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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 2 No: 17












Chhattisgarh govt to facilitate for free pilgrimage visit to disabled

Home Secretary calls meet with Andhra DGP, Chief Secy

Border tension likely to hamper India's exports to Pakistan

Seven-year-old science genius is world's youngest author
KOLKATA: Seven-year-old Pritvik is a science genius. He has already authored two books on paleontology. The Class 4 student from Kolkata has taken the world of science by storm with his book 'When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth'. For the class 4 student who also teaches four classes including contd on page 2

'Cabinet recommends President's Rule in Jharkhand'
NEW DELHI: Former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda on Thursday launched a frontal attack on the Shibu Soren-led JMM for withdrawing support to the coalition government in the state, saying those behind this move are against development. Munda, who was responding to a poser on the move to impose President's rule in Jharkhand, said only a stable government should come in the state, and only a stable government can carry forward development work. "Everybody is aware of it, but despite that the attempt to destabilise the government is unfortunate. And all those people responsible for it are against the development. We tried to give a developed government and carried forward the developmental process. We made all attempts to bring all sections of people together and participate in the developmental work," he added. Munda said that he did not know the intention behind imposing President's rule in Jharkhand. "I got to know that President's rule has been imposed in Jharkhand. I knew that President's rule would be imposed in Jharkhand, but we also demanded that the assembly should be dissolved and we should move towards the election and receive the mandate of the people. I don't know the intention of it (President's rule)," he said. The Union Cabinet earlier in the day recommended imposition of President's Rule in Jharkhand, which is facing political instability after the collapse of the Arjun Munda-led BJP-JMM coalition government last week. The decision in this regard was taken on the basis of a report on political situation in Jharkhand prepared by Governor Syed Ahmed and sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The recommendation was made in the Governor's second report to the Central Government in wake of the resignation of Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who also sought dissolution of the Assembly after JMM withdrew support to his government. The Cabinet today discussed the Governor's report as well as the Home Ministry note on the Jharkhand situation before taking the decision. Jharkhand, which was created in 2000, has been placed contd on page 2

Arjun Munda pulls up JMM, calls for stable Govt

Govt hikes LPG cap from 6 to 9, made no change in diesel prices
NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Thursday announced that there will be no change in the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG and that the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders will be raised from six to nine from April 2013. The government also partially decontrolled diesel prices, giving authority to the oil marketing companies to change diesel prices by a small margin from time to time. Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters today that OMCs have been authorised to make price correction of diesel from time to time as per market conditions. However, this price correction would be in small amounts, he added. Moily also informed that the

Omar lauds Centre's decision to raise subsidised LPG cap
SRINAGAR, JAN 17: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday expressed his gratitude to the Centre for increasing the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine from next fiscal. "Grateful to the Government of India for accepting states like J&K's request to increase the number of subsidised LPG cylinders," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.Com. Jammu and Kashmir government had pleaded for increasing the cap for consumers in the state in view of the harsh winter conditions and lack of other resources to meet the energy requirements of the people. The Centre on Thursday announced an increase in the number of subsidised LPG cylinders per consumer from six to nine. The new cap will come into effect from April 1, 2013. annual cap on subsidised LPG cylinders would be hiked from the current six to nine. The Oil Ministry had earlier this month made a proposal to Cabinet to raise diesel prices and increase the number of subsidised LPG cylinders available to households contd on page 2

Eight-storey apartment collapses in Egypt
CAIRO: In Egypt, 25 people were killed and several others were injured when an eightstorey apartment building collapsed in the port city of Alexandria. The Egyptian Health Ministry officials told that at least 12 people were injured and rescue teams were searching for survivors under contd on page 2

Snow covers Shimla, Manali
SHIMLA: After a long break, popular tourist resorts Shimla and Manali got fresh snow Thursday, triggering cold in Himachal Pradesh. Tourist spots near Shimla, like honeymooners' paradise Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda experienced moderate snowfall, turning the hill stations more contd on page 2

CBI recovers over Rs 1 cr from Ministry official
NEW DELHI: The CBI on Thursday recovered over Rs 1 crore in cash from three properties of an Environment Ministry official, who was arrested along with a middleman for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh for pushing clearance for a cement firm. Deputy Director in the Ministry Neeraj Kumar Khatri was arrested late last night while allegedly accepting bribe from a middle man Chinmaya Shri Chandan for arranging mining clearance for a Odisha based-firm Chariot Group, CBI sources said. contd on page 2

Govt. bans private practice of HoDs of GMCs, Associated Hospitals
JAMMU, JAN 17: The Government today banned the private practice of all heads of Departments in the Government run Medical and Dental Colleges of the State and their Associated Hospitals. An order to this effect was issued by Commissioner-Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Mr. M. K. Dwivedi today. The decision has been taken to further improve patient care at these hospitals and make senior doctors available for their respective Departments all around. The decision followed contd on page 2

Hina Rabbani offer talks with India; India demands justice for dead soldiers first
NEW DELHI/ ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called for talks with her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid in order to cooling down the rising tensions between the two countries while India Thursday has demanded justice first to two Indian soldiers who had been killed and mutilated on 08th January 2013 before accepting it. Informing to Pak, Indian government according to media reports has stated that it has taken note of Khar's offer of talks at the foreign minister's level to take steps to tone down the tensions but New Delhi is still of the view that Islamabad needs to bring the soldiers involved in the murder and mutilation of two Indian Army soldiers to justice before any forward movement on talks can be considered. Meanwhile the reports said army sources, as saying that there was no incident of firing reported along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday night. Indian and Pakistani forces Wednesday agreed to maintain peace on the LoC (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir after days of bitter stand-off that had threatened their uneasy ties. The two armies agreed not to violate the 2003 ceasefire on the LoC, an officer said. While both the countries have ordered their troops to strictly honour the ceasefire agreement, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has contd on page 2

BJP rejects Khar's offer to hold talks
NEW DELHI: The main opposition BJP on Thursday rubbished Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's offer to hold a ''discussion and dialogue'' at the foreign ministers level to resolve the crisis on the Line of Control (LoC), saying one has to be guided by the record of Islamabad so far and its activities on the border, including exporting the terror machine to India. BJP leader Balbir Punj said ''Pakistan is a multi headed hydra and it talks in different languages and there is a total disconnect between contd on page 2

'Pak must accept mistakes and punish LoC attackers': Manish Tewari
NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Thursday said the Pakistani Government must accept its mistakes and punish those responsible for the barbaric attack on the Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District. Tewari, who was responding to Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's offer to hold ''discussion and dialogue'' with her Indian contd on page 2

Parl panel recommends 5 kg of foodgrain entitlement per person
NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel has recommended five kilograms of foodgrain entitlement per person, a month under the National Food Security Bill awaiting passage in Parliament. The Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public contd on page 2

India to see 6.1% economic growth this year: UN
NEW DELHI, JAN 17: Indian economy is projected to grow at a slower pace of 6.1 per cent this year even as exports and capital investments are likely to be much better than in 2012, according to the United Nations. The UN has trimmed its growth forecast from 7.2 per cent estimated in June 2012. However, the forecast of 6.1 per cent growth for this year is much better than 5.5 per cent expansion seen in 2012, as per the UN 'World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013' report. "GDP growth in India will accelerate to 6.1 per cent in 2013 and 6.5 per cent in 2014 as a result of stronger growth of exports and capital investment... Investment demand is expected to respond to a more accommodative monetary policy stance and slightly improved business confidence," it said. UN ESCAP's (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Chief Economist Nagesh Kumar today said that India has huge growth potential in the long term. contd on page 2

LoC quiet after a week of tension
JAMMU, JAN 17: It was all quiet at the Line of Control (LoC) after Indian and Pakistan forces agreed not to violate the ceasefire, army sources said Thursday. There was no incident of firing reported from the LoC Wednesday night, an army source said. "The Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan Wednesday had agreed not to violate the ceasefire and exercise maximum restraint,"

Snowfall in Valley brings relief; Leh freezes
SRINAGAR, JAN 17: Kashmir Valley received fresh snowfall Thursday which brought some relief in the biting chill of the night, although in the frontier region of Ladakh, Leh shivered as the mercury plunged by five degrees. The national highway was declared closed on precaution yesterday, but a Traffic Control Room spokesperson told PTI that some vehicles were permitted to ply on the road. According to the MeT office, minimum temperature in Srinagar, which recorded 6 mm snowfall, rose to 0.8 degrees Celsius from the previous night's 0.1 degrees. Night temperatures increased in the hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir with the minimum there settling at 1.4 degree Celsius after a jump of about 4 degrees from yesterday's -3.8 degree Celsius. The ski resort of Gulmarg in north shivered at -5.6 deg C, which was an increase of about a degree from -6.7 deg C yesterday. Pahalgam received 5.4 mm snowfall, while in Gulmarg it measured 4.8 mm. Qazigund in south Kashmir received 6.2 mm snowfall and recorded a low of 1.8 degree Celsius, which was two notches above -1 degree Celsius the night before. The minimum night temperature in Kokernag was 0.3 degree Celsius, up from 1.7 degrees the previous night while Kupwara in north Kashmir saw the minimum settle contd on page 2

Avalanche warning in Kashmir
SRINAGAR,JAN 17: Medium danger avalanche warning has been issued by Divisional Disaster Management Kashmir on the basis of information from SASE. People living in snow bound areas of Naugam, Chowkibal, Machil, Tangdhar, Keran and Gurez have been advised not to venture in steep avalanche prone slopes during the next 24 hours.

Poonch villagers ask Pak to stop ceasefire violations
POONCH, JAN 17: Indian villagers living in the border district of Poonch have slammed Pakistan, and asked it to immediately stop repeated violations of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. Irate due to the firing from across the border that have heightened the difficulties and adversely impacted the livelihood of the residents, locals lashed out at Pakistan. "We want peace to be reinstalled at the border. India has never violated ceasefire; the repeated firing in Mendhar sector and brutal killings of our soldiers contd on page 2 according to an Indian Army spokesperson in New Delhi. The DGMOs agreed not to allow the situation along the LoC, which divides Kashmir between India and

Pakistan, to escalate, he added. The agreement between the DGMOs came after more than 10 days of heightened border tension between the two countries. The tensions began Jan 6 when a Pakistani soldier was killed allegedly in firing by Indian troops. Two days later, Pakistani soldiers brutally killed two Indian soldiers, including beheading one of them, on the LoC. India had voiced its protest over the killing.

Traffic on NH to be allowed, subject to weather conditions today
People asked to contact Control room before leaving station JAMMU, JAN 17: In wake of the inclement weather conditions and snow fall being experienced at various places today, the Traffic movement on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway on Friday would be subject to the weather condition. The commuters, who intend to travel on the road from Jammu to

Central Task Force on RFD calls on CM
RFD to inculcate new work culture in Govt Deptts: Omar
JAMMU, JAN 17: Underlining the need for objective way of assessing performance of government departments at the year-end through Results Framework Document (RFD) initiative, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said that this will enable the departments in fixing priorities and targets individually and realize outcomes in a time bound manner. The Chief Minister said that RFD would also incul-

Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah intracting with Central Task Force on Results Framework Document at Jammu. cate a new work culture in government departments. "It will enable them to put in place a self monitoring and assessing system and make realize physical targets and outcomes benchmark of performance", he added. Talking to the Central Task Force on RFD contd on page 2

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the RBI to check price rise. Meanwhile, the report said economic growth in South Asia fell to its lowest in 10 years in 2012. "After growing by 5.8 per cent in 2011... South Asia's gross domestic product expanded by only 4.4 per cent in 2012. Going forward, economic growth in the region is projected to accelerate to 5 per cent in 2013 and 5.7 per cent in 2014, led by a gradual recovery in India," the UN said. Indian economy accounts for almost three-quarter of South Asia's overall GDP. Other countries in South Asia region include Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Moderate to heavy snowfall, which was forecast for the region, is tipped to intensify on January 17 and 18 and likely continue till January 19. The 294-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was open to vehicles going from Jammu to Srinagar which had crossed Nagrota in Jammu region by 8 AM. lapse of the building was not known but the Governor of Alexandria Mohammad Abbas Ata told that the building was constructed without a permit. Violation of building specifications have led to similar incidents in the past. The building collapsed sparked protests in several cities where demonstrators complained that the new government is failing to carry out reforms and overhaul the nation's deteriorating public services.

Contd. from page 1...
Arjun Munda .....
under President's Rule twice. The present political instability erupted on January 8 when BJP's ruling coalition partner JMM, in a letter to the Governor, formally withdrew its support to the government pushing it into a minority. Relations between the BJP and JMM came under strain since the chief minister rejected that there was an agreement between the two parties on rotation of power after 28 months in office. JMM supremo Shibu Soren, considered to be the wily old fox of Jharkhand politics, needs 42 votes to muster a majority for his party in the 82-member House, but it will be six short even after adding Congress and RJD votes. The BJP and JMM have 18 members each in the Jharkhand assembly. The Congress has a total of 13 members. Jharkhand has seen eight governments in the last 12 years.

Poonch villagers....
including the beheading is an intolerable act. It is not acceptable in either Islam or humanity, this is completely wrong. People would be able to live peacefully if the border is peaceful," said Abdul, a local. Another local shepherd Gaffar appealed both India and Pakistan to resolve their issues so that peace could prevail in the restive Himalayan region. "We have been witnessing firing from across the border since the past many days and explosives are being planted due which civilians, children and cattle alike are being distressed. Pakistan should be ashamed of what it is doing and this issue must be resolved at the earliest," he said. To prove that an infiltration bid had been made by the Pakistan Army into Indian soil earlier this month, the Indian Army on Wednesday released photographs of landmines, reportedly planted by Pakistani troops. In a statement, the army said that it had shared these photographs with Pakistan at the recently held Brigadier-level flag meeting at Chakan-Da Bagh in the Poonch Sector, where the two sides discussed the repeated ceasefire violations. Pakistan has denied all charges of initiating the aggression. The photographs of the landmine devices have clear markings that show they were manufactured in Ordnance Factories in Pakistan. The mines were recovered in an area dominated by Indian troops. Defence Ministry sources in New Delhi had commented that Pakistan had refused to accept the file with the photographs and returned it to the Indian officials.

Snow covers....
picturesque. Likewise, the Solang ski slopes, 13 km uphill from Manali, and Kalpa, 250 km from the state capital, also saw snow, the weather office here said. The minimum temperature in Manali was 0.6 degrees Celsius below freezing point. Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state with minus 3 degrees Celsius. It was 9.4 degrees above freezing point in Dharamsala, minus 3.2 degrees in Kalpa and 3 degrees in Shimla. Shimla last got snow Dec 14. Shimla's commercial centre Mall Road, the historic Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills received a relatively thick layer of snow while snowflakes covered the lower parts of the town. "Highv altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Mandi, Sirmaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow since early Thursday," a Met official said.

BJP rejects....
what it preaches and what it practices''. "Hina Rabbani is the pleasant face of India, which talks of peace, but Pakistan as a country continues with its policy of bleeding India through giving 1,000 cuts. And we don't have to go by what Hina Rabbani says," said Punj. "We have to be guided by the record of Pakistan so far and what it actually does on the borders and on the issue of training terrorists and exporting that terror machine to India," he added.

Govt hikes LPG ....
to nine a year from the current cap of six. The Cabinet has approved the Petroleum Ministry's proposal to increase the number of subsidised LPG cylinders available to households to nine a year from the current cap of six. The government had sought permission from the Election Commission on Wednesday as three states - Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland - will go to polls soon and the model code of conduct is in force. Giving its approval, the Election Commission said the decision was not a violation of code as it was an ongoing scheme. With effect from April 2013, all households will be get nine subsidised cylinders instead of the earlier six. India, which imports more than 80 per cent of its fuel needs, liberalised petrol prices in June 2010 but continues to regulate diesel prices to protect the poor. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently said the country must gradually bring local fuel prices in line with global prices. Manmohan Singh had warned that the government must raise diesel, kerosene and cooking gas prices in a phased manner as India's fuel prices are well below international prices. "Energy remains under priced in our country, with coal, petroleum products and natural gas prices well below international prices. To meet our target of rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth we must undertake a phased rationalisation of energy prices to bring them in line with world prices," he had said on Monday.

'Pak must accept ....
counterpart Salman Khurshid to resolve the crisis at the LoC, said ''the only problem which needs to be resolved is the inhuman behaviour of the Pakistani armed forces personnel''. "Rather than giving sanctimonious homilies, it would be worth Pakistan's while to really respond positively and constructive to India's concerns and hold those people who were responsible for this barbaric treatment to account. I think that's the minimalist response, which the Indian establishment is looking for," said Tewari. "So, therefore, any sort of meandering and getting into a tangential direction is something which is not going to go down very well with the Indian establishment. I think they should realise and understand the seriousness of the issue, the intent of the Indian establishment and respond to it appropriately," he added. Tewari further said the apex level of the Indian leadership has made it clear in wake of the brutal attack on the Indian soldiers that there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan. "When at the apex level of the Indian leadership, a clear and a secant message is sent out that it cannot be business as usual; it is for the establishment in Pakistan to understand, observe that message and react to it appropriately. And the reaction that we expect is first an acknowledgement of the fact that a grievous wrong has been committed and then a process of bringing those people who were responsible for this barbaric mutilation to account," said Tewari.

Parl panel ...
Distribution in its report submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker today, has agreed to the proposed coverage of 75 per cent of the population in rural and 50 per cent in urban areas. Briefing reporters in New Delhi Committee Chairman, Vilas Muttemwar said, the Committee rice will be available at three rupees a kilogramme, wheat two rupees and millets one rupee. The total quantity of foodgrains required to be distributed will be about 568 lakh tonnes, a year. He said the committee did not favour cash transfer in lieu of foodgrain entitlements before banking infrastructure and accessibility facilities are in place in all parts of the country. Muttemwar said the recommendations of the committee were unanimous with a lone member giving his dissent note. He said the Committee has suggested more flexibility for state governments to extend the coverage beyond the numbers prescribed in the proposed bill out of their own resources to cover more population. Muttemwar said that the Committee received 1.5 lakh representations from different sections of the society.

Central Task....
who called on him here this morning, the Chief Minister expressed gratitude to its members for guiding the State Departments in formulating RFDs and setting the stage ready to launch the new initiative in the State to help good-governance ensuring outcomes of works reach to people in a fixed time frame. Omar Abdullah said that under RFD the focus would shift from assessing the performance from financial spending to the realization of physical targets and outcomes with impact on ground. "We are thankful to you", he told the members of the Task Force and said that they have spend precious time here to acquaint and guide the officers in this regard. The Chief Minister said that his government is committed to rolling out RFDs in all departments to ensure the benefits of development programmes reach to people in a time bound manner and as per the prioritized schedule. The matters relating to generation of power and widening the mandate of Science and Technology Department also came up for discussion in the meeting. The Chief Minister asked the Task Force to give their opinion regarding expanding the orbit of Science and Technology in the State for creating scientific temperament and enabling youth to participate in IT and software technology sectors in a bigger way. "Prior to militancy, measures for development of software technology and involving outside players to participate in this received good attention and a Software Park was established in the Valley. However, this received jolt by the militancy and the progress remained stand still", he said. "My government has now initiated measures to revive this sector and provide level field for youth to adopt IT and software technological initiatives for economic sustenance and development of the State", he said adding that the Science Advisory Board of reputed scientists and technologists of the Country is in place to advise the State Government regarding utilizing science and technology in the economic betterment and employment generation in the State. The Chief Minister said that in the power generation sector, State Government has also made a remarkable move forward and prestigious megahydel projects have been taken up in joint venture by the State's Chenab Valley Joint Venture Power Company. He mentioned the hydel projects of Pakuldul, Kawer, Kiru, Retli and other over half a dozen projects being taken up in the State for generation of hydro power. Omar Abdullah also mentioned a number of micro hydel projects identified for execution by the Science and Technology Department besides harnessing of new and renewable energy in the feasible areas of the State. He also talked about the thermal project being executed in Leh district. Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra, Chief Secretary Madhav Lal, Financial Commissioner, Finance, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey and Principal Secretary Planning and Development, B. R. Sharma were present in the meeting.

CBI recovers ....
During questioning, CBI came to know about his three properties in Haryana -- two in Gurgaon and one in Rohtak. The agency carried out searches at these properties and recovered Rs 82.5 lakh in cash from Gurgaon and over Rs 21 lakh from Rohtak, they said. The agency has booked Khatri, Chandan and his father N Shri Chandan, both allegedly acting under the garb of their consultancy form S S Environics Pvt Limited under relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC section relating to criminal conspiracy. They alleged the Chariot Group wanted clearance for its Raiboga Mines at Birmitrapur in Sundargarh, Odisha. The issue is said to be coming as agenda item number one before the screening committee meeting today. Repeated phone calls to Chariot group's headquarter did not result in any response as the receptionist maintained that no official was available. The mails sent on the address given on their website also bounced back. The company had allegedly hired S S Environics to get the clearance. The sources said CBI is planning to question other officials of the Environment Ministry, who were part of the screening committee, headed by a Joint Secretary level official, which grants clearances to mining projects.

Traffic on....

Hina Rabbani....
invited her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid for talks. While Khar expressed disappointment over comments from Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said the country was open to a dialogue to de-escalate tensions. "It was deeply disturbing and I say this with all honesty, for me to see such hostile comments coming in from all facets from the political leaders, from the military, the media. We would think the best way to deal with this instead of raising the rhetoric would be a political level discussion and I am open to have a dialouge with the External Affairs Minister of India. I invite him for that matter for a dialogue at the political level so that we can resolve the LoC issue and to ensure we continue to respect the ceasefire, which is absolutely crucial because if we start acting in this manner then we are going back into the history," she said. As per an army spokesman's statement issued late on Wednesday night, the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan have agreed not to violate the ceasefire and exercise maximum restraint after more than 10 days of heightened border tension between the two countries. Government sources are being quoted as saying that Pakistan appears to be trying to cool things down. Earlier, Pak Foreign Minister who is at present in United States for her official tour Wednesday night stated that t continued tension along the LoC is not in the interest of peace and stability in South Asia. She offered to discuss the issue at the level of the foreign ministers. "Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to Line of Control (LoC) with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the Foreign Ministers to sort out things," said Khar in a late night statement. "Continued tension along the LoC is not in the interest of peace and stability in the region," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted her as saying in a statement issued in New York. "Pakistan and India are both important countries of South Asia. It is imperative that they demonstrate requisite responsibility for ensuring peace by addressing all concerns through dialogue," she said. It appeared to be a climb-down on earlier "warmongering" remark against Indian leaders. On statements from Indian side, Khar had said, "We are saddened and disappointed at the continued negative statements emanating from India both from the media as well as certain Indian leaders." Ties between the two neighbours have been strained ever since the Jan 6 killing of a Pakistani soldier allegedly in firing by Indian troops. Two days later, Pakistani soldiers brutally killed two Indian soldiers, including beheading one of them, on the LoC. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that there can be "no business as usual" with Pakistan following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers. Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh termed the killing of the Indian soldiers "an unpardonable act" and said his forces reserved the "right to retaliate".

are requested to ascertain the status from the Traffic Police Control room and only then leave their stations. The Traffic department has appealed to the people not to undertake the journey unless getting confirmation from the Traffic Control room to avoid any inconvenience on the way. Meanwhile, as many as 245 light motor vehicles and 145 heavy vehicles, including Passenger buses were cleared today

Supreme Court asks states for details, cost of VIP security
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday directed all the state and union territory governments to file the "rules, orders or guidelines" permitting the use of red lights on the vehicles and security personnel to various people in public life and administration. A bench of Justice G.S.Singhvi and Justice H.L.Gokhale also sought the details of the names and designation of people having security cover, the number of security personnel so used and the total cost to the exchequer. The court has also sought details of the total security personnel in each of the states and those engaged in maintaining law order, crime prevention and investigation and traffic management. The court direction to the state and UT governments came in the course of a hearing where it is examining the issue of allowing red lights on the vehicles to various people as well as deployment of police and other security personnel for their security. The court took a critical view of the way those enjoying VIP privileges were creating traffic problems on the road and putting common man to hardship.

Govt. bans private....
the first review meeting the Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Taj Mohi ud din took following his assuming the charge of the said Departments. Earlier, Mr. Dwivedi apprised the Minister about working of the Department. He also brought to the notice of the Minister various issues concerning the Department. It was in this meeting the decision to ban private practice of HoDs of all Government run Medical and Dental Colleges was taken to improve efficiency and supervision at the level of HoDs in the GMCs and associated hospitals. Terming healthcare as a critical sector, the Minister asked for bringing in more reforms in the Department to infuse efficiency, transparency and above all a qualitative change in the patient care at these tertiary care hospitals. He said improvement of services in terms of patient care, medication and other facilities at hospitals is as important as strengthening basic infrastructure at these health institutions. CommissionerSecretary, Youth Services & Sports, Mr. Bipul Pathak also called on the Minister and apprised him about the functioning of Youth Services & Sports Department. He also brought to the notice of the Minister various projects undertaken by the Department and targets fixed for the coming times.

India is taking stern action to tackle border tension: Abdul Kalam
KOLKATA: In the wake of escalating border tensionswith Pakistan over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Thursday said the government should, and is, taking stern action. "The incident is tragic and serious. The Indian government should and is taking stern action. The army is there to tackle the situation," Kalam said. Border tensions between India and Pakistan have sharply escalated since Jan 6 when a Pakistani soldier was killed allegedly in firing by Indian troops on the Line of Control that runs through Jammu and Kashmir, marking the India- and Pakistan-controlled territories in the state. Two days later (Jan 8), two Indian soldiers were killed, one of whom was beheaded, by Pakistani soldiers in the Mendhar sector of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing students at a management institute in the city, Kalam, fondly known as the 'Missile Man', said the "development of missiles has brought peace". "The atomic attack on Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the (Second) World War led to the missile race between countries, led by USA and (the erstwhile) USSR. "Nuclear tests have been conducted by several countries including India. But since the last attack, we never had any nuclear war. So you can say missiles bring peace," Kalam said with a chuckle. He also said that the country could be the granary of the world. To achieve that, India needs a cooperative movement in agriculture, the former president said. "We need a cooperative movement in agriculture to assimilate technology and indigenous ability. We have the potential to do that, and agricultural productivity could rise to a much higher level," Kalam said.

Seven-year-old ....
his seniors, dinosaurs has been an obsession since he was nine-months-old and he is only warming up. "They have been on this earth for millions of years and we have discovered only some of them. There are still so many of them left to be discovered," Pritvik said. For his mother Indira it's been tough dealing with the special demands of a very special child. "It is extremely difficult, as a mother, it is a very big challenge. Seeing the names that he could remember, I found it difficult to accept that he is different," she said. But for his grandfather, an academic Pritvik is a rare light of genius. He spends hours with Pritvik baffling him with questions. "When he was two or two and a half he asked me once how when when we turn the car we turn outwards. He learnt centrifugal force, then something I learnt in college," his grandfather said. Pritvik has already completed his second book and is working on his third. His dream is to be a successful paleontologist. And so the journey begins for this young boy fascinated with what roamed the earth millions of years ago.

India to see.....
India and China are playing a major role in the growth of world economy," he told reporters here. The slowdown in growth to 5.5 per cent last year "reflected weaker consumption and investment demand as a result of persistent inflation, high nominal interest rates, large fiscal deficits and political gridlock," the UN said. These factors would likely continue to impact economic growth in the next two years even as a moderate recovery is expected, it said. According to the UN, India's annual growth declined from over 9 per cent clocked in 2010 to about 5.5 per cent last year,"the slowest pace in ten years". Regarding measures to contain inflation in the country, Nagesh Kumar said monetary tightening would not be the "right tool". He also expressed optimism that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would ease its policy in the coming months. Wholesale Price Inflation (WPI) touched a three-year low of 7.18 per cent in December but retail inflation continued to remain in double digit at 10.56 per cent. Further, WPI inflation was much above the central bank's comfort level of 4-5 per cent. The inflation has not declined to the expected levels despite tight monetary stance pursued by

Snowfall in....
at 0.3 degrees after rising from -0.9 degrees yesterday. The weather department said that it snowed at both places with Kokernag having received 1.8 mm of snowfall as against Kupwara's 12.1 mm. In Leh, however, the night temperature plunged by a steep five degrees to settle at -15 degrees, making it the coldest place in the state. The weather office said that Kargil, also in Ladakh, saw a two-degree jump from -12 degrees to -10 degrees.

the rubble. Military police from a nearby naval base cordoned off the area to help the rescue operation.The cause of the col-

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JAMMU, JAN 17: Expressing shock and anguish over loss of precious lives in road accident near Bhalla in Bhaderwah due to alleged negligent and rash driving, the Minister of State for Home, Industries & Commerce and PWD, Mr. Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo today ordered immediate attachment and replacement of traffic cops deployed under jurisdiction of police station Bhaderwah. He has directed the higher authorities, including IGP Traffic Jammu to identify the traffic officials deployed in the area for showing negligence in duty so that responsibility is fixed. He said negligence in duty on the part of traffic officials as well as irresponsible drivers will not Bhalla, Bhaderwah and asked the Medical Superintendent and concerned doctors to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured persons free of cost. He asked the doctors to take best care for the injured for the early recovery. Earlier, in the morning, Mr. Kitchloo visited Khatikan Talab, Jammu and took stock of the ongoing renovation work of Jamia Masjid taken up at a cost of Rs. 25 crore. He donated Rs. 25,000/- for the renovation of the grand mosque, which is the central place for worship in the Jammu division. "I will make a personal request to the Chief Minister to provide liberal financial assistance for early completion of



JK mulls data management technology for farmers
JAMMU,JAN 17: The Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling introduction of data management technology for state's farmers to help them get round-the-clock information on agriculture. Announcing this, state's Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said the government was actively considering the proposal, that will help farmers get vital agricultural inputs. The technology will help in giving agricultural information like weather forecast and crop disease prediction. It will also equip the agriculture department with a database of farmers.

Kitchloo visits GMC Jammu to know well being of Bhaderwah accident victims
the renovation of the mosque", Mr. Kitchloo said adding that every possible step will be taken to ensure face lifting and widening of the area in and around the grand mosque. A large number of deputations and individuals also met the Minister and felicitated him for his induction in the Council of Ministers. Mr. Kitchloo, while thanking them, assured that he will leave no stone unturned to serve the people and address their grievances as per their expectations. Speaking to the media persons, Mr. Kitchloo said his endeavour will be to motivate and facilitate business tycoons of the country to invest in the state and contribute in the industrialization of J&K.

Gov greets people on Gurupurab
JAMMU, JAN 17: Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor Jammu and Kashmir, has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In a message of felicitations, the Governor observed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji was an apostle of peace, compassion and love. He said that the values underlying the teachings of the great Guru will continue to inspire future generations to strive for establishing a healthier society and a just social order. The Governor expressed the hope that this auspicious occasion would be a harbinger of peace, progress and prosperity in the State and further strengthen the bonds of communal harmony, brotherhood and the secular traditions which have been the hallmark of the glorious heritage and composite ethos of Jammu and Kashmir for centuries past. The Governor prayed for the well-being of the people of the State on this occasion.

Minister of State for Home, Industries & Commerce and PWD, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo interacting with Bhaderwah accident victims at GMC, Jammu. be tolerated any more. He urged for strict observance of traffic rules, come what may. Meanwhile, Mr. Kitchloo today visited Government Medical College, Jammu and enquired about the well being of those injured in the yesterday's road accident near

Majeed assumes office
Says timely completion of projects to be priority JAMMU, JAN 17: Minister for R&B, MED Mr. Abdul Majeed Wani today assumed the office Commissioner Secretary R&B, Mrs Tanvir Jehan, Chief Engineers of R&B and PMGSY, besides other senior officers of R&B were present on the occasion. Commissioner Secretary briefed the minister about the ongoing and proposed projects under R&B sector. Seeking cooperation from the officers in taking forward the R&B projects, the Minister said that timely completion of projects and connecting inaccessible areas through road network would be his priority. He said " I shall do my best to come up to the expectations of the people", adding that no stone would be left unturned in fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to him. Emphasizing on close monitoring of the work, the minister said that inspections of the projects would be carried out shortly to see what was coming up on ground level. Earlier, the Minister visited Govt Medical College Jammu to inquire about the condition of those injured in road accident in Bhaderwah yesterday. He instructed hospital authorities to keep available every possible medicare facilities for the injured during their hospitalization.

Various deputations call on Gurezi Shabir calls
Reiterates Govt's commitment to improve rural economy
JAMMU, JAN 17: Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry (Independent Charge), PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control and Agriculture, Horticulture Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today reiterated the government's commitment to improve rural economy by tapping local potential through promotion of animal rearing and other allied activities. Interacting with a deputation of Veterinary doctors, who called on him here today, Gurezi said that the department of Animal and Sheep Husbandry can change the economic profile of rural areas by tapping the huge cattle and sheep rearing potential and expertise available in the state. He said that majority of rural population in the state was associated with cattle and sheep rearing but it has still to rely on huge imports of milk mutton and poultry. He said if tapped properly, this activity can solve the unemployment problem in the state to a large extent. He sought full cooperation of the departmental experts in achieving this long cherished goal. The deputation of Jammu and Kashmir Veterinary Doctors Association Jammu (JKVDA), led by Vice President Dr. Zaffar Iqbal welcomed Mr. Gurezi on behalf of whole Veterinary Doctor Fraternity of Jammu province for taking the charge of the vital department. They also thanked the Chief Minister for giving the charge of the department to young and energetic Minister. They apprised the Minister that for the complete and overall development of the agriculture sector, development of the veterinary sector is most urgent at this moment as more growth can be achieved in this sector. There is urgent and dire need for more white revolutions for which planning at higher level was required and in this direction induction of the young and dynamic Minister is a very welcome step. Among others, Secretary, JKVDA, Dr. Rahul Dev, Publicity Secretary Dr. Jaswant Singh, Treasurer, Dr. Vinay Vishal Sharma, District Executive, Dr. Majid Iqbal and other Doctors of the Animal and Sheep Husbandry department were present on the occasion. Earlier, a deputation from Gurez also met the Minister and congratulated him for his induction in the Council of Ministers. The deputationists said that it was for the first time in the history that Gurez has been given representation in the Council of Ministers. They thanked the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and hoped that his move would felicitate the development of the far flung border area.

on Union Health Minister

JU VC calls on Governor
JAMMU, JAN 17: Prof. M. P. S. Ishar, Vice Chancellor, Jammu University, called on Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, at Raj Bhavan here today. The Governor, who is Chancellor of the Jammu University, discussed with the Vice Chancellor the various important issues relating to enhancing the University's teaching and research capacities and for developing the varsity into a centre of excellence. Issues relating to the functioning of the main Campus and the development of off-site Campuses of the University were also discussed. The Governor exhorted the Vice Chancellor to ensure against any deviation from the norm in any arena of functioning and to see that the varsity enjoyed a high repute as a centre of learning. Mr. Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor, was present on the occasion.

'Transparency, accountability to be benchmark for assessing performance'
JAMMU, JAN 17: Minister of State for Technical Education, Mr. Vikar Rasool today assumed the office. Commissioner Secretary R&B, Mrs Tanvir Jehan, Chief Engineers of R&B, besides other senior officers of R&B and other departments were present on the occasion. Underlining the need for inter departmental coordination, the Minister said that transparency and accountability would be benchmark for assessing the performance of the officials. He said attention would be focused on fulfilling the commitments made by the Government to the people of the State. He asked officers to work with missionary zeal so that the benefits of developmental schemes reach to every community of the state. Later, the Minister along with MLC, Mr Naresh Kumar Gupta visited GMC Jammu and enquired about the health condition of the Bhaderwah accident victims. He directed doctors to make available best medicare facilities to the injured admitted in the hospital.

LA panel reviews functioning of HUD department
JAMMU JAN 17: The Estimates Committee (EC) of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today reviewed the functioning of Housing and Urban Development Department. The Committee which met here today under the Chairmanship of Hakim Muhammad Yasin held a threadbare discussion on the housing policy presently in vogue in the State. Legislators' Mr. Abdul Rehman Veeri, Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Ch. Zulfikar Ali and Mr. Naresh Kumar Gupta also attended the meeting. The Committee observed that the norms of Master Plans in Jammu, Srinagar and Katra needs to be implemented strictly as the violations hamper proper development. The Committee members asked the concerned departments to take action against the violators, particularly with regard to the violation of building plans and conversion of residential buildings into commercial centres. The Chairman instructed the authorities of the HUDD to submit detailed list of illegal shopping malls and marriage halls along with their registration and fee structure for the scrutiny of the committee. The Chairman enquired about the dog menace and the measures being taken by the government functionaries to tackle this problem in the capital cities. "The Dogs have become a great public nuisance in the capital cities and need to be dealt effectively" the Members of the Committee pointed out. Listing the measures taken in this regard, the Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) said that the government has taken several steps to control dog menace, including most scientific method of sterilization of 91000 dogs in and around Srinagar city. The Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) Mr. Farooq Renzushah, informed the meeting that a multi story parking is being constructed at old KMD Adda in Srinagar at an estimated cost of Rs 1.32 crore for which tenders have already been floated. He said that the old Government Garage near Press Colony was also being converted into parking lot, while Sheikh Bagh has already been converted in a major parking place.

Malhotra grieved over loss of life in road mishap
JAMMU, JAN 17: Chairman, Legislative Council Mr. Amrit Malhotra has expressed grief over the loss of human lives in a tragic road accident in Bhaderwah yesterday. While expressing sympathy with the bereaved families, the Chairman prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls. He also prayed for early recovery of the injured. Meanwhile, the chairman has asked the Traffic department to intensify checking of passenger vehicles across the state and take strict action against those indulging in overloading, rash and negligent driving. He also asked the enforcement agencies to ensure that the vehicles do not carry passengers more than the prescribed capacity.

Mir, Bhalla inaugurate Kissan cum machinery Mela
'Diversification of crops, use of new techniques pivotal for economic security of Kissans'
JAMMU JAN 17: Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir today asked the farmers to adopt diverse cropping pattern and use modern Agri -techniques as it would help them attain economic security. The Minister was addressing the farmers after inaugurating Kissan cum Machinery mela at Kissan Bhawan Talb Tiloo Jammu, here this afternoon. Minister for Horticulture, Housing and culture, Mr Raman Bhalla was also present. The Minister said that introduction of globally accepted Agri techniques, farm machinery and promotion of diversified cropping system was the priority of the government to make the agriculture as profitable activity. He said in this direction, the farmers are being acquainted through Kissan cum machinery malas about the far reaching benefits of these techniques for enhancement of agriculture produce, besides providing them better market linkages for better returns. He said with launching of massive awareness about these schemes and programmes, the farmers are switching over to new farm machinery, hybrid seeds, organic farming and other agriculture inputs for better produce. Mr. Mir said that the government was also envisaging introduction of Data management technology for farmers to provide them round the clock information on area specific basis. Potato in Doda, Mushkibudji paddy in Anantnag and Zag paddy in Tangdhar under organic farming. He said that the agriculture produce under organic farming has a high market value across the globe. He said the department was looking forward to bring more and more area under the organic cultivation to strengthen the socio economic status of the farming community. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Horticulture, Mr Raman Bhalla said the main objective of conducting Kissan cum machinery mela was to aware the stakeholders about the latest techniques of agriculture, Horticulture which has become obligatory for boosting the agriculture and its allied sectors. He said the topography of the state demands introduction of diversified crop pattern, farm machinery for making the agriculture and horticulture cost effective. Calling upon the farmers to take the benefits of various schemes, the Minister said that the government was taking every step to encourage the farmers by facilitating them with new agriculture inputs. He said it was the bold initiative of agriculture department to involve the Kissans in pre budget discussion so that comprehensive policy was framed for their welfare. He said this initiative has given succour to this community by abolishing tax on agriculture inputs and fertilisers.

NSF president meets Chairman JKBOSE
JAMMU, JAN 17: Chairman Board of School Education, Dr Sheikh Bashir Ahmad has assured the National Secular Forum (NSF) of initiating all possible action to improve the functioning of the ETT institutes. He was interacting with NSF president Dr. Vikas Sharma on Thursday. The meeting between them lasted for more than half an hour. Sharma apprised Chairman JKBOSE about the problems being faced by the students of the Jammu Province. He demanded from the Chairman JKBOSE to initiate action against all the mismanaged in ETT College of Jammu Province. Many colleges are running ETT course in the same premise of B.ED. Dr Vikas Sharma further said that most of the ETT institutes are running illegally in whole state and with a motive to plunder the money from innocent students of out of state and making the mockery of education at large scale. Dr Vikas Sharma also said that the situation of ETT institutes in State where most of the ETT institutes has created anarchy and murdered the ethics and values of the education. These institutes are running in Shops, single room, high, and higher secondary schools and even the single staff are used to function the ETT classes. In majority of the ETT College students are not attending the classes and in turn paying thousands to the college management. Hence, the centres of education have been turned as business centres.

Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir along with Minister for Horticulture, Housing and culture, Raman Bhalla during Kissan cum machinery Mela. Referring the steps taken for bringing back the department on track, the Minister said that the distribution of seed and fertilizers among the farmers of J&K has been streamlined , while due care was being taken to ensure that the benefits of state and centrally sponsored schemes reach to the farmers at grass root level. To save the farmers from distress sale, the government has fixed the supporting price for paddy and wheat and also set up procurement mandies in different areas of Jammu province which has benefited them to a large extent. He said with the coordinated efforts of Union and State Governments, Bastmit Rice of R.S. Pora have been selected for global market. The Minister said that now the department was giving thrust on introduction of organic farming for heritage crops of the state. He said that in this direction the agriculture Ministry has launched pilot projects for boasting production of Bhaderwahi Rajamash,

Urges for release of additional funds under NRHM NEW DELHI, JAN 17: Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Shabir Ahmed Khan today called on Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad here and apprised him about the prevailing health services system department in Jammu and Kashmir State. The State Health Minister also briefed the union Health Minister about the physical and financial status of flagship NRHM programme under implementation for improvement and up gradation of health care facilities. The Minister apprised the Union Health Minister that under NRHM the State has received an allocation of Rs.710.78 crore till ending December, 2012, against which Rs. 757 crore have been utilized for upgradation of health infrastructure and improvement of modern health care facilities in the State adding for the purpose the State government has also released Rs. 130.78 crore as State share. The Minister hailed the Central government for providing liberal funds to the State under NRHM. He also thanked Union Health Minister for his personal endeavours towards improving health services in the State. The Minister informed the Union Health Minister that though the State government has achieved lot in the field of health by creation of new health centers, besides up gradation of existing ones, but there is much to be done in this direction, adding that hilly and remote areas need more attention under the sector. The Minister requested the Union Minister for providing liberal funding under NRHM and other flagship programmes for upgradation of health care facilities. He said that State needs to set up more health centers besides upgradation of existing ones which need more funds from the Centre. The Union Health Minister gave a patient hearing to the demands of the Minister and assured the Minister for providing all possible financial assistance from the Centre to the State government for development of health sector care in the State.

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Bhaskar Dutta he last year has been an extremely tough year for the Indian economy. Practically everything which could go wrong did turn sour. For much of the year, the United Progressive Alliance government has been a rudderless ship, buffeted by storms several of which were of their own making. Most sectors of the economy limped along, with the index of industrial production fluctuating quite alarmingly. In fact, the index for November shows that factory output was slightly lower than that of the previous year. Of course, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, has claimed that the November figures are somewhat misleading partly because of the base effect - November 2011 had witnessed a sharp rise in factory output. While there is some truth to the assertion that monthly figures are unreliable because they tend to fluctuate so much, there is no getting away from the fact that the average rate of growth for the entire calendar year has been relatively low. While it is still too early to get a precise figure, even the government does not claim that the rate of growth will be in excess of 5.5 per cent, quite a fall from the 8-9 per cent growth routinely reached in the recent past. To make matters worse, prices have kept going up and up. Since the rise in prices has been well above comfort levels, the Reserve Bank of India has refused to reduce interest rates. This has meant a complete absence of any monetary stimulus to the beleaguered economy. The slowdown in the economy implied that government tax revenues were not very buoyant. On the other hand, there was very little attempt to curb government expenditures, and so the fiscal deficit assumed alarming proportions. Finally, the current account deficit has also grown by leaps and bounds. Not surprisingly, Indian exports stagnated because the world economy is yet to come out of the recessionary phase. Imports into India remained high in spite of the slowdown in the economy because of oil imports. Indians' love affair with gold did not help either - a significant part of import expenditure was on account of the yellow metal. The huge fiscal and current account deficits caused several of the rating agencies to threaten to downgrade India's credit status. Through all this, the only silver lining has been the performance of the Indian stock market. The Sensex and the Nifty rose by roughly 20 per cent during the year; savvy investors clearly reaped larger gains. Global comparisons are also flattering with the performance of the Indian stock market during 2012 being second only to that of Turkey. Indian stocks, which were being shunned by foreign investors in 2011, suddenly became the flavour of the month. This has been of immense bene-


n the five decades of its existence the All India Majlis-eIttehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has remained a minor player in the politics of Andhra Pradesh representing a section of the Muslims of Hyderabad. It now has a few members in the legislative assembly and one member in the Lok Sabha. However, a recent speech given by its legislature party leader, Akbaruddin Owaisi, in Adilabad has suddenly catapulted it to national prominence and the MIM has been subjected to intense scrutiny by mainstream and social media. Akbaruddin is in jail, finally arrested by the police for spreading hate among communities and waging war against the country. The most quoted of his outrageous statements was one where he said that if the police was removed from the country for 15 minutes, India's 25 crore Muslims (a fancy number in itself when the census states it is 13.8 crore) would teach a lesson to 100 crore "Hindustanis". Akbaruddin made other incendiary statements as well and it is only proper that he has been arrested. However, the interesting thing is that he has been making similar speeches for at least 15 years, carrying on the "fiery" oratory tradition of his father, Salahuddin Owaisi. The MIM under Qasim Rizvi defended the "independence" of an Islamic state of Hyderabad under the Nizam at the time of Independence in 1947. It organised the "Razakars" (a mercenary army) infamous for its violence and killings of communist partisans and Hindu subjects of the


Owaisi's speech - Step to political dividends or hate-mongers to justice?
Nizam. It was banned after Hyderabad state's merger with the Indian Union in 1948 but was revived by Rizvi, in 1957, in the 48 hours he had between being released from prison and leaving for Pakistan. It is common knowledge this was part of a deal with the Government of India to undercut the popularity of the Communist Party of India in Hyderabad by propping up the MIM to wean Muslims away from it. Rizvi appointed Abdul Wahab Owaisi as president of the revived MIM before leaving for Pakistan. In its second incarnation the MIM gave up its demand for an Islamic state but adopted aggressive Muslim fundamentalism to weld an electorally viable political bloc. It took some time but by 1969 the MIM got its first member in the legislative assembly, slowly increasing that number to about half a dozen. In 1984, the MIM won the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat and has remained undefeated since. The secret of its electoral success has been the sense of security it has provided Hyderabad's Muslims who have suffered, since Independence, regular bouts of intense violence at the hands of an aggressive Hindu right as well as an insensitive state administration. The growing muscle of the MIM has neutralised this violence and since 1990, when the last major communal violence took place in Hyderabad in the aftermath of L K Advani's "rath yatra", there has not been any major incident in the city. Media reports and academic research both suggest that Hyderabad's Muslims vote for the MIM largely because of the security it provides and the space this has opened for Muslims to pursue business, jobs, education and recreation without fear. The growing public profile and selfconfidence of the Muslims of Hyderabad has also helped sustain a politics which foregrounds their cultural assertion. However, this success has also limited the MIM to parts of the city and one community, and retarded its growth. Akbaruddin's brother, Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi, tried to transform the MIM into a broad platform of marginalised communities, Muslims as well as lower caste Hindus by giving tickets to non-Muslims in local body elections. While this strategy proved unsuccessful (mainly due to the inability of the MIM to let go of its religious core), Akbaruddin's political line of returning to the aggressive politics of Muslim fundamentalism has paid rich electoral dividends. The MIM recently won an unprecedented 11 seats in municipal elections in Nanded in neighbouring Maharashtra. It was in pursuit of this strategy that the MIM formed the United Muslim Action Committee with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board office-bearer, Abdur Rahim Qureshi, as its convenor, and had recently withdrawn support from the Congress-led governments in Delhi and Hyderabad. It remains a matter of conjecture as to why this particular speech suddenly caught national attention. A major role has been of new media and social networks where a video of Akbaruddin's speech went "viral", forcing attention by the mainstream media, government and judiciary. While the wheels of justice move indecisively and slowly, the political ramifications of this unexpected trial of Akbaruddin are significant. By foregrounding "Muslim" hate of Hindus, this speech will give a fillip to the Bharatiya Janata Party and other Hindutva forces not just in Andhra Pradesh but around the country. In Hyderabad, this will lead to a further consolidation of Muslims behind the MIM, leading to a strengthening of communal politics. The fact that action has only been taken against a "Muslim" leader when scores of Hindu extremists have said worse things but remain untouched by the law will further polarise opinion. The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh is playing both sides. It has charged Akbaruddin with sedition to win "Hindu" votes, an accusation that is unlikely to stand up to legal scrutiny. The MIM leader will then be freed and this will thus keep the "Muslims" happy. The coming forward of progressive forces to denounce Akbaruddin's speech and the public outrage over his comments will hopefully not only scuttle attempts to let him off the hook, they should also force a reluctant state to initiate action against all other hate-mongers. Anything less will be too dangerous to contemplate.

India's economic prospects are looking slightly brighter


fit, at least in the short run, because the sizeable inflows of foreign exchange on account of portfolio investment helped to finance the current account deficit. The depreciation of the rupee would have been far greater if foreign investors had kept away from Indian stocks. Is the booming stock market an advance indicator of happier times to come for the Indian economy? Ahluwalia certainly seems to think so because he has asserted on more than one occasion recently that the economy has bottomed out. There is some independent - that is, non-governmental - support for this assertion because most forecasts of the likely rate of growth of the economy in 2013 exceed 6 per cent. This would certainly be higher than the eventual growth achieved in 2012. But what has changed on the ground? Why should we expect the Indian economy to be out of the woods? In spite of liberalization and the removal of some governmental controls, the Central and state governments continue to exert a massive influence on the economy. And so it makes sense to analyse whether government policies have changed in any significant way. The biggest change seems to be in the mindset of the UPA government. Perhaps senior Congress leaders realized that the policy of drift was sure to get them a sound thrashing in the 2014 general elections. This realization has resulted in the UPA government effecting changes in policy and introducing reforms which required a modicum of political courage since they were controversial and unpopular in the short run. In fact, virtually all members of the ruling coalition have been against these changes, and the principal member, the Trinamul Congress, actually left the coalition over the issue of allowing foreign direct investment in the retail sector. Finally, the external environment is also in much better shape than it has been ever since the global recession, which started in 2008. The last minute compromise between the Republicans and President Barack Obama has meant that the American economy will not fall over the "fiscal cliff". Since the American economy was already exhibiting fledgling signs of recovery, it is most likely that it will be in even better shape during this year. Given its huge size, this augurs well for the world economy. Not surprisingly, world stock markets are in better shape than they have been in the last couple of years. Indian exporters will in all probability do much better this year. Of course, in spite of its diminished relative size, agriculture remains an important sector and its future will be heavily influenced by the rain gods. So, while a lot can still go wrong, there is no doubt that the short-term prospects for the Indian economy today are much brighter than they were a year ago.


Chautala's fallout: Haryana teachers' fate uncertain
CHANDIGARH: The fate of hundreds of teachers in government schools in Haryana has become uncertain with the conviction of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, his son and 53 others in the JBT (junior basic trained) recruitment controversy. Chautala and others were convicted for tampering with the selection list of over 3,200 teachers recruited in 1999-2000 when he was chief minister and selecting them on the basis of bribes, nepotism and favouritism. Senior functionaries in the government Thursday maintained that a decision on the fate of the selected teachers, who have been in government service for over 12 years, will be decided by the present Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda only after receiving a copy of the judgment of the Rohini CBI court. "We will evaluate the court order and then the government will decide the next course of action," said Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal. Some of the selected teachers had in fact gone to the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek promotions. A senior education department officer said the government and the education department will have to look into all the aspects, including the fate of the wrong selections as well as those who were left out of the selection to accommodate the favourites. "There are legal implications involved. Even the selected wrongly have been in service for 10-12 years and even got promotions. The wrong selections will be known after the court order copy is received," said a senior officer of the education department. "The people who were left out of the selection because of the goings-on at that time will also demand something. The government will take a final call on all these issues," the officer added. The CBI court Wednesday convicted Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and 53 others, including senior officers and political leaders, for tampering and fudging the lists of selected candidates to include people who paid bribes or to show favouritism. Chautala, who was Haryana's chief minister from 1999 to 2005, and his son and others were arrested and sent to Tihar jail.


Flying-squads to monitor polls in northeastern states
AGARTALA: The Election Commission of India will form flying-squads to check illegal arms, distribution of money and other unlawful materials during the assembly polls in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura next month, an official said here Thursday. "District magistrates will head the flying-squad in each assembly segment to check illegal arms, distribution of money, liquor and other unlawful materials," a poll panel official told IANS. The Election Commission will also deploy observers in each district of the electionbound states. "...Police and micro observers will be appointed for each district to monitor whether candidates are exceeding stipulated limit of expenditure, violating any Election Commission model code of conduct and causing any ethnic or law and order problem," the official said. The observers' names, addresses and telephone numbers would be published in local newspapers so that people can approach them in case they have any grievances. "For greater transparency and for monitoring of election expenses, each candidate would be required to open a separate bank account and incur their election expenses from that very account," the official added. The official said that a Static Surveillance Team (SST), led by the district magistrate, would also be constituted in each assembly segment to monitor the election process. All the district magistrates in the three pollbound states have already directed the fire arm owners to deposit their weapons by Jan 31. Tripura will go to polls Feb 14 to elect its new state assembly, while elections for the state assemblies of Meghalaya as well as Nagaland will take place Feb 23. The votes will be counted Feb 28. The assemblies in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have 60 seats each and their five-year terms will expire March 10, March 16 and March 26, respectively. The formal notification inviting nominations for the polls would be issued in Tripura Jan 21, while the notifications in Nagaland and Meghalaya would be issued Jan 30.


CHHATTISGARH Chhattisgarh govt to facilitate for free pilgrimage visit to disabled
RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has said his government will soon facilitate for free of cost visits of disabled persons to religious places. "We have written a letter to the Railways to facilitate travelling for disabled persons of Chattisgarh to pilgrimage spots. Talks are on with railway officials for the same," the CM said while launching the 'Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra Yojana' ere yesterday. As many as 1,000 pilgrims from Raipur and Baloda Bazar Bhatapara districts yesterday left on a four-day visit to Shirdi, Shani-Shignapur and Trimbakeshwar in the first batch of the scheme. "Today, I feel that I am welcoming my parents and sending them for pilgrimage," Singh said welcoming the first batch of pilgrims. Its a dream of every senior citizen to go on a pilgrimage and the scheme will provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to them, he said. About 25,000 pilgrims will be benefited under the scheme in 2013 while 50,000 senior citizens will be provided with the facility next year. As per the scheme started by the state social welfare department, persons of or above 60 years of age from BPL category will be able to avail the facility. The Chief Minister said that officials of the social welfare department will constantly be in touch with pilgrims over phone and added that the train will have all basic facilities, including expert doctors to look after the health of pilgrims.

DA case: CBI court extends Jagan's remand
HYDERABAD: A special CBI court here on Thursday extended till January 31 the judicial remand of YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy and other accused in connection with the alleged disproportionate assets case. Jagan, along with other accused including former minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasada and senior bureaucrat KV Brahmananda Reddy (all accused in Vanpic aspect of Jagan assets case), who are currently lodged in Chanchalguda Central Prison, were produced before the court through video-conferencing after which their judicial custody was extended by another 14 days. Jaganmohan Reddy was arrested by CBI on corruption charges on May 27 last year. The court also extended the judicial remand of former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy, and another accused Mehfuz Ali Khan in the illegal mining case involving Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) till January 31 after they were produced before it through video link. The mining baron, who is lodged in Chanchalguda jail, was supposed to be taken to Bellary today after a court there had summoned him on a prisoner transit warrant, in connection with a defamation suit filed by former MLA Diwakar Babu. However, Chanchalguda jail authorities did not take Janardhan Reddy to Bellary, as the local police were unable to provide escort to present him before the Bellary court. The Bellary court had directed that Janardhan Reddy should appear before it on January 18. In a related development, the court also extended the judicial remand of Emaar scam accused Sunil Reddy till January 31.


Goa to frame guidelines for students' safety in schools
PANAJI: Goa Education department Wednesday said they will draft guidelines for the safety of students in state schools in wake of the sexual abuse of a 7-year-old girl inside the school toilet two days back. The guidelines were being framed and would be circulated to all the schools, a senior education department official said. The crux of the guidelines would be that the school should be responsible for the safety of the students, he said. A seven-year-old girl was raped inside the school toilet in Vasco town on Monday morning, sparking outrage among the parents and locals. The accused was yet to be traced by police, even as the headmistress of the school was taken in custody for negligence. The department is also preparing a detailed report about the incident, which would be submitted to the state government, the official said.


Moga bypoll: EC imposes curb on use of govt machinery
CHANDIGARH: The Election Commission of India today issued guidelines to curb the misuse of official vehicles during elections and tours of ministers during the Model Code of Conduct for the ensuing Moga byelection. A spokesman of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer Punjab said that the ministers should not combine their official visit with electioneering work and should also not make use of their official machinery and personnel during the elections. Government transport including official air-crafts, vehicles, machinery and personnel shall not be used for furtherance of the interest of the Party in Power. Public places such as maidans etc for holding election meetings and use of helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall not be monopolized by the party in power. Other parties and candidates shall be allowed to use such places and facilities on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party in power. He further said that these instructions shall come into effect from the date of announcement of elections till the completion of elections. He said that the commission directs that there shall be a total and absolute ban on the use of official vehicle for campaigning, electioneering or election related travel during election. There shall be total prohibition on the use of any vehicle such as helicopters, aircrafts, cars; jeeps belonging to the state government or any other body in which public funds however portion of the total are invested for any purpose connected with the election by any political party, candidate or any other person connected with the election. He said the use of such vehicles belonging to any of these authorities by anyone including ministers of the state government even on payment or on tours connected with elections but with the alleged and bogusly certified purpose of election work in their election capacity as ministers is totally prohibited.


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born at the Nangkao village in Manipur, was an active freedom fighter of India who joined the agitation at the age of 13. She spearheaded an inspiring sociopolitical movement to cast the British out from the Manipur and Naga belts. It was in 1932 at the age of 16 that Rani Gaidinliu was arrested and put behind bars for life. She could be freed from the jail only after India's independence in 1947. Read this biography to know about the life history of the spunky Rani Gaidinliu. That Rani Gaidinliu was a charismatic girl was apparent from a very early age. While she was just 13, she grew restive witnessing the prevailing social and political ambience in the hills of Manipur under the British influence. It was at this time that she met prominent local leader Haipou Jadonang at Puilon Village and swayed by his ideas and principles, she launched the revolutionary movement against the British in 1927. However, just when this agitation was beginning to assume enough height to strike, Haipou was arrested by the British and put to death in 1931. It was from this moment onwards that the responsibility of directing the agitation in the Manipur and Naza hill regions fell on Rani's shoulders. Following this incident, Rani Gaidinliu immediately went underground. Though the British announced a reward of Rs 500 to anybody who would inform them about her whereabouts, the entire village stood together in support of Rani. But she was finally hunted own in October 1932. Rani Gaidinliu was put under life imprisonment for waging war against the British. Rani Gaidinliu continued to work for the welfare of her people even after her release from jail in 1947. She even set up a resistance agitation against the Naga National Council (NNC)led insurgents in 1966 and had to go underground due to this. Gaidinliu was respected by everybody for her role as a freedom fighter and was also honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 1993. In her remembrance, the Government of India even issued a postal stamp.

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Born - 26 January 1915 Died - 17 February 1993 Achievements - Rani Gaidinliu from Manipur was a fearless Indian freedom fighter who joined the agitation at the age of 13 and headed the movement against the British in the Manipur and Naga belts. The Government of India honored her with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 1993. Rani Gaidinliu, who was

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The Donkey Skin Girl
Contd... The page rode like the wind, and as soon as he arrived at the palace he snatched up a silver tray and hastened to present the cake to the prince. The sick man began to eat it so fast that the doctors thought he would choke; and, indeed, he very nearly did, for the ring was in one of the bits which he broke off, though he managed to extract it from his mouth without anyone seeing him. The moment the prince was left alone he drew the ring from under his pillow and kissed it a thousand times. Then he set his mind to find how he was to see the owner---for even he did not dare to confess that he had only beheld 'Donkey Skin' through a keyhole, lest they should laugh at this sudden passion. All this worry brought back the fever, which the arrival of the cake had diminished for the time; and the doctors, not knowing what else to say, informed the queen that her son was simply dying of love. The queen, stricken with horror, rushed into the king's presence with the news, and together they hastened to their son's bedside. 'My boy, my dear boy!' cried the king, 'who is it you want to marry? We will give her to you for a bride; even if she is the humblest of our slaves. What is there in the whole world that we would not do for you?' The prince, moved to tears at these words, drew the ring, which was an emerald of the purest water, from under his pillow. 'Ah, dear father and mother, let this be a proof that she whom I love is no peasant girl. The finger which that ring fits has never been thickened by hard work. But be her condition what it may, I will marry no other.' The king and queen examined the tiny ring very closely, and agreed, with their son, that the wearer could be no mere farm girl. Then the king went out and ordered heralds and trumpeters to go through the town, summoning every maiden to the palace. And she whom the ring fitted would some day be queen. First came all the princesses, then all the duchesses' daughters, and so on, in proper order. But not one of them could slip the ring over the tip of her finger, to the great joy of the prince, whom excitement was fast curing. At last, when the high-born damsels had failed, the shopgirls and chambermaids took their turn; but with no better fortune. 'Call in the scullions and shepherdesses,' commanded the prince; but the sight of their fat, red fingers satisfied everybody. 'There is not a woman left, your Highness,' said the chamberlain; but the prince waved him aside. 'Have you sent for "Donkey Skin," who made me the cake?' asked he, and the courtiers began to laugh, and replied that they would not have dared to introduce so dirty a creature into the palace. 'Let some one go for her at once,' ordered the king. 'I commanded the presence of every maiden, high or low, and I meant it.' The princess had heard the trumpets and the proclamations, and knew quite well that her ring was at the bottom of it all. She, too, had fallen in love with the prince in the brief glimpse she had had of him, and trembled with fear lest someone else's finger might be as small as her own. When, therefore, the messenger from the palace rode up to the gate, she was nearly beside herself with delight. Hoping all the time for such a summons, she had dressed herself with great care, putting on the garment of moonlight, whose skirt was scattered over with emeralds. But when they began calling to her to come down, she hastily covered herself with her donkey-skin and announced she was ready to present herself before his Highness. She was taken straight into the hall, where the prince was awaiting her, but at the sight of the donkey-skin his heart sank. Had he been mistaken after all? 'Are you the girl,' he said, turning his eyes away as he spoke, 'are you the girl who has a room in the furthest corner of the inner court of the farmhouse?' 'Yes, my lord, I am,' answered she. 'Hold out your hand then,' continued the prince, feeling that he must keep his word, whatever the cost, and, to the astonishment of every one present, a little hand, white and delicate, came from beneath the black and dirty skin. The ring slipped on with the utmost ease, and, as it did so, the skin fell to the ground, disclosing a figure of such beauty that the prince, weak as he was, fell on his knees before her, while the king and queen joined their prayers to his. Indeed, their welcome was so warm, and their caresses so bewildering, that the princess hardly knew how to find words to reply, when the ceiling of the hall opened, and the fairy godmother appeared, seated in a car made entirely of white lilac. In a few words she explained the history of the princess, and how she came to be there, and, without losing a moment, preparations of the most magnificent kind were made for the wedding. The kings of every country in the earth were invited, including, of course, the princess's adopted father (who by this time had married a widow), and not one refused. But what a strange assembly it was! Each monarch traveled in the way he thought most impressive; and some came borne in litters, others had carriages of every shape and kind, while the rest were mounted on elephants, tigers, and even upon eagles. So splendid a wedding had never been seen before; and when it was over the king announced that it was to be followed by a coronation, for he and the queen were tired of reigning, and the young couple must take their place. The rejoicings lasted for three whole months, then the new sovereigns settled down to govern their kingdom, and made themselves so much beloved by their subjects, that when they died, a hundred years later, each man mourned them as his own father and mother.

A Funny Pet Poem for Kids While shopping at the pet store I got my fondest wish. I bought myself a fish bowl and then a pair of fish. And since I was already out shopping at the store I thought I ought to purchase another smidgen more. And so I got a rabbit, a hamster and a frog, a gerbil and a turtle, a parrot and a dog. I purchased an iguana, a tortoise and a rat, an eight-foot anaconda, a monkey and a cat. A guinea pig, a gecko, a ferret and a mouse, and had them all delivered, directly to my house. My sister went berzerko! She's now installing locks, because I said her bedroom would be their litter box! ~Kenn Nesbitt

1. Ek police Inspector ke ghar chori ho rahi thi. WIFE: Utho ji, ghar mein chori ho rahi hai. P O L I C E INSPECTOR: Mujhe sone de, main iss time duty par nahi hoon. 2. Once Santa Singh and Banta Singh were going in a jungle, Suddenly they saw one tiger coming towards them. To save themselves they climbed a tree and both sat on one branch. The tiger came under the tree and sat down. Santa told Banta, " Yaar just to pass Time Why don't you sing some song" Banta Singh started to sing. After singing four songs Banta hanged upside down on the branch and then again sung four songs. 3. A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute. 4. SANTA: Today is Sunday & I wanna enjoy, so I bought 3 movie tickets JEETO: Why Three? SANTA: For you and your parents 5. Santa Singh goes to a TV shop and asks, 'Aap ke paas color TV hai kya?' 'Haan' replies the shopowner. Santa Singh says, 'Ek hara vala dena!' 6. MOTHER: What did you learn in school today SON: How to write MOTHER: What did you write? SON: I don't know, they haven't taught us how to read yet! 7. TEACHER: "Sam, what is the outside of a tree called?" SAM: "I don't know." TEACHER: "Bark, Sam, bark." SAM: "Bow, wow, wow!" TEACHER: PAPPU, how do you spell "crocodile"?


Craft Foam Tiara
What you'll need: Craft foam visor, Craft jewels, White craft glue, Scissors, 2 silver chenille stems, Instant grab glue How to make it: 1. Trim most of the bill off of the visor, leaving about 2 inches at the center. 2. Cut chenille stems into the following lengths: 1 at 5.5 inches, 2 at 4 inches, 2 at 3 inches 3. Bend each chenille stem in half to make the points of the tiara. Use instant grab glue to attach the chenille points to the backside of the visor. The largest one should be in the center, with the next largest to the sides of that, and finally the smallest to the sides of those. 4. Decorate the front of the tiara with craft jewels.

5. Add small craft jewels to each of the tiara points. Tips: 1. Instant grab glue is available where other craft glues are sold and is a safer alternative to a glue gun. 2. Buy a large variety pack of craft jewels and keep them stashed for special craft projects. 3. For an easier alternative, purchase a craft foam tiara instead of a visor and decorate it with craft jewels.


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House Committee to submit report on Food Bill to LS Speaker today
NEW DELHI: Parliamentary Standing Committee is likely to submit its report today on the UPA's ambitious food security bill to the Lok Sabha Speaker. The government had introduced the Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha in December 2011. It aims to give legal entitlement on subsidised foodgrain to about two-third of the population, costing more than 1, 00,000 crore rupees to the exchequer. The bill aims to give rice and wheat at three rupees and two rupees respectively to priority households. General households would get grains at 50 per cent of the minimum support price. Under the proposed law, 75 per cent of the rural and 50 per cent of the urban population would be covered.

Home Secretary calls meet with Andhra DGP, Chief Secy
HYDERABAD: Union Home Secretary RK Singh has called the Andhra Pradesh DGP and the Chief Secretary for a meeting on Thursday at the Home Ministry. The meeting comes amidst speculation that the government is set to make an announcement on the Telangana statehood. Amid intensified efforts by the Central government to resolve the Telangana issue, the Andhra Pradesh chief secretary and police chief have been summoned to New Delhi. Chief Secretary Minni Mathew and Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy will meet Home Secretary RK Singh. Students belonging to Osmania University and activists of the Telangana Jagruthi, cultural arm of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), tried to barge into the high-security Ministers' Quarters in Banjara Hills to stop the meeting of Congress party leaders of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions).

'Protests for Telangana state on again in Andhra' The protestors, including to demand the centre to make 'Division of Andhra Pradesh women, said they would not an announcement for carving not acceptable' tolerate attempts by out Telangana state by Jan 28.
Seemandhra leaders to stop The Congress is likely to discuss the issue at its Chintan Baithak starting in Jaipur on Friday. An all-party meeting was held in December to discuss the issue. Eight parties attended the meet: The Congress, BJP, Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, YSR Congress, CPI, CPI (M) and Majlis-eIttehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Following the allparty meeting on the issue, Shinde had urged people to maintain calm over the matter. "I appeal the youth of Andhra Pradesh to maintain peace. The government will take a decision on this and whatever will happen will be good," he had said. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was unhappy with the outcome of the meeting and held protests. TRS HYDERABAD: Congress leaders from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions of the state Thursday said a division of Andhra Pradesh was not acceptable to them. In a resolution passed at a meeting here, the leaders of Seemandhra, as the two regions are referred to, demanded the central government should keep the state united. "The meeting of ministers, legislators of Rayalaseema and Andhra met in Hyderabad and resolved that nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh is acceptable to us," said the resolution. Minister S. Sailajanath said the meeting endorsed a statement made by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1972."I stand firmly for the integrated state of Andhra Pradesh after considering all pros and cons of two agitations," Gandhi had said then. The resolution will be sent to the central government and to the central leadership of the party. The leaders plan to visit Delhi Jan 21. chief K Chandrasekhara Rao had alleged that the Congress was continuing its "drama" over Telangana. "They have said this hundred times during last three years," he had said on Shinde's statement. The Telugu people, not just those living in Andhra Pradesh, but all across the world, are awaiting a final and clear response from the Centre over the issue. The Congress high command has been for long grappling with problems in Andhra Pradesh - the only major state, where it is in power on its own.

Raising slogans of 'Jai Telangana', the students said they would not allow any meeting which is aimed at stalling formation of Telangana state. As tension mounted, police arrested the protestors and bundled them into waiting vehicles. Later, activists, including from Telangana Jagruthi, tried to lay siege to the Ministers' Quartersbut were arrested.

formation of a Telangana state. The leaders from Seemandhra, including ministers and legislators, are meeting to chalk out their future course of action amid indications that the centre will soon take a decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising various pro-Telangana groups, began day-long silent protest

Book teachers who got jobs using forged documents: Allahabad HC
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has ordered lodging of FIRs within three weeks against more than 800 primary school teachers across Uttar Pradesh, who were found to have secured employment on the basis of forged degrees or fictitious appointment letters. It also ordered that the amount the teachers have been paid so far by way of salaries and other emoluments should be recovered. A Division Bench comprising justices Amar Saran and Dinesh Gupta passed the order in the course of hearing on a writ petition on January 11th.

President to visit Hyderabad, West Bengal
NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee will undertake a four-day visit to Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal from Thursday. The President will travel to Hyderabad to inaugurate the 28th Congress of Asia Pacific-Academy of Ophthalmology in conjunction with the 71st Annual Conference of All India Ophthalmological Society. From there, Mukherjee will move to West Bengal where he will inaugurate the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Kolkata on Friday. Officials said that on the same day he would unveil statues of freedom fighters Ajoykumar Mukherjee, Satishchandra Samanta and

India, France likely to ink pact for building nuke reactors
NEW DELHI: India is to sign a commercial pact with French power major Areva for building two nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to New Delhi next month. Talking to reporters in New Delhi Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ratan Kumar Sinha Thursday said the deal with Areva was one of the drivers for quick action in the relations with France. He said lot of attempts have also been made by the French side and meetings have already taken place between the top officials of the nuclear establishments of both the countries. India's nuclear operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and Areva plan to build two European pressurised reactors (EPR) of 1,650 MWe each at Jaitapur in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district. In December 2010, Areva signed an agreement with India to build the country's first two reactors of the new-generation EPR type at Jaitapur with an option for four more reactors. But following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, many projects around the world were frozen, delayed or abandoned. The negotiations with Areva also slowed down. After the Fukushima incident, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) had carried out a review of the safety aspects of the reactors Areva plans to supply to India. The ASN shared its report on the EPR reactors with the Atomic Energy Commission last year. The negotiations with Areva had begun after the perusal of the report by India's nuclear regulator.

Pak cleric Qadri was Modi's guest, spoke on Gita
NEW DELHI: Pakistan's man of the moment Tahir-ul Qadri, who has triggered a political crisis in the country with a call to 'cleanse the system' there, had visited Gujarat last year. According to a report published in a leading English daily, the Canada-based Qadri was a state guest of the BJP government in Gujarat led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in February last year. During his stay in Gujarat, the Sufi scholar gave a twohour long televised speech on the essence of the Gita and the Koran. Qadri, who runs an educational and religious organisation with networks all over the world, posses a deep knowledge of Hindu scriptures, which reveal the secular side of his personality. During his interaction with Muslims in Gujarat, he adviced them to shed their "sense of victimhood" despite facing criticism from

Sushilkumar Dhara at Nimtouri and address newspersons on the occasion of completion of 90 years of the Indian Journalists? Association at Kolkata. On Saturday, Mukherjee will attend the closing ceremony of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Barrackpore and then reach the Bengal Engineering and Science University at

Shibpur for its 15th convocation. On Sunday, Mukherjee would visit Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata to lay the foundation stone for the new building of a college and among several other functions inaugurate the new Integrated Terminal Building of Kolkata Airport at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.

Ansari's four days visit to Vietnam concludes
'India, Vietnam share common concerns on development, security & peace'
HO CHI MINH: The Vice President Hamid Ansari will Thursday conclude his four days state visit to Vietnam. He reached yesterday at Ho Chi Minh City and visited War museum and Vietnam History museum. Chairman of Peoples Committee of Ho Chi Minh Le Hoang Quan hosted a banquet in honour of Mr Ansari. The Vice President said that India and Vietnam have common concerns on various issues including development, security and peace. Our correspondent reports that Mr over 200 km of tunnels connected with one another. Inside the tunnels there were kitchens and arrangement of storage of food and ammunition and well equiped with communication facilities. These tunnels were very helpful for liberation forces in surprise attacks on US forces in 1975.Today Cu Chi has become a place of pilgrimage for the people of Vietnam. After visiting Cu Chi Mr Ansari will address the Indian community residing in Ho Chi Minh. He will reach Delhi tonight.

leaders of the prominent Jamiat-ul-Ulema for "openly praising the killer of Muslims" and "calling Muslims terrorists". However, the Pakistan cleric later said that no such unfortunate events like riots should be repeated and those who perpetrated should face the law. Senior BJP leader Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, now a minister in the Modi cabinet, was also present at the event. Chudasama described Qadri as a "softspoken" person, who advocated social and communal

harmony and denounced Jihadi extremism. The Sufi cleric has been rocking the political establishment in Pakistan with his fiery speeches and mass marches. Qadri on Wednesday called on Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to quit by midnight. Qadri is getting immense popular support in Pakistan for his appeal to end corruption and cleanse the rot in the political system there. The Pakistani cleric wants 'criminals' to be thrown out of politics and vows not to stop until his goals are accomplished.

Police question Hindu leader over hate speech
HYDERABAD: Police began questioning Hindu religious leader Swami Kamlananda Bharati in connection with a hate speech he delivered at a rally here last week. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) took custody of Bharati Thursday morning from Cherlapally Jail. A city court Wednesday had sent Bharati to two days police custody while dismissing his bail petition. The questioning will continue Friday. Bharati, president of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi, which works for protecting Hindu temples, was arrested Monday in Srisailam and brought to Hyderabad. The same day, he was sent to judicial custody for 14 days. Police booked a case against him for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and performing acts detrimental to communal harmony. He had made the provocative speech at a rally organised Jan 9 to condemn Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's hate speech. Meanwhile, a group of Hindu religious leaders called on Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy to demand Bharati's release, alleging that a false case was booked against him. Another group of leaders launched a hunger strike at Banjara Hills police station demanding that they be allowed to meet Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.

Union Min Kamal Nath calls for tech upgrade of Govt presses
NEW DELHI: Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has called for technological upgradation and expansion of the Government of India Presses. Inaugurating a 2-day National Conference to mark the 150th year of the Government Presses in New Delhi Thursday, Nath expressed happiness that there is not a single case of leakage in these presses. He said the government is working on a roadmap for the maximum utilization of the land resources in these presses in the country. Minister of State for Urban Development Mrs Deepa Das Munsi said the government is planning to have a print media museum at Kolkata. The reports said that the Directorate of Printing, attached to Urban Development Ministry, is responsible for executing printing jobs of all ministries including civil and defence purposes. The Directorate controls 15 Government of India Presses and 3 Text Book Presses across the country. Earlier, both the Ministers released the logo of 150th year anniversary of the Government of India Presses, Table Calendar, Telephone Directory of the Presses and Mudran Patrika.

Ansari will today visit the historic Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh. The Cu Chi tunnels is one of the most famous historical vestiges of Vietnam is national liberation war. This network consists of

Court to hear plea against 'Will work for nonoil depot Jan 23 Congress, non-BJP High Court alliance': Sitaram Yechury NEW DELHI: The Delhi opposing thewill hear Jan 23 a plea from villagers building
KOLKATA: With an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI(M) along with other Left parties will work towards the formation of a nonCongress, non-BJP alliance in the country, CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday. "We will work towards the creation of non-Congress, non-BJP alliance in the country. We will discuss this issue in the central committee today," Yechury told reporters here. Yechury along with party general secretary Prakash Karat was in the city to attend the two-day long central committee meeting of the party in Kolkata. The central committee will also discuss and chalk out the strategy for the various state assembly elections slated to be held this year, including Tripura where the party is in power. "We will talk about the party's strategy for the upcoming state elections in the country," Yechury said here. According to party sources, the central committee will also discuss the issue of expulsion of three aides of V S Achuthanandan from the party. of a petroleum depot near their homes in west Delhi alleging it would expose them to risks. Appearing before Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain, advocate Indira Unninayar demanded that the matter be heard urgently as the people of Tikri Kalan village faced danger. She said that after the Jan 5 fire at the Hazira plant of Indian Oil Corp in Gujarat, urgent steps needed to be taken immediately to shift the petroleum storage installation from the village. The court had earlier issued notice to Hindustan Petroleum Corp and the National Disaster Management Authority. The petition by Tikri Kalan villagers sought direction to government agencies not to allow the storage depot, alleging it would expose them to risks in case of fire, explosion or accident. The villagers alleged that the petroleum company had ignored the safety norms. According to them, the petroleum storage tanks of Hindustan Petroleum are located only 1,440 feet (440 metres) from their houses. Accusing Hindustan Petroleum and the authorities of "merely paying lip service regarding safety", the petition said the oil company had ignored the safety steps proposed by the M.B. Lal Committee.

Congress Chintan Shivir to focus on 2014 polls
'Jaipur gets facelift before Congress meet'
Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are among the hundreds who will attend the 'Chintan Shivir' at the Birla auditorium. An Urban Development and Housing (UDH) official said encroachment have been removed from Statue Circle, C-Scheme, MI Road and Trimurti Circle and from walled city areas. He said sanitation work had been undertaken across the city. "We have removed garbage dumped besides roads. Road dividers have been painted and damaged roads have been repaired. (There will be) uninterrupted electricity supply during the session," the official said. "We have planned to depute 7,000 policemen to provide security to the PM, Sonia Gandhi and chief ministers of a dozen states," he said. Police will mount aerial surveillance. Closecircuit cameras have come up near the venue. Narendra Modi is expected to emerge as a major talking point with his electoral hattrick in Gujarat with a CWC member saying that a discussion on current Indian politics cannot take place without direct or indirect mention of the controversial BJP leader. Party chief Sonia Gandhi along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will utilise the meet here to reach out to the middle class as also to evolve approaches that could appeal to the youth as the voter profile is increasingly turning young. Incidentally, Congress under Rajiv Gandhi had brought down the voting age from 21 to 18. Youth will JAIPUR: With Rahul Gandhi put in charge of the 2014 poll campaign, Congress will set out on a unique exercise here tomorrow seeking to blend youth and experience to evolve a winning formula for the Lok Sabha elections just 16 months away. The significance of the two-day Chintan Shivir and the AICC meeting that will follow on Sunday is in view of the fact that a section of the Congress is favouring early Lok Sabha elections to coincide with Assembly polls in five states by end of the year. Authorities are working overtime to beautify the Rajasthan capital ahead of a three-day Congress party meeting that starts Friday. Vendors parked illegally on roads have been removed. And Jaipur is being cleaned up thoroughly, officials said. Prime be the flavour of the season at Jaipur with Congress having invited as many as 160 odd young delegates who have been office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress and the NSUI. This is for the first time, that such a high representation is being given to youth at such meets. Party leaders are also banking heavily on government's recent initiative on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to ensure that subsidies under various central schemes reach in form of cash directly to the accounts of beneficiaries. Rahul Gandhi, who has involved Youth Congress leaders in a big way for implementation of DBT, had told them that if this programme was pushed properly, Congress can win not only this but even the next elections.

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ond time. Headley, who conducted reconnaissance of the targets of the Mumbai terror attacks for LeT, had entered a plea bargain with the FBI, saving himself from a possible death penalty. US Defence attorneys are seeking no more than a nine-year prison term for a US businessman convicted of backing terrorism in Denmark and supporting a terrorist group that staged attacks in 2008 in Mumbai. A defence filing before Tahawwur Rana's sentencing on Thursday describes him as charitable and kindhearted. It says he was duped into participation by a manipulative childhood friend, David Coleman Headley. Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to impose the maximum 30year sentence. Jurors in 2011 convicted Rana of supporting a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed blasphemous caricatures and for supporting the group that attacked in Mumbai, killing more than 160 people. Headley has pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and testified against Rana.


US court to sentence 26/11 accused Tahawwur, attorneys seek no more than a nine-year prison term
WASHINGTON: Tahawwur Rana, an accomplice of convicted terrorist David Headley, faces up to 30 years in prison during his sentencing in a US court on Thursday for providing material support to the Pakistanbased LeT involved in Mumbai attacks as well as for backing a plot to strike a Danish newspaper. US prosecutors want 30 years' imprisonment for 52-year- old Pakistani-Canadian Rana, while defence attorneys are seeking a lighter sentence, reportedly no more than a 9-year jail term, citing his poor health. His lawyers are claiming that he was duped into participation by his school-time friend Headley. Rana was convicted in June 2011 by a federal grand jury, which found the businessman guilty of providing material support to LeT and planning an aborted plot to bomb the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Rana, who was originally arrested in 2009 for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was acquitted of that charge. However, Indian investigators have accused him of being involved in the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people and are seeking to question him for the sec-

Amid cut and dried deadline, govt forms committee to hold talks with Tahir-ul-Qadri
ISLAMABAD: Cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri on Thursday gave the Pakistan government a 90minute deadline to act on his demands to quit and dissolve the national and provincial assemblies amidst increasing signs that support for his protest was dwindling. "I am giving the government a deadline of one-and-half hours. You don't have any more time. The deadline will end at 3 pm, when I will announce my next action," Qadri told thousands of his supporters camping on Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad's main boulevard near the presidency and Parliament. "People should come out to save democracy, Constitution and law and for the poor people's right. At 3 pm, I will announce the final action," he said. Qadri gave no indication of what he intended to do if he government failed to meet his deadline. "There will be no protest or sit-in tomorrow. We have to finish it by the end of this day. I am giving talks, peace and democracy a final chance," he said. Qadri demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari should respond to his offer of talks. The cleric, who heads the Minhaj-ul-Quran organisation, and his followers have been staging a sit-in near parliament since Tuesday. Since he marched from Lahore to Islamabad with his supporters, Qadri set several deadlines for action on his demands that have been consistently ignored by the government. After all the Pakistan government on formed a four-member committee to hold talks with cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri shortly after he announced a fresh deadline for action on his demands for the government to resign and to dissolve the national and provincial assemblies. The committee includes Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain‚ senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar and Awami National Party leader Afrasiyab Khattak. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf directed the committee to "immediately hold talks" with Qadri, who has been camping near parliament since Tuesday with thousands of supporters to push his demand for electoral reforms. However, support for Qadri's protest has begun to dwindle and opposition parties led by the PML-N yesterday said they would oppose any unconstitutional or unlawful move to derail the democratic system. As he delivered his speech on Thursday, media commentators noted that Qadri was speaking from inside his bulletproof and heated container while his supporters stood outside in pouring rain, braving the bitter cold of winter. Many of the protestors have been sitting out in the cold and sleeping in the open. The ruling Pakistan People's Party has insisted that Qadri's demands cannot be implemented without violating the Constitution. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has pointed out that Qadri was demanding sweeping electoral rolls even though the cleric cannot himself contest polls in Pakistan as he is a Canadian national. The PPP's efforts to stand up to Qadri received a shot in the arm yesterday after opposition parties led by the PML-N said they would oppose any unconstitutional or unlawful attempt to derail the democratic system. Though Qadri has claimed he has the support of "millions", the number of supporters at the protest in Islamabad has dwindled over the past two days. Only die-hard supporters and workers of Minhaj-ul-Quran are currently participating in the sit-in. Amidst speculation last night that the government would use security forces to disperse the protestors, President Zardari announced that force would not be used to end Qadri's s The Pakistan government on Thursday formed a four-member committee to hold talks with cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri shortly after he announced a fresh deadline for action on his demands for the government to resign and to dissolve the national and provincial assemblies. The committee includes Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain‚ senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar and Awami National Party leader Afrasiyab Khattak. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf directed the committee to "immediately hold talks" with Qadri, who has been camping near parliament since Tuesday with thousands of supporters to push his demand for electoral reforms. The committee was formed shortly after Qadri gave the government a 90-minute deadline at 1.30 pm to act on his demands. However, support for Qadri's protest has begun to dwindle and opposition parties led by the PML-N yesterday said they would oppose any unconstitutional or unlawful move to derail the democratic system.

Chinese Official Calls for Dialogue on Island Dispute
BEIJING: After months of high-profile military posturing over the disputed islands with Japan, China said it attaches importance to the ties with Tokyo and called on the Japanese government to resolve the dispute through dialogue to keep the relations on track. The two countries were locked in a showdown since September last year over the islands in East China Sea, called Diaoyu by China and Senkakus by Japan. "The two sides should handle the Diaoyu Islands dispute properly in order to ensure that bilateral relations remain on a track of healthy and stable development," Jia Qinglin, the fourth ranking leader of the outgoing leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China, said in his meeting with former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama yesterday. Jia, who will be retiring along with President Hu Jintao in March, is the chairman of the consultative body called the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). His comments came as the two countries deployed surveillance ships and planes to monitor each other's movements in the disputed islands rising prospects of military hostilities. Jia said cooperation between China and Japan will serve the fundamental interests of both the sides, as well as the region and the international community. China attaches importance to its ties with Japan and will continue to work to develop bilateral relations in accordance with previous agreements, Jia said. Hatoyama, who is reportedly involved in back channel diplomacy, is on a personal visit to China. Jia's comments came as the new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a high-profile visit to Vietnam, choosing it to be his first overseas visit after taking over power. Vietnam along the Philippines has raised concerns over China's assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea. Abe is looking to rally South East Asian states which have maritime disputes with China. He is also visiting Thailand and Indonesia. Asked about Abe's visits, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei urged Japan to make concrete efforts and take effective measures to resolve tensions over the Diaoyu Islands and improve bilateral relations. Reiterating China's claims to Diaoyu islands, Hong said Japanese government should recognise historical facts and the current situation and resolve issues through dialogue and discussion, he said. Commenting on Abe's visit Vietnam, Jia Duqiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China should be confident of its position and reach out to its neighbours to counter Abe's diplomatic blitz.

US not content with Lanka's explanation on removal of CJ
WASHINGTON: The United States has said that it was not satisfied with the explanation given by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha's government on impeachment and removal of the country's chief justice. "We are obviously in contact with them. I would not say that the explanations are satisfactory in terms of protecting democracy," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. Rajapaksa sacked the country's first woman Chief Justice, 54year-old Shirani Bandaranayake, last week by ratifying her controversial impeachment by Parliament on corruption charges despite protests at home and global calls for restraint. However, in bilateral assistance for Sri Lanka, she said, it is too early to say what impact this incident would have. "It is too soon to say what impact the actions will have on our foreign assistance for Sri Lanka going forward," she said in response to question. "The US Government assistance for FY-2012 for Sri Lanka was USD 27 million. This included USD 13.3 million in bilateral assistance programs which primarily related to peace and security, human rights, economic growth, and democracy programs. We have a 2013 request for USD 16.5 million for Sri Lanka," she said. A day earlier, voicing concern over the impeachment and removal of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, she said that this undermines the international reputation of the island nation. "This entire issue serves to undermine the international reputation of Sri Lanka as it pertains to investment decisions that foreign companies might make. So you know, there is usually a cost to this kind of thing in terms of their ability to track foreign investment," Nuland said. "We had made clear throughout this impeachment that we were concerned about what it said about the democratic process, that we were concerned about the perception of reprisals against somebody for independent thinking and action. So those concerns remain with regard to the quality of Sri Lankan democracy," the Spokesperson said.


Finance Ministry urges PSUs for extra dividend Outline of GST Amendments in fray, says Finance Minister
NEW DELHI, JAN 17: The finance ministry is knocking on the doors of cash-rich public sector units for higher dividends in its usual preBudget rush to raise funds that could also bring some cheer to investors. "PSUs have been sounded out for additional dividend payouts and discussions have begun," said a government official privy to the development. North Block is leaving no stone unturned to meet the fiscal deficit target of 5.3% for the fiscal and additional dividend income would help it meet any shortfall on the account of spectrum sale targeted at Rs 40,000 crore or tax mop-up. The ministry has started the pre-budget consultations with central public sector enterprises on the issue. The Budget 2012-13 has pegged receipts from dividends and profits at Rs 50,152 crore but the finance ministry not only wants to ensure that the target is met but to exceed it. The Standing Conference of Public Enterprises or SCOPE, the apex body of central government-owned public enterprises, also shot off letters to PSUs about two weeks back cautioning them to spur their investment programmes to avoid paying higher dividends this year. The government had managed to extract an additional about Rs 7500 crore over its budget estimates in the last fiscal. All profit-making companies in which government has majority stakes are required to declare a dividend of 20% of government's equity or 20% of profit after tax, whichever is higher. In the case of the state-run companies in petroleum, power, chemical and other infrastructure sectors, the minimum limit is higher at 30% after tax. Oil companies may be spared this diktat as under recoveries has worsened their financial situation. The government has been goading its cash rich companies to speed up their investment plans to stimulate the economy, warning them that in case they are unable to do so then they will have to declare higher dividends. NEW DELHI, JAN 17: The forthcoming Budget could spell out broad contours of the United Progressive Alliance government's ambitious tax reformgoods and services tax (GST)-that seeks to create seamless national market in the country for movement of goods and delivery of services. Finance minister P Chidambaram has said he could give an outline of the amendments needed for the GSTin the forthcoming Budget if the states reach consensus on its design contours. Chidambaram has also assured the states of keeping an open mind on providing compensation for phase out of central sales tax, an issue that emerged as a major stumbling block in progress on talks on GST. The minister said if the states can reach some understanding on the design of GST, he will work overnight to outline some of the amendments in the Budget speech, according to officials present at pre-budget meeting with state FMs. "It was time to wrap up lose ends on GST," the minister said according an official. Finance minister said GST could give a 1-1.5% boost to GDP growth. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2011 to facilitate the roll out of GST has already been introduced in Parliament and is currently under examination by the standing committee on finance. Bihar deputy chief minister and chairman of empowered committee of state finance ministers Sushil Kumar Modi said all the states demanded compensation for reduction in the CST to 2% from the earlier 4%. "All states raised their own issues, but there were certain issues which were raised by all of them," he said after the meeting. The two committees - one on the CST compensation issue and the other on the design of the GST - will submit reports to the centre on January 21. The centre collects CST and distributes it among states. As a precursor to

GST, the Centre and states had agreed to phase out CST from April 2007 over a period of three years and, consequently, the CST rate was reduced to 3% and then to 2%. The agreed compensation formula included allowing states to tax some services, removal of extra excise duty on tobacco products and textiles, value-added tax on imports, budgetary support and increase in floor rate of value-added tax. A large number of these elements such as removal of additional excise duty from tobacco, budgetary support and transfer of revenues from 33 services to states were implemented. But the Centre did not bring the agreed new services under the tax net or impose VAT on imports. On the other hand, only a few states raised the floor rate of VAT from 4%. States claim they have received only 6,393 crore as compensation for reduction in CST from the Centre in 2010-11, against a demand of about Rs 19,000 crore.

Foreign investment in China declines
BEIJING JAN 17: In December alone, foreign investors channelled $11.7 billion funds into China, down 4.5 percent, which was a seventh consecutive monthly decline. Attributing the 3.7 percent decline in foreign funds partly to less investment in manufacturing, Ministry's spokesperson Shen Danyang said some investors have moved out of China for even cheaper labour costs and less stringent production criteria, Shanghai Daily reported. But "such phenomena were within a normal range, not becoming a large-scale outflow", Shen said. "China welcomes foreign investors, and will continue to improve the investment environment to attract more foreign investment," Shen said. Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, said gloomy global economic conditions, rising labour costs in China and the nation's more strict investment criteria were among the reasons for dwindling foreign investment. "China is just one of the many countries suffering less foreign investment in a bad global economic climate," Li said. "It remains one of the top choices for global businesses."

Border tension likely to hamper India's exports to Pakistan
KOLKATA, JAN 17: The escalation of tension along the India-Pakistan border and the consequent political developments have cast a shadow on India's exports to Pakistan. India is a significant source of cotton, soya oil meal, vegetables, tomatoes and tea for Pakistan. Currently, the nation supplies about 13% of Pakistan's requirement of agriculture products. At present, trade across the Attari- Wagah border is permitted via rail and road. However, due to the shortage of rail wagons, the road route is preferred. Goods exported from India are unloaded at Wagah on the other side of the zero line. Trucks can cross the border between 7 am and 7 pm everyday. Drivers from both countries are issued one-day special permits and they are required to return to their home country the same day. "Trade through the Attari-Wagah border is still continuing as there is no formal announcement either from India or Pakistan that trade should be stopped. However, no movement of trucks is happening through Poonch where firing took place. There is fear among traders on both sides of the border that if tension escalates, movement of goods will be affected. Moreover, there is political instability in Pakistan as well. So there is an air of uncertainty over trade. We hope that things will not turn worse," said Rajdeep Uppal, vice-president , Amritsar Exporters Chamber of Commerce. The present tension across the border comes at a time when India's exports to Pakistan through the AttariWagah border stand at Rs 1,237 crore during the April-December period, an increase of 54% over the corresponding period of the previous year. Though Uppal said trucks were entering Pakistan from this side, Naveen Gupta, secretary, All India Motor Transport Congress, said: "Truck movement has slowed down across the border. Indian trucks are not getting an easy passage to Pakistan. A number of trucks carrying vegetables and tomatoes are waiting on the Attari-Wagah border at the moment. They are waiting for things to normalise." Raw cotton exports to Pakistan may take a beating if there is no letup in tension. India has bagged export orders of 3-5 lakh bales in the current cotton year (October 2012 September 2013). Pravinsinh Chavda, partner, Manisha Enterprises, a cotton trading and exporting firm, said: "We have heard that trucks are stuck at the AttariWagah border . But Pakistani importers will have to import these cotton bales as they have entered into commitments . New transactions may get hit. In that case, cotton bales will enter Pakistan through Dubai."

IMF approves $4.3 bn rescue fund for Greece
WASHINGTON, JAN 17: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved disbursement of 2.798 billion special drawing rights (SDR), amounting to about USD 4.3 billion, to cash-strapped Greece, Xinhua reported. Greece's economic reform programme is "moving in the right direction, with strong fiscal adjustment and notable labor-cost competitiveness gains", IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday after the Executive Board discussion. The IMF Executive Board has completed two reviews of Greece's economic performance under a programme supported by a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan arrangement for Greece, enabling the release of the fund, the IMF said in a statement. The EFF arrangement, which was approved March 15, 2012, is part of a joint package of financing with euro zone member states over four years. The loan has been frozen for months amid the deepening eurozone debt crisis. Last month, the Euro group formally approved the disbursement of 49.1 billion euros (or, about USD 64 billion), to Greece under the second international bailout programme. The European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission, dubbed as the "troika", have promised a total of some USD 310 billion in two rounds of bailout fund for the financially crippled country. SDRs are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the IMF. Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.

Oct 1 - Jan 15 sugar output up 3 pc year on year: Industry
MUMBAI, JAN 17: Sugar output rose 3 per cent to 10.8 million tonnes in the first three-and-a-half months of the season beginning October, a leading industry body said on Thursday. Sugar mills in India, the world's top consumer of the sweetener, are expected to churn out 24 million tonnes in 2012/13, down from 26 million tonnes in the previous year, but higher than about 22 million tonnes of local consumption. On Oct. 1, 2012, when the current season began, carryover stocks from the previous season were at about 6.5 million tonnes. Surplus output will help India export sugar for the third straight year. Output between Oct. 1 and Jan. 15 in the biggest sugar producing state of Maharashtra was at 3.77 million tonnes, followed by 2.75 million tonnes in Uttar Pradesh state, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said in a statement.

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AIBA bans Indian boxers from participating in international tournaments
BANGALORE: Indian boxers will not be able to take part in international events till the impasse surrounding the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is resolved, a directive from the international boxing body (AIBA) says. This comes as a big blow to the boxers who were looking forward to a busy Asian season from March before gearing up for some of the big AIBA events from June onwards. In recent years, amateur boxing has been one of few sports where Indians have held their own against the world's best, winning medals at the Olympics and other international meets. AIBA's ruling is in response to a letter from the Sports Authority of India seeking steps to pave the way for Indian boxers' participation in international meets. Indian boxers will not be able to participate in any of the events organized by the world body or recognized by it for the time being." their federation had been banned at event in Serbia this month before it closed down all options with a blunt response. The letter last week was perhaps the last nail in the coffin. IABF officials said the ball was in the ministry's court. "We have amended the constitution as per AIBA's directions. But we are unable to communicate with them. Only the ministry can help us," the officials said. On the other hand, ministry sources said no one from the fraternity has come forward with any proposal. "We need to check whether their draft constitution adheres to the sports code. But we haven't heard from them. They need to put their house in order so that we can put up a united front before AIBA," ministry sources said. The hope now is the talks proposed by International Olympic Committee with the sports ministry in Lausanne.

TTFI amends its constitution in tune with Sports Code
NEW DELHI: Following the Sports Ministry`s directive asking all NSFs to fall in line with the Sports Code, the Table Tennis Federation of India has amended its constitution by incorporating the provisions with regard to age and tenure. In a `special` general body meeting convened on Wednesday, the Federation passed a unanimous resolution to adopt the same. The decision has been after the Ministry sent a letter to all the National Sports Federations, asking them to revise their constitution in consonance with the Sports code by the end of this month, failing which their recognition by the Government could be impacted. "We had held a special general body meeting to amend our constitution. We have unanimously decided to incorporate provisions related to age and tenure as given in the sports code," TTFI general secretary Dhanraj Choudhary said. The Sports Code prescribes tenure guidelines for the President and other office bearers of the federation to period of 12 years (three tenures of four years each). Also, it sets the age bar of 70 years for the members to contest elections. "We had no issues in accepting provisions of the sports code. We feel there is a merit in these guidelines that is why government has asked to amend our constitution," he said. Choudhary added that an amended copy of the constitution would be sent to the sports ministry as well as to the office of the Registrar of Societies in a couple of days time. The Federation will go into elections in March and will see the incumbent TTFI president and INLD MLA Ajay Singh Chautala ending his 12 year-run, following its amended constitution. Meanwhile, Chautala scion`s position in the Federation might have also come under scrutiny after he was convicted by a city court on Wednesday in a corruption case regarding illegal recruitment of junior teachers in Haryana.

AIBA's hammer blows on Indian boxing have been swift and telling ever since it suspended IABF a month back, citing "possible manipulation" in the Indian body's elections held in September last year. Initially, the world body allowed the boxers' participation in two events, including the Youth World Championships in Yerevan, Armenia, where Indian officials were told that

IOC's behest. Then came the clarification that Indian boxers would be allowed to participate but without the officials. Days later, AIBA hardened its stand, slamming the door on IABF's old office-bearers, saying it would communicate only with the sports ministry to find a solution. It even allowed Sports Authority of India to send in entries for a junior

Malaysia Open: Saina Nehwal sails to quarters, injured Parupalli Kashyap crashes out
KUALA LUMPUR: India ace Saina Nehwal produced a dominant performance to cruise into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Super Series with a straight-game victory over Hong Kong's Pui Yin Yip here on Thursday. The 22-year-old Saina, who was given the top billing in the tournament, didn't break much sweat as she brushed aside Pui Yin Yip 21-12 21-9 in a lopsided women's singles match that lasted only half an hour. The Olympic bronze medallist Indian will next take on Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the quarterfinals at the National Sports Complex here. Saina has never faced off with the world number 33 Japanese shuttler, who beat Indonesian Lindaweni Fanetri 21-13 21-13 in another match. However, India's top male shuttler, Parupalli Kashyap went down fighting to sixth seed Jan O lowing a muscle pull suffered on Wednesday in the first round. Saina, who had reached her career best world no. 2 in Kong girl to recover. In the second game, Saina was more ruthless as she reeled off six straight points to create a huge gulf, which Pui Yin Yip could never bridge. Kashyap started well in the first set and was up to the Danish challenge. Both were tied at 11 each. But smart play from the 25-year-old Danish helped him bag the first set 21-17. The two shared an even record in the two prior encounters with Kashyap having the last laugh during their latest meeting at the Hong Kong Open last year. In the second set, Jorgensen and Kashyap battled hard till 8-8. But after that Jorgensen didn't give much opportunity to the Indian. The Danish rode on his 10 smash winners to emerge victories.

Golf: First major Tournament of yearAbu Dhabi Ch'ship begins
DUBAI: The first major Golf major tournament of the year begins in Abu Dhabi today. World Number One and two, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will be among the top players to fight it out for the $2.7million prize purse at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships.. The tournament also features four times Champion Martin Kaymer, last years' winner Robert Rock , Justin Ross, Paul Casey, Jason Dufner among others. Indian challenge in the tournament is led by Jeev Milkha Singh. On the opening day Mcllroy, Woods and Kaymer tee off together. Stakes are high for Mcllroy and Woods ,the two leading names in the Golf world to upstage each other. Mcllroy had a stellar performance last year and stands the favorite to win the championship title this time.

Korean scientists develop world's first bendable battery

Pakistan Super League hopes to attract players from leading teams
ISLAMABAD: A top official with Pakistan's new Twenty20 league says players from leading test teams South Africa, Australia and England have shown interest in playing in the tournament in March. Salman Sarwar Butt, the managing director of the Pakistan Super League, says "we are thrilled by the number of players and agents from several ICC member countries showing interest." Butt adds players from West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ireland have also expressed interest in the five-team competition. The Pakistan Cricket Board is scheduled to launch the PSL in late March with at least 30 foreign players divided in five city-based teams. Pakistan has not hosted any test-playing teams since the deadly attack on the Sri Lanka team convoy in Lahore in 2009.

Jorgensen of Denmark 17-21 14-21 in the second round of the men's singles event. The Olympic quarterfinalist, Kashyap, who also jumped one spot to crack the world number 10 bracket, however, could not reach the quarterfinals as he struggled with his right leg against Danish Jan Jorgensen, fol-

December 2010 for the first time, was lagging behind initially but she rode on her 12 smash winners to tame Pui Yin Yip, who played well at the nets. In the first game, she was lagging 2-6 behind but the Indian caught up with her rival at 9-9 and then didn't give any chance to the Hong

Paes- Stepanek crashes out of men's doubles
MELBOURNE: Veteran Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek were stunningly knocked out of the Australian Open after going down in straight sets in their opening-round match of the men's doubles event on Thursday. The second-seeded IndoCzech pair lost 3-6 5-7 to South African Kevin Anderson and Israeli Jonathan Erlich in 89 minutes. The South African-Israeli combo not only relied on the serve to outplay Paes and Stepanek, but also managed to convert four out of seven breakpoints they got. In contrast, the IndoCzech duo was just not up to the mark, either while returning the serve or converting their breakpoints. After losing the opening set miserably, Paes and Open campaign is not yet over for Paes as he will be playing the mixed doubles with Russian partner Elena

HI appoints Oltmans as high performance manager
NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Friday appointed legendary Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans as high performance director, who will oversee the affairs of its senior and junior national teams. Hockey India (HI) secretary general, Narinder Batra said that the appointment of Oltmans is an important step to ensure that a strategic programme will be put in place for the senior and junior men`s and women`s teams. Hockey India had been looking for a candidate that not only has the experience of High Performance Management but also understands the unique attributes of working on the sub-continent. We`re confident that Roelant will bring his vast experience and knowledge into this key position," Batra said. Oltmans said he is excited with his first-ever role as Director, High Performance. "I strongly believe that there is a lot of talent in India and by having a proper plan in place, we will be able to raise the level of Indian Hockey in the near future," Oltmans said. "Our dream is to bring the glory back to the country. We need to work hard on a single platform that too with unity, encouraging our players and giving them the right direction which will help our dream come true," he added.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek lost 3-6, 5-7 to South African Kevin Anderson and Israeli Jonathan Erlich in 89 minutes. Stepanek though put up a better show in the second, but they failed to sustain and eventually lost both the set and the match. However, the Australian Vesnina. They will be facing Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden in the first round.

Oltmans, who coached the Dutch team for 14-long years, has a long list of achievements. Under his guidance, the Dutch team won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, two FIH World Cups, three FIH Champions Trophies and the Euro Hockey League. Oltmans is currently working with The Netherlands Olympic Committee as its Performance Manager for Elite Sports, and is also an International Hockey Federation`s (FIH) Master coach.The Dutchman is the chief coach of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the ongoing Hockey India League.

KOREA: Scientists have developed world's first bendable lithium-ion batteries, paving way for flexible mobile devices. Researchers led by Professor Lee Sangyoung of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea developed imprintable, fluid-like polymer electrolytes that are used for lithium-ion batteries. Conventional batteries use liquefied electrolytes and are put into square-shaped cases, which make them inflexible with risks of explosion. Because of these disadvantages, there have been efforts to develop high-molecule electrolytes. The use of fluid-like electrolytes not only makes the battery bendable but also more stable, Also, there is no need to manufacture the squareshaped battery cases when using the fluidelectrolytes. Just like spreading jam on bread, spreading the fluid-like electrolytes on electrodes and exposing them to ultraviolet rays for 30 seconds is how the new rechargeable battery is created, the report said. Another advantage of the imprintable electrolytes is greater efficiency. If electrolytes are imprintable, they can have various patterns printed on them, helping chemical reactions that raise the output of the batteries. "Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had safety problems as the film that separates the electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative elements may come in contact, causing an explosion," said an official at the South Korean Education, Science and Technology ministry. "Because the new battery uses flexible but solid materials, and not liquids, it can be expected to show a much higher level of stability than conventional rechargeable batteries," the official said.

Scientists decode how the human brain adapts to injury
Scientists using a new combination of neural imaging methods have discovered exactly how the human brain adapts to injury. When one brain area loses functionality, a "back-up" team of secondary brain areas immediately activates, replacing not only the unavailable area but also its confederates, researchers led by the Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging (CCBI) found. "The human brain has a remarkable ability to adapt to various types of trauma, such as traumatic brain injury and stroke, making it possible for people to continue functioning after key brain areas have been damaged," said researcher Marcel Just. "It is now clear how the brain can naturally rebound from injuries and gives us indications of how individuals can train their brains to be prepared for easier recovery," Just said. "The secret is to develop alternative thinking styles, the way a switch-hitter develops alternative batting styles. Then, if a muscle in one arm is injured, they can use the batting style that relies more on the uninjured arm," Just added. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study precisely how the brains of 16 healthy adults adapted to the temporary incapacitation of the Wernicke area, the brain's key region involved in language comprehension. They applied Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the middle of the fMRI scan to temporarily disable the Wernicke area in the participants' brains. The participants, while in the MRI scanner, were performing a sentence comprehension task before, during and after the TMS was applied. Normally, the Wernicke area is a major player in sentence comprehension. The research team used the fMRI scans to measure how the brain activity changed immediately following stimulation to the Wernicke area. The results showed that as the brain function in the Wernicke area decreased following the application of TMS, a "back-up" team of secondary brain areas immediately became activated and coordinated, allowing the individual's thought process to continue with no decrease in comprehensionperformance. The brain's back-up team consisted of three types of brain regions: contralateral areas - areas that are in the mirror-image location of the brain; areas that are right next to the impaired area; and a frontal executive area. "The first two types of back-up areas have similar brain capabilities as the impaired Wernicke area, although they are less efficient at the capability," Just said in a statement."The third area plays a strategic role as in responding to the initial impairment and recruiting back-up areas with similar capabilities," Just added. The research was published in journal Cerebral Cortex.

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