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Your World Connected

Vol. 2 Issue 12 10.00 24 Pages RNI Reg. No.: PUNMUL/2012/45041 Postal Reg. No. PB/JL-047/2013-15

I have always believed in fighting hard, and not giving up and through this book, I hope to encourage the thousands of others, who are facing similar challenges, to not give up. I also want them to know they are not alone in their fight.

SUNDAY 24 mARCH 2013

Weekly Newspaper
Celebrity 14

Yuvraj Singh at the launch of his memoir The Test of My Life

StAlin raided Napoleon resigns Sanju baba jailed North Korea threatens USA

National 4

International 6

Campus 10

Leisure 16

Business 20

Sports 22

Friday March 12, 1993 Serial blasts in Mumbai 257 killed More than 700 injured Thursday March 21, 2013

Conviction of Sanjay Dutt upheld by the Supreme Court Jail term reduced to 5 years

SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld
Page 3


2 Shimla Green Tax

polluting entities. Cities all across the world such as London, San Francisco and Paris have their own forms of green or congestion tax. However none of these taxes are discriminatory in nature i.e. all vehicles irrespective of their origins are taxed. Pollution or environmental degradation is not decided by fickle human made political boundaries. Hence the emphasis of the Tax should be clarified that is whether it aims to offset pollution like other policy moves across the world or the emphasis is to charge a Tourist Tax by some other means, as such a tax may be beyond the purview of


Manu Sharma
Shimla Municipal Corporation. Fiscal planning and policy moves by a responsible tier of governance ought to be a better planned and executed than the current one. The avalanche of petitions against the tax and the valid points of order raised in the honorable court lead one to conclude that an important measure to protect environment should stick to its mandate, it should not fall prey to financial exigencies. Failure to do so may end up in lip service to the environment in garb of resource raising for the cash strapped urban body. Given cross border ramifications of Sri Lankan Tamil issue it is but natural that India got dragged into the vortex. Domestic politics and western pressure apart India should have negotiated a separate package for Tamils devoid of influence of other powers. By voting against Sri Lanka India has exposed its Achilles heel to countries in our neighbourhood in the form internal insurgencies. As Gandhi said that our means should justify their ends in this case our ends and means both stand muddled.

The stay order on Green Tax by the Honorable Himachal Pradesh High Court has injected some much needed sanity into urban policy making by Shimla Municipal Corporation. The so called tax or fee, if one were to believe the Municipal Corporation is intended to protect the green environment of the city, in principle. However the emphasis of the corporation on revenue generation only with little clarity on the facilities planned or provided for tourists generated doubts amongst the concerned citizenry. The term Green Tax indicates an element of offset to be borne by all


S.K. Sinha

Please mind your Baani, because the Samaj is watching

The elected representatives are picking up fights on the highest podiums of democracy with increased frequency. Somewhere they throw objects at each other or exchange physical punches and to cap it all members of the house use language that is enough to bring down the government. The most interesting thing in such incidents is when they pass the blame on a overzealous media that has the hobby of reporting people out of context. Even if they are reported out of context, the technological feature makes it evident in no time. But these people in power again and again forget that we are no longer in the Stone Age, it is the era of the social media that has penetrated our lives to the deepest levels. It would be wise to have a relook at the quality of people we send up there to represent us and also take the most important decisions of the nation. The lawmaker carries the greatest of responsibilities and they should not equate anyone to anything without enough evidence, and if they have the evidence they should not hesitate to put it out in the public domain. It is also suggested at times that political mischief that are not unheard of and the media should be wary of such attempts , more so when we are nearing an election. Whatever maybe the underlying plot, the methodology adopted by these stalwarts defies all theories of civilized behavior. We the people of this nation expect more gentlemanly behavior. Jai Hind

A Vote Against Lanka

United Nations Human Rights Commission based out of Geneva has become the latest geopolitical battleground after the UN Security Council. At stake is the failed bid of Scandinavian nations to procure a bipartisan resolution to Tamil issue in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka under stewardship of Rajapaksa ended decades long insurgency by Tamil rebels through brutal use of force, as is wont with a civil war. A war zone that Sri Lanka was, saw brutalities and war crimes being committed by both sides. LTTE led by Prabhakaran was often termed as the

most brutal militia on the face of Earth and had to its discredit assassinations of leaders, suicide attacks and mass murders. Sri Lankan army too did not come out smelling of roses. Indias position on this vote in the UN forum should have been nuanced by the need to balance the security interests of Sri Lanka and the rights of ethnic minority Tamils. The rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka however stand better preserved through a dialogue with the government of Sri Lanka and encouraging a resolution based upon common minimum program.

Egypt should be Indias gateway to Africa

By Biswajit Choudhury New Delhi India should look at Egypt as its gateway to Africa, Osama Saleh, Egypts Minister of Investment, said here. In an interview with IANS on the sidelines of the first India-Egypt Economic Forum on, Saleh said : We are proposing that India consider Egypt as the gateway to the African continent for deepening and increasing the benefits of an old relationship. The inauguration of an IndiaEgypt Business Council organised by premier Indian industry bodies - FICCI, CII and Assocham - is a major step in this direction. Saleh is here as part of Egypts General Authority for Investment and Free Zones mission visiting India with the countrys first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian minister is promoting his country as an investment destination at a time when India looks to make a quantum jump in its economic engagement with the continent, particularly with north and western Africa, as well as achieving the full potential of its business relations with Egypt. The levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt has dropped from 25 percent to nine percent, especially in this period when the country is going through a political transition. Our aim is for FDI to pick up to levels of around 20 percent, said Saleh. Saleh said although the new government installed in August 2012 had inherited problems from the past, it has put in place a programme of economic reforms focussed on attracting investments. Egypt is a very attractive FDI destination on the strength of its human resources, as also as a market. The only thing that has been affected in recent times is the countrys tourism industry, which is a major source of our revenues, said Saleh. He said foreign investors interested in Egypt need not have any fears on account of the political transition. Egypt is an old country with old institutions that are functioning in continuity through this period of transition. So investors need have no fear about things becoming unstable or business being affected, Saleh said. India and Egypt Tuesday signed seven agreements, including one for cooperation in micro and small enterprises, to facilitate sharing of information, meetings between enterprises, technology transfers and to provide consultation services to enhance the abilities of business enterprises of the two countries. Both sides also agreed to upgrade a vocational training centre at Shourba El Kheima, Cairo, under which Indias National Small Industries Corporation will provide the technological upgradation required in the area of spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing technology. Another agreement provides for setting up a centre of excellence in Information Technology at Cairos Al Azhar University that will see India provide the human resources as well as the hardware and software to set up a centre for the training of up to 500 students per year. India is interested in exporting wheat to Egypt, while we are studying the possibility of export of fertiliser from Egypt to India, Saleh said. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recently launched the India Business Forum (IBF) in Egypt with the aim to promote Brand India and support Indian business in the country. LETTER TO THE EDITOR Letters may be emailed to the ,with full postal address and the full name or the name with initials. What is happening in Egypt now is a power game; a debate is going on in the political sphere for taking control of power. It happens everywhere. It will not disrupt economic life and business, Saleh told IANS. India is now Egypts 7th largest trading partner. Bilateral trade has grown from $2.5 billion in 200607 to $4.3 billion in 2011-12. Indias crude and LNG imports from Egypt account for almost half the total value of bilateral trade. Around 50 Indian companies, including the Sanmar group, Alexandria Carbon Black and Dabur, are operating in Egypt with a combined investment of roughly $2.5 billion.

Delhi faces shortage of women cops; cases pile up

By By Alok Singh New Delhi Women-related crime cases are piling up in the capital. The reason: there are very few women in Delhi Police. Several women in the force, speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity, agreed that women-related cases, mostly dealing with harassment or violence, are piling up due to the paucity of women officers. The need for more women in the force increased after the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman when the home ministry proposed that each of the capitals 180 police stations should have nine women personnel. We have sent the proposal to the home ministry to recruit another 3,000 women personnel in the force, a senior police officer told IANS. But the nod is yet to come, the officer added. Delhi Police have a strength of 85,000, of which only around 5,700 are women, while there are over seven million women in the national capital, as per the 2011 census. Delhis total population is over 16 million. As more and more women are coming forward to register crimes of harassment and molestation, Delhi Police find their hands full. Also, after the Dec 16 rape, police have made crime against women their top priority and thus, the need for more women in the force is being acutely felt. Womens helpdesks are also being opened at each police station. Women in the force mostly investigate crimes like rape, molestation, stalking and harassment. This means they are grossly overburdened with work. I am working on eight cases related to crime against woman. Out of them, two are rape cases. In my police station, I am the only woman officer, while others are constables, a woman sub-inspector told IANS, requesting anonymity. There are only 87 women inspectors as compared to 1,313 men, said another woman police officer. While a woman inspector has to do night duties, the other women in the force are exempted from this. Inspectors are also entitled to a separate cabin. Of the 44,945 sub-inspectors in the force, only 265 are women. Sometimes I am overburdened with cases which affects the output. I can seek help of my male colleagues. But they also have their own cases. I am really stressed on occasions and my days are sometimes very long, the woman sub-inspector said. Due to shortage of women personnel, several police stations have no womens force. If there is a crime case in the area of a police station where there are no women posted, we ask those in other police stations to pitch in, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told IANS. We are hoping the home ministry accepts our proposal (to recruit more women) soon, said another police officer. In 2003, Delhi Police made it mandatory that all women-related crime cases should have at least one woman investigator. The decision was taken after the rape of a Swiss diplomat the same year. The step was also taken as women were considered to be more sensitive to the victims as compared to men. But the shortage is felt not only at the junior level. It is the same story at the top level too. There are only four women deputy commissioners of police and additional deputy commissioners of police as compared to 65 men. Delhi has 238 posts of assistant commissioners of police, of which 20 are occupied by women officers. Delhi Police have deployed women officials at every police station on women helpdesks. But women investigators are very few, another woman officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.


SC verdict on 1993 Mumbai serial blasts trial


New Delhi Upholding the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, currently lodged in Nagpur Jail, and commuting death sentences of 10 accused to life terms, the Supreme Court Thursday drew the final curtain on the March 12, 1993, Mumbai serial blasts case. An apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan also upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act and sentenced him to five years jail. The serial blasts, a revenge for the December 1992-January 1993 communal carnage in Mumbai which followed the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya Dec 6, 1992, were carried out in a precise, cold-blooded manner at 12 prime locations, leaving around 257 dead and stunning the nation that warm Friday afternoon. Though the Mumbai Police managed to crack the case within 48 hours, Yakub Memon, his elder brother, the dreaded Mushtaque Abdul Razzak Memon alias Tiger, Ayub Memon and their families quietly slipped out of the country a few hours after the blasts. Except Yakub, the others have remained beyond the reach of Indian and international law enforcing agencies. Yakub - now aged around 50 - one of his brothers and their families, however, later returned to India and surrendered to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi. In its verdict dealing with the appeals of the convicts as well from the Maharashtra government for enhancement of sentences, the apex court also slammed Pakistan for aiding and abetting the acts of terrorism in infringement of international obligation as a member of the UN. The legal battle began when in September 2006, the trial court in Mumbai handed out its first judgment after nearly 13 years into the case, awarding death penalties to several of the 189 accused, lifers for many, and other punishments to the rest of the accused, including

Dutt. Tiger Memon, his brother Ayub Memon, their families and Indias most wanted don, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar - considered the co-architect of the serial blasts - are reportedly still hiding in Pakistan. Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who directed the government trial in the case, expressed happiness at Thursdays ruling and said the death sentence to Yakub Memon could help in building up pressure on Pakistan. The US government must take stringent steps now. Upholding of the death sentence to Yakub should pave the way for Tiger Memon to be forced out of Pakistan to face the legal process in India, Nikam said. Described as foolish by his counsel, leading criminal lawyer Majeed Memon, sanjay Dutt, given his passion for weapons, paid for being involved with shady characters during his younger days and having a 9-mm pistol and an AK-56 assault rifle with him. There were reports that Dutt could appeal against the verdict, but for the film industry it is the worry worth nearly one billion rupees tied in ongoing movie projects which could be stalled for years in his absence. Dutt is liable to serve three and a half years in prison after taking into consideration time already served earlier. Over the years, during the investigations and the trial in various courts, the role and extent of involvement of various government officials, customs officers, police personnel, petty criminals and others also came to fore, astounding investigators and the people. Meanwhile, Mumbaikars in general and survivors of the serial blasts expressed relief as one of the most high-profile cases in recent Indian history reached its logical conclusion after 20 long years. Many have still not forgotten how Mumbai had suddenly changed - only to emerge stronger, despite many other subsequent terror attacks, including 26/11.

I have already suffered for 20 years and been in jail for 18 months. If they want me to suffer more I have to be strong. I am heart broken because today along with me, my three children and my wife and my family will undergo the punishment,

SC upholds death sentence of Yakub Memon

The chronology of events

* Mar 12, 1993: A series of 13 explosions rock Mumbai resulting in 257 fatalities and injuries to 713 others. * Apr 19: Actor Sanjay Dutt (accused number 117) arrested. * Nov 4 : Over 10,000 pagelong primary charge sheet filed against 189 accused, including Dutt. * Nov 19: Case handed over to CBI. * Apr 1, 1994: TADA court shifted from citys sessions and civil court to a separate building inside the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail. * Apr 10, 1995: 26 accused discharged by the TADA court. Charges framed against the remaining accused. Supreme Court discharges two more accused travel agent Abu Asim Azmi (now Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament) and Amjed Meher Baux. * Apr 19: Trial commences. * AprJune: Charges framed against the accused. * June 30: Two accused, Mohammed Jameel and Usman Jhankanan, turn approvers in the case. * Oct 14: Dutt granted bail by the Supreme Court. * Mar 23, 1996: Judge J N Patel transfered and elevated as a high court judge. * Mar 29: P D Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case. * Oct 2000: Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends. * Mar 9July 18, 2001: Accused record their statements. * Aug 9: Prosecution begins arguments. * Oct 18: Prosecution completes arguments. * Nov 9: Defence starts arguments. * Aug 22, 2002: Defence closes arguments. * Feb 20, 2003: Dawood gang member Ejaz Pathan produced in court. * Mar 20, 2003: Mustafa Dossas remand proceedings and trial separated. * Sept 2003: Trial ends. Court reserves Judgement. * June 13, 2006: Gangster Abu Salems trial separated. * Aug 10: Judge P D Kode says judgement will be pronounced on September 12. * Sept 12: Court starts delivering the judgement, pronounces four members of the Memon family guilty, acquits three. 12 convicts awarded death penalty while 20 were given life sentence. * Nov 1, 2011: SC begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as the state. * Aug 29, 2012: SC reserves its order on the appeals. * Mar 21, 2013: SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld

Rs.100 crore riding on khalnayak

Sanjays upcoming films Policegiri and Zanjeer might get affected as some portions are still left to shoot... P.K. is scheduled for release next year. Besides P.K. is more of Aamir Khans film. I would say not more than Rs.100 crore is at stake, said trade analyst Komal Nahata Distributor Rajesh Thadani agreed. Approximately Rs.100 crore to Rs.120 crore is at stake. The films, which are midway, will be affected. But it eventually depends on what the makers plan to do, and a lot also depends on how much time Sanjay goes in (the jail) for. Some amount of loss is bound to happen, he added. Sanjay, the son of Bollywood legends Nargis and Sunil Dutt, has been entertaining moviegoers for over three decades. Last seen in Zilla Ghaziabad in February, he has already wrapped shooting for his part as Sher Khan in the remake of Zanjeer, which has a budget of Rs.50 crore. Several members of the film fraternity, including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Vishal Dadlani and Pritish Nandy, took to Twitter to share their views on the conviction of the actor, who made a mark for himself with movies like Rocky, Khal Nayak, Sadak, Saajan, Mission Kashmir, Munna Bhai series and with the remake of Agneepath. The news of his conviction has especially hit those with whom he shares a close bond, which goes beyond business. On the endorsement front, Sanjay promotes a jewellery brand with wife Manyata. They have twins - a boy, Shahraan, and a girl, Iqra, born in 2010. Sanjay has an elder daughter named Trishala from his first wife Richa Sharma.

The Supreme Court Thursday confirmed the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and commuted the death sentence of 10 others. An anti-terror TADA court had in 1993 awarded death sentence to 12 people, including Memon. One of them has passed away. The death sentence of 10 has been commuted to life imprisonment.

The increase in number of news agencies would not only enable local news to be highlighted at the national level, it would also enable such agencies to balance news dissemination at the national and local level, he added. Taking into account the diversity of information dissemination, such mechanisms would enable local issues being highlighted as prominently as those at the national level, the minister said. Elaborating, Tewari said that there was an urgent need to outline sustainable revenue models. Quoting the instance of the digitization process of cable television, the minister said it was an attempt to bring about transparency and a long-term sustainable process in the broadcasting sector which would help all stakeholders. The revenue models would also have to take into account the parameters that were addressing different audiences with the emergence of new media platforms and instant communication mechanisms, he said.


India needs more news agencies, Terror suspect planning Delhi says Manish Tewari
strike quizzed

High court allows media coverage of Dec 16 gang-rape trial

New Delhi The Delhi High Court allowed the media to cover the day-to-day trial of the Dec 16 gang rape case in the Saket fast-track court here, subject to certain restrictions. Justice Rajiv Shakdher, allowing the plea of journalists seeking an open trial instead of an in-camera one, directed the lower court to allow access to one representative of each media house. The court will allow access to one representative journalist of each of the accredited national dailies. The petitioners before me represent some of them, the order said. The court however, imposed some restrictions on the media, saying it would not disclose the name of the victim or her family members or witnesses cited during the trial. The reporters will exclude parts of proceedings that the court instructs them not to report, Justice Shakdher said, setting aside the media advisory issued by the police not to report the court proceedings and order of the trial court. The reporting shall not disclose the name of the victim or those of the members of the family of the victim or the complainant or witnesses cited in the proceedings, the order said. The reportage shall exclude the part of the proceedings, which the court specifically so direct. At the end, it is hoped that reportage

New Delhi Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Thursday called for setting up more news wire agencies in the country. Addressing the 52nd anniversary celebrations of United News of India here, the minister said that taking into account the potential of the growing media sector and the flow of information in the news segment, there existed a case for setting up more wire news agencies in the country. The potential was tremendous as these agencies facilitated information flow at the sub-regional, regional and national level, he said.

New Delhi A suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, planning a strike in Delhi, has been arrested from Uttar Pradeshs Gorakhpur, Delhi Police said Friday. The suspected terrorist has been identified as Liyakat Shah, 47, a resident of Kashmirs Sopore. As per initial information, Shah came from Pakistan via Kathmandu and he was arrested from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh two days ago, said a senior police official. During interrogation, Shah confessed that two to three of his associates carried out a recce in Delhi. They were also planning a bomb blast. Going by the confession statement, police were able to recover an AK-47 assault rifle, hand grenades, 60 rounds of ammunition, and some maps of the Jama Masjid area in Delhi.

Jammu Jammu and Kashmir assembly speaker Mubarak Gul has rejected a resolution, seeking return of the mortal remains of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru to his family, a legislator said . The resolution was moved by independent member Abdul Rashid Engineer, seeking the return of the body of Guru to his family. Guru was hanged in Delhis Tihar jail Feb 9 and buried in the jail premises. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by Delhi High Court in 2004 and the Supreme Court had upheld the sentence. He was executed after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition. Engineer Rashid told IANS that he was informed about the rejection

Afzal Guru resolution rejected

of the resolution through a letter by Speaker Mubarak Gul. The letter read that he is disallowing my resolution. This was quite late in the night, said Rashid Engineer. No specific reasons were cited. It stated that is being disallowed under section 179 of the rules of conduct of the assembly, he said. This is unfortunate that the state government is behaving like puppet of New Delhi. Heavens would not have fallen had this resolution been put through to a democratic process of choosing the resolution through ballot system March 30, he said. In case of a large number of resolutions, the state legislative assembly has a provision of picking up resolution through ballot system. It may be recalled that the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party had announced the boycott of the ongoing budget session because its plea to discuss Afzal Guru and return of his mortal remains to the family was not entertained. Engineer Rashid said that he would again raise the issue in the assembly Tuesday and would face any consequences for that. Ever since Afzal Guru was hanged and buried in Tihar jail, Jammu and Kashmirs leaders, especially from the valley have been pleading for the return of the body of Afzal Guru to his family. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and patron of PDP Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to intervene and get the mortal remains returned to Gurus family.

Asaram Bapus pre-Holi functions draw flak

will confine itself to the news as it is, and not transgress into the areas which are in the domain of the court. There is a thin, but a clean and distinct, line dividing the two which, if respected, will augur well for institutional integrity, it added.The court order came on a plea filed by some legal journalists saying their fundamental right of speech and expression was being violated by the ban on the coverage of the case. The Delhi Police by its advisory on Jan 5 restrained the media from publishing news related to the case and the trial court Jan 22 ordered in-camera trial, while instructing media not to report any news related to the case without its permission. Advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, appearing for journalists, told the court that as responsible members of society and its representative, journalists should be allowed to cover the case as awareness of people on judicial proceedings is essential. However, advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for police, had opposed the plea saying it was a rape case and every trial of a rape case has to be incamera.

Better governance, law enforcement needed to fight terror

Course Name B-Tech Marine Engineer B.Sc. Nautical Science G.P. Rating Maritime Catering

Eligibility 10+2 P.C.M with 60% Marks 10+2 P.C.M with 60% Marks 10th or 12th from any stream with 40% marks 10+2 Any Stream Diploma & Degrees in Hotel Management

Age Limit 171/2 to 25 yrs. 171/2 to 25 yrs. 171/2 to 25 yrs. 17


Duration 04 Years 03 Years 06 Months 06 Months

to 25 yrs.

New Delhi The Supreme Court said that India, being a secular state, could not allow terrorist acts rooted in religious fanaticism and they could only be combated through better governance and efficient law enforcement to fight the plague of terrorism. India being a secular State, such religious fanaticism which resulted in such terrorist acts should not be allowed to destroy the very basic structure of our Constitution. Unless every one of us put our sincere efforts to fight terrorism, we will not be able to curb this menace, the court said. Terrorism is a major problem that is reoccurring over the globe in many different forms. In short, terrorism is a plague for a nation or society that should be eradicated, said a bench of Justice P.Sathasivam and Justice B.S.Chauhan in their main judgment on cross appeals by the convicted accused and Maharashtra government in 1993 Mumbai blast case. There is a dire need to best deal with it (terrorism) and to make sure to take preventive actions so that other groups and people are not motivated to make themselves heard through various acts of terrorism, the court said by way of caution to the government.

Thane Maharashtra political parties condemned spiritual leader Asaram Bapus insistence over his wet pre-Holi celebrations at a time when a severe drought looms over many parts of the state. Asaram Bapu has been accused of indulging in wastage of water, when millions of people in the state are thirsting, during pre-Holi celebrations Sunday in Nagpur and in Navi Mumbai Monday. A spokesperson for the Republican Party of India (RPI) demanded stringent action against Asaram Bapu and the organisers of his Holi functions. He said the party had called upon all private and public organisations in the state not to provide water for Asaram Bapus pre-Holi functions and instead divert the water to needy villages reeling under drought. The spiritual leaders celebrations figured even in the legislative council where several members criticised him for wasting water in the pre-Holi celebrations. Raising the issue, Congress member Sanjay Dutt said that the water tankers for Asaram Bapus festivities were supplied by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. He (Asaram Bapu) wasted lakhs of litres of water while celebrating Holi at the Kasturchand Park in Nagpur yesterday, Dutt alleged, raising the matter

in a point of propriety, and demanded action against the supporters of Asaram Bapu. Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, terming the spiritual leaders actions as regrettable, said instructions have been issued to concerned officials to avoid recurrence of such incidents. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Bala Nandgaonkar and others raised the issue in the legislative assembly and condemned the wastage of water. Congress state spokesperson Sachin Sawant urged people to celebrate a dry Holi this year in view of the precarious water position in Maharashtra. Sawant pointed out that the present water availability in the states reservoirs was barely 31 percent and if people celebrate a dry Holi, lot of precious water can be saved for the remaining two-andhalf months before the next monsoon. Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Awhad said that henceforth, Asaram Bapu should be barred from entering Maharashtra and adding to the woes of the people suffering from an unprecedented water crisis. The spiritual leaders Holi celebrations in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Monday resulted in a fracas between his supporters and RPI activists. In the ensuing melee, a media person belonging to a private TV channel was manhandled and his camera equipment damaged. Police later detained three people.



See that Italy envoy does not leave: SC to authorities

New Delhi The Supreme Court said that Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini will not leave India till further orders, and directed authorities to ensure compliance with its order of March 14. The court had, March 14, restrained Mancini from leaving India. The action follows Romes refusal to send back the two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to face trial for killing two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Valentine, off the Kerala coast Feb 15, 2012, mistaking them for pirates. The court will hear the case next April 2. India and Italy are locked in a huge diplomatic row over the issue. The apex court bench said: Some people are writing that we are naive. We dont expect the republic of Italy to behave like this. What do they think about our courts and judicial system? We dont accept any assurance from you that you dont intend to leave (India). You have lost our trust. The court said this as Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati took it through the sequence of events leading to the court permitting the two Italian marines to return to their country for four weeks so that they could exercise their franchise in Italys national elections and be with their families. As Vahanvati mentioned the assurance given by the Italian ambassador assuring the court of the return of the two marines, the court said that its orders permitting the two marines to go back to their country for four weeks are yet to be violated, as the deadline for them to return was fixed for March 23. The court brushed aside senior counsel Mukul Rohatgis contention that Mancini enjoyed diplomatic immunity and said that he had given an assurance, and that has to be honoured

Manmohan to meet Xi, Putin at BRICS summit

New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with new Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, next week. The prime minister will be travelling to Durban March 25-28 for the Fifth BRICS Summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. He will also meet with the African leaders at the summit, said informed sources. The prime minister will be accompanied by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, besides other senior officials. The prime minister is to hand over the BRICS chair to South Africa at the Durban summit. The bloc together commands nearly 26 percent of the worlds geographical area, and 43 percent of the worlds population. The sherpas or diplomats of the five nations are meeting on March 24 to resolve any pending issues, a source said. The BRICS nations together command 17 percent of global trade and are recipient of 11 percent of global FDI. The five nations also command 25 percent of global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity and approximately one fifth of global nominal GDP (over 19 percent), the source said. The Durban summit will be followed by the BRICS-Africa Dialogue forum on March 27.

37 tourists killed in Maharashtra bus accident

Talks on setting up a BRICS Development Bank are progressing well with four meetings having been held in the span of one year between the finance ministries, besides numerous communications between their officials. The finance ministries are looking at the viability of setting up the development bank. The finance ministers are meeting on March 26, and a clearer picture would be available after that, the source said. The BRICS countries are also looking at the economic viability of trading in local currency, the source

said. With Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi having evinced keenness to join the bloc, the issue is to be discussed at the meeting of sherpas. There will be four deliverables at the summit - the eThekwini Declaration, setting up of BRICS Business Council, setting up a Consortium of BRICS think tanks and two agreements among development banks (BRICS multilateral infrastructure co-financing agreement for Africa and BRICS Multilteral cooperation and co-financing agreement for sustainable development).

Amid Sri Lanka heat, Indian envoy to Geneva called

New Delhi India asked its envoy in Geneva to return for consultations on the US resolution on Sri Lanka as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa told New Delhi to take a tough stand against Colombo and the UPA tried to placate DMK leader M. Karunanidhi. Dilip Sinha, ambassador and permanent representative of India to the UN in Geneva, will be here Tuesday to brief the government on the resolution, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here. The issue has gained urgency with political parties and activists in Tamil Nadu urging the government to back the resolution -- like last year -- and even amend it to denounce Colombo for the genocide of Tamils. The resolution is expected to come up for voting at the 47-member UNHRC session in Geneva March 21. Sentiments are running high against Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu, where large numbers of students have taken to the streets denouncing the death of Tamil civilians in the war against the Tamil Tigers. Authorities have been forced to shut many colleges and hostels. A Buddhist monk was Monday attacked by Tamil activists at a railway station in Chennai before police rescued him. The foreign ministry spokesman said the resolution in the final form will be available late this evening, Geneva time. We will have consultations on the matter, and he (Indian envoy to Geneva) baram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met Karunanidhi in Chennai. A decision on the Sri Lanka resolution will be taken after that, he said. Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi Saturday saying Colombo should be specifically blamed for the genocide of Tamils during the war against the Tamil Tigers. Karunanidhi also called for an international probe into allegations of war crimes against the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is under attack over the death of a large number of Tamil civilians during the final stages of the war that crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. There are also issues related to continued rights abuses in the island nation. In Chennai, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Monday demanded that India take a strong stand against Sri Lanka at Geneva. She urged Manmohan Singh that India should move an independent resolution to strengthen the earlier US resolution. To assuage the legitimate sense of outrage and deeply hurt sentiments (of Tamils), it is absolutely important that India takes a strong stand in support ... and more importantly moves necessary independent amendments to further strengthen the resolution, she said. India voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC meet last year but after moderating the US resolution to axe aspects that were seen as intrusive in Colombo.

S.C. Jamir sworn in as Odisha governor

Ratnagiri At least 37 people were killed and 15 others injured, including five foreign nationals, when a bus plunged into a river in Khed area Tuesday on the Mumbai-Goa highway near here, officials said. The bus driver was arrested. Among the victims are at least five foreign nationals but authorities could not confirm whether they were killed or injured in the accident. The accident took place around 3.50 a.m. when the Goa-Mumbai bus belonging to Mahakali Travels suddenly went out of control on the Bharna bridge over Jagbudi river and crashed into the river, 190 km from Maharashtra capital Mumbai, said B.L. Shinde, an official from the highway department. The injured, among them the bus driver, have been taken to hospitals in Khed and Chiplun and some of the critical victims have been removed to Mumbai. The driver, who was questioned after the treatment, was arrested and slapped with several charges related to rash and negligent driving resulting in death of the tourists, the official said. Police are investigating if he was drunk at the time of the accident. According to preliminary and eyewitness reports, the accident occurred when the ill-fated bus was attempting to overtake another vehicle, though the exact cause has yet to be determined. This is considered among the worst accidents on the treacherous MumbaiGoa highway. Traffic movement has been completely stalled on the highway after the accident.

Truck rams into slum, eight kids killed

Lucknow In a tragic incident late Tuesday night, eight children were killed and over a dozen injured when a speeding truck overturned at Nagla Patwari near the bypass in Aligarh, 335 km from here, police said. The incident happened when the truck, loaded with bricks, got stuck in a pothole. The driver lost control, the truck turned turtle and then hurtled into a roadside slum in the village. The dead include five sisters, police said. The deceased have been identified as Imran (five months), Akram (3), Kausar (7), Shabana (10), Khushboo (5), Zareena (8), Suhail (5) and Hazra (5). Angry at the delay in arrival of cranes to begin rescue operations to pull out the children from under the truck, a mob went on a rampage and chased away senior district officials from the accident site. Angry residents alleged that they had petitioned district authorities many times to get the road repaired, as they feared an accident that could cause loss of lives. The truck driver and its cleaner were also among the injured. Angry people blocked the road for many hours, protesting the laxity of authorities in repairing the road.

will be able to brief senior officials on the ground level realities in Geneva and the latest position, he added. Asked what position India was likely to take on the resolution, the spokesperson said a call would be taken after the final text was available and the arrival of the ambassador from Geneva. Asked if New Delhi favoured the word genocide, he said the government would cross the bridge when we come to it. With the DMK, which has 18 MPs, threatening to end its support to the United Progressive Alliance if India remained soft vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, the government sent three senior ministers to Chennai to meet Karunanidhi. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said Home Minister P. Chidam-

Bhubaneswar Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister of Nagaland Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir was Thursday sworn in the new governor of Odisha, officials said. He was administered the oath of office by Odisha High Court Chief Justice C. Nagappan in a special ceremony organised at Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor here. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, members of his council of ministers and leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh were among those who attended the ceremony. Jamir, 82, had earlier served as governor of Maharashtra and Goa. He has been chief minister of Nagaland five times -1980-1980, 1982-1986, 1989-90, 19931997 and 1997-2003. He brings with him rich political and administrative experience. He plunged into active politics in his student days and became the president of Students Christian Movement while he was studying for his law degree at Allahabad University during 1954-57. In 1960, he was a member of the delegation that met the then prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for political talks. It ultimately resulted in the creation of Nagaland as the 16th state of India and Jamir is regarded as one of the architects of modern Nagaland. The next year, Jamir was elected as the first Lok Sabha member from the newlycarved state of Nagaland. In 1971, he moved to state politics and was elected to the Nagaland legislative assembly and since then never lost any assembly election. He was the state Congress president for 11 years.

Moscow US President Barack Obama must have known that his support of gay marriage would bring him trouble. But of all possible repercussions, a demand to roll back Alaskas 1867 sale to the US was one he was unlikely to have seen coming. And yet, that was the very claim that an ultraconservative religious group made in a Moscow arbitrage court, citing the need to protect fellow Christians from sin. Obamas reported plans to legalise same-sex marriage threatens the freedom of religion of Alaskas Orthodox Christians, who would never accept sin for normal behaviour, according to the non-governmental group Pchyolki (Bees). Obama has often spoken in support of LGBT rights, including in his 2012 presidential address. But though he criticised bans on gay marriage imposed in various US states, he never voiced plans for a federal bill to legalise same-sex marriage. We see it as our duty to protect their right to freely practice their religion, which allows no tolerance to sin, the group said in a statement on their website. The Pchyolki also cited technical violations of the terms of the 1867 deal that saw Russia sell Alaska to the US government for $7.2 million, or two cents per acre. Payment was made by cheque and not gold coins as specified in the contract, the group said. The lawsuit, filed in January but not reported by media until this week, was not processed because the Pchyolki failed to include a handful of mandatory papers, including documents to justify their claims, according to Moscow arbitrage courts website. The group had until last week to provide the required paperwork, but failed to do so for reasons left unspecified. Among the papers the group failed to file was also a notification to the defendant, the US government, which may account for it not having commented on the lawsuit so far. The Pchyolki are a relatively obscure group created in 2008 to protect orphans rights in Russia, which it did by campaigning against sexual education in schools, among other things. Their biggest claim to fame, until the Alaska lawsuit, was last years instruction for believers published after punk band Pussy Riots notorious performance in a Moscow church. The instruction on protecting places of

Russian fundamentalists sue US


Hillary Clinton supports same-sex marriage

Pakistan, Turkey wrap up air exercises

Jinping proposes path of peaceful development

worship from blasphemers advised to distract the offenders by spitting in their faces, ruin their recording equipment - if they have any - with holy water and detain them, with bloodshed deemed acceptable as long as it happens outside the church grounds. The Russian Orthodox Church estimated its flock in Alaska at about 50,000 of the states total population of 730,000, the BBC said in 2010.

Islamabad Pakistan and Turkey have concluded air exercises aimed at excelling in the air combat capability, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said. The International Air Exercise Indus Viper-II conducted between PAF and Turkish Air Force (TuAF) concluded at an operational air base of Pakistan, the PAF spokesman said . The Turkish Air Force contingent comprising five F-16s C&D, combat pilots and ground technical crew, participated in the air exercises conducted from March 4 to 16, reported Xinhua. Pakistan Air Force emphasizes on the combat training of its air and ground crew and regularly undertakes air exercises with allied air forces, the spokesman said in a statement. Air Exercise Indus Viper II provided an opportunity to combat crew of both the air forces to acquaint themselves with applied tactics of air power in near real scenario, he said. He added the PAF has been participating in a number of international air exercises with some of the best air forces of the world, including United States Air Force (USAF), Italian Air Force, Turkish Air Force (TuAF) and air forces of other allied countries.

Beijing Chinese President Xi Jinping said here that China will adhere to the path of peaceful development. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development. In the meantime, we hope all countries in the world will pursue peaceful development, Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. China, as its strength grows, will assume more international responsibilities and obligations within the scope of its capabilities and make greater contribution to world peace and development, Xi said during a joint interview by Xinhua and media outlets from the other four BRICS countries ahead of his first foreign visits as Chinese president. China hopes that countries and civiliza-

US law to check H-1B visa fraud

Washington Amid a contentious debate over comprehensive immigration reforms, a top Republican senator has introduced a bill to eliminate what he calls fraud and abuse from H-1B visa programme coveted by Indian techies. Introducing a bill to bring much needed reform to the H-1B and L visa programmes for skilled workers and corporate transfers respectively, Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would help ensure that Americans are given top consideration when applying for jobs. The legislation makes reforms to increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and ensure protection for visa holders and American workers, he said. The bill, he said, would provide a good basis for H-1B reform in the comprehensive immigration bill being put together by a bipartisan group of senators to put Americas 11 million illegal immigrants, including some 250,000 Indians, on a path to citizenship. The legislation will benefit the American worker, while still ensuring that US companies get the specialised workers they need, Grassley said The senator cited a 2008 US Citizenship and Immigration Service suggesting a more than a 20 percent violation rate by those who use the H-1B visa programme. He also cited recent data from fiscal 2012 revealing that the top 10 companies that use the programme are offshoring firms that take up nearly 50 percent of the visas available. Key points of the legislation include: requiring all companies to make a good faith effort to hire Americans first; prohibiting employers from advertising only to H-1B visa holders; and prohibiting companies from outsourcing visa holders to other companies. It also requires that an H-1B application filed by an employer that employs 50 or more US workers will not be accepted unless the employer attests that less than 50 percent of the employers workforce are H-1B and L visa holders. It also increases administrative fines per violation from $1000 to $2000 and from $5000 to $10,000 for wilful misrepresentation and restricts the ability of these companies to Indian technology companies bagged almost one third of the H-1B work visas granted in 2012, according to new data from the USCIS. According to the data, of the top 12 companies which bagged more than 40,000 of the 134,740 H-1B visas approved in 2012 all had a strong India presence. They included Cognizant, in first place with 9,281 visas, followed by Tata (7,469), Infosys (5,600), Wipro (4,304), Accenture (4,037), HCL America (2,070), Mahindra and Satyam (1,963). Indian professionals also took the largest one-third piece of the H1B visa pie in 2009 making up the second largest group of people making the US their temporary home. Accounting for one-tenth of non-immigrant residents in the US, 364,757 Indians were only second to the Mexicans who made up 11.7 percent at 403,793, but 123,002 H1B visa holders from India gave them the largest 36.3 percent share among professionals.

tions around the world will carry out exchanges on the equal footing, learn form each other and achieve common progress, added Xi. The Chinese president also urged all countries to make united efforts to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. The Chinese foreign ministry announced that Xi will visit Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo March 22-30 and attend the fifth BRICS summit March 26-27 in Durban, South Africa. Following his election as general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in November, Xi was elected president of China during the first session of the 12th National Peoples Congress last week.

Sri Lanka to respond to US resolution

Colombo Sri Lanka is to formally respond to a new US resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the foreign ministry said .Spokesman Rodney Perera said that the government was studying the document and will respond to it when it is discussed at the Council, reports Xinhua. The US Monday tabled the final version of the resolution at the 22nd session of the UNHRC in Geneva, with co-sponsors Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Britain. In a toned down document as compared to the previous drafts, the resolution requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an oral update to the at its 24th session. It is also seeking a comprehensive re-

Washington Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has expressed her support for samesex marriage in a video on the Human Rights Campaign web site. Gays, lesbians and transgender people are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship that includes marriage, she said Monday in a statement some saw as an indication of her possible candidacy for president in 2016. Clinton, 65, made repeated references during the roughly six-minute-long video to her work as secretary of state during which she promoted LGBT

rights as an important part of US foreign policy. A survey by the Pew Center showed that 46 percent of voters in the 2012 elections favoured legal status for same-sex couples, while 44 percent were opposed. But with a view to the future, the poll showed that support for same-sex marriages reaches 59 percent among citizens born between 1980 and 2000. Other possible competitors for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, such as Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also support the right of same-sex couples to marry.

port followed by a discussion at the 25th session, on the implementation of the present resolution. The US said it had alerted the government last year on the possibility of taking action on Sri Lanka if there was no progress in human rights related issues. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland Monday said Sri Lanka had been alerted last year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she met Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. Nuland said the US was working with several governments on the resolution on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka faces -- but denies -- charges that its military killed a large number of Tamil civilians during the final stages of conflict that crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.


UN chief, marking international day, urges greater protection for worlds forests
New York Governments, businesses and civil society must commit to protect forests by reducing deforestation, preventing environmental degradation, and providing sustainable livelihoods for all of those who depend on this precious ecosystem, Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said today. Forests are vital for our well-being. They cover nearly a third of the globe and provide an invaluable variety of social, economic and environmental benefits, Mr. Ban said in a message marking the first International Day of Forests. Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Around 1.6 billion people -- including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures -- depend on forests for their livelihood. In his message, Mr. Ban highlighted the many functions that forests have in the environment and their benefits to humans. For example, they are the source of three-fourths of freshwater, stabilize slopes and prevent landslides, and protect coastal communities against tsunamis and storms. In addition, more than three million people use forest wood for fuel. Forests also help combat climate change as they store more carbon than is in the atmosphere. However, Mr. Ban noted that there are several threats to this ecosystem as urbanization and large-scale agriculture can exacerbate the rate of forest and tions with civil society, victims, families of the victims or national human rights institutions. Past experiences elsewhere in the world have shown that without the active involvement and support of these key affected groups, mechanisms of this type may lead to further divisions and disagreements, so producing the opposite result to that intended, she said. The commission will also have the power to conduct reconciliation processes without the consent of the parties involved, and Ms. Pillay warned that the Government must not force people to reconcile. I am also concerned that the ordinance may be used to avoid or delay criminal investigations and prosecutions of conflict-related cases. Criminal justice should be reinforced, not replaced by other transitional justice processes such as truth and reconciliation commissions, she added, noting that Nepal should address gaps in its law that adequately deal with violations such as torture and enforced disappearances. Ms. Pillay stressed that her office (OHCHR) stands ready to provide support and advice to the Government to amend the decree so that it complies with international laws and principles, and called for open and broad-based consultation as the process continues.

Nepal must strike law on possible amnesty for serious rights violations UN official
A senior United Nations official today urged Nepal to rectify a decree that gives a truth and reconciliation commission the power to grant amnesty for serious human rights violations. Such amnesties would not only violate core principles under international law but would also weaken the foundation for a genuine and lasting peace in Nepal, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. The 2006 peace accord that ended the conflict in Nepal had agreed to establish a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate human rights violations that occurred from 1996 to 2006, during which at least 13,000 people were killed and 1,300 went missing. While there had been an agreement to establish such a commission, no law had been passed to do so until last week part of a package to break a longstanding political deadlock and move the country towards fresh elections. An amnesty for those who committed serious human rights violations will deny the right of thousands of Nepalese to truth and justice. This will not provide a sustainable road to peace, Ms. Pillay said. The High Commissioner added that she was particularly disturbed that the text of the decree was developed and passed in a secretive manner, without consulta-

India votes for UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka

Geneva India voted for the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which was adopted 25-13. India votes for Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in SriLanka @UNHRC, said Indias external affairs spokesperson on Twitter. Pakistan was among the 13 countries that voted against the resolution. Indias envoy Dilip Sinha, in a strongly worded statement, said: We note with concern the inadequate progress by Sri Lanka in fulfilling its commitment to this Council in 2009. Further, we call on Sri Lanka to move forward on its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority through full implementation of the 13th Amendment and building upon it. We call for effective and timely implementation of all the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) report, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, reduction of high security zones, return of private lands by the military and withdrawal of the security forces from the civilian domain in the Northern

biodiversity loss. Some 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually, and deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. As weather patterns alter due to climate change, many forested areas are increasingly vulnerable. This underlines the urgency of a global, inclusive, legally binding climate change agreement that will address greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the protection and sustainable management of forests, Mr. Ban said. We need now to intensify efforts to protect forests, including by incorporating them into the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals, he added.

Hot air power of debating MPs can light up many bulbs

French Police Search IMF Chiefs Apartment

French investigators have searched IMF chief Christine Lagardes Paris home as part of an investigation into her role in a controversial arbitration deal that helped a French tycoon. Attorney Yves Repiquet, a lawyer for the head of the International Monetary Fund, says Lagarde has nothing to hide and welcomes the search. Lagarde was Frances finance minister six years ago, when businessman Bernard Tapie won a $400-million settlement with a state-owned bank over the mishandled sale of the Adidas sporting goods company. Tapie was a supporter of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, and questions about Lagardes role in the case were raised

London Cynical observers often remark that members of parliament (MPs) produce a lot of useless hot air, but some enterprising physics students have gone on and calculated the power the lawmakers generate during debates: up to 10.34 kilowatts! According to students of physics at the University of Leicester in Britain, the hot air produced by 650 MPs debating in the House of Commons actually releases up to 10.34 kw of power. This is the same as about 1,000 energy-saving light bulbs or 200 old-fashioned bulbs. The group of fourth-year masters of physics students published the findings in a paper entitled Hot Air in the House of Commons in the universitys Journal of Physics Special Topics. The journal features original short papers written by students in the final year of their four-year degree at the universitys Department of Physics and Astronomy. The students are encouraged to be imaginative with their topics, and the aim is for them to learn about aspects of publishing and peer review. The students calculated the power generated from heat flow as MPs breathe

in air and heat the air to body temperature in their lungs before breathing out into the room. They took into account the heat capacity and density of air as well as average volume flow rates during prolonged talking -- and found that 2.54 kw would be generated by the 650 MPs. They also calculated the power output created as water vapour from the MPs exhaled breath condenses into liquid. They found this would add a further 7.8 kw for 650 MPs, bringing the total output to 10.34 kw. The paper, written by Daniel Staab, Emily Jane Watkinson, Maria-Theresia Walach and Zach Rogerson, stressed that their findings were based on the assumptions that all MPs are present and talking continuously -- and that there is equal hot air production regardless of party affiliation. We assumed the hot air output is the same for members of all parties and will stay the same in the future, regardless of who wins the next elections, said Staab. They also found the chambers historic construction does not capture the heat generated by the MPs, and so most of it is lost through the roof.

Province, he said. We reiterate our call for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations and loss of civilian lives. We urge Sri Lanka to take forward measures to ensure accountability. We expect these measures to be to the satisfaction of the interna-

tional community. As Sri Lankas closest neighbour, India remains engaged in a substantial way in the relief, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction process in that country. Our efforts have contributed to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the rebuilding of infrastructure and development, especially in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, Sinhas statement read. We note the invitation extended by Sri Lanka to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and urge her to undertake the visit at an early date. We hope that the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN Special Procedures continue their engagement in accordance with their mandate. The envoy said, As a neighbour with thousands of years of relations with Sri Lanka, we cannot remain untouched by developments in that country and will continue to remain engaged in this matter. Sri Lanka has repeatedly denied killing Tamil civilians during its military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

19 rescued from Russia to discuss changes in US mine in Poland missile defense plans
Antonov said talks could be held at a security conference in Moscow due to take place May 23-24. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, leading European security officials, and the heads of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and NATO are expected to attend. The US announced last Friday that plans to install the fourth and final phase of its missile interception system in Poland have been abandoned in favour of installing 14 new groundbased interceptors in Alaska. Moscow has been vehemently opposed to the European missile shield initiative since its inception under the previous US administration, describing it as a threat to its strategic defences. NATO and the US insist the European shield is designed to defend NATO members against missiles from potential threats in North Korea and Iran, and would not be directed at Russia.

before she was appointed IMF chief. Bernard Tapie is a well-known figure in France who made and lost a fortune buying, running, and selling companies and sports teams.

Berlin Rescue teams managed to save 19 miners who had become trapped 1,000 meters below ground in a mine in the western Polish town of Polkowice. A group of workers at the Rudna mine were trapped in mine shaft Tuesday after a magnitude-4.7 earthquake struck the area. Most of the miners were uninjured and some managed to save themselves, but another group was found and rescued by emergency teams, the Polish PAP news agency reported Wednesday. Initially, a group of eight miners came out of the mine but the rest remained trapped and out of contact with the surface, given that all communications with the mines interior had been cut off. Teams worked all night to reestablish communication with the missing miners until finally they were able to rescue the entire group.

Moscow Security officials from Russia and the US will meet in May to discuss a recent Washington decision to curtail its planned European missile defence system, a Russian defence official said. Hailing Washingtons change of course on its European missile programme, Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov, however, said further talks would be needed to clarify the significance of the move. This is an important decision, but we would like to discuss it with our colleagues from the United States and the European Union to understand how it will impact on our security, Antonov said.



Beni Prasad Verma ,Union Steel Minister For me, terrorism has no religion, no colour. The demolition of Babri Masjid and the post-Godhra riots are also terrorist incidents.But he (Mulayam) joined hands with those who demolished Babri Masjid, like Kalyan Singh. His party also helped BJP to win in Gujarat,

Sushma Swaraj,BJP We have differences politically, but such a statement is uncalled for. Government must immediately make a statement on the issue and he( Beni Prasad) should be out of the cabinet,

Rashid Alvi,Congress The party is not in agreement with what he (Verma) has said. We do not approve of the statement he has given. Congress has always said that the partymen should talk seriously. SP is supporting our government from outside,

Naresh Agarwal, SP leader The Congress must clarify that the statement was Beni Prasad Vermas own comment and the party does not endorse it. The Congress will realise the price of not putting a stop to Vermas statements after the elections,

Janardan Dwivedi, Congress general secretary Party has taken the matter seriously.There is dignity of language. Everyone should keep this in mind. Mulayam Singh was the head of the largest party supporting the government from outside and Verma was a minister in that government.

Ram Gopal Yadav, SP leader It all depends on Congress. They are responsible for what is happening today. Congress always had a misconception. They should change their strategy otherwise everyone will leave them. For now we are supporting them. I cant tell you about future.

Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister As far as support to the UPA is concerned, Netaji (Mulayam) will take the decision. Our entire central leadership is in Delhi and Lok Sabha is underway. Any decision would be taken in Lok Sabha and Netaji will finally decide.



New Delhi With an eye to the Delhi assembly elections scheduled later this year, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit presented a Rs.37,450 crore budget for 2013-14 with a spate of schemes for various sections and infrastructure development and no fresh taxes. The budget allocates Rs.16,000 crore for plan expenditure, Rs.21,000 crore for non-plan expenditure, and Rs.450 crore for centrally sponsored schemes. In a populist move, the government has not proposed any fresh taxes while various commodities have been exempted from the tax net. While there will be no tax on chilly spray used for womans self defence, pencil boxes and geometry boxes, organic colours, rock salt, singhada (water-chestnut) and kuttu (buckwheat) flour have also been exempted. Footwear priced up to Rs.500 has been exempted from Valued Added Tax (VAT).Taxes on various other products have been slashed. VAT on

Sheila presents populist budget, no new taxes

desi ghee (purified butter) has been reduced from 12.5 percent to 5 percent, and taxes on LED lights also lowered. The government expects to generate Rs.30,454 crore from taxes.Announcing a spate of measures for various sections, Dikshit said the monthly pensions for senior citizens, differently-abled people and for women in distress has been increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,500. Transgenders or eunuchs living in the capital for the last three years will get a monthly grant of Rs.1,000. Dikshit said the fiscal deficit would be reduced from Rs.2,921 crore in 201213 to Rs.1,268 crore in 2013-14. We have taken path-breaking initiatives. Six new universities were established in Delhi. We have increased the capacities of hospitals from 24,025 to about 43,500 while other facilities have also been improved, she said. Medical and public health facilities have been allocated Rs.2,490 crore, 15.56 percent of the gross budget.


BJP objects to Google Maps listing key facilities

New Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tarun Vijay sought strict action against Google for identifying high security installations like Parliament House on their map. After meeting Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Vijay said that Google Mapathon 2013 is based on community mapping where people mark buildings and localities and Google publishes it. Their maps have locations marked as Rajya Sabha, Sena Bhawan, Lok Sabha, Naval Dock Yard and various ministries. It is shocking how such a grave violation has not caught the eyes of the government and no action has been stipulated against Google in India, Vijay said. He said people in general are not aware of mapping policy provisions. A lot of data may be sensitive but the common man, being unaware of its implications, is providing Google such data, he said. Vijay added: The countrys National Mapping Policy of 2005 allows only the Survey of India to prepare maps in India with the National Remote Sensing Centre. I demand an immediate inquiry and registration of a criminal case against Google for violating Indian defence regulations. He said the maps could be used by terrorists as Google Earth provides free internet satellite pictures with no control to prevent misuse or limit access to sensitive places such as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Naval dockyards, nuclear and oil establishments and Rashtrapati Bhavan. Antony agreed that this was a serious matter and assured that it would be examined and action considered, he added.

Jhilimili Lashing out at the central government for stopping allocation of additional food grain in backward areas and some targeted groups at cheap rates in the coming fiscal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government would continue the schemes from its own resources. We used to get additional funds for distribution of food grain among tribals of Junglemahal areas (districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore), Sundarbans hit by

Centre wants poor to go hungry: Mamata

cyclone Aila (in 2009), Darjeeling hills, for workers of closed tea gardens in north Bengal, as also among the unwilling farmers of Singur (from whom land was allegedly taken by force by the previous Left Front government), Banerjee told a public meeting in Jhilimili in Bankura district.The state government was providing rice at Rs.2 per kg to these groups from the additional food grain quota. Now they are saying they wont give the additional quota for 201314. Why? Do they want the poor to go hungry? They are crossing all limits. Why are they behaving like this? They are raising such huge amounts by hiking prices of petrol and diesel. They take Rs.40,000 crore as tax from my state, but give only Rs.18,000 crore, Banerjee said. Banerjee said she instructed her administration to keep the project going by making savings in other areas. If need be, we will beg. But we wont fall at their (centres) feet. I

will give the rice to people. But for this I need over Rs.550 crore annually. I have asked my administration to make the necessary provisions by going for savings wherever they can. In Kolkata, Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mullick told reporters in the state assembly that Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking an additional quota of 4.03 lakh tonnes of rice and 3.23 lakh tonnes of wheat for 2013-14 fiscal.

UPA following neo-liberal policies, BJP no better: CPI-M

New Delhi The CPI-M launched a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of following policies that favour the rich and were also leading to high inflation. Addressing a Sangharsh Sandesh Rally at Ram Lila Maidan here, Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat said his party would hold protests and resort to picketing at various levels in support of peoples demands May 15-31. He said the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) follows neo-liberal policies and the Bharatiya Janata Party was no different. There was a need to present alternative policies before the people, he added. Today, the Congress-led UPA government at the centre is implementing policies which favour big businessmen, foreign capital and the rich. The resources and minerals of our country are being gifted either cheap or free to big industrialists, Karat said, adding that these policies were pushing up inflation. Karat said the prices of petrol and diesel have been raised and fertiliser subsidy for farmers has been curbed. In the past 18 years ever since the liberal policies have been implemented, 2.90 lakh farmers have committed suicide, he claimed. Karat charged that while subsidies were being cut, the rich were being given tax rebates in the budget. He alleged that government policies are being framed under US pressure and said that FDI in retail would hurt small traders. Till the time we dont remove the UPA government, we cant change its policies, Karat said. But is the BJP an alternative of the Congress? The BJPs economic policy is same as that of the Congress, he said and added that both the Congress and the BJP are corrupt. There is a need for a new alternative, he said. He said the alternative policies should be in favour of landless farmers, where the rich are taxed to provide food security, employment, education and health.


Angry SP wants Beni Prasad out, disrupts parliament
New Delhi Samajwadi Party members disrupted both houses of parliament, demanding union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Vermas sacking for allegedly saying their party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had terrorist links. Vermas party Congress also expressed its displeasure over his reported remarks. In the Lok Sabha, the issue was first raised during zero hour by SP member Shailendra Kumar and party MPs then trooped towards the speakers podium, seeking an apology from Verma and his dismissal from the council of ministers over the issue. Verma contended that he had not made any such statement, and so there was no question of an apology. Where is the proof that I have said such a thing? I did not link terrorism to any religion, he said. SP members, however, remained adamant as Mulayam Singh rose to speak and attacked Verma. Mulayam Singh said Vermas comments followed a Muslim convention he had addressed in Lucknow, where several Muslim religious leaders spoke about the contribution of the community in the service of the nation. The SP chief said he would continue to fight for the cause of minorities. How can we forget their contributions in national development as also in securing our borders? How can he say that Muslims are terrorists? He should apologise, he said. As SP members continued to raise slogans, Verma said: For me, terrorism has no religion, no colour. The demolition of Babri Masjid and the

BSP attacks Akhilesh government for non-delivery

Lucknow The BSP hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, terming him Mr Laptop and Mr Clean, and asking him to take care of the law and order before it gets too late. Leading the charge, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Swamy Prasad Maurya told the chief minister that many people in his government were out to fail him and cautioned that his political career would be over if he did not take matters seriously. Maurya is a senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader. Alleging that the officials had lost the fear of the chief minister, Maurya said there were parallel power centres in his government and it was due to this that the state was in the throes of chaos and lawlessness. Moving a cut motion on the budget for the home department and general

Meghalaya CM holds out promise of strong Lokayukta

Shillong Meghalayas Congress Chief Minister Mukul Sangma assured his state that his government would soon pass a strong and effective Lokayukta Bill. Governor R.S. Mooshahary had withheld his assent to a controversial Meghalaya Lokayukta (ombudsman) Bill passed in the assembly by the previous Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government, which too was headed by Sangma. The bill was tabled and passed in the state assembly Dec 14, 2012, without discussion and the then legislators of opposition Nationalist Congress Party walked out of the house in protest, saying they would not be party to a bill that has inherent flaws and weaknesses. The government would do all it can to fight corruption and would also supplement the Lokayukta Bill with other legislations like social auditing of schemes and a law for effective delivery mechanisms, Sangma assured legislators of the newly constituted 60-members assembly. Sangma was replying to a resolution to amend the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2002, moved by opposition United Democratic Party legislator Paul Lyngdoh. The chief minister said the government would not shy away from its responsibility in bringing a bill that is acceptable to the society and it would do it soon. It should be re-drafted instead of amending... the clauses. Take members from the opposition in re-drafting

administration, Maurya took a dig at the frequent transfers of officials in the state and noted that despite 50,000 transfers of officials at various levels, the state was far from seeing stability and progress. It is sad that despite repeated overhauls, you have failed to deliver, Maurya said while slamming the lack of coordination between different wings of the state government. He also pointed out that only three members were there in the state information commission and the rest eight posts were lying vacant. The BSP leader also accused the chief minister of abject failure in maintaining communal harmony in the state and referred to the 27 odd communal riots and flare-ups that have rocked the state in the first year of the Samajwadi Partys (SP) rule.

Bengal passes bill for quota in higher education

Single phase elections on May 5 in Karnataka

post-Godhra riots are also terrorist incidents. But he (Mulayam) joined hands with those who demolished Babri Masjid, like Kalyan Singh. His party also helped BJP to win in Gujarat, he claimed. In the din, Speaker Meira Kumar directed other members to raise their issues, but later adjourned the house till 2 p.m. The Congress must clarify that the statement was Beni Prasad Vermas own comment and the party does not endorse it, SP member Naresh Agarwal said. E.M.S. Natchiappan, who was in the chair, urged the SP members to sit down. However, the agitated MPs trooped near the chairmans podium again, shouting slogans and demanding Vermas resignation. Verma at a rally in Gonda, his constituency in Uttar Pradesh, had alleged that the Samajwadi Party chief had links

with terrorists. He is a goon and a robber. How will he protect his state? He has links with terrorists, said Verma, a former Samajwadi Party leader. The Congress sought to control the damage over Vermas reported remarks. Denying that he had accused the Samajwadi Party of taking commissions for supporting the Congress-led UPA government, Verma expressed the regret after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I never gave such a statement that they (Samajwadi Party) get commissions for supporting the government. Still, if anyones feelings were hurt because of what I said, I express regret, Verma said. The minister had also charged at a public rally Sunday that Mulayam Singh was having links with terrorists. A miffed Samajwadi Party has demanded Vermas exit from the government.

the bill or send it to a select committee, Lyngdoh demanded. Terming the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act as weak and defensive, independent legislator John Leslee Sangma said the act exposed fear in the government. Although the government passed the bill, it cleverly inserted clauses to get away (from corruption charges). It was passed with an intention to obstruct justice and as a defence for the corrupt, Leslee said. Some of the glaring weaknesses in the bill are clauses which empower the government to exempt anyone from the Lokayuktas purview through a notification, Meghalaya Right to Information Movement (MRTIM) convener Michael Syiem said. He added: The other weakness in the bill is that complaint should be accompanied by the complainants own affidavit to support all documents pertaining to the accusation and the same should be verified before a magistrate. With Mooshahary refusing to give his assent to the Lokayukta Bill, anti-graft activists are hopeful that the new government would provide a strong Lokayukta act to deal with corruption in the state.

Kolkata The West Bengal assembly enacted a law providing reservation to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes students in the states higher educational institutions. The Scheduled Castes students will have 22 percent seats reserved for them in each stream of a higher educational institutional. The figures for the Scheduled Tribes and OBC will be six and 17 percent respectively. In the OBC category, the allocation for the A and B categories will be ten percent and seven percent respectively. The state government will have to add in a phased manner 4,15,408 seats in undergraduate courses and 30,334 seats in post-graduate courses to implement the reservation policy. The bill will involve funds to the tune of Rs.1,069.14 crore over a six-year period. Students constituting the creamy layer to be specified by a directive issued later will not get the reservation benefits which will be applicable from the 2014-15 academic session. The reservation will not surpass 50 percent of seats in any higher educational institution. Speaking on the bill, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Surya Kanta Mishra demanded that the legislation should include the description of the creamy layer. In his reply, state Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu said the provisions will be applicable to all universities in the state, including those not under his department.

New Delhi, Karnataka will go for a single-phase assembly elections on May 5, the Election Commission announced . Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said the counting of votes will take place May 8. The notification for the election would be issued on April 10 and the last date of filing nominations would be April 14. The scrutiny of nominations papers would take place on April 18, the last date for withdrawal of candidates would be April 20 and the entire poll process would be completed by May 11, Sampath said. The term of the existing legislative assembly expires on June 3. The total number of assembly constituencies in Karnataka is 224 with 36 seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes. As per the final published electoral rolls, total electors in the state are 4,18,75,267. The CEC said voters who have been issued electoral photo identity cards will be identified through these only. At present, the photo identity card cover-

age in Karnataka is 98.37 percent. The polls would be conducted in all polling stations using electronic voting machines (EVMs). The commission has already made arrangements to ensure availability of adequate number of EVMs for smooth conduct of elections, Sampath said. Based on the commissions assessment of the law and order situation, central police forces and state armed police forces from other states will be deployed during the ensuing assembly elections. The commission will deploy general observers in adequate numbers to ensure smooth conduct of elections. The observers will be asked to keep a close watch on every stage of the electoral process to ensure free and fair polls. Sampath said: To deal with paid news, a mechanism has been laid out with three-tier media certification and monitoring committee at district, state and ECI level. All critical events will be videographed. District election officers will arrange sufficient number of video and digital cameras and camera teams for the purpose, he said.


Politically Incorrect
UC asks all bold and outspoken folks out there to take questions most others would find tough to answer. So if you are politically incorrect and can take a few hits before you hit back, come talk to us at 0172-4647726 or 01772659828. This week we have as politically incorrect PU hurricane Harmeet Singh Q) Is 16 the right age for allowing consensual sex? A) Sex is an act that has physical and mental effects on the individuals involved. Since the effects include life events such as possibility of pregnancy and maybe even life threatening diseases it makes sense to allow for sex only at a mature age. 16 is an age when a person has to make life changing choices and efforts, it would help to keep them protected from distracting activities. In my opinion age of consent should remain where it is. Q) Is Chandigarh a cool city? A) Chandigarh is cool so far as the region goes. It has good infrastructure, nice youth vibe, places to hang out and funky lifestyle. However on a national stage Chandigarh loses its charm to glitzier metros such as Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. In my opinion Chandigarh often falls out of its league due to the clash of some old world residents who have not yet fully embraced the cosmopolitan work and life culture of a true city. Q) Is drinking ok for girls and guys in colleges/PU? A) Humans are social animals and



whenever they get together they like to participate in group activities. Eating food, drinking, playing and working together are all some of the common activities that mark the social interaction of humans. Social drinking is unfortunately conflated with alcoholism and substance abuse. Drinking is as much a taboo activity for students as joint study. It is nobodys business to pontificate to adults of age regarding their choice of food, drink or clothes. Social drinking is fine for young adults of age. Q) Do you believe in love or lust? A) I think they complement each other. Love is a purer emotion that fulfils our soul and helps us develop the sacrifice, patience and peace necessary to balance our hectic lives. Lust meanwhile is the baser emotion and resides mainly in the physical sense of our bodies. Just as a balanced diet is composed of different food forms we need love and lust together in some quantities to achieve happiness and equanimity. Q) Would you ever date Sunny Leone and why? A) Ha Ha Ha....yes but before she became a porn star. She is one heck of a beautiful woman and she knows her mind too. Given her success and meteoric rise I am quite certain that she may have made it big in any other field also! Karen Malhotra is her real name and I would have loved to know her and be friends with her back then. For me Karen works more than Sunny.

Tell YouFarah Only Live Khan Once that her IPL advert is plain annoying T e a c h underprivileged kids in a slum school Prevent people around us from littering and spoiling our cities Put a stop to item
You Only Once or YOLO is the mantra of generation hashtag. We tweet, FB and break boundaries cause time is short and life is but one. UC features new age lifestyle gurus, the kings of cool and the queens of chill to tell you 10 things worth doing now. Manpreet Kaur @ YOLO 1. Tell Farah Khan that her IPL advert is plain annoying 2. Teach underprivileged kids in a slum school 3. Prevent people around us from littering and spoiling our cities 4. Put a stop to item numbers that degrade women in movies 5. Cheer Shikhar Dhawan for his moustache twirling act

6. Stop listening to Justin Bieber right now! 7. Reduce the number of SUVs clogging up our city roads 8. Request the students to learn to hold their drink if at all drunk 9. Go on a midnight drive on Madhya Marg, its another world 10. Watch Kasauli twinkle in the evening from PU campus

Spunk by UC brings to you youngsters nee daredevils who like to challenge the limits and then laugh at them. If you think you have it in you then contact us at 0172-4647726 or 0177-2659828. We would like to check your spunk meter out. Beware, we dont like Spunk without an S! Follow me yall? Deepak Rohilla a MSc student of Department of Chemistry is a habitual visitor of places where ordinary mortals dare not tread. He is a rover scout and he loves outdoors. A conqueror ing as an activity to foster mental, spiritual and physical development of youth. Hence the Scouts movement for youngsters was born with a counterpart movement for girls named Guides movement. Q) Any interesting details on Scouts movement? A) There are different age groups of scouts with progressive system of training and learning. For boys the groups are Cubs, Boys and Rover Scouts and for girls it is Brownie, Scout and Ranger Guides. Apart from that all voluntary scouts organizations are based upon the Scouts law that is predicated on law and promise, learning by doing, team system, symbolic framework, personal progression, nature, and adult support. Q) Tell us about your association with the Scouts movement? A) I joined scouting during my undergraduate studies and had the life changing experience of visiting the state head quarters of Scouting movement in Tara Devi, Himachal Pradesh. I joined this event as a part Haryana State Rovers. Ever since then I have had the opportunity to pursue adventure sports like rappelling, Burma bridge and river crossing on rope. Apart from this I learned significant community service and navigation skills. My inspiration in this field is Mr.Anil Kaushik , he is active with Haryana Bharat Scouts, Chandigarh. Q) What are your achievements as a scout? A) I won the Presidents Rover Award

The Rover Scout

of myriad terrains and a veteran of many group exercises this student of Chemistry is not quite the stereotypical adventurer one were to assume. The Spunky PU student has been working his way up the scouts movement hierarchy collecting accolades, awards and certificates. Q) What does it mean to be a Scout? A) Scouts and Scouting are terms of military origin. Originally the Scouts were soldiers tasked with performing support roles in the militaries of the world. In first decade of last century an English army man Robert BadenPowell wrote books advocating scout-

in the year 2011, I was the only Rover Scout that year to win this prestigious award. In some ways this is the Oscar of scouting movement, reserved for only the best scouts in the country. The award is provided after conducting a testing camp where the Rovers from all over come and have to go through rigorous tests. Written test regarding scouting history is conducted first. Followed by different types of skill tests e.g. Trekking, Navigation and Rappelling. Finally personal interviews regarding social activities we do in our personal year of scouting are conducted before a decision is made. Q) Your suggestion to youngsters keen on joining the Scouts movement? A) Scouting is the best outlet and learning ground for energetic youngsters. It gives one opportunities to travel and learn principles of management of people early on. This movement is an ideal preparation ground for a wholesome life full of adventure, learning

and achievement. I would recommend youngsters all over India to get in touch with their regional scouts or guides movement to discover the wonderful world of scouting.


Need culture of excellence in educational system: President
Sonipat (Haryana) President Pranab Mukherjee said the country can become grievously handicapped if its standard of higher education does not improve, and called for a culture of excellence in educational system. It is a matter of concern that there is not a single Indian university in the top 200 universities of the world as per an international survey, Mukherjee said at a conference here on The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Reforms for a Knowledge Society. This position is not at all acceptable. This calls for serious introspection. With educational standards that fall short of international benchmarks, India would be grievously handicapped in this competitive world, he said. Citing the 2006 National Knowledge Commission Report, Mukherjee described the falling standards of higher education as a quiet crisis that runs deep.We cannot wait any longer before we take remedial action. We do not have the luxury of time, he said. We must promote a culture of excellence in our educational system. To achieve this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the University Grants Commission and the universities would have to work together in close collaboration, he said. Making a fervent appeal for innovation, Mukherjee, who was in Haryana to inaugurate a global conference on the future of Indian universities, said: So far, Indias performance indicators in the capacity to innovate are discouraging in comparison to Indias major competitors.


Chandigarh Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal called for a nationwide political initiative to recast the Constitution along federal lines, scrapping of all central schemes and provisions for direct transfer of 50 percent of central taxes to states. Winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the governors address in the state assembly, Badal called for an end to the politics of confrontation and starting of an era of political consensus. Seeking the scrapping of centrally sponsored schemes, which he said were arbitrarily based on the parameters suited to the central government, Badal asked the union government to transfer the funds directly to the states to enable them to formulate schemes. He asked the central government to desist from usurping the powers vested in states by the Constitution under the states list.Fixation of agriculture inputs and MSP (minimum support price), upgradation of schools, allocation of funds under the National Rural/Urban Health Mission and allotment of link roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna etc. should be solely left to the states so that

Recast Constitution, scrap central schemes: Badal

Shimla The hills of Himachal Pradesh are set to roll out a red carpet for entrepreneurs.Less than three months after taking power, the Virbhadra Singh government has opened a singlewindow system to not only help businessmen get time-bound clearances but also guarantee approvals from different departments within a specified timeframe. We have made officialdom accountable, and tried to remove policy hurdles to check procedural delay, Industry Minister Mukesh Agnihotri told .He said the state had approved industrial proposals worth Rs.48,000 crore in the past 10 years but got investment worth only Rs.13,000 crore. Where have Rs.35,000 crore in investments gone? Those were never made because of, mainly, procedural lapses, Agnihotri said.Official data shows that Himachal Pradesh got maximum investment in seven years, from 2003 to 2010, when there was a special industrial package of the central government. Most investment was in pharmaceutical, food processing, textile, packaging and light engineering sectors. Agnihotri said now project approval by the single window clearance and monitoring authority would be given within 90 days. Once the proposal gets clearance from the single window, headed by the chief minister, all permissions ranging from pollution, revenue and other departments would be cleared within 90 days.Now all agencies ranging from a municipality to the state government have been put together, he said. The government is even going to

Opening business in Himachal to be easier: minister

they could prioritise these projects according to the felt needs of the people, he said. He said that the central government retained 67.5 percent of all the tax collected and merely 32.5 percent was devolved to the states. Badal said that successive central governments had done injustice to Punjab by not transferring Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas of Haryana to it. He said that Punjab was not being given legitimate share of river waters.

amend the Public Service Guarantee Act to complete all time-bound procedures.Official sources said the hill state, despite its attractiveness due to surplus electricity and cheap labour, has failed to turn into a preferred industrial destination. The government has decided to grant one percent central sales tax (CST) concession to upcoming units. We are giving concessional one percent CST against two percent in most states to all units that will be set up after April 1. It will be applicable even for existing units carrying out substantial expansion, the minister said. He said the benefit of concessional CST would be applicable for five years or till the implementation of the GST (general sales tax). The government has invited investment in environment-friendly IT, software development and food processing.For promoting food processing industry, we are coming out with a vision document and a roadmap. We encourage setting up of food parks, Agnihotri added. Officials said the government was focusing on developing industrial areas in Una, Solan and Kangra districts. Since more than 80 percent of industry is mainly cluttered in the BaddiBarotiwala-Nalagarh belt in Solan district, our focus is on other areas of the state for balanced development, he said.A special package for industrial development in Himachal was extended by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2003. But the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government curtailed it to 2007, before restoring it till 2010.

Chandigarh In a major embarrassment for Punjab Police, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed it to keep away from a young woman, recently assaulted in full public view by policemen in Tarn Taran district after she complained of being sexually assaulted by taxi drivers. Coming down heavily on the Punjab Police, Justice Ranjit Singh directed that the victim and her family be provided security by central forces instead of the Punjab Police. He also ordered the transfer of Punjab Police officials,

Keep away from assault victim, court tells Punjab Police involved in the assault, from Tarn this high-handed way. Once the honble
Taran within 24 hours. The court pointed out that despite the Supreme Court taking cognizance of the assault on the victim by police officials, the Punjab Police was trying to pressurize her and her family to withdraw her complaint. The court said that the Punjab Police had acted in a barbaric manner while assaulting a woman and was trying to pressurize her to withdraw the complaint. The court directed that no police officer should approach the victim and her family. Police cannot be permitted to act in

He said the progress of nations is determined by their capacity to innovate. Inaugurating an international conference on The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Reforms for a Knowledge Society at O.P. Jindal Global University near Sonipat, Mukherjee said varsities and research centres should become fertile grounds for innovation. The president suggested setting up of industry incubation parks, enhancing the coverage of research students by fellowships, promoting inter-disciplinary research through inter-university and intra-university collaboration and empowering the centres of excellence. Mukherjee stressed the need to involve

Indian scholars working overseas for important research and teaching positions as short-term assignments in Indian universities. This would facilitate dissemination of knowledge and cross-fertilization of ideas, he said and also stressed the need for equipping the universities to encourage grass root innovators and ask them to play the role of mentor. He stressed the urgent need to raise the quality of teaching, faculty and research in the universities of the country. Taking a serious note of the fact that none of the Indian universities were among the top 200 universities in the world, the president called for serious introspection and added that it is not at all acceptable.

Punjab panel records speakers version on assembly clash

Supreme Court has taken notice of the incident, the action by police is an interference in the cause of justice. First police has acted in this barbaric manner. Now they have made the life of the petitioners miserable, the court order said. The court pointed out that the petitioner (victim) had alleged that the Tarn Taran police chief had offered her Rs.5 lakh if she withdrew the complaint. The young woman was slapped, pushed, abused and hit with a baton by policemen in uniform in Punjabs frontier district of Tarn Taran March 3.

Chandigarh The Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes recorded the statement of Punjab Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal in the incident related to an assault on a policeman allegedly by legislators last week. Head constable Jai Pal, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, had complained to the commission about the assault within the assembly complex and alleged casteist remarks against him by some Congress legislators March 13. The incident took place when some Congress members brought a woman, who was assaulted by Punjab Police personnel in Tarn Taran district March 3, into the assembly premises without proper entry permit. When security personnel tried to remove her from the Congress legislature party office, a clash ensued between them and Congress legislators. Commission chairman Rajesh Bagha and two members said they recorded the statement of the speaker. The victim (Jai Pal) was working un-

der the superintendence and control of Punjab Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) and discharging duty allocated by secretary of the Vidhan Sabha, and it was imperative to record their statements to further investigate the complaint, a commission spokesperson said. Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal told the commission about the sequence of events, including assault on the consta-

ble by a group of Congress legislators. Following the complaint from Pal to the speaker, which he forwarded to Chandigarh Police, a case was registered against the lawmakers. The Congress, the main opposition in the assembly, has been boycotting the session after its legislators were suspended from the house following the incident.




CBI raids Stalin house

wo days after the DMK quit Indias ruling coalition, the CBI Thursday searched the house of party leader M.K. Stalin in Chennai, sparking a political storm with an upset Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying the timing was unfortunate. DMK chief M. Karunanidhi played it cool, saying enigmatically it may or may not be political vendetta. We are all very upset (at these events). The timing of this is most unfortunate. The government had no role in this that I am sure of. We will find out the details, the prime minister said in the capital. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also spoke out, declaring that he strongly disapproved of the CBI raid, ostensibly carried out to detect tax dodging on imported cars, leading to reports that the search had been called off. However, a Tamil Nadu intelligence official in Chennai said that the search had got over and was not called off. Normally I do not comment on the working of another department (home ministry), but in this case I have to say that I strongly disapprove of the CBIs action. It is bound to be misunderstood, Chidambaram said. An angry Stalin, a former Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister, called it political vendetta and vowed to face all legal issues. I am being targeted. It is quite clear why I am being targeted. We will face the case legally, he said. His father and former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi said: Generally actions of political vendetta surround DMK party, and this (the CBI raid) may or may not be one of that. He added that he subscribed to the view

Raids not targeted against any individual: CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday clarified that its raid at DMK leader M.K. Stalins residence was not a targeted one, and it had searched 18 locations for violation of duties on imported cars. Facing a political storm after a CBI team knocked on Stalins doors two days after DMK withdrew support to the central government, the CBI in a statement issued here said it has registered a case under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act. The agency, in a statement issued here, said a case has been registered in connection with a complaint that about 33 vehicles had been imported to Tamil Nadu and, of these, certain vehicles are believed to have been imported

of several leaders who voiced opposition to the raids. Actions of political vendetta, he said, were carried out not only by the centre but also in Tamil Nadu. The CBI raid was carried out in connection with the import of a Hummer car used by Stalins son Udyanidhi, an official said. United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is known to have voiced her unhappiness over the CBI raids. V. Narayanasamy, minister of state in the Prime Ministers Office, denied there was any witch hunting by the Congress following the DMKs exit from the UPA. The CBI said it had registered cases under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act following a complaint that 33 vehicles had been imported in Tamil Nadu. The CBI said: Of these, certain vehicles are believed to have been imported and subsequently sold in violation of import provisions causing loss of up to Rs.48 crore approximately to the exchequer. Faced with all round criticism on the timing of the raid, the CBI clarified that the operation was strictly in accordance with procedures and there was no intention to target any particular individual. The raid, which began around 6 a.m., came two days after the DMK announced its decision to pull out of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance over New Delhis stand on supporting a US-sponsored resolution censuring Sri Lanka over killings of Tamils during the war against the LTTE. Stalin, widely seen as the successor to the ageing Karunanidhi in the DMK, reportedly played a key role in persuading his father to snap ties with the Congress and the UPA.

The CBI also raided Stalins friend Raja Shankars house. The investigating agencys move gave the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) more ammunition against the Congress-led UPA. This is a signal to all friendly parties that what happened in Chennai can happen to you as well. The Congress is known for misusing the CBI, which is the Congress Bureau of Investigation, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu told IANS outside parliament. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley also slammed the government. It is an interference in the CBIs work if the government got it stopped. And if the government was actually interfering, it is answerable to the accusation that the CBI is being misused, he told reporters. However, if the CBI is working as per the law, the government did not have any right to interfere. If the PMs statement is accepted, its the CBIs normal course of search. The government does not have any right to stop it, he said. Stalin is the third person in his family to be questioned by the CBI. In 2011, the CBI questioned Stalins mother Dayalu Ammal and sister Kanimozhi in connection with the flow of over Rs.200 crore from Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwas DB Realty firm to Kalaignar TV, a regional Tamil channel in which Karunanidhis family members allegedly have majority stake. Later, Kanimozhi was charged as coconspirator in the 2G spectrum scam with former telecom minister A.Raja, and lodged in Delhis Tihar Central Jail. She was later freed on bail. IANS

Timing of CBI raid unfortunate: PM

The timing of the CBI raid on DMK leader M.K. Stalin was unfortunate and the government had no role in it, an upset Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday. We are all very upset (at these events). The timing of this is unfortunate. The government had no role in this that I am sure of. We will find out the details, the prime minister told reporters. Later, Minister of State in the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) V. Narayansa-

my said neither the government nor the Congress had an axe to grind against the DMK, which quit the ruling United Progressive Alliance Tuesday. There is no politics involved (behind the CBI raids). We will examine it. The CBI is an independent body, Narayanasamy told reporters. Angry DMK members did not allow the parliament to function over the raids in Chennai early Thursday.

President accepts resignation of five DMK ministers

New Delhi President Pranab Mukherjee, as advised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has accepted the resignation of five DMK ministers, a statement released here Thursday said. The five union ministers resigned following the DMKs exit from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), dissatisfied with the centres stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The ministers are: M.K. Alagiri (chemicals and fertilizers), S.S. Palanimanickam (minister of state for finance), S. Gandhiselvan (minister of state for health and family welfare), S. Jagathrakshakan (minister of state for commerce and industry) and D. Napoleon (minister of state for social justice and empowerment). According to the statement, Srikant Jena would get independent charge of the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers as minister of state in addition to the independent charge of the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, also as minister of state.

and subsequently sold in violation of import provisions, causing loss of up to Rs.48 crore approximately to the exchequer. The CBI said the case has been registered against an importer and a senior intelligence officer of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) who allegedly did not take any action even after identification of vehicles at the premises of certain users and unknown others. The agency said that during the searches conducted at 18 locations, 17 imported cars had been located and seized. The CBI wishes to clarify that the above operation was strictly in accordance with procedures and there was no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual, the agency said.


vegetative state. Replying to the debate on the bill in the upper house, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the gang-rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old in Delhi shook the conscience of the whole nation, and there was a demand for a stronger law against rape. He said changes in the existing laws were necessary for dignity of women and to increase their sense of security. Describing the bill as tough and rigid, Shinde said the legislation will have its effect in the coming years. Stressing that the bill was not against men, he said men also wanted the bill to be passed for the protection of their mothers and sisters. The minister said the bill provides for action against police officials not registering complaint of victims, while sections dealing with the position of dominance imply political dominance too. He noted that the ordinance promulgated last month kept the age of consent at 18 and this was retained in the bill. The age of consent was 16 under the Indian Penal Code till it was changed in the ordinance. While introducing the bill, Shinde remembered the Delhi gang-rape victim. The brave heart who fought for her dignity, we can at least honour her by passing this bill soon, he said. Debating the bill, members across the political spectrum expressed concern over security of women. The debate in Rajya Sabha was shorter compared to the Lok Sabha but saw participation of several women members. Communist Party of India-Marxists T.N. Seema suggested that age of consent for sex should be kept at 16. Age of consent should be 16 years... a safeguard can be put that the boy should not be more than five years older than the girl, she said. She also demanded that rape of a Dalit or tribal woman by a non-Dalit or nontribal man should be considered an aggravated crime. DMKs Vasanthi Stanley suggested inclusion of transgenders in the bill, while Rashtriya Janata Dal member Ram Kripal Yadav demanded removing provisions against stalking. Maya Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said anyone above 16 years of age should be punished if found guilty in a rape case. If anyone is above 16, and rapes a woman and murders, he should be given the death sentence, she said. One of the accused in the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape is a juvenile, whose case is being heard by the juvenile justice board.


The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill passed in parliament

Her party colleague M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government should add more women to police force and suggested adding moral science as subject in school curriculum. Prabha Thakur of Congress said that more women will be file cases if they see justice being done. If punishment is given, the criminals would also feel afraid, she said. Presently women do not feel free to register cases of rape or molestation because they fear that they will be maligned and would not get justice, she said. The bill incorporates suggestions of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee formed to make the anti-rape laws stronger. It seeks to punish repeat offenders of rape with imprisonment of life (which will be the remainder of the persons natural life), or with death. It provides for rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years extendable to life imprisonment to those convicted for the offence of gang rape, and also defines and prescribes punishment for stalking, voyeurism and sexual harassment. The anti-rape bill will replace the ordinance promulgated last month. The legislation had to be passed by parliament before April 4, when it would have lapsed.

New Delhi The anti-rape bill, providing for enhanced punishment for rape, making stalking and voyeurism criminal offences and fixing age of consent for sex at 18, got parliamentary approval Thursday with the Rajya Sabha passing the bill with voice vote. The Criminal Law (Amendment)

Bill, 2013 was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The widely-debated bill seeks to provide enhanced punishment for crimes such as rape and gang-rape, prescribing punishment extending to death sentence for offenders for inflicting any injury which causes death of the victim or causes them to be in a persistent

Diplomacy wins the day, Italian marines to return

New Delhi Diplomacy continues to work, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said after Italy agreed to send back two of its marines to face trial for killing two Indian fishermen last year. You shouldnt write off diplomacy too soon. At least one can say diplomacy continues to work when every one else thinks everything else has failed. Please give diplomacy a little more chance to do what needs to be done, Khurshid told reporters here. The diplomacy that we do under this government is obviously given a direction by the prime minister and Congress president, it is the government that is led by them. For anyone else among us to take credit for it would be unbecoming, he added. The minister added that the Supreme Court can be informed about the development next week as per legal procedures. He also said that he would take parliament into confidence over the development. We will take parliament on board, this will be shared with parliament, because this was a very huge issue while parliament was in session, he added. The Italian marines were on anti-pirate duty aboard cargo ship Enrica Lexie off Indias coast in Kerala in February last year when they shot the two fishermen mistaking them to be pirates. Italy insists the shooting happened in international waters and New Delhi does not have jurisdiction over the matter. Italian news agency ANSA quoted Rome as saying that it has asked and obtained from the Indian authorities written guarantees of the treatment and the recognition of the two marines fundamental rights as recognized by international law. Following diplomatic contacts Singh said: This is the result of tough stand of the government articulated by the prime minister in Lok Sabha. I think that is something that we should be clear on and the opposition should take note of that as they have always seems to be pointing at the prime minister and the government. Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone - would return to India by March 22 after voting in the Italian national elections. Following this, the court had Feb 22 permitted to leave India to vote in the elections, with the promise that they would return in four weeks. But March 11, the Italy informed India the marines would not be sent back, leading to a diplomatic stand off. The ambassador was restrained by the apex court from leaving India for reneging on his word. Italys refusal to send back the two marines had caused a political storm in India with opposition parties slamming the government for its handling of the issue. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured that the government will do whatever needs to be done to bring back the two Italian marines. UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had termed Italys refusal as outright unacceptable. No country can, should or will be allowed to take India for granted, she had told Congress MPs March 19.


North Korea vows to counter enemy n-threats

Pyongyang North Korea will counter enemy nuclear threats with even more powerful nuclear attacks, an official said Thursday. A spokesman of North Koreas Supreme Military Command was commenting on the US move to dispatch B-52 bombers and nuclear-powered submarines to South Korea, saying US warning messages and intimidation will not frighten the North Korean army and people, reported Xinhua. He reminded the US that the Anderson Air Force Base on Guam where B-52 takes off and naval bases in Japan proper and Okinawa where nuclear-powered submarines are

#Italy informed that Marines will return to #India in accordance with timeline provided to Supreme Court, external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted. In another post, he said: Intensive diplomatic contacts in last 24 hrs led 2 #Italy informing that Marines will return as per time line set by Supreme Court of #India. Minister of State for Home R.P.N

12 killed in Pakistan refugee camp attack

Islamabad At least 12 people were killed and 35 injured, 25 of them critically, when a bomb hit a refugee camp in Pakistan s Nowshera city, officials said. The blast occurred in the morning when internally displaced people from neighbouring Khyber tribal area were gathering at a food distribution centre in Jalozai camp, the largest refugee camp in the country, Xinhua

launched are within the striking range of (North Koreas) precision strike, according to the official KCNA news agency. Now that the United States started open nuclear blackmail and threat, (North Korea) too, will move to take corresponding military actions, KCNA added. Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula since North Korea conducted its third nuclear test Feb 12. North Korea has also threatened to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike for self-defence and unilaterally nullified the 1953 armistice that suspended the Korean War.

reported. An estimated 30 to 35 kg of explosive material was fixed in a car, parked outside the distribution centre, to carry out the remote control-triggered blast, a senior city official said. The centre is home to over 70,000 refugees from the countrys tribal areas and Afghanistan. Any group was yet to take responsibility for the blast.

New Delhi TV show host and actor Pravesh Rana, who made an impressive debut with Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, says he was literally beaten up by the public while shooting an action scene for the Tigmanshu Dhulia-directed film. Narrating the incident, Pravesh said: Once for a scene, we had to involve the public. It was a fight scene. Tigmanshu was dictating them the scenes that they had to pretend like they were fighting with me. When we started shooting, they literally started beating me up. I was shocked. And later we all laughed about it. I like action and thriller. It makes a film look more realistic and original. I watch action films, both Bollywood and Hollywood, said Pravesh who is currently busy hosting season 3 of Emotional Atyachar, a popular reality show that deals with issues of youngsters. In real life, too, he is an action-lover. I am an outdoor and adventurous person. Whenever I go out of the country, I indulge in varied sports like sky diving and scuba diving. Even here I manage to take out time for camping, hiking and stuff, Pravesh told IANS. Recently released Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns saw Pravesh as a cop, and he delivered his role with con-

ed to play a cop? And I agreed. I am fond of his (Dhulia) movies. He is a great director to work with. He is intelligent and smart. While working with him, each day I learned something new. Most of the scenes in Saheb... were shot outdoors and shooting in scorching heat was not easy. We were shooting in Gujarat. It was very hot. It was above 50 degrees. Most of the shooting was done outdoors. It was a challenge in itself. We all were sweating like anything. And we all wanted to give the best shot in one go so that we could wind up early, said Pravesh. The 29-year-old, who also appeared in Bigg Boss 3, has had enough of reality TV shows. I want to do films now. I havent explored this genre. I do enjoy anchoring and TV, but now I want to focus on films he said. Pravesh said the TV industry has grown immensely and he is happy with the fact that the small screen actors are getting opportunities in movies. Its a great transition. The barrier is no more there. Theres variety of entertainment for viewers, he said. Los Angeles Singer-actress Selena Gomez says although she is a romantic at heart, she is not looking for a boyfriend right now. Gomez, 20, ended her two-yearlong relationship with singer Justin Bieber in January this year. Im a big romantic and I want to be very open and trusting but you need to protect yourself. Id love to have a great boyfriend but Im not really looking for one, thesun. quoted a source as saying. Being a celebrity, one has to be very careful with relations, says Gomez, who will soon be seen in a daring role in movie Spring Breakers. It makes you more wary sometimes about meeting people because you dont know whether they want to get close to you because of what you do or because they really like your company and just want to hang out with you, she said.


They literally started beating me up: Pravesh Rana

Not looking for boyfriend: Selena Gomez

viction. I remember, three years back, I had sent my pictures and auditioned for the role. And then, I had got a call from the directors office asking if I am interest-

Bollywood, regional films share credits at National Awards

New Delhi A healthy mix of Bollywood, southern, Marathi and Bengali cinema took away the accolades at the 60th National Film Awards, announced here. Movies with offbeat themes and unconventional treatment shone the brightest. Tigmanshu Dhulias Paan Singh Tomar, about an athlete-turned-dacoit, won the best film. The much-versatile Irrfan was named the best actor for the same film, and he shared the title with actor Vikram Gokhale, who was honoured for the performance in Marathi film Anumati. Actress Usha Jadhav won the best actress title for playing a rustic housewife in Marathi film Dhag, which won the best directors gong for Shivaji Lotan Patil. The award for the best female playback singer was conferred on Samhita for the song Palakein naa moon don from the Marathi film Aarti Anklekartikekar. In the feature film category, a total of 38 films from 14 languages have been selected for the awards. One could say Bollywood was shining, courtesy unique films like Kahaani, Vicky Donor, Paan Singh Tomar, OMG: Oh My God! and Dekh Indian Circus, which won multiple awards. However, it was surprising how Barfi!, which was Indias entry for the Oscars this year, didnt find a single mention. Sujoy Ghosh won the best screenplay writer (original) for Kahaani, which won Namrata Rao a best edition National Award, and even a special mention for actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The actor also made a mark for himself with other films like Gangs Of Wasseypur, Talaash and Dekh Indian Circus. Vicky Donor, a film on a youngster who plays a sperm donor, won three gongs - best film providing wholesome entertainment (jointly with Malayalam film Vicky Donor), best supporting actor for Anu Kapoor and best supporting actress with Dolly Ahluwalia. Actress Parineeti Chopra won a special mention for Ishaqzaade. The music category saw ace composer Shankar Mahadevan get the best male playback singer award for the song Bolo na from the film Chittagong, for which Prasoon Joshi got the best lyrics award. The best adapted screenplay went to Bhavesh Mandalia and Shri Umesh Shukla for OMG: Oh My God!, a big screen version of a Gujarati play. Several Malayalam films also tasted success in the 31 categories across which awards were announced. Four awards out of the 13 picked by Malayalam movies were shared, including the Indira Gandhi Award for the best debut film of a director. 101 Chodiyangal was named the winner jointly with Hindi film Chittagong. Actress Kalpana won a shared best supporting actress trophy for Thanichalla Njan. The best child artist award too has been shared by Minon for 101 Chodiyangal and Virendra Pratap for Dekh Indian Circus. Anjali Menon won the best dialogue award for Malayalam film Ustad Hotel, which also won a posthumous special mention for ace actor Thilakan, who passed away in September last year. A special jury award has been conferred on Rituparno Ghosh for Bengali film Chitrangadha. The award for the best choreography has been conferred on Birju Maharaj for the Tamil film Vishwaroopam, while Tamil blockbuster Eega won for its awe-inspiring visual effects.

Ill do Ektas films without reading script: Sushant Rajput

No National Award for Barfi!, Priyanka upset

National Award scares me: Parineeti Chopra

I never thought I would win for Ishaqzaade, but when I did, it was the biggest one in the country! That too for my first lead role, Parineeti said in a statement. I just cannot believe it. But this scares and humbles me, and will definitely make me work even harder in the future! Thank you jury, she added. Parineeti, cousin of National Award-winning actress Priyanka Chopra, made her Bollywood debut with Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, in which she played one of three supporting actresses. Ishaqzaade saw her in the lead opposite debutant Arjun Kapoor. She has won the special mention for her convincing delineation of a daredevil girl in a moving drama of love and tragedy. Mumbai Actor Sushant Singh Rajput says he would be ready to do any of Ekta Kapoors films even without reading the script, because he credits the TV and film producer greatly for his success. Sushant began his acting career on the small screen with a role in Ektas show Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil. When I used to do theatre, then she (Ekta) was the first person who showed confidence in me and whatever I am today is because of her to a great extent, the 27-year-old said here Wednesday at the launch of People magazines cover featuring him. I think she is the only producer in the industry for whom I will do a film without even reading the script, added Sushant, who later became popular as the lead in Ektas serial Pavitra Rishta Sushant quit Pavitra Rishta October 2011 to pursue a filmmaking course abroad. He recently made a successful Bollywood debut this year with Ektas cousin Abhishek Kapoors Kai Po Che.

Mumbai Actress Priyanka Chopra, whose performance in Barfi! was appreciated by the audience, is upset that the film did not get a single National award. The winners of the 60th National Film Awards were announced here . I am feeling bad that Barfi! did not win National Award. But then it is up to the jury why they did not give the award, Priyanka told reporters here at the launch of her first item song Babli badmaash.

Barfi! was a love story between a deaf and mute boy, played by Ranbir Kapoor, and an autistic girl, played by Priyanka. Though the movie did not win a National Award, Priyanka is happy for her cousin Parineeti won a special mention for her performance in Ishaqzaade. I am happy for her. Now in the Chopra family, there are two National Awards. The whole day, I had to explain what special mention means, said Priyanka.

New Delhi After winning a special mention for her performance in Ishaqzaade at the announcement of the 60th National Film Awards here, young and vivacious actress Parineeti Chopra says she is scared but motivated to keep giving better shots in the film industry. After winning so many debut awards,


get a chance to do the Bollywood moves on the big screen. She has danced to the song O laila in the movie. Never in a million years did I think of being here and have a chance to make something like this, the 32-year-old said here Tuesday at the music launch of Shootout At Wadala. As a little girl, you always watch all these Bollywood movies with beautiful women dancing and singing. This (O laila) is a great escape, it is a great song to dance to, she added. Thanking director Sanjay Gupta and producer Ekta Kapoor, Sunny said: I am really thankful. I am thanking my lucky stars, god, Ekta and Sanjay for being so patient with me. Shooutout At Wadala has two other item songs featuring Priyanka Chopra in Babli badmash and Sophie Chowdry in Ala re Manya. The film will release May 1. Mumbai Director Sanjay Gupta says Priyanka Chopras look in Babli Badmaash was inspired by Amitabh Bachchans Yaarana song, especially the jumpsuit that he wore in the track. Priyanka lauched the first look of the song that is part of the Gupta-directed Shootout At Wadala. The song is not inspired from anybody but the outfit that Priyanka wore in the song with lights is. I have seen Yaarana when I was in school and I was inspired by Amitjis jumpsuit. So I wanted to do that and was waiting for the special occasion so we did it, Gupta told reporters. The film also features John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood, Tusshar Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy and Mahesh Manjrekar. Talking about her experience shooting for the song, Priyanka says item girl tag has been overdone. I dont think its a tag and I think this item girl thing has been overdone. We dont used to call Helenji that. When you do a song and dance in somebody elses film, its like a guest appearance. The moment you say its an item song, it cheapens it a little bit, she said. Gupta added: Its a special appear-


Never thought Ill do a dance number: Sunny Leone

Priyankas Babli Badmaash look inspired by Big B in Yaarana

Girls Aloud announce split

Mumbai Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone has gyrated to an item song in Sanjay Guptas Shootout At Wadala, and says she had never thought she would

ance, its a guest appearance and lets just stick to that. Its easy to term it so (item girl) but its all nonsense. With the latest controversy of item numbers being given A certificate because of the lyrics and skin show, Priyanka says she was aware of it and they have tried to keep the fun part in the song without demeaning it.

Wilde gets unexpected comedy role

Mrudhula Basker credits Bharatanatyam for acting talent

As a team we were very aware of it because of the recent controversies that happened. We thought it should be a fun song but we thought it shouldnt be demeaning. We have tried to do 80s kind of dancing style... we have touched upon that and not done it. We have kept in sexy, interesting without demeaning it, she said.

Brangelina to get matching tattoos

London Members of popular band Girls Aloud have confirmed that they are splitting. Girls Aloud comprises Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Cole, Nicola Roberts and Sarah Harding. They were said to have made a pact to keep the news secret until their latest tour ended. The band members were rumoured to be preparing to go their separate ways after celebrating their 10-year reunion, with a greatest hits album and the tour. But the members confirmed it through Twitter just hours after they performed the final date of their reunion Britain tour in Liverpool Wednesday night, re-

ports The announcement read: Dear Alouders, we just want to say from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. This tour has been an amazing experience and the perfect chance to say thank you for being on this journey with us through a decade. It has far exceeded any of our dreams and we hope we are forever your inspiration and reminder that dreams really do glitter. Your love and support will stay with us forever but we have now come to the end of our incredible time together. Love you lots, they posted on Twitter, reports

Paris Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and fiancee Angelina Jolie are reportedly planning to have similar tattoos as part of their soon-to-happen wedding. The couple, who raises six children Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and Knox and Vivienne, four - will ink the name of their children and wedding date, reports They plan to have their tattoos done by a local French artist. Theyve designed a special motif that includes some of their vows and their childrens names entwined in leaves, which will be in their own handwriting, a source said. The marriage is expected to take place here before May, as Pitt will soon get a marriage licence.

London Actress Olivia Wilde has bagged a role in a comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but she was convinced she was the lame horse in auditions and had no chance of getting the part. She faced stiff competition from fellow actresses Judy Greer, Jessica Biel and Sarah Silverman for the part of magicians assistant Jane, but she got selected to feature alongside Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi. Now she cant believe her luck because she has little experience in the genre. It was a bit of a coup getting this role, it was intended for a comedian. My agent knew I loved comedy, but I was a long shot, the lame horse at the back, quoted Wilde as saying. However, Carell, who has also co-produced the movie, insists Wilde blew casting directors away with her performance. Her audition was fantastic. Subtle, but full of detail. She was my immediate first choice, said Carell. Carell admitted Wildes presence on the set lifted everyones spirits. I was struck by the care with which she goes about her work, and the joy that she brings to the work-place. Everyone likes her. Its impossible not to. She has an unrelentingly good heart. I also happen to think she is an enormously talented actor.

Chennai A trained Bharatanatyam dancer and performer for 17 years, debutante Mrudhula Basker says that she learnt acting from the renowned classical Indian dance form. Seventy percent of what I did in my debut film Vallinam was something I learned from Bharatanatyam as it is filled with zillions of expressions, which is very useful for acting. In fact, I was picked by the director because of my rich dance experience, Mrudhula told IANS. She has been dancing since the age of three and says that acting was never of any interest to her. Even though I received plenty of offers before this film, I never showed any interest because I was a dancer. However, my director hap-

portant. For a successful debut, one needs to have a successful combination of a script, director and co-star. The script will give me scope to perform as an actor, while a good director will teach me what to do and what not to do. You also need a good costar because if youre uncomfortable around him, then your best will never come out, she said. Vallinam is produced by Venu Ravichandran, popularly known as Aascar Ravichandran. It also features Atul Kulkarni, Siddharth Jonnalagadda, Amzath Khan, Jagan and Anupama Kumar in important roles. The film is currently in post-production phase and is getting ready for April release. It has music by S.S. Thaman.

pened to see my portfolio and liked me for the fact that Im a dancer and I eventually gave in, she said. Mrudhula is paired opposite Nakul in the Tamil sports drama Vallinam, which is set against a college backdrop and its narrative surrounds how a game of basketball intertwines things such as friendship, romance and some social awareness. I play a mature, rich girl in the film with a lot of scope for performance. Working with Nakul was a delight and he is very encouraging, said Mrudhula. As a debutante, she says a combination of a good script, director and co-star is very im-

w E E K L Y H O
Pilgrimage or journey Financial situation Income and health to foreign land is seen. may improve and some will improve. Your Good luck will prevail. property related matter siblings will do well. People in medical procan be sorted out. Do fession or government Success from higher not indulge in illegal service will do well. authority and governactivities. Try to imMinor stomach problem ment related matters. TAURUS prove relations with may upset your mood. Apr 20 - May 20 People in Banking May 21 - Jun 20 Siblings will do well Mar 21-Apr 19 partner and spouse. Be and with courage and and Accounts will do more alert in business related matters. Remedies for Ketu and well. Business partners will be help- determination you can achieve success in any endeavor. Remedies for Sani and Rahu is suggested. ful. Remedy for Ketu is suggested. Rahu is suggested.

Good Health and marital bliss. Promotion with transfer is on the cards. Do not let mental strain ruin your mood. Stay CANCER calm. Do not indulge in Jun 21 - Jul 22 short cuts for obtaining money. Your children will do well. Friends will be supportive. Remedies for Rahu and Ketu is suggested. Avoid any major decision till Tuesday. Some litigation problem cannot be ruled out. Do not lose temper. There will be mental strain for peoJul 23 - Aug. 22 ple in Job or service. Have faith in God and do good deeds. Business will be average. Worshiping of Sun and Remedies for Sani and Ketu is suggested.


Sun, Venus, and Mars in Pisces, Moon in Taurus, Mercury in Aquarius, Jupiter in Taurus, Sani and Rahu in Libra and Ketu in Aries. Nakshatra is Ashlesha
Although the weeks look overall good, but minor differences with spoue or business partners can ruin your mood. Take extra care of your finances. You might be tempted to on Luxury. Week is VIRGO spend good for income, but exAug. 23 - Sep 22 penses will also be high. Meditation and yoga will bring good results. Remedies for Sani and Rahu is suggested.



People in commission or stock broking can expect good week. Do not indulge yourself in immoral activities. Guard yourself LIBRA against cervical pain Sep 23 - Oct 22 and urinary problems. Your enemies will be defeated. People in Banking and commerce will do well. Remedies of Rahu and Ketu is suggested.


Being over ambitious Some unexpected loss will be harmful. Avoid in business or health over spending. Mothers of spouse is indicated. health will improve and Do not depress yourself you may plan on some and be wise. With papilgrimage or journey to tience and perseverance far off land. Relations with spouse and partners SAGITTARIUS you will achieve good will improve. Interest in Nov 22 - Dec 21 results. Avoid speculation. Guard yourself will rise and you may Oct 23 - Nov 21 arts spend on it. Keeping a against hot and spicy foods. Minor liver cool mind is suggested. Some gain from and kidney problem cannot be ruled out. speculation is seen. Remedy for Sani and Strengthening of Jupiter will bring good results. Rahu is suggested.


Business will imLuxury will be on mind Do not take debt durprove. People in job and you might spend ing this week. Stockshould not argue with brokers will do well. on luxury and pleasure. boss. Siblings will Journey to foreign Gains from speculation do well. If single, land and some gains will be average. Differchances of marriage. from foreign contacts ences with spouse can PISCES Interest in politics is seen. Some property severe. Minor dental Feb 19 Mar 20 AQUARIUS will rise. Commis related matter can be Dec 22 - Jan 19 and throat problem is sion agents will do Jan 20 - Feb. 18 sorted out. Promotion seen. Delay is property related matter. well. Avoid buying property or vehi- in job is seen. Dentist can expect good Be vigilant regarding your valuables. cle now. Remedies for Ketu and Rahu business this week. Remedy for Sani Remedies for Ketu is suggested. is suggested. and Rahu is indicated.

V. Kumar (Scientific Horoscope Consultant) You can consult him with appointment on: 9855150789; 9592095234
ACROSS 1. Legendary stories 6. Uno 9. Pigs pad 12. Box 13. Business VIP 14. Pitching stat 15. Church walkway 16. Burst of bad temper 18. California wine valley 19. Make lace 20. Epochs 21. Cavemans era (2 wds.) 24. Concurrence 27. Time past 30. _________witherspoon of Sweet Home Alabama 31. Had 33. And so forth(abbr.) 34. Proposed as a candidate 38. Renovator 40. Pub drinks 42. Shade 43. Stood up 47. Childhood disease 49. Golfer________Woods 50. Bathroom rug 51. Tax org. 52. ________eclipse 53. Lyric verse 54. Compass dir. 55. Printing machine DOWN 1. Skim over 2. Opera solo 3. Struggle for breath 4. Books of maps 5. Behold 6. Gasoline classification 7. Tidy up 8. Chunk of eternity 9. Military rank 10. Faithful 11. Sweet potatoes 17. Childrens game 19. Actor__________Hanks 22. Adolescents 23. Make amends 24. Common verb 25. Acquire 26. Make again 28. Goodness 29. Strange 32. Soldier 35. Additional ones 36. Styling foam 37. Wrath 39. Highway curve 40. Military supplies 41. Show the way 44. Leer 45. Oceans 46. Miscalculates 48. Recline 49. Recipe unit(abbr.)

Crossword Solution 17 FEB, 2013

1 P 12 E 15 N 18 S 2 O P A L 3 D I S 4 S C A 5 A 13 R 16 M 19 A 6 L O O 7 T E N 8 9 R E 14 E R 17 A L R E I I C 10 11 V S I S A E A N

1 12 15 18

6 13 16 19

8 17 20 23

9 14

10 11

21 22 24 25 26 30 33 38 39 40 41 47 50 53 48 51 54 42 34 35 36 37

27 28 29 31 32

43 44 45 46 49 52 55

Teenage depression linked to cardiac risk factors

M E 22 T 23 24 25 O P T I M A L 30 31 32 O R E A S I A 35 36 37 H 0 R N E L 39 40 41 42 E Y E T 43 44 45 46 N O N S E N S E 50 I M I T A T O R 52 53 C E L L E S E 55 56 K N E E R O D

A M 20 21 S P U D

E 26 27 28 F L A 33 34 N O D 38 E A N O E N 47 G 51 O 54 R 57 A D O N E R

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Creative arts in education boost learning

New Delhi Adding creative arts in different aspects of education and routine curriculum would help students grasp their lessons better, experts said here Tuesday. Exposure to creative arts like singing a song on mathematics or history would help children develop a liking for the subject and enhances performance, experts said at a conference on Arts Education, co-hosted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Creative, artistic activities which are enjoyable in the curriculum will provide an outlet for ideas. For example a song for maths will help the child to develop a positive attitude and imaginative ways of learning,according to Parvin Sinclair, NCERT director. Sinclair also addressed the conference for which the British Council Division has partnered with the NCERT for a programme to improve the education of arts in schools. Arts in education is an important aspect, many schools across the country are trying to imbibe the creative curriculum education. The NCERT in National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 emphasised learning without burden and child-centred education, said Sinclair. Even right to education law makes

Sudoku 24 March, 2013

it compulsory to have arts and art teachers in every school, said the NCERT director. Rob Lynes, director, British Council Division, British High Commission, said: The British Council has started a pilot project with the NCERT, we have started the world voice programme which will train students and teachers to access singing education of the highest quality. World Voice programme (WVP) which supports young people to develop musicality and contribute to wider learning through songs. He added the programme would enhance and build the capacity of teachers, prepare training material, publications and resource material. The new generation of students requires not just the knowledge of math and science but the arts as they provide children with creativity which will give the next generation an edge over other students, he added. The WVP programme will be championed in India by musician and singer Mohit Chauhan.

Sudoku Solution 17 Mar, 2013

Washington A new study suggests that depression suffered during teens may predispose people to higher cardiac risk factors as adults. People who were depressed as teenagers are far more likely than their peers to be obese, smoke cigarettes and lead sedentary lives, even if they no longer suffer from depression, say researchers. The study conducted by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Pittsburgh suggests that depression, even in children, can increase the risk of heart problems later in life, reports Science Daily. Part of the reason this is so worrisome is that a number of recent stud-

ies have shown that when adolescents have these cardiac risk factors, theyre much more likely to develop heart disease as adults and even to have a shorter lifespan, says lead author Robert M. Carney, professor of psychiatry at the Washington University. Active smokers as adolescents are twice as likely to die by the age of 55 than non-smokers, and we see similar risks with obesity, so finding this link between childhood depression and these risk factors suggests that we need to very closely monitor young people who have been depressed. Researchers have known for years that adults with depression are likely to have heart attacks and other cardiac problems. But it hasnt been clear when risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyle join forces with depression to increase the risk for heart problems. We know that depression in adults is associated with heart disease and a higher risk of dying from a heart attack or having serious complications, Carney says. What we didnt know is at what stage of life we would begin to see evidence of this association between depression and these cardiac risk factors. The researchers presented their findings March 15 at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Miami, Florida.


Music Movie


Revisit simple joys of life with Chashme Baddoor soundtrack

A Heart touching story with Moral and Inspiration

Rangrezz is an Hindi film directed by Priyadarshan starring Jackky Bhagnani, Priya Anand, Rajpal Yadav and Amitosh Nagpal in the lead roles. Rangrezz is a Hindi remake of Tamil hit film Naadodigal, which has already been remade in Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. Story Rangrezz tells the story of three friends who goes out of their way to help a friend getting his love back. Rishi Deshpande (Jackky Bhagnani) is someone who along with Winu (Amitosh Nagpal) and Pakya (Vijay Verma), live a carefree middle-class existence in Mumbais urban jungle, with hopes and dreams of a career and perfect wedded life some day. However, life takes an unexpected turn when Rishis childhood friend Joy (Raghav Chanana) attempts suicide and the story leaks out that a woman is involved. Soon enough, the group of four, along with a fifth (nameless) individual that is never really identified in the movie, set out to abduct the girl. And when they see things not getting worked out in between the couple, they take another daring step.



False Sanctuaries: Stories from the Troubled Territories of South Asia

Kashmir, the Taliban backlash in Afghanistan, and life in a displacement camp in Sri Lanka -- the book is a collection of short stories set across South Asia, trying to locate the pulse of defiant individual expression in a people scarred by terror. A Tamil refugee camp in Sri Lanka, Kashmir using its anti-India protests, Afghanistan under the Taliban -- setting her fiction in the heart of conflict, Meenakshi Iyer captures dramatic encounters of survival with sharpness. Unburdened by sentimentality, this collection of short stories celebrates hope, says Meena Kandasamy, an acclaimed poet, writer and activist, about the book. The book talks about Riyaz who wants to be a chef when those around him want to pick up arms. It is about Purab, whose only dream is to take his grandfather to his home in Dera Ismail Khan; Ramnath Purandare, an affable Marathi who fails Mumbai; and Dharmambal, who chides herself to believe that she is childless the moment it is revealed that her son is an LTTE pointsman. Set against a realistic backdrop of conflict and terror, the characters may be imaginary or unrealistic, yet there is a deep-rooted belief that we can find them somewhere within us. It is as if we have met Riyaz Wajahat before, if not in Kashmir then probably in Bangladesh or Nepal. Landscapes change, people dont. Grief, memories and melancholy are briefly relieved by the moments of happiness that come to the people of these stories, says the author, whose stint in mainstream media woke her to the inner uprootedness and unerasable scars of the mind bequeathed to the people by crass, divisive politics and policymakers of the subcontinent. In short, the book is a take on the lives of South Asians at a primary human level, at which grief and melancholy overpower all other emotions.

About the Author

Film: Chashme Baddoor; Music Director: Sajid-Wajid; Lyricists: Jalees Sherwani, Neelesh Misra, Kausar Munir; Singers: Sonu Nigam, Ali Zafar, Shreya Ghoshal, Mika Singh, Wajid, Neuman Pinto David Dhawan is coming up with Chashme Buddoor remake and he has roped in Sajid-Wajid to compose music for the new version. The duo has tried to reproduce the spunk of the 1980s! Har ek friend kameena hota hai is a satirical take on the popular mobile network jingle that states the exact opposite about friends. In the track, Sonu Nigams voice is a refreshing change. It feels like a smooth journey with giggles galore, thanks to Kausar Munirs lyrics. Dhichkyaaon doom doom opens with Ali Zafar singing the title words and you are transported directly to the sweet love of the 1980s. The track has such a running-around-tree-ambling-onmountain feel to it, which Shreya Ghoshal accelerates even further. You fall in love with the song instantly ... go hear! There is also another version of the song with Wajid adding his romantic charm to the track.

Next track is trip down Bollywood musics lane. Titled Early Morning, the song would make you go all Raj Kapoor. Add to that Sonus butter smooth vocals and Jalees Sherwanis contemporary lyrics, it is definitely memorable but not for long. This may be called the title track as the words, Chashme Baddoor feature in the track. The remix version of the track offers you rap, old world charm and contemporary beats - you cannot miss this one. Next is Ishq Mohalla, sung by Mika Singh. The song boasts characteristic orchestra from the era of Laxmikant Pyaarelal. The orchestra is so brilliantly done that it just might spread like a viral in the future baraats! A song with a rock touch to it, Andha ghoda race main dauda adds more fun to the album. A very different track when compared to the rest of the album, it serves as a good tail-ender for Chashme Baddoor. Neuman Pinto does a good job behind the mike and takes the track to the league of DK Bose. Chashme Baddoor as expected does not have a single dull moment and keeps you smiling through and through. Revisit the simple joys of the 1980s with this one!

Author: Meenakshi Iyer Publisher: Bibliophile South Asia (Promila & Co); Price: Rs.395; Pages: 282 You cannot shun war and run away from the death and destruction that follows you. You cannot dodge the fear of terrorism, bomb blasts or a fidayeen. You cannot shut yourself to the latest round of intifada or Kani Jung, threatening to suck life out of your hinges. You cannot avoid these things in the 21st centurys new war zone - South Asia. Yet you live, smile, shake off the dust as if nothing happened and move on, braving all odds and, YOU are the hero of False Sanctuaries: Stories from the troubled territories of South Asia. Freelance journalist and South Asia observer Meenakshi Iyers debut book is about people in this sub-continent who have kept their hopes alive in hopeless situations, who have failed, or have been failed by their governments, and have yet moved on, alone and undeterred, to face fresh threats awaiting them. The partition and beyond, the bomb blasts in Mumbai, the insurgency in

Living in a deadline-centric world, Meenakshi Iyer freelances for The South Asian Times, a US-based weekly that caters to the Indian Diaspora. The job of a journalist, she thinks, is about living in an electrified atmosphere, where news feeds are more important than feeding yourself! A keen South Asia observer, she has closely covered developments in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan during her days at The Hindustan Times head office at Kasturba Gandhi Margin New Delhi. For her, the experience in mainstream media shoveled a path towards learning various aspects of life in the socalled Dark Subcontinent grief and me lancholy, sorrow and sadness and shades of happiness in between that is reflected in her writings. Having travelled across the length and width of the country, from Maharashtra to Kashmir, from Tamil Nadu to Kolkata, she has now settled down in New Delhi. When free, she spends time with books, and more books, and exchanges ideas with like-minded people. She dreams of meeting Gen Pervez Musharraf some flesh and not in fiction



second navigation satellite three months after in-orbit tests of the first one and the remaining five satellites over a 14-month period by 201415. The IRNSS will have a space segment (constellation of satellites and signal-in-space), a ground segment and a user segment to provide multiple services on 24x7 basis under all-weather conditions to a host of users, including airlines, ships and observational posts. Three satellites will be placed in the geostationary equatorial orbit (GEO) at 34, 83 and 131.5 degree east and two satellites each in the geosynchronous orbit (GSO) with equator crossing at 55 and 111.5 degree east at an inclination of 29 degree, Radhakrishnan said after inaugurating a two-day symposium on the Saga of Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Programme: 25 years since IRS-1A, being held here this weekend. The navigation system will have two signals in L5 and S-band on 1176.45MHz frequency and 2492.028MHz frequency with provision for downlinks. The constellation system provides two basic services -- standard positioning service for civilian users and restricted service for authorised users. The navigation software is being indigenously at the satellite centre in Bangalore, Radhakrishnan added. Bangalore Global software major Microsoft said it is promoting a developer ecosystem by empowering its about 1,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) in India with tools, technologies and training to compete in a global marketplace. We have played a big role in developing high-end skills of ISVs, IT professionals and students. As a result, our partners have greater opportunity to create modern apps (applications) connected to cloud services that make information more accessible to users on any device at any time, Microsoft India general manager Joseph Landes said at a technology event here. The software behemoth is making significant investments in working with 1.2-million developers worldwide to create the second-largest developer ecosystem for developing apps on its latest platforms -- Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013, Office 365 and Windows Azure. Our aim is to provide the developer community with a supportive environment to drive path-breaking innovation globally on our range of platforms, which open up countless opportunities to shape the app ecosystem across multiple devices, giving developers the chance to maximise their revenues, Landes at the Indian subsidiarys TechEd 2013 premier tech event. Other initiatives like Tech Days, the I Unlock Joy, Mobile Acceleration Week and the first-ever


India to launch first navigation Promoting developer ecosystem in India, says satellite in June Microsoft

Bangalore India will launch in June the first of the seven Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) into the earth orbit to provide real-time position, navigation and time services to multiple users, the space agency chief said Saturday. We are preparing to launch the first of the navigation satellites constellation in June to provide position accuracy better than 10 metres over India and the region extending up to 1,500km around the sub-continent, state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told. The IRNSS-1 will be launched on board the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C22) from the spaceport at Sriharikota off the Bay of Bengal on Andhra Pradesh coast, about 90 km north-east of Chennai. The space agency plans to launch the

women app developers event in India highlighted the companys commitment towards the developer community to lead innovation by building applications on Windows platform. The two-day event evoked huge response from IT students and budding entrepreneurs to keynote speeches, demos and workshops from experts and helped them catalyse their business potential. With the employability rate in the Indian IT services sector falling three times to 16.4 percent from 29.4 percent in 2012, there is a need for educational institutions to produce industry-ready candidates, which otherwise may become an impediment for growth for want of trained manpower for product-based and research-based projects.

As the Indian IT industry matures, it is imperative that skill building should be the focus area for progressive growth and to bridge the opportunity divide amongst youth in India, Landes said in his address. On the eve of Windows 8 launch Oct 26, 2012, Microsoft hosted Windows AppFest in this tech hub and made history by setting a world record for the most participants in a software development marathon in one location. The record has been set at 2,567 developers coding non-stop for 18 hours. Developers from India and overseas participated in the event for building, designing and testing apps for the Windows platform with global mentoring and technical resources at hand.

App to make curriculum based learning simple

Mumbai In an effort to make curriculum-based learning simpler, Bangalore-based Learnhive Education and leading PC maker Lenovo Wednesday jointly announced here the launch of a new application. The technology-based learning app named Personal Concept Tutor will offer comprehensive Mathematics content for students of Grade 1 to 10 and English and Science content for students of Grade 1 to 6. It will be available at all the Lenovo platforms. The app will give students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. The technology will now be available on multiple Lenovo devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Lenovo customers will also get two months of free access to premium content at This is an important milestone for our company, as Lenovo has agreed to partner with us, for this unique initiative. We see tremendous scope for growth through this collaboration, as Lenovo, which enjoys a leadership position in the country, is very popular among students, tutors and parents, said Shiv Shankar, founder and chief executive officer of Learnhive. This unique initiative will help the students in understanding the concepts and subjects in a simplified manner. Lenovo offers several apps to customers in order to make their lives simpler. This app is an important addition to the collection, said Amar Babu, managing director, Lenovo India. Learnhive is a Bangalore-based company, providing technology-based learning solutions for students, parents, and tutors.

Dr. A . Sivathanu Pillai If we are to achieve results never before accomplished,we must expect to employ methods never before attempted but with utmost honesty. Brahmos is built upon the technological synergy of strengths of the two nations - India and Russia. Moreover, the superiority of the product such as Speed , Precision and Power has ensured the realization of this high-tech product and attracted the users to go for induction of the system in the shortest possible time

Dr. A . Sivathanu Pillai with the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee

India tests BrahMos missile from underwater

Your computer may be spying on you

Bhubaneswar India successfully tested the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from underwater in the Bay of Bengal off the Andhra Pradesh coast, an official said Wednesday. The submarine-launched version of the missile was test-fired at 2.10 p.m. from a submerged platform off the coast of Visakhapatnam, BrahMos Aerospace spokesperson Praveen Pathak told IANS. This was the first time that a supersonic cruise missile was launched vertically from a submerged platform, he said. The missile took off vertically for its full range of 290 km. Following a pre-defined trajectory, it emerged from water, and took a turn towards the designated target, meeting all mission objectives, he said. All the telemetry and tracking stations, including Indian naval ships positioned throughout the flight path, confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission, Pathak added. The BrahMos missile can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg. It has a top speed of Mach 2.8, about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. This makes BrahMos one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world. It can be launched from submarines, ships and aircraft. Sea and ground launched versions of the missile have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy. The missile system has been jointly developed by India and Russia. London If you are given to gossiping and easing out in office the minute your boss steps out, beware your computer could be keeping an eye on you. Researchers from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, have developed a new kind of computer monitor which will be able to tell your boss if you are paying attention at work or not, the Daily Mail reported. It works by having a camera mounted above the workstation display which can identify the users eyes to see if they are looking at the computer or not. The technology is an unsettling echo of technologies being introduced in television set-top boxes to peer back at viewers and automatically serve appropriate adverts. The research team, however, contends its innovation is not aimed at keeping an eye on workers, but merely to ensure they dont miss anything new which appears on their screens. The system called Diff Displays, detects when its user is not looking at a display and replaces the regular screen image with a calm and non-distractive visualisation of the screens activity instead. It reduces distractions by fading out the parts of the screen that remain static and by subtly visualising changes in the display over time. When the user looks back at a display, the system quickly changes back from the visualisation to the actual screen content via different forms of animation. The technology could be of crucial use in high-pressure environments such as air-traffic control rooms, where workers have several screens to keep tabs on, say researchers.


gans against the British and promote the Non-Cooperation Movement of Gandhi. But when Gandhi called off the movement he was disheartened. He was deeply affected by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Punjab. After witnessing the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the British Police Chief Scott, Bhagat declared revenge. He created the phrase Inquilab Zindabad that became the slogan of the Indias armed freedom struggle. Shivaram Hari Rajguru (August 24, 1908 March 23, 1931)- He was an Indian revolutionist from Maharashtra. Rajguru was born at Khednear Pune, India. He was a colleague of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, and took part in the murder of a British police officer, J.P. Saunders, at Lahore) in 1928. They were cremated at Hussainiwala at the banks of the Sutlej river in Ferozepur district of Punjab.He was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, who wanted India to be freed from British rule by any means necessary. He believed that ferocity against oppression was far more effective against British rule than the gentle ways of Mahatma Gandhi. SukhdevThapar(15 May 1907 March 23, 1931)- He was a famous Indian revolutionary who played a major role in the Indias struggle for Independence. Sukhdev Thapar was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), and organized revolutionary cells in Punjab and other areas of North India. A devoted leader, he even went on to educate the youth at the National College in Lahore. He along with other renowned revolutionaries started the Naujawan Bharat Sabha at Lahore that was an organization involved in various activities, mainly gearing the youth for the struggle for independence and putting an end to communalism.

Did You Know Strange Facts You Enamel is the Didnt Know hardest substance in your body ?

A Grand Salute to the Martyrs of India

Tooth enamel is the hard outer surface layer of your teeth that serves to protect against tooth decay. In fact, tooth enamel is considered the hardest mineral substance in your body, even stronger than bone. In spite of its strength, everyday acids that develop from certain foods and drinks, particularly those that are sweet or contain starch, can put your enamel at risk. Acids can attack and soften the tooth surface. Tooth enamel, along with dentin, cementum, and dental pulp is one of the four major tissues that make up the tooth .Tooth enamel is also found in the dermal of sharks. It is the normally visible dental tissue of a tooth because it covers the anatomical crown and must be supported by underlying dentin. Ninety-six percent of enamel consists of mineral, with water and organic material composing the rest.Enamel does not contain collagen, as found in other hard tissues such as dentin and bone, but it does contain two unique classes of proteins - amelogenins and enamelins. While the role of these proteins is not fully understood, it is believed that they aid in the development of enamel by serving as a framework for minerals to form on, among other functions.

On 23rd March, 82 years ago three bold young men sacrificed their lives. India salutes the three great martyrs: Bhagat Singh,Raj Guru,Sukh Dev. On March 23,1931 Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev attained Martyrdom, having been found guilty of involvement in the assassination of JP Saunders, a deputy superintendent of the British colonial police force, and setting off a bomb in the Legislative Assembly.The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, the organisation then led by Bhagat Singh in relation to this incident said: We dropped the bomb on the floor of the Assembly Chamber to register our protest on behalf of those who had no other means left to give expression to their heartrending agony. Our sole purpose was to make the deaf hear and to give the heedless a timely warning from under the seeming stillness of the sea of humanity, a veritable storm is about to break out. One example of the determination of Bhagat Singh and his associates remains inspirational even today. In order to disgrace Sardar Bhagat Singh and his associates, the British Government informed them, If you feel that you should be spared from being hanged, then you must apply for mercy. The spirited answer to that advice, as given by Sardar Bhagat Singh, was as follows -

The Government says that we should apply for mercy. But why should we do so? Are we thieves or dacoits or goondas? We are political prisoners in this war for freedom. The blood of complete freedom is circulating in every blood vessel of ours. Whatever bold action we did was for the sake of freedom alone ! We may not be worshippers of non-violence; our path may not be devoid of atrocities but is it not true that we are freedom-fighters? If the government has even a fraction of justice left within it, it has to treat us as political prisoners. We will never beg for mercy. We do not intend to face this death sentence by saying Do whatever you like but spare us from being hanged. We dislike even climbing on the foot board meant for hanging. We are brave soldiers and true men! Hence treat us like that by either shooting us with bullets or blast us with cannons. Who wants to face such a feeble sentence as hanging? We request you to respect this last wish of ours! Bhagat Singh (28 September 1907 - 23 March 1931)-He was an Indian nationalist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement.Since his childhood, Bhagat Singh was influenced by Mahatma Gandhis views. As a child of 13, he would shout slo-

A kangaroo cant jump unless its tail is touching the ground. A person at rest generates as much heat as a 100watt lightbulb A snail can have about 25,000 teeth. A whales heart beats only nine times a minute. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. If the Earth was smooth, the ocean would cover the entire surface to a depth of 12 000 feet.

Who spends the day at the window, goes to the table for meals and hides at night? What can burn the eyes, sting the mouth, yet be consumed? I go up and down the stairs without moving. What am I? Im a god, a planet, and measurer of heat. Who am I? What goes around the world and stays in a corner?

Poor little Sparrow

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Exasperate-to irritate or annoy very much. Example-As things go, building a house of cards is something I always thought would exasperate me. Sinister-Wicked or criminal Example- They do not laugh so much but they seem more sinister. Seclusion-isolation, privacy or being away from others Example-The sun terrace at the side of the property is offered seclusion by its walled boundary. Restraint The action of keeping something or someone under control Example-I had to use a lot of restraint to deal with my mother-in-law. Ardent- Enthusiastic or passionate. Example- Her love towards her son is so ardent Enigma- A person or thing that is mysterious Example- Death is the ultimate enigma, and well never know its secrets. Bellowed- Shout something with a deep loud roar Example- The teacher bellowed at the chanting boys, Shut up this instant!

Answers for Teasers : A Fly Salt Carpet Mercury Stamp

World Sparrow Day is observed on 20 March to raise awareness of the House Sparrow and other common birds and of threats to their populations. It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the EcoSys Action Foundation (France) and many other national and international organizations across the world. The Nature Forever Society was started by Mohammed Dilawar, an Indian conservationist who started his work helping the House Sparrow in Nasik. The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010 in different parts of the world. The day was celebrated by carrying out different various kinds of activities and events like art competitions, awareness campaigns, and sparrow processions. Every creature has a

purpose. It is terrible that species go extinct due to us. Some of the reasons for the decline in the Sparrow population are : Due to global warming, cities are getting hotter too. One of the more surprising being the introduction of unleaded petrol, the combustion of which produces compounds such as methyl nitrite, a compound which is highly toxic for small insects, which forms a major part of a young sparrows diet. Reduction in number of old buildings, which are important nesting opportunities for sparrows. And the home gardens have almost disappeared. The electromagnetic radiation caused by mobile communication leads to decline in general health.

20 ADB warns of asset price bubbles risk

Manila The Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned of risk of asset price bubbles as local currency bond markets in East Asia expanded by 12.1 percent last year. According to the Asia Bond Monitor issued Monday by the ADB, East Asia had $6.5 trillion in outstanding local currency bonds by the end of 2012 versus $5.7 trillion at the end of 2011. That marked a quarterly increase of 3 percent and an annual increase of 12.1 percent in local currency terms, reported Xinhua. Thiam Hee Ng, senior economist in ADBs Office of Regional Economic Integration, said emerging East Asia is much more resilient than it used to be but governments still need to be careful that the surge in capital inflows doesnt fuel excessive rises in asset prices and that they are prepared for a possible reversal in the flows when the economies of the United States and Europe pick up again. The flows of funds by foreign investors picked up pace in recent years



India eyes $100 billion trade with Africa by 2015

Brazil oil giant to invest $236.7 bn

because of low interest rates and slow or negative economic growth in developed economies while emerging East Asia has enjoyed high growth rates and appreciating currencies. The fastest-growing bond market in emerging East Asia in 2012 was Vietnam, 42.7 percent bigger than at end 2011, largely due to the rapid expansion in the countrys government bond market. The Philippine and Malaysian markets grew 20.5 percent and 19.9 percent respectively, while Indias market expanded by a strong 24.3 percent to $1 trillion. Japan still has the largest market in Asia at $11.7 trillion.

Indias central bank cuts interest rates marginally

Australian consumer spending lifts

Rio de Janeiro Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has unveiled its business plan for the 2013-17 period, projecting investment outlays of $236.7 billion and maintaining its goal of raising crudeoil output from 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 to 4.2 million bpd in 2020. The total value of the investments contained in the new plan is up just 0.08 percent from the $236.5 billion estimated for the 2012-16 period. The new plan was approved Friday by the companys board of directors. Of the total investments, $207.1 billion are earmarked for ongoing projects and $29.6 billion for projects still in the evaluation phase. About 62 percent of the funds ($147.5 billion) will be allocated for exploration and production; 27 percent ($64.8 billion) for refining, transportation and distribution; and 4 percent ($9.9 billion) for the gas and energy segments. Projected investments in exploration and production are 12 percent higher than the $131.6 billion indicated in the previous five-year plan, while the amount earmarked for refining, transportation and distribution is down 16 percent from $77.4 billion in the 20122016 period. The company said it has maintained the production targets contained in the previous five-year plan, meaning it is projecting crude-oil output of 2 million bpd in 2013, 2.5 million bpd in 2016, 2.75 million bpd in 2017 and 4.2 million bpd in 2020. Mumbai Indias central bank cut its key shortterm lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points, but left unaltered the reserve ratios that can pump more money into the commercial lending system. The decision was taken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D. Subbarao during a mid-quarter review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal. The repurchase rate, or the interest on short-term borrowings by commercial banks, has been cut from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent and the reverse repurchase rate, or interest on short-term lending, automatically stands lowered to 6.5 percent against 6.75 percent. But with inflation rate still beyond the central banks comfort zone, the cash reserve ratio, or the money commercial banks have to retain in the form of liquid assets in proportion to their deposits, has been kept unchanged at 4 percent. Since the Reserve Banks third quarter review of January 2013, global financial market conditions have improved, but global economic activity has weakened, the central bank said in a statement. On the domestic front, too, growth has decelerated significantly, even as inflation remains at a level that is not conducive for sustained economic growth, the apex bank said. Sydney Australian consumers are becoming more confident, with spending rising again in February, according to the Commonwealth Banks Business Sales Indicator (BSI) released Wednesday. The BSI showed consumer spending lifted by 0.2 percent in seasonallyadjusted terms in February, after rising by 1.9 percent in January, reported Xinhua. The banks broking subsidiary CommSec chief economist Craig James said the rise was another sign of a positive

New Delhi India targets to boost trade with African countries to $100 billion by 2015 from nearly $65 billion registered last year, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said . The trade target has been revised upward in view of the better than expected economic engagements between the two regions. Trade ministers of India and Africa at a meeting held in March 2012 had set a target of $90 billion trade by 2015. We are upwardly revising the target to at least $100 billion by 2015 because I feel that it is achievable, Sharma said after meeting his counterparts from various African countries here. In fact, the ministers expressed hope that the $100 billion trade target could be achieved even a year earlier in 2014 if the two regions made appropriate efforts.

We may end up achieving it by the end of 2014 if we continue working together in the same spirit in which we have been working, Sharma said. India-Africa trade surged 20-fold between 2000 and 2011. In 2000, trade between India and African countries was $3 billion and it crossed $60 billion in 2011. Trade and other senior ministers of many African countries are in New Delhi to attend the India-Africa Project Partnership conclave. Seven heads of state or government and more than 80 senior ministers and parliamentarians are part of the 900 delegates from 45 African countries participating at the three-day event being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Export-Import Bank of India.

Goa terminates lease agreement with DLF for mall

Panaji The Goa government has terminated allotment of a plot worth Rs.90 crore to Delhi Leasing and Finance (DLF), a New Delhi-based real estate company, the Goa legislative assembly was told. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the house that the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a government-run finance corporation, had terminated lease agreements with five lessees, including DLF. In October last year, the EDC had issued a show-cause notice to DLF, which was allotted an 18,500 sq m plot for Rs.90 crore to set up a mall at the capitals Patto, a trade centre which is being billed by the Goa government as the Manhattan of Panaji. While the plot allotment was made in 2007, the lease agreement dictated that the plot had to be utilized within three

economic start to the year. We are, undoubtedly, in a better position than we were this time last year, he said Wednesday. We have seen consumer spending respond in line with positive economic indicators, and this is contributing to the formation of back-to-back spending gains. The BSI is a key measure of economywide spending, tracking the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank point-of-sale terminals.

Inflation rises in Britain

Regarding investments, Sharma said Indian investments in Africa would soon touch $50 billion. During the meeting, Sharma asked his African counterparts to avail the facilities of the Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme, announced by India for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Scheme grants duty-free access on 85 percent of tariff lines and preferential access on 9 percent of tariff lines, covering 92.5 percent of global exports of all LDCs. The average margin of preference under this scheme is in the range of 50-60 percent. Of the 28 LDCs who have joined the scheme, 21 countries are from Africa. We encourage other African LDCs to also avail of the scheme, the minister said in a statement after the meeting.

years of being allotted. After the threeyear term expired, DLF was given a two-year extension to start construction, but the required construction was not carried out.

London Britains Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual inflation grew by 2.8 percent in February, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure was up from 2.7 percent growth in January and the upward change in the rate followed four consecutive months when it stood at 2.7 percent, reported Xinhua citing the ONS. The CPI rise mainly came from the expected increases in gas and electricity bills and from price changes for some recreational goods, motor fuels and air transport. Petrol prices rose by 4.0 pence per litre between January and February compared with a more modest 1.9 pence per litre rise in 2012, said the ONS. Similarly, diesel prices rose by 3.7 per litre in 2013 compared with 1.4 pence per litre in 2012. Air fares also rose between January and February this year but fell between the same two months a year ago. Food and non-alcoholic drink prices helped push down on the inflation rate between January and February. The effect came principally from chocolate and confectionery and soft drinks, said the ONS. The official statistics agency launched a new measure of consumer price inflation, which was initially known as Consumer Price Index Housing (CPIH), including owner occupiers housing costs in March of this year. The CPIH 12-month rate stands at 2.6 percent in the year to February, up from 2.5 percent in January.


State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) said Thursday it has made three significant oil and gas discoveries. Two of the finds are in Indias east coast and one in the state of Tripura, it said. In a statement here, ONGC said its board has also decided to invest over Rs.4,050 crore to upgrade its Arabian Sea facilities. The company said in its pre-licensing round block located in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, the exploratory well Vanaduru South 1 flowed at the rate of 181 barrels a day and gas at the rate of 51,772 cubic metres per day. Saying that the oil is of very high quality, the company said the discovery indicates a good potential in the area. The board also took note of more discoveries made in NELP block KGOSN-2004/1, in Krishna Godavari shallow offshore basin on the east coast, the statement said. This high potential discovery augments the hydrocarbon volumes established through two earlier discoveries, namely Chandrika South and Alankari, in the block, the statement said.


Mining companies owe Rs.220 ONGC makes 3 major oil and gas discoveries crore permit fee to Chhattisgarh New Delhi

Raipur A total of Rs.220.9 crore permit fee for transportation of minerals is outstanding to the Chhattisgarh government from the 10 companies operating in the state, the assembly was told Thursday. Till Feb 15, a sum of Rs.4.14 crore was outstanding as permit fee from four establishments for the mineral extracted from the forest areas of the state, Forest Minister Vikram Usendi said in a written reply to a question by opposition Congress member Mohammed Akbar. He said that during 2012-13, the amount collected as permission fee for mined minerals and their transportation from leased establishments were - from Hyderabadheadquartered public sector NMDC Ltd. Rs.30,16,30,938), from Godavari Power, Raipur (Rs.17,51,908), SECL, Bilaspur (Rs.79,34,531), OCL India Ltd, Rajgangapur (Rs.1 lakh). Usendi said that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its 200910 report had raised objections regarding non-collection of permit fee

90 South Korean firms hear Indias business pitch

Seoul More than 90 South Korean companies participated here Thursday at a symposium on business opportunities in Indias infrastructure, power, electronics, and IT sectors. The Embassy of India, Seoul organized the major symposium on business opportunities in India with active support of Indian Chambers of Commerce in Korea. Over 90 South Korean companies, from the electronics, communications & IT, infrastructure and power sectors attended the symposium, which was flagged off by Ambassador Vishnu Prakash. He spoke about the transformed bilateral relations anchored on the foundation of sturdy economic and commercial ties. Kim Jong-hun, senior vice president of Hyundai, described Hyundai groups positive experience in India. Hyundai is currently producing over 630,000 vehicles annually and is involved in other infrastructure development projects. Dhanendra Kumar, former chairman of the Competition Commission of India, highlighted opportunities in Indias infrastructure, power, electronics, and IT sectors, elaborating on the recent wave of reforms, which had enhanced the attractiveness of the

and non-issuance of permits during transportation of minerals from the converted forest land. As per the information available from the mineral resources department, between June 2002 to Sep 30, 2012, a preliminary estimate had been made for collection of permit fee based on the amount of minerals transported from reserved and conserved forest land. As per estimates made by the department, an amount of Rs.144.62 crore was pending as permit fee for transportation of 20.66 crore tonne of iron ore by NMDC. The outstanding permit fee of other companies and individuals for transportation of minerals are -- Sarda Energy, Raipur (Rs.52.30 lakh), Bhilai Steel Plant (Rs.31.54 crore), Jeevanlal Jain, Bhanupratappur (Rs.10.49 lakh), Godavari Power, Raipur (Rs.1.13 crore), Jaiswal Nico, Raipur (Rs.76.28 lakh), OCL India, Rajgangapur (Rs.17.64 lakh), Monnet Ispat , Raipur (Rs.1.51 crore), Prakash Industries, New Delhi (Rs.11.6 lakh) and SECL, Bilaspur (Rs.40.40 crore), Usendi said.

Mauritius seeks Upgradation index on slum IT investments conditions New Delhi nised and identified slums while profrom India The central government will monitor viding financial assistance to the states
the periodical up-gradation of slums in the country by making a slum upgradation index, a union minister said Thursday. We will frame a slum upgradation index city-wise and state-wise for monitoring periodically the upgradation of

According to the company, the discovery is a significant boost to ONGCs efforts towards attaining critical hydrocarbon volumes for viability of a possible cluster based development for the block. In Tripura, the company has struck hydrocarbon in its pre-licensing round block. Conventional testing showed gas flow at the rate of 1,08,576 cubic metres per day. The ONGC board also decided to invest over Rs.4,050 crore to upgrade western offshore facilities through two

major projects. The first project is the revamp of unmanned platforms Phase-II in Mumbai High and the Neelam and Heera asset. The total revamp job is expected to be completed by pre-monsoon 2016. The second project concerns revamp of two major process complexes, BPA and BPB, in the prolific Bassein and Satellite field in the western offshore. While the revamping work of BPB is planned to be completed in 2013-14, that for BPA is scheduled for completion in 2014-15.

huge Indian market for foreign investors. South Korea, which traditionally invests three times more abroad than its in-bound FDI, is actively looking at expanding its industrial footprint in India. Korea Trade-investment Promotion Agency has reportedly signed an agreement with Rajasthan government last week to set up an exclusive Korean Special Economic Zone in an area of 250 acres. Trade and economic relations between India and South Korea have grown from strength to strength in recent years. Trade increased over 200 percent during 2006-11. India is now the 12th largest trading partner of South Korea. Bilateral trade has been growing at 20 percent annually on an average, over the last five years. Bilateral trade stood at $17.39 billion during the January-November 2012 period. A target of $40 billion in bilateral trade has been set for 2015.

Kolkata Mauritius Thursday sought investments from Indian information technology (IT) companies, promising them special benefits. Mauritius is only known as a tourist destination. We want to make it a preferred and secure investment destination as well, Mauritius ICT Minister Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum said here. We will welcome any investment from India in IT. You can come and explore any opportunity, Chedumbrum said when asked which areas his country was seeking investment from Indian IT companies. He was talking to media on the sidelines of Indiasoft 2013, a international IT exhibition and conference being held here. He said Mauritius would provide special benefits to companies which invest in the island nations IT sector. Were bilingual. We speak English and French with a good accent, which will specially help as far as BPO (business process outsourcing) is concerned. We have direct flights to India everyday. Doing business in our country will not be difficult, Chedumbrum said. He also expressed confidence that the two countries would find solutions to the differences on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in April when the two sides meet in New Delhi. We are working on that. Our finance minister will come to India in the next month and these issues will be resolved, Chedumbrum said.

slums. For this purpose a committee will be set up to suggest the methodology for drafting this index, said Ajay Maken, minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation. Maken was speaking at a function for the release of a report on housing stocks, amenities and assets in slums based on house listing and Housing Census 2011. He said his ministry will not have any distinction between notified, recog-

under the Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY) scheme with an objective of bringing improvements in slums. He also urged the state governments to convert the notified local bodies into statutory local bodies with provision of municipalities for improving the living conditions in these towns. Out of 330 million (33 crore) census houses, 17 million (1.73 crore) census houses have been reported in the house-listing blocks categorised as slums in India. There are more than 25 percent households across India which live in slums. Around 71 percent of the slums are located in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, while cities like Visakhapatnam, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Vijayawada and Meerut have more than 40 percent of slum households. The report was released in the presence of Minister of State for Home Affairs R.P.N. Singh at a function organised by the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India.

US fixed mortgage rates edge down

Washington US fixed mortgage rates edged down this week and continued to support the housing recovery, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac. The mortgage giant said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) fell to 3.54 percent in the week ended March 21, down from a six-month high of 3.63 percent in the previous week, and the 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, edged down to 2.72 percent from 2.79 percent, reported Xinhua. Both were elevated from the record lows of 3.31 percent and 2.63 percent, respectively. Since the beginning of

this year, US fixed mortgage rates have maintained a modest upward trend as the housing market bottoms out. But rates remained at an affordable level for house buying and refinancing. In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) held steady at 2.61 percent, while the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM went down to 2.63 percent. Low and stable inflation is placing downward pressure on fixed mortgage rates. Annual growth in the consumer price index has remained at or below two percent for the past four months, and for the producer index even lower, said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.

22 Nadal to skip Miami Masters

New Delhi India have their best chance to pay Australia back in their own coin in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series which ends with the fourth and last Test, starting here Friday. India were thrashed four-nil Down Under, now they look good to return the compliment, having already taken an unassailable 3-0 lead at Mohali. It is also the first time India have won three Tests on the trot in a series since they thrashed Sri Lanka in 1993-94 under Mohammad Azharuddins captaincy. The history, too, is against Australia in Delhi. They have never won a Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla since 1959, when they won by an innings and 127 runs. The three defeats have confirmed that Australia are ill-equipped to handle Indias spin. In fact, it is the back-up left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who has caused much of the damage, picking up the wicket of skipper Michael Clarke five times in the series. India are unlikely to tinker with the bowling attack as even the fast medium bowlers have chipped in with important wickets at crucial stages of the three Tests. Dhoni may be tempted to open with Cheteshwar Pujara, who went out with Murali Vijay in the second innings at Mohali as debutant opener Shikhar Dhawan injured his knuckles in the field. In the process, the skipper could accommodate Suresh Raina in the middle order, though ideally Ajikya Rahane should be the choice to open. With the series gone, the Australians will be playing for pride and to prevent the whitewash. Their team is in disarray with Skipper Michael Clarke still doubtful for the match with his chronic back acting up at Mohali. If he decides to sit out, Shane Watson will lead the team for the first time in a Test. Clarke has been suffering from a recurring back-injury that has been troubling him since he was 17. He was in great discomfort while batting in Mohali Test and received intensive treatment from physiotherapist Alex Kountouris Sunday. During the match, Clarke had to


India can pay Australia back four-nil at Kotla

leave the field, handing over the captaincy reins to veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. The Australian skipper took part in Thursdays practice session here after skipping it Wednesday. Clarke admitted that back injury was affecting his performance but said it will not cut down his career. I dont know if its as bad as its been. Its not a nice feeling. It was very uncomfortable and it impacted my performance (in Mohali), in regards to not the number of runs I made but the movement. I felt I couldnt move down the wicket because I was so restricted and Id hate to see what the fielding side of it looked like, he said. Clarke said he is feeling well after some serious treatment. Its slowly improving. If you ask Alex or the team doctor, they might have a different impression but, hopefully, a good day today, plenty of treatment, and I wake up in the morning, feel magnificent and I walk out and play another Test match for Australia, he said.

Washington Former tennis world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who beat Juan Martin del Potro to lift the Indian Wells title, will not feature in the Miami Masters which starts later in the week, organisers said. The Sony Open has been notified

FIFA backs Brazil

by the ATP that Rafael Nadal has officially withdrawn from the event, a statement from the organisers said. The reason was still unknown but the Indian Wells was Nadals fourth final in four tournaments since he returned in February from a seven-month absence owing to a knee injury.

Armaan Ebrahim to race in GT1 World Series

Zurich World football governing body FIFA has backed Brazil to have its 2014 World Cup stadiums and infrastructure ready in time despite construction delays. Only two venues are so far ready for the Confederations Cup in June, considered an organisational warm-up for the World Cup, Xinhua reports. Its all a question of trust and confidence, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter said after a meeting with the World Cup organising committee Tuesday. They will be ready because it is the World Cup and no one can afford not to be ready for the World Cup, he said. Rios Maracana Stadium, which will host the final of both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, has an April 27 deadline for the completion of re-development work. The venue last week had its playing surface laid but is still awaiting the installation of a fibreglass roof. The six World Cup stadiums that will host the Confederations Cup matches have been given until December to complete.

Gambhir confirms IPL-6 participation

Gurgaon Setting all rumours to the contrary to rest, India opener Gautam Gambhir confirmed his participation in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Gambhir, who is suffering from mild jaundice, captained the Kolkata Knight Riders to the title last year. I am available for the IPL. Its a mild jaundice, hoping to be good in 4-5 days time, Gambhir tweeted. The left-hander missed the last two matches for Delhi in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy due to illness and also missed a chance to make a return to the Indian national side after being selected to replace injured Shikhar Dhawan for the fourth and final Test

New Delhi Indian driver Armaan Ebrahim will represent the BMW Sports Trophy in the FIA GT1 World Series. Armaan, along with teammate Matteo Cressoni from Italy, will be driving the BMW Z4 which puts out close to 550 horsepower. GT1 sportscar series has participation from manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Mclaren, Audi, Lamborghini, Ford, Aston Martin, Porsche, Nissan and Ferrari. Armaan has already had a taste of GT1 last year, in a one-off race in Moscow with Team SunRed where he collected points in their very first outing. Post the Moscow race in 2012, discussions have been taking place over the winter, finally leading to a full contract with the BMW Sports Trophy - Team India GT1 Team. Armaans teammate Cressoni has had vast experience and success in the world of GT and Endurance Racing and is classified as a Gold Driver, while Armaan is classified as a Silver Driver as this will be his first year in GT racing. Armaan will get his first outing in the car March 21 in Zolder, Belgium. The first race is April 1 in Nogaro, France. Armaan commented on the move: Moving from Formula Cars to GT Cars will be a new challenge though I had a taste of it in Moscow last year. Team principal Joan Orus said, As a driver, Armaans experience in the single-seater will be very valuable and his skills in GT cars are not to be proved, after the race he did with the Ford GT in Moscow last season.

Its a dream come true to lead Australia: Shane Watson

Tendulkar fans flock to Kotla

New Delhi Thousands of cricket fans flocked to the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here Friday to see Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar play in what could be his last match in the national capital. Tendulkar, who retired from One-Day Internationals (ODI) in December 2012, has of late been less than a shadow of himself. However, that did not stop his fans from coming to see their hero on the first day of the fourth Test here of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Whether he is in form or out of form, Sachin is Sachin. Considering that this could be his last match in Delhi I did not want to miss the chance of seeing him play in front of my eyes, one last time, said Dinesh Singh, who bunked his college to see the 39-year-old maestro. Pallavi Singh also came to see her favourite cricketer. I have never seen Sachin play live. I am not so fond of Test matches but when I got to know that I might not be able to see him play ever again, I did not want to miss the chance, said Pallavi, who came with her family to see the match. Though past his prime, the legend still keeps his charm.

match against Australia starting Friday. Gambhir missed the last two matches for Delhi in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy due to illness.

New Delhi Two weeks after he angrily stormed out of the team, Shane Watson finally achieved his dream of becoming Australias Test captain as he stepped out to lead the team in place of injured skipper Michael Clarke in the fourth Test against India here Friday. Watson, who became the 44th Australian Test captain, said it was an honour to be appointed. Clarke stood down after he failed to recover from chronic back pain. Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will be Watsons deputy. Its really a dream come true to be asked to captain your country. Ive captained some One-Day Internationals, but to be asked to captain a Test will be the ultimate honour. Its obviously very disappointing that Michael hasnt come up, his batting and leadership will certainly be sorely missed, but Im looking forward to the challenge and responsibility over the next five days, Watson said in a statement. For Watson, captaincy comes a week of high drama that saw him angrily leave India in a hurry after he was dropped for the third Test, along with three others, for breaching discipline in Mohali. Watson, who was Clarkes deputy,

Even at the start and during the match, private messages like Come on Sachin from fans were being displayed on the giant TV screen inside the ground.

was even contemplating retirement as he returned home to be with his wife Lee for the birth of their first child, Will. He was also upset with Cricket Australia (CA) high performance manager Pat Howard, who said that Watson was only sometimes a team player. But later Watson and Howard called a truce and the all-rounder decided to return to join the team for the Delhi Test. The 31-year-old Watson admitted it has been a roller coaster ride for him in the last two weeks. It has been a very up and down week emotionally. To be stood down from a Test match hit me very hard and its been a great process over the week to get back into the team and contribute again. Michael and Mickey talked to me about it when I first arrived back in India so I knew it was always going to be touch and go with Michael to be at good fitness and able to play, admits Watson. I mentally started preparing from there knowing I could have the opportunity, said Watson.

Cricket Australia (CA) national selection panel member Rod Marsh said the decision to appoint Watson as the captain was straight-forward. Michael gave himself every opportunity to play, has worked hard to be fit and done everything the medical staff have asked of him but has not come up. The decision for Shane Watson to step in as captain was a very straight-forward one for the NSP. Shane is the vice captain on this tour and as a senior member of the group is well credentialed to lead Australia in Michaels absence, he said. Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Clarke would undergo scans after he returns to Sydney. The plan is for Michael to return to Sydney as soon as possible to have a series of scans and we will monitor his progress over the coming days before deciding on the best course of action. We will be taking the opportunity to investigate and manage his ongoing hamstring injury that has been intermittently troubling him since the Australian summer, he said.




Greg Dyke appointed FA chairman

London The Football Association (FA) Board has unanimously approved the nomination for Greg Dyke to be appointed its chairman. The FA, English footballs governing body, said the appointment will take effect from July 13. Dyke will take over from David Bernstein, subject to approval by the FA Council, Xinhua reports. In a high profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has worked as director general of the BBC. Besides, he also has a long background in football. He was a director of Manchester United in the late 1990s and since 2006 he has been non-executive Chairman of Brentford Football Club. Obviously as Chairman of the FA it is imperative that I am neutral so that means giving up my current role as Chairman of Brentford which I will miss. However, I shall be staying on until the end of the season, said the 65-year-old. Football has always been a big part of my life. I still turn out to play six-a-side some Thursday evenings although at my age I seem to spend more time injured than playing, added Dyke, who has been Chancellor of the University

Red Bull eyes turnaround in Malaysian Grand Prix

India-Indonesia Davis Cup tie under lights

of York since 2004. Currently Chairman of both the British Film Institute and Europes largest theatre group ATG, Dyke will give up both his role at Brentford and as a non-executive director at German broadcaster Pro Sieben in the next few months. I am very excited to take on this role with the FA, said Dyke. I do see one of the most important tasks for the FA is, over time, to make thoughtful changes which will benefit the England team. The FA has made a great start by rebuilding Wembley and developing great facilities at St. Georges Park but it is essential that the FA finds a way to ensure that more talented young English footballers are given their chance in the professional game at the highest level.

Sepang The Red Bull Formula 1 racing team is eyeing a turnaround in the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix after failing to make good use of the front row start in Melbourne last week. Mark Webber, who started in second place, could only finish sixth in the Australian Grand Prix and admitted that the team needed improvements after the first race of the season, reports Xinhua.

Its like literally doing an exam... Even if you are winning, you are still learning. When you got beaten, obviously you learn more, he said at the Sepang International Circuit Thursday. Webber said the team didnt need to panic as the season is still in an early stage. The team is still very composed, we are doing a lot of things right. Webbers teammate and three-time

Raikkonen puts up strong show in Malaysian GP practice

Narain Karthikeyan to drive in Auto GP opener

New Delhi Indias first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan will take part in the opening two races of the Auto GP World Series single-seater racing for the 2013 season. Karthikeyan, who was in F1 for the last two seasons with the now defunct HRT team, will drive for Zele Racing in the first of the eight-round championships beginning in Monza, Italy, Saturday. His teammate at Zele Racing will be 2012 Formula 2 Champion Luciano Bacheta. Karthikeyan, 36, secured the last minute drive after not being able to find an F1 seat in 2013. He is now looking to make the most of his Auto GP stint. I was looking forward to continuing my F1 career in 2013 with HRT. Unfortunately circumstances within the team led to the operations shutting down. I have decided to accept the invitation from Michael Zele (team owner), as it keeps me driving a high powered single-seater, said Karthikeyan. Ive worked with Zele Racing before, and have known Michael for a long time. Im looking forward to the first race in Monza, as its a track I know well, he added. Zele Racing, which made their Auto

world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to turn his pole position into victory, finishing third behind Ferraris Fernando Alonso and race winner Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. Webber hoped the tyre problem would be improved during the weekend. Looking at the practice tomorrow (Friday), We will do some work to understand the tyre a little bit more, he said.

Bangalore In a first of its kind, the Asia Oceania Davis Cup tie between India and Indonesia will be played under lights April 5-7 at the KSLTA Tennis Stadium here. According to Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) secretary CS Sunder Raju, the decision to hold the matches in the afternoon was to ensure larger public participation during the event. We have taken special permission from the International Tennis Federation to stage the matches late in the day, so as to provide the citizens of Bangalore a chance to come and watch all the ties leisurely. On the opening day (April 5), the first tie would start at 3 p.m. followed by the second singles. The doubles match on the second day (April 6) will start at 5 p.m. The reverse singles on the third and final day will be played from 3 p.m. We expect the ties on all three days to stretch beyond dusk and we have adequate lighting system, as per ITF specification, in place at the Stadium, he said. Raju opined that the Bangalore public would have an opportunity to watch a full- strength Indian team spearheaded by Somdev Devvarman

and Leander Paes. KSLTA joint secretary P.R. Ramaswamy said: The centre court and practice court have been re-laid at the request of All India Tennis Association. They wanted a slower surface and we had specialists from Delhi to re-do the surface and it is ready now. The players lounge and other facilities at the Stadium are being re-furbished. The tickets will be moderately priced and will go on sale from early next week. A special discount is being offered to clubs and academies for bulk purchase. The KSLTA has formed an organising committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka as chairman. KSLTA had last hosted a Davis Cup tie in August 1985, when India met Sweden in the quarter-finals. The formidable Swedish squad of Mats Wilander, Andres Jarryd, Stefan Edberg and Joakim Nystrom defeated a vintage Indian team comprising Vijay Amritaj, Anand Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and Sashi Menon 4-1. The KSLTA turned the clay courts into grass for that tie to suit the Indian players as the Swedes were specialists on clay.

Sepang Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus put on a strong performance in the two practice sessions of the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, following his outstanding two-stop victory in Melbourne last week. The Finnish was second fastest in the first practice but was quickest in second practice with the best lap time of 1:36.569 at the Sepang International Circuit here. James Allison, Lotus technical director, said Raikkonen was very relaxed and confident going into the season. He drove the race incredibly patiently as I think he knew he had a good car, Allison told a press conference after the practice sessions. He looks after the tyres and only goes quickly when he needs to. Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel continued his steady performance, recording the second and third best times in the two sessions. His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber set the fastest lap time in the morning before dropping to the fifth place in the afternoon. Fernando Alonso, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix last year, was fourth during the whole of practice. The other Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was third in the second practice after being seventh fastest in the morning. The teams were conducting tests on the hard-compound tyres in the morning, before putting on the mediumcompound tyres in the second session. A heavy downpour in the afternoon also provided the teams with chances to test the wet tyres.

GP last year, finished eighth and last in the team standings scoring 56 points. Auto GP was called Euroseries 3000 until 2009. The cars used in the championships are powered by Zytek engines and Lola chassis. The series is promoted by Coloni Motorsport and will be running eight rounds, featuring two races every race weekend. Past champions include current Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean.

Sochi to open multi-faith centres for 2014 Games

Moscow Three multi-faith prayer centres will open in Sochi for athletes at next years Winter Olympics, organisers said Thursday. The centres will cater for five major world religions offering services in different languages, including English and French, organisers said. A multi-faith centre will represent five religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, organising committee official Vitaly Savilov said. We will provide five prayer rooms for each religion in one place and two zones with corresponding infrastructure for visitors, he added. A centre will be built at each of the three Olympic villages: at the coastal cluster of skating facilities; at the mountain cluster of ski and snowboard venues; and at the so-called Endurance Olympic Village for biathlon and Nordic Combined competitors. Savilov spoke at a presentation of a program on how the needs of believers will be met during the Games time in the presence of the Russian Interfaith Council that unites the countrys followers. Organisers also announced that followers of other religions would be offered contacts for their faiths representatives in the region. The first Russian Winter Olympics will be held from Feb 7 through 23 next year. The Paralympics run March 7-16.



Lights, camera, fashion, says Arpan Vohra at LFW

Mumbai Fashion designer Arpan Vohra took inspiration from the 1960s for his vintage collection with a modern twist. The collection, loaded with metallic colours, was titled Lights, camera, fashion. The fashionable yet wearable collection was showcased here Friday at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) summerresort 2013. About the collection, Vohra said: It is inspired by the 1960s vintage looks, to which I have tried to give a modern twist. I have used a lot of metallic gold, which looks sexy and which can be worn may be in the day, afternoon or in the evening. With a theme of black and white running through the collection, the garments were immensely chic. Along with clever use of lace and dull metallic gold piping, Vohra has included a combination of black, white and dull metallic gold. I have recreated the magic of contemporary resort styling by playing in movement of the colours to exhibit a demure, yet sporty look in my resort line, he said. The collection widely emphasised on both short and long dresses, as well as jumpsuits. With spectacular cut works on the back and sleeves, the outfits looked fashionable.

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