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A goal is a dream with a deadline.

THE HINDU Imp. News Feb.22nd 2012 FRONT PAGE NCTC won't take away States' powers: Manmohan:Within days of non-Congress Chief Ministers flaying the Centre's move to set up a counter-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to seven of them, explaining that the primary purpose of the National CounterTerrorism Centre was to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country. New Delhi, Rome in damage-control mode: The standoff between India and Italy over the killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast is not over yet with the detention of two marksmen, though the two sides are trying to prevent any damage to their multi-faceted ties from the incident. Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Staffan De Mistura will arrive here on Wednesday, and the Foreign Minister next week, in an attempt to convince India that any of their nationals involved in criminal activities anywhere are subject to Italian law. But India points to Section 4 of the Indian Penal Code, which says any crime committed against an Indian or on an Indian vessel, wherever it may be, can be tried in India. The aim was to insulate bilateral ties. That's why we explained the legal framework on Sunday to the Italian delegation. Besides, law and order is a State subject, the sources pointed out. Rome has said Mr. De Mistura will continue on a political level the action so far carried out by a delegation of [Italian] experts. Pakistani held on spying charge: A 39-year-old Pakistani national has been arrested at the New Delhi railway station here on charges of spying. Police claim to have recovered some defence-related documents from him. Acting on a tip-off, a Delhi Police Crime Branch team arrested Kamran Akbar alias Attar alias Asif Hossain while he was trying to board a train to Kolkata. Some sensitive documents were recovered from him and a case was registered, the police said. Kamran, a resident of Karachi, first came to India in 1992 on a valid Pakistani passport via train and started staying with his uncle Mohammad Salim in Kolkata. He then went to Goa with his uncle and his acquaintance Asraf Khan. Salim, being a tourist guide, was well-acquainted with the topography of Goa, allegedly committed robberies along with Kamran and Asraf to make easy money. Kamran along with his two accomplices was arrested and sent to jail. On his release in 1996, he came back to Kolkata to stay with another relative and procured an Indian passport in the name of Asif Hossain. He then went back to Pakistan on a month-long visa in July 1997.

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A goal is a dream with a deadline.

EDITORIAL Latin America, India's next big thing?Policy wonks in Latin America eagerly await the reports of the U.N.'s Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Based in Santiago, with a history of leadership by heavyweights such as Ral Prebisch, Enrique Iglesias and Gert Rosenthal, and known as Latin America's think tank, Much of the recent work of ECLAC's International Trade and Integration Division has been on Asia and its links with region. A few weeks ago, it released its first report on India and India-LAC links. Titled India and Latin America and the Caribbean: Opportunities and Challenges in Trade and Investment Relations (LC/L346, November 2011), it was just in time for a seminar organised by the Indian Embassy in Buenos Aires, The New India and the New Latin America: Synergies and Complementarities, in a joint venture with ECLAC. The report and the seminar's deliberations throw fresh light on one of the hottest topics going these days the new impetus acquired by South-South trade and investment flows in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC). They complement last year's reports from the Inter-American Development Bank India: Latin America's Next Big Thing? and another study released by the Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System, officially known as Sistema Econmico Latinoamericano y del Caribe (SELA), in Caracas on the same subject. Over the course of the past decade, it has also become one of the growth poles of the world economy and thus a natural partner for India. With a population of 580 million, a GDP of $4.9 trillion (four times larger than that of India) and six per cent of the world's merchandise trade, it has shown remarkable resilience in the face of the GFC. Although its GDP fell by 1.7 per cent in 2009, its recovery was swift, growing at 6.1 per cent in 2010, and at a (projected) 4.5 per cent in 2011. This is in marked contrast to many European countries now on the verge of bankruptcy and a United States still in the throes of the recession. The report identifies some interesting differences between Chinese and Indian outward FDI. These show the special opportunities Indian capital offers to LAC. They are basically three: 1) Indian FDI is largely fuelled by supply and demand and private companies, whereas the Chinese one is mostly led by government 2) India's FDI goes mostly to the developed world and to manufacturing and services, whereas Chinese FDI is mainly geared to developing countries and mining, and 3) India's comparative advantages lie in its corporate governance and management, whereas China's are in government strategy and economic diplomacy. The ECLAC report suggests a number of steps. I would highlight three: 1) developing joint strategies for trade and investment promotion; 2) working together on infrastructure, competitiveness and innovation; and 3) launching a series of policy dialogues on inter-regional cooperation. We have come a long way since the days when India and some Latin American countries championed the cause of what was then called the New International Economic Order (NIEO) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. But there is little doubt that the challenge of making South-South cooperation work is once again at the top of the policy agenda though this time driven by sound economic opportunities rather than by wishful thinking.
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Working for labour: If the country's trade unions expected progress on the vexed question of a minimum wage guarantee at the 44th Indian Labour Conference, their hopes may have been dashed by the United Progressive Alliance government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's inaugural address last week made no mention of implementing a National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW). Never mind that the application of the 1948 law to all establishments irrespective of the number of workers engaged was uppermost on the conference agenda. The current NFLMW fixed by the Centre in April 2011 is Rs.115 a day. But under the 1948 law, States are free to set their own minimum. As a result, the rates range from a maximum of Rs.203 a day in the National Capital Region of Delhi, to a meagre 68.96 in Andhra Pradesh as on March 2011. Significantly, as many as 21 States still fall below the national minimum, whereas 14 pay wages above that amount. Amendments to the Minimum Wages Act are thus critical to a guaranteed subsistence income for millions of unskilled labourers, including women, who fall well below the standard human development indicators. the Prime Minister's statements on social security for employees amount to an endorsement of the erroneous view that the protections currently available to the organised sector are coming in the way of job creation. We must periodically take a critical look [at] whether our regulatory framework has some parts which unnecessarily hamper the growth of employment, enterprise and industry without really contributing significantly to labour welfare, said Dr. Singh. India's trade unions have had a considerable and highly constructive presence in the banking, insurance and telecommunications industries in the public sector for some decades now. While they have time and again opposed the divestment of government stakes in these enterprises, an inability to organise the workforce in the information and communications technology sector has been a singular failure. It is time the concerns of this segment were also addressed. Taking German lessons: The resignation of German President Christian Wulff has diminished the standing of Chancellor Angela Merkel but the episode confirms the strength of the country's public processes. Mr. Wulff resigned on February 17 after months of scandal over murky financial dealings and more recent attempts to suppress reportage of these by leaving threatening voicemail messages for the editors of two newspapers. Mr. Wulff is the second Merkel presidential nominee in under two years to quit amid controversy; his predecessor, Horst Khler, resigned in 2010 after claiming that deploying troops abroad benefited the German economy. The allegations against Mr. Wulff are that during his term as Minister President of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2010, he had not told the State Assembly about a 500,000 home loan, which he later managed to refinance at a discounted rate. He had also taken holidays in wealthy friends' villas in Tuscany and Mallorca respectively, and another friend paid for the Wulff family's upgrade at a luxury Munich hotel. In 2000, Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor and leader of Ms Merkel's own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), had to admit his party had received two million deutschmarks in undeclared donations, mainly from arms-industry lobbyists; he resigned the party's honorary presidency. As for Mr. Wulff, he has been hoist by his own petard; he himself passed strict laws on public officials' conduct in Lower Saxony, where state-school teachers
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have been prosecuted for accepting free tickets to amusement parks. Yet the quality of Germany's body politic is shown by public anger over the demeaning of the highest national office, which carries much power: among other things, the President can veto legislation, nominate a replacement Chancellor, and dissolve the federal parliament. In addition, public prosecutors in the Lower Saxony capital, Hanover, have asked the Bundestag to lift Mr. Wulff's immunity from prosecution. The contrast with India, where governments and prosecutors must be dragged kicking and screaming to court before they agree to investigate and prosecute politicians accused of corruption couldn't be greater. Germany has provided a clear lesson in what substantive probity in public life can mean. OP ED The Dow side of corporate sponsorship: Dow Chemical got it wrong if it thought when it acquired the worldwide assets of Union Carbide that it wouldn't have to deal with the legacy of the 1984 Bhopal disaster that killed thousands of people. Persistent campaigning by Indian civil society groups and international human rights organisations has made sure that what happened in Bhopal 28 years ago is not forgotten. Last week, Amnesty International expressed disappointment after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected the Indian Olympic Association's call to terminate Dow's sponsorship of the Games. Dow announced in December that it was withdrawing its logo as an official sponsor of the Games but human rights groups want the IOC and others organising the Games to go further, including by acknowledging a mistake in working with Dow. Ms Alexander's resignation reflects those lingering concerns. Olympic sponsors have faced criticism in the past. During the 2008 Beijing Games, the Save Darfur campaign targeted major sponsors like General Electric and Coca Cola, urging them to use their influence with the Chinese government to stop the crimes against humanity that the Sudanese government was accused of committing in Darfur. The companies weren't in any way involved with the abuses, but campaigners saw them as legitimate targets. They believed the companies could intervene with the Chinese, and the Chinese would in turn use their influence to stop the Sudanese government from continuing the atrocities in Darfur. The record of such actions is mixed and when such interventions become public, have often been unsuccessful. Coke and GE then, Dow now. But there is a crucial difference: no one was accusing companies sponsoring the Beijing Games of being complicit in human rights abuses in Darfur. In Dow's case, many activist groups claim that the company has a case to answer over the tragedy in Bhopal, when thousands of people died after methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a fertilizer plant. The plant was operated at the time by Union Carbide, an American corporation Dow Chemical acquired a few years later, although Union Carbide's Indian assets were sold to an Indian company prior to that acquisition. The liability of Dow with regard to the disaster in 1984 itself is not easy to establish, but activists and lawyers in India assert that Dow cannot escape responsibility for the ongoing contamination of ground water in Bhopal, and its health impacts.

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Developing and implementing more rigorous criteria won't be easy. But organisers cannot shirk that responsibility. The Olympics represent the noblest of human efforts to strive towards higher standards. Citius , Altius , Fortius , or faster, higher, stronger is the motto of the Games. By the same standard, organisers should aspire towards the highest standards when they undertake due diligence to select partners, in celebration of this ultimate test of human endeavour. Fighting piracy on dry land: Late in 1815, ten British warships arrived off Algiers, armed with dozens of cannon and orders to use nothing else to negotiate with the Barbary coast corsairs holed up in the citadelport. The British and their Dutch allies suffered 141 dead but killed more than 2,000 pirates, destroyed their fleet and levelled their fortifications. Barbary pirates continued to prey on merchant traffic until 1830, when the French occupied Algiers, but their backbone was broken. Even though 30 navies are now operating in the Indian ocean an unprecedented multinational effort that has brought together countries as diverse as the United States and Iran, as well as India and Pakistan attacks by Somali groups actually rose to 237 last year, from 219 in 2010. The solution to high-seas piracy lies on dry land and will need means more complex and subtle than the cannon that levelled the corsairs in 1815. The pirate cartels Somalia's pirate cartels have their roots in a failed state: the country has had no real government since 1991. Its Western-backed administration, under siege from the powerful jihadist group al-Shabaab, has no influence outside the capital, Mogadishu, and it survives because of the presence of African Union peacekeepers, backed by the United States. The country's economy is in ruins. Experts say the pirate cartels now function much like modern businesses. Puntland's capital, Garowe, hosts a stock exchange where criminal cartels can put up money to fund future attacks. Banks based in Hong Kong and Singapore help route ransom payments from owners to the pirates, while British-owned firms based in Kenya conduct negotiations and air-drop cash to the cartels. Warships, experts concur, aren't going to solve the problem. In March 2011, the United States' Government Accountability Office said a naval analysis had estimated that 1,000 ships equipped with helicopters would be required to provide the same level of coverage in the Indian Ocean that is currently provided in the Gulf of Aden an approach that is clearly infeasible . Finding means to rebuild Somalia's coastal villages, and bring order to the region, might seem just as infeasible but it is time nations at least began considering how it might be done.

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INTERNATIONAL Pakistan to seek Interpol help for Musharraf's arrest: Pakistan has decided to ask Interpol to arrest the former President, Pervez Musharraf, in connection with the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, for failing to provide adequate security to her. Mr. Musharraf is currently based in the U.K. While the briefing did not throw up new details, the Minister said 27 terrorist outfits helped the Tehreeke-Taliban Pakistan execute the assassination on December 27, 2007, in the garrison town of Rawalpindi. Afghans rally at U.S. base over desecration: More than 2,000 angry Afghans protested outside an American air base on Tuesday after they learned that copies of the holy book were burned in a pile of garbage at a sprawling U.S. military base north of Kabul. Die, die, foreigners! shouted the demonstrators. Some fired rifles into the air. Others threw rocks at the gate of the base and set tyres ablaze. The burning of the holy book and other religious books was unintentional, said U.S. Gen. John Allen, top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The incident stoked anti-foreign sentiment that already is on the rise after a decade of war in Afghanistan and fuelled the arguments of Afghans who claim foreign troops are not respectful of their culture or Islamic religion. New Alliances as Iranian warships leave Syria: Iranian warships have crossed the Suez Canal on their return from the Syrian port of Tartus, demonstrating Tehran's commitment to back embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime has now been thrown a new lifeline by China and Russia. Reuters news agency is reporting that the two ships one destroyer and the other, a supply vessel were heading, early Tuesday, towards the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. They were returning from Tartus, located 220 km from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Analysts say the docking has also opened up the possibility of the emergence of Iran, Russia and China as partners standing up to the West, which is working feverishly with its Arab allies to topple Mr. Assad. Iran appeared to have carefully timed the visit of its warships, which have followed the docking earlier at Tartus of the giant Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov. In Iran, influential law makers were quick off the blocks to suggest that developments in Syria were uniting Tehran and Moscow, with the open ended possibility of other major players occupying the tent.

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Over the next few months, Egypt is likely to demonstrate greater balance in foreign and security policies, which will be a real departure from the era of the former President Hosni Mubarak, said an Egyptian diplomatic source, who did not wish to be named. Sri Lanka braces itself for a battle at Geneva: An unusually strong contingent of Sri Lankan diplomats and officials has begun descending on Geneva to defend the country against likely onslaught when the session opens on February 27. The core issue is what has the government done since the end of the Eelam War 4 (May 2009), in which it defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers, to grant Tamils the political space to function as equal citizens. Yemenis vote in hope of peace: Yemenis voted on Tuesday to instate their U.S.-backed Vice- President as the head of state, tasked with steering the country out of a crisis created by an anti-government uprising that has raged for a year. The vote can hardly be called an election as Vice-President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is the only candidate. It is, however, a turning point for the impoverished Arab state, ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year authoritarian rule. Many Yemenis hope the breakthrough will bring stability, even if it does not bring a radically different government. Mr. Saleh is the fourth ruler to lose power in the Arab Spring uprisings. But to the chagrin of many protesters, he will likely remain in Yemen. As part of a U.S. backed deal brokered by Yemen's Gulf neighbors, Mr. Saleh is stepping down in exchange for a blanket immunity from prosecution. But the outgoing President, who over the years has built a web of tribal and family relations, could still hold considerable sway after Mr. Hadi is installed. BUSINESS CPI-based inflation at 7.65 % Inflation based on the all India Consumer Price Index stood at 7.65 per cent in January, as per the first nationwide retail inflation data released by the government on Tuesday. While food and beverages' reported a moderate rate of price rise of 4.11 per cent year-on-year in January, the inflation numbers for fuel and light, and clothing, bedding and footwear segments were in double-digits. Overall retail inflation in rural and urban areas stood at 7.38 per cent and 8.25 per cent in January, respectively. The all India CPI will be in addition to the three retail price indices for agricultural labourers, rural labourers and industrial workers prepared by the Ministry of Labour. The new nationwide CPI is being prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
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(MOSPI) and is eventually expected to replace the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as the benchmark inflation. Vegetables were cheaper by over 24 per cent on a nationwide basis in January over the same month last year. RIL joins SIBUR of Russia to make butyl rubber: SIBUR, Russia and Eastern Europe's largest petrochemical company, and Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) have agreed to form a joint venture Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited to produce one lakh tonnes of butyl rubber a year in Jamnagar. The joint venture will be the first manufacturer of butyl rubber in India and the fourth largest supplier of butyl rubber in the world. The joint venture will cater to the demand for synthetic rubber from the Indian automotive industry of over 75,000 tonnes a year, which is now satisfied by imports. Investment in the joint venture is in line with Reliance's vision of emerging as a significant player in the global synthetic rubber market, stated a press release issued by RIL. DoT draws up 400-day road map for 2G auction: While scrapping 122 telecom licences earlier this month, the Supreme Court had given a fourmonth deadline for completion of the auction process for allocation of 2G spectrum. But an internal note prepared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) states that it may take at least 400 days to complete the entire process. The Supreme Court order, which termed the spectrum allocation process of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2008 as illegal' and questioned the firstcome, first-served' policy, has put the DoT in a bind, forcing it to rethink on three crucial issues cancelation of other licences not granted through auction prior to 2008; charge to be levied on dual technology players; and impact of 3G spectrum holders whose 2G licences have been cancelled. The tentative road map and timelines for auction chalked out by the DoT suggests that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will take 60 days to make recommendations, while the government will take 95 days to approve these recommendations. Apart from the DoT, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) and the Union Cabinet will have to decide on issues such as reserve price of spectrum and blocks to be auctioned. And going by its experience of the 3G spectrum auction held in May 2010 that took over a month, the DoT feels that it would take 245 days for completion of auction, completion of payments by successful bidders and allotment of frequencies. Thus, the entire process will take 400 days.
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Yet another challenge that the DoT faces is the impact of the apex court order on 3G spectrum holders whose 2G licenses have been cancelled. There are two players who are likely to get impacted due to this Idea Cellular (whose nine licences have been cancelled) having 3G spectrum in two circles Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir; and S-Tel (six licence cancelled) that successfully bid for 3G spectrum in three circles of Orissa, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh. And entry of new players in the 2G space will change the dynamics of 3G and wireless broadband operations that is still to gain momentum in the country. RBI panel increases priority sector lending target for foreign banks: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) panel on priority sector lending on Tuesday proposed that the target (priority sector) for foreign banks may be increased to 40 per cent of net bank credit from the current level of 32 per cent with sub-targets of 15 per cent for exports and 15 per cent for the MSE sector, within which 7 per cent may be earmarked for micro enterprises. The target of domestic scheduled commercial banks for lending to the priority sector may be retained at 40 per cent of net bank credit. The committee, under the chairmanship of M. V. Nair, Chairman, Union Bank of India, has re-examined the existing classification and suggested revised guidelines with regard to priority sector lending and related issues. The committee suggested that the sector agriculture and allied activities' may be a composite sector within the priority sector, by doing away with the distinction between direct and indirect agriculture. However, the targets for agriculture and allied activities would be at 18 per cent. . A sub-target for small and marginal farmers within agriculture and allied activities is recommended, equivalent to 9 per cent, which would be achieved in stages by 2015-16. The MSE sector may continue to be under the priority sector. Within the MSE sector, a subtarget for micro enterprises is recommended, equivalent to 7 per cent, which would also be achieved in stages by 2013-14. Ten blocks under NELP IX face the axe: A total of ten blocks offered under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) IX face the axe as the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) has recommended not to award them due to lower profit petroleum to the government. The ECS has also cleared 14 blocks to the first ranked/single bidder, even as some blocks continued to face Defence hurdles and legal complications. Among the bids that could be impacted by this decision include companies such as Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Oil India Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Bharat Petro Resources Limited and Indian Oil Corporation.

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Page 7 Rome insists Kochi police action is coercive and unilateral Once again qualifying the actions taken by local police forces in the arrest of two Italian naval personnel in Kochi as coercive and unilateral, Rome on Tuesday decided to send Junior Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura to India. As the row over the two Indian fishermen shot dead by Italian naval personnel intensified, the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Farnesina, announced Minister Giulio Terzi would himself be travelling to India next Tuesday. A communiqu issued by the Italian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi had instructed Mr. De Mistura to continue, at the political level, through contacts at a higher level, including with the State authorities in Kochi and the federal authorities in New Delhi, the action undertaken by experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice. Readers' comments too have been frankly anti-Indian. Our soldiers cannot be tried by a third world country, wrote one reader. Another used just one word to describe his or her frustration Indiani!!! as if to say what can be expected of Indians, after all. Italy's Defence Ministry continues to claim that the Indian fishing trawler was behaving aggressively. The Corriere della Sera has carried long extracts from the declarations made by one of the arrested Italians, Massimiliano Latorre, who claimed that the third time the fishing boat was fired at, it turned around and sped away and that there was no damage and no victims. In an article based on details given by Defence Ministry sources, journalist Fiorenza Sarzanini wrote that satellite images confirmed that the Italian tanker was in international waters at the time of the shooting. She also said that the Italian Navy had ordered the two marines on board not to obey the order of the Indian authorities. In his report two days ago to the Carabinieri ROS special operations group and the Rome public prosecutor's office, Massimiliano Latorre reconstructed the sequence of events off the Indian coast. The report names those who fired and denies that there could have been any casualties, far less victims. Latorre was in charge of the security unit on board the oil tanker to protect it from pirates and he is the author of the report, complete with photographs, which public prosecutor Francesco Scavo Lombardo will use to investigate the incident. Latorre and Salvatore Girone face charges of murdering two seamen on the St. Antony fishing vessel. The case file also contains statements from the five other service personnel on board and the conclusions of the unit's leader, Ms. Sarzanini writes.

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