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THE HINDU Imp. News Jan.

24th 2012 Page-1

Protest pulls the plug on Rushdie's video show: In a rather unbecoming finale of an international event propounding freedom of expression and universal brotherhood, the five-day Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) abandoned the much-talked about videoconference hosting eminent author Salman Rushdie here on Tuesday. Man held for 13/7 is a police informer, admits Home Secretary: The Bihar man held by the Maharashtra police on the charge of playing a key role in organising the July 13, 2011serial bombings in Mumbai was a Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau informant, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh told journalists on Tuesday. Naquee Ahmed Sheikh was an informer in a particular operation in which he was supposed to lead these people [the police and Intelligence Bureau] to a location. He led them to a location where some people were going to come, Mr. Singh said. Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau officials say they have no evidence of Mr. Sheikh's involvement in the bombings. The Mumbai Police, however, insist he concealed evidence from their counterparts, and say they have evidence linking him to the purchase of two stolen scooters used to plant explosive devices in the city. Hafiz Saeed threatens' India: Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror bombings, is being feted in Pakistan as a hero attracting thousands of people as he criss-crosses the country at the head of a radical road-show targeting India and calling for jihad. Mr. Saeed, founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), said he wanted to send a message to India, America and NATO forces that the defence of Pakistan was his main priority. BSF SI, Army jawan killed in avalanche: A BSF Sub-Inspector and an Army jawan were killed and five security personnel went missing when an avalanche struck near the Line of Control in Kupwara district of Kashmir on Tuesday.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

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Page 2 Military might for one and all to see: The Parade will begin with Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra winners marching down Rajpath, followed by the mounted cavalry troops, mechanised column and three advanced light helicopters. The Army will display the T-72 main battle tanks, Agni-4 missile and advanced light helicopter. The Navy this year is showcasing a Delhi-class destroyer, a UAV positioned atop a globe and IL-38 reconnaissance aircraft. For the first time, a woman officer, Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat, will command the IAF marching contingent. It will be followed by tableaux of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and Mi-17 choppers. Tableaux from Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and eight other States will highlight their culture, art and craft this year. However, Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh will not be represented. Page- 7 Writer-intellectual Sukumar Azhikode dead: Sukumar Azhikode, award-winning writer, scholar and probably the most influential Gandhian intellectual in Kerala, died at a private hospital here on Tuesday. Professor Azhikode, who would have turned 86 on May 12, had been fighting cancer for nearly a year. Law Commission's new draft wants khap panchayats on marriages declared illegal: Rejecting the government's proposal to amend Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code to include honour killings' within the definition of murder on the ground that the existing provisions are adequate to take care of the situations leading to such killings, the Law Commission has drafted fresh legislation that seeks to declare such panchayats unlawful. Marriage, according to the draft law, includes a proposed or intended marriage. The Collector or the District Magistrate has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the persons targeted in case any illegal decision is taken by the khap panchayat and he/she shall take necessary steps to prohibit the convening of such illegal gatherings. Pointing out that the same gotra marriages are not prohibited by law, whatever may be the view in old time, the Law Commission says the Hindu Marriage Disabilities Removal Act, 1946 was enacted to dispel any doubts in this regard. Olive Ridleys' nesting site under threat: Shifting of river mouth and erosion have changed the terrain of the nesting beach of Olive Ridley turtles near the Rushikulya rookery in Ganjam district of Odisha. In the recent months, the Ruhsikulya river A goal is a dream with a deadline. Page 2

mouth has shifted towards the north. This has completely eroded the long sandy nesting beach near Kantiagada village, where most of the turtles laid their eggs last year. At present, no sandy beach remains in the area and the sea is touching the casuarina forest on the coastline. This shifting of the river mouth has also led to the formation of a 500-metre-long sandbar of more than 200 metres inside the sea. Following the mating season, a large number of female turtles are waiting for nesting. Males have started to return. Even after mating, female Olive Ridleys at times do not lay eggs if the environment is not conducive for nesting. While some experts say the turtles can keep the fertilised eggs inside their body for two to three years, others are of the view that the females can keep the sperm in their body and opt for fertilisation of eggs whenever they want, said Mr. Jena. Zoologists say female Olive Ridleys can also absorb fertilised eggs in their body if the nesting situation is not favourable. However, the nesting habit of Olive Ridleys still remains a mystery. In 2007, there was no mass nesting on the Rushikulya rookery coast, while in 2006, there was mass nesting on two occasions. Census records rise in vulture count in Panna: The results of the vulture census in the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) will definitely provide wildlife enthusiasts with a reason to cheer. The count in the third annual estimation exercise that concluded on Monday has registered an increase of 39 per cent over the last year's figures. While the maximum vulture population this year stood at 1797 (as against 1340 in 2011), the minimum number was 1054 (814 last year) while the average count recorded was 1510 (1079 last year). Vultures were found in 38 of the 39 sites earmarked for counting, as against 21 of 25 sites last year. The PTR is home to seven vulture species long-billed, white-backed, Egyptian, red-headed, Eurasian griffon, Himalayan griffon and cinereous. The first four are permanent residents of the park while the last three are migratory. Because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the long-billed vulture and the Himalayan griffon vulture, 97 birds could only be identified as unknown by the observers due to lack of technical expertise, PTR Field Director R.S. Murthy told The Hindu . The use of the banned diclofenac for cattle around the Patori village and the cutting of the Arjun tree, which serves as a good nesting site for the white-backed vulture, are two areas of concerns we have identified as threats to vultures. Efforts are needed to stop such activities, Mr. Murthy said. EDITORIAL The RBI's balancing act: The Reserve Bank of India has managed a delicate balancing act in the third quarter review of monetary policy 2011-12 unveiled on Tuesday. The reduction in cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 0.50 percentage point to 5.5 per cent will somewhat ease the tight liquidity conditions in the money market, while the decision A goal is a dream with a deadline. Page 3

to leave interest rates unchanged sends a clear signal that the apex bank is still not comfortable with the overall picture on inflation. However, the central bank has done its bit to encourage credit off-take by infusing liquidity (Rs.32,000 crore) through a reduction in the CRR. Despite the RBI's open market operations injecting Rs.70,000 crore over the past two months, money remained scarce, affecting credit flow to borrowers. Nigeria under siege: The series of bombings in Kano, Nigeria's second-largest city, which have killed 178 so far and for which the extreme Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility, reveal many interconnected problems. The attacks were mainly on police buildings, with a view to freeing members held for violent offences; an unspecified number of detainees escaped. Boko Haram killed 510 people in scattered attacks in 2011. The latest episode shows more planning, with police stations, government buildings, and churches being particularly targeted. In Hausa, Boko Haram means western education is sinful', In response, President Goodluck Jonathan says his government will not rest until the terrorists are wiped out . Kano is under dusk-to-dawn curfew, and various northern states remain under emergency law. Mr. Jonathan's Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) did very well in the north. While it makes shortterm sense to treat the Kano attacks as primarily a security issue, the President needs to find effective ways of leveraging these qualities of Nigerian society into an effective political weapon against Boko Haram's deadly violence. Lessons from the coup that failed: The year 2012 began with a new promise for Bangladesh's secular democracy: the Army on January 19 said it had foiled a coup attempt to topple the democratic government by a group of serving and retired army officers. Making the announcement, its spokesman, Brig. Gen. Muhammad Mashud Razzak, flanked by senior army officers, said 14-16 mid-level army officers might have been involved in the bid. This was the first time such an announcement was made by the Army, even though the country had seen many abortive and successful coups in the past. The spokesman said retired officers Lt. Col. Ehsan Yusuf and Major Zakir had been arrested. A Major General was now under investigation. The founding father of the country, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with most of his family members, was assassinated in August 1975. The tragedy reverted the nation's normal course from secular democracy, which was the guiding force of the 1971 War of Liberation. Three policy decisions Three fundamental policy decisions are responsible for the heightened animosity: first, the Hasina government, with a three-fourths majority in Parliament, was determined to return the nation to its secular pro-liberation spirit; second, it took bold steps to improve relations with the neighbour which supported Bangladesh's historic Liberation War, and concluded progressive accords, addressing India's security concerns by taking a firm stand against its northeast insurgents; and thirdly, the government took the bold step of trying the perpetrators of the worst atrocities against humanity who collaborated with the marauding Pakistani army in the 1971 war. The landmark trial, now in progress, has already raised concern in the Khaleda Zia-led camp which wants to frustrate the trial. A goal is a dream with a deadline. Page 4

Page 9 Not much of a sea-based deterrent: Just when the Russian nuclear-powered Akula-II submarine joins the Indian Navy as INS Chakra on a 10year lease at a cost of over $one billion, the moot question is: does it contribute to India's sea-based nuclear deterrence? To put matters in perspective, India in 1988 had procured the Soviet Charlie I class nuclear attack submarine, renamed INS Chakra on a three-year lease. The vessel came without strategic weapons, with the sole purpose of familiarising naval personnel on training and maintenance of nuclear-powered submarines. While the promised assistance to the ATV ( Advanced Technology Vessel) programme which culminated in the launch of 80MW nuclear reactor S-2 vessel (to be called INS Arihant on commissioning) by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 July 2009 came in fits and starts, the technology of the 6,000 tonne vessel is between first and second generation vintage. By comparison, the U.S. has ninth generation nuclear-powered subs which do not require refuelling throughout their lifetime. The Russian Akula sub, given the same name, INS Chakra comes with similar purpose and rules of engagement. Like the earlier deal, the undisclosed understanding this time is that it is part of the Gorshkov package (INS Vikramaditya) Chakra, the filler of strategic space: A strategic posture of a nation is a declaration, more by deed than articulation, of its orientation, will and intent. It purports to mould and shape a future that would benefit its larger objectives. The process is fraught with the hazards of conflicting interests and therefore it demands the weight of the nation's comprehensive power both soft and hard. In an era when the face of soft power is that of an Assange and its voice, that of Gandhi, Gibran, Che and Osama; a critical instrument to uphold posture is the State's military power and the talent to distinguish between the maintenance of armed forces and their use. The nuclear attack submarine (SSN) being completely independent of air for propulsion frees it from the need to surface frequently, the enormous power generated permits a bigger hull to operate at high speeds with large payloads for durations that is limited by human fatigue and replenishment of consumables only (reactors require refuelling at intervals of 25 years). In real terms, it is critical to understand what the Chakra represents. Working the submarine to our operational challenges and demands is just the tip of the iceberg, training and building a bank of specialised personnel; creating the necessary infrastructure to maintain nuclear submarines. Pushing Iran to the brink: The EU has decided on oil sanctions that Tehran has long said would represent a declaration of war. What will follow? A goal is a dream with a deadline. Page 5

The decision to impose a European Union oil embargo on Iran, agreed on Monday, by European foreign ministers, sets a potential bomb ticking, timed to detonate on July 1. On that day, according to the measures on the table in Brussels, Europe will stop importing oil from Iran, about a fifth of the country's total exports. At about the same time, U.S. sanctions targeted at the global financing of Iran's oil trade will kick in. Iran could still export some oil to Asia, but at big discounts. The threat of an immediate clash appeared to recede over the weekend when the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier and its task force, including the British frigate HMS Argyll , travelled through the Strait of Hormuz without incident. This was despite warnings from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that it would oppose the return of a U.S. carrier to the region. The Strait of Hormuz is the kink in the hose of the Gulf's oil supply to the world. A small amount of pressure can have a disproportionate effect, sending crude prices soaring and starving the world's oildependent economies. At its narrowest point, the strait is 20 miles wide, but the channels down which more than a third of the world's ocean-borne oil flows 17m barrels are just two miles wide in parts. The U.S. has made clear that interruption to sea traffic in the Gulf would trigger a military response in which Iran's nuclear facilities would be on the target lists. Until now the costs of a war with Iran outweigh the gains of setting the nuclear programme back. But if the U.S. were going to war over oil, that cost-benefit analysis would change. The last time Iran and America played chicken in this stretch of water, in 1988, a missile cruiser shot down an Iranian Airbus, killing 290 civilians including 66 children. There is no doubting the firepower at America's disposal. The Iranian military looks puny by comparison but it is powerful enough to do serious damage to commercial shipping. It has three Kilo-class Russian diesel submarines, which are thought to have the capacity to lay mines. And it has a large fleet of mini-submarines and thousands of small boats which can pass undetected until very close. It also has a martyrdom tradition that could provide willing suicide attackers. In 2002, the U.S. military ran a $250m exercise called Millennium Challenge, pitting the U.S. against an unnamed rogue state with lots of small boats and willing martyr brigades. The rogue state won, or at least was winning when the Pentagon brass shut the exercise down. One U.S. naval response has been to develop a new kind of fighting vessel, the littoral combat ship (LCS). The LCS is sleek, small and agile with a shallow draft and high speeds, allowing it to operate along islandpocked coastlines. Ehsan Mehrabi, an Iranian journalist specialising in military and strategic issues who recently left the country, wrote on the Inside Iran website: I recall an Iranian idiom that was popular among the military officials: If we drown, we'll drown everyone with us.' If attacked by a western power, the war would not be contained within the Iranian borders. Even if Washington and Tehran remain determined to avoid all-out war, with every passing month there is a rising chance of one breaking out by accident. A goal is a dream with a deadline. Page 6

Page- 11 Jallikattu: Irish group calls for tourism boycottA leading Irish animal rights group on Tuesday announced plans to launch a Europe-wide campaign for a tourism boycott of India to protest against Jallikattu,' describing it as a cruel bull-abusing contact game.'' The campaign by the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) would be called Incredible Cruelty, a play on the Ministry of Tourism's Incredible India campaign. Panel on Mullaperiyar to submit report to court by third week of February: Tamil Nadu wants it to maintain that dam will continue to serve its purpose The Surpeme Court-appointed Empowered Committee indicated on Tuesday that it would submit a report on the Mullaperiyar dam to the court in February third week. At a meeting here, it discussed various technical reports on the dam's safety and strengthening measures. The former Chief Justice of India, A.S. Anand, heads the committee. The other members are: Justice K.T. Thomas, retired Supreme Court Judge representing Kerala; Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, retired Supreme Court Judge representing Tamil Nadu; the former Secretary to the Ministry of Water Resources, C.D. Thatte; and D.K. Mehta, retired Chief Engineer, Central Water Commission. Page 12 Car bombs kill 14 in Baghdad: A wave of car bombings on Tuesday hit the Iraq capital, killing 14 people and wounding more than 70 as violence surges in the country amid an escalating political crisis a month after the U.S. military withdrawal. At least 170 people have died in attacks since the beginning of the year, many of them Shiite pilgrims attending religious commemorations. 30 injured in Sichuan violence: About 30 Tibetans injured after Chinese police fired into a crowd of protesters in a restive southwestern region were seeking shelter on Tuesday in a monastery while military forces surrounded the building, said a Tibetan monk. BUSINESS RBI cuts CRR to spur growth: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cut the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 50 basis points from 6 per cent to 5.5 per cent with effect from January 28, which would release Rs.32,000 crore into the financial system.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

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Cairn-Vedanta deal gets final approval from Cabinet: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday gave its final approval to the Londonbased mining group Vedanta Resources Plc's acquisition of a majority stake in Cairn India Limited for $8.48 billion. The CCEA, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the deal at a meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday. Fresh approval was necessitated in view of the Home Ministry pointing to alleged cases of serious human rights violations, default of payment, environmental damage in its mining and metal projects in India and abroad. Sibal to take a final call on spectrum pricing: Those who met Mr. Sibal included Bharti Airtel's Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Mittal, Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani, Vodafone India's CEO Marten Pieters and Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania. These top telecom sector leaders had also met the Minister in November last year on similar issues and other challenges being faced by the sector. Last year, the Telecom Commission, the DoT's decision-making body, had recommended levy a one-time charge for extra spectrum beyond the contracted limit of 4.4 MHz for GSM players and 2.5 MHz for CDMA operators, which could fetch the government around Rs.17,000 crore. The Commission has also cleared a uniform licence fee of 8 per cent as against the current rate of 6-10 per cent, while the industry has been demanding a lower licence fee. Page 18 Eunuchs have equal right to protect their dignity: court Eunuchs have an equal right to protect their dignity and lead their life, the Bombay High Court said on Tuesday while hearing a petition that sought steps to ensure their fundamental rights. Sun hurls storng geomagnetic storm: The strongest geomaganetic storm in more than six years was forecast to hit earth s maganetic field on Tuesday, and it could affect airline routes, power grids and satellites, said the U. S. Space Weather Prediction Center. A coronal mas ejection, a big chunk of the Sun s atmosphere, was hurled towards Earth on Sunday, driving energised solar particles at about 2,000 km per second, about five times faster than solar particals normally travel, said the centre s Terry Onsager.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

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