This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
48 Pages Rs. 2.50 City Edition Chennai
ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 131 No. 104 Regd. TN/ARD/17/06-08 RNI No. 1001/57
PHCs BEGIN VACCINATION
PLOT HATCHED IN PAKISTAN
RCOM’S NET OVER $1B
DAREDEVILS POSTS WIN
MAIN SPORTS PAGE
Printed at Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, Delhi, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Vijayawada, Mangalore and Tiruchirapalli
PMO did not issue any order: Deora
Makes statement in House on Baalu issue
NEW DELHI: Petroleum and
A Himalayan feat
45th extension for Liberhan Commission
NEW DELHI: The Liberhan Commission, set up to inquire into the circumstances leading to the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya, got its 45th extension on Wednesday. — PTI
Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Wednesday asserted that the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce (PMO) did not issue any order or instruction to help companies owned by Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu’s family members. “Certain references were received from the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce in a routine manner without any recommendation on the basis of a representation made by Selvakumar Baalu, director of the company,” Mr. Deora said in a statement he read out in the Rajya Sabha amid protests from the Opposition. “It may be stated that not a single cubic metre of gas has been supplied to the companies [owned by Mr. Baalu’s family members]. Since the issue relating to supply of gas is pending before the Delhi High Court …, the matter is sub judice,” Mr. Deora said. He, however, accepted that Mr. Baalu met him on the issue. “Mr. Baalu met me and briefed about the great injustice done to the workers and investors.”
The Petroleum Ministry had allocated 10,000 cubic metres of gas a day to Kings India Chemicals Corporation Limited and 4.5 lakh cubic metres of gas a day to Kings India Power Corporation Limited but the allocations were cancelled by the previous government on January 14, 2004, Mr. Deora said.
“A petition was received by Prime Minister [Manmohan Singh] in May 2005, signed by T.R.B. Rajaa, Chairman, Kings India Power Corporation Ltd., alleging that gross injustice has been done to them and that they have been severely discriminated against. A discussion was held in the PMO to ascertain the
Nothing unusual was done: Manmohan
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said there was no wrong from which he should distance himself from the action of his ofﬁce in forwarding a representation made by
the company in which the family of Union Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu has business interests. Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had explained everything and nothing unusual was done, Dr. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
status; and the view of the Ministry of P&NG [Petroleum and Natural Gas] that it was not possible to give any relief to the petitioner was noted. Having failed to secure any relief from the government, the petitioner went to the Madras High Court in 2005,” Mr. Deora said. In October 2007, a singlejudge Bench ruled in the company’s favour. As the order was not implemented, the company ﬁled a contempt petition. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association and the Narimanam Zone Natural Gas Consumers Association ﬁled appeals before a Division Bench, which on February 19, 2008 set aside the singlejudge Bench order. The Division Bench directed the government to decide upon the applications of the ﬁrms on merit. A writ petition was also ﬁled by one independent Power Producers Association in the Delhi High Court, which issued a stay order. The matter was pending before the court. Earlier, as Mr. Deora was about to start his speech, the Prime Minister left. BJP and AIADMK members insisted on a statement from Dr. Singh, not from Mr. Deora. Led by Sushma Swaraj and AIADMK’s V. Maitreyan, the Opposition urged Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan to ask Dr. Singh to make a statement. Amid the din, Mr. Deora read out the statement. ‘Impropriety’ unexplained, says BJP: Page 14
Shoaib’s ban upheld
KARACHI: Fast bowler
FLYING HIGH: With just a hundred days to go for the August games, the Olympic torch is on a spectacular journey to the world’s tallest peak. Chinese mountaineers taking the ﬂame to Mount Everest spread a ﬂag with the Olympic logo at the base camp, at an altitude of 5,200 metres, in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region on Wednesday. — PHOTO:
XINHUA/AP (RUN-UP TO OLYMPICS: OP-ED PAGE)
Shoaib Akhtar’s career was on Wednesday left hanging in the balance after a tribunal upheld the ﬁve-year ban on his playing matches for Pakistan. — PTI Main Sports Page
One held for attack
MELBOURNE: As an Indian taxi driver, victim of stabbing, battles for his life, an Australian was arrested on Wednesday for the attack. His lawyer claimed that his client had no memory of Tuesday’s incident. — PTI
Historic win for Indian doctors
Lords reject government move to push through new rules against non-EU doctors
LONDON: A last-ditch attempt by the British government to push through new rules that would have discriminated against thousands of overseas doctors from outside the European Union collapsed on Wednesday when the House of Lords rejected its appeal against a court ruling in their favour. It ruled that the new regime was unfair as it dashed the “legitimate expectations” of foreign doctors. For more than 10,000 postgraduate Indian medical students and junior doctors, who would have been affected by
Life-term for rape
UDAIPUR: A 32-year-old hotel manager was sentenced on Wednesday to life imprisonment by a court here for raping a British journalist in December last year. He was also sentenced to seven years RI for house trespass with an intention to commit an offence. — PTI
the rules introduced in April 2006, the Lords’ judgment marked the end of a hardfought legal battle led by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO). The ruling was particularly embarrassing to the government as it had insisted on approaching the House of Lords directly despite being refused leave to appeal by the Appeals Court last October when it ruled in favour of the doctors. It came barely three weeks after the government suffered a setback in the High Court in its bid to alter rules for the Highly-Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP),
involving some 30,000 Indian workers. A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the Lords have ruled that our guidance [in relation to new rules] as it stood was unlawful.” BAPIO’s president Ramesh Mehta said the ruling “vindicated” its position that the government had acted “without thinking through the damaging consequences” of its policy. The controversy, which made headlines around the world, related to the government’s bid to apply retrospectively new rules barring hospitals from employing or
offering training posts to non-EU doctors unless they were able to demonstrate that no suitable U.K. or E.U. candidate was available. Some 16,000 doctors — mostly from Asia and Africa — who came to Britain under the old rules, which allowed them to train and work in government hospitals without needing work permit, suddenly found themselves stranded. Many out-of-work Indian doctors with no means to support themselves took to queuing at local temples and gurdwaras for free food. Some doctors were driven to taking their own lives.
— 8 Pages
NEXT GENERATION – NXg
(in tabloid form) — 16 Pages
— Main Sports Page
Nalini moves Madras High Court seeking premature release
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the respondents on a plea by S. Nalini, who is serving life imprisonment in the case relating to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, seeking premature release. The notice is returnable by June 10. In her petition, Nalini submitted that the death sentence on her was commuted to life imprisonment. Under the Cr.P.C. she had to complete 14 years of imprisonment for premature release, for which she was eligible from June 18, 2005, since she had completed 14 years on June 17, 2005. However, her name was not considered either in 2005 or 2006 or even 2007. She submitted that the Advisory Board, Special Pris-
Says Advisory Board did not recommend her case Rejection of request by government ‘arbitrary’
on for Women at Vellore, did not recommend her case. On October 31 last year, the government issued an order rejecting her request for premature release on the basis of the recommendation of the Additional Director-General of Prison. It was against this she ﬁled the writ petition. Nalini said the rejection of her request by the State government based on the recommendation of the Additional Director-General of Prison was arbitrary, illegal
and without exercising the rules framed in the “Tamil Nadu Prison Rules, 1983.” Without considering her earned remission, the prison authorities sent a report to the government. Though the Probation Ofﬁcer on March January 3, 2005 did not recommend her premature release, on July 1, 2007, he sent a report that she could be released prematurely with certain stringent conditions. The report of the Advisory Board of December 28, 2006 and the subsequent order of the State Government were liable to be set aside, the petition said. In her interim prayer, she sought a stay of the proceedings of the Advisory Board and the State government’s order. When the matter came up
before Justice P.Jyothimani on Wednesday, S.Doraisamy, senior counsel for Nalini, said the constitution of the Advisory Board itself was improper. In the present case alone, the Collector, the Principal Sessions Judge and the Superintendent of Special Prison for Women, Vellore were appointed Chairman and Members respectively. As per the rules, the Inspector-General of Prison alone would be the Chairman and there should be other six members, including the Regional Probation Ofﬁcer and one or more non-ofﬁcial members. The Additional Director-General of Prison had no say and his recommendation could not form the basis for the government to take a decision, he said.
Water meters mandatory for all buildings
CHENNAI: Chennai Metrowater has made installation of water ﬂow meters mandatory for all residential and commercial buildings with sump connections. They have been asked to install the meters by May 31. Earlier, multi-storied and special buildings had been asked to install the meters and Metrowater started issuing notices from March. A total of 38,500 structures, including individual houses, have already received the notices. The deadline for them ended on Wednesday, but is being extended to May 31. According to a Metrowater
had ﬁxed water meters as on Wednesday. The monthly reading for water meters ﬁxed till now began in April. Several residents complained that they found it difﬁcult to purchase the meters. Residents such as C.G. Ratnam of Anna Nagar said the ﬁxed rate of Rs.15 per kilo litre was high for households, whose consumption was relatively less than that of multistoreyed buildings. Making a comparison with similar systems in Bangalore and HydFLOW MONITORS: Water meters on display at erabad (that follow the slab T.Nagar ofﬁce of Metrowater. — PHOTO: S.S. KUMAR rate system), he said while ofﬁcial, the decision to cover connections, barring supply the rate was Rs.12 for two kilo all the buildings with water through hand pumps. litres in those cities, it worked sump connections is in line Out of the 38,500-odd out to Rs.30 for two kilo litres with the proposal to meter all buildings identiﬁed, 9,668 in Chennai.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Campaign on girls’ health
TAMBARAM: The prevalence of anaemia, deﬁciency of red blood cells due to low intake of Iron, continues to be high among adolescent girls in rural areas in the southern suburbs of Chennai even as the Integrated Child Development Services has been carrying on a campaign among the girls on better nutrition, personal health and hygiene and their rights. The ICDS has two blocks in the southern suburbs — St. Thomas Mount and Alandur — and its staff here have commenced awareness programmes on sensitising girls between 11 and 19 years of age to these important issues. In both the blocks, 30 batches, comprising 30 girl students each from different schools, have been trained. During the course of the two-day programme, girl students are briefed on the importance of a balanced diet and necessity to consume grains, cereals and other items that were rich in minerals, vitamins and Iron. ICDS staff told The Hindu that Iron deﬁciency was the most common ailment among adolescent girls in the southern suburbs. This would make the girls weak and could also lead to complications during pregnancy. And the present awareness programme was part of the Information, Education and Communication campaign, they said. The staff said that while they would brief on better nutrition, doctors from Primary Health Centres would talk to the girls on personal hygiene in addition to giving tips on better health. As worm infestation was another problem, the girls were also briefed on steps to prevent it, which included wearing of proper, protected footwear.
Aid for ﬁshermen during ban period
The State government will pay Rs.500 per family of ﬁshermen during the 45-day mandatory ﬁshing ban period, Fisheries Minister K.P.P. Samy has said: Page 10
Artiﬁcial joints with long-term durability launched
MIOT Hospitals on Wednesday announced the launch of a family of artiﬁcial joints with long-term durability, high ﬂexion and bone-bonding attributes: Page 10
Evening of entertainment and education
As part of the World Asthma Awareness Day, Asthma and Allergy Resource Centre is organising an evening of entertainment and education at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, at 5.30 p.m.
Miles to go…
Business schools urged to provide reality check
They should not ignore national deﬁcit, poverty and illiteracy
A MOMENT TO CHERISH: Students at the annual convocation of the Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai on Wednesday.— PHOTO: K. V. SRINIVASAN
CHENNAI: In the middle of an
BEFORE SHE SLEEPS: No burden is big burden when it supports your near and dear. A caring mother and a restful baby spotted at the Central Station. — PHOTO: M.VEDHAN
economic boom, Indian business schools must provide a reality check too, N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, said on Wednesday. Speaking at the convocation of the Great Lakes Institute of Management here, he urged business schools not to ignore factors such as the national deﬁcit, the country’s poor human development indicators and the massive challenges of poverty, illiteracy and poor healthcare. While India could be justly proud of its high growth rate,
especially in the services and international trade sectors, its young population and its status as a favoured destination for foreign investment, business leaders must be aware of the challenges facing the country, he said. Mr. Ram pointed to Amartya Sen’s deﬁnition of “freedom as development” and endorsed an approach to measuring success by how well a society provides its members with the opportunities to achieve valuable human functioning. “His [Sen’s] kind of literature must be introduced in business education.” Satyam Computers chair-
man Ramalinga Raju, who delivered the valedictory address, spoke about what the industry would expect from new graduates. They needed to demonstrate leadership, not just management skills, because this was a time of rapid change. “Your success is going to depend on how well you can manage change…And companies will expect you to demonstrate leadership from day one, not in the due course of time.” In the current context, companies would also expect their new employees to be willing to shoulder risk. Mr. Raju urged the students to be goal-oriented.
“That does not mean ﬁxating on your goal and going on to auto-pilot,” he said. “Instead, it’s more like driving on Indian roads. If you take your eye off the road for one instant, you will end up in an accident.” The 200-odd students who received their postgraduate diplomas and executive MBAs on Wednesday may be the last to graduate from the institute’s current premises at Saidapet. School’s founder and honorary dean Bala V. Balachandran said the school expected to move to its new campus on East Coast Road in time for the next year’s convocation.
Workshop gives inputs for draft policy on eco-tourism
Chief Secretary stresses “responsible tourism” initiatives
CHENNAI: Stakeholders in the tourism industry gave inputs for preparing a draft policy on eco-tourism projects at a regional workshop on eco-tourism governance on Wednesday. The workshop was organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), the Inter-State Council Secretariat of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department and Yes Bank. Inaugurating the workshop, Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy wanted the stakeholders of eco-tourism ven-
tures to engage themselves in “responsible tourism” initiatives. The Government would play the role of a facilitator. The Government had embarked on a Rs.25-crore Marina Beach beautiﬁcation programme through the Corporation of Madras. The Tourism Department was focussing on rural tourism and promoting heritage and Chettinad tourism. Tourism and Culture Department Secretary V. Irai Anbu said the workshop was crucial to the State, since tourism was booming and there was an imperative need for the Government to improve the tourism-related infrastructure without affecting the
environment. Tushar Pandey, Country Head, Strategic Initiatives and Advisory Government, Yes Bank, said that as part of the exercise of drafting a national framework for eco-tourism ventures, regional workshops were being held in different States. M. Rajaram, Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director, TTDC, said that a campaign, with a view to promoting eco-friendly practices and tourist-friendly culture, was launched through the “Virunthinar Potruthum” initiative. Eco-tourism accounted for 28 per cent of tourist arrival in the State, he said..
Chief Secretary L. K. Tripathy handing over the ﬁrst copy of a book to Tourism Secretary V. Irai Anbu at a workshop in Chennai on Wednesday. TTDC Managing Director M. Rajaram and Country Head (Strategic Initiatives and Advisory Government),Yes Bank, Tushar Pandey, are in the picture.
— PHOTO : R. RAVINDRAN
Eight persons honoured for excellence in construction industry
‘Builders Award’ given at a function organised by Southern Centre of Builders’ Association of India
CHENNAI: Eight persons who
have excelled in their area of operation in the construction industry were honoured with the ‘Builders Award’ at a function organised by the Southern Centre of Builders’ Association of India (BAI) here on Wednesday. The awards were classiﬁed under four categories — construction contractors, builders and promoters, those who construct dams and bridges, and those who have used innovative materials for construction. L.Murthy, Ravi Meenakshi Sundaram and T.V. Ramakrishnan were given awards under the category of construction contractors. Rajeeva Constructions and Rajarathinam Constructions bagged the award for their structures under the category of builders. While T.Chitty Babu, managing director of Akshaya Homes Private Limited received the award for the cate-
gory of promoters, R.P.P. Selva Sundaram, chairman of R.P.P. Selvam Infrastructure Private Limited was conferred with the award for using innovative construction material. He used crust sand instead of river sand in his projects. The recipients received their awards from the president (Construction) and Member of Larsen & Toubro Limited K.V. Rangaswamy. Awards Committee chairman of BAI K.K.Chowdary said the awards were being given for the tenth consecutive year and recognised the efforts of the stakeholders in the industry. Mr.Rangaswamy highlighted the need to check the increasing price of raw materials. The occasion also turned out to be a felicitation function for former BAI president and chairman of Gammons India Limited T.N.Subbu Rao who celebrated his 80th birthday recently. BAI’s southern centre chairman M.K.Sundaram spoke.
IN RECOGNITION: Construction contractor L.Murthy receiving the Builders Award from president (construction) and board member of Larsen & Toubro Limited K.V.Rangaswamy at a function in Chennai on Wednesday. The association chairman M.K.Sundaram (right), and former chairman of Gammons of India Limited T.N.Subba Rao (second from right), are in the picture.— PHOTO: R.RAGU
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Residents seek modern ticketing system
“Integrate Metro Rail stations with other transport modes ’’
CHENNAI: The need for a mod-
Elected member of accounts panel
CHENNAI: DMK councillor E.
Devaki (ward 14) was unanimously elected as a member of the Chennai Corporation Standing Committee for accounts and audit on Tuesday. The post had fallen vacant when councillor R. Sridhar, who was a member of the committee, recently died in a road accident.
MTC to take the road ahead for more revenue
CHENNAI: The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has several plans to increase its non-tariff revenue, including letting out on rent the ﬁrst ﬂoor space at bus terminii and depots. It also proposes to rent out space for advertising on the rear side of 1,000 new buses. Announcing this here on Wednesday, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru said that despite competition from suburban railways, autorickshaws and share-autos, the MTC in the last two years has been able to show an increase in its revenue. “At present, we serve about 44 lakh commuters every day and the ticket collection is Rs.1.58 lakh,” he said. The Minister was speaking at a function to inaugurate a diesel pump calibration machine installed by Bosch at MTC’s workshop on Pattulos Road, off Anna Salai. According to a representative of Bosch, MTC is the ﬁrst State Transport Corporation in the country to take this step. Mr. Nehru also distributed settlement arrears to the staff, released a BS III Engine manual in Tamil and gave prizes for fuel efﬁciency to drivers. The Minister said that Rs. 15 crore had been allotted for cleaning the buses and steps were being taken to add new
Diesel pump calibration machine installed on Pattulos Road
Diabetes care camp
Of the over 100 persons who participated in a diabetes care camp in Valmiki Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur on Sunday, 14 per cent were found to be in the pre-diabetes stage. Four persons were detected with diabetes. Eighteen persons were already known diabetics. The camp, conducted by Dr. A.Ramachandran Diabetes Hospitals, jointly with India Diabetes Research Foundation and Valmiki Nagar Residents Welfare Association, focussed on preventive and curative care for lifestyle diseases.
Children’s education wing of The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON’s) will conduct a summer camp for children between 7 – 15 years from May 2 to 15. A press release said the camp would be held every day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon expect on Sundays at 1879 A, Flat 2 B, 2nd Floor, 18th Main Road, Anna Nagar (West). For registration call 93806 66794 or 26180272 (after 6 p.m.).
ern ticketing system and integration of the Metro Rail stations with the other modes of public transport for better connectivity was emphasised by participants at the public hearing here on Wednesday for the proposed Chennai Metro Rail project. The forenoon session at Aminjikarai had participants from areas including Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar, Shenoy Nagar and places near Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital. Residents wanted userfriendly approach roads to the proposed stations and proper interchange station facility to be provided in the project. A Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) ofﬁcial said an efﬁcient system, evolved after taking note of the deﬁciencies of the other transECO-FRIENDLY: Transport Minister K.N. Nehru inaugurating a diesel pump port systems, would be calibration machine at the MTC workshop on Pattulos Road on Wednesday. implemented with proper in— PHOTO: R.RAGU terchange stations. Rajamohan, a resident of routes and provide extension belonging to the trade union ru, who was on the dais, had afﬁliated to Dravida Munne- to intervene and separate the Mogappair, regretted that services. Mogappair, one of the fast deRegarding welfare mea- tra Kazhagam clashed at the groups. A rivalry during union veloping areas, did not ﬁgure sures for the staff, he said or- function in the presence of elections held sometime ago in the project. He suggested ders to appoint 335 persons the Minister. Trouble began when a was said to be the cause for that the route be slightly dion compassionate grounds verted to include Ambattur would be passed within a group of men, who tried to the clash. A driver was injured and Industrial Estate and Mogapcouple of weeks, the commit- enter the function venue, tee set up to modify the pen- were prevented by another several people were beaten pair. The ofﬁcial assured that sion scheme had already met group, which also shut the up in the incident. After the the areas would be covered in and promotions were being gates. When the Minister en- groups had settled down, the the second phase of the progiven. Transport Secretary tered the venue, the group Minister expressed serious ject. On queries about the tickDevendranath Sarangi and standing outside gained en- concern over the behaviour MTC Managing Director M. try. Once inside, the mem- of the staff at a public func- eting system, the ofﬁcial said bers of the two groups tion. an integrated ticketing soluRamasubramanian spoke. resorted to ﬁsticuffs. A few of The police, however, said tion — ‘smart card’ — would Clash them also used steel rods and they have not received any be introduced to facilitate Earlier, two groups of men belts to hit others. Mr. Neh- complaint. travel across different modes
A participant raising a query at the public hearing on the Chennai Metro Rail project in Aminjikarai on Wednesday. — PHOTO: K.PICHUMANI
of public transport. Bus terminals would be established to connect the metro rail stations. Residents also raised concerns over use of ground water for the project as it might affect the water table in the city. In response, an ofﬁcial said that the ground water would be used judiciously after consulting the State Pollution Control Board and Chennai Metrowater. About the noise pollution, particularly during the construction of the underground stations, the ofﬁcial said a modern technology of tunnel boring machines would be deployed to minimise the noise levels to near zero. Several residents also raised their concern over the stability of the buildings, acquisition of their property and security issues at the meeting. A CMRL ofﬁcial said that the construction of the underground stations would not affect the buildings and proper security measures would be adopted in the stations. Some of the other queries include the location of the stations and notice period for acquiring private property. The ofﬁcials said the project envisaged minimal acquisition of private lands and properties. Speciﬁc details about exact locations of the stations, private property acquisition, compensation and rehabilitation measures would be discussed in the next series of meetings scheduled in June. A similar public hearing was held in the afternoon for the residents of Velachery, Saidapet and Guindy in which participants sought clariﬁcation about various aspects of the project and the compensation to those affected by it.
Housing is an inevitable investment as well, for many youths
Easy availability of loans, tax breaks are prime reasons now and they have enjoyed
CHENNAI: Amudha and Kumar, a young couple from south Tamil Nadu, did not waste too much time buying a house when they decided to settle in Chennai. They are glad that they made the decision, although raising money for the initial down payment was not easy. Their independent house near Kattankulathur — about 30 km from Chennai — cost Rs.7.5 lakh a year and a half ago. The value has tripled
Security ofﬁce ransacked
“Rental costs are high. I’d rather put more money into EMIs for housing loan repayment’’ Enhancement of limit on priority sector lending for the housing sector is a fresh incentive
a house, we decided we would too,” said Kumar, who is in his early thirties. Several mid-career professionals have taken housing loans to buy well-appointed homes in the heart of the city. S. Rajkumar took a housing loan from IDBI Bank to buy an apartment in 2005. The ﬂat, located on Royapettah High Road, cost Rs. 2,900 per square feet then. The going value in the area is Rs. 8,200 per square feet now. “Housing is turning really costly,” said Rajkumar, secure in the knowledge that he has made a sound investment. Young IT professionals say that EMI payments take a heavy toll on their pay packets but say they would rather own than rent. “Rental costs are so high. I’d rather put more money into EMIs because I will have my own place in about 10 years,” said
26-year-old R. Daniel, an employee of a ﬁnancial services ﬁrm, who owns a house in Purasawalkam. R.K. Sinha, deputy general manager of Bank of Baroda, is witness to the trend of young people buying homes early into their careers. “Especially with double incomes and banks liberally giving loans,” he said. The limit on priority sector lending for the housing sector has recently been moved up from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh. This is a fresh incentive for banks to market their home loan products up to Rs. 30 lakh, said Mr. Sinha.
South India Philatelists Association, Chennai and ABK-AOTS Dosokai, Tamilnadu Centre will jointly organise a free summer workshop on philately and quiz competition on philately for city school students on May 10. A press release said the event is to be held between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at ABK AOTS Dosokai, Tamilnadu Centre on 37, Nelson Manickam Road, Aminjikarai.
tax beneﬁts. A large section of young people, only a few years into their careers, are opting to buy homes as an investment. The easy availability of housing loans, the need to curb their tax deductions and the appreciation in real estate value are the primary reasons why they decide to buy a place for themselves. Peer pressure also seems to be working on their minds. “I had not really thought about buying a home. But some relatives of ours — only a few years older than us — bought
Computers and furniture in the security ofﬁce on the Hyundai Motor India Limited factory premises at Irrungattukottai were allegedly damaged by a group of employees on Tuesday night. According to police, a group of employees, who were agitated by the refusal of the management to permit
them to form a union, entered into a brawl with the security staff. In the melee, computers and furniture at the security ofﬁce were damaged. On Wednesday morning the employees staged a demonstration in front of the manufacturing plant, demanding that they be allowed to form an employees union. All of them were removed to a marriage hall, the police said.
Free classes on spoken Sanskrit are to be conducted by Samskrita Bharati from May 1 to 9. Those aged above 10 could participate in the programme and prior knowledge of Sanskrit is not required, said a press release. For registration, contact: 28472632 or 28472639.
Thailand woman arrested with 4.9 kg of heroin at airport
Special Correspondent suspicion. A search of her handbag revealed nothCHENNAI: Ofﬁcials of the Air ing, so the ofﬁcials reIntelligence Unit of the called her checked-in Customs arrested a 25- suitcase. year-old Thailand woman The inner portion of the after seizing heroin from back end of the suitcase her at the Chennai airport looked bulged a bit, and on Tuesday. the inner cloth layer was C. Rajan, Commission- found tampered with. er of Customs, Airport, Cutting open the inner said ofﬁcials intercepted cloth lining, the authorPunsakon Patcharut on ities found four polythene
Vision: Presentation of Nataka Ratna Award, Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet, 6-15 p.m. Illakiya Mandram: Paavendar birth anniversary, Kuralarangam, 3, 4th Cross St., LIC Colony, Pammal, 5-30 p.m. The Indian Fine Arts Society: Celebration of G.N.B. Day, Bala Mandir German Hall, Prakasam St., T.Nagar, 6 p.m.
Thu Fri Sat Thu Fri Sat May (01) (02) (03) (01) (02) (03) Rise 05 48 05 48 05 47 02 17 02 57 03 39 Set 18 24 18 24 18 25 14 28 15 21 16 17
contraband would be received by someone at Kuala Lumpur. She tried to smuggle the contraband after she was promised a tourist trip to Trip promised India. The passenger told the This was the largest ofﬁcials that she had gone quantity of heroin seized to New Delhi from Thai- by the Customs at the land, where a stranger Chennai airport in the handed over a suitcase past decade, Mr Rajan containing the drug. The added. packets of heroin pasted on the top and bottom back ends of the suitcase. The bags contained 4.9 kg of heroin.
p.m. Madras Management Association and Saviance Technologies and Disney Institute, USA: Meeting, Hotel Sheraton Chola, Cathedral Rd., 9 a.m. Nandini Voice For The Deprived: Meeting, Dakshinamoorthy Auditorium, P.S. HSS., Mylapore, 10 a.m. Indian Overseas Bank: Seminar, Community Hall, Singanna Chetty St,. Chintadripet, 9 a.m. YMCA: Meeting, West Cott Rd., Royapettah, 6-30 p.m. Apollo College of Nursing: College Day, Ayanambakkam, 8-30 a.m. Manonmani Trust: Valediction of summer training programme, Government High School, Manimekalai St., Peerkankaranai, Perungalathur, 4 p.m. Pammal Sankara Eye Hospital: Free eye camp, Aimathaji Matriculation School, Balaji Nagar, Athipattu, 8-30 a.m. Rotary Club of Madras, T.Nagar: Meeting, Hotel Benzz Park, 6-30 p.m. Lions Club of Chennai Periamet: Meeting, 2nd Floor, Perianna Maistry St., Periamet, 6-30 p.m. Periyar Library Readers’ Circle: Meeting, Periyar Thidal, Vepery, 7 p.m. Mahaa Fine Arts: Awards ceremony, Rani Seethai Hall, 2-30 p.m. Sri Madhwa Seva Sangha: Book release, Sathsangam Hall, Sathsangam Rd., Madipakkam, 5 p.m. Alcoholics Anonymous: Meetings, Church of Christ, W-76, Anna Nagar; Church of Victorious Cross, Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Ashok Nagar; Shifa Hospital Triplicane High Rd., St. Sebastian Church (Near Antony Hospital) Madhavaram; St. Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar; Victory Child Development Centre, Muthalamman St., Selaiyur, 7 p.m.
Bhagavatham: B. Sundarkumar, P.S.B.B. School, K.K Nagar, 6-30 p.m. Narayaneeyam: Narasimhan, Sri Desikan Pravachana Mandapam, 1, 26th St., Thillai Ganga Nagar, Nanganallur, 7 p.m. Kaivalya Upanishad: S. Vasudevan, 11, 1st Avenue, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, 6-30 p.m. Nalayiradivyaprabandham: Kokkalaijerajan, W-146 Anna Nagar West Extn., 10-30 a.m. Prapanchasaram: V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal, Sri Sankara Gurukulam, Abhiramapuram, 7 p.m. Venu Ganam: Subbaraman and Alamelu, 24, 3rd St., Raghava Reddy Colony, Ashok Nagar, 7 p.m. Thirumandiram: M. K.
Prabaharamoorthy, Marundeeswarar Temple, Thiruvanmiyur, 7 p.m.; K.Sivakumar, Saiva Samaya Bakta Jana Sabai, Mint St., 7 p.m. Sri Ramana Sankirtanam: Dakshajananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, 7 p.m. Aadhi Sankararar Charithram: Muralidhara, 4, Balasubramanian Cross St., Nemilicherry, Chromepet, 7 p.m. Namasankeerthanam: V. Sundararajan, Chromepet Sri Ram Bajan Mandali, 12, Netaji Nagar, Chromepet, 7 p.m.
Saraswathi Educational Cultural and Charitable Trust: Inauguration of Vasant Utsav 2008, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, 6 p.m. Nataka Academy and Priya
All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees Welfare Associations: Meeting to felicitate Union Minister V. Narayanasamy and Member of Parliament V. Hanumantha Rao, Russian Cultural Centre, Alwarpet, 10-30 a.m. The Second World Conference on Siddha Philosophy: Meeting, Tattvaloka auditorium, 76, Eldams Rd., Teynampet, 4-30 p.m. Dignity Foundation: Dental Health for Senior citizens, YWCA Club Room, Poonamallee High Rd., 4-30
Printed and Published by N. Ram on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., at the National Press, Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 & at Plot B-6 & B-7, CMDA Industrial Complex, Maraimalai Nagar, Chengleput Taluk, Kancheepuram Dist., Pin: 603209. Editor-in-Chief: N. Ram (Editor responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Clarion call for giving more teeth to child labour law
State-level consultation held to mark Anti-Child Labour Day
5 villages aiming for sanitation award
TAMBARAM: Five villages in the
southern suburbs of Chennai are competing for the coveted Nirmal Gram Puraskar of the Central government. The award is in recognition of the efforts of rural local bodies to implement all the schemes under the Total Sanitation Campaign. There are 25 village panchayats in St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union (Mount Block) where the Total Sanitation Campaign of the Ministry of Rural Development and the State government is currently on. And to encourage rural bodies, its administrators, ward members and residents to participate in improving levels of sanitation and hygiene, the Centre has been distributing the Nirmal Gram (beautiful villages) Puraskar awards annually. And ﬁve among them — Sithalapakkam, Kaarapakkam, Vengaivaasal, Tiruvanchery and Mudichur village
CLEAN VILLAGE: The women’s sanitary complex in Sithalapakkam. — PHOTO: K. MANIKANDAN
panchayats — were selected to compete for the award for 2007-08. Ofﬁcials of the District Rural Development Agency and the staff of Total Sanitation Campaign initiated awareness programmes among all sections in these rural local bodies on the importance of clean and green villages. The parameters for eligibility included no open defecation, no dumping of garbage in public spaces and along roads. While collecting garbage including kitchen waste from households was not a problem, preventing open defecation was not easy. To achieve this, residents were encouraged to build their own toilets attached to their houses or near them. Those who could not afford them were brought under the Individual House Hold Toilet scheme of TSC where government subsidies were extended. Apart from houses,
panchayat union primary and middle schools, Integrated Child Development Service centres too needed to have well-maintained toilets. And it was mandatory for these villages to have functional women’s sanitary complexes to be eligible for the award. The Information Education Campaign included awareness rallies, distribution of pamphlets on disposing garbage, maintenance of toilets and drawing of eyecatching advertisements and slogans. Ofﬁcials said Indian Bank, Hand in Hand, an NGO and Titanium Tantulum, a corporate ﬁrm, helped implement some of the sanitation schemes in Tiruvanchery, Mudichur and Vengaivaasal village panchayats. An inspection by a team of ofﬁcials is expected soon and the awards announced a little later. The award includes a cash prize between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh and the sum would be used to implement additional sanitation schemes.
Jewellery, cash stolen
with jewelry and cash. According to police, the KANCHEEPURAM: Thieves theft came to light when insneaked into a house near Sri mates of the house found a Kamakshiamman temple bureau in the ‘puja’ room here in the wee hours of open and the materials scatWednesday and decamped tered on the ﬂoor. Staff Reporter
HELPING HAND: A child extending support to a protest against child labour in Chennai on Wednesday.—
PHOTO: R.SHIVAJI RAO
The Campaign Against Child Labour – Tamilnadu (CACL – TN) has underscored the need for providing more teeth to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. The Act does not provide for any imprisonments for errant employers, representatives of the non-governmental organisation said on Wednesday. “The Act only has provisions for imposing ﬁnes. Similarly it has been laid down that the age of the child
their children to work.Siluvai Vasthian, State convener, CACL –TN, V. Vasanthi Devi, former Chairperson, Tamil Nadu State Commission for “It only has provisions for imposing ﬁnes” Women, and R. Madhan Mohan, Joint Commissioner, must be certiﬁed by a med- organised by CACL –TN to Department of Labour, ical ofﬁcer. This clause can mark Anti Child Labour Day spoke at the consultation. be done away with and in- on April 30, he said the word A protest demanding total stead age proof such as trans- regulation must be removed eradication of child labour fer certiﬁcates or ration from the Act and it must deal was held in the evening. cards could be used,” ex- only with prohibition. CACL-TN also sought a joint plained S. Thomas Jayaraj, The CACL was pushing for monitoring mechanism to former State Convenor of intensifying the implemen- monitor child labour in variCACL – TN. tation of Employment Guar- ous sectors and a common Speaking after a State-lev- antee Act and Minimum school system to ensure el consultation on Eradica- Wages Act as a measure quality education up to +2 tion of Child Labour, against the parents sending levels.
“The word ’regulation’ must be removed from the Act”
CINEMA ARTS EVENTS
hendra’s latest, recent decent Comedy Play SWADESHI AYYAR, by Chitralaya Sriram. AAA/ABI, Sridevi Fine Arts Dramatised by Y. Gee. Ma4-5-08 Sunday, 6-45 p.m., Va- hendra. Bkg. From 9-01 a.m. ni Mahal A/c (Mahasamy Ph: 98400-77987, 98841Hall), Cine Fame Radha 23453. Ravi’s Record created Play RATHAKANNEER. Bkg. Mudhra (28220453) Today, 9841052165. www At RKM School, 71, Bazullah ticketnew.com Road, T.Nagar, 10th May: RAGAM SISTERS. 25th: NaAmman Arts/ Priya masankeerthanam by BHAKToday at 7 p.m. at Rani Seeth- THASWARAA BHAJAN ai Hall, Crazy Mohan’s MAR- MANDALI. One music and RIAGE MADE IN SALOON. one drama or dance a month. Tomorrow 7 p.m.: MAADHU Membership Open for 2008. PLUS 2. Bkg. at the Hall from 9 a.m. Ph: 98409-13298, Narada Gana Sabha (Regd.), Chennai-18. Ph: 24993201 32005425. Programme for May 08 — Bharathanjali 06th: In association with Present Bharathanatyam on Saraswathi Vaggeyakara “Maharaja Swathi Tirunal Trust, Shyama Sastri JayanKritis” by MEDHAHARI, thi Day — Smt. SUGUNA PUSATHIVIKAA SHANKAR, RUSHOTHAMAN, Usha YATIN AGARWAL, Disciples Rajagopalan, Ganapathi Raof Smt. Anitha Guha, Today man. 11th — Main Hall: Pala6-45 p.m. at Krishna Gana ni Subramania Pillai Day — Sabha, T.Nagar. Madurai T. N. SESHAGOPALAN & Party. 11th — Mini Hamsadhwani Hall: In association with SaVaggeyakara Programmes for May — 9th: raswathi Bharathanatyam by SWE- Trust, Thyagaraja Jayanthi THA RAVISHANKAR. 24th Day — T. V. RAMPRASADH, May: Maharajapuram RA- Mysore Srikanth, R. Ramesh MACHANDRAN — Vocal and 17th: Mayan Theatre’s “KETMonthly Semmangudi Birth TALE ADIRUTHILLA” by Centenary Concert to be Raadhu. 17th: Natyarangam — Bharathanatyam, 6 p.m.: announced. NANDITHA JAYAKUMAR; Kartik Fine Arts, 24997788 7-30 p.m.: KIRAN RAJAGOPerformances for May 08 — PAL (Both Disciples of A. 6th: NGS Mini Hall, Swathi Lakshmanan). 18th: NatyaThirunal Day, 6-00 p.m.: Bha- rangam — Lec-Dem. by rathanatyam by ARAVINDA SEETHA RATHNAKAR — HARIRAM; 7-30 p.m.: “Dance Choreography for SAHANARAJ. 7th to 10th Television”. 23rd: Saint ThiMay at NGS Mini Hall, Talent rugnanasambandar Vizha — Promotion Bharathanatyam Sri T. V. Venkataraman with ﬁnancial aid from Tamil Speaks on the LIFE & Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Man- TEACHINGS OF SAINT SAMdram. 14th at Kalyan Nager BANDAR, Music by VijayaAssn. Hall, 5-15 p.m.: Devo- lakshmi Rajaraman. 24th: tional Music of RAMJI’s Isai Crazy Creations New Play Mazhalai Ladies Group; 7-00 “CHOCOLATE KRISHNA” by p.m.: Music by Smt. RAJINI Crazy Mohan. 30th: In assoHARIHARAN & Party. 16th ciation with Papanasam Bavan Main Hall, Music by Sivan Rasikar Manram — Madurai G. GEETHA & Par- Trichy RAMESH & Party. ty. Sponsored by BSNL CHENNAI TELEPHONES. Nataka Academy & Priya Vision 20th Dakshinamurthy Hall, Ph: 24617559/ 9840787249 5-15 p.m.: PADMASESHA- Presents Nalli Navarasa NaDRI SISTERS and Party; taka Utsav at Narada Gana 6-50: Gnana Thondralgal — Sabha Hall A/c, TTK Road, Maha Periyaval — MYLAI Chennai, Selected 11 Best SISTERS. Sponsored by SRI Plays, Today 10-00 a.m.: K. R. KRISHNA SWEETS. 23rd at Selvaraja in ASWATTHAANGS Hall, Crazy Creations in- MAA (By Srikavi), Shri R. presides. augural show CHOKLATE Krishnaswami KRISHNA by Crazy Mohan. Felicitations: Nada Brahm25th at MFAC, Chennai Dra- mam Kunnakkudi R. Vaidyama House inaugurate KAN- nathan, Shri A. Natarajan in DAPADI KANDUPIDI by the presence of Thava Thiru Swamigal Vivek Rajagopal. 1st June: Kagabujander Award Presentation at NGS (Kollimalai). Tickets at Hall Hall, 7-15 p.m.: Kudanthai from 9-00 a.m. Contact: Mali presents NAMMA- 9940091447. VARGAL.
MUSIC DANCE DRAMA
Sabha Hall A/c, TTK Road, Chennai, 6-15 p.m.: Nataka Rathna Award Conferred on T. V. VARADARAJAN by Iyyagunar Sigaram Sri K. Balachandar, Padmasri Dr. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti presides. Felicitations by Shri R. Krishnaswamy, Secretary, Narada Gana Sabha, Shri A. Natarajan, Former Director, Doordarshan Kendra, Sri L. Sabarathnam, CEO, Coramandal Sugars, Shri M. Murali, Sri Krishna Sweets, Shri Y. Gee. Mahendra, Sri S. Vee. Shekar, Sri R. Marimuthu, President, Nataka Academy participate. All Sabhas and Troops are Welcome.
nyasam on “KAMBARAMAYANAM” by Trichy K. KALYANARAMAN (Rasikas Welcome). Maharaja Swathi Tirunal Jayanthi, Veteran’s Day Concert, 24th 6-15 p.m.: Smt. PARASSALA B. PONNAMMAL (Rendering of Swathi Tirunal Kritis), Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi (Violin) & Trivandrum R. Vaidhyanathan (Mirudangam), Pudukottai N. Ramachandran (Ghatam).
Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha Vani Mahal, T.Nagar. Phone: 28152166
Programmes for May 2008, 3rd: Y. GEE. Mahendra’s “SWADESHI IYER” by Chitralaya Sriram. 10th: Vocal Concert by SANGEETHA SIVAKUMAR & Party. 17th: Amirtham Gopal in Gitanjali’s “MALARE KURUNJI MALARE.” From 23rd to 31st — Daily at 06-30 p.m.: Upanyasam on Selected Topics from “SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM” by Brahmasri. B. SUNDARAKUMAR.
Nataka Academy & Priya Vision Ph: 24617559/ 9840787249
Presents Nalli Navarasa Nataka Utsav at Narada Gana Sabha Hall A/c, TTK Road, Chennai, 7-15 p.m.: Y. Gee. Mahendra’s latest Comedy Play “SWADESHI AIYAR” (By Chitralaya Sriram). Tickets at Hall from 9-00 a.m. Contact: 9940091447. Sponsors: NALLI — LIFE LINE HOSPITALS — ROTARY CLUB OF MADRAS MOUNT — STATE BANK OF INDIA — IOB — IOCL — MANGALDEEP POOJA AGARPATHI’S — DEZIERE DIABETIC SWEETS — RADIO MIRCHI — DINAMALAR — TICKETS NEW.COM — MEYYAPPA JEWELLERY — CPCL.
The Indian Fine Arts Society, Balamandir German Hall, Prakasam Street, T.Nagar. (Tel: 28345441)
Today — Sri GNB Day Celebrations, 4-30 p.m.: AMRITHA VENKATESH — S. P. Ananthapadmanabha — Hanumanthapuyram J. Bhuvaraghan — Nanganallur S. Swaminathan; 6-00 p.m.: Talk on Sri GNB by Sri Chengalpattu RANGANATHAN; 6-20 p.m.: Felicitations to Sangeetha Kalasikhamani Sri T. N. Krishnan on his 80th Year; 6-45 p.m. T. N. KRISHNAN — Viji Krishnan Natarajan — Thiruvarur Bakthavatsalam — Vaikom Gopalakrishnan. All are Welcome. (Sponsored by Sri M. SUBRAMANIAM FAMILY, Chennai).
Saraswathi Educational, Cultural and Charitable Trust
Inauguration of 5th Vasant Utsav by Smt. Nandini Ramani, Artist, Art Critic and Member, Sangeeth Natak Academy, New Delhi at 6 p.m. at Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Guests of Honour: Thiru T. Pitchandi, I.A.S., Spl. Commissioner, H.R. & C.E. and Padmasri Dr. Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, Bharathanatyam: Kum. MYTHI- The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, LI PRAKASH. Disc. of Smt. Phone: 24997755 Viji Prakash, 6-45 p.m. Program for May — 10th: Mappilai Ganesh in PARU Sree Seetharama PARU PATTINAM PARU. Bakthasamajam, 17th: MAANBUMIGU NANRajeswari Nagar, Selaiyur-73. DIVARMAN by T. V. RadhakRamanavami 34th year, To- rishnan. 24th: Kathadi in day 7 p.m.: Smt. GAYATHRI NINAICHADHU ONNU. Last GIRISH — Vocal, Melakaveri date for renewal of memberSri Thiyagarajan — Violin, ship 31-05-2008. Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar — Mridangam. MISCELLANEOUS
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, T.Nagar, Chennai-17. Ph: 28140806
Telugu Brahmana Mahasabha, Chennai.
Today from 7-30 a.m. to 12-30 Noon: SEETHAKALYANAM MAHOSTAVAM, by Thanjavur Sri THIAGARAJA BAGHAVATULU at Sri Kanchi Sankara Mutt, Easwaran Koil Street, West Mambalam, Chennai-33. All are Welcome.
Programme for May 2008, Maharaja Swathi Tirunal Jayanthi, Today 1st 6-45 p.m.: Ms. ANITHA GUHA’s Nataka Academy & Priya Vision Disciples present in Bharatha Ph: 24617559/ 9840787249 Maha/ Alandur Natyam “Maharaja Swathi TiToday Spl. Show 3-30 p.m. at Presents Nalli Navarasa Na- runal Kritis”. Tomorrow 2nd Rani Seethai Hall, Y. Gee. Ma- taka Utsav at Narada Gana — 16th Daily 6-30 p.m.: Upa-
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
May their dawn break out!
Fisheries building demolished
CHENNAI: A nearly 60-year-old
The building housed the only research facility in city
building of the Fisheries Department on Poonamallee High Road, next to the Chetpet Lake, is being demolished. The building, near Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, housed the only research facility of the Fisheries Department in the city and the ofﬁce of the Assistant Director (Research) and an aquaculture laboratory until last year. A plaque in the building read that the foundation stone for hydrobiological laboratory was laid in May, 1947 by the then Member for Food and Agriculture Rajendra Prasad. Ofﬁcials of the department said the demolition, which began on Monday, has been necessitated in view of its decrepit condition. The ofﬁce and the laboratory have been shifted to another building of the department next to it, which was constructed last year. The Chetpet lake, which is a vital lung space of the city, and the buildings have got a better visibility after the hoardings
The demolition of the building in progress. — PHOTO: K.PICHUMANI
that obstructed the view were pulled down. The waterbody, which is spread across about two hectares, is being used for ﬁsh culture by the department. Several varieties of ﬁsh were bred in the lake and sold to the markets. A Fisheries Department ofﬁcial said that it was the only research facility in the city and the fresh water aquaculture lab tested the water and soil samples for ﬁsh culture. These samples are tested for a nominal rate of Rs.20 each for the beneﬁt of the farmers. The plaque in the old building would be retained in the new building as a souvenir. The ﬁsh species that prey on the mosquito larvae are supplied from the ofﬁce to Chennai Corporation and also to the residents to eradicate mosquitoes. To a query on the possibility of the Fisheries Department land being given to the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, the department ofﬁcials said that there was no such proposal as the area adjoining the lake was being used for research facility.
LOAD OF LIFE: Rain or shine, it is yet another day, the laborious pace remaining unchanged. A scene shot at Salt Cotaurs on Wednesday. — PHOTO: R. RAGU
CHENNAI: A two-day free resi-
The milk of kindness continues to ﬂow
Buttermilk shed at Chromepet
TAMBARAM: On Wednesday, dozens of commuters waiting at the bus shelter in Chromepet under the sweltering summer heat were in for a pleasant surprise when they were offered a refreshing glass of freshly churned buttermilk on the house. For the third year in succession, Shree Gayathri Trust, set up the free buttermilk shed at the Chromepet bus stand. G. Raghavan, managing trustee, said the Trust planned to run the ‘neer more pandal’ for at least 45 days. The Trust has made its presence felt in Chromepet and nearby areas for its voluntary service in cremation, including that of unclaimed bodies. The idea to start this buttermilk shed was given by one of its well wishers in 2006. “There is nothing greater than service to people around us, particularly when it is voluntary,” Mr. Raghavan said. The cost of building the temporary shed, buttermilk and curd rice, which is also distributed free to people, are met from the contributions
Bharat Sevak Samaj action plan meet
CHENNAI: The primary objective of the Bharat Sevak Samaj (BSS) is to ﬁnd and develop avenues of voluntary service to the people, Nagaland Governor K.Sankara Narayanan said here on Wednesday. Inaugurating the BSS’ annual action plan meet, he said the organisation would promote national sufﬁciency and build up economic strength of the country, including promotion of social well-being of the communities. Mr. Sankara Narayanan emphasised that for carrying out various tasks of the organisation adequate funds should be made available to its volunteers. A proper system of accounts, audit, records, reports and returns should also be brought into force, he added. According to V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chan-
dential camp was organised for students of Government Higher Secondary School, Mambakkam village from April 25 on the school campus. A press release said students of classes VIII and IX participated in the camp that aimed at developing all round skills among rural students. Shri Siddhanta Foundation and Parampara organised the camp with the assistance of Sahayata Trust.
The shed was an instant hit as dozens of people lined up to have a couple of glasses of the beverage
made by donors, mostly senior citizens, to the Trust. About 35 litres of milk a day is bought and curdled overnight. Then, freshly procured ginger, curry leaves, coriander and cucumber are chopped and added to it along with the required water, asafoetida and salt. Pallavaram Municipal Chairman E. Karunanidhi inaugurated the buttermilk shed on Wednesday and assured a supply of the required quantity of Palar water. The shed was an instant hit as dozens of commuters, passers-by, two-wheeler riders and autorickshaw and car drivers lined up to gulp down a couple of glasses of the beverage. Volunteers also serve water from earthen pots that have a distinctive taste as ‘vettiver’ herb is added to it.
K. Sankara Narayanan, Nagaland Governor, releasing a souvenir, which is received by V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU, and B. S. Balachandran, BSS General Secretary, in Chennai on Wednesday. — PHOTO: S.THANTHONI
cellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University, a lot of knowledge and skills are available with ordinary people. Organisations such as BSS should identify such talents and provide adequate facilities to improve the knowledge of ordinary people to improve and help society. The BSS should interact with universities and polytechnics to provide better training on various skills to the members of the organisation, he said, adding the demand for skilled manpower would increase in a few years.
KANCHEEPURAM: The “Maha-
samprokshanam” of Sri Adhikesava Perumal and Sri Bashyakaraswamy temple in Sriperumbudur was performed on Wednesday. Renovation works including covering the ‘Ramanujar sannadhi vimanam’ with gold-dipped plates and part of Sri Adhikesavar sannadhi vimanam with gold-dipped plates and the consecration People having a glass of refreshing buttermilk at ceremony were carried out at Chromepet on Wednesday.— PHOTO : A. a total cost of Rs.5 crore. MURALITHARAN
Held for land grab bid
CHENNAI: Two persons were
arrested on Wednesday on charges of land grabbing. Following a complaint from S.Pakkirisami of Sastri Nagar, Adyar, that some persons had managed to sell his property on Sathsang Road, Madipakkam, valued at Rs 1 crore, by preparing forged documents, Commissioner of Police G.Nanchil Kumaran directed the Central Crime Branch police to register a case. Investigations revealed that a three-member gang had fabricated documents such as death certiﬁcate and legal heir certiﬁcate of Pakkirisami and registered the land measuring 5,616 square feet in their name through a forged general power of at-
torney at the Pallavaram SubRegistrar Ofﬁce. Subsequently, the gang also attempted to sell the property. The main accused, K.S.Ragupathi of Madipakkam, who was arrested a few months ago in connection with similar land grabbing complaints, was detained under the Goondas Act on Wednesday, an investigating ofﬁcer said. The police gave the names of accomplices of Raghupathi as K.Meeran Moideen (48) of Ambal Nagar, Keezhkattalai, and K.Habib Rahman (30) of Vyasarpadi, both real estate agents, who allegedly signed as witnesses in the documents. The police registered cases of cheating, forgery and conspiracy against the two persons and produced them before a city court.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Ma Mi Anantapur Arogyavaram Bapatla Calingapatnam Gannavaram Hyderabad AP Kakinada Kammam Kavali Kurnool Mahabubnagar Machilipatnam Nandyal Narasapur Nellore Nizamabad Ongole Ramagundam Tirupathi AP Tuni Vizag AP Vizag Agumbe Bangalore AP Bangalore Bagalkote Belgaum AP Bellary Bijapur Chitradurga Chickmagalur Chintamani Gadag Gulbarga Hassan 39 35 35 33 37 42 33 — 37 40 42 36 41 34 38 43 37 41 41 35 35 32 28 32 33 38 33 — — 35 32 34 36 43 — R TR
CPI(M) sets deadline for demolishing ‘caste’ wall
DMK government should take bold steps to demolish the wall: Varadharajan
CPI(M), along with the other Left parties, will mobilise CHENNAI: The CPI(M) State people and demolish the committee on Wednesday wall,” he said when asked warned that it would demol- about the next course of ish the wall preventing the action. entry of the Dalits into the caste Hindu areas at Uthap- A shame uram in Madurai district, if Accusing the district adthe State government and the ministration of remaining indistrict administration failed different to the “cruel to remove it by May-end. manifestation of untouchaCPI(M) State secretary N. bility,” Mr. Varadharajan said Varadharajan told reporters the DMK government should that the party’s general secre- take bold steps to demolish tary Prakash Karat would vis- the wall. “It is a shame for it Uthapuram on May 7 with Tamil Nadu.” other leaders to see the 600G. Ramakrishnan, central metre wall. committee member of the “We will wait till the end of party, said untouchability May. If no action is taken, the prevailed in Tamil Nadu in Special Correspondent many forms and the party had done a survey on it. “The twotumbler system is one of the many forms. In many villages Dalits cannot share the chair with the caste Hindus in the saloons. There will be a separate chair. Laundries will not wash their clothes.” Asked about the tea parties organised by the police department to bring the caste Hindus and the Dalits together, Mr. Varadharajan said it was an eyewash. The CPI(M) leader said as part of the nationwide protest against price rise on May 15, the State unit would mobilise a lakh people across Tamil Nadu. Ban on online trading of 25 agricultural products identiﬁed by the Parliament Standing Committee, action against hoarders, distribution of pulses and other food products through the Public Distribution System and streamlining the PDS are the four ways that would control the spiralling prices, he said. Condemning the police action against the workers of Hyundai car company, who were protesting against the removal of the union ﬂag hoisted at the entrance of the factory on April 30, Mr. Varadharajan said Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi should intervene and secure the workers’ right to form unions.
25 0 62 23 0 54 27 0 109 27 0 69 26 0 155 26 0 180 28 0 81 — — — 28 0 24 27 0 147 27 0 121 27 0 135 28 0 95 28 0 89 29 0 8 27 0 84 28 0 102 28 0 124 29 0 45 25 0 117 27 0 135 28 0 77 22 17 21 23 20 — — 22 21 21 21 27 — 0 32 tr 0 0 — — 0 0 0 0 0 — 285 297 72 154 186 — — 120 192 58 241 38 —
Kottayam Kozhikode Palakkad Punalur Thiruvanantha -puram AP Thiruvanantha -puram City Adiramapattinam Coimbatore AP Coonoor Cuddalore Chennai AP Chennai Dharmapuri Kanyakumari Kodaikanal Madurai AP Nagapattinam Palayamkottai Pamban Parangipettai Puducherry Salem Thanjavur Tiruchi AP Tiruchi Tirupattur Tiruttani Tondi Tuticorin Ooty Valparai Vedaranyam Vellore Amini Divi
31 33 — 33
25 1 424 27 0 418 — — — 25 0 517 tr 336 tr 493 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 17 0 0 0 — 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 241 95 495 210 194 165 57 390 604 169 295 327 318 — 262 160 85 146 221 — 115 316 354 — 305 — 134 70
33 26 35 28
0 299 0 122 0 0 0 81 0 39
33 26 32 26 — 35 25 36 38 37 35 32 21 37 37 37 34 — 38 36 39 38 39 — — 35 37 24 26 — 39 28 24 15 26 29 29 21 26 13 24 28 26 28 — 29 23 29 27 26 — 28 28 27 11 18 — 26
Kolkata (Alipore) 36 27 Mumbai 34 25 New Delhi 41 22
The columns show maximum and minimum temperature in Celsius, rainfall during last 24 hours (trace) and total rainfall in mm since March 1, 2008.
Isolated rain likely in T.N.
CHENNAI: Yesterday’s very severe
cyclonic storm “NARGIS” over westcentral and adjoining southwest bay moved slightly North-Eastwards and lies over west-central bay, centred at 0830 hours IST of 30th April 2008 within half a degree of latitude 14.5 degrees north and longitude 86.5 degrees East. It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-easterly direction. FORECAST (Valid until Friday Morning): Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely to occur over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. Mainly dry weather will prevail over Lakshadweep, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Farmers weather bulletin for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (valid until Friday morning): Isolated light to moderate rain is likely to occur over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
KARNATAKA INSAT PICTURE AT 11-30 hrs. Observations recorded at 8-30 a.m. on April 30.
Honnavar Karwar Madikeri Mangalore AP Mysore Mandya Panambur Raichur
34 35 26 34 33 34 34 40
25 0 100 27 0 89 17 0 248 25 0 309 19 15 202 20 1 119 26 0 365 24 0 131
Shimoga Shirali Tumkur Alappuzha Kannur Kochi AP
— — — — 36 25 0 124 — — — —
31 25 5 434 34 25 0 322 29 24 25 459
Cases registered against PMK leader
SALEM: The Railway Police on
Wednesday registered cases against PMK youth wing secretary R. Arul and ﬁve others for allegedly assaulting a ticket collector at the information counter of the Salem Junction on Tuesday. Members of the Salem Division of the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union had staged a demonstration near the junction demanding the immediate arrest of those who manhandled the ticket collector.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Bund strengthening recommended
CHENNAI: A committee of
experts constituted to study the problem concerning the bund of the Wellington reservoir in Cuddalore district submitted its report to the government on Wednesday. It proposed strengthening of the bund and allowing full storage of water in the reservoir. If implemented, farmers of Thittakudi and Vridhachalam taluks and 11,200 hectares of land would be beneﬁted, an ofﬁcial release said. — Special Correspondent
Good response to changed mode of immunisation
56,052 children received vaccination shots on Wednesday
CHENNAI: When Tamil Nadu
AIADMK, CPI(M) members stage walkout
Palladam legislator evicted from the House
CHENNAI: The All India Anna
Applications invited for Haj pilgrimage
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu State
Haj Committee has invited applications from Muslims residing in Tamil Nadu and intending to perform Haj pilgrimage during Haj-2008. The application can be obtained from the Tamil Nadu State Haj Committee Administrative Ofﬁcer from May 1. The last date for submitting ﬁlled-in applications along with requisite documents, photographs and photocopy of the pay-inslip of the payment of Rs 10,700 per head is May 31. — Special Correspondent
Three Civil Supplies employees suspended
CHENNAI: Three employees
belonging to the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation in the Thousand Lights zone were suspended on Wednesday, following reports about issue of bogus ration cards. Food Minister E.V. Velu has asked the Civil Supplies Deputy Commissioner (South) to conduct a detailed enquiry and take action against them as per the departmental rules. — Special Correspondent
revised the mode of delivery of its immunisation programme on Wednesday, health ofﬁcials did not expect it to be a success. Despite ofﬁcials’ trepidation, barring a few places, mothers came in droves, bringing their children to be immunised at the primary health centres. A total of 56,052 children and 9,072 pregnant women received immunisation shots on Wednesday. In the “mopup” round aimed at covering all those who had missed their regular schedules, the target was 59,000 children and 11,000 pregnant women, according to Director of Public Health P. Padmanabhan. “Frankly, after the vaccine deaths we did not expect such a good response from the mothers. We would say this is a very successful programme,” Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said. After four children from Tiruvallur district died on being administered the measles vaccine on April 23, parents were reluctant to take their children to the local health centres for vaccination. The government of Tamil Nadu therefore decided to revise its strategy to administer vaccines, opting to bring children to the PHCs instead of sending the vaccines to the villages. The idea was that the whole process would happen under the supervision of the doctors in the PHCs, where facilities are also available for emergency treatment. Though no major pre-publicity was done by the depart-
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday walked out of the Assembly on separate occasions. The AIADMK members staged a walkout after Speaker R. Avudaiappan ordered the eviction of Palladam legislator and former Minister, S.M. Velusamy, from the House for disrupting proceedings. For some time, the
AIADMK members did not allow the watch and ward to remove Mr. Velusamy. Public Works Minister Durai Murugan took exception to this behaviour. Subsequently, led by Mr. Paneerselvam, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, they walked out. Earlier, CPI (M) member K. Balabharathy sought action against the management of Hyundai factory at Sriperumpudur, alleging that a leader of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and others were assault-
ed there while attempting to hoist the union ﬂag. She said the incident happened even after seeking court’s permission for hoisting the ﬂag. Some persons were arrested. Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami said the ﬂag was hoisted on the site belonging to the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT). The Minister said the government would take action for releasing those arrested. The CPI (M) members then staged a walkout.
CONFIDANT LOT: Mothers taking their children for vaccination to a PHC at Okkiyam Thoraipakkam, near Chennai, on Wednesday.
— PHOTO: M. KARUNAKARAN
ment and information was communicated only through newspaper reports, the response was good, Dr. Padmanabhan said. In some remote areas, vehicles were used to bring the mothers and children to the PHCs. In others, when mothers took autos to the PHC, their travel expenses were reimbursed. Once they arrived at the PHC, the children who were administered the vaccine were asked to wait for about an hour, to monitor them for any adverse reaction. In the interim period they were also served bread, milk
and snacks in the PHCs. Some of the mothers expressed their conﬁdence in bringing children to the PHCs as it was a larger medical centre with facilities to take care of the babies in case there were problems. They also added that had the regular immunisation day been held in the village, they would not have gone there to get the vaccination. Dr. Padmanabhan said the government had only a couple of days’ preparation for this vaccination programme and that accounted for the poor response in some of the centres.
However, the department intends to spread information about bringing children to the PHCs for vaccination and about the facilities available in the larger centres intensively so that the next immunisation day (May 7 — Wednesday) will see better coverage, he added. Handbills and pamphlets have already been sent out for the purpose. In the remotest villages, which are served by only one PHC, the government is considering setting up one outreach centre for vaccination under the supervision of a doctor, he added.
Oration on paediatric infectious diseases
CHENNAI: The 17th Dr.M.S.
Ramakrishnan Memorial Endowment Oration, organised by the Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital, will focus on current concepts in paediatric infectious diseases. The oration on ‘nosocomial infections’ will be delivered by V. Ravikumar, paediatric surgeon from Coimbatore, on May 4. R.K. Agarwal, president, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, is expected to talk on the subject ‘future vaccines.’ A continuing medical education programme will also be held the same day. These will be preceded by a workshop on laboratory diagnosis of paediatric infectious diseases on May 3, to be held at the hospital. The workshop hopes to arrive at a consensus on tackling diagnostic dilemmas in such cases. — Special Correspondent
Panel of ofﬁcials to study damage caused by chemical efﬂuents
The Minister said that after a reverse osmosis plant was CHENNAI: A panel of ofﬁcials of commissioned in May 2006, the Tiruvarur district admin- the quantity of discharge was istration, Agriculture Depart- much less. ment and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board will study Age limit relaxation When Pattali Makkal the extent of damage suffered by farmers in the wake of dis- Katchi whip T. Velmurugan charge of chemical efﬂuents raised the issue of relaxation by the Thirumakottai (Kovil- of the age limit for about kalappal) gas power plant at 1,700 agriculture graduates, Mannargudi, Electricity Min- who could not get placement ister Arcot N. Veeraswami for several years, Agriculture told the Assembly on Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam said the present regiWednesday. Responding to a calling at- me had already revised the tention motion from V. Siva- age limit for agriculture dipunniam (Communist Party ploma holders. In the case of degree holof India), the Minister said in April, work on a ﬁve-acre so- ders, there was no age limit. lar evaporation pond had be- As for the diploma holders of gun. It was expected to be the Scheduled Castes/Schedcompleted in six months. uled Tribes, the age limit was Once it was ready, there 40 years. In the case of Backwould not be any more dis- ward Classes/Most Backward charge of chemical efﬂuents. Classes, it was 35 years. Special Correspondent
Government violating new industrial policy, alleges Ramadoss
CHENNAI: PMK leader Ramadoss on Wednesday alleged that the State government had violated the New Industrial Policy by signing MoUs for setting up IT Special Economic Zones (SEZ) within Chennai Corporation limits. In a statement here, Dr. Ramadoss, who has been opposing acquisition of agricultural land for industries and SEZs, said while in other parts of the country SEZs were allowed only outside the cities, Tamil Nadu has allowed TATA Realty and Infrastructure and DLF to set up their SEZs at Taramani, the heart of the city. Dr. Ramadoss also wanted to know why the representatives of the Indian Hotels Corporation were present when the MoU was signed with the TATA. “When we en-
quired about it, we were told that a seven-star hotel and luxurious apartments were coming up on the land allotted to the SEZ,” he said. Recalling the government’s announcement that Rs.3,000 crore would be invested in the SEZ and it would generate employment for 55,000 people, he said the government should explain how it would be possible to generate employment if the land was used for constructing apartments. Urging the government to reconsider the MoUs, he said the SEZs could be shifted either to Nanguneri or Madurai or Ramanathapuram. “We welcome industries that will pave the way for industrial development and generation of employment. But, the government cannot help real estates in the name of industrial development.”
Kushboo cases to be transferred to CMM court
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered all cases against actor Kushboo for her statement and interviews to a magazine and a Tamil daily on pre-marital sex and Indian society and Tamil culture, to be transferred to the ﬁle of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Egmore.
In his order on a petition ﬁled by the actor, Justice R. Regupathi said the CMM should conduct joint trial of the cases and dispose them of within six months. He directed the trial courts concerned to transmit the papers forthwith to the CMM court for commencement of
the trial. The Judge said he was of the considered opinion that prima facie an offence under section 499 IPC was made out and that the complainants were aggrieved persons in the eyes of law to set the law in motion. In order to avoid scattered trial of cases involving the same cause of action before several courts, it was but proper to direct joint trial and disposal of all cases that were pending, instead of taking up separate proceedings against her for violation of court’s orders. In her petition, the actor sought to quash the proceedings on the ﬁle of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chengalpattu.
Special train to Coimbatore
CHENNAI: Southern Railway will operate a special train from Chennai Central to Coimbatore on May 1 to clear the rush.
Train No. 0639 will leave Chennai Central at 10.20 p.m. on May 1 and reach Coimbatore at 7.15 a.m. the next day. Reservation will begin on May 1, according to press release.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
FROM THE SOUTH
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Leaders extend May Day greetings
CHENNAI: Chief Minister M.
Karunanidhi and leaders of political parties on Wednesday extended greetings on the eve of May Day. Mr. Karunanidhi said the Government had implemented many welfare schemes for workers. He recalled that it was the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government that declared May 1 a paid holiday. All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa said that besides remembering the achievements of the working class on the May Day, an amicable solution should be found to tackle the difﬁculties faced by the workers. Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss urged the workers to ﬁght against exploitation.
Verdict reserved on Shraddananda’s appeal
He is on death row for murdering his wife
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on the appeal of ‘godman’ Swami Shraddananda, sentenced to death by the Karnataka High Court for murdering his wife, Begum Shakereh Namazi, who belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Mysore in Karnataka. In May 2007, a Bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Markandey Katju held the swamiji guilty of murder but gave a split verdict on the question of awarding sen-
10,000 milch animals to be given to women SHGs
Scheme to increase rural households’ income
implemented in 200 villages bers’ daughters and this year. The Rs.22-crore education expenses of their CHENNAI: The government has scheme would beneﬁt 5000 children. announced a new scheme to women. The Minister said the tarincrease the income of rural get for procurement was 28 households and boost milk Welfare fund lakh litres a day across the production. Mr. Mathivanan also an- State in 2008-09. Of this, 10.3 Under the Perarignar Anna nounced the setting up of Pe- lakh litres a day of milk would Centenary Dairy Scheme for rarignar Anna Centenary be marketed in the Chennai Rural women 10,000 cross- Milk Producers’ Welfare metro area in 2008-09. At the bred, high yielding milch ani- Fund. The members would district union level, 10 lakh mals will be given to women contribute Re.1 each month. litres a day would be marketself-help groups in villages, A matching amount would be ed during the period. To cater Dairy Development Minister paid by Milk Producers Coop- to the increased targets, 131 U. Mathivanan told the As- erative Society and District bulk milk coolers would be sembly on Wednesday. Unions. installed during the year. The fund would be used to The department would also To cover 200 villages help members and their fam- revive 100 Milk Producers Replying to a debate on the ilies during times of disloca- Cooperative Societies and set demands for grants for his de- tion of milk supplies to up 250 new societies. partment, the Minister said societies owing to fatal acciIt would also establish a the scheme would be un- dents, hospitalisation of technical centre at Madhavveiled at Tirukkuvalai, where members and disability. It aram to train technical staff Chief Minister M. Karuna- would also be used for mar- of milk unions and the nidhi was born. It would be riage expenses of the mem- federation. Special Correspondent
tence. While Justice Sinha awarded life imprisonment, Justice Katju said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment, and the matter was referred to a three-judge Bench. A Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal, Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Aftab Alam reserved judgment at the conclusion arguments from counsel for the State, for the complainant and the appellant. The main question argued in the case was whether it would fall within the ambit of rarest of rare cases warranting imposition of the death
penalty. If life sentence was to be imposed, can it be for life because the swamiji had been in prison for nearly 17 years after committing the offence, as normally a life convict can be released after 14 years in prison? Another issue that ﬁgured was the powers of the Executive to grant remission to life convicts and at what stage this power could be exercised. The Bench, while reserving verdict, agreed to consider all these aspects. The prosecution case was that Shakereh, granddaughter of Sir Mirza Ismail, former
Diwan of Mysore, had married Shraddananda in 1986, after divorcing Akbar Khaleeli, a former diplomat. It was alleged that with a view to grabbing the property of his wife, Shraddananda alias Murli Manohar Mishra, had drugged his wife, killed her and buried the body in the compound of her bungalow in Bangalore on April 28, 1991. On a complaint from her daughter, the police exhumed the body and the ‘godman’ was arrested. While the trial court awarded death penalty, it was conﬁrmed by the High Court.
MIOT unveils artiﬁcial joints having long-term durability
They could address hip and knee replacement needs of young Indian patients
CHENNAI: MIOT Hospitals on
BRIEFING: Prithvi Mohandas, consultant hip surgeon, MIOT Hospitals with a patient during his presentation on “Joint for Life - Myth or Reality" in Chennai on Wednesday.— PHOTO: S. R. RAGHUNATHAN
Wednesday announced the launch of a family of artiﬁcial joints with long-term durability, high ﬂexion and bonebonding attributes that could address the hip and knee replacement needs of Indian patients in younger age groups. MIOT’s research on biomaterials, as well as the unique characteristics of the hip and knee in Indian patients, has resulted in a protocol that uses titanium bone and socket implants with fortiﬁed ceramic-on-ceramic bearings. The research involved collaboration between MIOT’s Global Centre for Ideal Joints and top-notch institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. “The implants which possess the advantages of high ﬂexion, bio-compatibility and durability are ideal for the growing number of younger Indians requiring total hip or knee replacement,” MIOT managing director P.V.A. Mohandas told a press conference. An analysis of patient proﬁles at the hospital indicated
that almost 30 per cent of all joint replacement patients were under 40 years of age, and roughly 20 per cent were accident survivors. Titanium scores over its biomaterial predecessors in eliminating most of the problems that had challenged orthopaedic surgeons attempting total hip replacements in the past. The ﬂip side to the metal-on-metal route taken during the early days of implantation and the stainless steel-polyethylene ﬁtments was the generation of debris and loosening of the ﬁtments over time, while chromium cobalt made clear its lack of afﬁnity for the bone. Once the biomaterial was determined, the next challenge involved getting implant devices suited to the anatomical character and shape of the joint in the Indian population. “After a detailed analysis, we hit upon a range of 12 sizes on a scale of 0-6, with mid-sized versions in between,” said Prithvi Mohandas. The minimally invasive surgery techniques developed parallel to the efforts at
ﬁnding the perfect artiﬁcial joint led to a considerable reﬁnement of the implant procedure. The patient beneﬁts now include a relatively painless session, less blood loss and reduced hospital stay and attendant costs. Considerable thought also went into analysing bone reactions during the post-implant phase, Dr. Prithvi said. An analysis of data involving 16,000 patients indicated that the most common Indian ailments requiring hip replacement surgery were Ankylosing spondylitis, Avascular necrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and fracture of the neck of the femur. “Titanium is the best biological bonding material we have as of now. But, Tantalum is the new star in the making and could soon be the material of choice for replacement procedures,” Dr. Prithvi said.
reinforced the belief that medicine was the noblest of professions if it was guided by ethics. The fundamental problem in developing countries that had world-class medical expertise but a dearth of physical and social infrastructure was the conﬁnement of such beneﬁts to islands of excellence. The challenge was to make the medical beneﬁts accessible and affordable to a larger section of the population, he said. MIOT has ﬂoated “Sumeka,” an initiative to raise funds for performing implants for underprivileged patients.
Mariam Ram, managing director, TnQ Books and Journals, launched the MIOT newsletter “Maruthuva Vivekam” in English, Tamil and Hindi. The booklet gives an insight into the surgical procedures involving hip and knee replacements and features case studies. MIOT consultants C. Lenin, A. R. Kesavan and Trevor Nair spoke.
Addressing the launch function of “Joint for Life,” N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said the hospital had set a great example in producing a positive outcome from research and technology and
Kodanadu estate inspection report set aside
CHENNAI: The Madras High
Court on Wednesday said the inspection carried out by the authorities in Kodanadu Estate in May last year was illegal and not supported by the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Rules. The rules framed under the Panchayats Act were not followed and hence the report could not be relied upon for any further action, the court said. Allowing three writ petitions ﬁled by R. Ravichan-
dran, Manager of the estate in Kothagiri Taluk in The Nilgiris district, Justice K. Chandru said the so-called inspection on May 31, 2007, conducted not only by the executive authority but by a wide range of ofﬁcers drawn from other departments without specifying the purpose, clearly showed certain command performance from the higher-ups and it was not based upon any legal requirement under the buildings rules. Mr. Justice Chandru said
as the show-cause notice dated June 5, 2007 sent by the Panchayat president was not based on any credible material, it was clearly illegal and should be set aside. The notice informed the details of the structures in the estate as per the inspection and said in respect of hill areas for any construction beyond 300 square metres, permission should be obtained from the Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA) and prior to that the plan should be submitted to the
Architectural and Aesthetics Aspects (AAA) committee. Only after getting plan approval with recommendation from the committee concerned, proposal should be sent in terms of Rule 4 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Building Rules. Only after getting the building licence, construction could be started as per the rules. The court said a notice issued on September 10, 2007 emanated from non-application of mind and it was vitiated by bias and deserved to be
set aside. The notice inasmuch as it included buildings, which were not opposed to the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Building Rules, but taken note of for issuance of a provisional order to direct the owner to demolish those buildings also. Mr. Justice Chandru set aside the inspection report. However, holding that Rule 4 (1) (d) of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Buildings Rules was constitutionally valid, he dismissed another writ petition ﬁled by the estate.
Assistance for ﬁshermen during ban period
CHENNAI: The State govern-
ment will pay Rs.500 per family of ﬁshermen during the 45-day mandatory ﬁshing ban period, Fisheries Minister K.P.P. Samy informed the Assembly on Wednesday. This will beneﬁt two lakh ﬁshermen families and cost the government Rs.10 crore. The ban came into effect after the Centre suggested it — by a mutual consensus among all maritime States — to conserve and replenish ﬁshery wealth. It is being enforced since 2001 in the State. The ban prohibits ﬁshing by mechanised boats and trawlers in the territorial waters off Tamil Nadu for 45 days every year. This period is from April 15 to May 29 from the Tiruvallur district coast to Kanyakumari town (1016 km) and from June 15 to July 29 from Kanyakumari town to Neerodi (60 km). There are 50,777 registered ﬁshing vessels in Tamil Nadu of which mechanised ﬁshing boats number 5,596. Various ﬁshermen bodies had asked the government to provide assistance as done in some other States, including Puducherry.
Mr. Samy said that when he took the issue to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, he readily agreed to grant the required assistance. The 2 lakh ﬁshermen are spread over 13 coastal districts of the State.
Appeals against orders on Jaya Publications admitted
CHENNAI: The Madras High
The Minister said the government had taken up construction of ﬁshing harbours at various points along the coast. As part of the Sethusamudram ship canal project, it had decided to extend ﬁnancial aid to develop a multipurpose harbour at Rameswaram at a cost of Rs.100 crore. The harbour would handle ﬁshing vessels, cargo vessels, and have berthing and repair facilities for the vessels of the Sethusamudram Corporation. The Centre has approved the Colachel ﬁshing harbour project, the Minister said. Work on the Rs.27.1-crore project would commence this ﬁnancial year. The government had also given administrative sanction for the Thengapattinam ﬁshing harbour in Kanyakumari district. The project cost (Rs.38.1 crore) would be shared equally by the Centre and the State.
Court on Wednesday admitted 21 appeals by the IncomeTax Department challenging the orders of the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) on the returns ﬁled by Jaya Publications for assessment years starting from 1991-92 to 1999-2000. The department submitted that the partnership ﬁrm had shown income of Rs.13.75 crore, agricultural income Rs.60.82 lakh, under the guise of purchases Rs.1.65 crore and receivables Rs.70.19 lakh,
unexplained deposits in banks to the tune of Rs.58.24 lakh and unexplained expenditure of Rs.2.59 crore. The department conducted an enquiry and found that no such deposits were made. The publications appealed before the Commissioner of Income-Tax (CIT) (Appeals). The Commissioner allowed the appeals and said only 1.5 per cent of the total amount assessed by the department as income could be treated so. The publications and the department ﬁled appeals before the ITAT, which conﬁrmed the order of the CIT
(Appeals). Against this, the department has ﬁled appeals before the High Court.
Additional Solicitor General M. Ravindran and Assistant Solicitor-General P.Wilson submitted details of the claims made by the assessee and the department and argued that the tribunal had committed an error in accepting her claim. A Bench, comprising Justices K. Raviraja Pandian and P.P.S. Janarthana Raja, has posted the matter for hearing after summer vacation.
More veterinary doctors for villages
Special Correspondent the new system, a total of 1651 veterinary doctors would be CHENNAI: The government is available in villages. Sub-cenadding 40 per cent more to its tres had been upgraded. professional workforce for The proportion of such providing timely help to liv- doctors serving in rural areas estock owners in their villag- would further increase when es, Animal Husbandry the government appointed Minister P. Geethajeevan in- more of them, based on the formed the Assembly on needs. Of the 888 Grade-1 Wednesday. sub-veterinary centres, 444 Replying to a debate on the would be upgraded and postdemands for grants for her graduate veterinary specialdepartment, she said as per ists appointed, she said. The government had opened 40 new veterinary dispensaries in 2007-08.
New farm policy
It was evolving a new farm policy for maintaining livestock and breeds, she said. The contribution of the livestock sector to the Gross State Domestic Product was 2.62 per cent. The gross value of output was Rs.9654.33 crore.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
RELIGION God’s emissaries
CHENNAI: The lives of the 63 Saiva bondage is the lot of the majority
THIS DAY THAT AGE
dated May 1, 1958
THE HINDU CROSSWORD 9212
Across 1 Its ways of viewing venomous snake and sect of a kind (7) 5 Possibly an assistant to a waiter? (7) 9 Sailor managed to remain on river (7) 10 Revised night note will be too close to deviate from plan (7) 11 American Indian Ute tribe are rightly set to be more accurately adjusted (5) 12 An indoor game of triﬂing importance (9) 13 Revolutionary action of libel infuriated Nero (9) 15 Posse drawn to recover Mexican dollars (5) 16 Graduate goes to Rio to meet a cartoonist! (5) 18 Pitched into an ugly villain without any effect (3,2,4) 21 Sin compounded by voters who are out to make money (9) 24 Save so to speak, from the mob (5) 25 Stroke of luck — like a rich vein of precious ore (7) 26 Body directing affairs of a town (7) 27 Tough interrogators of postage changes (7) 28 Afternoon sleep hours (7) Down 1 Scholar returns with instrument to measure current (7) 2 Flourish old city, British want to greatly disturb (7) 3 The lowest female singing voice (9) 4 Abandon plans to cover country with brushwood (5)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Nayanmars chronicled by Sekkhizhar in the Periya Puranam demonstrate that they trod the path to Godhead with singular zeal. They hailed from various walks of life and belonged to different centuries but devotion was the common thread running through their lives. Tirujnanasambandhar, Thirunavukkarasar, Sundaramurthy Swamigal and Manikkavasagar are considered as the pillars of the Saiva faith and collectively known as the Nalvar; and the lives of the ﬁrst three are documented in the Periya Puranam. It is apparent from their lives that they were not born in this world like others to work out their Karma but with the speciﬁc mission of accomplishing the Lord’s will. The Vedic tradition had become weak and the Nayanmars rejuvenated it by emphasising on devotion to God, which can be followed by one and all. In his discourse, Sri R.Selvaganapathy said these saints did not tarry long in this world and left as soon as they received Lord Siva’s call which proved that they returned to Him after carrying out His will. To be born again and again in this world of
because in God’s dispensation every individual has to work out his Karma as the fruit of his good and bad deeds will not cancel one another and release him from bondage. These saints however, if at all they sought, wanted only the blessedness that results from eternal union with the Lord which puts an end to rebirths. Each of these saints had a unique mission: one exalted the glory of God, another highlighted the greatness of His devotees, and yet another emphasised the role of the Guru in spiritual life. Tayumanavar stresses that it is essential to seek the guidance and grace of a Guru to realise God. No effort should be spared to ﬁnd the Guru who will be instrumental in releasing the spiritual seeker from the throes of worldly sorrows. This begs the question: how does one ﬁnd one’s Guru? Pilgrimage to sacred places is a sure way to come into contact with the God-realised because many of the sanctiﬁed shrines are associated with saints and mystics whose vibrations still continue to help those who seek their guidance in these places.
Nehru desires rest
Prime Minister Nehru has announced his intention to have a period of rest free from the daily burden of work and live as an individual citizen of India and not as Prime Minister. In a statement to the Congress Parliamentary Party on April 29, Mr. Nehru asked for the advice of his party colleagues in regard to his intention and sought their permission and guidance to act in the manner suggested. The following is Mr. Nehru’s statement: “Some weeks ago I said that I felt rather tired and stale and would like a change, since then many friends and colleagues have asked what I meant and there have been speculations in the press. That feeling of exhilaration and a sense of adventure are still with me. The bonds that tie me with our people have grown stronger with the years and there continues the overwhelming desire to serve them and help in solving the manifold problems. I remain physically ﬁt and active and I believe that I have still some years of efﬁcient service before me.”
The Government of India and the United States on April 29 signed nine project agreements under the Indo-American Technical Assistance Programme. The agreements provide a total of 1,287,000 dollars to assist India in the ﬁelds of Health, Education, Industrial Research, Agricultural and Industrial productivity. They initiate the United States ﬁscal year 1958 programme of technical assistance in India which totals 6.2 million dollars. The agreements were signed by Mr. N.C. Gupta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, for the Government of India, and Mr. Howard E. Houston, Director of the United States Technical Cooperation Mission to India.
The entire united Mikir and north Cachar Hills district and the speciﬁed areas in Sibsagar district have been declared disturbed areas for a period of six months with effect from April 29, a notiﬁcation in the Assam Gazette Extraordinary said. Explaining the reasons for notiﬁcation, a Government announcement said: “Armed gangs of Naga hostiles have disturbed public order, peace and tranquillity in these areas."
5 Strange shape for a long coat (9) 6 There’s a curious thing at the end of the day (5) 7 Finally permits racket use for contest of opposing parties (7) 8 Separates when below, harboured by ship (7) 14 Beloved old sailor back in low environment (9) 15 Accommodation for top people? (9) 16 Wrap up sack for the post (7) 17 Painter draws grape plants in deep gorges (7) 19 Fruit that’s quite new to Capri (7) 20 Goads one to a feeling of irritation (7) 22 Devout one distributes presents in the last month (5) 23 Plunders dry white wines from Spain (5)
Solution to puzzle 9211
C O N T R A L T O H A C I C U E S E A D F N C E D B A R B R E O E H E B L U E C H S T N A E C T A D O P T E D A E N E A R N E S D P I I F C O U R S E D U A E S E R A D I S E C R E M E S M D E A L T I M E O G R T O S W S T A I N AMN E E M I N E N T D O O D L E S L L O P S E R S L Y E E S T L E R E D A T Y
P A R I D E S U
Sethusamudram case hearing today
Help of IIMs, IITs sought to assess rural job scheme
NEW DELHI: The Union govern-
The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned to Thursday hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the Sethusamudram Channel Project on the ground that implementing the project further would damage the Ramar Sethu/ Adam’s bridge. Acting on an application from Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, the court on August 31, 2007 passed an interim order restraining the Centre from causing any damage to the Ramar Sethu. A three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice R.V.
Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal agreed to hear the petitions on Thursday after Dr. Swamy and counsel for other petitioners submitted that though the matter had been listed for hearing on Wednesday, there was some confusion as the order passed on April 28 mistakenly showed that the matter would be heard on May 1. Appearing for the Centre, senior counsel Fali Nariman and Additional Solicitor General R. Mohan submitted that the application seeking a direction to vacate the interim order could be taken up ﬁrst. Mr. Nariman said that the August 31, 2007 order should be modiﬁed and the project be allowed to go on.
Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal pointed out that the petitions had been listed for ﬁnal disposal and hence the entire matter should be taken up for hearing. This was a matter of such importance that it should be heard by a ﬁve-judge Constitution Bench. He said: “This is a matter which affects 800 million people’s faith. People believe that the Ramar Sethu is something which is built by gods. If the project is allowed to be continued and the Ramar Sethu is destroyed, the petitions would become infructuous.” Dr. Swamy submitted that the Centre had admitted that the Ramar Sethu was a place of worship and it was going to
construct a gallery to enable people to offer worship. He said he had ﬁled two applications, one to implead Union Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu and another seeking a direction to invalidate the project and these should be heard. The CJI said it would be listed for Thursday.
ment has sought the help of Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Technology to assess the impact of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
Replying to supplementaries during question hour, Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the government had written to these institutions and Vice-Chancellors of universities seeking their cooperation. “We want them to see rural life and conduct a technical
and impact assessment of the programme. We have started receiving positive responses,” he said. Asked about the observations of the Comptroller Auditor-General on the scheme’s “poor” implementation, he said there were “teething problems.’’ In fact, it was his Ministry that got the CAG as-
sessment done. To a query, he said the National Informatics Centre, had developed a software for “monthly monitoring” of the programme. The Andhra Pradesh government had commissioned the Tata Consultancy Service to prepare a “transparent” software for the State.
Why the hurry?
Senior counsel Soli Sorabjee, Rajeev Dhavan, M.N. Krishnamani and C.S. Vaidyanathan joined Mr. Venugopal and said the structure should not be allowed to be destroyed. If the government had waited for over 150 years to implement the project, there was no great urgency in taking up the project.
New Navy Vice-Chief
NEW DELHI: Vice-Admiral Raman Prem Suthan on Wednesday took over as ViceChief of the Naval Staff here. He replaces Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma, who has been appointed Flag ofﬁcer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command.
Vice-Admiral Suthan had earlier served as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff, Defence Adviser to the High Commission in Singapore, Controller, Personnel, at the Naval headquarters and Commanding, Navy’s Eastern and Southern Command. He is slated to take over as the next Chief of the Naval Staff.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
The man who turned Russia around
Vladimir Radyuhin ussia will have a new President next week. On May 7, President Vladimir Putin will step down after serving two straight four-year terms and his chosen successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who won the presidential election overwhelmingly in March, will step in. Mr. Putin will keep his hold on power as Prime Minister. Mr. Medvedev has asked him to head the government and he has agreed. All the same, Mr. Putin’s departure as President marks the end of an era that will be remembered, above all, as a triumphant restoration of Russia’s integrity, economic power and global clout. When Mr. Putin took over from Boris Yeltsin, Russia was teetering on the brink of chaos and was torn apart by Islamist rebels. It was described in the West as “the sick child of Europe” who had little chance of recovery. Under Mr. Putin, Russia rose like a phoenix. He reined in Chechen separatists and eliminated the terrorist threat to the nation. Today Russia is the eighth largest economy in the world in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), according to the World Bank. Last year, the Russian economy grew by more than 8 per cent and foreign investment surged by a factor of 2.5 to touch $100 billion — a record growth for any of the 15 leading national economies. Even as the International Monetary Fund scaled down this year’s forecast for the global economy, the Russian government has revised upwards its estimates for domestic growth. A country almost bankrupt 10 years ago has amassed over $500 billion in foreign exchange reserves — the third biggest after China and Japan. Average wages soared from $80 a month in 2000 to over $640 now. While high energy prices have spurred economic growth, political stability and credible economic policies have been the decisive factors behind the country’s transformation from a post-Soviet wasteland to a thriving market economy and “energy superpower.”
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Nepal and India
hatever the long-term challenges and opportunities presented by Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections, the ﬁrst problem Indian policymakers must face is the unwillingness of key Nepali stakeholders to accept the reality of the Maoist victory. Sections of the Nepali Congress leadership, including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, are seeking to hold on to power. Such manoeuvres are the antithesis of the consensual spirit needed to write the country’s new Constitution. The NC leadership is clearly being egged on by the United States, which is committed to preventing the Maoists from coming to power. The top brass of the Nepal Army and the soon-to-be-defunct Royal Palace share this undemocratic aim. India, which has invested political capital in the democratisation process in Nepal, must realise that any subversion of the people’s mandate will have damaging consequences for both Kathmandu and New Delhi. The real message from Nepal’s voters was that all the major parties must work together to ensure socio-political stability and create favourable conditions for peopleoriented development. There can be no denying the Maoists’ democratic right, as the largest party, to lead a coalition government that includes the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Uniﬁed MarxistLeninist). India needs to align its policy to encourage and facilitate such an outcome. New Delhi must also prepare itself for a formal request from the ﬁrst government in republican Nepal that the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship be replaced by a more contemporary and even-handed agreement. The truth is that the treaty — some of the features of which were a legacy of British colonialism — was concluded between two unequal partners in a world that no longer exists. Among the provisions that offend national sensibilities are those giving New Delhi a say in Kathmandu’s purchase of military equipment from a third country and granting India ‘ﬁrst preference’ for industrial and natural resource projects in Nepal. Such provisions are clearly inconsistent with the small Himalayan nation’s sovereignty and have, in any case, proved unimplementable. With respect to the advantages Nepal enjoys under the 1950 treaty, New Delhi will be wise to follow the ‘Gujral doctrine’ — which states as its ﬁrst tenet that “with its neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity, but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust.” In a recent interview to The Hindu, Maoist chairman Prachanda observed that it was more or less impossible for Nepal to have stability and prosperity without increasing the level of its cooperation with India. New Delhi must seize the moment.
Vladimir Putin is the best leader Russia has had in the last 100 years. Some Russian pundits have compared him to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who restored the belief of the American nation in its future.
In domestic politics, Mr. Putin pursued the so-called “managed democracy” — the Kremlin prefers to call it “sovereign democracy.” To ensure a solid pro-government majority in Parliament, he imposed tougher election rules for the Duma, Lower House, abrogated direct elections to the Federation Council, Upper House, and discouraged business tycoons from ﬁnancing opposition parties. This might have slowed down Russia’s evolution as a full-ﬂedged multiparty system but saved the country from the Yeltsin-era crippling conﬂicts between the executive and the legislature that eventually climaxed in an armed showdown in October 1993. Mr. Putin once said he was not a politician but a public servant hired by society to do a job. Yet few political leaders in the world can match his talent of appealing to different social groups at the same time. As one sociologist remarked, “the President can be all things to all people” and “is a mirror in which everyone sees a reﬂection of themselves.” Mr. Putin’s popularity rate remained above 70 per cent throughout his presidency, even as his economic policies favoured the rich more than the poor. Although the poverty level has come down, the gap in the incomes of the richest 10 per cent of the population and the poorest 10 per cent widened from 13.9 times in 2000 to 15.3 times in 2006, according to ofﬁcial statistics. Experts at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Economics and Mathematics Institute have registered an even wider gap of 30 times. For all that, people are conﬁdent about the future. An opinion poll taken last month showed that 60 per cent of Russians think the country is moving in the right direction, while the opposite view is shared by 25 per cent. Eight years ago, the proportion was reverse. The number of people who have adjusted to the new capitalist realities steadily increased during Mr. Putin’s presidency, and exceeds 60 per cent today. Russia’s transformation in foreign and security policy has been nothing short of spectacular. After years of humiliation and retreat, Russia has regained its great power status and global role. Mr. Putin has put Russia on an equal footing with the West. His famous Munich speech in February 2007, where he blasted the U.S. global policies as a disaster and proclaimed the unipolar world dead, underscored Russia’s return to the international stage as a leading power. Its international standing is probably higher today than during the best of Soviet times. One of Mr. Putin’s most impressive achievements has been the synchronisation of Russia’s domestic and foreign policy goals. What Russia is doing internally helps it win stronger positions in the world, and its foreign policy serves to facilitate domestic growth. Mr. Putin has renationalised much of the oil industry sold off for peanuts by his predecessor. Contrary to the advice of domestic and foreign liberals, he refused to break up Russia’s natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, which is today one of the most powerful companies on the planet. State control over the sector has allowed the Russian government to turn energy into a powerful foreign policy instrument for inﬂuence, more effective than Soviet-era
tanks and missiles. Moscow has consolidated its hold on oil and gas ﬂows from Central Asia and dictated its terms of the energy game to Europe. The U.S.-backed attempts by the European Union to talk tough with one voice to Russia on energy issues have fallen ﬂat as European nations, one by one, negotiated lucrative deals with Moscow to build new pipelines and to offer Russia assets and technologies in exchange for access to its oil and gasﬁelds. Mr. Putin’s foreign policy has been singularly pragmatic. The globetrotting President visited 66 countries and territories on ﬁve continents, undertaking more than 190 trips to push the interests of Russian investors and open new markets for Russian exporters. He became the ﬁrst Kremlin leader to visit Brazil and Saudi Arabia and ﬁrst since Stalin to travel to Iran. He ventured as far aﬁeld as North Korea, Chile and Australia. He went to Malaysia thrice, India four times and China seven times. Mr. Putin restored close strategic ties with India to the Soviet-era level, but he would not let even his Indian friends take Russia for granted as they used to at the time of the Soviet Union. Neither the special nature of strategic partnership with Moscow nor the multibillion purchases of Russian arms helped New Delhi win any privilege in getting access to Russian energy resources. By any measure, Mr. Putin is the best leader Russia has had in the last 100 years. Some Russian pundits have even compared him to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who similarly restored the belief of the American nation in its future. This is not to say Mr. Putin’s presidency has not been marked by setbacks. An overblown, inefﬁcient and corrupt bureaucracy is one of his biggest failures.
Under Mr. Putin, the bureaucracy has emerged as the real ruling class. It controls major companies, lobbies its interests in Parliament and dictates its will to the judiciary. Corruption has increased severalfold since Mr. Putin came to power and the value of bribes paid to government ofﬁcials is ofﬁcially estimated to be almost equal to the Russian state’s annual revenues. Rampant corruption strangles small and medium businesses and slows down economic growth. Bureaucratic omnipotence is the reverse side of Mr. Putin’s efforts to strengthen central government authority, and has been aggravated by state control of the electronic media and lack of political competition. Another problem is the continuing heavy dependence of the economy on oil and gas and other commodities. The growing windfall of energy export revenues has suppressed the will for economic diversiﬁcation. Labour productivity remains abysmally low; in some industries, it amounts to one-twentieth and even one-thirtieth of that in Europe and the U.S. However, it is too early to evaluate Mr. Putin’s legacy. He is certainly capable of achieving much more. Summing up his eight years in power, Mr. Putin, in a February address, made a straightforward and unembellished analysis of the problems that deﬁed solution during his presidency and set the tasks for his future Cabinet. These include building a knowledge-based economy, overcoming the acute demographic crisis, narrowing the rich-poor gap and creating a strong middle class that would make up a majority of the population. Mr. Putin called for a fourfold increase in labour efﬁciency over the next decade and sweeping retooling of industry on the basis of new technologies. The ultimate goal of his plan is to turn Russia by 2020 into “the most attractive country to live in.” This is a tall order, but then the tasks Mr. Putin has successfully accomplished over the past eight years have been no less daunting.
chilling sequence in which Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai narrowly escaped assassination underscores the heightened vulnerability of the regime in Kabul, under perpetual threat from Taliban terrorists. Two people were killed in the April 27 attack on a parade at which President Hamid Karzai was taking the salute. They were sitting in the reviewing stand just behind Mr. Karzai. A 10-year old child who was caught in the ensuing cross-ﬁre died too. Signiﬁcantly, the attack was launched from a hotel nearby, a mere 500 metres from the dais. It is clear that the assailants could not have inﬁltrated within riﬂe range of the reviewing stand without the assistance of elements of the security services. The attack has proved that the Taliban, which claimed responsibility, still has teeth. But Mr. Karzai who has survived four assassination attempts should not make the mistake of reverting to the policy of relying solely on military force to defeat the Islamist radicals. Other initiatives that have been recently launched, such as the drive to strengthen local governance or the offer of amnesty to Talibs who give up arms, show promise and should be persisted with. As Mr. Karzai himself observed in a recent interview, the imprecise aerial bombardments carried out by the United States forces have actually driven disgruntled Afghans into the Taliban’s embrace. Notwithstanding the lame-duck status of the Bush presidency, U.S. ofﬁcials have not shaken off their commander-in-chief’s rigid and intractable approach to international issues. The next administration at least should acknowledge that the Taliban are Afghans and not foreign ﬁghters who operate under the rubric of the closely aligned Al Qaeda. A distinction has to be made between the local insurgents and non-Afghan militants, who form the recruitment base for suicide attacks in other parts of the world. While these Al Qaeda recruits must be targeted by the international community for their criminal terrorist acts, the local insurgents on either side of the Durand Line need to be drawn into the mainstream even as they are constantly kept on notice that backsliding will invite dire consequences. The newly formed governments in Pakistan, at the centre as well the North West Frontier Province, have embarked on such a course and appear to be meeting with early success. A militant leader in South Waziristan, Baitullah Mehsud, has reportedly ordered his men to cease ﬁghting. Mr. Karzai will not be encouraged by Washington’s response to the Pakistani initiative. The U.S., as misguided as it has always been for the past eight years, has greeted Islamabad’s well-reasoned policy with derision.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to India will boost the relations between the two countries. With the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline set to be given a ﬁnal shape, things are looking up for both countries. The U.S., I hope, would have got the message that as a democratic country, we follow an independent foreign policy. It should give up the illusion that the proposed IndiaU.S. nuclear deal will allow it to have a say in our foreign policy. If Washington still insists on dictating terms, New Delhi would do well to scrap the deal. Bishal Das, New Delhi Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit, ﬁrst by an Iranian head of state in ﬁve years, was welcome. By not giving in to Washington’s pressure that it should not go ahead with the IPI pipeline, New Delhi has asserted its sovereignty. Naveen Marrapu, Hyderabad One hopes the brief visit by the Iranian President will help to tide over the low that has marked the relations between Tehran and New Delhi in the last couple of years. The IPI gas pipeline is of great strategic importance to India’s energy security. The pending issues regarding implementation of the project need to be sorted out at the earliest in our interest. Salin Thomas, Kottayam law, provision, order, or decree null and void if it is found to be against the provisions of the Constitution. It can issue directions for proper implementation of schemes or policies to uphold the welfare of the people. Unfortunately, the executive and the legislature see the exercise of such powers by the judiciary as an encroachment into their domain, especially when it upsets the calculations of political leaders. Today, myriad victims have access to justice, however slow and cumbersome, thanks to public interest litigation petitions — a situation unimaginable a few decades ago. Judicial activism, apart from redressing the grievances of the aggrieved, has contributed enormously to the maturity of the Indian polity. B. Jayanna Krupakar, Surathkal Indeed, many PILs have helped laymen whose knowledge of judicial functioning is next to nothing. The common man is helpless in the face of executive indifference in matters concerning his rights, which are at times overridden to accommodate vested interests. Prasad Malladi, Nidadavole When the legislature and the executive fail to meet their constitutional obligations, the higher judiciary has to perform their functions. Though the judiciary has its own drawbacks, including delays in pronouncing verdicts, the common man has no option but to approach it when his rights are infringed. It is not judicial activism but constitutional mandate that has forced the judiciary to interfere in the affairs of the legislature and the executive. Jetling Yellosa, Nizamabad
Letters emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials. The judiciary’s interference in legislative and executive matters has only led to positive developments. In cases involving issues of health, environment, corruption, and violation of human rights, the judiciary has delivered laudable verdicts. Most of them have been in the form of directives to the authorities to perform their duties, which they did not. Thus the judiciary has never really encroached upon the legislative or executive domain. Judicial activism is indispensable in our country where government functioning is marked by apathy and ineffectiveness. Anupama Yadav, Ghaziabad accepting money on camera for allegedly including a player in the national team, the IOA has done what it ought to have done after the Chile debacle. It has also done well to start from scratch by appointing an ad hoc committee to run the show. While bringing a total turnaround in the sagging fortunes of Indian hockey is not going to be easy, we can at least expect a sincere effort in that direction from those at the helm. Never have the results of a sting operation been so sweet. Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad Mr. Gill sat like Nero while the hockey empire he headed burnt like Rome around him. Our hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the ﬁrst time in 80 years when he was the top administrator of the game. He did not wake up even when his secretary was shown accepting money on camera. Anyone in his place would have resigned on his own after the sting operation owning moral responsibility, but not Mr. Gill. Worse, he tried to defend the indefensible. With pressure from the International Hockey Federation mounting, the IOA had no option but to disband the IHF and send Mr. Gill and his coterie packing. One hopes the ad hoc panel which will run the affairs of the game will be professional. Hockey has reached its nadir and it should be managed by men who are truly in love with the game, not by retired bureaucrats. J. Akshay, Secunderabad The article “IOA should steer clear of further controversies” (April 30) has rightly pointed out that the IOA should not delay the return of democracy to IHF. Each sport must possess a parent body of its own. Ardent sports lovers will be happy if the IOA does not take advantage of the situation in which hockey is today. It is certainly not difﬁcult to ﬁnd a dedicated set of persons to run the affairs of the game. P.R. Viswanathan, Bangalore
Cheerleading has elicited positive and negative opinions in equal measure but the realities connected with the issue have been overlooked. Belly-shaking by a few girls cannot be considered an assault on morality and certainly not an affront to Indian culture. The issue is: why should a noble game like cricket be associated with bands of beauties for its promotion, survival and existence? Will huge crowds throng our stadiums to watch cricket only if it is accompanied by hip-swinging? Cheerleading by itself is not a sin. Bal Thackeray who once threatened to invade the pitches if the Pakistan team played here has stopped with a mild condemnation of cheerleaders. Maybe, he is convinced that he and his party stand no chance of beating the corporate might. T.S. Pattabhi Raman, Coimbatore Cricket has a huge following in our country and as such there is no need to import cheerleaders to enthuse the players. The argument that ﬁlm stars wear skimpier dresses in movies is no justiﬁcation for the attire of the cheerleaders. It is long since movies ceased to be yardsticks for social norms. Seshagiri Row Karry, Hyderabad
The editorial “Well deserved suspension” (April 30) has unambiguously summarised the reasons for the decline of hockey in the last three decades under the stewardship of K.P.S. Gill. The honourable way out for Mr. Gill would have been to tender his resignation as IHF president when the Indian team failed to qualify for the Olympics at Santiago. Again, instead of taking moral responsibility for the Jothikumaran episode, he decided to stick to his guns. The rot on the ground stems from the rot at the top. Under the circumstances, the suspension of the IHF is a welcome relief. The Indian Olympic Association’s decision to form an ad hoc committee to run the affairs of the game, it is hoped, will put Indian hockey back on the world map. Capt. T. Raju (retd.), Secunderabad Following the sting operation showing the former IHF secretary
This refers to the article “Judicial activism: a perspective” (April 30). As the custodian of the Constitution, the judiciary is vested with the power to declare a
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
First victims of climate change will be children
The tragic consequences of climate change for the world’s poorest children are laid bare in a report.
David Puttnam t seems every day brings news of another “natural disaster”. If a year helping to pilot the U.K.’s climate change bill through the Westminster parliament has taught me one thing, however, it is that there is very little “natural” about the disasters hitting children around the world. As the ﬁndings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change make plain, ﬂoods, droughts and other disasters link directly to climate change, with others bearing the direct consequences of our carbon-rich lifestyle of the past 150 years. One can all too easily grow weary of the bad news and constant pleas for help, to the point of wondering why ‘‘someone’’ can’t just sort it all out. The tragic consequences of climate change for the world’s poorest children are laid bare in a report this week - 10 years after the Kyoto protocol was signed — by Unicef U.K.: Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility. Children, especially in Africa and Asia, face a future in which disasters, conﬂict and disease will be ever more frequent and severe. Clean water will become harder to access and incomes will fall, leading inexorably to increased child poverty, inequality and death. Climate change could increase child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia by as many as 160,000 a year. But the bad news is coming closer to home. In Britain last summer we had unprecedented ﬂooding, while as recently as 2003 a heatwave claimed thousands of lives; all of the latest data from the U.K. Climate Impacts Programme conﬁrms that we can only expect more of the same. So we need to sort this out, not just for ourselves but for others who are even less fortunate. That’s what the U.K.’s climate change bill is all about. We need to put strong mitigation measures in place and continue with a well researched and resourced adaptation programme. In Britain we already possess the knowledge, skills and ability to do this — but it needs to be matched with strong political will and an appropriate speed of response. But among the ﬁrst to pay the price for climate change will be the world’s children. Lack of water, lack of food, increased disease, less education, less protection and reduced life chances — all of which will afﬂict them for the rest of their lives — lead inexorably to one lost generation after another, as no-go areas spring up around the globe. Is that what we really want? Unicef is already working with children and their communities to adapt to climate change, but more is required — and urgently. Work to help communities prepare for disasters will need to scale up as they become more frequent and severe. Work to address diminishing water supplies will have to be intensiﬁed as water becomes ever more scarce. Programmes to prevent and treat malaria will need to expand and improve. Health and education initiatives for children displaced by food shortages, storms and other disasters will need to be developed to deal with previously unimagined levels of threat. This is not just about more development. It’s about doing development differently. It means planning for climate change, rather than just responding to it: connecting with children, and empowering them to act before an emergency. Children have to become agents of change, not simply helpless victims - after all, this is about their future and they deserve a platform from which to learn and speak out. The impact of climate change on young people was not on the agenda 10 years ago in Kyoto — nor were their voices heard. The British government should work quickly to ensure that the implications of climate change for children are ﬁrmly on the agenda at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen at the end of next year, and that children’s voices are heard and listened to. Over time we will all need to adapt to climate change - but while for many of us that might mean a heavier raincoat, a new sweater, or lowering the central heating by a notch, for the world’s children this requires a much bigger response to ensure the continuation of their lives and their livelihoods. From the government to the private sector to individuals, all must take action to boost the 2050 U.K. emissions reduction target from 60 per cent to at least 80 per cent, and to include the U.K.’s share of emissions from international aviation and shipping within the targets. Even that crucial commitment is not enough. While we reduce our emissions, every one of us also needs to start to contribute to the costs that others already face in adapting to climate change. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008 (Lord Puttnam is a ﬁlm producer, president of Unicef U.K., and chairman of the climate change bill’s joint parliamentary committee.)
100 days to Beijing Olympics
With the Olympic torch making its way to Chinese soil, the mood in the country is upbeat. But the organisers still have some concerns, including those relating to the pollution in Beijing, to tackle.
Pallavi Aiyar housands of Chinese people ﬂocked to Tiananmen Square on Wednesday to have their photographs taken in front of a giant clock that counts down the days and hours to the Olympic Games that Beijing will play host to in August. The number next to the “days” label on the clock had turned to 100. Revellers also thronged the Forbidden City, to the north of Tiananmen, its red lacquer pillars and gilt awnings glinting in an Olympic-ready state. Large parts of the Chinese capital have in fact undergone a facelift, at a cost of $40 billion. A slew of iconic structures, such as the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium and the Norman Foster-designed airport terminal, have come up.
But, for a city that has been on Olympic time ever since it won, back in 2001, the bid to host the Games, the mood seemed to be more subdued than might have been expected. The events following the disorder in Tibet in March, including the repeated attempts on the Olympic torch during its international leg, have left a bitter taste in the mouth for many Chinese. Moreover, the foreign media’s portrayal of the events has been widely perceived as biased. This has fuelled a strong wave of nationalism in the country. Millions of Chinese have signed online petitions against Western media outlets, demanding apologies for the “lack of objectivity” in their reporting. Boycott calls against certain foreign products and businesses have also been made. Jack Wu, a 20-year-old student from Shanxi Financial University who had made his way to Tiananmen Square on Wednesday, said the Western media had “spoilt the mood of the Olympics.” But he was nonetheless conﬁdent that the Games would unveil a “new” China to the world. “The world will see every Chinese person’s desire to be No. 1,” he said. Hu Jin Chun, a 43-year-old historian, chipped in. “For the last 100 years China has only been a big country in Asia. Through the games we will become a big country in the world.” The 100-day countdown was celebrated in the capital with a series of events including a marathon race around the Olympic Green and a song competition featuring celebrities including Jackie Chan. In the meantime, the Olympic torch arrived in Hong Kong, signalling the start of the domestic leg of the relay. With the torch safely back on Chinese territory and talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama’s envoys on the cards, there are some signs that the worst of what International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge called the “crisis” facing this year’s Games, may be coming to an end. However, with only 100 days left for the opening ceremony, Beijing continues to face certain challenges. Chief amongst these will be the manner in which any public disorder are dealt with during the period of the event. In addition, Beijing’s polluted air and
SOUVENIR: Tourists posing in front of the Beijing Olympics countdown clock on Wednesday. — PHOTO: AFP
trafﬁc-snarled streets continue to give pose before municipal planners some worries. Ethiopian athlete and world record holder Haile Gebreselassie announced earlier in the year that he won’t run the marathon event because of the possible risk to his health from pollution. The IOC itself has said the air quality may put endurance athletes at risk. The organisers of the Beijing Games have said all these concerns would be addressed in time for the Olympics. Plans have been announced to keep some 1.3 million cars, almost half the city’s total, off the road during the Games. Construction work will be halted and factories kept closed to ensure better air quality. The possibility of terrorist attacks is also a contingency that the city is preparing for. Last Friday, Interpol warned that China must be prepared for a possible Al-Qaeda attack on the Olympics, as well as a potentially violent disruption from pro-Tibet protesters. Li Ling, a 40-yearold photographer, who spent Wednesday afternoon taking shots of the carnival-like scenes at Tiananmen, is however, conﬁdent. “Nothing will spoil the event,” she says. “The greater the challenges the more we are determined to put on a good show. The Olympics will show the world how powerful and inﬂuential our country has become.”
Are germs good for you?
“Being out in the dirt is probably not too bad a thing.”
wo new pieces of research suggest they may be. Children are less likely to become sensitive to allergens if they have a dog in the home, according to German scientists, while an American study found that regular social interaction reduced children’s risk of leukaemia by about 30 per cent. These ﬁndings seem to chime with popular perceptions of “cotton wool kids” and the belief that our increasingly sterile, urban and risk-averse society paradoxically creates new dangers for our children. The causes of leukaemia are complex, and most childhood leukaemias begin with a genetic mutation, so the U.S. study is far from conclusive. But there’s an established hypothesis that if an immune system is not challenged early (our immune responses develop from birth to about age 12), it can increase the risk of developing allergies and illnesses. Ken Jones, professor of immunol-
ogy and allergy at the Cardiff School of Health Sciences, explains that our immune response has taken millions of years to develop, so rapid changes notably, the proliferation of allergies - cannot be genetic. Immune systems have been transformed by modern life. Young children tend not to play outside or in extended families. This limits their exposure to bacteria, viruses and parasites, and prevents them developing an immune response. Our homes have also changed: asthma may be triggered because central heating reduces air quality in our hermetically sealed homes, while soft furnishings have caused the proliferation of dust mites. So get fresh air in your home and let your children play outside — and mix with other kids. “No one is suggesting you deliberately expose your children to diseaseforming organisms,” says Jones, “but being out in the dirt is probably not too bad a thing.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008
Meals for the poor are in peril here
Rice is plentiful in Cambodia. But it is becoming less and less affordable for those who grow it.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
>>The second paragraph in a report “Bees attack students, teachers” (Tamil Nadu, April 30, 2008, page 11) was “As hundreds of honey bees descended on them, teachers were forced to leave their classrooms running for cover. The avian attack lasted for 20 minutes, leaving two children in hospital and 20 others needing medical attention from the nearby Primary Health Centre.” It should have been “apian attack”. Avian relates to birds. >>Yesterday, we had said that “A sentence in the eighth paragraph of an article ‘Wise leadership in times of inﬂation’ (Editorial page, April 23, 2008) was ‘… From a moderate four per cent rate in January, inﬂation jumped to a troublesome 7.41 per cent by the end of January’, and that it should have been ‘… a troublesome 7.41 per cent by the end of April’.” It should have been ‘… a troublesome 7.41 per cent by the end of March! (The data released by the Government is: week ending March 15 – 6.68%, March 22 – 7%, March 29 – 7.41%, April 5 – 7.14%, April 12 – 7.33%.) It is the policy of The Hindu to correct signiﬁcant errors as soon as possible. Please specify the edition (place of publication), date and page. The Readers’ Editor’s ofﬁce can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday); E-mail: email@example.com Mail: Readers’ Editor, The Hindu, Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002, India. All communication must carry the full postal address and telephone number. No personal visits. The Terms of Reference for the Readers’ Editor are on www.thehindu.com
he Sun Sun primary school, two lowslung ocher-yellow buildings and a wooden shack, is surrounded by acres of rice paddies that recently yielded what farmers say is the best harvest in memory. But that has not shielded schoolchildren here from the effects of the global food crisis. A countdown has begun among administrators at the school and at 1,343 other schools across Cambodia: In 30 days or less the schools’ rice stocks will run out and a popular free breakfast programme will be suspended indeﬁnitely because of soaring food prices. Short of cash, the World Food Programme, the U.N. agency that feeds the world’s poorest people, can no longer supply 450,000 Cambodian children with a daily breakfast of domestically grown rice supplemented by yellow split peas from the United States and tuna from Thailand. In a country where a recurrent paucity of food has taught Cambodians to survive on a bare minimum of nutrition,
attentive, tardiness is no longer a problem (breakfast is served at 6.30 a.m., before classes begin) and attendance by girls, who for years had been kept home by their parents, has increased sharply. Mr. Yim said he knew what would happen when the free food disappeared: “Poor students will not come to school.” When the breakfast programme was interrupted in January 2007 because of budget problems, attendance fell by 10 per cent, Mr. Yim said. Menh Veasal, a 14-year-old at the top of his class, skipped school to collect frogs and crabs from a nearby river, his contribution to meals with his parents and seven siblings. Sim Sreywat, 12, was Magnet for students ordered by her mother to trek to nearby When the free breakfast was intro- mountains where she harvested tamaduced here eight years ago by the World rind buds and bamboo shoots. Food Programme, it was an instant hit. The imminent depletion of rice sup“Students brought their brothers and plies is particularly paradoxical for chilsisters, 2, 3 and 4 years old,” said Yim dren who each day walk or ride their Soeurn, the principal at Sun Sun. “It was bicycles to school through miles of neatvery hard to control.” ly delineated rice paddies. Breakfast has been a magnet for stuRice is plentiful in Cambodia, which dents ever since, as well as the teachers’ has been a net exporter for the past decbest friend. Well-fed students are more ade. But rice is becoming less and less children in this village are unlikely to starve. But some may miss out on education. “Most of the students come to school for the breakfast,” said Taoch Champa, a 31-year-old teacher. The suspension of the breakfast programme illustrates one of the many ways that the global food crisis, in which the price of grain has soared in recent months, is hurting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Only destitute schools were selected to take part in the programme. Pray Viev is one of the poorest villages in Cambodia’s most impoverished province, Kampong Speu.
affordable for the people who grow it. A 2006 survey, well before the spike in food prices, found that 22 percent of Cambodians in rural areas could not meet their own basic food needs. The most productive agricultural land in Cambodia is near the borders with Thailand and Vietnam, and much of what is harvested there is exported at world-market prices. But the soil in Kampong Speu province is sandy and parched, yielding less than 1 ton a hectare, or 2.5 acres, half the national average. Farmers typically have plots that are too small to feed their families. Thomas Keusters, the World Food Programme’s director in Cambodia, said he did not know whether the school feeding programme would restart. “Not before the next school year, October 2008, at best,” he said. Worldwide, the agency has begun an appeal for an additional $500 million to cover the increase in food prices. In Cambodia, the price of rice is now above $700 a ton, more than double the $295 a ton that the agency budgeted for this year. — New York Times News Service
Is brain training really best way to boost IQ?
Emine Saner ccording to her TV advert, after playing Brain Training on the Nintendo DS, Nicole Kidman, 39, has a brain age to match her strangely smoothskinned face age: 24. The game on the handheld console, which includes memory and reaction time tests, was developed by the Japanese neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima and has sold 10 million copies worldwide, spawning a craze for “brain training” that the New York Times estimated was worth more than $80m in the U.S. alone last year.
Newspapers print brain-training puzzles, you can get games on your mobile phone and computer, and there are a number of books. Though they make vague claims to boost brainpower, they are not regulated or subject to clinical trials. So do they work? “There is no evidence these tests do anything to improve cognition,” says Jason Braithwaite, a cognitive and neuro-psychologist at the University of Birmingham. “They are no more worthwhile than playing chess or doing a sudoku puzzle or crossword. It won’t turn you into a superbrain.” Mr.
Braithwaite says that the idea that you can reduce your brain’s age is “ridiculous. With these tests, you are improving your practice at very speciﬁc things [such as short-term memory or reaction times], but that doesn’t necessarily mean it gives you a general cognitive beneﬁt.” However, according to a new American study, computer-based brain training can improve IQ beyond becoming better at practised tasks. Half of the 70 volunteers were trained in tests that measured memory and reaction time. When tested on unrelated problems,
those who had been trained performed better than those who hadn’t. “There needs to be a large clinical trial on brain training,’ says Clive Ballard, director of research for the Alzheimer’s society. “These games are being marketed widely, but people could be wasting time and it raises false hope.” It is likely that many people buy these gadgets in the hope it will stave off Alzheimer’s. Mr. Ballard says that there is “much better evidence to say that [to reduce the risk] you’d be better off doing physical exercise than brain training.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
‘Impropriety’ of PMO not explained: BJP
NEW DELHI: Reacting to Petro-
leum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora’s statement in the Rajya Sabha on the T.R. Baalu issue, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad insisted that it was a matter of “conﬂict of interest” and the “political impropriety on the part of the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce remained unexplained.” The allegation against Shipping Minister Baalu was that he had sought favours from the Petroleum Ministry and the PMO for a company in which his family has business interests. The Congress said an “indepth clariﬁcation was given” and the “controversy should now rest.” AICC general secretary Tom Vadakan pointed out, as was stated in Mr. Deora’s statement on Wednesday, that the matter was “sub judice.” It would be wrong to say anything more on the issue. CPI national secretary D. Raja faulted the BJP for not listening to Mr. Deora and not allowing others to hear him. “Being the principal Opposition, the BJP should have been more reasonable and heard out the Minister. This would have given MPs an opportunity to question him closely.” As for the BJP’s insistence that the Prime Minister should have responded to the issue, Mr. Raja said “the government was a collective body.” The BJP asked: If the Prime Minister did not commit any impropriety and if the PMO routinely forwarded some letters received by his ofﬁce, did he do so for other companies also? Senior Congress Ministers privately said not a cubic inch of gas was given to the company, in which Mr. Baalu’s family has business interests. So where was the question of political impropriety? The matter was in court. It was the NDA which should explain why an allotment had been cancelled and whether the cancellation was the result of political vendetta as alleged by Mr. Baalu, the Ministers asked.
“Manmohan should say what is being done to check prices”
P. K. Bhardwaj
NEW DELHI: L. K. Advani, Lead-
There is enough food stock, says Chidambaram
NEW DELHI: Union Finance
Sound management of the economy is a core responsibility of Centre: Advani “Highest priority to agriculture”
er of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tell the nation what his government was doing to bring down the prices of essential commodities. “Apart from telling the industry what it should do and what the Opposition should do, I wish he had also told the nation what his government is doing to bring the prices of essential commodities down,” Mr. Advani said while addressing the valedictory session of the annual conference of the industry body, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). his son, and if the Prime Minister chooses not to make a statement on the issue in Parliament, it is my understanding that neither the Minister nor the Prime Minister is following a nationally accepted norm of governance in a parliamentary democracy,” he said. In this context, he cited the instance of the Mundhra scandal exposed by Feroze Gandhi, then Congress MP, in the 1950s which led to exit of a member of the Union Cabinet following a judicial probe by Justice M. C. Chagla. The public hearings conducted by Justice Chagla remain an unsurpassed case of STRESS ON PROBITY: Leader of the Opposition in enforcement of probity in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani with CPI(M) Polit public life, Mr. Advani said, Bureau member and MP Sitaram Yechury at the reminding Dr. Singh of two CII national conference in New Delhi on points that Justice Chagla Wednesday. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY made in his report, “both of which have been scornfully vernment to be more pro- However, the nation would ignored by the UPA governductive, more creative and also have liked to know from ment.” more effective, we would Dr. Singh what “nationally The ﬁrst point was: “In a need greater political con- accepted norms of gover- parliamentary form of gosensus and some nationally nance” the government was vernment, Parliament should accepted norms of gover- following on certain crucial be taken into conﬁdence at nance in our Parliamentary issues. the earliest stage to avoid system.” “If a Minister thinks that it embarrassment from other Mr. Advani said there was is a part of his duty to seek sources of information.” nothing wrong in what the favours from another minisThe second was: “The inPrime Minister had stated. try for businesses owned by quiry has been an education for the public. It should also act as a corrective to administrators all over the country, because in future they will act with the consciousness that their actions may be subjected to public scrutiny.” Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said the country had enough stocks of foodgrains, thanks to a dramatic improvement in procurement. The government’s highest priority was the agriculture sector and it would take all measures, including increasing fertilizer subsidy, to help farmers. The Minister was replying to a Rajya Sabha debate on the Finance Bill, which was returned, completing the budget process for 2008-09. “The Centre’s good procurement policies have led to buffer stocks. We have enough foodgrains. We are also providing enough foodgrains to the States to meet their demands. For the United Progressive Alliance government, agriculture has been the highest priority. This and the last budget are being described as the ‘green budgets’.” Refuting the Opposition’s charges that there was a “fertilizer famine,” Mr. Chidambaram said that on the contrary, there were enough stocks. The government was ready to bear even a higher subsidy bill on fertilizers to help farmers.” Referring to the commodity transaction tax (CTT), the Minister said it was the mirror image of the securities transaction tax (STT) imposed on the stock markets, which met with similar resistance. Sooner or later, the CTT would also be accepted. Mr. Chidambaram assured the House that the banking transaction tax (BTT) would be withdrawn by year-end. It was introduced for detecting unaccounted money in the absence of alternative meth-
Good procurement policies led to buffer stocks Worst kind of food inﬂation, fertilizer famine: Jaswant
ods. After its withdrawal, alternative methods to catch people with unaccounted money would be provided by the new money laundering law. Agreeing with N.K. Singh of the Janata Dal (United) that the budget was “slightly expansionary,” Mr. Chidambaram said it might fuel inﬂation, but was necessary to keep the growth momentum growing. “We want to grow at 9-10 per cent. The growth may not be as high as last year, but still it would be between 8 and 9 per cent. Our ambition is to become the world’s fastest growing economy and not the second fastest growing.”
The BJP leader said that Dr. Singh’s personal integrity was beyond doubt. “However, it is now equally beyond doubt that he is neither able nor trying to enforce probity in his government. In dealing with corruption in his government — and it is now common knowledge that the UPA government is by far the most corrupt in India’s history — he is exhibiting the same helplessness that he earlier did in acting against crime-tainted Ministers.” Terming corruption as a foe of pro-poor growth, he said that it was one of the biggest obstacles to inclusive and sustainable growth. “Indeed, corruption in governance, especially corruption in high places, results in malignant growth. It leads to moral degradation of politics and society, which cannot be measured in quantiﬁable terms.”
“People want results”
Commenting on the observations made at the CII meet on Tuesday by the Prime Minister seeking political consensus and help from the industry to ﬁght inﬂation, he said: “….. people want to see results on the ground. After all, sound management of the economy is a core responsibility of the Central government.” Dr. Singh had said: “For go-
Earlier initiating the discussion, Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh (BJP) charged the government with an unbudgeted ﬁscal overhang of Rs. 3,00,000 crore combined with the “worst kind of food inﬂation” and fertilizer famine. Advising the Finance Minister to “leave” rather than be “sent out,” the BJP leader said the unbudgeted expenses including the Sixth Pay Commission burden, the farm loan waiver scheme, the food and fertilizer subsidy and oil bonds could destroy the country’s economy and lead to the worst kind of inﬂation that could hit a country. He urged the government to have fewer tax controls.
Chauhan stages fast against ‘neglect’
Says Centre silent on demand to tackle power crisis, drought and grain shortage in Madhya Pradesh
Lalit Shastri Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan sat on a 24-hour fast at the busy Roshanpura Square here on Wednesday to protest against the “apathy of and deliberate inaction by” the Centre on the State government’s demand to tackle the “grim power situation, severe drought and shortage of foodgrains.” Members of the State Cabinet joined the protest by sitting on a fast at various district headquarters across the State. Mr. Chauhan had earlier written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with an ultimatum that he would be forced to sit on a fast if the Centre failed to address the issues confronting the State. Talking to The Hindu at the venue of his “fast,” Mr. Chauhan said he met the Prime Minister and Central Ministers several times, but the Centre was deliberately neglecting the interests of the people of Madhya Pradesh. “I might be an adversary, but it is unfortunate that they have decided to settle scores with me by working against the interests of the people of Madhya Pradesh.” Electricity crisis had worsened in the State after supply from the eastern grid was reBHOPAL:
PM to media: don’t stop with the here & now
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the media would cease to play the fourth estate if they conﬁned themselves to “the here and now.” The media could claim to be the fourth estate only when they took a larger view of daily events, shaped public opinion constructively and recorded history even as it was being made. Dr. Singh was addressing a function organised here to release ‘The Tribune 125 Years: An Anthology’. A combination of providing news, shaping views and guiding society was what gave the media a special status, he said.
Patil: CBI will probe where required
NEW DELHI: If local investiga-
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on a fast with BJP workers in Bhopal on Wednesday. (Right) Shivraj Singh’s wife Sadhna Singh sings bhajans with party Mahila Morcha workers at the venue. — PHOTO: A.M. FARUQUI
duced from 350 MW to 31 MW. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited had been told to go slow on the ChachaiAmarkantak and Birsinghpur power projects. Even after completion of work, the Birsinghpur unit was facing problems on the maintenance front. The allotment of coal for different power generation units had also been reduced by the Centre, he added. to proposals to tackle the severe drought in large parts of the State. It even failed to act on the advice of the Central teams that were here to study the drought situation. Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar was scheduled to visit the State on April 4, but his programme was cancelled. Due to the prevailing drought situation, the State had asked the Centre to allocate 1.19 lakh tonnes of foodgrains every month for distribution to the Above Poverty Line families.
Pawar’s visit cancelled
Mr. Chauhan said the Centre was not paying attention
Anbumani asked to clarify statement
NEW DELHI: Some members in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday demanded a privilege motion against Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss for his statement that transmission of polio virus was taking place because of migration of people from Bihar and U.P. Raising the matter during zero hour, Virendra Bhatia (SP) said the statement had come as a shock, as people from north India were already being targeted in Maharashtra and some other parts of the country. He said the Health Minister should clarify his remarks. Otherwise a privilege motion should be moved against him. Mr. Bhatia was supported by all SP members. Dr. Ramadoss had said in the Upper House last week that transmission of polio virus was found only in U.P. and Bihar due to poor sanitation, unclean drinking water and high population density. Polio virus transmission was taking place because of migration of people from these States. — PTI
Lok Sabha panel draws up code of conduct for MPs
NEW DELHI: In an attempt to
address the issue of “conﬂict of interest,” a Lok Sabha committee set up to “inquire into misconduct of members” has drawn up a Code of Conduct for members prohibiting them from voting in the House or a Committee on an issue in which they have a “direct, pecuniary or personal interest.” The Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha — in separate reports tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday along with the Code of Conduct — ruled against codiﬁcation of parliamentary privileges and has sought amendments to the Right to Information Act, 2005, to
keep decisions taken by the House/Speaker on an RTI application out of the review of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). As per the Code of Conduct, every member of the House will have to furnish particulars of “registrable interests” with the SecretaryGeneral. It also details “conﬂict of interest” and states that members, “while performing their parliamentary and public duties, shall avoid conﬂict between their private interest and the public interest and resolve any conﬂict, should such a conﬂict arise between the two, at once and in favour of the public interest.” Any kind of misconduct — including voting on a matter
where the issue of conﬂict of interest arises — can invite expulsion, suspension from the House or Committee for a speciﬁed period of time, admonishment or reprimand. In another report on ‘Parliamentary Privileges – Codiﬁcation and related matters,’ the Committee has said there is no need to codify the privileges. It noted that awareness needs to be generated in regard to the true import of the term parliamentary privileges and the ground realities that exist. While recommending against codiﬁcation of privileges, the Committee was guided by the fact that during the past ﬁve-and-a-half decades there had been only one case of admonition, two cases
of reprimand and one case of expulsion for commission of breach of privilege and contempt of the House. Pointing out that the power of privileges had been used sparingly and not misused “as erroneously believed in some quarters,” the Committee said: “Under the circumstances, there doesn’t arise an occasion for codiﬁcation of parliamentary privileges.” Only one member of the Committee — Sebastian Paul — dissented with the majority view against codiﬁcation of privileges. In its report on ‘Requests from Courts of Law and investigating agencies for documents pertaining to proceedings of House, Parliamentary Committees or
which are in the custody of Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, for production in Courts of Law and for investigation purposes,’ the Committee has detailed the amendment suggested to the RTI Act. As per the amendment suggested by the Committee, people seeking information from the House under the RTI Act should cite a reason. The Speaker should be empowered to refer a request to the Committee of Privileges for examination if he/she feels that the information sought has the potential to call into question the proceedings of the House or of any Committee in any court. And, the Speaker’s decision “may not be open to review by the CIC.”
tions require that in situations where one section of the people tried to create “bad blood” against another in the name of religion or ideology, the matter will be handed over to the CBI, Home Minister Shivraj Patil assured the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He was replying to a question hour supplementary by Brinda Karat (CPI-M), who wanted to know whether the government would club the January 24 bomb blasts at a bus stand and outside the RSS ofﬁce in Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu with the one in Nanded that occurred in 2006 and hand over the cases to the CBI. Charging the Bharatiya Janata Party with showing “selective concern about national security,” she said there was a “diabolical conspiracy” by communal outﬁts to inﬂame passions. This remark brought several BJP members to their feet. Amidst interruptions, Mr. Patil said that in the Tenkasi incident, following the murder of a person allegedly by some Muslims, the victim’s brother and some others conspired to prepare bombs. One pipe bomb went off before the RSS ofﬁce and another at a bus stop. Their intention was to see that there was a clash between Hindus and Muslims, which, however, did not happen. They were subse-
quently arrested and some material was recovered from them. The matter was under investigation by the State government. Ms. Karat sought to know whether the Centre would take it as a “solitary incident” or relate it to the blasts in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and order a CBI probe. The Minister said that in one case in Nanded, some Bajrang Dal men were said to be involved and the investigation was handed over to the anti-terrorist squad. Later the matter was entrusted to the CBI. The reports of the anti-terrorist squad and the CBI were identical. “Unfortunately it is a reality that there are people trying to create bad blood among various sections,” he said. There was a fresh round of pandemonium when the BJP’s S.S. Ahluwalia said there was no link between the Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra incidents. “The mindset with which Ms. Karat had asked the question does create tension.” Expressing concern at attempts to create communal tension, Mr. Patil said the bomb blasts in Ajmer, Benares, Mumbai, Aurangabad and other places showed that (communal) passions could be whipped up in the name of religion or even language. “We cannot blame any one sect. It is against different sects.”
Six-year-old Dalit girl thrown into ﬁre
LUCKNOW: A six-year-old Dalit
We will eat what we need, Minister tells Rice
NEW DELHI: Reacting to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statement that the world food crisis is a result of an “improvement in the diets of people in India and China,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, told reporters here on Wednesday
that Indians would eat what they needed. Mr. Sharma said: ‘‘Ms. Rice has a different perception about India. It’s a painful reality that there is a global shortage and the scarcity has put pressure on poor countries like ours.
“The shortage has resulted in a sharp increase in food prices, worldwide. But in India it works the other way round. Besides climate change, one major factor in India is the diversion of food grains for bio-fuels. ‘‘As far as India is con-
cerned, our people will eat what they need and it is the duty of the government to ensure adequate availability of food grains. The country should export only when it has much in excess than its own people’s demands’’ Addressing the Peace
Corps 2008 Country Directors Conference in Washington, Ms. Rice had said the improving diets of the people in India and China were forcing other countries to keep their food supplies within the limits of their geographical boundaries. — ANI
girl suffered serious burns when a youth belonging to an upper caste threw her into a garbage dump ﬁre at Karoli village in Mathura district late on Tuesday. The youth, identiﬁed as 16year-old Sunny, son of Ashok Thakur, was arrested by the Chata police and a case registered under the Scheduled Castes/Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act. A Home Department spokesman said here on Wednesday that the girl had been admitted to a local hospital. At Chandanpurwa village in Etawah district, a 22-yearold Dalit youth was set aﬁre on Monday by a shopkeeper, Chunna Pandit, over the payment of a sum of Rs. 10. The youth, who suffered 70 per cent burns, is now in hospital.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Satellites beam quality images
CHENNAI: The cameras on
“Give us our due”
Flexibility in use of airspace likely
CHENNAI: The Ministries of Civil Aviation and Defence are currently working out a system to introduce more ﬂexibility in the use of airspace around the country. The ﬁrst-of-its-kind arrangement, which will be introduced for the ﬁrst time in Chennai on a trial basis, will allow commercial aircraft to chalk out routes through so far restricted zones and is expected to signiﬁcantly ease air trafﬁc congestion around India’s crowded metro airports. A co-ordinating centre will be set up in Chennai that will be in constant communication with defence bases in Tambaram, Sulur near Coimbatore, Hakimpet in Andhra Pradesh and Yelahanka in Karnataka to work out more ﬂexible arrangements for sharing airspace based on the short-term requirements of both civil and defence operations. Around 35 per cent of airspace in the country is currently under the control of the Ministry of Defence and
board Cartosat-2A and the Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), which were launched by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9) on Monday, have started sending pictures of some States and the quality of the images was “excellent,” according to a press release from the Indian Space Research Organisation. The PSLV-C9 also put eight foreign nano satellites in accurate orbits. The telemetry data received indicated that all the sub-systems of the Indian satellites were normal. The multispectral camera on board the IMS-1 was switched on the previous day and it transmitted a high quality image covering a wide swathe from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. On Wednesday, the hyperspectral camera on the IMS-1 and the panchromatic camera on Cartosat-2A were switched on. The images from the IMS-1 covered Uttarakhand to Karnataka, passing through New Delhi and Bhopal. The images from the Cartosat-2A covered strips of land from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh to Nuh (south of Delhi) and Sangli in Maharashtra to the Goa coast. “The quality of the images received at the National Remote-Sensing Agency, Hyderabad, was excellent.” The release said the launch of PSLV-C9 was a milestone for ISRO as it again proved the reliability and versatility of the PSLV and its ability to put satellites in different types of orbits.
restricted from civilian use. With a booming aviation industry growing at close to 30 per cent, the Ministry of Civil Aviation believes it requires more airspace to decongest airports as well as introduce new routes.
Air trafﬁc congestion is a common problem around metro airports — in peak hours, aircraft often wait in queues of more than 25 before getting clearance for landing, in the process also burning aviation turbine fuel and signiﬁcantly increasing operating costs. The arrangement is of particular relevance to Chennai, where the airspace restricted to Defence use is signiﬁcantly higher than the national average. The Indian Air Force base in Tambaram lies only six miles south of Meenambakkam, while the naval air strip at Arakkonam lies several miles further to the north-west. The Tambaram space, which extends up to 15 miles inland and 80 miles down the coast up to an elevation of
SEEKING QUOTA: Members of the Alliance for Women’s Reservation Bill, a joint front of women’s groups across socio-economic, political, religious and special interests, staging a demonstration demanding the passing of the 33 per cent Women’s Reservation Bill, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PHOTO: S. SUBRAMANIUM
"Table women’s Bill this session"
Congress women MPs’ plea to Manmohan
NEW DELHI: Almost on the eve of the conclusion of the budget session of Parliament, a delegation of Congress women MPs on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to demand the tabling of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the current session. In a memorandum, the
25,000 feet, is particularly a problem for air trafﬁc management in Chennai. “Aircraft cannot come 10 miles within the airport from the south,” an airport ofﬁcial said. “Airlines are also forced to burn more fuel as they cannot chart direct routes through the restricted space.” Air trafﬁc controllers welcome a more ﬂexible arrangement. For instance, controllers suggest that reducing the elevation of the defence space around Tambaram to 15,000 feet to allow more direct access to the airport from the south and increasing the elevation as and when required, would bring signiﬁcant relief to air trafﬁc management. Last month, the Ajay Prasad Committee — constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to formulate a master plan for future air navigation services — recommended that “the Flexible Use of Airspace should be accepted as an underline basis for optimising the use of Indian airspace for meeting the needs of both military and civil aviation for the country.”
Hawk damaged in accident
NEW DELHI: A recently acquired
MPs said that during the ﬁrst phase of the budget session, the Prime Minister had given an assurance that the government would evolve a consensus among all United Progressive Alliance partners on the Bill [that calls for reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in Parliament and Assemblies]. “Today the Mahila Con-
CJI should come under RTI Act: panel
NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee on Ministry of Law and Justice, in its report placed in Parliament on Tuesday, made it clear that all the constitutional authorities, including the Chief Justice of India (CJI), would come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act. In its 25th report, the Committee, headed by its Chairman E.M. Sudarsana
British jet to train rookie pilots was damaged at the Bidar airport in Karnataka on Tuesday after the pilot aborted the take-off for a training mission, according to information reaching the Air Headquarters here. The pilot aborted the takeoff sensing a technical fault causing the aircraft to slide and hit a wall. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a court of inquiry to investigate the incident.
Natchiappan, said “Except the judicial decision making, all other activities of administration and the persons included in it (judiciary) are subject to the RTI Act.” The committee’s recommendations assume importance in the context of the stand of the present CJI, K.G. Balakrishnan, that the ofﬁce of the CJI would not come under the purview of the RTI Act as it was a constitutional authority.
AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad sessions court on Wednesday issued notice to the Gujarat government on a petition seeking further investigation into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. The petition was ﬁled on Wednesday under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code by Sohrabuddin’s brother, Rubabuddin, who had ﬁled a case in the SuInterpreting Section 2 (h) so since the judiciary is hav- preme Court also. Sessions of the Act, the Committee ing a dual role: (i) adminis- judge P.B. Desai asked the gosaid: “The deﬁnition of public trative function and (ii) vernment to give its reply by authority is very clear that all judicial decision making. Ex- May 9. Mr. Rubabuddin said the the constitutional authorities cept the judicial decision come under the deﬁnition of making, all other activities of charge sheet did not throw public authority. All the three the administration and the light on three vital matters wings of the state — the exec- persons included in it are and a fresh investigation by the CID (Crime) was reutive, the legislature and the subject to the RTI Act.” judiciary — are fully covered The panel recommended to quired. While the police under this Act, since all orga- the government to address claimed that Sohrabuddin ns of the state are accoun- the issues highlighted in the was riding a motorbike when table to the citizens of India report and take steps to en- he was shot dead and the vehin a democratic state.” sure that the fruits of the Act icle was recovered, the investigating agencies did not It further said, “It is more were enjoyed by the public.
gress and various NGOs working on women issues are looking up to you and your government with great expectations to get this important Bill tabled in this session so that by ensuring their participation in national politics and in decision-making, the process of their political empowerment would be complete,” the memorandum
submitted to Dr. Singh said. The delegation led by senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai noted that while the Congress-led UPA was committed to get the longpending Bill passed, due to the “non-cooperation” of some of the alliance partners, the government could not present the proposed legislation in Parliament.
Brother seeks fresh probe into Sohrabuddin case
Manas Dasgupta name the owner of the motorbike or in whose custody it was at the time of recovery. Also the investigation did not throw light on why and how Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kausarbi, was killed. The petitioner brought out the absence of any reference in the charge sheet to a compact disc claimed to have been prepared by the ﬁrst investigating ofﬁcer, Rajnish Rai, who put three of his IPS colleagues including Deputy Inspector-General D.G. Vanzara in jail. The petitioner said Mr. Rai had made the CD with the help of mobile service companies listing the calls made by the accused police ofﬁcials around the time the fake encounter took place on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. An analysis of the CD could throw up vital clues. Even after a year since the principal accused, Mr. Vanzara and the two other IPS ofﬁcers Rajkumar Pandian and M.N. Dinesh Kumar were arrested, the investigation had not made headway into certain crucial areas. Last month, the sessions court approved the demand for narco-analysis on the accused. The Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar, has scheduled tests on the IPS ofﬁcers and three other policemen for May 5-9. Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent N.K. Amin, who is among the 13 accused policemen in the Sohrabuddin case and lodged in the Sabarmati central jail, reportedly attacked Mr. Vanzara after he and Mr. Kumar were denied bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Though jail authorities refused to conﬁrm the incident, sources said clashes among the accused had become frequent as the frustrated policemen were blaming Mr. Vanzara for their plight.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Sharif-Zardari talks appear to make headway
Coalition government not in danger of collapse, they say
DUBAI: Talks between the for-
mer Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the cochairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari over the reinstatement of judges appear to have made headway. At the end of two rounds of marathon talks on Wednesday evening, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Communication Minister who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League (N), said substantial progress had been made in the talks. He said talks would
continue on Thursday afternoon on a few sensitive issues which still needed to be addressed. The PML (N) delegation, led by Mr. Sharif, was earlier scheduled to depart for Pakistan on Wednesday night. Both Mr. Sharif and Mr. Zardari earlier assured the media after the ﬁrst round of talks on Wednesday afternoon that the coalition government was not in danger of collapse. “The coalition is strong,” Mr. Zardari told reporters outside the venue of talks. Neither of the two leaders referred to the 30-day deadline for the reinstate-
ment of sacked judges that the PML (N) and the PPP had set under the Murree accord. Mr. Zardari has been insisting that the judges’ reinstatement is part of a wider issue of judicial reforms in Pakistan. He has, therefore, advocated working out a constitutional package to be passed by Parliament as the basis of a lasting solution. According to him, persisting with a 30-day deadline, which expired on April 30, for the restoration of the judges is unrealistic. The talks in Dubai have taken place in the backdrop of a majority view emerging in
Pakistan that the country’s Supreme Court needed expansion. The Pakistani daily Dawn reported that the government had ﬁnalised a draft resolution, which stated that the strength of the Supreme Court would be increased. Not only would the dismissed judges be reinstated, the new ones who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order would also be not removed. Mr. Zardari, Mr. Sharif, Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali and Maulana Fazlur Rehman would formally announce the agreed resolution, the daily said.
DOMESTIC LEG BEGINS: Yang Shu’an, Executive Vice-President of the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee, displays the Olympic ﬂame in Hong Kong on Wednesday. — PHOTO: XINHUA
On target for a perfect Olympics
Smooth construction of venues is a major source of conﬁdence
BEIJING: With 100 days to go from Wednesday before the curtain rises on the 2008 Olympics, organisers are busy ﬁne-tuning things for a perfect staging. Construction of venues, easing the city’s trafﬁc congestion, and efforts to clean up the air are all on target for the August 8-24 event, and International Olympic Committee ofﬁcials have repeatedly voiced conﬁdence that the athletes would experience a top class Games. “There is every reason to believe that we will see here a gold-medal performance in August, also superb organisation of the Olympic Games,” Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Beijing Games, told reporters this month after his last inspection visit to the Chinese cap-
Gillani: no compromise on Kashmiri cause
Pakistan is for “result-oriented” talks with India
ISLAMABAD: On his ﬁrst visit to
ital. IOC president Jacques Rogge also predicted that the Games would be a “great success.” “Here and there are small details to be ﬁne-tuned but I am saying that the level of preparedness ... is really excellent and ... I am optimistic that the Games will be a great success,” said Mr. Rogge. The smooth construction of Olympic venues is a major source of conﬁdence. The National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest for its giant latticework structure of metal girders, hosted its ﬁrst ofﬁcial event on April 18 — a race-walking meet.
Organisers said the ﬁnal touches on the 91,000-seat National Stadium would not be complete until next month due to the extra work needed to prepare it for the opening ceremony on August 8. The iconic Olympic venue will al-
so stage the closing ceremony and the athletics competitions. Fears about risks of competing outdoors in Beijing are dwindling amid the continual improvement of the air quality. According to the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, the city notched up 67 “blue sky days” from January to the end of March, 12 more than the same period a year earlier and the highest in nine years. Since being awarded the 2008 Games seven years ago, Beijing has aggressively tried to clean up its toxic haze. It has spent nearly $15 billion on anti-pollution measures such as moving factories, adding subway lines, upgrading boilers, and converting coalheated homes to electric. The authorities plan to close factories and force 19 heavy polluters to reduce emissions by 30 per cent for
the two months around the Olympics and Paralympics, and measures to limit factory emission are also in place for areas surrounding the capital, including the city of Tianjin, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, and Shandong, and the Inner Mongolia region. Highlighting the enthusiasm for the greatest show on Earth, more than one million persons were in the hunt for an Olympics volunteer’s post and training programmes are under way. The third phase of the domestic ticket sales will start on May 5, with large crowds expected to chase the remaining 1.38 million tickets for 16 sports including volleyball, athletics, boxing, and football. Organisers are closer to selecting an ofﬁcial theme song with 30 candidate songs expected to be released at a gala show later on Wednesday. — Xinhua
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani mixed rhetoric with pragmatism to dispel the impression that the Pakistan People’s Party-led government in Islamabad was about to put the issue of Kashmir on the back burner as it prepared to move forward on ties with India. In an address to a joint session of the “Azad Kashmir” legislative Assembly and Council, Mr. Gillani called for an end to human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and said his government was seeking “result-oriented” talks with India.
He expressed the hope that the composite dialogue process would soon yield results, and said the slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto had been supportive of the peace process with India. The Prime Minister said his government stood for friendly relations with all neighbours including India, and wanted the Kashmir issue resolved through dialogue.
opening of entry points along the Line of Control to enable divided families to meet, Mr. Gillani said his government also wanted to see tourism and trade between the two Kashmirs. But he sought to assure his audience that there would be no compromise on Kashmiri interests. He reminded them that it was Zulﬁqar Ali Bhutto who had declared that Pakistan was ready to wage a 1,000Ceaseﬁre year war for Kashmir. Pointing out that a ceaseLauding the “supreme sacﬁre ﬁrst declared unilaterally riﬁces” made by the Kashmiby Pakistan in November ris to achieve 2003 was still holding and self-determination, he said noting the operation of a bus these would not be allowed to service between Muzaffara- go waste. bad and Srinagar and the “Their struggle is not di-
rected against anyone but is aimed at achieving the right to self-determination that was promised by the United Nations,” Mr. Gillani said. “This is a question of their rights and Kashmiris should get these rights.” Later, talking to a delegation of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference of “Azad Kashmir,” Mr. Gillani said Pakistan would continue to extend “political, moral and diplomatic” support to the Kashmiri cause and continue efforts for the resolution of the dispute according to the aspirations of its people. In this regard, the composite dialogue process with India would continue, Mr. Gillani said.
Pakistan link to Karzai plot seen
KABUL: The plot to kill President Hamid Karzai on Sunday was hatched in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Afghanistan’s intelligence chief said on Wednesday. The accusation came just hours after security forces raided a Kabul hideout of militants with suspected links to the attack on Mr. Karzai; seven persons died in the raid. Intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh said there was no evidence that Pakistan’s government or its intelligence agencies were involved in the attempt. “We have no evidence
Only an apprehension: Sri Lankan A-G
B. Muralidhar Reddy
COLOMBO: A purported letter
by the chief of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), Justice (retd) P.N. Bhagwati, to President Mahinda Rajapaksa disassociating himself from some of the observations contained in the ﬁnal report of the Group has triggered a controversy. Minister of Disaster Man-
agement and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe claimed here that in response to “serious concerns” expressed by Mr. Rajapaksa, the IIGEP chief has clariﬁed that the Group has not cast any doubts on political will of the government to pursue cases of human rights violations. The IIGEP, constituted in February 2007 by Mr. Rajapaksa to oversee the functioning of the Commission of
Inquiry into serious violations, in March notiﬁed that it is winding up its mission as it was not satisﬁed with the government’s attitude towards its recommendations and the style of the functioning of the Commission. A few of the 11 members have contested the claim made by the government . They said that Justice Bhagwati cannot go back on the observations made in the
ﬁnal statement. AttorneyGeneral C. R. de Silva said Justice Bhagawati had clariﬁed the “controversial” statements made by the IIGEP. As per the A-G the clariﬁcation mentioned that the IIGEP had not criticised the government and what had been conveyed in the statement was the IIGEP’s apprehension regarding absence of political will.
whether the operation has had any mercy or go-ahead from the Pakistan government and [its]special agencies,” said Mr. Saleh. “There [is] very, very strong evidence suggesting that Pakistan’s soil once again has been used to inﬂict pain on our nation,” he added. The militants involved in the plot were in contact with people in Pakistan’s Bajaur and North Waziristan tribal areas and Peshawar, he said. In an initial reaction, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the allegations appeared “base-
less.” “Anybody can say militants [in the tribal areas] have done this or that,” he said, adding: “How can one validate such claims?” Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of harbouring Taliban leaders, but Pakistan denies the charge. Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders hide in the volatile border region between the two countries. Earlier, Afghan security forces launched a predawn raid on Wednesday and traded gunﬁre with militants for several hours. The troops destroyed the hideout when it was clear the militants would
not surrender. Two militants, three intelligence agents, a woman and a child were among those killed, said Mr. Saleh. One of the dead militants had supplied weapons used to attack Mr. Karzai, added Mr. Saleh. Wednesday’s raid was part of a wider operation in which six suspects were detained in two other locations in Kabul. Mr. Saleh told Parliament on Tuesday that the intelligence agency knew about the plot to kill the President, but failed to locate the attackers in time.— AP
Palestinians agree on truce with Israel
CAIRO: Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo for talks with Egyptian security ofﬁcials have agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a truce with Israel starting in the Gaza Strip, state news agency MENA said on Wednesday. But a number of factions were equivocal in their support for the truce, and some said they reserved the right to retaliate against Israeli attacks. ‘‘All the Palestinian factions have agreed to the Egyptian proposal on a truce with Israel,’’ MENA said, citing an unnamed high-level Egyptian ofﬁcial. The ofﬁcial said the proposal included a ‘‘comprehensive, reciprocal and simultaneous truce, implemented in a graduated framework starting in the Gaza Strip and then subsequently moving to the West Bank,’’ MENA added. MENA said the proposal was part of a broader plan
Economic revolution next, say Maoists
KATHMANDU: Maoist leaders
eventually leading to the lifting of the blockade which Israel, with Egyptian help, has imposed on Gaza since last June. The plan includes attempts to reconcile the two biggest Palestinian factions — the Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip and the Fatah group which controls the Palestinian Authority from its base in the West Bank. Egypt invited 12 Palestinian groups for talks to form a consensus on a proposal for a ceaseﬁre that emerged from talks between Egypt and Hamas as part of efforts to end violence threatening talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has been killing Hamas members in Gaza and the West Bank while Hamas and other groups have been ﬁring rockets across the border into Israel. Each side says it is responding to attacks by the other. — Reuters
have reiterated that the country will see an economic revolution in the coming 10 years. They met senior World Bank ofﬁcials on Tuesday and discussed their economic plans and the ways in which the Bank can provide ﬁnancial assistance. Speaking to the media, Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai said the meeting revolved around the party’s developmental agenda and the Bank’s future ﬁnancial support. “Poverty alleviation, economic growth by double digit, creating employment opportunities, transforming agricultural sector are our priorities,” said Dr. Bhattarai. He also said the Bank was ready to help them and the Maoists welcome “donations”. “We are in immediate need of mon-
ey for compensation of PLA [People’s Liberation Army — Maoists’ army now in cantonments],” he said. “And they’ve said they’ll provide us with the funds.” After the major victory in the Constituent elections, Maoist leaders Prachanda and Dr. Bhattarai have been saying the country will see miraculous economic revolution.
Meanwhile, the Bank ofﬁcials also met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and assured him of aid for hydropower development. The World Bank is among the major donors of Nepal in developmental works.
The Himalayan region largely depends on donations from Japan, Canada, America and China.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Snifﬁng identities of mice
Mammals use their sense of smell to detect complex chemical signals in urine that convey data about gender, reproductive status, says Science.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Co-location of fuel FBTR: ‘We don’t see any reprocessing, refabrication problems with reprocessing’ T T
Continuous injections of sulphur into the stratosphere, a geoengineering scheme to counteract global warming, would drastically deplete polar ozone, reports Science. R. PRASAD
The carbide fuel that had reached a burn-up of 1,55,000 MW days/tonne was reprocessed
he Kalpakkam based Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) has squeezed the most out of the uranium-plutonium mixed carbide fuel in the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR). The fuel has proved its capability to light up a 100 watts bulb continuously for 14,880 hours for 620 days using just one gram of the fuel. Technically speaking, the carbide fuel had reached the maximum burn-up of 1,55,000 MW days/tonne some time ago without any failure of fuel. Burn-up is the cumulative amount of energy that can be extracted from a unit mass of the fuel. So the higher the burn-up, the greater is the amount of energy that can be extracted from a given amount to fuel.
as well. Reprocessing goes a long way in removing the long lived ﬁssion products (actinides) and in the process it makes waste management much easier.
Closing the fuel cycle
And in what may be termed as closing the fuel cycle, the IGCAR scientists have successfully reprocessed the spent fuel that has undergone 1,55,000 MW days/tonne burn-up. Reprocessing is very important as only about 17 atoms per cent of the fuel would have undergone ﬁssion to produce energy. So reprocessing helps to extract the valuable plutonium and separate the ﬁssion
EASY TASK: Unlike the carbide fuel, reprocessing the oxide fuel that will be used in the PFBR should not be difﬁcult, says Dr. Baldev Raj, Director of IGCAR, Kalpakkam. — PHOTO: S. R. RAGHUNATHAN
products from the spent fuel. undergone 1,00,000 MW The reprocessed plutonium is days/tonne burn-up. ‘Fast breeder’ reactor, as refabricated as fuel. the name indicates, breeds or Reprocessed fuel produces more plutonium It was in 2005 that IGCAR than what it consumes for reprocessed the fuel that had producing energy. This is what gives it the name “breeder.” So perfecting the reprocessing technology is a must to extract the unspent plutonium for use in a new reactor. There are other advantages
For all its advantages, reprocessing is fraught with many challenges, especially when the fuel has undergone higher burn-ups. Dissolving the 1 lakh MW days/tonne burn–up fuel with nitric acid, among other steps, was done without much of a problem. “Our assessment was right about the additional challenges of reprocessing the fuel [that has undergone 1,55,000 MW days/tonne burn-up],” said Dr. Baldev Raj, Director of IGCAR. “There was more radioactivity, more problems with shielding, the separation process, maintenance and degradation of solvents. But there were no surprises.” An additional challenge came in the form of handling the fuel that has undergone a shorter cooling.
he mixed oxide fuel for the upcoming Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) and two more new fast breeder reactors to come up at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, will be produced within the IGCAR premises. The Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility (FRFCF) to produce the refabricated fuel for the prototype reactor is at its pre-project stage. The FRFCF, in addition to producing the mixed oxide fuel, will also reprocess the spent fuel coming out of the reactors. This reprocessed fuel will ultimately be refabricated and put back into the reactors. Dr. Baldev Raj, Director of IGCAR expects the sanction for the facility to come through by April next year. The Rs.2,500 crore facility will be ready for commercial use by 2012. “The idea is to have the reprocessing, refabrication, and making the sub-assemblies (of the fuel pins) co-located within the reactor site,” said Dr. Raj. “Having it co-located
By April 2009
be fabricated by the Advanced Fuel Fabrication Facility (AFFF) at BARC, Mumbai. This is because changing the fuel in the core, called a campaign, needs to be done once in 8 months in the Co-located facility case of the PFBR. will ensure safety Hence the facility coming and security up at Kalpakkam will only refabricate the reprocessed fuel is important from the safety for PFBR. However, it would and security point of view; be able to fabricate the fuel and also of economics.” In the for the two new reactors comabsence of this facility, fuel ing up within the same premfor the PFBR and two other ises at Kalpakkam. fast breeder reactors to come up at Kalpakkam will have to More demanding “The technology to refabribe fabricated at BARC and transported all the way from cate a plutonium based fuel is much more demanding and Mumbai. challenging,” said Dr. Raj, “as The focus it [the fuel] will still have Since the focus is on co- some radioactivity.” location of the fuel fabricaThe FRFCF facility, action, reprocessing and refa- cording to him, will be much brication facility with the more complex and sophistireactors, the other two fast cated compared with the breeder reactors to come up Hyderabad based Nuclear elsewhere in the country by Fuel Complex.It may be re2020 will have similar co-lo- membered that the mixed cated facilities. carbide fuel for the FBTR was “It is an ideology to have fabricated by the BARC facilfuel fabrication co-located ity and not the NFC, Hyderawherever the reactor is,” he bad. Scientists at IGCAR noted. already have some experience Since the FRFCF is expect- refabricating mixed oxide ed to be operational only by fuel on a pilot scale. A demon2012, two years after the stration fuel reprocessing PFBR goes critical, the fuel plant is expected to be ready for the ﬁrst two cores would by 2010.
The FRFCF will fabricate fuel for the two reactors to come up at IGCAR
“We reprocessed the fuel after just 18 months cooling period. This is comparable to commercial reactors,” he said. It may be recalled that the 1 lakh MW days/tonne burn-up fuel was reprocessed after six years of cooling. “Today we can say that we don’t see any problems with fuel reprocessing,” he said conﬁdently. So he is thirsting for more challenges. “We would like to reduce the cooling period from 18 to 12 months,” Dr. Raj noted.
PFBR: work on to increase the burn-up by 50 per cent
he current burn-up target for the mixed oxide fuel in the PFBR is 1 lakh MW days/tonne. The scientists at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam are striving to increase this by 50 per cent to 1,50,000 MW days/tonne.
Putting the FBTR to the litmus test
GCAR is taking up yet another challenge. The scientists are putting the reactor to the litmus test of automatically shutting down at the very ﬁrst instance of a fuel leakage. “We want to take one subassembly [that contains the fuel pins] beyond the 1,55,000 MW days/tonne burn-up till the clad [metal casing] fails,” said Dr. Raj. Scientists feel that they would be able to increase the burn-up by another 9,000 MW days/tonne
before the clad gives way. The post irradiation examination (PIE) of the fuel indicates that it has already reached the natural end of its life. But the metal casing (clad) has not given way. The fuel undergoes continuous ﬁssion and it swells. It then comes in contact with the metal casing leading to stress build-up at the casing. The casing ruptures after some time, unable to accommodate the swelling fuel. “There are speciﬁc instruments to detect clad
[metal casing] failure. These instruments were checked for their responses recently by putting fuel pins with perforated clad [to simulate failed clad] in the core, and these instruments responded well,” said Dr. P.V. Ramalingam, Director of Reactor Operation and Maintenance Group, IGCAR. Will the metal casing failure leading to fuel leakage not cause problems? “The clad is the ﬁrst barrier, the primary sodium system is the second, and the reactor containment building is the
last barrier,” said Dr. Ramalingam. “So when the clad fails, it is only the ﬁrst barrier that would have failed. The ﬁssion products released would be contained in the sodium system barrier.” When this happens, the systems are supposed to detect it and shut down the reactor. The temperature would then drop and the cracks in the clad would get sealed. “The contamination will be only minimal,” said Dr. Ramalingam. — R.P.
While IGCAR has gained much experience and hence conﬁdence in reprocessing the mixed carbide fuel used in the fast breeder test reactor, the PFBR would have a mixed oxide fuel. So will its experience with carbide fuel help in reprocessing the oxide fuel to be used in the PFBR? “Reprocessing [mixed] carbide fuel is difﬁcult unlike [mixed] oxide fuel. We don’t see any difﬁculty,” said the Director, sounding conﬁdent.
The rationale behind increasing the burn-up is to get more energy from a unit mass of the fuel. But more importantly, the scientists want to increase the time between two fuel handling campaigns from 8 to 12 months. Increasing the burn-up would give them more time between fuel campaigns. This is analogous to increasing the time interval between fuel reﬁlls of a motor vehicle by improving its fuel
efﬁciency by 50 per cent so that a litre of fuel lasts longer. With 50-60 sub-assemblies containing 217 fuel pins per sub-assembly taken out during each fuel changing campaign, fuel reprocessing and refabrication have to be completed by the time the next fuel campaign is due. The 8 months cooling period poses an additional challenge. “Future fuel handling campaigns will be at 12-month interval. So if we develop the technology to reprocess a 12month-cooled fuel, then we are like online,” said Dr. Baldev Raj, Director of IGCAR.
they would be able to achieve this by 2011. Incidentally, the advanced oxide fuel will have no changes in the fuel composition. Unlike the mixed carbide fuel, it is the clad (metal that cases the fuel) and wrapper that set the limit for achieving higher burn-ups. So improving the steel used in making the clad and wrapper would make it an advanced oxide fuel.
“We are working on changing the composition and thermo-mechanical treatment of the steel used for making the clad and wrapper,” said Dr. Raj, “so the shift is from fuel to metallurgy for achieving a higher burn-up.” He is even conﬁdent of increasing the burn-up to 2,00,000 MW days/tonne by 2015. — R.P.
IGCAR is working on an advanced oxide fuel that would help have a burn-up of 1,50,000 MW days/tonne. The Director is conﬁdent that
Algae’s surprising new application
ome varieties of algae, a kind of unicellular plant, contain an enzyme called hydrogenase that can create small amounts of hydrogen gas. Many believe this is used by nature as a way to get rid of excess reducing equivalents that are produced under high light conditions, but there is little beneﬁt to the plant.
Metallic fuel for fast breeders after 2020 Safeguarding cancer
The scientists are aiming at a breeding ratio of 1.5 for the metallic fuel
ALOK JHA cientists have found a way to store and grow a woman’s immature eggs in the laboratory using a technique which could be used to protect the fertility of women undergoing chemotherapy. Anti-cancer drugs can often destroy the ovary’s follicles, where immature eggs remain dormant from birth until they are matured by the body. This means a woman may survive cancer but become infertile as a result. Several centres in the U.K. already offer to store pieces of ovary tissue from women about to undergo cancer treatment in the hope that, one day, techniques can be found to mature the eggs and use them for IVF. The new research, led by Evelyn Telfer of the University of Edinburgh, has taken a major step towards that goal. She took pieces of ovary tissue and, by adding artiﬁcial growth hormones in the laboratory, successfully grew the eggs within the follicles.
Algae for production
Scientists at U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are working to chemically manipulate algae for production of the next generation of renewable fuels – hydrogen gas. The move is in direct response to soaring gasoline prices. “We believe there is a fundamental advantage in looking at the production of hydrogen by photosynthesis as a renewable fuel,” senior chemist David Tiede said. “Right now, ethanol is being produced from corn, but generating ethanol from corn is a thermodynamically much more inefﬁcient process.”
yield that’s the problem,” Tiede said. “What we would like to do is take that catalyst out of hydrogenase and put into the photosynthetic protein framework. We are fortunate to have Professor Thomas Rauchfuss as a collaborator from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana who is an expert on the synthesis of hydrogenase active site mimics.”
Tiede and his group are trying to ﬁnd a way to take the part of the enzyme hydrogenase, that creates the gas and introduce it into the photosynthesis process, according to an Argonne National Laboratory press release. The result would be a large amount of hydrogen gas, possibly on par with the amount of oxygen created. “Biology can do it, but it’s making it do it at 5-10 percent
ast breeder reactors (the sixth reactor onwards) that would come up after 2020 will be 1,000 MW and not 500 MW reactors. And they would have metallic fuel and not mixed oxide fuel. The entire fuel core of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) would be changed to metallic fuel by 2017. “We are getting ready to irradiate advanced metallic fuel in FBTR Several beneﬁts by 2010,” said Dr. Baldev Raj, Algae has several beneﬁts Director of the Indira Gandhi over corn in fuel production. Centre for Atomic Research It can be grown in a closed (IGCAR), Kalpakkam. system almost anywhere including deserts or even roof- Pilot facility A facility to fabricate, retops, and there is no competition for food or fertile process and refabricate metallic fuel would come up at soil. It is also easier to harvest IGCAR and become operbecause it has no roots or ational by 2014. IGCAR is ﬁrst fruit and grows dispersed in setting up a pilot reprocesswater. “If you have terrestrial ing facility at its complex. The need to go in for a meplants like corn, you are restricted to where you could tallic fuel is understandable. The ability to put up new fast grow them,” Tiede said. “There is a problem now breeder reactors depends on with biofuel crops competing the amount of plutonium with food crops because they available. Breeder technoloare both using the same gy, as the name indicates, produces or “breeds” more space. Algae provides an alterna- plutonium than it consumes tive, which can be grown in a for producing energy. closed photo ioreactor analogous to a microbial fermentor Self-sustaining Hence fast breeder reacthat you could move any tors are not only self-sustainplace.” Tiede admitted the re- ing but have the capability to search is its beginning phases, produce extra plutonium to but he is conﬁdent in his team start new reactors. The rate at which surplus and their research goals. The next step is to create a plutonium is produced deway to attach the catalytic en- pends on the fuel used in a zyme to the molecule. — Our fast breeder reactor. In the case of mixed carbide fuel Bureau
dures such as IVF. Telfer said the new technique had several advantages over standard practices. It took just 10 days for an egg to mature using the new method, while it might take several months for an egg to mature inside the ovary, and one piece of tissue can provide many dozen eggs, rather than the 10 or so harvested during IVF.
No hormone injections
In addition, the technique would avoid the need for a woman to take hormone injections, which are needed in standard IVF to stimulate her ovaries to over-produce eggs. Telfer said that there was still work to do before the laboratory-matured eggs were suitable for fertilisation, but she had high hopes because animal studies had already shown that eggs matured in this way could be suitable.
GOING METALLIC: The entire fuel core of the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) will be changed to metallic fuel by 2017.— PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI
tallic fuel and the most in the case of oxide fuel. “We would have at least 15 years’ advantage to get the necessary fuel [plutonium] for another 1,000 MW reactor,” said Dr. Raj. The plutonium content of 20-25 per cent in metallic fuel would be the same as in carbide or oxide fuel. “But there are no lighter elements like oxygen or carbon to absorb the neutrons [in metallic fuels],” explained Faster doubling time Dr. Raj on why metallic fuels The higher the breeding ra- have a higher breeding ratio tio, the faster would be the and hence faster doubling doubling time — (time taken time. to produce surplus plutoniThe reprocessing of metalum to start a new reactor). lic fuel will be very different So the doubling time would from other fuels. be the least in the case of me“The reprocessing technolused in the FBTR, the extra plutonium produced would be 0.2-0.3 (breeding ratio being 1.2-1.3); it would be just 0.1 (breeding ratio being 1.1) in the case of oxide fuel. However, in the case of metallic fuel the plutonium gain would be 0.3-0.5. The breeding ratio is 1.3-1.5. “We are aiming at a breeding ratio of 1.5 against 1.3 which is the norm,” said Dr. Raj. ogy is very difﬁcult,” he said, “it will be a pyro-metallurgical route.” Though the FBTR fuel core would be changed from carbide to metallic, it would not be possible to do the same with the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) or the two reactors coming up at Kalpakkam.
“We believe there’s good evidence that we can get normal [eggs], but of course you would never apply this technique clinically until you are sure,” said Telfer. Jane Stewart, a consultant in reproductive medicine at the Newcastle Fertility Centre, said the procedure to collect a biopsy from a woman’s ovary was relatively simple and could be done at short notice. But she added: “The storage and use of such biopsies, which may contain abundant but immature eggs, remains experimental, however.” — Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008
The ovary tissue she used was donated by six women who gave birth by elective caesarean section, and about a third of the follicles within them went on to reach the advanced stage of development. Eventually, said Teﬂer, fully matured eggs using this technique could be used in assisted reproduction proce-
“We can’t put metallic fuel in these reactors as the design does not permit it,” he said, “though it is a desired situation.” But he and the scientists at Kalpakkam have not given up on the idea. “We will continue to explore ways of doing this,” he said, sounding optimistic.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY / AGRICULTURE
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
‘Smart’ biofuel crops ensure food and environmental security
The leftover stalks after juice extraction, can be used for animal feed
M.J. PRABU hile the global debate rages on whether the biofuel revolution is causing imbalances in food security systems and increasing the greenhouse gas emissions the ‘smart’ biofuel crops developed, utilized and promoted by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, ensure energy and environmental security. According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, the time has come to ensure that only smart biofuel crops are developed and utilized so that they can link poor dryland farmers with the biofuel market, without compromising on their food security, or causing environmental damage.
PHOTO: S.R. RAGHUNATHAN
Management of banana pseudostem borer
Bar of soap
Why does a bar of soap become less soapy when it nears its end? NIDHIN CHANDRAN Payyanur, Kerala A soap is basically either a sodium salt or a potassium salt of long-chain carboxylic acid (fatty acid, e.g., palm oil, coconut oil, animal fat, etc, represented by R-COOH) whereas a detergent is usually a magnesium salt of long-chain sulphonic acid (represented by R-SO3H). Whether it is soap or a detergent, it is substantially a salt admixed with certain ﬁlling materials such as starch or wax along with other ingredients like perfumes for fragrance, glycerine for softness and pigments for colour. A few more trace substances also may be there for the purpose of aesthetics and stability. The major constituent in a cake (bar) of soap is, any way, the fatty acid salt. A salt is essentially an organized arrangement of positively charged constituents (cations) and negatively charged constituents (anions). Salts are very readily soluble in water because water is a polar solvent and embraces ions. Even though the soap has been more or less homogeneous in its composition at the time of opening it in the bathroom, it retains some wetness at the surface after we use it along with water. Owing to the soap’s softness at its bulk and the wetness on the surface, the ions of the fatty acid salt in the bulk are gradually drawn (migrate) towards the wet zone of the surface as days pass and get washed during usage. Thus, the fatty acid salt part is slightly impoverished in the bulk of the soap with time. Since soapy character is due to the tfm (total fat mass), the soap becomes less soapy when it nears its end (after considerable use). PROF. A. RAMACHANDRAIAH Jana Vignana VedikaWarangal, Andhra Pradesh
ronment friendly, and does not add to greenhouse gas emissions. During its growth cycle, a hectare of sweet sorghum cultivation absorbs about 45 tonnes of carbon. It has been found from studies that gasoline blended with ethanol has lower emissions when run through an automobile engine than pure gasoline. Field experiments conducted have proved that from one hectare of sweet sorghum, a farmer can harvest about 30 tonnes of fresh stalk. The cost of cultivation of sweet sorghum works out to Rs.10,500 per hectare. It generates a total income of Rs. 21,000 with a net return of Rs 10,500.
anana Pseudostem borer is a serious pest in banana plantations of Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The pest breeds throughout the year but is more active during summer and monsoon. The weevil lays cylindrical, yellowish white eggs. Grubs are soft, ﬂeshy, wrinkled and sparsely covered with brown hairs of varying lengths. Pupae are pale yellow in colour. Adult weevils are chocolate black in colour, with pointed head. The lifecycle occupies 3-5 days for eggs, 20-26 days for grub and 20-24 days for pupa during summer months and a little longer period for these stages during winter. Adult weevil keeps their eggs in air chambers through slits cut on leaf sheaths. On hatching, the grubs start feeding on tissues around the air chambers of leaf sheath and then bore inside the pseudo stems making them weak. Ultimately, the trees also break down with a strong blast of wind. Other symptoms noted are gummation on the pseudo stem, yellow-
ing and drying of lower leaves and drooping of dried leaves,
— Keep the garden clean by properly disposing of the trees after harvest. — During cropping, periodically remove the dried leaves and leaf sheaths which may harbour the adult weevils. — Remove the side suckers up to 8 months to prevent the harbourage of adult weevils. — Pseudostem injection of diluted monocrotophos can be followed. Monocrotophos (150ml) is mixed with water (350ml). This diluted insecticide is injected into the pseudo stem in 2 sites: one at 2 feet from the ground level and another on the opposite side at 5 feet from the ground level. For the injection, modiﬁed pseudo stem injector can be used. The needle of the injector has to be inserted 1-1/2 inches deep, downwards at 45 degree angle with the pseudo stem. The trees can be injected up to 8 months of planting. After ﬂowering injection of insecticide should be avoided. S. SRIDHARAN Professor of Agricultural Entomology KVK, TNAU, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Good animal feed
The stalks of sweet sorghum are relished by cattle and the digestibility is higher compared to grain sorghum. In the absence of a distillery, the farmer can sell the stalks to animal feed manufacturers. The sillage from sweet sorghum stalk is a good animal feed like grain sorghum. ICRISAT’s initiative to produce biofuels is not limited to bio ethanol from sweet sorghum alone.
“Smart biofuel crops are those that ensure food security, contribute to energy security, provide environmental sustainability, tolerate the impacts of climate change on shortage of water and high temperatures, and increase livelihood options,” he said. Through its BioPower Strategy, ICRISAT is developing and promoting sweet sorghum as a major feedstock for producing bioethanol. Sweet sorghum is a carbon dioxide neutral crop, which is a big contributory factor to being called a smart crop. ICRISAT-bred sweet sorghum varieties and hybrids have increased sugar content in their stalks. It has a strong pro-poor advantage since it has a triple product potential, that is grain, juice for ethanol, and
SWEET HARVEST: Dr. Belum V.S. Reddy, Principal Scientist, Icrisat, at a sweet sorghum ﬁeld.
— PHOTO: ICRISAT
This week’s questions
Why do some kind of data, like pictures, take longer to get copied ? Nidhin Chandran, Kannur, Kerala Is there any minimum distance and minimum intensity of solar radiations to be able to see the mirage effect? Pushkar Pahwa, Patiala, Punjab
Readers can send questions/answers on science and technology for the Question Corner along with their names and address to the following email id: firstname.lastname@example.org or to The Editor, The Hindu (Science and Technology), 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002.
bagasse (waste) for livestock feed and power generation. Its highlight is that there is no compromise on farmers’ food security, since the grain is available for the farmers, along with sugar-rich juice from the stalk that can be distilled to manufacture ethanol.
There are other beneﬁts also. It is a cost-effective and competitive feedstock. It has a shorter crop cycle of 4 months compared to sugarcane, which is a 12-month crop and requires lesser water. It requires only half of the Environment friendly It is a carbon dioxide neuwater required to grow maize and one eighth of the water tral crop that makes it envi-
required to grow sugarcane. The cultivation cost is less when compared to sugarcane. The juice from the stalks is used for fuel alcohol production. The leftover stalks (called sillage), after juice extraction, can be used for animal feed, according to Dr. Belum Reddy, Principal Scientist, Sorghum Breeding, of the Institute. Sweet sorghum is tolerant to water scarcity and high temperatures, two qualities which will keep the crop in good stead in the context of climate change. It also has high water use efﬁciency.
I am interested to know whether any plant extracts are available or can be made to control pests which affect my apple and wheat ﬁelds? S. GURBAJHAN SINGH Ludhiana About 300 grams of garlic can be lightly grinded and soaked in 150 ml of kerosene for 24 hours, after which it can be mixed in about 60 litres of water and sprayed for an acre. This can control a wide spectrum of pests such as cotton bollworm, aswini ﬂy, fruit borer, red spider mite and sugarcane borer. For details on different plant extracts and their uses contact Mr. S. Aravindan, Social scientist, Vivekanandapuram, Kanyakumari - 629 702, Tamil Nadu, India, email. email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 9443748714, phone: 04652 246296 and 04652 247126.
Readers are invited to send their queries with full postal address to ‘Farm Queries,’ The Hindu, Kasturi Buildings, 859/860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002 or email to email@example.com
Water shed project
Through its watershed development project, it is promoting the cultivation of Pongamia and Jatropha also from which biodiesel can be extracted. For more information readers can contact Dr. Belum V.S. Reddy, Principal Scientist, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, GT-Crop Improvement, email: email@example.com , phone: 04030713487 and 040-30713348, ICRISAT P. O., Patancheru, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh: 502324.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Syntel commences work on development centres at Siruseri
Syntel, custom outsourcing solutions provider, has commenced construction of its 29 acre SEZ facility at Siruseri, Chennai. The company planned to undertake construction activities in two phases. In Phase-I, it will construct 6.5 lakh sq. ft. Most of Phase-I is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Kamath is new CII President
UTI AMC submits bid to handle PF corpus
Rs. 1.55 lakh crore will have to be managed
NEW DELHI: Country’s third largest fund manager UTI Asset Management Company has submitted bid for management of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) corpus of over Rs. 1.55 lakh crore. ‘‘We have already submitted Expression of Interest for the management of EPFO’s fund,’’ UTI AMC Chief Executive Ofﬁcer U. K. Sinha told PTI. The EPFO, the country’s largest pension fund having over four crore subscribers, is being managed by a single fund manager. When asked whether it would ﬂoat a separate subsidiary for the management of
RCom Q4 net proﬁt up 47%
Plans to list subsidiary, Reliance GlobalComm, on the London exchange
MUMBAI: Reliance Communi-
Ventures into IT space Tests DTH product nationally
nered a much higher market share than expected. We are adding four lakh customers a month.” For its remaining 15 circles, the company has placed electronics orders worth over $1 billion. The pan-India GSM roll-out will start at the end of this year and RCom will achieve coverage to all villages by end-2009. The company has ventured into the information technology (IT) sector by creating Reliance Technology Services which will focus on speciﬁc verticals of telecommunications, ﬁnancial services, media and entertainment and utilities. It will initially service group companies and later serve external companies. The company is now testing its Direct to Home (DTH) product, Big TV, nationally. This service incorporates MPEG4 (Moving Picture Experts Group) and HDTV technologies and will be launched commercially soon.
pension fund, Mr. Sinha said the asset managers had just submitted bids and the modalities would be worked out later. A fortnight ago, the EPFO had invited bids from fund managers and portfolio managers for efﬁcient management of the corpus. According to the advertisement inviting bids, as on March 31, 2007, the EPFO corpus was over Rs. 1.55 lakh crore at the face value excluding the balance lying in the public account. The appointed fund managers will have to invest the funds as per the prescribed investment pattern issued by the Ministry of Labour and investment guidelines issued
by the EPFO from time-totime, it had said.
As per the existing pattern, the corpus can only be invested in bonds issued by Central, State governments and staterun companies. The EPFO paid 8.5 per cent interest rate to its subscribers during 2007-08. The interest rate has come down substantially from over 10 per cent some years ago. The EPFO manages schemes like the ﬂagship Employees’ Provident Fund, the Employees’ Pension Fund and the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Fund. — PTI
New price index by year-end
NEW DELHI: With the method of calculating inﬂation drawing ﬂak from various quarters, the Central Government will bring in a new and bigger Wholesale Price Index by this year-end, besides giving actual prices from next month. The new WPI, which would be gradually replaced with new indices on service prices and prices at the producers level, would be released monthly against the current practice of weekly, a senior ofﬁcial said. However, the price movements of essential commodities such as agricultural products would continue to be released weekly, he said.
lease actual price quotations on a monthly basis. “In May, we will release prices of April so that prices are in the public domain,’’ he said. The new index will comprise 980 items, twice the number (435) it now has, and the base year would be 200405 against the existing 199394, the ofﬁcial said. ‘‘The coverage of the new series has been rationalised by incorporating important new items, dropping unimportant items and amalgamating similar items,’’ the ofﬁcial said. The increase in the number of items would largely include items from the manufacturing sector, which has a weightage of over 63 per cent Price quotations in the present WPI. From next month, the GoPrice quotations would alvernment would also the re- so go up from the existing
1,918 to 6,000, giving a better picture of the price variation. ‘‘All this exercise is aimed at providing more robust ﬁgures and streamlining the process so that there is accuracy in price movements,’’ the ofﬁcial said, adding that work on the new series was being done by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Commerce Ministry. The existing inﬂation index is being criticised by many as it does not fully capture prices, say, of services. Many brands that are no longer in markets are still in the index, experts said. As such, the WPI would gradually be phased out and replaced with the services price index and the Producer Price Index (PPI), the ofﬁcial said. — PTI
cations (RCom), part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, reported a 47 per cent growth in its net proﬁt at Rs. 1,503 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2008. The turnover over the same period was up 35 per cent at Rs. 5,311 crore. During the period, the company’s businesses posted healthy growth with the wireless business up 40 per cent at Rs. 4,161 crore, global business 18 per cent at Rs. 1,526 crore and broadband business 54.5 per cent at Rs. 510 crore. The operating proﬁt was up 42 per cent at Rs. 2,316 crore and operating margins improved to 43.6 per cent. For the ﬁnancial year 2007-08, the company reported a 71 per cent higher net proﬁt at Rs. 5,401 crore ($1.350 billion) on 32 per cent higher revenues of Rs. 19,068 crore. The operating proﬁt was up 43.3 per cent at Rs. 8,199 crore with strong contributions from all its businesses. RCom had announced a capital expenditure plan of Rs. 45,000 crore over 200708 and 2008-09. It had already spent Rs. 21,000 crore
K. V. Kamath
NEW DELHI: K. V. Kamath, Ma-
STRONG GROWTH: Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Communications, addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday. — PHOTO: PAUL NORONHA
and would spend the balance Rs. 25,000 crore ($6 billion) in the current year. The company plans to list global subsidiary, Reliance GlobalComm, “if values and markets are right on the London Stock Exchange, said Anil Ambani, Chairman, RCom, while addressing the media. RCom’s tower business subsidiary, Reliance Infratel, has ﬁled its prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. “We are awaiting better market conditions. There have been positive developments such as allowing of active and passive sharing, issuing of new licences and spectrum allocation. The regulator’s recommendations on 3G and WiMax are attractive opportunities for Reliance Infratel.” RCom at present operates GSM services through Reliance Telecom in eight circles and according to Mr. Ambani, “the numbers are encouraging and we have gar-
naging Director and CEO, ICICI Bank, has been elected President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2008-09. He succeeds Sunil Bharti Mittal and will assume ofﬁce on Thursday. Venu Srinivasan, Managing Director, Sundaram-Clayton, has been elected Vice President of the industry body.
HDFC posts Rs. 2,712 cr. net
MUMBAI: Private sector lender
Sensex down 91 points ahead of FED meet
MUMBAI: The markets closed
weak on Wednesday with the benchmark Sensex on the Bombay Stock Exchange losing 91 points even as all eyes are on U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share bellwether settled the day 17287.31, a loss of 91.15 points from its previous close. The Sensex had surged to the day’s high of 17480.70 (a rise of 102 points) in early trade.
The broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also fell by 29.60 points to close at 5,165.90 from its last close. Marketmen said investors were so much cautious that even better-than-expected Q4 earnings announced by bluechip companies Reliance Communications and HDFC, failed to trigger any major buying support. The sluggish trend in Asian and European markets also cast shadow on sentiment.
Investors’ unwillingness to enlarge positions also was due to continued concerns over high inﬂation rate. Reliance Industries was down 1.44 per cent, HDFC 2.66 per cent, DLF 2.84 per cent, HDFC Bank 2.11 per cent, Grasim 2.81 per cent, ICICI Bank by 2.43 per cent and ONGC 1.84 per cent.
Rupee ends cheaper
After losing a good 32 paise on Tuesday, the rupee shed another three paise at 40.51/
Housing Development Finance Corporation on Wednesday said it had posted a net proﬁt of Rs. 2,712.19 crore for the year ended March 31, 2008, excluding Rs. 293 crore it earned through derivative exposure. The PAT for the year is 54.74 per cent higher than the last ﬁscal when it earned Rs. 1,741.98 crore. Income from oper40.52 against the dollar on ations stood at Rs. 8,036.42 Wednesday even as the mar- crore against Rs. 5,458.98 ket awaited cues from the crore a year ago. U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. It closed at 40.48/49 on Dividend The board has recomTuesday. At the interbank foreign mended a dividend of Rs. 25 exchange market, the domes- per share. Loan approvals went up by tic unit ﬂuctuated widely in a range of 40.38 and 40.64. It 28 per cent in the reporting resumed ﬁrm at 40.4250/ year, HDFC Vice Chairman Keki Mistry told reporters. 4350 a dollar. During the year, approvals Poor dollar supplies also weighed on the rupee senti- aggregated to Rs. 42,520 ment, forex dealers said. — crore compared to Rs. 33,332 crore a year ago. — PTI PTI
Trent buys out Hemu’s stake in Landmark
K. T. Jagannathan
CHENNAI: Tata-owned retailer
Trent has bought out Hemu Ramaiah’s stake in Chennaibased Landmark for an undisclosed sum. Ms. Ramaiah held 24 per cent stake. Conﬁrming the stake sale, Ms. Ramaiah told this correspondent that she was venturing into retail design and consultancy space. A new company by the name and style of Shop 4 Solutions had already been formed, she said. She felt that retail con-
sultancy was still an unexplored ﬁeld and that it had a big scope. Trent, it may be recalled, had acquired 76 per cent stake in Landmark, then a partnership ﬁrm, for Rs. 103.60 crore in August 2005. It had then acquired 75 per cent from Ms. Hemu Ramaiah’s brother Natraj Ramaiah, the main promoter of the Landmark chain, in an allcash deal. Ms Ramaiah herself had sold one per cent and retained a 24 per cent stake. At the time of Trent taking
over majority control in Landmark, it was agreed that Ms. Ramaiah would exit the company at her own convenient time. “I have chosen to exit now,” she said. “I have been on the shop-ﬂoor for 30 years now,” she said. “I wanted to do something new,” she added. Ms. Ramaiah and her brother were the original promoters of books and gifts retailer Landmark.
the CEO while Himanshu Chakrawarti of Trent joined as COO. Since then, the Landmark chain has spread its wings. Today, it has over 15 stores across cities such as Chennai, Puducherry, Bangalore, Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Landmark, it may be recalled, earlier had an equal joint venture with the Emami group for a store in Kolkata. In 2006, Emami 15 stores bought out Ms Ramaiah’s Post-the Trent investment, stake and rechristened the Ms Ramaiah continued to be store as Starmark.
MMTC to host festival of gold
CHENNAI: MMTC Limited, a
Dr. Reddy’s to buy BASF’s U.S. facility
HYDERABAD: Dr. Reddy’s Lab-
premier international trading house, will hold its ﬂagship event ‘festival of gold’ in Chennai from May 7 to 11 at Hotel Accord Metropolitan, T. Nagar, in association with Gitanjali group, Union Bank of India and World Gold Council. Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, S. Guruswamy, Chief General Manager (South Zone), said MMTC started holding such exhibitions since 1994 with its ﬁrst event in Delhi and this was the ﬁrst time that such exhibition was held in Chennai. Mr. Guruswamy said MMTC was the largest importer of gold in India handling 100 tonnes of gold and 500 tonnes of silver annually. It was operating a full-ﬂedged gold and silver medallion manufacturing unit in Delhi.
oratories announced here on Wednesday that it had signed a deﬁnitive agreement to acquire $43 million BASF’s pharmaceutical contract manufacturing business and related facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S. Dr. Reddy’s in a statement here said that this transaction was subject to customary closing conditions, and was
expected to be complete within the ﬁrst quarter of ﬁscal year 2008-09. The transaction would be funded using Dr. Reddy’s internal cash reserves or other committed credit facilities. This business involves the contract manufacturing of generic prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products for branded and generic companies in the U.S.. The acquisition would include the relevant business, customer contracts, related
ANDAs (abbreviated new drug applications) and NDAs (new drug applications), trademarks, as well as the manufacturing facility and assets at Shreveport, Louisiana. Satish Reddy, Managing Director and Chief Operating Ofﬁcer, said: “The acquisition will enable us to strengthen our supply chain for North America and provide a strong platform for pursuing additional growth opportunities.”
ABN AMRO launches ‘Go Card’
NEW DELHI: ABN AMRO and India’s travel portal MakeMyTrip.com on Wednesday launched a distinctive cobranded credit card, ‘Go Card’. The card offers travellers exclusive reward beneﬁts and a comprehensive range of travel-related promotions. Powered with ‘Go Miles,’ an exclusive rewards programme, the ‘Go Card’ allows cardholders to redeem their reward points as cash against any air ticket to any destination or stay at any hotel, when they book their trips on MakeMyTrip.com. Through its ‘Accelerated Go Miles plan,’ the card users could also earn up to ten times more reward points on purchases made on MakeMyTrip.com. The ‘Go Card’, which is exclusively on the MasterCard Titanium plat-
MMTC was also planning to start a gold/silver reﬁnery as a joint venture in Haryana by 2009 for catering to the domestic and export markets. Besides the company would be opening retail showrooms jointly with Gitanjali group all over India, Mr. Guruswamy said. He said there was huge demand for gold in India. Out of 800 tonnes consumed in India 700 tonnes were imported and one third of world production was absorbed in India.
COMBINING LEISURE AND BUSINESS: Meera Sanyal (second from left), Country Executive, ABN AMRO, with Deep Kalra (second from right), founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip.com, at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PHOTO: RAJEEV BHATT
form, also offers a comprehensive range of travel related discounts and offers. Addressing a press conference here, Meera Sanyal, Country Executive, ABN AMRO, said the launch of ‘Go Card’ was in line with ABN AMRO’s endeavour to respond to the ever-evolving needs of its valued customers, who are increasingly demanding innovative solutions that add value to combine leisure and business. Deep Kalra, CEO of MakeMyTrip.com, was conﬁdent that Indian travellers would respond enthusiastically to the ‘Go Card’.
HCL Tech. 286.75 (286.40) 288.45 (286.90) HDFC Bank 1514.85 (1547.50) 1524.15 (1547.80) HDIL 772 (775) 771.75 (774.75) Hero Honda 850.70 (861.85) 851.60 (863) Hind Unilever 249.50 (250.85) Hindalco 193.60 (198.20) Hindustan Zinc 638.85 (668.55) 638.75 (665.50) HMT 83.55 (83.15) 83.85 (83.20) HPCL 257.25 (254.35) 257.30 (255.10) ICICI Bank 879.40 (901.30) 879.60 (902.50) IDBI 104.65 (105.90) 104.35 (105.95) Idea Cellular 105.50 (105.05) 105.55 (105) IDFC 177.50 (172.70) 178.15 (172.70) IFCI 56.65 (62.85) 56.65 (62.90) I-ﬂex 1399.55 (1319.90) 1397 (1320.40) India Bulls 535.10 (534.40) 536.70 (532.35) India Cements 171.65 (170) 171.75 (170) Indian Bank 139.05 (144.05) 139 (143.75) Indian Hotel 115.75 (116.15) 116 (116.25) Indian Oil Corpn 460.65 (448.40) 461 (448.50) Indian Over. Bank 148.20 (149.60) 148.25 (149.80) Indian Rayon 1450.25 (1491.50) Indusind Bank 90.60 (92.15) 90.40 (92.20) Infosys 1753.75 (1750.75) 1753.10 (1749.55) ITC 219.80 (212.15) 219.90 (212.30) IVCRL Infra 429.45 (419.60) 429.75 (419.35) Jet Airways 552.95 (551.05) 552.80 (551.80) Jindal Steels 2396.70 (2366.60) 2399.65 (2369.05) JP Associates 271.30 (266.10) 271.70 (266) Jp Hydro Power 70.65 (70.10) Kotak Mah. Bank 789.35 (791.35) 791.65 (790.85) L & T 3003.35 (3007.40) 3003.25 (3008.75) Lanco Infra 537.70 (494.25) 537.35 (494.45) LIC Housing 359.25 (353.55) 359.50 (352.90) Lupin Ltd. 566.30 (578.25) 564.75 (575.20) M&M 670.40 (642.70) 670.20 (645.10) Maruti Udyog 741.90 (731.30) 742.10 (731.15) Max India 158.25 (159.75) 158.65 (159.90) Mcdowell 1609.10 (1650.55) Mico Ltd. 4137.05 (3997.40) Moser Baer 172.65 (179.40) 172.75 (180.50) MRPL 101.90 (103.25) 101.70 (103.35) MTNL 110.45 (114.30) 110.40 (114.50) Nagar.Const 211.35 (209.50) 211.80 (209.95) National Aluminium 449.25 (458.70) 449.10 (458.80) Nestle 1758.80 (1625.25) Neyveli Lignite 155.70 (150.10) 155.80 (150.25) Nicholas Pir 347 (345.80) 349.40 (345.70) NTPC 196.75 (194.65) 196.75 (194.75) Omaxe Ltd 239.45 (237.40) ONGC 1033.40 (1052.80) 1033.05 (1051.65) Orintal Bank 217.40 (212.85) 217.95 (213.80) Petronet LNG 80.20 (80.40) 80.05 (80.65) Power Finance 161.75 (162) 162.35 (162.15) Power Grid 105.30 (104.75) 105.55 (104.85) Punj Lloyd 365.30 (368.70) 366.15 (369.50) Punjab Natio 550.90 (564.80) 550.40 (565.05) Rajesh Expo. 93.75 (89.95) 93.55 (89.85) Ranbaxy Lab. 480.05 (484.85) 479.75 (485.50) Rashtr.chem. 71.15 (74.75) 71.30 (74.90) Rel. com. ven 579.75 (574.70) Rel. Nat. Resour 122.40 (126.80) 122.30 (126.85) Rel. Petroleum 201.25 (202.25) 201.30 (202.40) Rel. Power 394.30 (402.30) 394.65 (401.85) Rel.cap. 1503.70 (1505.65) 1508.65 (1506.55) Reliance 2614.85 (2653) 2614.50 (2659.95) Reliance Energy 1425.65 (1436.15) Rolta (i) 339.10 (331.45) 339.35 (330.80) Satyam Com 482.20 (479.35) 482.65 (479.30) Saw Pipes 653.50 (649.95) Sesa Goa 4217.40 (4172.60) 4216.45 (4172.60) Shipping Corpn. 242.50 (238.65) 243.10 (238.75) Shriram Tran 320.95 (320) Siemens Ltd. 571.75 (575.25) 571.85 (575.35) Sobha Dev 613.35 (622.30) State Bank 1776.35 (1793.50) 1774.65 (1795.55) Steel Auth. 185.05 (179.40) 184.95 (179.30) Sterlite Ind 862.15 (898.85) 862.80 (896.05) Sun Pharma 1449.20 (1436.85) 1447.80 (1436.60) Sun TV 318.25 (313.30) 319.45 (312.60) Suzlon Energy 287.15 (286.60) Tata Chem. 357.50 (364.30) 358.75 (363.80) Tata Motors 662.20 (639.95) 664.50 (639.85) Tata Power 1392.30 (1391.75) 1395.95 (1389.95) Tata Steel 817.60 (808.90) Tata Tea 912.25 (879.95) 913.60 (878.85) TCS 919.55 (910.80) 921 (910.55) Tech Mahindra 914.05 (902) 913.60 (902.65) Thermax 499.55 (509.70) 499.75 (510.05) Titan Ind. 1244.30 (1302.90) 1242.35 (1295.85) Triveni Engg 128.50 (128.75) Tv 18 India 344.15 (337.80) Ucobank 42.25 (42.30) Ultra Tech 761.05 (776.20) 762.95 (781.05) Union Bank 160.40 (163.40) 160.20 (163.95) Unitech Ltd 310.40 (317.50) 309.80 (317.65) United Bre 625.95 (631.30) United Phos 322.95 (327.75) Videsh Sanch 499.15 (506.40) Vijaya Bank 52.35 (53.70) 52.45 (53.75) Voltas Ltd 191.10 (191.95) 191.70 (192.30) Wipro Ltd. 488.60 (479.20) 488.75 (478.90) Yes Bank 170.30 (171.05) 170.45 (171.25) Zee Tele. 213.90 (214) Bom.swa.stor 87.30 (88) Bombay Rayon 378.05 (387.85) 379.20 (389.90) Bongaigaon Ref. 61.20 (62) 61.20 (62.05) Borax Morarj 62 (61.20) Borosil Glas 657.95 (680) Brescon Corp 141.95 (139.70) Britania Ind 1359.35 (1342.30) 1354.10 (1343.60) BSEL Inform. 51.55 (51.45) Cadila Healthcare 288.65 (271.05) 288.30 (272.05) Californ. Software 90.10 (90) 89.95 (90) Cambridge Tech 43.35 (41.45) 43.35 (41.25) Carborundum 117.95 (117.80) 117.85 (118.05) Castrol 302.95 (291.75) Ceat 135.60 (139.35) Gati Corpn. 109.50 (108.90) Gei Hamon In 86.85 (89.20) Genesys Intl. 65.65 (68.85) 65.10 (68.50) Geojit Financial 58.65 (49.70) 58.55 (49.60) Geomet Sofso 58.40 (58.70) 58.55 (58.40) GIC Housing 64.40 (65) 64.40 (65) Gillette India 1020.25 (1009.50) Glaxo Consumer 660.55 (646.20) 665.65 (645) GNFC 163 (163.15) 162.85 (163.05) Godrej Con 129.85 (128.15) 130.50 (129.45) Goetze India 82.80 (82.35) Gokaldas 211.65 (209.05) Goodlas Nerolac 694.95 (698.30) Goodyear (i) 129.20 (131.90) Greaves Cotton 246.85 (248) 249.10 (247.50) Greenply Ind 258.05 (256.95) GSFC 194 (192.25) 194.05 (191.85) Gslot Entert 62.20 (64.50) GTC Ind. 254.50 (264.85) 254.75 (265.75) GTL 268.70 (264.50) 269.70 (266.10) Guj. Alkali 180.40 (192.55) 180.55 (192.40) Guj.amb.exp. 51.05 (48.70) Gujarat Gas 267.50 (271.90) 265.20 (270.55) Gujarat Heavy 92.85 (90.15) 93.15 (90) Gwalior Chem 67.65 (66.15) 67.70 (66.25) Hanung Toys 243.70 (241.35) 244.40 (241.55) Hatsun Agro 414.05 (429.95) Hb Estate De 59.25 (60.40) Hb Portfolio 59.25 (58.40) Hb Stockhol. 60.95 (63.15) HCL Infosys 199.60 (200.55) 199.95 (201.35) Hexaware 70.35 (73.20) 70.35 (73.05) High Energy 220.80 (230) Himadri Chem 403.80 (390.70) Hind. Dorr 117.20 (119.05) 116.15 (118.30) Hind. Inks 334.50 (347.80) Hind.oil Exp 144.95 (141.75) 145 (141.85) Hind.rect 148.35 (148) Hinduja Finance 382.45 (378.65) HT Media 144.95 (145.40) 144.90 (144.60) ICI India 585.10 (585.15) 610.55 (604) ICRA 741.05 (739.75) 738.55 (740.15) IFB 44.50 (46.80) 43.05 (45.15) IFB Agro 75 (76.35) 73.30 (75.85) Ifgl Refract 50.95 (50.15) Ind.security 47.55 (46.65) India Nippon 150.65 (151) 150.50 (148.55) Indian Hume Pipe 598.60 (587.15) 591.30 (601) Indo Tech Trans 519.10 (497.45) 519.30 (494.50) Indraprastha Gas 123 (120.80) 123.05 (121.15) Ind-swift La 54.15 (55.95) Info Edge 965.85 (942.20) 967.20 (947.45) Info-drive S 72.30 (68.90) Infotech Enter 274.95 (275.50) 278 (275.15) Ing Vysya Bank 315.30 (312.95) 316.90 (313.80) Ingersoll Rand 308.35 (306.55) 309.45 (305.95) Innov.marine 49.35 (51.90) Inox Leisure 115.85 (117.05) 115.95 (117.20) Integra.hind 206 (207.45) Ipca Lab 631.30 (618.80) 635.70 (625.50) It Microsy 87.90 (86.40) IVR Prime 237.05 (228.15) 236.20 (228.25) J&K Bank 659.95 (648.50) 662.95 (650.25) Jayaswal Nec 41.40 (42) Jaybh. Maruti 55.60 (54.50) 55.15 (54) JB Chem 49.95 (51.15) 49.95 (51.10) Jbf Ind.ltd 131.15 (127.15) Jetking Elec 338 (312.50) Jindal Drill 1210.25 (1199.05) Jindal World 323.70 (308.30) Jl Morison 280.25 (290) Jyothy Lab 644.40 (655.70) 639.75 (660.35) K G Khosla 414.80 (403.45) Karnataka Bank 202 (203.30) 201.55 (203.95) Karur Vysya Bank 372.85 (366.15) 374.30 (368.40) KCP 461 (453.70) 464.50 (453.25) Kemrock Ind. 549.45 (553.35) Kesoram Ind 371.85 (376.70) 373.85 (376.15) Keynote Corp 106.50 (101.45) Kirl.ferrous 44.30 (45.05) Kolte Patil 112.60 (113.65) 112.15 (114) Koutons Retail 772.10 (763.85) 773 (778.25) KPR Mill 107.80 (104) Lakshmi Elec 315.60 (317) Lakshmi Prec 47.55 (47.80) Ledo Tea Co 50.20 (47) Live Well H. 308.25 (308.20) Lkp Mer.ﬁn. 167.05 (165) Lloyd Elect. 113.30 (113.20) Lloyd Metal 72.95 (77.35) Lokesh Mach 73.50 (73.10) 73.60 (73.65) M&M Fin 280.25 (274.85) 280.60 (275.45) M.p.glychem 57.10 (57.10) Macmillan Ind 169.20 (159) 165.50 (160.05) Madras Aluminium 717.15 (704) 720.65 (701.55) Madras Cememts 3181.75 (3249.30) 3176 (3234.35) Malwa Cotton 57.10 (55.30) 56.75 (54.90) Manaksia 84.30 (84.85) Mangalam Cement 136.70 (138.80) 136.65 (138.50) Marico Ind. 66.65 (67.55) Mastek 325.65 (325.75) 321.10 (326.25) Matrix Laboratories 173.55 (175.45) 174.25 (175.30) Mcs Ltd 54.80 (55) Megasoft Ltd 93.25 (96.35) Merck Ltd 350 (345) Mic Electron 903.85 (934.15) MindTree 466.90 (471.80) 467.15 (472.80) Modern Dairi 49.05 (51.60) Mold-tek Tec 68.45 (68.95) Monnet Ispat 525.40 (539.75) 522.40 (539.30) Monotona Exp 143.40 (136.90) Morarjee 104.10 (106.20) Morgan Stan 54.13 (53.76) 54 (53.75) Motilal Oswal Fin. 819.45 (779.30) 817.30 (783.80) Mount Everes 142.30 (134.35) Mphasis Bﬂ 230.20 (237.55) MRF 4542.95 (4634.35) 4546.85 (4620.45) Mro-Tek 69.95 (68.75) 70.05 (68.10) Munauto 69.50 (68.30) Mundra Port 758.60 (738.85) 760.15 (740.60) Murd.ceram 64.70 (64.20) Nat.peroxide 195.95 (196.10) Natco Pharma 97.15 (96.10) 95.50 (97.30) National Fer 50.85 (54.15) NDTV 419.15 (417.70) 419.55 (418.65) NIIT 102.95 (102.40) 103.25 (102.45) NIIT Tech 142.20 (137.95) 141.75 (138.25) Nile Ltd. 158.05 (163.90) Nirlon 69.25 (71.25) Nirma 170.45 (174) 172 (174.65) Novapan Ind. 45.90 (42.75) 46.05 (42.75) Novartis India 310.95 (307.45) NRB Bearings 71.50 (71.45) 72.15 (70.65) Onmobile 690.75 (701.75) 693.95 (700.05) Orchid Chem 239.55 (243.50) 239.25 (243.65) Orient Press 43.40 (45.55) Oudh Sugar 72.65 (73.30) 72.95 (73.80) P.g.foils 77.80 (78.85) Page Industries 506.25 (460) 500.95 (486.40) Pan Packagin 116.35 (115.20) Panacea Biotech 396.70 (388.60) Panama Petro 134.90 (133.05) Patel Airtem 59.55 (61.45) Patni Computers 266.05 (262.10) 265.70 (262) Petron Engg. 245.90 (239.30) 245.95 (240.10) Pﬁzer Ltd. 653.80 (653.45) 655.15 (655.10) Pidilite 151.05 (152.40) 150.35 (152.30) Polaris Soft 106.20 (104.80) 106.45 (104.90) Power Trading 104.25 (103.55) 104.80 (103.50) Pratiba Ind 346.60 (341.85) 348.20 (342.50) Precision Wr 105 (103.50) 107 (101.90) Premier Auto 158 (153.20) Prism Cement 41.60 (40.60) 41.55 (40.60) Procter &g 772.65 (750) Psl Ltd 322.65 (323.35) 320.05 (323.35) Punjab Tract 243.05 (242.20) 243.45 (242.85) Puravankara 304.90 (269.45) 305 (269.70) PVR 198.95 (199.30) Pyramid Saim 371.75 (384.90) 372.30 (384.75) Quintegra Solution 99.15 (99.15) Raj Tele 135.80 (142.65) 136.35 (142.55) Rajratan Gus 55.20 (54) Rajsh.sugar 63 (63.90) 62.80 (63.25) Ramco Systm 136.20 (136.75) 135.10 (134.40) Ramco Inds. 835.60 (815) 834 (816.95) Rane Holdings 126 (126.10) 124.90 (127) Rane Madras 62.40 (63.50) Raymond 277.30 (279.55) 279.60 (279.90)
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
BSE index 17287.31(17378.46) S&P CNX Nifty Index 5165.9(5195.5) BSE (BSE Prev.)NSE (NSE prev.)
BSE - A Group/NSE
Aban Offshore 3407.10 (3494.10) 3401.80 (3509.40) ABB 1141.60 (1135.35) 1141 (1135.05) ACC 758.65 (775.35) 758.65 (775.35) Adani Exports 845.15 (847.30) Akruti Nirman 1088.70 (1082.20) 1086.70 (1085.40) Allahabad Bank 84.45 (83.85) 84.35 (83.65) Alstom Power 614.65 (673.50) 614.70 (672.25) Andhra Bank 81.85 (81.80) 81.80 (82.30) Areva T & D 1670.45 (1728.10) Ashok Leyland 41.15 (40.05) 41.15 (40.20) Asian Paints 1276.45 (1251) 1280.30 (1255.45) Axis Bank 924.30 (944.30) 923.55 (945.65) Bajaj Auto 709.20 (698.75) Bajaj Hindustan 234.65 (242.65) 233.95 (242.15) Bank of Baroda 315.15 (314.80) 315.35 (315.75) Bank of India 342.65 (332.90) 342.30 (333.30) BEML 1101.05 (1100.20) 1101.95 (1100.30) Bharat Elect 1336.55 (1339.40) 1332.35 (1338.40) Bharat Forge 293.80 (299.55) 294.70 (300.10) Bharti Airtel 898.80 (902) 898.25 (901.20) BHEL 1897 (1891.85) 1902.15 (1891.70) Bhushan Steel 801.90 (818.20) Biocon 490.30 (490.60) 490.45 (489.60) Bom Dyeing 1024.55 (987.40) 1025 (988.15) BPCL 409.60 (395.70) 409.40 (396.30) Brigade Enter 202.85 (203.05) 204.65 (203.05) Cairn Ind 248.85 (261.05) 248.15 (261.20) Canara Bank 237.10 (238.10) 237.10 (238.10) Central Bank Of Indi 92.60 (94) Century Textiles 872.30 (856.80) 872.60 (855.75) CESE 493.95 (475.20) 499.90 (475.25) Chambal Fertiliser 68.40 (73.35) 68.40 (73.55) Cipla 213.05 (214.70) 213 (214.70) Colgate 412.20 (405.05) Container Corpn. 882.05 (888.15) 859.30 (880.10) CPCL 365.60 (371.45) 362.85 (372.15) Crompton Greaves 249.05 (251.20) 249.65 (251) Cummins India 317.95 (319.35) 317.95 (319.40) Dabur (I) 106.30 (106.15) 106.85 (106.40) Deccan Chron 152.25 (143.30) 152.20 (142.85) Dish TV 57.50 (55.50) 57.75 (55.60) Divi’s Lab 1498.95 (1421.30) 1501.80 (1421.15) DLF Limited 705.25 (725.85) 705.15 (725.55) Dr. Reddy’s Lab 622.45 (627.05) 623 (627.05) Edelweiss 825.25 (830.25) 825.60 (831.15) Educomp solution 4010.50 (4070.10) 170.40 (172) EIH 149.15 (155.20) 149.45 (155.55) Engineers India 681.85 (684.70) 681.75 (679.35) Essar Oil 277.05 (280.30) 277.20 (280.85) Essar Ship. 157.95 (159.80) Exide Industries 73.05 (73.75) Federal Bank 240.25 (247.45) 240.75 (248.10) GA Cement 113.90 (114.85) GAIL 441 (439.10) 440.10 (439.55) Gammon India 425.90 (424.85) 425.50 (425) GE Shipping 442.35 (448.10) 441.40 (448.20) Glaxo Pharma 1090.05 (1033.40) 1090.75 (1039.45) Glenmark Pharma 668.40 (657.75) 671.25 (658) GMR Infra 160.85 (159.15) 161.10 (159.55) Godrej Ind 284.60 (282.20) 283.80 (280.70) Grasim Ind. 2402.75 (2472.30) 2404.85 (2474.20) GSPL 68.50 (69.30) 68.40 (69.45) GTL Infra 50.70 (46.80) 50.85 (46.90) Guj. Mineral 321 (323.20) 321.35 (323.85) Guj.nre Coke 149.65 (152.70) GVK Power 44.95 (44) 45.05 (44)
BSE - B Group/NSE
3i Infotech 132.50 (131.75) Aarti Drugs 59.25 (59.35) Abbott India 530.25 (529.15) Accel Frontline 85.65 (85.70) 84.80 (85.25) Adorwelding 168.35 (169.40) 168.45 (169.65) Advanta 920.55 (916.70) 921.65 (914.70) Aegis Chem 264.15 (260.50) 264.65 (262.15) Aftek Infosys 53.35 (53.60) Ajanta Pharma 97.15 (91.80) 96.80 (91.90) Alembic Ltd 63.50 (62.30) 63.25 (62.40) Alfa Laval 884.90 (920.55) 888.90 (928.60) Allcargo Glob 786.65 (797.30) 790.10 (792.95) Allsec Tech 71.10 (71.90) 70.80 (72.15) Alok Ind 65.35 (68.75) 65.55 (68.70) Amar Raja Ba 202.45 (194.55) 204.05 (195.55) Amtrex Hitachi 135.20 (133.65) Ang Exports 108.20 (108.95) AP Paper 89.20 (89.30) 91 (88.30) Apar Ind 221.95 (223.30) 217.50 (221.25) Apollo Hosp. 495.40 (500.05) 495.55 (499.40) Apollo Tyres 45.70 (45.50) 45.85 (45.55) Aptech Ltd 269.65 (260.10) 270.45 (260.05) Archies 124.70 (119.20) 125.75 (119.70) Arihant Cap. 80 (77.45) Artefact Sof 84.35 (83.50) Arvind Mills 51.90 (53.20) 51.80 (53.05) Asahi Ind. 61.20 (59.55) 61 (59.60) Asian Electr 196.10 (194.55) 195.60 (194.70) Asian Hotels 626.50 (610) 635.15 (612.40) Astrazen.ph. 535.30 (545) Atlanta 238 (235.70) 237.30 (235.75) Atlas Cycles 158.05 (158.35) 158.95 (157.95) Aurob.pharma 328.90 (323.75) 329.65 (323.85) Auto Axles 348.95 (342.25) 347.80 (343.40) Autolite (I) 78.30 (77.30) Aventis Pharma 823.15 (828.50) 825.40 (835) AVT Natural 92.20 (93) Balaji Tele. 177.40 (174) 176.75 (174.15) Balmer Lawrie 415 (410.35) 415.05 (411.30) Bank of Maha 49.30 (54.25) 49 (54.05) Bank of Rajasthan 106.85 (104.10) 106.35 (103.80) Bannari Aman Sugars 925.80 (960) 941.50 (960.30) Bannari Amman Spinn 95.05 (94.55) 95 (94.75) Bartronics 224.55 (204.65) 224.35 (205.30) BASF India 212.95 (212.55) 212.05 (213.05) Bata India 182.55 (189.15) 182.95 (188.90) Bayer ABS 166.60 (165.05) Berger Paints 44.65 (43.90) 45 (44.05) BGR Energy 442.40 (459.40) 443.80 (459.10) Bharat Gears 46.10 (45.95) 46.30 (46) Bharati Shipyard 530.70 (525.55) 529.85 (528.70) Binani Cement 79.50 (79.45) 79.35 (79.75) Birla 3m 1863.25 (1875.70) Birla Corpn 214.75 (214.70) 214.70 (214.75) BL Kashyap 1684.05 (1557.05) 1694.55 (1563.70) Blue Dart Express 675.30 (683.05) 666.40 (681.40) Blue Star Infotech 66.95 (65.55) 66.70 (64.95) BOC 160.70 (160.20)
17378 17125.98 17050 17287.31 17015.96 16721.08
Centrum Fin. 1105.55 (1123.50) Century Enka 123.60 (121.50) 123.60 (122.10) CG Igarshi 59.05 (58.90) Chola. Investment 181.10 (184.95) Cinemax Ind 117.30 (121.95) 117.35 (121.85) CMC 803.90 (793.05) 802.50 (796.90) Compact Disc 79.15 (82.95) Coral Lab. 75.05 (77) Cords Cable 120.15 (103.50) 120.30 (104) Coroma.fert. 136.45 (138.10) Corporation Bank 339.05 (343.20) 338.05 (343.55) Crewbos 64.45 (65.20) 63.50 (63.60) Crisil 3763.40 (3771.80) 3772.20 (3774.85) Dabur Pharma 73.20 (74.65) 73.20 (74.20) Dena Bankm 60.60 (58.70) Dev. Credit 108.05 (106.20) 108.10 (106.40) Dhampur Sugar 68.35 (68.10) 68.15 (68.05) Dhanalakshmi Bank 87.95 (83.90) 88 (83.85) Dishman Pharma 322.65 (320.75) 321.30 (319.95) D-link India 88.45 (86.50) 88.05 (85.95) Dollex Ind. 44.10 (44.65) Dredging Corporation 647.15 (643.50) 648.15 (641.15) Eicher Motor 273.45 (276.10) 275 (276.20) EID Parry 222.70 (221.55) Elecon Eng 167.45 (169.65) Elgi Equipment 66.50 (63.45) 66.35 (63.20) Ema India 68.95 (65.75) Esab India 430.60 (427.35) 434.20 (424.80) Escorts 102.95 (104.60) 102.95 (105) Eveready 48.50 (49) Everest Kanto 346.65 (339.60) 346.90 (340.05) Everonn Systems 655.45 (647.50) 654.75 (650.10) Fedder.llyod 60.65 (60.65) Finolex Cables 68.25 (68.35) 68.40 (68.15) Finolex Ind. 71.25 (72.70) 71.55 (72.30) Fortis Fin. 83.10 (84.20) FSL 44.40 (44.50) 44.55 (44.70) G.g.dandekar 95.30 (95.05) G.m.breweri 85.85 (86.05) Galaxy I-fab 119.45 (120.95) Garware Poly 47.30 (47.50) Gateway Dist 126.20 (124.20)
REC 122.40 (119.55) 122.55 (119.55) Redington 350.05 (346.20) 350.20 (346.30) Religare Ent 404.85 (388.25) 403.80 (388.60) Ren. Jewellery 74.90 (76.85) 75.45 (76.95) Repro India 103.15 (100) 102.20 (100.30) Ritesh Indus 103.80 (102.25) Roman Tar 83.75 (84.65) Royal Airway 43.35 (42.40) Royal Orch 105.65 (107.35) 105.60 (106.90) Sadbhav Engg 1163.90 (1137.30) Sadhana Nitr 59.90 (57.60) Sakthi Sugar 85.50 (84.10) 85.60 (84.20) Sanghi Ind. 73.15 (70.65) Sanghvi Move 270 (246.30) Sarab.electr 40.05 (39.95) Saregama I 128.75 (131.20) Sasken Comm. 178.60 (182.95) 178.55 (183) Satvah.ispat 58.95 (59.70) Sesha.paper 199 (196.60) 200 (197.70) Shah Alloys 42.60 (42.75) Shanti Gear 65.90 (65.35) 65.80 (65.25) Sharyans Res 210 (206.20) Shasun Chem. 58.75 (59) 59 (59.15) Shaw Wall.ge 54.45 Shervani Ind 58.95 (61.20) Shreyas Ship 78.40 (79.40) Shriyam Sec. 175.65 (177.10) Shyam Telec. 101 (102.05) Sirpur Paper 88.15 (90) 88.90 (89.90) SKF Bearings 297 (297.90) Skp Secure. 43.50 (42.50) South Ind.bk 159.25 (160.10) 159.40 (160.25) SSI LTD 166.50 (163.45) Stc India 432.90 (412.55) 433.55 (413.30) Std.indust. 54.25 (56.20) Sterl.biotec 196.20 (194.90) 197.15 (196.20) Sterlite Opt 215.25 (210.10) Stovac Ind. 209.60 (210.75) Sundaram Brake 273.85 (272.60) 277 (273.90) Sundaram Fin. 600.85 (599.95) Supreme Ind. 223.20 (225.20) 224.25 (227.30) Supreme Infr 98.35 (97.95) Surana Industries 141.50 (147.90) 142 (147.80) Swaraj Engin 250.20 (256.20) 251.95 (254.75) Switch.tech. 40.25 (42.80) Syndicate Bn 74.65 (76.70) 74.55 (76.65) Systamatix C 63.45 (61.05) Taj Gvk Hotl 148.75 (150.10) 150.20 (149.75) Take Solutions 746.50 (755.30) 753.15 (749.70) Talbros Auto 44.50 (44.65) Tamil.newspr 105 (106.80) 104.95 (106.85) Tanla Solutions 567 (545.15) 567.45 (542.75) Tasty Bite 46.85 (46.95) Tata Coffee 225.50 (226.10) Tata Elxsi 193.15 (191.50) 193.40 (189.85) Tata Metalik 167.60 (172.20) 167.95 (172) Tata Sponge 287.45 (295.10) Technocraft 72.60 (72.90) 73 (73) Texmaco 1400.65 (1394.40) 1400.10 (1392.10) Themis Medic 169.10 (170) Thiru A.sug. 112.25 (114.40) 111.60 (114.15) Thirumalai 190.90 (190.45) 189.95 (190.90) Thomas Cook 100.40 (100.70) 100.65 (100.20) Til Ltd. 400 (403.65) 396 (404.90) Tinplate 43.60 (42.05) Todays Writi 65.05 (63.50) 65.10 (64.10) Torrent Phar 157.45 (156.90) 156.75 (157.95) Toubro Infot 108.75 (106.20) Transgene Bi 49.15 (50.25) Trent Ltd. 526.15 (535) Ttk Prestige 142.20 (145) 143.15 (144.05) Tube Inv. 56.05 (56.40) 55.90 (56.50) Tulip IT 920.80 (900) 925.75 (900.15) Tv Today 123.80 (126.30) TVS Electronics 43.65 (40.20) 43.75 (40.40) Tvs Motors 43.15 (38.85) 43.20 (38.95) Unichem Lab 153.40 (151.05) 153.95 (151.65) Uniphos Enterprises 41.55 (41.05) - (41.25) Upper Ganges 99.40 (102) 98.50 (102.15) Uttam Sugar 84.60 (85.05) 84.35 (84.80) UTV Software 804.45 (800.40) V Guard 72.65 (72.10) 72.65 (72.55) V.b.desai 85.40 (89.75) Vaibhav Gems 62.15 (62.40)
Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m on April 30
Currencies U.S Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Jap Yen (100 Units) Swiss Franc Singapore Dollar Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swedish Kroner Danish Kroner New Zealand Dollar Hongkong Dollar Malaysian Ringitt Kuwaiti Dinar UAE Dirham Bahraini Dinar Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal Omani Riyal
TT Buying 40.30 62.67 79.23 38.55 38.82 29.59 37.67 39.92 6.70 8.40 31.33 5.17 12.75 150.35 10.97 106.71 11.07 10.75 104.34
TT Selling 40.63 63.20 79.89 38.87 39.15 29.86 38.00 40.27 6.76 8.47 31.61 5.21 12.87 153.29 11.07 107.98 11.17 10.87 105.90
April 30 rates in rupees with previous rates in brackets
Chennai Bar Silver (1 kg) Retail (1 g) 24 ct gold (10 g) 22 ct gold (1 g) Mumbai Silver Standard gold Delhi Silver Standard gold Sovereign
22,250 23.80 11,430 1,059
(22,715) (24.30) (11,655) (1,080)
22,715 (22,935) 11,400 (11,605) 22,370 (22,800) 11,630 (11,780) 9,825 (9,850)
Vardhman Pol 64.45 (64.85) 63.95 (63) VARUN INDS 77.10 (77.45) 77.20 (77.30) Varun Ship. 79.30 (80.15) 78.90 (80.05) Venus Remedi 446.75 (428.50) Viceroy Hote 77.70 (80.05) Victoria Mil 3234 (3080) Visa Steel 48.30 (49.20) 47.90 (48.70) Visaka Ind. 57.20 (57.30) 56.95 (57.10) Vishal Retail 796.40 (791.35) 795.85 (790.90) Vivimed Labs 97.60 (97.60) 97.70 (97.40) Voltamp Trans 1215 (1203.15) 1215.25 (1205.45) W.h.brady 92.95 (92.55) Walchand Cap 2865.65 (2729.20) Walchandngr 434.50 (445.80) Wendt(india) 699.10 (696.70) William.mago 51.60 (51.10) Wockardt 297.20 (301.70) 297.80 (300.60) Wockhardt Life 48 (49.50) Zylog System 271.65 (272.80)
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Scholes’s stunning strike takes Man U into ﬁnal
FOOTBALL / It will be an all-English Champions League title clash in Moscow on May 21
MANCHESTER: A stunning goal from Paul Scholes gave Manchester United a 1-0 win over FC Barcelona on Tuesday to set up an all-English Champions League ﬁnal against either Liverpool or Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on May 21. On a night of drama at Old Trafford in which Barcelona played some outstanding attacking football, it was hardly more ﬁtting that Scholes scored the goal that secured his club a place in the ﬁnal. Scholes was suspended for United’s epic victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 ﬁnal, and Ferguson had already said he would play in the ﬁnal if it qualiﬁed.
here and is one of the great players this club has had. ‘‘We can’t expect him to score 15-20 goals a season like he did when he was younger, but the one he got tonight makes up for all the ones he can no longer score.’’ Ferguson added: ‘‘I honestly don’t care who we play in the ﬁnal. We are there, that is the main thing.’’ Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard rued his side’s inability to convert chances. ‘‘We did everything but score. It was an even game.’’ United is now chasing a double of Champions League and Premier League titles.
Barcelona, and especially its Argentine winger Lionel Messi, threatened time and again with some inspired approach play but were thwarted by brilliant defending from United’s back line with defenders Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown outstanding. The game burst into life from the kick off with Scholes, mak-
He duly responded with a brilliant swerving shot that went high and wide of goalkeeper Victor Valdes in the 14th minute of the semiﬁnal second leg to give United a 1-0 aggregate victory. ‘‘It was a fantastic goal,’’ Ferguson said. ‘‘He has come through the ranks
ing just about his only mistake of the night, fortunate not to concede a penalty for a foul on Messi just inches outside the box after only 30 seconds. Both teams were also looking to get the decisive breakthrough as soon as possible with Messi involved in almost every Barca raid. However it was defender Eric Abidal who had the ﬁrst goal attempt when his lofted 25-metre shot just went over the United bar. United though did strike the decisive goal when Cristiano Ronaldo attempted to run at the Barca defence but lost the ball to Gianluca Zambrotta whose misplaced pass found Scholes. He controlled it, let it bounce and then swerved it past Valdes from 25 yards.
Barcelona’s best chance inevitably came from Messi who weaved his way past Scholes and Brown after 20 minutes and forced Edwin van der Sar into a diving clearance before Deco had two good chances to score in three minutes sending his ﬁrst over the bar and his second narrowly wide.
A chill descended on Old Trafford when Barca brought on Thierry Henry for Andres Iniesta after an hour and United’s old Arsenal nemesis threatened twice, once with a header and then with a shot that van der Sar did well to save. But United, with Park and Tevez working tirelessly and Ronaldo ﬁring ﬁtfully, was resolutely dogged and held out for over six minutes of stoppage time to win its 12th straight home match in Europe’s premier club competition.
The result: Semiﬁnal (second leg): Manchester United 1 (Paul Scholes 14) bt FC Barcelona 0; Manchester United won 1-0 on aggregate.
United had two good chances to increase its lead in the opening half through Park Ji-sung, who side-footed wide after 21 minutes and then when Nani headed a Park cross wide after 41 minutes.
HEADY FEELING: Manchester United players are ecstatic after their win over Barcelona in the Champions League semiﬁnal second leg on Tuesday. — PHOTO: REUTERS
Air India triumphs
NADA so far would continue to hold that position. Formed in November, 2005, NADA had never taken off since its composition had not been determined, responsibilities not deﬁned and the structure not ﬁnalised in consultation with the Indian Olympic Association. The anti-doping body is expected to harmonise and implement the rules and regulations relating to antidoping as per the World Anti Doping Agency Code. India is a signatory to the UNESCO Convention against doping in sports that commits governments to take measures that are “consistent with the principles of the Code.” The Government, in consultation with the IOA, would be expected to form the National Anti-Doping disciplinary panel and National appeal panel in due course.
The members of the governing body: H.S. Phoolka (senior lawyer), Dr. Manmohan Singh (Chairman, IOA Medical Commission), Shiny Wilson and Karnam Malleswari (sportspersons), Suresh Kalmadi (IOA representative), Randhir Singh, K.P. Singh Deo and G.S. Mander (representatives of National federations). Secretary and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Director-General, Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be ex-ofﬁcio members. Executive: Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Chairman), Joint Secretary, MYAS (Vice Chairman), Financial Advisor, MYAS, Anil Khanna (All India Tennis Association), DG, SAI (ex-ofﬁcio) and Member-Secretary, NADA (DG, NADA).
Malleswari, Shiny in NADA governing body
NEW DELHI: The Union Sports Ministry on Wednesday named Olympians Shiny Wilson and Karnam Malleswari in the governing body of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). Though no announcement has been made about the chairman, it is learnt the Union Sports Minister who had been heading
BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal, eased into the third round of the Barcelona Open by beating Potito Starace 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday. The top-seeded Spaniard, seeking his fourth straight title here, has won 99 of his last 100 matches on clay.
At Munich, two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Saﬁn beat Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the second round of the BMW Open.
Important results: At Barcelona: ATP Barcelona Open: Second round: Rafael Nadal bt Potito Starace 6-4, 6-2; Feliciano Lopez bt Alberto Martin 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; Albert Montanes bt Ivo Karlovic 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-5; David Ferrer bt Gabriel Trujillo-Soler 6-1, 6-1; Tommy Robredo bt Robin Haase 6-2, 6-4; Juan Ignacio Chela bt Marc Lopez, Spain, 5-1, retd. At Munich: ATP BMW Open: Second Round: Lee Hyung-taik bt Julio Silva 6-1, 6-4; Marin Cilic bt Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 7-6(7); Paul-Henri Mathieu bt Gianluca Naso 6-3, 6-4; Simone Bolelli bt Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-5. First round: Steve Darcis bt Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4; Marat Saﬁn bt Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Younes El Aynaoui bt Alexandre Sidorenko 6-4, 7-6(6). At Prague: WTA CZE Open: Second round: Roberta Vinci bt Jill Craybas 6-4, 6-4; Karolina Pliskova bt Kaia Kanepi 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. First round: Shahar Peer bt Anna Lapushchenkova 7-5, 7-5; Vera Dushevina bt Martina Muller 6-0, 6-2. —
CHAMPIONS: The Air India team which won the E.K. Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup football tournament.
KANNUR: It turned out to be a memorable night for Air India on Wednesday. The Mumbai team, quite the underdog, won the second E.K. Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup football tournament, beating its fancied rival from Brazil, Ferroviaria, Sao Paulo, 1-0 in the ﬁnal, watched by a capacity crowd of about 35,000, at the Jawahar Municipal Stadium. The most important goal of the tournament was scored by Surojit Roy, in the ninth minute. He made no mistake from inside the box with his header, off a cross from Ravinder Singh down the left, following a throw-in from Uttam Singh. It was the only goal conceded by Ferroviaria in the competition! Air India did well to hang on to the goal, quelling all the attempts from the Brazilians to equalise. Little went right for the Brazilians on Wednesday and they had to play the last ten minutes of the game with 10 men, following the send-off of Reinaldo, for violent conduct.
Kelsey sails into quarterﬁnals Indian women book an Olympic berth
Rushmi forced to a second-set tie-breaker
Surojit Roy scored the match-winner Air India did well to hang on to the goal
by some solid defence. Santosh Koli, Ravinder, Santosh Singh, Uttam Singh, Napolean Singh and Michael Tayo ensured that their team kept the lead till the end. Air India custodian, E.C. Sharat, named the best goalkeeper of the tournament, was superb under the bar. Paresh Shivalkar, who has had a great tournament, played a key role with some startlingly quick runs down the left to put the Brazilian defence under pressure.
ANGAMALY: Kelsey Sundaram found her groove at the ITF Federal Bank international women’s tournament here on Wednesday, crushing eighthseeded Julia Matojan of Estonia 6-1, 6-0 with surprising ease to enter the quarterﬁnals. “This is my ﬁrst quarterﬁnal in the senior ITF circuit, my best tournament,’’ said Kelsey. A couple of hours before that, she completed her ﬁrst-round match, a three-setter which was stopped last evening owing to bad light. Meanwhile, top-seeded Rushmi Chakravarthi was forced to a second-set tie-
Yu Min-Hwa and Parul Goswami also advance
breaker by Hyderabad’s Geeta Manohar before progressing to the quarterﬁnals, while thirdseeded Korean Yu Min-Hwa and Parul Goswami, the ﬁfth seed, also made the grade.
The results: Singles (pre-quarterﬁnals): Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Geeta Manohar 7-3, 7-6(5); Miki Miyamura (Jpn) bt Goele Lemmens (Bel) 6-3, 6-0; Shalini Sahoo bt Archana Venkataraman 6-3, 6-3; Sweta Kumari Solanki bt Trang Huynh Phuong Dai (Vie) 6-1, 6-3; Kelsey Sundaram (U.S.) bt Julia Matojan (Est) 6-1, 6-0; Yu Min-Hwa (Kor) bt Nicola Mooney (GBR) 6-2, 6-2; Parul Goswami bt Ashmitha Easwaramurthi 6-0, 6-2. First round: Kelsey bt Asha Nandakumar 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-1; Nicola bt Chika Terasawa (Jpn) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Doubles (quarterﬁnals): Rushmi Chakravarthi & V. Poojashree bt Yuri Kurashima & Chika Terasawa (Jpn) 6-2, 6-1; Parul Goswami & Sonal Phadke bt Shilpi Jaiswal & Abhilasha Ahuja 6-2, 6-2; Asha Nandakumar & Shweta Kakhandki Gadigeppa bt Miki Miyamura (Jpn) & Arthi Venkataraman 7-5, 6-2; Geetha Manohar & Archana Venkataraman bt Harshini Reddy & Jilke Nelord 6-3, 6-1.
NEW DELHI: With one silver and two bronze to their kitty in the ongoing Asian weightlifting championship in Kanazawa in Japan, Indian women have booked one berth for Beijing Olympics. Laishram Monika Devi has fetched three medals for India in the women’s 69kg event in the ﬁnal Olympic qualifying event which concludes on Thursday. The team’s assistant manager Parminder Singh said that India had secured one Olympic berth in the women’s section. ‘‘By virtue of one silver and
two bronze medals, our women have booked one quota place for Olympics,’’ he said. On Wednesday, Shailaja Pujari ﬁnished ﬁfth overall in the women’s 75kg category with a total lift of 218kg (95 in snatch and 123 in clean and jerk), while compatriot Kavita Devi withdrew from the competition in the same category. In the women’s above-75 kg category, Geeta Rani ﬁnished overall sixth with a lift of 224kg (99+125), while compatriot K. Tulsi ended at the bottom of the list in the 11-lifter ﬁeld with a total lift of 177 (80+97). — PTI
India tops group; meets China
NEW DELHI: India outplayed Thailand to top Group III in the Asia-Oceania Junior Davis Cup under-16 tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Wednesday. Both Yuki Bhambri and Saurabh Singh made short work of the Thai players and will now meet China, which ﬁnished second in Group IV, in the quarterﬁnals. The eighth seeded China had lost its last league match to Ja-
The Brazilians did get opportunities to score, especially for Frederico Oliviera in the ﬁrst half and Washington Luis in the second, it clearly wasn’t their night. It wasn’t a night to remember for Robinson Michel either, who always tried to create chances for his mates. He, however, had the consolation of getting the ‘Man of the tournament’ award.
Ferroviaria strove really hard to score in the second half, but its strikers were frustrated
pan in the doubles and should pose a serious challenge to the host on Thursday. However, the way the World No. 5 Bhambri and the strongly-built Saurabh have been playing, the Indian camp has reasons to be optimistic about making the semiﬁnals here, thereby capturing a berth in the World Group ﬁnals to be staged in Mexico in September. In other quarterﬁnals, the top-seeded Australia will meet Philippines, third-seeded New Zealand will battle Chinese
Taipei and the second-seeded Japan will take on Thailand.
The results: Group I: Australia bt Chinese Taipei 2-1; Uzbekistan bt Kazakhstan 3-0. Group-II: New Zealand bt Philippines 2-1; Malaysia bt Hong Kong 2-1. Group III: India bt Thailand 3-0 (Saurabh Singh bt Chanon Varapongsttikul 6-3, 6-1; Yuki Bhambri bt Adirek Khundanpinitwong 6-2, 6-1; Yuki Bhambri & Saurabh Singh bt Phasawit Burapharittha & Chanon Varapongsttikul 6-0, 6-4); Pakistan bt Singapore 3-0. Group IV: Japan beat China 2-1; Korea beat Indonesia 3-0.
DARWIN (AUSTRALIA): South Korea defeated India 5-2 in the four-nation hockey tournament here on Wednesday. Later, Olympic champion Australia staved off a late comeback to beat China 3-2.
The results: South Korea 5 bt India 2; Australia 3 bt China 2. — AFP
Bayern pins hopes on Toni
ST. PETERSBURG: The stage is set for Luca Toni. The Italian striker returns from suspension for Thursday’s second leg of the UEFA Cup football semiﬁnals at Zenit St. Petersburg with Bayern Munich needing at least one goal after drawing 1-1 at home last week. And with 36 goals in all competitions in his ﬁrst season with Bayern, including a tournament-high 10 in the UEFA Cup, Toni is the player both teams will be focusing on. ‘‘Luca is a great striker, it’s always better when he’s there,’’ Bayern midﬁelder Mark van Bommel said. Zenit captain Anatoly Timoshchuk knows his side must mark Toni tightly. ‘‘Of course, Toni’s return will add to our problems. “Their entire game is built around him,’’ he said. — AP
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Karnataka stuns S. Rly
TIRUPUR: Karnataka scored a hard fought 25-20, 22-25, 1925, 25-22, 15-12 win over favourite Southern Railway (Chennai) in a men’s league match of the TSET all-India volleyball tournament at the Nanjappa HSS courts here on Tuesday. On the distaff side, Western Railway (Mumbai) dispatched Central Railway (Sholapur) 2325, 25-18, 25-19, 25-16. Other result: Men: SCR bt Muthoot Club 25-23, 25-15, 25-27, 25-20. — Sports Reporter
Chargers should take charge
CRICKET / Kings XI, without its Antipodeans, looks a depleted side
A. Joseph Antony
HYDERABAD: If a play is known by its cast, the stars taking the stage for the Deccan Chargers will again bring in the crowds when it faces Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League match at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium on Thursday. Billed as the ﬁnest act even before the extravaganza got under way, the Hyderabad troupe fumbled with its lines in the ﬁrst three appearances. Fickle as fans can be, the cheers turned to jeers. After that demeaning defeat to Delhi Daredevils, hooligans among the host supporters hurled water bottles, aiming one such projectile even at the cheerleaders, who had until then, entertained them.
CHENNAI: Paceman Manpreet Goni, suffering from a bout of fever, is a doubtful starter for the Chennai Super Kings’ next match against the Delhi Daredevils here on Friday. A decision on paceman L. Balaji’s match ﬁtness will be taken on the eve of the match. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan said being in the squad with the likes of M.S. Dhoni, Mathew Hayden, and Michael Hussey has been a learning experience. Asked about the departure of
SBI in last four
CHENNAI: SBI crushed SAI 5-1 to enter the semiﬁnals of the Champions Club football tournament on Wednesday. M. Baskar (2), Sabeeth (2) and K.G. Joseph were the scorers for SBI. Elamurugan reduced the margin. In another game, Samuel Jackson’s hat-trick powered MSU to a 3-0 win over Students Club, Tiruchi. — Special Correspondent
V.V.S. Laxman has already outdone three of the ﬁve icons in the league with his unbeaten 36 against the Mumbai Indians. The wristy wizard’s opening the innings with Gilchrist could be an indication of his growing composure in this condensed form of the game. The wait for some magic from his willow will certainly be worth the while.
Hayden, Hussey and Jacob Oram, Vidyut said the side had the depth to cope with the losses. “We will miss them, but we now have Makhaya Ntini and Albie Morkel. Morkel is a good striker of the ball as well.” Asked about his chances of opening the innings, he replied, “I don’t know whether I will ﬁnd a place in the eleven or not. Coach Kepler Wessels has told us to be ﬂexible, be mentally prepared to bat at any position.” — Special Correspondent
The Afridi factor
If Shahid Afridi hasn’t turned volatile with the bat thus far, his bowling has made up for it. His wrist spin should complement the wiles of Chaminda Vaas, the restrictive craft of Pragyan Ojha or the penetrative capabilities of R.P. Singh on the bowling front. With the departure of Australians Brett Lee and Simon Katich and New Zealander Kylie Mills, Kings XI Punjab will look up to the triumvirate of Yuvraj Singh, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene to shore up its batting. Each of them possesses the wherewithal to turn a match around. Shorn of its imports, the Mohali side nonetheless wears a depleted look and will need to summon all its resources to take on the host, who on the face of it, should call the shots on home turf.
The teams (from): Deccan Chargers: V.V.S. Laxman (captain), Adam Gilchrist (wicket-keeper), Herschelle Gibbs, Shahid Afridi, Chaminda Vaas, Scott Styris, R.P. Singh, Rohit Sharma, Sanjay Bangar, Arjun Yadav, D. Kalyanakrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Chamara Silva, Nuwan Zoysa, D. Ravi Teja, Sarveesh Kumar, Venugopala Rao, P. Vijay Kumar. Kings XI Punjab: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shaun Marsh, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, S. Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Luke Pomersbach, Ajitesh Argal, Pankaj Dharmani, Rishi Dhawan, Karan Goel, Uday Kaul, Sahil Kukreja, Wilkin Mota, Nitin Saini, V.R.V. Singh, Sunny Sohal, Tanmay Srivastav.
Narrrow win for Asiatic CA
CHENNAI: Asiatic CA registered a three-run win over AVM CCF CA in the Reddy’s league-cumknockout cricket tournament. The scores: Reddy CA 95 for ﬁve in 20 overs (S. Yogesh Kumar 30, Mani Raj three for 14) lost to AVM CCF CA 96 for two in 12 overs (K. Vignesh 35 n.o., Vishal 44 n.o.). MOM: Vishal. Asiatic CA 125 for three in 20 overs (C.S. Rohit 38, R. Rahul 31, G. Vignesh 30) bt AVM CCF CA 122 for two in 20 overs (S. Swamy 34, K.Vignesh 59 n.o.). MOM: G. Vignesh. AVM CCF 166 for three in 20 overs (K. Sathish 86, M. Yuvan 44) bt Ebenezer Marcus 50 (K. Sathish three for 15, Venkat four for 12). MOM: K. Sathish. Asiatic CA 80 lost to Chakra CA 84 for three (S. Ranjan 42). MOM: S. Ranjan.
Safa SC holds East Bengal
KOLKATA: Kingﬁsher East Bengal fumbled at its home turf yet again, playing out a goalless draw against Lebanese visitor Safa SC at Salt Lake Stadium here on Wednesday. The AFC Cup Group B league is turning out to be a misadventure for the Indian Federation Cup champion, which has failed to capitalise on a positive start. Netting two wins — one away and one at home — in the ﬁrst three matches, East Bengal has hit the doldrums since. — Special Correspondent
One virtuoso performance at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai changed all that. Adam Gilchrist, adept at dismantling attacks, showed that even if his vigil behind the stumps may have waned, his reﬂexes before them had lost none of their sheen, amply illustrated by the 10 sixes with which he studded that explosive century. While this bowling decimator’s current form will be cause for much cheer in the Chargers’ camp, that unbeaten 109 against the Mumbai Indians would have only underscored his class. Sans Andrew Symonds, who has returned home for national duty, another swashbuckler will step in, quite capable of playing the perfect foil for Gilchrist. If that 111-ball 175 he cracked in the Johannesburg one-dayer to overhaul Australia’s mammoth 434 is anything to go by, Herschelle Herman Gibbs should be raring to celebrate his arrival with a knock as cavalier or Caribbean in content. Even if it’s still early to say Chargers’ low-proﬁle captain
17 boys share lead
NEW DELHI: Seventeen boys and six girls shared the lead with perfect scores after three rounds of the Parsvnath National (under-9) chess championship here on Wednesday. Top seed Arjun Bharat of Karnataka, second seed Hetul Shah of Gujarat and local hope Harshal Shahi won easily. In the girls’ section, Tripura’s Shiny Das held third seed Goa’s Riya Savant. The results (third round): Open: Arjun Bharat (Kar, 3) bt S. Delta (Man, 2); R. Harikrishnan (TN, 2) lost to Hetul Shah (Guj, 3); M. Karthikeyan (TN, 3) bt Mihir Desai (Mah, 2); Anish Jain (Del, 2) lost to Rishubh Naik (Goa, 3); Harshal Shahi (Del, 3) bt Devang Bisani (MP, 2); Jeet Jain (Guj,
2) lost to M. Jayesh (TN, 3); Poras Kolgane (Mah, 3) bt Devang Goyal (MP, 2); Josiah Rebello (Goa, 2) lost to M. Aadhityaa (TN, 3); Abinash Dutta (Asm, 2.5) drew with Raloue Kapoor (Mah, 2.5); K. Sai Sankalp (AP, 2) lost to Adarsh Shrivastava (UP, 3). Girls: Kratika Shekhawat (Raj, 2) lost to C. H. Meghna (Ker, 3); Riya Savant (Goa, 2.5) drew with Shiny Das (Tri, 2.5); N. Madhumitha (AP, 3) bt Adyasha Pattnaik (Ori, 2); Akankshya Nayak (Ori, 3) bt Shradha Kucheria (Ben, 2); Bipasa Patra (Ben, 3) bt H. Tejaswini (AP, 2). R. Manjula (TN, 3) bt M.C. Deepika (TN, 2); K. Gayatri (AP, 2) lost to Gauri Hadkonkar (Goa, 3); Sovna Jena (Ori, 2.5) drew with Kesshin Bhasiin (Del, 2.5); Ivana Furtado (Goa, 2.5) bt Sribrinda Rout (Ori, 1.5); Rutuja Bakshi (Mah, 1.5) lost to Abirami Ravi (TN. 2.5).
Ball badminton: National championship, St. Joseph’s College, 9 a.m. Chess: FIDE instructors and trainers course, J.C.D. Prabhakaran, Vice-President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, inaugurates, Nehru Stadium, 9.30 a.m. Cricket: All-India ICICI-YSCA Trophy tournament, K.S. Viswanathan, Secretary, TNCA, inaugurates (7.45 a.m.), followed by YSCA ‘C’ vs. Sri Vaishnavi RKM HSS, YSCA ‘B’ vs. Blue Bird (1 p.m.), RKM HSS; KDCA league ﬁrst div., Adambakkam vs. Garnet, MCC Tambaram, 12.30 p.m.; Seshadri Memorial tournament, Southern Auto vs. Prahalad, MCC Tambaram, 7.30 a.m.; PanasonicLMCA Twenty20 Cup, Final, Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan inaugurates, Railway Stadium, Perambur, 8.30 a.m.; Little Hearts CA u-13 tournament, SDNB Vaishnav College for Women, 7.30 a.m. & 12.30 p.m. Volleyball: Nellai Friends Club and Dr. Sivanthi Club coaching camp, S. Kumaraswamy, Vice-President, SDAT, inaugurates, Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, 5.30 p.m.
AGGRESSIVE DUO: Batsmen of the calibre of Herschelle Gibbs and Shahid Afridi, seen at a practice session on Wednesday, should ensure that Deccan Chargers does not miss the services of the belligerent Andrew Symonds.
— PHOTO: H. SATISH
Win toss, bat ﬁrst is Warne’s plan
JAIPUR: It’s an old story now that Rajasthan Royals went down without putting up a ﬁght against Delhi Daredevils in their opening game in the DLFIPL Twenty20 championship. Since then the Jaipur-based team has gone the extra mile and defeated Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad, and Royal Challengers, Bangalore. With Rajasthan Royals scheduled to take on Kolkata Knight Riders next at home on Thursday, its skipper and coach Shane Warne underscored the contributions made by Graeme Smith, Shane Watson and a few Indian players in the last 10 days.
couraging the players to be aggressive; attack, attack and attack is the slogan of our group.’’ After the ﬁnal practice session at the Future Cricket Academy, Warne repeated that Twenty20 could be anybody’s game. “There’s no set way. But we thought the best way to win games was to bowl ﬁrst against Kings XI, Chargers and Challengers because we thought their bowling was not strong and that we could chase anything. It worked. We are having a meeting on Thursday and we have a spirited group to put up another good performance against Kolkata.’’
Nationals winners awarded
CHENNAI: The winners of the Vestas National Laser Coastal sailing championships were awarded at a ceremony here on Wednesday. The annual event concluded at the Chennai Port on Tuesday, with AYC’s Rajesh Chowdhary claiming the prestigious Laser Standard title. The winners and the ﬁrst and second runners-up of the Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Laser Radial women, Laser 4.7 boys and girls, Laser Radial Youth and the Laser Standard Apprentice categories were presented their awards at the occasion. The Vestas Trophies were distributed to the winners of the sponsors’ races. Lt. Gen Ravi Khetarpal, President, Laser Class Association of India, Cmde Philip Vanhaltren, Naval ofﬁcer incharge, Ta-
Ahead of the pack
Warne said that his team was ahead of the pack on the tactical aspect and that the other teams were copying it now. Warne revealed in advance that he would bat ﬁrst should he win the toss. “They played on Tuesday night in Kolkata, are travelling the whole day on Wednesday and the match starts at 4 p.m. on Thursday when it would be boiling hot. “It’s better to bat ﬁrst and
SITTING PRETTY: With three consecutive wins, Rajasthan Royals has every reason to be ecstatic.
— PHOTO: SANDEEP SAXENA
keep them on the ﬁeld for ninety minutes. They have lost two on the trot and that must be hurting them. Now they are going to play on our turf. They are going to have new players, which again is going to be hard for them. But they (Brad Hodge and Salman Butt) can also be dangerous.
“We think we have got all bases covered. It’s all about doing the basics better than the opposition, sticking to plans and executing them very well. “We are always coming up with new stuff. I don’t look at the odds. As a coaching group we are trying to get the best out of each player. I have been en-
The teams (from): Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (captain), Graeme Smith, Kamran Akmal, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Kaif, Shane Watson, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Salunkhe, Munaf Patel, Siddharth Trivedi, Niraj Patel, Swapnil Asnodkar, Sohail Tanvir, Taruwar Kohli, Pankaj Singh, Mahesh Rawat. Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Salman Butt, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Mohammad Hafeez, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ajit Agarkar, Debabrata Das and Umar Gul.
WINNERS... (From left) Shwetha Sadanand (TNSA), Ayesha Lobo (RBYC), Mrinalini Santhanam (TNSA), Rohini Rau (RMYC) and Sidra (NSS Bhopal). — PHOTO: K. V. SRINIVASAN
mil Nadu, S. Rengarajan, vice-president, Finance Vestas Wind Technology India (Pvt) Ltd., Arindam Kumar, GM, Taj Coromandel and Hardeep Singh, Commandant, CISF, were the chief guests. Organising Chairman Bijoy Pillai briefed the gathering on this year’s championships.
YSCA Trophy from today
CHENNAI: The ICICI-Young Stars Cricket Association (YSCA) Trophy tournament is set to begin on Thursday (May 1) at the Ramakrishna School ground. Into its 39th edition, the popular private club tournament has as many as 63 teams in the fray, and the event will be conducted in two tiers; knockout in the ﬁrst phase and then in the quarter-ﬁnal league format. The ﬁnal is scheduled to be held on June 7 under ﬂoodlights at the MAC Stadium. Brieﬁng the media on the features of the tournament, M. S. Gurumurthy, Secretary, YSCA, said that top teams like India Cements (holder), Chemplast, Indian Bank, India Pistons, IOB, Parry, State Bank (Thiruvananthapuram), BPCL-
Arvind stars in Kedar CA triumph
CHENNAI: S. Arvind scored 94 as Kedar’s CA won the under-11 Pearls cricket tournament which concluded here on Wednesday. Kedar’s defeated TE-IPL by 117 runs in the ﬁnal. Arvind was adjudged the best batsman in the tournament. P. Ajith, also from Kedar’s, was declared the best bowler while Varun Vamsi of TE-IPL was named the best all-rounder. The scores (ﬁnal): Kedar’s CA 220 for six in 30 overs
(S. Arvind 94, Yogesh Narayanan 28, P. Ajith 29) bt TE-IPL CA 103 in 19 overs (Shyam Sundar 36, Varun Vamsi 39).
Santhome SA in ﬁnal
Santhome SA and Chennai St. Bede’s Sports Foundation (CSSF) recorded convincing semiﬁnal wins to set up a rematch of last year’s ﬁnal in the under-16 Panasonic-LMCA Twenty20 Cup cricket tournament. S. Selva’s three-wicket haul
helped defending champion Santhome defeat Kedar CA. CSSF outplayed LMCA in the other semiﬁnal. The ﬁnal, scheduled on Wednesday at Railway Stadium (Perambur), will be inaugurated by Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
The scores: Santhome SA 120 in 20 overs (B. Rahul 28, Sasidev three for 16) bt Kedar CA 96 for seven in 20 overs (S. Selva three for 18). MOM: S. Selva.
LMCA 77 in 20 overs lost to CSSF 78 for four in 16.2 overs. MOM: Jitender (CSSF; for ﬁgures of two for nine).
The SRM university volleyball teams will participate in an international friendship tournament, organised by the Volleyball Federation of Sri Lanka, to be held at Colombo from May 2 to 8. The contingent will consist of 35 members, including the coaches and managers.
KRL, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of Mysore, Precision Infomatics would vie for the prize money of Rs. 25,000 for the winner. Prominent city colleges, Loyola, Gurunanak, and Pachaiyappas along with leading schools, St.Bedes and Santhome HSS have also been accommodated in the draw. Gurumurthy informed that invitations have been extended to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi), IOC, Mumbai and Mumbai Colts. He also thanked the new sponsor, ICICI for helping the club to continue with the popular tournament. Mr.Sreedhar Dharmapuri, Regional Head, Branch Banking, ICICI, speaking on behalf of the sponsor, said the bank was happy to associate itself with the tournament.
FIDE chess courses
CHENNAI: The All India Chess Federation will be conducting the FIDE-Trainer & FIDE Instructor courses from April 30 to May 7 at Nehru Stadium (second ﬂoor hall) here.
FIDE Trainers IM Jovan Petronic of Serbia and FM Peter Long of Malaysia will conduct the course and the examination.
CHENNAI: The CSCA League Trophy 2008 cricket tournament for corporates and institutions will be played from May 10. Entries close with P. Richard (ph: 98840 60001) on May 7.
Flashing Star runs with a good chance in Masinagudi Plate
UDHAGAMANDALAM: Flashing Star runs with a good chance in the Class I Masinagudi Plate (1,200m), the feature event of the races to be held here on Thursday morning (May 1).
1 TIGER HILLS PLATE (1,200m), Cl. V-B, 10-40 a.m.: 1. Cactus King (5) C. Velu 60, 2. Revolving Star (8) Venkatesan 58.5, 3. Some More Time (9) Kabthar 57.5, 4. High And Mighty (2) C. A. Brisson 54, 5. Polar Magic (7) Casey 53, 6. King’s Delight (4) Azmal Hussain 52, 7. Fantastic Force (6) Babul 51, 8. Inheritor (1) Srinivasan 51 and 9. Turbo Jet (3) Mukesh Kumar 50.5. 1. Turbo Jet, 2. Polar Magic, 3. Inheritor 2 MASINAGUDI PLATE (1,200m), Cl. I, 11-05: 1. Star Phoenix (1) Mohan 60, 2. Romantic Count (2) Senthil Kumar 58, 3. Magical Sunset (5) Milan 57.5, 4. Flashing Star (6) Rajendra Singh 55.5, 5. Imperial Stride (4) S. Manohar 55.5 and 6. Retained Asset (3) Prem 55.5. 1. Flashing Star, 2. Romantic Count 3 INDU NAGAR PLATE (1,400m), Cl. II, 11-30: 1. Saddlers Lass (6) Babul 60, 2. Steinlen (1) C. Velu 60, 3. Frantic (7) Rajendra Singh 59.5, 4. Exotic Duke (2) Milan 58.5, 5. Numeric (3) Mohan 58, 6. Great Strides (5) Kabthar 56.5 and 7. Star Perfectiion (4) Prem 56.5. 1. Exotic Duke, 2. Numeric, 3. Saddlers Lass 4 MAY DAY CUP (Div.I), (1,300m), Cl. III, 11-55: 1. Celtic Princess (5) Rajendra Singh 60, 2. Man Of Honour (7) Milan 58, 3. Lucky Pioneer (4) Senthil Kumar 55, 4. Noble Flash (6) C. Velu 52, 5. Ministrel Heights (1) Babul 50, 6. Mozart (3) S. Manohar 49.5 and 7. Nebraska Tornado (2) Kabthar 49. 1.Celtic Princess, 2. Noble Flash, 3. Ministrel Heights 5 STONE HILL PLATE (Div.I), (1,200m), 3-y-o only (Terms), 12-20 p.m.: 1. Autumn Pearl (1) Babul 59, 2. Cape Royal (3) Mohan 59, 3. Cosmic Star (6) C. Velu 59, 4. Polar Circle (2) Prem 59, 5. Twilight Time (4) Milan 59, 6. Stunning Move (8) Rajendra Singh 57.5, 7. Oasis Dream (5) Kabthar 55.5 and 8. Starlit Sands (7) S. Manohar 48.5. 1.Oasis Dream, 2. Autumn Pearl, 3. Cosmic Star 6 MAY DAY CUP (Div.II), (1,300m), Cl. III, 12-45: 1. Paradise Flight (7) Rajendra Singh 60, 2. Ring Of Destiny (6) Milan 55, 3. Gold Empress (1) Mohan 54.5, 4. Wizard Prince (2) Senthil Kumar 54, 5. King’s Heir (5) S. Manohar 51, 6. Assert The Right (4) Casey 50.5 and 7. Resplendent Glory (3) Babul 49. 1. Gold Empress, 2. King’s Heir, 3. Ring Of Destiny 7 STONE HILL PLATE (Div.II), (1,200m), 3-y-o only (Terms), 1-10: 1. Calypso Magic (7) Senthil Kumar 59, 2. Cobra King (1) Milan 59, 3. Path Of Glory (2) Casey 59, 4. Musical Pursuit (3) Prem 57.5, 5. Rainbow Mirage (4) Mohan 57, 6. Magical Warrior (6) Rajendra Singh 54 and 7. Mystery Knight (5) Kabthar 54. 1. Magical Warrior, 2. Mystery Knight, 3. Cobra King 8 MOUNT PLEASANT PLATE (1,300m), Cl. V-A, 1-35: 1. Indian Gold (6) C. Velu 60, 2. Star Flag (9) Srinivasan 60, 3. Formidable Force (10) Milan 59.5, 4. Royal Heir (13) Babul 59.5, 5. Dynamic Quest (15) S. Manohar 58.5, 6. Commander’s Wish (5) Kabthar 55.5, 7. Tarzan Boy (16) C. Umesh 55, 8. Diesel (18) Bopanna 54, 9. Star Admiral (11) Rajendra Singh 54, 10. Diamond King (8) Huzaif 51, 11. Galaxy King (1) Zulquar Nain 50.5, 12. Hunters Wish (14) Cornelius 50.5, 13. Golden Galaxy (4) Mukesh Kumar 49, 14. Island Ruler (12) Lakshmanan 49, 15. Trojan River (2) P. Kumar 49, 16. Falcon Fly (7) Akbar 49, 17. All Rainbows (17) C. Murugan 49 and 18. Dashing Brave (3) Chowgule 49. 1. Formidable Force, 2. Royal Heir, 3. Dynamic Quest 9 SEVENTH WONDER PLATE (1,600m), Cl. V-B, 2-00: 1. Olympian (7) Chowgule 60, 2. Path Of Honour (11) Venkatesan 60, 3. Space Time (2) Srinivasan 60, 4. Great Crusader (10) Lakshmanan 58.5, 5. Ballydoyle Star (13) Casey 54.5, 6. Continuity (5) K. S. Rathore 54, 7. Ascot Knight (1) Saddam Iqbal 51.5, 8. Auriferous (6) C. Umesh 51, 9. Solo Venture (4) C. Murugan 51, 10. Chief Celebrity (9) Miss Roopa 49, 11. Seattle Victory (3) Huzaif 49, 12. Far Hope (14) Md. Kareem 49, 13. Ranger (12) Akbar 49 and 14. Regent Court (8) P. Kumar 49. 1. Continuity, 2. Ascot Knight, 3. Space Time Day’s best: Exotic Duke Double: Oasis Dream – Magical Warrior Treble (i): 4, 5 & 6; (ii): 7, 8 & 9.
Mohd. Sporting qualiﬁes
KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata earned a place in the elite stage of the I-League football as it held Chirag United, Kolkata 1-1 in a fourth round (ﬁnal-phase) match of the tournament’s Division II in Guwahati on Wednesday. With the draw Mohammedan Sporting tallied seven points (from four matches) and booked a place among the top four teams. Theodore Sundey Wrobeh srored for Chirag United while Sporting got even through Mike Okoro. — Principal Correspondent
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Sharapova pulls out
World No. 3 Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchova, 10th in the WTA rankings, have both pulled out of the German Open which starts in Berlin next Monday
IPL, Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, SET Max, 4 p.m.; Deccan Chargers vs Kings XI Punjab, 8 p.m.
Russia lifts visa barrier
Thousands of English football fans travelling to Moscow for the Champions League football ﬁnal on May 21 will be able to enter the country without a visa, Moscow Mayor Yury Lyzhkov said
El Defrawy (Egypt) 9-2, 9-2, 9-3 in the semiﬁnals. Ravi also seeded 9/16, had a 90 minute battle against Robert Downer 7-9, 1-9, 9-3, 9-7, 9-6 in the pre-quarterﬁnals before knocking out fourth seed Nicholas Hopcroft 9-6, 8-10, 9-1, 9-0.
Ahmedabad to host ﬁrst Test
NEW DELHI: Ahmedabad will host the ﬁrst cricket Test between India and England when Michael Vaughan’s team comes to India for a two-Test and seven-ODI series in NovemberDecember, the ﬁnal itinerary of which will be announced soon by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The second Test of the series will be played in Mumbai before the two teams lock horns in a one-day series. The ﬁrst of the seven onedayers will be played in the Capital. Indore, Rajkot, Jamshedpur, Cuttack, Guwahati and Kanpur will host the remaining matches of the series. ‘‘The ﬁnal itinerary will be decided on the basis of logistics,’’ the BCCI Secretary, Niranjan Shah, said in a statement. — PTI
Gambhir and McGrath do the star turn for Delhi Daredevils
CRICKET / Royal Challengers’ challenge not good enough
NEW DELHI: Gautam Gambhir’s exuberance and Glenn McGrath’s experience propelled Delhi Daredevils to a 10– run victory over Royal Challengers in the DLF-Indian Premier League here on Wednesday. This was Challengers’ fourth defeat in ﬁve outings, while Delhi was winning its third match in four. Delhi Daredevils rode on Gambhir’s brilliant innings to present Royal Challengers with a target of 192 but the Bangalore team came a cropper. McGrath, with three wickets in his ﬁrst spell of three overs, effectively ended the match as a contest. Man of the Match McGrath ﬁnished with four wickets even as Jacques Kallis (54, 44 balls, 6 x 4, 1x6) offered some resistance to reduce the margin. Gambhir slammed 86 off 54 balls with 11 fours and a six and his 98-run partnership with Shikhar Dhawan meant that Royal Challengers, which opted to ﬁeld, had a task on hand.
Indian juniors excel
CHENNAI: There were cheers for the Indians in the just concluded German Open junior squash tournament held in Munich. ICL trainees Anaka Alankamony won the silver in the girls’ under-15 category, while Anwesha Reddy and Ravi Dixit returned home with bronze medals in their respective under-17 categories, according to information reaching here. Anaka lost to Amanda Sobhy (USA) 5-9, 9-4, 10-8, 5-9, 0-9 in the ﬁnal that went full distance. She defeated third seed Llona Lagerweij (Netherlands) 9-1, 10-8, 9-2 in the semiﬁnals. Anwesh, seeded 9/16 beat Tesni Evans (Wales) 9-2, 5-9, 9-7, 3-9, 9-3 in the quarterﬁnals before losing to top seed Kanzy
However, in the semiﬁnals he fell to the eventual winner and top seed Rudi Rohrmuller (Germany) 1-9, 0-9, 5-9. Other Indians to excel were Mahesh Mangaonkar, who won the boys under-15 title defeating top seed Oliver Holland in a ﬁve-set thriller and Raghav Mehrotra who bagged third place in the boys’ U-13 category.
Bangalore bowlers. Dhawan took over with a ﬂourish that marks his style, caning the bowlers with some disdainful strikes square of the wicket. In the company of Gambhir, he grew in conﬁdence to play some daring shots all around.
Dhawan’s blazing effort matched Gambhir in terms of quality. He hit the ball harder and longer, his 50 coming off 32 balls, four less than Gambhir. It took a grand effort from Dravid to end Dhawan’s innings (four fours and three sixes) when the Challengers’ skipper took a low catch at midwicket.
The scores: Delhi Daredevils: G. Gambhir c Praveen b Zaheer 86, V. Sehwag (run out) 24, S. Dhawan c Dravid b Kallis 50, S. Malik b Styen 6, D. Karthik b Kallis 2, M. Tiwari (not out) 11, R. Bhatia (not out) 8; Extras (lb-2, nb-1, w-1) 4; Total (for ﬁve wkts. in 20 overs) 191. Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-151, 3159, 4-167, 5-179. Royal Challengers: Styen 4-029-1, Zaheer 4-0-42-1, Praveen 4-024-0, Vinay 2-0-25-0, Kallis 4-0-39-2, Kohli 1-0-11-0, Joshi 1-0-19-0. Royal Challengers: Praveen Kumar c Dhawan b McGrath 6, W. Jaffer c Yomahesh b McGrath 10, R. Taylor c Dhawan b McGrath 29, J. Kallis b Vettori 54, R. Dravid c Sehwag b McGrath 38, M. Boucher (not out) 31, V. Kohli (not out) 1; Extras (b-1, lb-10, nb-1) 12; Total (for ﬁve wkts. in 20 overs) 181. Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-46, 3-48, 4-135, 5-162. Delhi Daredevils bowling: McGrath 4-0-29-4, Asif 4-0-42-0, Yomahesh 4-0-28-0, Vettori 4-0-19-1, Bhatia 1-0-14-0, Malik 1-0-8-0, Sehwag 2-0-30-0.
SHEFFIELD: Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry reached the semiﬁnals of the World snooker championship for a record 12th time at the Crucible here. The Scot beat Wales’ Ryan Day 13-7 after resuming on Wednesday with a commanding 11-5 lead. Earlier in the day, Englishman Allister Carter became the ﬁrst player through to this year’s semiﬁnals when he beat 2002 champion Peter Ebdon 13-9.
The ambience was electric and Sehwag matched it with a sensational assault that ﬁtted his image as Royal Challengers was shattered in the span of a mere ﬁve overs at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The start was delayed by 11 minutes due to the ofﬁcial broadcaster losing satellite link. The cheer girls were also withdrawn by the franchisee even as the Royal Challengers paraded its Washington Red Skin cheerleaders along the boundary. On a night when almost every seat at the arena was occu-
Carter emulates O’Sullivan
Carter had compiled a 147 break against Ebdon on Tuesday, the second maximum in two days. Following Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 147 on Monday, it was the ﬁrst time two maximum breaks have been made in the ﬁnal stages of the same ranking tournament. Meanwhile Carter, asked if O’Sullivan had said anything to him about seeing his £157,000 replied: ‘‘He just said ’It’s 80 large each? Cheers!”’ — Agencies
IN FULL FLOW: Gautam Gambhir’s whirlwind knock helped set up Delhi Daredevils’ 10-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
— PHOTO: R.V. MOORTHY
pied even before the ﬁrst ball had been bowled, Gambhir showed the way with a calculated attack that actually inspired Sehwag. Gambhir was unsparing even as Dale Styen bowled quick. The ball travelled faster and in all directions too as Gambhir tore the South African fast bowler with a ﬂurry of shots. He picked the line early enough
to scatter the ﬁeld, leaving Rahul Dravid a frustrated man. Sehwag took over from Gambhir and mauled Zaheer Khan by smashing him clinically for two sixes and two fours, as effortless as ever. Zaheer had reason to feel bitter because he had not bowled bad deliveries. Sehwag was looking ominous when he was run out for 24 off 12 balls.
Gambhir was outstanding. His form was reﬂected in the ease with which he found the gaps. Like Sehwag, he too picked on Zaheer when the latter came on for his second spell. It was tough to set a ﬁeld for Gambhir who was not averse to taking the aerial route and his job was made easy by the fast outﬁeld. There was no respite for the
A mind game and a puzzle that you solve with reasoning and logic. Fill in the grid with digits in such a manner that every row, every column and every 3x3 box accommodates the digits 1 to 9, without repeating any. The solution to yesterday’s puzzle is at right.
Ban on Shoaib Akhtar upheld
LAHORE: A Pakistani Appeals Committee on Wednesday temporarily upheld a ﬁve-year ban imposed on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, but said he was free to play cricket outside the country. The 32-year-old paceman was banned earlier this month for breaching the players’ Code of Conduct by publicly criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he was not offered a central contract. ‘‘Shoaib Akhtar can play anywhere outside Pakistan. The disciplinary committee did
Paceman allowed to play outside Pakistan Knight Riders to abide by IPL guidelines
not restrain him from playing anywhere in the world,’’ retired judge Aftab Farrukh, the head of the three-member tribunal, told reporters here on Wednesday. Farrukh said the main hearing into Akthar’s appeal against the ban would take place in June and that the ban on playing in or for Pakistan would stay in place until then. — AFP PTI reports from Mumbai
trol for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) recent decision. ‘‘Unless he is cleared to play for Pakistan, he cannot play in the IPL. This was the decision taken by the Special General Body of the BCCI in Bangalore before the start of the Twenty20 event,’’ BCCI sources said here on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Kolkata Knight Riders made it clear that it would abide by the IPL’s decision on whether or not to allow Akhtar to play in the tournament.
IPL too says no
Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has cleared Shoaib Akhtar to play in the DLF-Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders, the controversial fast bowler still cannot play in the Twenty20 league as per the Board of Con-
Super Kings faces a fresh challenge
CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings is on a roll. In a format where predictions can go haywire, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have won four in a row. Dhoni, so far, has made all the right moves and Super Kings leads the DLF-Indian Premier League race with eight points. Come Friday and the side faces a fresh challenge As it will be without three inﬂuential cricketers — Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Jacob Oram. The trio leaves the IPL scene for the season owing to international commitments. The powerful Hayden has been solid and strokeful. In a Twenty20 game, he can so easily bat through an innings playing the way he does. The Super Kings could have Stephen Fleming batting up the order. But, unlike the big-hitting Aussie, Fleming is a clever manipulator of the ball with the
precious ability to read situations. Of course, Super Kings has the option of replacing Hayden with one of the young domestic openers, S. Anirudha or S. Vidyut. In such a scenario, Fleming could don Hussey’s role in the middle-order.
Hussey is not averse to taking calculated risks but still plays the percentages better than most and is cool at the crunch. It would be impossible to replace giants such as Hayden or Hussey, but Dhoni has already indicated that he is willing to shoulder more responsibility by promoting himself up the order. In Super Kings’ favour is the ﬁne form of the skipper and the ﬂamboyant Suresh Raina. S. Badrinath’s ability as an innovative strokemaker is also under-rated. Dhoni’s effort in Bangalore was awesome. Said the Super King’s Director of Cricketing
Operations V.B. Chandrasekar, “He’s unique in the manner he plays some of his strokes. I and Kepler Wessels (the team’s coach) spoke about how he dealt with a delivery from Dale Steyn, a yorker on the leg-stump. Most batsmen would have played it to ﬁne-leg or square-leg. Dhoni sent the ball rocketing to the mid-wicket fence.”
If Dhoni surfaces earlier, Albie Morkel could be used as a heavy-hitter down the order. Morkel is another left-hander in a line-up dominated by southpaws that has already disrupted the line and rhythm of several attacks. While batting was always going to be Super Kings’ strength, its bowling has been the success story of the competition so far. Oram found the right length in the last two games and turned the game on its head against Kolkata Knight Riders. But then, Makhaya Ntini is bound to
add greater sting to the pace attack. Manpreet Goni has been a revelation with his control and change of pace, while Joginger’s ability to get the ball to skid off the surface and deliver yorkers at the death is of immense value to the side. Thrust into the big league, Palani Amarnath has displayed good temperament apart from the ability to send down cutters and back-of-alength balls. Morkel’s medium pace can be a useful back-up.
Of course, Muttiah Muralitharan with his spin, ﬂight and deception, has been priceless for the Super Kings. The off-spinning wizard of exceptional accuracy has this ability to bowl in any stage of the game. Dhoni has relied on his ﬁve frontline bowlers in all the matches so far, which is a healthy sign. The skipper’s conﬁdence has rubbed off on his men.
© Puzzles by Pappacom. Solution tips and computer program at www.sudoku.com
Hendry in last four
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2008
Craig S. Smith
PARIS: Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died on Tuesday at his home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102. The cause was a heart attack, said Rick Doblin, founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based group that in 2005 republished Hofmann’s 1979 book LSD: My Problem Child. Hofmann ﬁrst synthesised the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until ﬁve years later, when he acciden-
Equality at a crossroads
Sweden, a pioneer in gender equality, plans to introduce crosswalk road signs portraying a woman in addition to the existing sign depicting a man.
Scientists discovered a legless lizard, a dwarf woodpecker and another 12 suspected new species in Brazil’s fast-disappearing Cerrado grasslands.
Crore without a clue
An 82-year-old homeless man who stayed at a motel in Iowa has left behind $263,000 (about Rs. 1.05 crore) when he died there — and few clues about how he got it.
Albert Hofmann, the chemist-developer of LSD, dead at 102
tally ingested the substance that came to be known to the 1960s counterculture generation as “acid.” He then took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid to contemplate and understand what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature. That perception of union, which ﬁrst came to Hofmann as almost a religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life. Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, on January 11, 1906, the eldest of four children. His father was a toolmaker in a local factory, and the family lived in a rented apartment. Hofmann spent much of his childhood outdoors. He would wander the hills above the town and play around the ruins of a Hapsburg castle, the Stein. “It was a real paradise up there,” he said in an interview in 2006. “We had no money, but I had a wonderful childhood.” It was during one of his ambles that he had his epiphany. “It happened on a May morning — I have forgotten the year — but I can still point to the exact spot where it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above Baden,” he wrote in LSD: My Problem Child. “As I strolled through able sensation of joy, oneness and blissful security.” Hofmann studied chemistry at Zurich University because, he said, he wanted to explore the natural world at the level where energy and elements combine to create life. He earned his Ph.D. there in 1929, at 23. He then took a job with Sandoz. It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one Friday afterAlbert Hofmann. He was disturbed by the cavalier noon in April 1943. Soon use of LSD for entertainment. — PHOTO: REUTERS enough, he experienced an althe freshly greened woods shone with the most beautiful tered state of consciousness ﬁlled with bird song and lit up radiance, speaking to the similar to the one he had exby the morning sun, all at heart, as though it wanted to perienced as a child. once everything appeared in encompass me in its majesty. The following Monday he an uncommonly clear light. It I was ﬁlled with an indescrib- deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug overwhelmed him. That day, April 19, later became memorialised by LSD enthusiasts as “bicycle day.” “Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magniﬁcence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom,” Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof in an interview 1984. “I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us.” Hofmann became an impassioned advocate for the environment and argued that LSD, besides being a valuable tool for psychiatry, could be used to awaken a deeper awareness of mankind’s place in nature and help curb society’s ultimately self-destructive degradation of the natural world. He was also disturbed by the cavalier use of LSD as a drug for entertainment, arguing that it should be treated in the way that primitive societies treat psychoactive sacred plants, ingested with care and spiritual intent. Despite his involvement with psychoactive compounds, Hofmann remained moored in his Swiss chemist identity. He stayed with Sandoz as head of the research department for natural medicines and retired in 1971. He wrote more than 100 scientiﬁc articles and authored a number of books. — New York Times News Service
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.