury dipping to four degrees Celsius below normal at some places in the region. The minimum temperature hovered between one to four degrees Celsius below normal in most parts of Punjab contd on page 2

Govt forms expert panel to review institutional framework of Prasar Bharati

NEW DELHI: The government has constituted an expert committee to review institutional framework of Prasar Bharti. The sevenmember committee will be headed by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure, Sam Pitroda. The committee will review relationship of Prasar Bharti with government, its continuing role as a public broadcaster and measures contd on page 2

Tel an gan a on t h e boi l J&K Govt sets up panel to 7 Congress probe Master Plan violations resignations to MPs to send Sonia tomorrow JAMMU: Jammu & lation of Master Plan in the
Kashmir government has reconstituted a panel tasked with probing violations of Master Plan in residential colonies in Jammu and Srinagar, and named former advisor to CM, Devinder Singh Rana, as its Chairman. Amrit Malhotra, Chairman of the Legislative Council, yesterday re-constituted the House Committee to look into the issue of conversion of residential areas into commercial ones in viotwo capital cities. This was done in partial modification of the order dated October 8, 2012 when the first panel was constituted by the Council. The panel had not submitted any report. Devinder Singh Rana has been nominated the Chairman of the six-member panel that has Murtaza Ahmad Khan, Jugal Kishore, B R Kundal, Sheikh Ghulam Rasooland Mohammad Ashraf Mir as its members. NEW DELHI: The Telangana crisis continues as seven Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh have said that they will send their resignation letters to party President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. The MPs plan to send their resignation letters, addressed to the Lok Sabha Speaker, to party president Sonia Gandhi. In the letter the MPs said would ask the party leadership to take a decision on carving out a separate state in a week or forward their resignations to the Speaker. Given its reluctance to announce a decision on Telangana, the Congress finds itself in a spot as accepting the resignation of the MPS would make UPA's position in the Parliament even more precarious. There are 17 Lok Sabha members from Telangana region, which contd on page 2

sion of the Parliament, Hazare said that there was nothing new in the letter. "I have been assured through letters for last two years that Lokpal Bill will be passed soon but it is yet to pass," he said. contd on page 2 January 30. He said that following failure of farmers' organisations to unite, it has led contd on page 2

Tripura poll: Scrutiny of nomination taking place today

AGARTALA: In Tripura the scrutiny of the nomination is taking place. On the last day of the Nomination process yesterday, a total of 296 candidates submitted their nomination for the forthcoming assembly poll of Tripura. The last day for withdrawal contd on page 2

Jawan dies in accidental firing in J&K

JAMMU: An Army jawan was on Tuesday killed in accidental firing in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior police official said. Nagaland resident Nayak PP Silu of 60 Rashtriya Rifles, died after his service rifle accidentally went off at Palma in Rajouri, about 140 kms from here, SSP Rajouri Mubasir Latifee said. Prima facie it appears that the rifle accidentally went off as the vehicle carrying Silu was passing through a bumpy road, he said. contd on page 2

Inform cops about J&K customers' multiple SIM from Feb 1: DoT
NEW DELHI: Any customer applying for a second mobile connection in Jammu and Kashmir will be under police scrutiny from February one. In case police fails to submit its reply within next 10 days, the Telecom operator can issue the second connection, a Department of Telecommunication (DoT) communication to telecom operators in the state said. Besides, public sector undertaking BSNL other operators in the state are Airtel, contd on page 2

Indo-Pak Cross-LoC trade resumes today

JAMMU: Trade across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan resumed Tuesday after being suspended due to tension over the Jan 8 killing of two Indian soldiers. Six Pakistani trucks entered the Indian side. An official handling the cross-LoC trade at Chakanda-Bagh in Poonch district said that Indian trucks could not go to the Pakistani side due to late security clearance. "The trucks can cross LoC between 10 a.m. and noon, but trucks from India got delayed during security clearance. They are lined up at trade and facilitation centre at Chakan-da-Bagh and will go to the Pakistani side tomorrow," he said. Pawan Anand, president of cross-LoC traders association in Poonch, said: "Onions and dry dates have come from Pakistan today while six Indian trucks, carrying tomatoes and bananas, could not cross the LoC due to delay in security check." These Indian trucks, along with some more carrying embroidery items, will go to Pakistan Wednesday, he said. "It is a great feeling to see the cross-LoC trade resume on Chakan-da-Bagh-Rawalakot route as this is not simply trade but it carries sentiments of people of this area," he said. Trade takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week. contd on page 2

Need to open up government data to public: Pitroda

NEW DELHI, JAN 29: Addressing a Broadcast Engineering Society function, the technocrat said broadcasting should be seen in the light of "democratisation of information ... opening up of government data". He suggested that the 12th plan document could be put up in the social media. "We should take the document to see if we can put it in the social media, to convert it to human stories... After all, it is the people's plan, not the governments," he said. He said there were many in the government who were not contd on page 2

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spoke on the occasion while Financial Commissioner, Finance, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, B. R. Sharma and Commissioner Secretary Rural Development, Farooq Ahmad Peer were present on the occasion. Mr. Peer in a PowerPoint presentation gave status of the devolution of powers to PRI in detail giving full account of its status relating to the 14 departments and all the districts. Today's interaction session was sequel to the one which was held at Jammu on 14th of this month for the same purpose. The Additional District Development Commissioners from all the districts of Kashmir Division and officers from 14 departments participated in the interaction session and gave resume of the status of devolution of power that has taken place in their districts. "In case the TSP does not receive any reply from police within 10 days, it can activate the second connection as per the procedure applicable for providing mobile connection after calling on first number for cross verification," the letter said. From third connection onwards, TSP will have to conduct physical verification of the subscriber for cross verification of the information provided by the customer, if the TSP does not receive any reply from police within 10 days, it said. At the end of every month, TSP will have to separately report to Law Enforcement Agency, state police and state TERM cell, the DoT body which monitors compliance by TSPs, about second or multiple connections given by it to customers in the state. The customers will also have to provide reason for buying new connection and their business, office and e-mail will have to be indicated in the application form, it added. The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the accidental fire, PRO Defence SN Acharaya said while confirming the incident.

Contd. from page 1...

13 BJP legislators...
of one of the seven Independent members who is a cabinet minister. The Congress has 71 members and the Janata Dal-Secular 26. One is a nominated member. The resignations were to be submitted to Bopaiah last Wednesday but could not be done as he went out of Bangalore the previous day. Upset that he was not present in spite of being informed Tuesday about the plan to meet him the next day to submit the resignations, the legislators had met and complained about the development to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj. They had also given Bhardwaj copies of their resignation letters and urged him to intervene for their immediate acceptance by the speaker. After keeping quiet for three days on his whereabouts, Bopaiah said late Friday that he had been to Nepal on a "private visit".

to cover the cost of the caps," he said. Singh said that one lakh such caps were being sewn by hundreds of women self-help groups in Patna, Bhojpur, Muzaffarpur and other districts in Bihar. According to IAC members, hundreds of students, women and old people have purchased the caps in bulk to distribute them. This would be the first mass anti-corruption rally of the Gandhian after splitting from Arvind Kejriwal.

Aircel launches...
on roaming on Aircel network will be free," it added. Aircel users in Delhi can avail the service for Rs 39, while Mumbai subscribers have to pay Rs 32, the statement said. The price points for the service for other circles range from Rs 21 to Rs 59, it added. "...This product will enable Aircel customers to enjoy one rate for voice, SMS and data services in their respective home circles and even while they are on roaming," Aircel Chief Marketing Officer Anupam Vasudev said. The product will offer voice (Local/National) calling at 1paisa/second in home circle as well as on roaming on Aircel network, while incoming calls on roaming will be free. SMS will be charged at Re 1 for home circle as well as on roaming while data users will be able to carry the home circle rate on roaming, the statement added.

DRDO Scientists Named For India's Highest Civilian Awards

NEW DELHI:India has named its three key defence scientists for receiving their highest civilian awards this year. President Pranab Mukherjee approved their names to receive the Padma awards as part of the 108 persons chosen for the honour. Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General, was chosen for the Padma Bhushan award, which is the second highest civilian award of the country. Saraswat is also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Secretary to the Department of Defence Research and Development in the Ministry of Defence. "It is DRDO that has got the award and it is recognition of DRDO's contribution towards nation-building," said Dr. Saraswat as the first reaction to the news of three DRDO scientists getting honored with Padma awards this year. Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, Indo-Russian Joint Venture BrahMos supersonic cruise missile Chief Executive Officer, too was named for Padma Bhushan by the President on the occasion. Pillai is also a Distinguished Scientists and Chief Controller of Research and Development in the DRDO. The third defence scientists to be named for Padma Shri, the third highest civilian award, this year is Avinash Chander, Distinguished Scientist and Chief Control Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems). Chander headed the Indian project for Agni-V, the over 5,000-km range long range ballistic missile that is capable of hitting targets deep inside India's traditional adversaries on the western and the northern fronts. President had approved the conferment of 108 Padma Awards this year, including four Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan and 80 Padma Shri Awards. Of all the awardees, 24 are women and the list also includes 11 persons in the category of foreigners, non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin and posthumous awardees. Padma Awards, the country's highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities, such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service. 'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. The awards are conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan sometime around March-April.

Omar for enhancing....

there may be gap in the utilization of powers by panches and sarpanches in some cases but the commitment of transfer of powers by the government has already been fulfilled and the process will continue. He said stressing on upgrading awareness in this regard at all levels. "We expect elections of Block Development Councils (BDC) of panchayats soon which would enable these institutions to be more involved in plan formation and implementation of development schemes", he said impressing upon the officers to develop a mindset of working in tandem with panchayat members respecting their representative character and making them fully aware of their involvement and powers in the development process. Omar Abdullah said that in his Republic Day address he told panchayat members that besides focusing on the works of financial implications they should also concentrate on ensuring attendance of teachers in schools, availability of ration at ration depots, functioning of aganwari centres and so many other services entrusted to them by the government for better service delivery and good-governance. "I reiterate this once again so that these powers are fully utilized by panchayat members for public good", he added. Omar Abdullah said that government is actively working on a proposal of providing honorarium, insurance and security cover to panchayats and necessary provision for the same will be incorporated in the next year's Budget. The Chief Minister directed the Rural Development Department to prepare a comprehensive feedback report of interaction sessions held at Jammu and Srinagar. "I would discuss the details with the concerned Ministers to make the process of devolution more smooth and fast", he said asking the concerned department to also arrange joint meetings of panchayat members and officers in which the matters pertaining to the devolution could be discussed threadbare and solution sought to the issues if any. Speaking on the occasion Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar said that Panchayat Raj is taking shape in the State and the keen interest of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah for establishment of 3-tier panchayat system is adding energy at all levels to achieve this goal in a time bound manner. The Minister said that 400 master trainers are training panchayat members in capacity building and utilizing of powers already entrusted to them. He said by the strengthening of panchayats good-governance and service delivery will get further fillip. He said that addressing local issues by the local self-government is the right initiative to mitigate area specific problems of the people on development front and carry forward holistic progress equitably. In his speech, the Minister of State for Rural Development, Viqar Rasool said that the holding of elections after 33 years has strengthened democracy in the State and laid strong edifice for equitable development in the State with involvement of grass root level elected representatives. He said that the involvement of Panchayats and Gram Sabha in plan formation and implementation of schemes will ensure development of all areas as per the aspirations of the people. He said devolution of powers to grass root democratic institutions will help to upgrade services and attend to all difficulties of the people in rural areas. MLCs representing panchayats in the Legislative Council from Kashmir Division Ali Mohammad Dar and Ghulam Mohammad Monga also

7 Congress MPs...
comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Twelve of the MPs are from Congress and they include three central ministers. As per reports, there are differences among the MPs over the resignations. Some of them felt resignations would not help achieve Telangana and this would only benefit Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Several members of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee were taken into custody after them, along with some belonging to other organisations, pulled down barricades in their bid to hold a protest march from Indira Park to Gun Park against alleged delay in creation of a separate Telangana state. Police contingents, deployed in large numbers, pushed the agitators back and rounded up several protesters, official sources said. A group of pro-Telangana students were also reported to have forcefully entered the chamber of ViceChancellor of Kakatiya University in Warangal and threatened to set themselves on fire. The Vice-Chancellor was, however, not in his chambers when the protest happened, police said. Protests are likely to continue in Hyderabad on Tuesday and students from the Osmania University are expected to hold protests in the region. The government has also got into the trouble for allegedly not fulfilling its promise on the Telangana issue. Andhra Pradesh ministers from Telangana region said they were ready to make any sacrifice for a separate state but stopped short of announcing their resignations. After a meeting here on Monday, the ministers said they would exercise patience at a time when the Congress leadership was in the final stage of taking a decision to carve out a Telangana state. K Jana Reddy, a senior minister, told reporters that they were still hopeful of a positive decision by the central government. He said while they were disappointed that the government did not announce the decision before the January 28 deadline, they had not lost hopes. Meanwhile, several incidents of violence were reported in Hyderabad as the stir intensified even as the Ranga Reddy district court has admitted a petition accusing Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde of cheating the of cheating the people of Telangana. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is leading a 36-hour relay strike; students of the Osmania Unversity may also join protests today.

Modi for PM...

Ministerial candidate about a month back and expressed happiness over Yashwant Sinha supporting him on the issue. "I don't believe that Yashwant Sinha has said anything to the contrary. He has supported my view and I am very happy that he has supported me. It lends greater credibility to what I have said," he said. Sinha had said yesterday that announcing Modi's candidature would hugely benefit the BJP and increase its seat tally significantly in the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2014. Media reports said former Bihar unit chief of BJP C P Thakur also reiterated his support for "Modi for PM". While BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said party will take a decision at the appropriate time, NDA ally Shiv Sena appeared to have reservations about Modi. "We feel Sushma Swaraj is the suitable candidate for the PM's post," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai. Another ally JD(U) has already strongly indicated that it does not want Modi as the NDA's PM candidate.

Need to open..
willing to put the data in public domain. "They think it is government data... There is huge resistance to opening up the system," the National Innovation Council (NIC) chair said. Pitroda, who pioneered the telecom revolution in the country, said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had allocated Rs.100,000 crore for creating public information infrastructure. India is living in "exciting times" and the next few years will see every home in the country connected to broadband and possessing smartphones and tablets, said Pitroda. He said Indian broadcasting had grown over the years and the vision would be to see "can I create a BBC of India out of DD (Doordarshan) and AIR (All India Radio)" and suggested that the huge archival material that both the public broadcasters possess on Indian traditions, art and culture be made public. "...We have a huge task of looking at the archival material and throwing it open to social media," he said. According to Pitroda, the television media lacked discipline and stressed on Bollywood, cricket and gossip with very little developmental agenda. Pitroda also said that with 550 million people in India below the age of 25, it was imperative for broadcasters to recognise them "as the customer of the future and plan accordingly". "Keep the young in mind while developing for the future," he said. He said the National Knowledge Network, a step towards creating a knowledge society without boundaries, had connected 1,500 network nodes around the country, of laboratories and R&D institutes, which was only 10 percent of the capacity. "Knowledge is the mother of networks," Pitroda said, and added that the UPA government was to spend $2 billion to connect villages. "By the end of this year, around 250,000 panchayats would be connected by optical fibre," he said, adding that the Unique Identification Authority of India platform and the Geographical Information System platforms being created by the government, among others, were to be all part of a huge central data platform. "Ten thousand software engineers are working in the government of India to build this platform." The data network would help in governance, health and education, among others, he said.

Sheila Dikshit releases ...

as well as safety measures available to them. Dikshit released the booklet in presence of NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma. "The booklet is being brought out as part of the efforts to help the women in distress," Dikshit said. Sharma said it will be distributed among women in the city. Officials said Dikshit and Sharma also discussed the ways to improve safety measures for women in the wake of the December 16 gangrape incident.

Cold wave...
and Haryana, the Met office said here. In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Karnal recorded the lowest temperature by registering 3.6 degrees Celsius, which was four notches below normal. While Amritsar braved a low of four degrees Celsius, one notch below normal, the minimum temperature at Hisar was 4.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. Among other places in the region, Ambala settled at a low of five degrees Celsius, three notches below normal followed by 5.2 degrees Celsius at Patiala, two notches below normal, 5.5 degrees Celsius at Narnaul, one notch below normal and 6.4 degrees Celsius at Ludhiana, two notches below normal. Chandigarh saw a low of 7.1 degrees Celsius. Foggy conditions prevailed at Patiala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Karnal, Ambala and Chandigarh disrupting normal life in the early hours of the day. The Met forecast partly cloudy sky with no respite from cold conditions in Punjab and Haryana during the next 24 hours.

Cabinet to discuss...
to neglect of agriculture sector by the rulers. "Keeping in mind the need to strengthen farmers' organisations, I decided to start nationwide tour for one and half years and sit for satyagraha before Lok Sabha polls at Ramleela Maidan, New Delhi," he said. Addressing the gathering after receiving the prestigious "Basava Krushi" (agricultural award named after 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara), instituted by 'Kudalasangama Lingayat Panchamasali Mahapeeth' in Bagalkot, Hazare said, "I will tour in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Panjab and Karnataka and start agitation by organising farmers community".

Govt forms....
needed to ensure its technical upgradation. It will also suggest ways of using the new media to deliver digital content both in broadcast mode (DTH) and in a demand based mode like YouTube. The committee has also been mandated to suggest a strategy for creating a network of domestic and overseas business partners for ensuring wider reach to a worldwide audience. The other members of the committee will be former secretary of ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Mrs. Asha Swaroop, mission director of e-governance, B K Gairola, and Additional Secretary and nominated member on Prasar Bharti Board, Jitendra Shankar Mathur among others. Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharti Jawahar Sircar will be the convenor of the committee.

Navy Plans USD 8 Billion Chopper Tender

NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is planning to issue a bid for procuring more than 120 multirole choppers which could be world's largest tender expected to be worth around USD eight billion. The navy had recently issued a global request for information in this regard and has plans of acquiring more than 120 Naval Multirole Helicopters (NMRH), navy sources said here. The navy had recently asked global helicopter vendors to provide details about their choppers in this category and is planning to issue a global request for proposal in this regard in near future, they said. The navy is planning to procure these new NMRH for carrying out anti-submarine warfare, Special Forces' operations and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The companies expected to take part in the tender include all major chopper manufacturers like European Eurocopter and Agusta Westland and American Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin. "We are planning to offer our EC725 helicopter once the Indian Navy issues a tender for these NMRH," Eurocopter's Vice President for South Asia region Rainner Farid said here. The Indian Navy is already holding a competition for procuring 16 multirole helicopters in which European NH-90 and American Sikorsky S-70 Bravo are in the race. The navy at present relies on its fleet of Sea King helicopters which were inducted in two different phases in the 80s. The navy would require these multirole choppers in view of its expanding fleet size and expansion in its area of responsibility with the government stating that country's strategic interest ranges from the Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Straits.

Anna accuses...
Hazare claimed that the government had no intention of ending corruption. "The government's intention is not clear on this issue," he said. Jantantra rally: Hazare was welcomed by hundreds of his supporters at the airport on Tuesday when he arrived ahead of his 'Jantantra' rally on Wednesday. Hazare, who is staying at legendary socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan's house, said that Patna has been chosen to follow the legacy of JP's (as Narayan was popularly known) anti-corruption movement and to fulfill his dream of total revolution. He announced that after the Patna rally, he will visit four other states in February and other states from March to create awareness among people and to unite them for change in the system in the country. Hazare asserted that he will continue his fight for changing the system till he is alive. IAC gives one lakh Gandhi caps for Jantantra rally India Against Corruption (IAC) gave one lakh trademark Gandhi caps with 'I am Anna' written on them to supporters from different parts of Bihar to attend the rally. "We will also give the Gandhi caps to people who come for the rally by charging Rs.10. The caps will be given for free to those who can't pay for it," IAC member Sudama Singh said. "We are charging the token amount

Inform cops about...

Aircel, Vodafone and Idea. DoT issued the letter to telecom operators asking them to refer to police the application form of Jammu and Kashmir customers already having one active mobile connection. "TSP (Telecom Service Providers) shall make a reference to local police for their clearance," DoT said in its letter instructing them to follow a particular process before activating the other connection. This new rule will be applicable along with existing norms issued in August 2012 that directs Telecom Service Providers (TSP) not to issue any fresh connection to customers already having six mobile connections in a circle either from one or multiple service providers.

Indo-Pak Cross-LoC...
Goods worth Rs.2 crore are traded every day with about 25 trucks crossing over. The trade was halted Jan 10 when Indian officials said Pakistan did not open gates for the trucks at Chakan-da-Bagh. India-Pakistan relations took a hit after New Delhi accused Pakistani troops of brutally killing two Indian soldiers along the LoC Jan 8 and beheading one of them. Pakistan accused Indian troops of killing two Pakistani soldiers on two separate days. In retaliation to the beheading and the mutilation of the other soldier, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that there could be no business as usual with Pakistan.

Tripura poll...

Jawan dies in...

of candidature is on Thursday. Meanwhile, the observers for the forthcoming assembly elections have already reached their areas. The Election commission of India has deployed 30 General observers, 8 police observer and 10 Expenditure Observers. CEO Tripura Asutosh Jindal today said that all the 48 observers are in state and are deployed today at their respected place of deployment. He further added that with the arrival of all observers in state the deployment of Observers completes today in State.

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'NRLM yet another initiative to target poverty alleviation'


J&K: Militancy-hit Banihal youths join BJP

JAMMU: Ten youths belonging to remote Banihal belt of Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday joined the state chapter of the BJP. The youths from Sumbad area in Ramban district joined BJP at party headquarters here in presence of BJP State General Secretary (Org) Ashok Koul, former Jammu Mayor and State General Secretary Kavinder Gupta and State Secretary Ghulam Ali Khatana. Welcoming the new entrants into the party, Koul said Congress, NC and PDP were "dynastic parties", but the BJP was a party of activists. "We work for bringing together people from all walks of life and any activist can reach to the highest position by his work," he said. Koul expressed hope that the new entrants would work whole-heatedly in their respective areas to strengthen the party. Haji Abdul Latif, Farooq Ahmed, Tanvir Ahmed, Rafiq Ahmed, Mohd Ashraf, Mohd Sharief, Shabir Ahmed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Zakir Hussain and Farakat Hussain joined BJP.

People's court is highest court to judge performance: Omar

GANDERBAL, JANUARY 29 Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that the highest court to judge the performance of government is that of people's court adding that public satisfaction over the work done by the government is the only genuine and valid certificate. "My report card is before the people of Jammu and Kashmir and they have to give me certificate for my government's performance, as such, I am not afraid of the propaganda and false bogies carried by my detectors whether they are from PDP or separatists", he asserted and said that people of Jammu and Kashmir would judge his performance as the Chief Minister and those of Ganderbal Assembly Constituency as MLA in 2014 State Assembly Elections. Rolling out prestigious National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) under the local name 'Umeed' to target rural poverty and bring about economic welfare in the rural houserural poverty in the State is not so severe as is witness in most other states in the country because of the facts that Baba-i-Qoum Sher-iKashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah made farmers owners of agriculture land free of cost through the historic Land Reform Acts. He said Sheikh Sahib's visionary approach to alleviate poverty paid satisfactory dividends. He said that his government through various flagship programmes and State Government run schemes is paying focused attention to upgrade economy and uplift poor populating across the State adding that NRLM is yet another important breakthrough in this regard.Omar Abdullah said that State has witnessed difficult period and economy of common man received heavy jolt. "We all have to work together to cultivate peace and seek bright and prosperous future for the State", he said adding that people have to render their stupendous and active role in this regard.

LA Panels asked not to hold meetings after Feb 1

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: The Deputy Speaker Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Mohammad Sartaj Madni has impressed upon the Chairmen of all the Financial, Select and other Committees not to fix any meeting/on spot inspection after February 1, 2013 in view of the ensuing Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly scheduled to Commence from February 28, 2013 at Jammu.

holds at Lar about 15 kilometres from here, the Chief Minister said that poverty alleviation through a befitting mechanism has been focused area during the last four years of his government and NRLM is yet another initiative in this regard. The Chief Minister said that the centrally sponsored NRLM was sanctioned for four blocks but by his persuasion at the Central

Government level one block in each district is being sanctioned to be covered under the first phase of the programme. Omar Abdullah said that during his visit to certain villages in Utter Pradesh, he has witnessed the positive impact of NRLM for upliftment of rural poor. He said the success of the scheme is largely dependent on the unified efforts of the department

and the people. He said that the people have important role in making the scheme viable and purposeful for alleviating poverty and improving economy of poor households. The Chief Minister also highlighted the role of Mission Director of the scheme and said that his approach and sincere work is key to see the scheme delivering and successful. The Chief Minister said that the

Sadhotra condoles demise of Dansalia

JAMMU, JANUARY29: The Minister for Planning, Labour and Employment, Mr. Ajay Sadhotra today expressed grief on the demise of Ghulam Mohammad Dhansalia, describing him as a legendary folk singer, who represented the pluralistic ethos of Duggar land and impressed lakhs of people by his devotional rendering. In a message, conveyed to the family of the deceased singer, Mr. Sadhotra said that the legendary singer will continue to impress lakhs of his fans across the State. The Minister said that by rendering bhentas of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, the legendary folk singer made a mark as a secular symbol of Jammu and Kashmir. Late G. M. Dhansali left an indelible mark on devotees, he added.

Govt committed to equitable development of State: Gurezi

SRINAGAR, JANUARY 29: Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today visited various hilly, remote and inaccessible areas including Bagtoor, Kanzalwan, Taribal and Chorwan villages of Tehsil Gurez and took stock of people's problems and stock position of essential commodities, availability of fuel and firewood besides snow clearance works in these areas. The Minister was accorded rousing reception on his maiden visit to home constituency after induction in the Council of Ministers. They also hailed the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for inducting the MLA of the far flung area into the Council of Ministers. The Minister addressed series of public gatherings at different places and said that the government was committed to equitable development of all the three regions of the State. He said the present government believes on sustained action rather than false promises and in this pursuit several welfare flagship programmes have been launched in the State with emphasis on creating a visible impact on the ground. Mr. Gurezi said that the development and peace process initiated by the present regime was an eye opener for every one adding that it would continue to work with same spirit during the remaining 2 years of tenure. During his tour, several deputations met the Minister and apprised him about their individual and collective problems. The Minister gave them a patient hearing and assured that their genuine demands will be looked into. Regarding the issues of urgency, Mr. Gurezi gave on-the-spot directions to SDM for early redressal.

NC to act as bridge between people and Govt: Rana

JAMMU JANUARY 29, 2013:- Provincial President J&K National Conference, Jammu province Devender Singh Rana said that J&K National Conference and its workers will act as a bridge between the people and the government and will isolate and expose the divisive forces which are power hungry and are hoodwinking the people for their petty political gains. Rana said J&K National Conference cadre is the strength of the party and that the cadre will rise to the occasion and ensure that the message of the party and its leadership reaches each household in the state thereby strengthening the party's base and prepare for the 2014 elections. Rana who was addressing a deputation of Bakarwals from across the province here today at party headquarters Sher-eKashmir Bhawan said that J&K National Conference leadership will visit each and every nook and corner of the province in the next one year. "It will be the endeavour of the party to reach out to every nook and corner of the state in the next one year", he said. Rana said inclusive development and welfare of all sections of the society is the benchmark of the J&K National Conference and the state government led by Omar Abdullah is taking keen interest in the development of weaker sections of the society. Rana said certain parties are aberrations on the political scape of the state and shall disappear from the same because they lack an ideological bond or political moorings. He said such parties are an out crop of hunger for power and they always play with the emotions and the feelings of the people, hoodwink them for their short term gains which destroy the basic character of the polity in the long run. Rana said the people of the state should identity and isolate these fringe elements and defeat their machinations which have always proved counterproductive to the welfare of the people of the state.

Jora inspects pace of progress on sewerage line laying work

JAMMU, JANUARY29: The Minister for Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora today inspected the pace of progress on sewer laying work at Ranbir Canal head to be connected with the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) Bhagwati Nagar. The work of sewer line laying is going under three Phases and being executed by UEED and ERA. The Minister was accompanied by Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Commissioner and officers of UEED/ERA. The Minister was told that the sewer laying work is going in three phases with phase I being executed at an estimated cost of Rs. 22.17 crore; phase II at a cost of Rs. 43.40 crore and phase III at a cost of Rs. 108.31 crore With October 2014 as deadline, the project would cover an area of 146 Kms and benefit about 1,71,600 population of Bakshi Nagar, Gurah, Sarwal, Subash Nagar, Shiv Nagar, Janipura, Lakar Mandi Panduka colony and other areas of old Jammu city by providing modern civic amenities. It was informed that 1 01 kms sewerage line has been laid till date by incurring an expenditure of Rs. 62.24 crore. While inspecting the pace of work, the Minister impressed upon officers to stick to the time line to avoid cost escalation. He instructed that the work undergoing on the Ranbir Canal with regard to sewer pipers be completed in a time bound manner so that canal does not get affected when it is made operational as at present pipes are being laid down through the main channel of the canal. He also called for following the quality, standard specifications while executing the work.

Bhalla lays foundation of Children Park at Trikuta Nagar

JAMMU, JANUARY 29Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Mr. Raman Bhalla today laid foundation stone of a Children Park at Trikuta Nagar. Interacting with the inhabitants of Ward No. 54, Mr. Bhalla said the park involving a cost of Rs. 11 lakh would be developed on modern lines with fun games and swings for the children , walkways, provision for illumination, landscaping, benches and facility of irrigation. He asked the JMC to complete the works within two months to ensure early benefit to the Children of the locality. The Minister said that Government was committed to ensure clean and healthy environment in urban parts of the State, adding that a comprehensive plan has been prepared to develop all the parks with modern line facilities. He said that Jammu city is being developed in all respects to showcase it as a major attraction for the tourists visiting the State. Mr. Bhalla called upon the people to avoid littering inside the park and help in maintaining the place clean. He asked the JMC to gear men and machinery to maintain and renovate all the recreational parks situated in city of temples. The Minister urged upon the people to avail the benefits of such places by going for morning and evening walks. He said exercise and walk was a natural mood elevator and helps in promoting feelings of happiness, besides easing depression. He asked the concerned functionaries to conduct regular inspections of the under execution works to keep a check on quality of material being used. Later, Mr. Bhalla also visited Rajiv Nagar in Narwal and attended R-Day-2013 celebration function organised by Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Welfare Society (VKWS) in the premises of Sarvodaya Middle School. depicting rich culture and heritage of the country. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Bhalla appreciated the

VC chairs meeting of Advisory Board for Development of Kisans

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: Vice Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir, Advisory Board for Development of Kisans, Radhey Sham Sharma, today had an introductory meeting with the members of the State Advisory Board, (Jammu Province). The members apprised him of various historical decisions which the Board has taken during the last three years and assured him their full support in effective monitoring of developmental and welfare schemes meant for overall development of farmers community of the State. The Directors of Animal Husbandry and Sheep Husbandry Jammu highlighted the activities and achievements of their respective departments. They also apprised him of present status of several State and Centrally schemes being implemented by their departments in Jammu region. The VC asked the Directors to organise more and more awareness camps in every nook and corner of the region so that the common farmers get acquainted with the schemes meant for their development. He also directed them to ensure presence of the Advisory Board members of the respective districts. He also impressed upon them to focus on implementation of schemes like establishment of small and large dairy units, introduction of high yielding semen, increased involvement of existing milk plants, poultry sector, revival of woolen sector, construction of modern abattoir, mutton development programme, goat development, introduction of Beetal breed, sheep breeding farms, disease investigation laboratories and employment generation schemes in the region so that unemployed youth get attracted to these schemes.

PUC takes stock of repair works of LA

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: A meeting of Committee on Public Undertakings was held today under the chairmanship of MLA, Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta, to review the ongoing projects being executed by JKPCC besides the specific audit paras concerning the department. The members Er Abdul Rashid, Ch Zalfkar, Bharat Bhushan, Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah (Veeri) and Aga Syeed Ahmad Rizvi were present in the meeting. The committee members took on spot review of the pace of ongoing restoration and renovation works being done in the Legislative Complex. The panel, expressing satisfaction over the ongoing works, lauded the role of the engineers for ensuring that the works are completed before the ensuing budget session. The Committee also took stock of the pace of works on the new Legislative complex and stressed on timely completion of the project. Threadbare discussion was also held on various CAG's audit reports including Ganpat bridge. The committee called for introducing third party monitoring for making the system more accountable and transparent. The panel also stressed upon JKPCC to stick to the timelines of all the ongoing micro and macro projects of the state so that the benefit of the projects percolate to the masses well in time. Earlier, Commissioner Secretary, PWD, Tanveer Jehan briefed the committee about the audit paras and overall working of the corporation.

Managing Director Housing Board, Mr. Kiran Wattal, President VKWS Smt. Ved Ghai, Executive Engineer, R&B Mr. D. K. Rampaul, besides members of the society, students and parents were present on the occasion. On the occasion, students of Sarvodaya Middle School presented a colourful cultural programme

management of the Sarvodaya Middle School for arranging a wonderful programme on the eve of National Festival. He said such occasions not only provide platform to students for presenting their hidden talent but also educate them about the great leaders who sacrificed their lives to free the country.

Sakina distributes cheques worth Rs 2 cores among 4649 beneficiaries

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: The Minister for Social Welfare ,Ms Sakina Itoo today said that Social Welfare Department was playing a pivotal role towards the empowerment of the women folk, besides providing a helping hand to needy, downtrodden, destitute, women in distress, economically backward and week, and those belonging to below poverty line and far flung areas . The Minister was addressing a huge gathering of Anganwari Workers, Helpers at a Cheque distribution function cum awareness camp at Roop Nagar, Jammu. She said that presently more than 5 lakh people were being benefitted by various schemes of SW departarship schemes. Ms Sakina said, " I am satisfied with the work of the department as it has greatly succeeded in spreading awareness about its schemes among the people of the State , including those living in the far flung areas. She said that under old age pension scheme, the senior citizens are getting financial assistance through bank accounts. However, she asked the concerned officers to make aware the beneficiaries who do not know about depositing of old age pension in their banks accounts. She said that efforts are on to clear the pendency of old age pension cases and assured that the issue would be solved soon. She said that the main objective of paying the old age pension through banks was to bring more transparency in the disbursement. Highlighting the responsibilities of Anganwari Workers, she said that they have a great role in the transformation of the life of economically backward classes. The Minister said that more than 50, 000 senior citizens are benefitted under old age pension schemes, while in many areas adolescent girls are benefitted under SABLA scheme. She said that during the year 2012-13, amounts of Rs.15459250 have been distributed as scholarship among 2313 students in Jammu district. She said that the department has also disbursed Rs.15.20 lakhs among 125 beneficiaries under National Family Benefit Scheme(NFBS) in the District. On the occasion, the Minister distributed cheques worth near about Rs. 2 crores including Rs.1.29 crores among 4581 beneficiaries under minority scholarship scheme, Rs.50850 among 61 under scholarships to SC , Rs.30000 among three beneficiaries under NFBS and Rs.6400 among four women beneficiaries under widow pensions scheme.

ment like old age pension, widow pension, SABLANFBS and schol-

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Youth agents of positive change in society: Dy CM

NYKS organises capacity building programme
Mr. Tara Chand was chief guest at the programme being organised by Nehru Yuva Kendra, Jammu at youth hostel Nagrota today. Mentors from various parts of the state are attending the programme. Earlier, to mark the occasion a book was released by the chief guest. Director, Youth Services and Sports Mr. J.P. Singh, Zonal Director Mr. Naveen Kumar Naik, District Coordinator, Jammu Mr. Nisar Ahmad Bhat and other senior officers of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)and Youth and Sports department participated in the function. Lauding the role of NYKS in involving youth for various nation building activities, the Deputy Chief Minister said the model of creating youth clubs and mahila mandals at different levels have shown positive results and youth have found a platform through which they can organise themselves for contributing towards solving local problems. He said youth volunteers with support from NYKS have not only helped themselves but have extended help to those around them who are in need. "Youth have to play much greater role in our state as they have to spread the message of peace and help in strengthening the roots of secularism so that the society does not get swayed by the ill desires of those who want to play divisive politics," he exhorted. He said youth need to inculcate in them the ideals shown by great leaders of the country like Mahatma Gandhi and have to spread the message of mutual co-existence and brotherhood adding that, the call of awakening the society can be well addressed by the younger generation. Mr. Tara Chand said the state has suffered during the twenty year turmoil period and now the younger generation have to work with the government in rebuilding the state step by step. Back bone of the state economy tourism industry is getting back into shape and with it more and more job options would open up, he added. He said the government has taken initiatives to fast track recruitment process, as in education department posts of lecturers are being referred to PSC and other posts would also be filled on priority but time has come to look beyond the government jobs. "Benefits of flagship programmes like SKEWPY need to be promoted as the policy has scope of training the youth in skills by which own units can be started and the government is giving liberal financial aid for promoting entrepreneurship through it," he added. JAMMU, JANUARY 29:Underlining role of youth in society building, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand said the younger generation is future of the nation on whose shoulders rests the burden of a golden tomorrow and a new society. He said these future leaders, bureaucrats and citizens have to be involved in various social activities so that they can be the agents of positive change in the system. "We have to effectively utilize the youth energy and channelize it for the betterment of society, as all over nation there are number of examples in which youth have taken initiatives against social evils as well as local problems and positive results have come out of these ," he added. He was speaking at the five day long capacity building programme for office bearers of mentor youth clubs of Jammu province. Various mentors shared their experiences and brought forth the problems being faced during the day to day working of the clubs. A young poet from Doda, Mr. Vishal read a dogri poem on the topic Chote Umra da Vya. In his address Mr. J.P. Singh said the department of youth services and sports is actively involved with the NKYS as both the organisations are serving the same target group. He said youth have to play active role in working against social evils, societal reforms as well as involve themselves in development of the state. Mr. Naik gave a resume of the activities of NYKS and brought forth the new issues which would be addressed by different programmes of the Sangathan. He said rural youth is full of energy and with proper training they can contribute a lot in community development.

Altaf for tapping state's vast Wildlife tourism potential

Stresses on better conservation of flora-fauna
infrastructure in the State. "To protect endangered species we must protect forests the home of plants and animals, said the Minister", adding that need of the hour was to launch a massive forestation drive across the State in order to maintain a balanced ecosystem. The Minister asked the officers to take up development of basic infrastructure for the project under CAMPA till the formal approval was received from the Centre. Earlier, while giving details of the project, Conservator Wildlife, Mr Asif said that the Zoo would be developed over an area of 200 hectors of land. He said the biggest advantage of site selected for the project was that it will not disturb the human habitation. He said the control survey of the project's master plan was at final stage and would be completed and forwarded to the Centre Zoo Authority of India for approval shortly. He reptiles including snakes, garyal and muggers, besides aviarian like pea fowl, white pea fowl, kalij pheasant, red jungle fowl, cranes, chir pheasant and vultures would also be housed in the Zoo. He said in exotic section, hippopotamus, zebra, giraffe, chimpanzee and orangutan will be part of the Zoo attraction apart from primates, herbivores, carnivores and omnivores species.

Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad accompanied by officers of forest department viewing the purposed site for establishment of a Zoo at Khanpur Nagrota JAMMU, JANUARY 29: Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad, accompanied by officers of forest department, today visited proposed site for establishment of a Zoo here at Khanpur Nagrota and took stock of the ground work being done to take up the execution of the project. Chief Wildlife Warden, Mr. A.K.Singh, Conservator Forests, Wild Life, Mr. Asif Sagar, besides other senior officers of the department accompanied the Minister. Calling for judicious utilization of funds received by the department under various schemes, Mian Altaf said that forest and wildlife conservation need focused attention. He said the forest protection will ensure safety of environment while the wildlife conservation will boost the tourism sector and help the Government in generating jobs for the locals, he added The Minister said that last year over one crore tourists visited Mata Vishno Devi shrine at Katra alone and underlined the need to offer them other attractions including wildlife tourism. He said state has vast potential of wildlife tourism, adding that there was a need to make the visiting tourists about it. Mian Altaf said that the upcoming Zoo in Jammu will be unique in many ways having facilities like Children Park, Wild Safari, Aquarium and invertebrate conservation centres. He asked officers to put in extra efforts to make the project a reality as soon as possible. Describing wildlife tourism a job potential sphere in tourism sector, the Minister asked concerned authorities to launch a awareness campaign about the wildlife destinations available in the State. He said the income so generated would be spent on promotion and growth of wildlife related

Rather for removing trust deficit between State-Center before implementing GST
ODISHA: Describing the meeting of Empowered Committee (EC) of State Finance Ministers on proposed GST held at Odihsa, Bhuwnaswar as an important event to finalize the road map with regard to GST regime, aimed at to usher in economic growth and development of the Country, the J&K Minister for Finance, Mr. Abdul Rahim Rather has sought adequate safeguard to the constitutionally guaranteed special status of Jammu and Kashmir before firming up its recommendations for constitutional (115th amendment) Bill 2011, which is prerequisite to pave way for the switch over to this latest Tax reforms all over the India. Speaking at the crucial meeting of EC of State Finance Ministers, Mr. Rather conveyed State's main concern on the proposed amendment Bill which needs to be addressed adequately, before implementation of the GST in the State, adding that the proposed dual integrated model the CST compensation but it is and has remained irritant between the States and Union Goods and Services Tax. Mr. Rather said that, with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime, the position of Jammu and Kashmir State would be entirely different as compared to the other States of the Union. All other States would be surrendering the exclusive authority to tax goods and, in turn, get the additional authority to tax the hither to out of bound "service sector". On the contrary, the State of Jammu and Kashmir, being already competent to tax goods as well as services, unlike other States, would not get any additional authority except a share from the Central divisible pool. Mr. Rather said, as a matter of fact the division of powers between the Union of India and the State of Jammu and Kashmir is not at the same footing as it is in respect of other States of the Union.

LA Panel stresses for timely forest clearances

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: The Committee on Assurances of Jammu &Kashmir Legislative Assembly directed the government to gear up the administrative machinery and fulfil all assurances given by them from time to time on the floor of the House pertaining to the concerned departments in a time bound manner The Committee, which met here today under the chairmanship of MLA, Balwant Singh Mankotia, discussed and reviewed the various government assurances including assurances pertaining to the forest department. Legislators, Tsetan Namgyal, Nizam-u-Din Bhat, Haji Mohammad Ashraf Ganai and Ashok Kumar gave valuable suggestions for improvement of the department and early fulfilling of the assurances pertaining to them. Detailed discussion was also held on the projects held up due to the forest and wild life clearances and committee called for early settlement of such cases .The panel also stressed for chalking out a comprehensive plan to check man animal conflict to minimise loss of human lives and livestock. Commissioner Secretary Forest Sheikh Ejaz Iqbal apprised the committee of the status of the assurances and overall working of the department Among others, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Vinod Ranjan, Head of the departments of forest and its allied wings besides senior officers of assembly secretariat attended the meeting.

Sham highlights role of women in socio-economic dev

AKHNOOR, JANUARY29: Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma, on Tuesday highlighted the role of womenfolk in overall progress of the country saying that women are equally contributing in all fields. Speaking at the annual day functions held in the Government Higher Secondary School, NardiBala and Government High School, Sunail, the Minister asked the parents to provide adequate opportunities of education to their girl child so that they become self-reliant besides contributing towards progress of the society. He said Government has created massive educational infrastructure across the State during the past over four years to provide education to the students at their doorsteps. Advocating introduction of moral science and agriculture subjects from the primary level in schools, the Minster said that these two subjects have great significance as more than 70 per cent population in the State is engaged in the agricultural activities and this can help to enhance the agricultural production and overcome unemployment. 'Moral education has added relevance in the present scenario when the society is lurching in a perplexed era of not the solution to deal with such inhuman acts but an attitudinal change in the mindset of people is need of the hour. He said Jammu and Kashmir has already dedicated year

of GST 'Dual Control' both by States and Center is perceived as an impediment in the implementation of GST and it is felt this is not a dealer friendly and may not be administratively an efficient tool of recovering the taxes. Mr. Rather said though the State of Jammu and Kashmir has not much of claim over

of India. Now that the committee on CST compensation has made certain recommendations, as such, I would request that necessary steps be taken to implement these recommendations. This will be a step forward to remove trust deficit between States and Union of India, and will also facilitate introduction of

Jora inspects pace of progress on sewerage line laying work

JAMMU, JANUARY29: The Minister for Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora today inspected the pace of progress on sewer laying work at Ranbir Canal head to be connected with the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) Bhagwati Nagar. The work of sewer line laying is going under three Phases and being executed by UEED and ERA. The Minister was accompanied by Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Commissioner and officers of UEED/ERA. The Minister was told that the sewer laying work is going in three phases with phase I being executed at an estimated cost of Rs. 22.17 crore; phase II at a cost of Rs. 43.40 crore and phase III at a cost of Rs. 108.31 crore With October 2014 as deadline, the project would cover an area of 146 Kms and benefit about 1,71,600 population of Bakshi Nagar, Gurah, Sarwal, Subash Nagar, Shiv Nagar, Janipura, Lakar Mandi Panduka colony and other areas of old Jammu city by providing modern civic amenities. It was informed that 1 01 kms sewerage line has been laid till date by incurring an expenditure of Rs. 62.24 crore. While inspecting the pace of work, the Minister impressed upon officers to stick to the time line to avoid cost escalation. He instructed that the work undergoing on the Ranbir Canal with regard to sewer pipers be completed in a time bound manner so that canal does not get affected when it is made operational.

Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma and others at the annual day functions held in the Government Hr. Sec., Nardi-Bala and High School, Sunail confusion and chaos leaving behind its age old culture and traditions". He asked the teachers to spare some time from the academic session and make mandatory lecture on moral education in the schools so that the students can contribute for social transformation. Expressing concern over ever rising crimes against women, the Minister said that entire society has to fight against such offenses. He said only punishment is 2013 to the girls by declaring it as year for "Save the Girl Child". He appealed the people to help in containing the evils like female foeticide. The children presented colourful cultural bonanza highlighting social issues and nationalism which enthralled the gathering. The Minister distributed prizes among the students who excelled in academic as well as extra-curricular activities.

At Srinagar, Taj visits GMC, SMHS Hospitals

SRINAGAR, JANUARY 29: Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Taj Mohi-ud-Din today visited Government Medical College, Srinagar, SMHS and Associated Hospitals to take an on the spot assessment of the functioning of these hospitals. This was the first visit of the Minister to these hospitals ever since he took over as the Minister for Medical Education. The Minister directed computerization of all the Departments and linkage of all HoDs with the Drug store so that patients don't feel any inconvenience. He said he has already passed similar directions on his first visit to GMC, Jammu and Associated Hospitals where work has now been started on these lines. He also directed giving a facelift to wards, theatres, toilets and main corridors to ensure cleanliness at the hospital. Mr. Taj also directed landscaping and face-lifting of the hospital complexes so that a patient not only gets physical relief there but also feels so psychologically. He asked the Medical Superintendents to assert themselves and ensure that patients are facilitated at every level. Later, the Minister took a detailed meeting of HoDs, faculty and Medical Superintendents. He asked them to work with zeal and dedication adding that the State has produce world class doctors who have proved their mettle in the world. He asked them to co operate with the government in giving the healthcare a turn around so that the patients are attended in a better and professional way. He said more and more facilities would be added to the hospitals and also financial assistance, as per norms, would also be provided adequately. Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, Mr. M. K. Dwivedi, Principal, GMC, Srinagar, Medical Superintendents of these hospitals accompanied the Minister during the visit. Yesterday, the Minister, who is on visit to Kashmir valley, visited the far off areas like Kamalkote, Shahdara and other areas of Uri to take stock of the development scenario and peoples' problems. At Chandanwari, he met a large number of people who apprised him of their problems and sought their redressal.

Harsh chairs Privilege Committee meeting

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: A meeting of the Committee on Privilege of Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly was held under the chairmanship of MLA, Harsh Dev Singh, here today. The committee discussed and examined the breach of privilege notices given by Rafi Ahmed Mir, Balwant Singh Mankotia, Er Abdul Rashid and Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo against various officers and the panel dropped certain privilege cases. Among others the meeting was attended by MLA Ashok Kumar, Balwant Singh Mankotia, Er Abdul Rashid and other officers .

Govt plans to establish weather stations for JK's farmers: Mir

JAMMU, JANUARY 29: The government is planning to establish weather stations in the state to provide round the clock weather information to the farming community with the help of The Weather Solution Company (BARON Service) and Achtech Company In this regard, a power point presentation was displayed here today by the representatives of the companies at a high level meeting here this afternoon. The companies deals with the advance Meteorological and Hydrological activities, being used in providing minute to minute weather data on area

Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir during a documentary on the working of weather stations installed by the BARCON specific basis to the respective farmers. Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir chaired the meeting. Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production, Shaleen Kabra, Director CAD, Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad, Director CAD Jammu, Asgar Ali, Joint Director Agriculture Jammu, Managing Director M/S Achtech company and other concerned officers were present in the meeting. During the presentation, a documentary on the working of weather stations installed by the BARCON service in different parts of the world and its utilisation in agriculture to benefit the farmers was presented. The documentary displayed how these weather stations facilitate the farmers in advance to protect their crops.

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est Bengal is a champion small saver. Its small savings were the highest amongst all states in 2011-12; even such rich states as Maharashtra and Gujarat trailed behind. But even the champion is slowing down; people have been taking more out of their small savings accounts than they have been putting in. That does not show small savings development officers in a good light; it would seem that they have been sleeping on their jobs. They would naturally deny such indulgence. They believe they are overworked. They allege there are hundreds of vacancies in their department, which they want the government to fill up forthwith. And they have blamed chit funds for their plight. Chit funds must by definition must be illegal; the SSDOs want district officers to list them forthwith and close them down. They are not the only ones with a distaste for chit funds; the Reserve Bank of India is also not fond of them, and has made a host of regulations to harass them. In spite of that, they continue to do well. That may look like a good reason to ban them; but there are other people in the Union of India. People in south India, especially Kerala, are particularly fond of chit funds; so it is not possible for the government to ban them on the demand of West Bengal's small savings development officers. But they can take solace in the fact that collections of small sav-

ings have shrunk all over India. People have found other, more paying investments. In particular, banks are now giving 8.5 per cent on deposits of five years; when compounded, the yield goes up to 8.7 per cent. There are small savings instruments which yield about that much; but they no longer have an advantage over bank deposits. So people let their savings accumulate in banks. It is surprising that the small savings development officers have not blamed banks, and their grandmother the RBI which has permitted them to offer such predatory interest rates; maybe they think that chit funds, being private sector, are fair game, whereas banks are family members. But even within the government family, small savings are outdated dinosaurs. There was a time when the Central government was indigent and borrowed from small fellows for five or 10 years. But just now, private industry is in a downturn, banks do not have enough clients, and they are happy to lend the government as much as it likes. The West Bengal government's problem is a bit different; it is in debt up to its ears, and anyone who chooses to lend to it must be mad. But altogether, the situation is rather hopeless for small savings. That need not worry small savings development officers. They can continue to drink their normal ration of tea, for their jobs are in no danger. But paranoia is not the answer.

A Bleak Future Looms On The Dark Horizon: North Korea's Impending Nuclear Test
BY PRADYUT HANDE The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has gradually become the international community's Pariah for multiple reasons over the years. In its well chronicled endeavour at pursuing its own interests, North Korea's reigning elite have seen their country being relegated to the status of a "rogue state". The single minded dedication with which it continues to pursue its enhanced militarisation and "nuclearisation" agenda at the cost of - one, justifiably incurring the wrath of the global community and - two, its own socio-economic, political and civic progression; especially relative to that of the entire region - hasn't done its cause any good. The fact that it continues to stand steadfast in its desire to embrace an overtly bellicose, pugnacious, irreverent and insular approach; despite its plummeting international standing; is a matter of grave concern. At a time when it is already being subjected to sanctions by the UN, in response to launching long-range rockets, North Korea has clearly announced its intentions of carrying out its third nuclear test in the near future. Its first two major tests were conducted underground in 2006 and 2009; actions that were widely condemned. In an overt act of incontrovertible defiance, they have also declared that their longrange rockets are designed to not only carry "peaceful satellites" but also warheads capable of striking the USA; "the sworn enemy of the Korean people". This has once again drawn sharp criticism from the UN and the international community at large. The UN is of the strong opinion that imposing stricter sanctions on the State will "concretely impede the development of North Korea's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programme". Consequently, it has already passed a resolution that imposes new sanctions on a few reputed North Korean companies, its space agency and a bank. However, the UN doesn't appear to realise that these sanctions haven't exactly deterred North Korea from pursuing their agenda; both overt and covert. The sheer "blanket belligerence" and "blinkered irresponsibility" with which it continues to flout international conventions, violate UN warnings and ignore global calls for accountability is tragic. Diplomacy is clearly not their forte. However, one would have thought that with the advent of time; a marginally progressive, collaborative and tolerant mindset may have evolved within the Country's leadership. That is certainly wishful thinking at this point in time. The DPRK may officially have a new, youthful Leader in Kim Jong-Un, but even a marginal alteration in ideology is far from forthcoming. The UN ought to realise that wide ranging sanctions are unlikely to compel them to shed their garb of defiance and recalcitrance. At the other end of the spectrum, North Korea, for once, ought to soften its confrontational and antagonistic stance. Developing a powerful nuclear deterrent against the USA and its other "enemies" is one thing. But to dedicate such massive monetary and non-monetary resources towards accomplishing a single objective is inimical to its long term interests. They must realise that their present "developmental trajectory" is not only alienating North Korea from the World, but also its very own people; innocent victims of a stunted ideology, gross economic mismanagement, social oppression and disastrous policy formulation. Striving for self-sufficiency is indeed a noble pursuit. However, in an increasingly integrated global atmosphere, North Korea would be better served if it gradually opened its doors to foreign collaboration at multiple levels. Sustained dialogue with ample elbow room for a compromise is the need of the hour. Phased international scrutiny of its nuclear arsenal and plans would also assuage growing global concern to some extent. However, that is a plausible avenue that can be ventured down only when a sufficient level of multi-lateral engagement has been undertaken. The Korean War may have ended in 1953, but clearly the Country is in no mood to let bygones be bygones. "Settling accounts with the US needs to be done force, not with words." said North Korea's National Defence Commission; indicative of the roiling angst that they continue to harbour against the USA and its allies. Their latest announcement, reaffirming their belief in their nuclear programme does not augur well for any of the stakeholders involved. At a time when the clarion call for nuclear disarmament has been sounded across the globe, "rogue states" such as the DPRK and Iran, continue to rub the international community the wrong way with their respective attempts at "nuclearisation". The USA's fragile relationship with North Korea has always been one akin to a tight rope walk. The abject failure of a majority of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) undertaken by various administrations over the years has been a cause for concern. North Korea's reluctance to cede any strategic or ideological ground during the same period has not facilitated the solution developing process. Deferring a purported nuclear test in the coming future and adopting a markedly more receptive approach ought to go some way in aiding the de-escalation of the mounting crossregional tension. The next few months promise to be critical to the volatile future of the Korean Peninsula.

BY MISNA SAMEER ocial-networking sites have taken the world by a storm leading to nothing less than a revolution. A lot of concerns have been voiced about social networking sites taking over in our lives. However, one major issue that has been overlooked is the changing mind-set of the youth due to the social networking sites. The adolescence years shape our outlook, our personality and mould us into what we are. So when we grow up in a world where our popularity is directly proportional to the number of "likes" and the "haaawt" comments we get on our photoshop-enhanced profile picture and live with people constantly competing for the coveted title of the king/queen of the virtual world, it is bound to have a profound impact of the psyche of an entire generation. The focus and time we spend on creating our brand on these social networking sites is a standing testimony to the awakening of the narcissist in us. At any hangout or get-together more time is spent on clicking snaps

Will Indian Impact of Social Networking Politicians ever think Sites On Youth about the masses?
and updating the virtual world on what's going on, rather than enjoying the event. The photos are uploaded within an hour, and then begins the flood of "Likes" and comments. The social networking sites and the culture they have created is thus a breeding ground for a vain, selfobsessed younger generation. We forget that we chose the people we want to interact with on these sites. So the validity of the opinions on these sites need to be reconsidered before we get cozy in a shell of false sense of unwanted self-importance, but this is conveniently forgotten by most of us. On the other hand the time, energy and clicks you spend on getting that perfect picture - all goes away to the drain when your friend's picture gets more attention. On one hand when vanity is on rise, some tend to lose their self-esteem owing to the lack of online popularity. Since when have we become so petty that our virtual world takes over our real life? Are we that silly to let these things affect us? Another aspect is the loss of private space. For today's generation, things that were considered personal a generation before, are all public. Status updates, wall post and tweets yell about every move we make, every step we take and every relation we make or break. We are ourselves violating the sanctity of our personal space in an attempt to keep up with the current fad of publicizing intimate details of our lives for a few minutes of attention among a few hundred people in the virtual world. How healthy a trend is this - is something to ponder over. This is not a dreary, condescending, 'wake up call' by some old fashioned, boring person of the last generation; this is just an account of a teen watching the world around me possessed by the spirit of social networking. This is just my take on the renaissance these sites have brought in the culture and outlook of my generation. Years later, looking back at our teen years, do we want to remember spending time bothering about an elusive world where we are judged on how we 'portray' ourselves to be? Do we want see ourselves as a vain, self-absorbed people fussing about the pettiest of things, totally nonchalant to the bigger and more important issues of the world? Do we want to be uninformed teens, ignorant about the world and doing nothing constructive? I am sure deep inside each one of us would rather see ourselves doing something productive towards our career, the society, and the world for a better tomorrow. The social networking sites and social media has revolutionized the world, bringing us closer than ever before, making life easier than it ever was. We can exploit this and use it for a better life, a better tomorrow. It should be used to connect, stay in touch easily, share views and not waste time on. There was the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age- all turning points in the history of human civilization. How should the virtual age etch itself in the history of mankind depends on us- the choice is ours now! BY SHASHANK MANDIL he Politics in India was bad, is bad and now most of us are sure that it will be bad. When was the last time that we heard that any political leader did something good for the society? I think to answer this question we would have to research for ages. Politics in India was and is all about votes and notes. Everyone in Indian Politics care only about enhancing the number of votes in their vote bank by giving notes and then getting those notes back by executing harmful Politics, may the country and the masses have to pay any price for it. Some Politicians increase their vote bank by creating hate among the people for fellow citizens while certain politicians want to impress their High Command by speaking against or by showing reluctance to be with personality who is an ambassador of a region governed by another party. Shame on such Politicians and their Politics!

We should really ask our politicians why do they don't care for the masses? Why do they not concentrate on collaborating and bring down the prices of the basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter? Why do they not focus on decreasing the ever rising socio-economic gap between the poor and the rich? But before asking such questions to the politicians we must ask one question to ourselves that, what have we done to stop this? What have we done to give back to the society what we have got from it? Have we ever voted for the correct Politician? Many may answer by saying that there are no correct Politicians, they are all the same. The only solution to this everlasting problem in my view is the participation of literate, responsible youth in Politics. Making people friendly bills and country friendly decisions is not the business of certain illiterate politicians who know nothing but how to pull each other's chair. Jago Youth Jago!!!!

Rajnath can't hope for easy upturn

BY SWAPAN DASGUPA n 1940, even as Britain suffered a series of military defeats at the hands of a formidable German war machine, the top echelons of the ruling Conservative Party brushed aside the misgivings of backbench MPs and stood solidly behind the leadership of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Whereas the public clamoured for the decisive leadership of Winston Churchill, the Conservative establishment refused to countenance the claims of a man who was regarded as an individualistic maverick. The turning point came during a debate in the House of Commons when, quite unexpectedly, a backbench Conservative MP named Leo Amery stood up and denounced the ineffective Prime Minister. He concluded with the ringing words of Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament: "In the name of God, go!" Amery's speech triggered a political

avalanche and forced the notables of the party to finally jettison Chamberlain. Historical analogies are never exact but I would unhesitatingly say that last week Yashwant Sinha assumed the mantle of Amery. By merely sending an aide to the Bhartiya Janta Party office to collect the nomination papers for the election of the national president, he jolted a smug Bhartiya Janta Party establishment into the realisation that a contrived backroom consensus which flew in the face of both the wishes of the party rank-and-file and public opinion wouldn't stand scrutiny. Yes, there were people who had to swallow their pride and grudgingly acknowledge that the reelection of Nitin Gadkari for another term would constitute an affront to the party's countless foot soldiers. That wisdom dawned on them

belatedly is reassuring. The half-cock change of guard is proof that in competitive politics, the vanguard doesn't really have the ability to resist the tide of popular sentiment. Even control has to have a large measure of legitimacy. This is not to say that the hapless Gadkari is guilty of departing from his self-professed standards of social entrepreneurship. The former BJP president may indeed have a compelling defence to the charges of financial impropriety that have been gleefully levelled against him by the authorities. But what was always clear is that in the context of the growing public exasperation with corruption, he was politically damaged. Persisting with him as the organisational face of the BJP would have had two consequences. First, it would have painted the BJP as a self-serving clique; and second, it would have taken

away anti-corruption as a political plank. The impact of both these would have been felt in the elections. The most serious problem the Bhartiya Janta Party has faced since the defeat in the 2004 general elections has been an inspirational deficiency. For nearly a decade, the party has been unable to replenish its ranks with fresh blood. The so-called demographic dividend that has accrued to the country and which has kept it going despite nine years of shameful misgovernance, has bypassed the Bhartiya Janta Party . Whereas Rahul Gandhi has (despite all his personal imperfections) at least correctly diagnosed the problem inside the Congress, the BJP has been content to playing meaningless parlour games involving a clutch of tired old war horses. The BJP's smugness has been further compounded by the complete absence of any

central authority since LK Advani committed political hara-kiri during his Pakistan visit in 2005. Attempts to fill the void through organisational tinkering have failed, for the very simple reason that the party has been devoid of a big idea. Activity for the sake of activity is no substitute for good politics, whether played out on the streets or in the meeting rooms of Lutyens' Delhi. The election of Rajnath Singh as party president after a night of high drama alters the picture only marginally. The Bhartiya Janta Party may at least no longer be burdened by the need to explain its president's business practices but it still needs to address the same problems that have confronted it since 2004. The belief that growing exasperation with the Congress will involve power falling into its lap in 2014 is based on unwarrant-

ed optimism. A spate of opinion polls have, quite clearly indicated that the principal Opposition formation is not the only beneficiary of the antiCongress mood. Indeed, the clever feature of Rahul Gandhi's 'acceptance' speech to the faithful in Jaipur last week was his attempt to appropriate the Opposition's rhetoric. Whether or not Rahul succeeds will depend entirely on how the BJP adjusts to emerging realities. Opinion polls have actually indicated to the BJP the only way to move forward. They quite clearly indicate that there is a staggering difference between the support for the BJP-led alliance as it exists today and a willingness to vote for the formation in the event the leadership is settled in favour of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Few parties can be as potentially lucky as the Bhartiya Janta Party. In the

midst of its apparent paralysis, the country has also clearly indicated that there is a ready-made solution. Had the polls suggested that Rahul enjoys the same degree of public approval as Modi, the Congress would have unhesitatingly taken the next logical step. We may even have seen Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being gently taken on an inspection tour of his retirement bungalow. Unfortunately, the Bhartiya Janta Party continues to act as if there are 24 months in a year. It is still grappling with the internal implications of Modi filling the void left by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani. The fragmentation of authority has meant that there are too many leaders and factions worried about the prospect of merging their little fiefdoms into a larger entity. Some of them are even reconciled to remaining permanently in Opposition as long as their

little turf remains undisturbed. In 1940, after it was clear that Chamberlain would have to go, the backroom bosses of the Conservative Party toyed seriously with the idea of replacing him with the Earl of Halifax (he had earlier served as Viceroy of India). Halifax was considered a safe bet who didn't suffer from illusions of grandeur. Fortunately for Britain, Halifax understood his own limitations and found the prospect of conducting a war against Hitler too daunting. He opted out, leaving the Conservative establishment no option but to grudgingly endorse Churchill. For the Bhartiya Janta Party, its Halifax moment has arrived. There is a mismatch between what the top leadership seeks and what public opinion demands. How the issue is resolved will help shape the final outcome in 2014.

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Modi 100% secular, my choice for PM: Ram Jethmalani

NEW DELHI: At a time when the BJP is engaged in an intense turf war within itself and with allies over the choice of Narendra Modi as the PM candidate in 2014, known pro-Modi voice Ram Jethmalani upped the stakes once again on Tuesday by declaring that the Gujarat Chief Minister is 100% secular. "I stand by Modi as my choice for the PM. Modi in my definition of secularism is 100% secular," Jethmalani said. The noted lawyer known for his frank views - even at the cost of causing heartburn to the powerful Delhi-based bility to lead the nation. Balasaheb's word is final for us," Rauth said. Raut's remarks came just days after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha pitched for making Modi the BJP's candidate for prime minister in 2014 General Elections. Jethmalani's assertion and Raut's stand against Modi are important as they come just a day after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha set the cat among the pigeons by demanding that Modi be made the PM candidate, notwithstanding the opposition from allies like the JD(U). The present round of churning in the party began after Nitin Gadkari was unceremoniously dumped as party president over graft charges and the pressure tactics employed by 'Modi for PM' coterie in the party. Rajnath Singh was chosen as the next chief as he appears to be the safest bet for the RSS and other leaders who are unsure of the influence they will retain if Modi was to take centre-stage at this juncture. However, the man himself, Narendra Modi, has made it clear that 'he is ready for a bigger role in the party', setting stage for a battle royale in the run up to a possible Modi Vs Rahul fight in 2014.

APP files case against Gadkari for threatening I-T officials

ordered just a day before the BJP's presidential poll with the intention to spoil his chances of getting re-elected as the party chief again. "It was done deliberately a day before I filled the nomination papers. Some reports claimed it was a raid but it was a search," he claimed. He also accused the I-T officials of targeting his firm and all those having business interest with his company. Mumbai's I-T Department had on January 23 confirmed that all 24 companies of his Purti Group that were raided by its officials were found to be bogus shell companies with wrong addresses and registered under fake directors. Gadkari was confident of earning a second term as the Bhartiya Janta Party chief till the (I-T) sleuths conducted raids on 11 locations across Mumbai to establish the existence of the alleged shell companies that are linked to his firm.

leaders of the BJP - said that the nation's mood is in favour of Narendra Modi. However, he refused to comment on Bal Thackeray's support for Sushma Swaraj as the best choice for Prime Minister. His silence added

weight as it came just hours after the Shiv Sena's vote for Swaraj was once again made clear by senior party leader Sanjay Raut. Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said while Modi is a capable leader and a fine chief ministers, the party's

choice for the PM's post remains Sushma Swaraj as the late Bal Thackeray had favoured her over other BJP leaders. "Balasaheb had given his consent to Sushma as he thought that she has the capa-

Modi govt may seek review of SC order on Lokayukta

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government could file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order upholding the appointment of Justice (retd) RA Mehta as Lokayukta by the Governor. "We have not filed it (review petition) today and I can't tell what will happen tomorrow," Law Minister Bhupendrasingh Chudasama said in Ahmedabad. Sources in the administration said the government is contemplating filing a review petition in the Lokayukta case, the ruling on which had come early this month. Justice Mehta has not yet assumed the charge of Lokayukta, citing the likely filing of the review petition. "A review petition is being filed in the Supreme Court by the state government," he said when asked about the reason for not taking charge as the anti-corruption ombudsman despite the Supreme Court verdict. Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) have criticised the BJP for its reported move to challenge the Supreme Court ruling. "Instead of accepting the apex court order, the state government is preparing a review petition on the Lokayukta issue. This shows how hollow the Chief Minister's claims of honesty are," said GPP General Secretary Gordhan Zadafia in a statement. In a big blow to Narendra Modi government, the Supreme Court had on January 2 upheld the appointment of Justice Mehta as Gujarat Lokayukta, a post lying vacant since 2003, by Governor Kamla Beniwal. The apex court had noted that the post lying vacant for nine years reflected a "very sorry state of affairs". It had dismissed Modi government's plea that the appointment was illegal as it was done without consulting it. After the verdict, the state government had said it would implement the order. "We will soon implement the SC judgement on Lokayukta," Chudasama had said on January

SC rejects plea to shift gang-rape trial, Trial to continue in Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking transfer of the trial in the Delhi gang-rape case outside the national capital. The petition was filed by lawyer ML Sharma who claimed to be representing one of the accused, Mukesh. However, the entire matter turned controversial after another lawyer VK Anand appeared before the apex court claiming that he was the real counsel of Mukesh and his client had not submitted a plea seeking transfer of the trial outside Delhi. During the last hearing, the advocates indulged in a verbal duel and began making claims and counterclaims for representing accused Mukesh, forcing the a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir to adjourn the hearing. The court asked the Sessions Judge to find out who the accused's actual counsel was. The Session Judge today submitted before the court that Anand was the counsel of Mukesh and he has denied that his client wishes to transfer the case to Mathura or any other city. Sharma had alleged that Mukesh is being tortured by the police and Anand was trying to create hindrance in hearing of the transfer plea in the gang-rape case. On the other hand, Anand claimed that ML Sharma was no longer related to the case. Besides Mukesh, bus driver Ram Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, have been charged with offences of murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under IPC. Their sixth accomplice is a juvenile and will be tried separately before the Juvenile Justice Board.

NEW DELHI: RTI activistturned politician Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party (AAP) has filed a case against former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari for allegedly threatening the Income Tax (I-T) officials probing the cases of financial impropriety involving his firm Purti Group. A day after senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh replaced him as BJP chief, Gadkari said that he was not bound by the dignity of a post any longer and is now a 'free-man' to deal with the IT officials for their probe against him. The former BJP chief also threatened that nobody would save the I-T officials when the BJP comes to power at the Centre. Gadkari further alleged that the I-T raid against him was

Rajasthan Police file FIR, summon Ashis Nandy

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Police have lodged an FIR under the SC/ST Act against eminent writer and Professor Ashis Nandy, whose statement regarding corruption among the SC/ST and OBC class fuelled a massive controversy during the recently held Jaipur Literature Festival 2013. The police have summoned Nandy for questioning. Nandy on Saturday had stoked a major row with his comments that people belonging to OBC, SC and ST communities were the "most corrupt". "It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from OBCs and Scheduled Castes and now increasingly the Scheduled Tribes," he said participating in a session at the recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival. Going further, he had said, "I will give an example. One of the states with the least amount of corruption is state of West Bengal when the CPI(M) was there. And I must draw attention to the fact that in the last 100 years, nobody from OBC, SC and ST has come anywhere near to power. It is an absolutely clean state." Nandy's comments triggered a storm with BSP chief Mayawati and LJP leader Ram Vilas demanding registration of case under SC/ST Act against Nandy. Mayawati wanted him to be jailed immediately. Congress, BJP, JD(U), CPI as also the SC Commission Chairman P L Punia also condemned the remarks. While seeking to clarify,

Rajasthan HC stays reservation for special backward classes

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday stayed till the next hearing the five percent reservation for special backward classes in the state, putting a question mark on the quota for the Gujjar community which had carried out largescale protests demanding the same. The division bench, comprising justices NK Jain and JK Ranka, said since the overall reservation in the state now stands at 68 percent - well above the 50 percent mark - the same is unconstitutional. At the last hearing, the HC had asked the Rajasthan government to justify the 68 percent reservation and explain as to why in the absence of justification the excess reservation be not stayed for the time being. The court had also sought state's explanation as to why, by way of an interim order, the excess reservation granted on the recommendation of State Backward Class Commission beyond 50 percent ceiling be not stayed. The order came on a petition filed by one Mukesh Solanki. RD Rastogi, counsel for the petitioner, had told the court that the five percent reservation was granted to five communities under the head of special backward classes in the state that include Gujjar community. On November 29 last year, the state government had accepted the state OBC commission report, paving way for five percent reservation in government jobs and educational institutes to five communities, including Gujjars, under Specially Backward Category. "These castes were very much included in the quota of 21 percent reservation meant for Other Backward Classes, but still new term Special Backward Class (SBC) was created to give reservation to the castes like the Gujjar community," Rastogi had said. The counsel for the petitioner said that according to the Supreme Court judgements the upper limit fixed for reservation was 50 percent. "But the state government gave five percent reservation to Special Backward Classes that included Gujjars, and 14 percent more reservation to economically backward classes raising the available reservation graph from 49 percent to 68 percent which is beyond the permissible limit," Rastogi had said in the court.

Nandy made a flip flop saying he would apologise if he had been misunderstood. However, when questioned further, he said "I don't apologise at all because I hold it very close to my heart. I was, in fact, supporting the cause of those who are marginalised and those who are in minority and those who are oppressed. I have spent all my life supporting their causes and will continue doing it."

Constable Tomar death: Delhi HC pulls up police, may summon Commissioner

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up police in connection with the death case of Constable Subash Tomar, who allegedly died of the injuries he received during the anti-rape protests at India Gate in the national capital. It also said that if required the Delhi Police Commissioner would also be summoned. The court directed the Delhi Police to submit a proper reply in the form of an affidavit within seven days. The case will again come up for hearing in the High Court on February 20. A video footage showed Tomar collapsing at the India Gate during the protests against the gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi. He was immediately admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia, where he succumbed to his alleged injuries on Dec 25. While the eight men - who have been booked for causing Tomar's death - claim that they were being framed by the police, the constable's family says that Tomar was pushed and trampled upon by the protesters

BJP demands probe into companies of Mayawati's brother

allegedly owned by Anand Kumar, brother of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo had made questionable financial transaction worth crores of rupees when Mayawati was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. She said the BJP had raised the issue during 2011 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and a report in a newspaper Monday had validated the party's charges. "The BJP submitted reports to the authorities that Anand Kumar had floated over 76 companies and through laundering of slush money, was acquiring wealth disproportionate to his known source of income." Sitharaman said the BJP allegations had highlighted that these companies had invested in companies incorporated in tax havens and his relationship with the chief minister "was being unfairly and illegally exploited". "The BJP demands a thorough inquiry into these allegations on companies which are incorporated all over the country. Will the finance ministry issue notices to these companies? Will field based enquiries be conducted on these companies?" she asked. Sitharaman said there were "several unexplained cash inductions into the companies, huge profits earned from sale of undisclosed and unidentified properties and sale of shares at premium rates of tinsel worth companies". Maintaining that the BSP chief's brother has lots of answers to give, she said Mayawati was a strong ally of the Congress-led government and allegedly helped it in parliament on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. "During the debate on FDI in multi-brand retail, Mayawati's double speak was watched by the entire country," she said.

NEW DELHI: The BJP demanded a probe into "questionable financial transactions" by companies allegedly owned by BSP chief Mayawati's brother. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman alleged that seven companies

'Capable enough to protect our citizens, worry about your security': India to Pak
NEW DELHI: India has responded strongly to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's demand for security for actor Shah Rukh Khan. Home Secretary RK Singh has asked Rehman Malik to worry about the security of Pakistan's citizens and said that India is fully capable of looking after its citizens. "We are capable of looking after our own citizen, let him worry about the security of his country's citizen," RK Singh said. The war of words started after Shah Rukh Khan wrote a first-person account of what it means to be a Muslim post the 9/11 world. Rehman Malik demanded that India provides security to actor Shah Rukh Khan. "He (Shahrukh) is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the government of India to please provide him security and I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters who are all talking against Shah Rukh that they should know he is a movie star, he is loved as a star by the people of Pakistan and he is loved by the people of India, then why to create some kind of hate, let's bring love," Malik said. On Sunday, Jamaat-udDawa founder Hafiz Saeed choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation than my own country -- this even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave my home and return to what they refer to as my original homeland." Shah Rukh Khan also wrote about his decision to make 'My Name Is Khan'. "I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last name of mine that I made a film, subtly titled My Name is Khan (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point. Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to present the film in America for the first time." "Of course, I politely decline each time, citing such pressing reasons as sanitation works at my house preventing me from taking the good shower that's needed before undertaking an extensive journey. I don't know how long this excuse will hold," Khan wrote.

'Headmaster' Sinha don't dictate us on Modi: JD(U)

NEW DELHI: Upset over Yashwant Sinha bringing 'Modi for PM' debate back into the ring, the Janata Dal (United) hit back the senior BJP leader while asserting that the party's opposition to Narendra Modi stays. "Our opposition to Modi is a matter of principle. Is Yashwant Sinha a headmaster and we students that we will abide by what he says?" JD (U) leader Ali Anwar said. "Sab apna khayali pulao bana rahe hain, NDA ki baithak hogi tab PM candidate decide hoga," he added. Yesterday, Sinha had said, "A debate has been taking place for many days now. When I travel, there is a strong demand from common people and workers that Narendra Modi should be declared as the PM candidate as this will benefit the party." "After careful thought, I have concluded that if BJP declares Modi as its PM candidate, then the BJP will benefit hugely in the elections. It will have a big impact on voters. I have no doubt on this," he said. Asked about the stated opposition to the idea from the Janata Dal (United) which heads a coalition with the BJP in Bihar, Sinha said that while he wanted alliances to hold, the BJP retained the right to decide its PM candidate. He added that if some allies left, others might join

had also said that the actor can move to Pakistan if he didn't feel safe in India. Khan had mentioned that he has sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make him a symbol of all that they think is wrong

and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. Khan, in his essay for the special edition of Outlook Turning Points publication, on what it means to be a Khan in India, wrote, "I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who

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Obama To Sign Aid Bill
WASHINGTON : President Barack Obama says he'll sign a $50.5 billion emergency measure for Super storm Sandy victims as soon as it lands on his desk. Obama chided lawmakers for taking their time to approve the funding even as he commended them for providing the long-awaited aid. Conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars to the nation's debt opposed the measure, but the Senate cleared the bill Monday. Earlier this month House Republicans had stripped the bill of spending unrelated to disasters. Northeast lawmakers said the money is urgently needed to start rebuilding from the Oct. 29 storm. Sandy is one of the worst tempests to strike the Northeast. It's blamed for more than 130 deaths and tens of billions of dollars in property damage, particularly in New York and New Jersey.

20 Feared Dead In Plane Crash

KAZAKHSTAN: A plane reported to be carrying 20 passengers and crew has crashed near Almaty, Kazakhstan. All 20 people - 15 passengers and five crew - on board were killed, The accident reportedly happened near Almaty, the financial capital of the Central Asian country, close to the border with neighbouring Kyrgyzstan. The plane had been en route from the city of Kokshetau in northern Kazakhstan to the southeast city when it crashed near the village of Kyzyl Tu, sources said. There was thick fog in the area. "There was no fire, no explosion. The plane just plunged to the earth," said Yuri Ilyin, deputy head of the city's emergency department. SCAT is based in crash in the former Soviet republic in just over a month.

Deadly floods displace thousands in Mozambique

UN: At least 150,000 people have been displaced in Mozambique due to intense flooding, according to the United Nations. The UN said on Tuesday that the number displaced is expected to rise as fresh rains spread flooding northward. At least 40 people have been killed so far by heavy rains and overflowing rivers in the southeastern African country, which is experiencing its worst floods in more than a decade. "People in high-risk areas are still being rescued," Rita Almeida, a spokeswoman for Mozambique's National Disaster Management Institute, said. "We are asking people to move out of houses that could be destroyed by rain," Almeida said. The south of the country has been worst-hit by the flood elevated areas to aid the flood victims. "The main needs are tents and clean water, but they basically need everything," said Katherine Mueller, a spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "There will be a huge need of sanitation, mosquito nets, shelter, kitchen sets and blankets as families begin returning home in the coming weeks." Water levels on the Limpopo river are reportedly at higher levels than those recorded during the deadly floods in 2000. The deluge is expected to swell the Zambezi river basin, spreading the disaster to northern and central Mozambique.

Kazakhstan and operates extensive domestic services and some international flights. The type of plane involved in the crash is not yet known; SCAT flies Boeing 757s and 737s, along with the Yak-42 and the An24, according to reports. It was the second plane

A military transport airplane crashed in bad weather near the southern Kazakh city of Shymkent on December 25, killing all 27 people on board. Prosecutors have said that a fatal combination of technical problems, bad weather and human errors caused that accident.

surge, especially in the province of Gaza where 150,000 residents have been forced to flee to higher ground, Patricia Nakell, a UN spokesperson, said. The UN is coordinating relief efforts with non-governmental organisations. Aid agencies and government emergency services have set up temporary camps in

Myanmar must end its policy of segregation in Rakhine State

BANGKOK : The Myanmar government's policy of segregating Muslim and Buddhist communities in Rakhine State is compounding a humanitarian crisis there, while ASEAN's failure to positively influence the situation points to continued institutional failures in the regional grouping, the ASEAN InterParliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) said today. Thousands of Rohingya men, women and children continue to flee persecution in Myanmar on boats, and hundreds have passed through Thai waters in recent weeks. While AIPMC continues to call on member states such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, to offer humanitarian assistance to these people where necessary, the interparliamentary caucus is increasingly concerned by the Myanmar government's failure to react sufficiently to the humanitarian crisis unfolding within its borders "These people are sailing in unsafe boats, risking their lives in search of safety, education, a better life and a future - things that they are not receiving at home, said Kraisak Choonhavan, vice president of AIPMC and chair of the Thailand Caucus. "While it is of course the responsibility of all ASEAN member states to offer humanitarian aid and assistance to genuine refugees, this does not fix the root of the problem, that is why these people are in such desperate situations that they would risk their lives and place themselves in the hands of human traffickers in the first place. ASEAN member states must pressure the Myanmar government to do more to safely reintegrate communities and provide the Rohingya population with basic rights of movement and access to work and services, AIPMC said today. At the same time, ASEAN itself must work with international agencies and national and regional law-enforcement and rights agencies to combat the illegal trade of human traffickers who extort money from desperate people seeking a new life abroad. The plight of the Rohingya in western Rakhine State serves as a key example of the failures not only of the quasidemocratic Burmese government but also of ASEAN, as a regional grouping," said AIPMC President and Indonesian Member of Parliament Eva Kusuma Sundari. "We really need push forward as a community and work towards incorporating genuine and effective human rights complaints, monitoring, reporting and protection mechanisms. Myanmar's failure is also ASEAN's failure." The issue should be tabled for discussion at the meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR), which is convening in Brunei Darussalam from January 28 to February 2, AIPMC said today. As well as being a responsibility under international human rights conventions of countries like Thailand to offer humanitarian assistance to those in need of it, it is also in their interest, and the entire regions, to pressure Myanmar to alleviate the intolerable conditions that are prompting this mass exodus of Rohingya. Since inter-communal violence broke out in Rakhine State, Myanmar, last June, the quasi-civilian government there has failed to meet its humanitarian obligations as an ASEAN member state. Action must be taken by ASEAN and the international community to impress upon the Myanmar government its responsibilities to uphold basic human rights standards. "The Myanmar authorities' policy of segregation, keeping Muslim Rohingya as virtual prisoners either in isolated ghettos or in squalid and undersupplied camps, unable to access work, education, medical facilities and unable to travel freely is intolerable and counterproductive," said Ms. Sundari. AIPMC recognises that security and the rule of law are key concerns for the government and no one wants to see a repeat of the violent clashes witnessed in 2012. However, the caucus made up of elected representatives from across the region is concerned that the Myanmar government's current policy places unacceptable constraints on people from moving and earning livelihoods. "Reintegration of these communities is vital and must be done soon - segregation only exacerbates the divide between communities and suggests a policy to persecute the Rohingya minority, forcing them to leave the country in search of a better existence elsewhere. ASEAN and its individual member states must stand up to this crisis today," Ms Sundari said.

Six dead in Somali suicide attack

MOGADISHU: At least six people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up amongst a group of security officials outside the Somali prime minister's office on Tuesday, army officials said. "I saw the dead bodies of six people and several others were injured," said Abdukadir Ali, a Somali military official who stayed near the scene of the attack in central Mogadishu. It is believed that many of those killed or wounded were soldiers or police. "The bomber was sitting near a perimeter wall and detonated himself in the midst of a group of security forces," Ali added. "There was chaos, smoke and pieces of human flesh." Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Said was in his office at the time when the attacker struck, officials said, but he was not harmed by the blast. "The area was closed down by the security forces. I saw several dead soldiers and others injured being rushed to hospital," said Mohamed Hussein, a witness. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents have conducted a series of guerrilla style attacks in the capital. The insurgents have vowed to topple newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, who took office in September after being chosen by the country's new parliament, bringing an end to eight years of transitional rule.


Home loans to get cheaper as Repo rate, CRR cut by 25 bps

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday reduced repo rate by a widely expected 25 basis points, taking comfort from cooling inflation as it made the first cut in nine months to support an economy headed for its slowest growth in a decade. The Reserve Bank of India cut the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent and it unexpectedly also reduced the cash reserve ratio (CRR), the share of deposits banks must keep with the central bank by 25 bps to 4 per cent, which will infuse an additional Rs 18,000 crore into the banking system. The RBI also trimmed 2012-13 growth estimate to 5.5 per cent from 5.8 per cent. It also cut end-March 2013 inflation projection to 6.8 per cent from 7.5 per cent earlier. "This provides space, albeit limited, for monetary policy to give greater emphasis to growth risks," said RBI Governor D Subbarao in quarterly monetary policy review of the central bank. The cut in the repo rate and CRR brings a cheer for many as it will make home loans cheaper. While repo rate cut will reduce the cost of borrowing for individuals and corporate, the reduction in CRR, which is hope of a cut sometime this quarter after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's fractious coalition in September ended a debilitating phase of policy inaction to make urgently needed reforms to reduce the fiscal deficit and attract foreign investment. The RBI's announcement was welcomed by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia who said that the cut in the rates would help revive investment in the economy. Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan also hailed the decision saying that the central bank has taken a balanced view. He said that he expects inflation to go down by over one per cent in the next fiscal year.

India committed to reforms, Chidambaram tells European investors

FRANKFURT: Underlining India's commitment to pursue economic reforms, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said the Government will cut the fiscal and current account deficits to help the economy return to the 8 per cent growth path. Speaking at a roadshow here on investment opportunities in India on Monday, the Minister said the economy was on the right path to achieve growth levels recorded during 2004-2008. "I am very optimistic that India can grow at a (high) rate for the next 20 or 30 years," Chidambaram told a gathering of around 200 representatives of leading European companies, banks and other financial institutions. India's promotion drive in Germany's financial capital to woo more European investors was hosted by Deutsche Bank and Barclays Bank. Chidambaram had held similar meetings in Hong Kong and Singapore to woo investors. India has been growing at an impressive rate of even 9 per cent before the global financial meltdown pulled the growth rate down to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09. The growth in the current financial year is estimated at 5.5-5.7 per cent. The Minister further said the fiscal deficit and current account deficit were the main problems facing the economy. Outlining the measures taken by the Government to reduce the fiscal deficit, the Minister said under no circumstances would he allow it to breach 5.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the current financial year. The Government proposes to reduce the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent in the next financial year. Besides attending the roadshow, Chidambaram held other bilateral meetings with business leaders to promote India as an attractive destination for foreign investments.

the portion of deposits that banks have to park with RBI, would improve the availability of funds. Since the last cut nine months ago, the RBI has resisted pleas from businesses and politicians for further reductions. But the central bank had held out

MCX stock exchange to Food products need to seek approval start live trade on Feb 11 from government-promoted FSSAI Reliance Capital posts Rs 101 cr quarterly profit
M U M B A I : MCX-SX, India's new stock exchange, will begin trading of cash equities and equities derivatives on February 11. It is ready to compete against more established rivals BSE Ltd and National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) will be inaugurated by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on February 9. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chairman UK Sinha and department of economic affairs secretary Dr. Arvind Mayaram will also be present at the function to be held in Mumbai. MCX-SX received "commencement certifiNEW DELHI: Probiotic icecream, digestive biscuits or lowsugar jams may be flying off retail shelves, but food companies are no longer being allowed to sell new products without taking approvals from the govt.promoted Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). According to a new and modified FSSAI advisory issued to all food companies last month, any new or existing product which is 'proprietary' - in other words not classified in the food act - will need to follow a regulatory 'new product approval' guideline, as laid down by the FSSAI. Even if food companies announce the ingredients on packs and in advertising, they will still need approvals. According to guidelines, makers of all proprietary products will now have to submit applications to the central govt. for approval and can launch only after all the necessary approvals have been obtained. For example, while cheese and butter are standard products, a low-fat ice-cream or dessert would be classified as proprietary. Another eg. if the existing food law states that fruit-based jam can be made only with a specific amount of sugar, and if a company chooses to add more or less sugar than what is specified, the product becomes proprietary. Food companies say the move will delay new product development and product innovation, though it will help in filtering out incorrect product claims. NEW DELHI: Reliance Capital on Tuesday posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 101 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 60 crore for the October-December quarter of 2011, Reliance Capital said in a statement. Its total income rose to Rs 1,716 crore in the third quarter ended Dec 2012, against a total income of Rs 1,600 crore in the same period of previous year. The company said the results for the current quarter and nine months ended Dec 31, 2012 are not comparable with previous corresponding quarter as Viscount Management Services (Alpha) Ltd, amalgamated with the company

cate" for trading in new segments such as equity, futures and options on equity, interest rate derivatives and wholesale debt market by Sebi on December 19, 2012. The ministry of corporate affairs had granted the status of a "recognized stock exchange" to MCXSX on December 21, 2012. MCX-SX received 700 applications for new membership out of which 270 membership applications have already been registered by Sebi.

with effect from October 2011. R-Cap is the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group and is present in businesses including asset management, mutual fund, insurance, brokerage and various other segments of the financial services sector. The group's commercial finance operations has reported a total income at Rs 525 crore for the quarter ended Dec 2012, against Rs 499 crore for the corresponding period of previous year. Its revenues from brokerage business was at Rs 63 crore. Reliance Capital Asset Management's income from its operations was Rs 228 crore in the third quarter ended Dec 2012, against Rs 155 crore in Q3 2011-12.

Air India puts Dreamliner planes for sale, leaseback

NEW DELHI: Air India has put all its newlyacquired Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner planes for sale and leaseback and invited bids from prospective lessors by February first week, even as all of these aircraft remained grounded across the world. Air India and other Dreamliner operators across the world have grounded their entire fleet of 50 B-787s delivered so far following a directive from the US Federal Aviation Authority after a fire risk reportedly caused by a battery problem. In spite of this, the national carrier has gone ahead with its plan of sale and leaseback, which has already been approved by the government as part of its turnaround and financial restructuring plans. Sale-leaseback is an arrangement in which an owner sells an asset to a leasing firm and, at the same time, leases it (as a lessee) on a longterm basis to retain exclusive possession and use. This frees capital tied up in a fixed asset, while the lender obtains a guaranteed lease. The airline can also claim tax deductions as the asset was no longer owned but leased, which would help it in streamlining its operations and cut costs. Air India has invited quotations from lessors on or before Feb 5 on a Request for Proposal (RFP) which said it "would sell the aircraft to the lessor and immediately leaseback them under an operating lease for a period of 12 years, with an option to extend." Though the Indian flag carrier has received six Dreamliners between September and December last and is expected to get one this month, it announced in the RFP the sale and leaseback of seven of them. However, delivery of the seventh plane could be deferred due to the prevailing problem. Air India plans to sell all its 27 Dreamliner aircraft to a lessor and lease them back to operate by paying monthly rentals, a common fund-raising practice among airlines.

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Raina breaks into top 10 in ICC ODI rankings for first time
DUBAI: Indian batsman Suresh Raina on Monday leap frogged 15 places to break into the top 10 of Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen for the first time in his career on the back of his brilliant performance in the just-concluded home series against England.Raina, who was named man-of-theseries in the five-match ODI series against England, now occupies 10th spot with a career-best 669 ratings points in the latest rankings released on Monday. Raina scored 277 runs in the series ing a half century, in the two matches he played a g a i n s t England, also gained two places to be at 54th. Another b a t s m a n inside the top 10 to improve his ranking is England captain Alastair Cook, who has moved up one place to seventh. The batting table continues to be headed by South Africa's Hashim Amla, followed by teammate AB de Villiers in second and India's Virat Kohli in third place. In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Ishant Sharma jumped 17 places to 50th while his pace colleague Bhuvaneshwar Kumar gained a huge 31 places to 73rd. Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal topped the bowlers' list followed by teammate Mohammad Hafeez in second place. Another Indian, Ravindra Jadeja has made all-round gains in the latest rankings. He has moved up nine places to 56th in the batting table and has jumped 15 places to a career-best eighth in the bowlers' list with best-ever 663 ratings points. The combined batting and bowling performances has helped Jadeja move up two places to fifth in the allrounders' table. Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez continues to head the all-rounders' list followed by Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan in second place.

India beat NZ in warm-up tie

MUMBAI: India's preparations for the ICC women's World Cup appeared on track, following an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in a warm-up match at Bandra Kurla Complex ground on Monday. Fast bowler Jhulan Goswami (three for 26) and opener Poonam Raut (69, 89b, 12x4) eased the home team's path to victory. New Zealand managed 201 in 47.5 overs against eight bowlers tried out by India. Jhulan got three breakthroughs in eight overs, support came from left-arm spinners Gauher Sultana (two for 35 in 10 overs) and Ekta Bisht (two for 32 in 8.5 overs). Frances Mackay topscored for the Kiwis with 69 off 101 balls, hitting seven boundaries. In reply, the Indian openers Poonam Raut (69) and Thirush Kamini (43)put on 119 for the first wicket in 27 overs. Harmanpreet Kaur lashed 46 not out off 56 balls in the company of skipper Mithali Raj (36 not out, 43b, 5x4) as India cruised home in 43.3 overs, scoring 204 for two.

Rs 2.5 crore prize money for HIL winners

NEW DELHI: Hockey India League (HIL) on Monday announced a whopping Rs 2.5 crore as prize money for the champions of the inaugural edition of the ongoing franchise-based event. Apart from the cash prize, the winning team will take home a glittering trophy as well. The runner-up side will take home Rs 1.25 crore while the third-placed team will get richer by Rs 75 lakhs, a Hockey India (HI) statement said. Announcing the cash awards, HI secretary general and HIL chairman Narinder Batra said that the Player of the Tournament will receive Rs 25 lakh and a trophy, while the Upcoming Player of the Tournament will receive the Ponty Chadha Trophy along with a sum of Rs 20 lakh. The team scoring the highest number of goals in the league stage will also be awarded along with cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. The Fair play trophy will also be given to the team with the least number of green, yellow and red cards during the tournament. "The Hero Hockey India League is proud to announce these exciting awards for the teams and the players who are putting up a great show for millions of fans of the game across the world. The cash prizes come as rewards for the franchisee, players and the support staff`s hard work and dedication to make the league the best in the world," Batra said. In total, the HIL will be distributing Rs 5.40 crore as prize money.

at an average of 92.33.His team-mate Rohit Sharma, who scored 87 runs, includ-

UCI disbands independent Armstrong commission Jayasuriya set to be Sri Lankan chief selector
LONDON: The International Cycling Union (UCI) has dissolved its independent commission that was probing the high profile Lance Armstrong doping scandal citing loss of confidence as the reason. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Doping Agency (USADA) had refused to cooperate with the commission. UCI president Pat McQuaid said that they after speaking to president of WADA, he had no choice but to shut it down as the latter had offered assistance in establishing another commission to continue with the investigations. "Over the weekend I spoke to John Fahey, president of WADA," McQuaid said in a statement on Monday. "He confirmed WADA`s willingness to help the UCI establish a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing independent commission process...We have therefore decided to disband the independent commission with immediate effect," he said. McQuaid added WADA had concluded "the UCI was not allowing the commission to conduct a proper and independent investigation," and had, therefore, "decided not to take part and invest its limited resources into such a questionable and useless exercise". It was an investigation by USADA that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. COLOMBO: Former Sri Lanka batsman Sanath Jayasuriya is to be appointed chief selector of the national cricket team this week. Sources at the Sri Lankan sports ministry said on Sunday that Jayasuriya will replace the current chief selector while a new selection panel will also be named. The move follows the Sri Lankan team's mixed results both in the long and short versions of the game which is popular in the country. Jayasuriya in a short statement has confirmed that he will be receiving the new appointment. "It is an unexpected journey that I will have to go on with the new post as the chairman of the National Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLCB). My main objective will be to make a decent test side, as we all know that test cricket is the best form of the game which follows up with One-day cricket, which is superior in its own ways," Jayasuriya said. He urged his fans to support him in his new role.

Warne brands Cricket Australia bosses 'muppets'

SYDNEY: Legendary spinner Shane Warne said he will unveil his own blueprint for the future of Australian cricket within 24 hours after a Twitter rant, in which he described current high-performance managers as "muppets." In a further series of Twitter posts on Tuesday, the veteran leg-spinner said Australian cricket is in disarray and called for the appointment of former cricketers to decision-making roles. Warne appeared to be referring to Cricket Australia's current high-performance manager, former Australia rugby international Pat Howard, when he made his criticisms. Warne said cricketers should be running the sport in Australia "not ex-rugby or any other sportspeople. Please, seriously." In his most recent posts on Tuesday, Warne indicated he was prepared to back rhetoric with action. "If interested, I will give my opinion and write an indepth article on the state of Australian cricket and suggest who I think should be running the team and selecting the team," Warne said. "My opinion only and I will post it in the next 24 hours on my website. I have not spoken to anyone I suggest for these roles. It's just my opinion as I think all of us who love Australian cricket have had enough. "Australian cricket is in disarray and in my opinion people are hoping Australian cricket will turn around the lack of a plan and a cricket strategy." Warne believed an important first step was to have former top cricketers in key highperformance roles. "As I said last night, we need cricket people running the team and who understand cricket and what's required at the top level, not muppets," Warne said. "I am speaking as a frustrated Australian cricket team supporter and want what's best for Australian cricket. Give me 24 hours to write a piece." Australia all-rounder Shane Watson said Warne's comments may have arisen from his frustration with fines and other sanctions he received in recent weeks in the Twenty20 Big Bash competition.

Tiger wins Torrey Pines title for 75th career crown

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA: World No. 2 Tiger Woods captured his 75th career title on Monday, winning the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes for his record-setting eighth career triumph at Torrey Pines. Despite struggling in windy conditions Monday over the final 11 holes, Woods showed flashes of the form that has brought him 14 major titles as he chases the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus. Woods won his most recent major title at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines and has also won the PGA event staged at Torrey Pines seven times. No other PGA player has won so many times on a single course. A fog delay Saturday led to the Monday finish, with darkness halting Woods on Sunday after seven holes. Woods completed a final-round par 72 Monday despite going threeover in the closing stretch, finishing 72 holes on 14-under par 274. Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 winner, and Josh Teater shared second on 278. Woods had two bogeys and a double bogey between the 14th and 17th holes, but managed a par at the par-5 18th to close out the victory. "It got a little ugly toward the end," Woods said. "I started losing my patience with slow play and lost my concentration there a little bit. But I was able to get my par there at 18 and got the win." After missing the cut in his season opener at Abu Dhabi, Woods collected his first victory since last July at the US PGA National at Congressional.

Woods captured his 75th career title on Monday, winning the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes for his record-setting eighth career triumph at Torrey Pines.

Sri Lanka beat Australia by 3 runs to win T20 series

MELBOURNE: Thisara Perera produced an outstanding all-round performance to guide Sri Lanka to a three-run win over Australia in a rain-affected Twenty20 international in Melbourne, securing a 2-0 victory in the series that sparked animosity between the two sides. After making a hard-hitting unbeaten 35 in Sri Lanka's innings of 161-4 bolstered by Mahela Jayawardene's 61 not out Perera bowled a pressureladen final over to give his team victory under the Duckworth-Lewis system. Australia needed 18 runs from Perera's final over to win the match, after being set a revised target of 122 from 15 overs following a lengthy rain delay. The chase came down to four runs from the last ball but Perera produced a dot ball, after conceding consecutive boundaries from his two previous deliveries, to take the match and the series. However, the match ended with angry scenes as players from both teams clashed verbally, even during the traditional congratulatory handshakes. Sri Lanka was displeased that Australian umpires Simon Fry and John Ward ruled the match should continue after an almost 90 minute rain delay, which left the outfield at the Melbourne Cricket Ground damp and slippery. The fourth one-day international between the teams at Sydney last week was abandoned in very similar circumstances when Sri Lanka was in a strong posirain shower dampened the outfield causing the umpires to call off the match and costing Sri Lanka the chance to take a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series. After that match was abandoned, Australia won the fifth match to tie the series 2-2. Sri Lanka would have won the match clearly under the Duckworth-Lewis system if the umpires had abandoned the match when rain intervened after the 10th over of the Australian innings

Mahela Jayawardene hit 61 as Sri Lanka beat Australia by three runs to win the T20 series 2-0 tion to win both the match and the series. Then, a minor

Scientists create real bionic man

LONDON: After spending six million dollars to create bionic superhero Steve Austin, scientists have now built a real bionic man from artificial limbs for a sixth of the price. Known as Rex - short for robotic exoskeleton - his 6ft frame is made up of an array of artificial limbs and organs from around the world. Built for a Channel 4 documentary exploring how far technology has developed, Rex raises ethical dilemmas. Research on advanced prosthetics and artificial organs means scientists could soon not only replace missing body parts, but improve on them. In the Six Million Dollar Man astronaut Steve Austin, played by Lee Majors, was left horribly injured after his craft crashed. The opening sequence of the 1970s TV series featured an off-camera voice intoning: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology." Austin was given a bionic arm and legs and an artificial zoom-lens eye. The C4 programme's presenter is Dr Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist from Switzerland who himself has a 30,000-pound bionic limb after being born without a left hand. The bionic man is being built from 1,000,000 dollars of limbs and organs by leading UK roboticists Richard Walker and Matthew Godden. There is the artificial eye, which consists of a

Hockey India League:Ranchi Rhinos beat Mumbai Magicians 2-1

RANCHI: Mumbai Magicians' Ric Charlesworth must be the unhappiest coach at the Hockey India League (HIL) right now, especially after Ranchi Rhinos defeated his wards 2-1 at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium on Monday. With this victory, Ranchi Rhinos have amassed 27 points, same as that of Delhi Waveriders, but lie second on the points table because Delhi have a better goal difference. On the other hand,Mumbai Magicians are still without a win and only have seven points from their seven matches. Sandeep Singh stood up to his name and gave Mumbai Magicians the dream start when he scored from the penalty corner one minute into the game. However, after failing to equalize in the first quarter, Ashley Jackson converted a penalty corner in the 10th minute of the second quarter. But it was Mandeep Singh's goal 14 minutes into the third quarter that gave Rhinos the lead and, as the story unfolded, also the victory. It was an excellent move by Manpreet Singh as he dodged past the Mumbai defenders and took a firm hit, which Mandeep got a touch to before it went in. Having beaten UP in two consecutive matches, Rhinos were brimming with confidence from the very beginning and were easily the better team on the day. In the first quarter, the hosts had their fair share of chances but were unable to convert. Four minutes into the game, Mandeep broke into the 'D' but could not pass the ball to Jackson, who was waiting at the goalmouth. A minute later, Mandeep created another great opportunity but this time around it was Nick Wislon who played it straight to the keeper, who had no trouble keeping it out. Wilson, who scored in the last match against UP Wizards in Ranchi, was the culprit again two minutes later when he failed to connect a Floris Evers cross. However, Rhinos did not get bogged down by their missed chances and kept up the attack. They were duly rewarded with four penalty corners. But to the dismay of the home crowd, Justin Reid Ross failed to convert any of them and was also shown a yellow card for dissent. In the second quarter, the visitors tried to slow down the game and take the momentum away from the Rhinos. But the hosts were not affected and it was Mandeep again who easily made inroads and earned the hosts another valuable penalty corner. This time it was Jackson who took it and he thumped it past the Magicians custodian. With the score reading 1-1, the visitors tried to up the tempo and were penalized on two occasions. With both Faisal Saari and Anup Valmiki off the field, Rhinos had a good chance of taking the lead but they were unable to capitalize on it. Mandeep was, however, unlucky when his shot just rolled inches away from the goal-line in need of someone to put it into the net.

microchip implanted into the retina that receives images captured by a camera housed on the patient's glasses. It sends electrical pulses that are translated by the brain into shapes and patterns. Professor Robert MacLaren, from Oxford University, said: "We are

hoping patients who are completely blind will be able to see basic shapes and objects." Scientists are hoping prosthetic replacements for failing hearts, kidneys, pancreas and spleens could one day solve the worldwide shortage of donor organs.

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