US Affairs 10

Business 33

Bollywood 35

Spiritual Awareness 38

Vol.4 No.48 March 24-30, 2012 60 Cents
Debate over disproportionate punishment to Dharun Ravi Satyajit Ray’s favorite actor named for Phalke award India, Page 12

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India: The Next Frontier— Harvard India Confernce SATimes Special, Pages 13-28
Pakistan lift cricket Asia Cup after nailbiting finish Sports, Page 34

Amb. Puri, Syntel chief to weigh in US to hurt if Israel strikes Iran: War simulation on India’s future at Harvard meet
New York: Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the United nations, and Bharat Desai, Chairman of Syntel Inc, are the keynote speakers at the 9th Harvard India Conference cohosted by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government on March 24-25 in Boston, USA. The theme of the conference this year is ‘India: The Next Frontier’. It promises to present a clear, unbiased perspective on where India is currently and where it is headed over the next decade, taking with it the lives and destinies of a billion people and the attached fortunes of an

Hardeep S. Puri, India’s envoy to the UN, Bharat Desai, chief of Syntel and singer Jay Sean to address Harvard India Conference on March 24-25. integrated, increasingly dependent education, entrepreneurship, retail and energy in panel discussions world. International leaders from the with experts in their respective government, business, non-profit, fields. media and entertainment sectors The India-heads of Apax partContinued on page 4 will congregate at the Harvard See SATimes Conference campus to deliberate on future of Special: Pages 13-28 the Indian economy, healthcare,

Washington: A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the US and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials. The officials said the A cartoonist’s view of Israel pushing US into so-called war game was a conflict with Iran. not designed as a rehearsamong top American planners that al for American military action - it may be impossible to preclude and they emphasized that the exer- American involvement in any escacise's results were not the only pos- lating confrontation with Iran, the sible outcome of a real-world con- officials said. In the debate among flict. policy makers over the conseBut the game has raised fears Continued on page 4

India's vote against Lanka to help Tamils get justice: PM
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India's vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was in line with its stand and wanted to ensure that concern was expressed to enable minority Tamils in that country to get justice. Singh also said India did not want to "infringe" on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. "One has to weigh pros and cons. What we did was in line with our stand on Sri Lanka. We do not want to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka but

Demand growing for online tutoring, a modern marvel
New York: Online tutoring is rapidly growing in popularity as an educational platform in the world of academic support. Proof of this expansion can be seen in studies and publications from various sources such as Parent Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes Magazine and The Harvard Gazette. With the explosion in use of the internet for learning, online tutoring has become a favorite for students across the globe. Online tutoring offers tremendous flexibility to the students as well as tutors: a major advantage for both is being able to learn/teach from the comfort of their homes. Since people use the internet all the time, incorporating educational programs into their online activity is a great way to apply traditional face to face methods. Participating in online programs also enhances student’s online research techniques and typing skills -- abilities essential in today's world. Learning and

concerns should be expressed so that Tamil people can get justice and lead a life of dignity," he told reporters here. He was responding to a question on India voting in favor of the US-sponsored resolution that censures Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations during the war against LTTE.

A tutor training session at building upon these skills early will help to ensure future success. Since their official launch in December 2011,, an online tutoring service, has been Continued on page 4

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March 24-30, 2012

3.2 mn Indians are third-largest growing Asian group in US
Washington: Asians are the fastest growing race group in the United States with Indians (3.2 million) making up the third largest Asian group after the Chinese (four million) and Filipinos (3.4 million). Reflecting a surge in immigration from the entire region over a decade, those who identified themselves as Asian alone, and not mixed race, grew by 43.3 percent, according to the US Census Bureau. That was more than four times faster than the rate of growth for the overall US population, which grew 9.7 percent in the same period to 308,745,538, a census bureau official told reporters in a conference call Wednesday. Some 14.7 million people, or 4.8 percent of the total population, identified themselves as Asian alone. Another 2.6 million, or 0.9 percent, said they were Asian in combination with another race group, most commonly white. Among the Asian alone population that only reported one detailed Asian group, the order of the second and third largest groups switched-the Asian Indian (2.8 million) group was the second largest, followed by Filipino (2.6 million). The Chinese alone population remained the largest. Large proportions of Chinese (49 percent), Vietnamese (49 percent) and Koreans (44 percent) lived in the West. A much lower proportion of Asian Indians (25 percent) also lived in the West. Among all detailed Asian groups, the Asian Indian population was the largest in 23 states, of which 13 were in the South, six in the Midwest and four in the Northeast. The Asian Indian population was also the largest detailed Asian group in six of the 20 metro areas (Chicago, Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Detroit). California is home to America's largest proportion of all major Asian groups, including Asian Indians, with 5.6 million, or almost a third of all those included in the 2010 census nationwide, the report showed,.

Amb. Puri elucidates India’s stand on Syria and Iran sanctions
By Ashok Ojha/SA Times New York: Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, is optimistic about the possibility of Syria’s President Assad agreeing to begin negotiation with the opposition leaders of his strife torn nation. Puri was speaking to media representatives at India’s Permanent Mission here. Emphasizing India’s stand in favor of negotiation between warring sides in Syria to bring peace, the Ambassador extended his full support to the plan proposed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He hoped that the statement unanimously adopted by the 15member Security Council this week will pave way for Syrian president and the opposition to come to the table and negotiate. The Security Council statement reflected the softening stands of both Russia and China who had previously vetoed draft resolutions on Syria. Though the Security Council statement lacks the power of a full fledged resolution, it demonstrated the united stand taken by its members over Syria. Amb. Puri pointed out that it was obvious that the Syrian opposition was receiving arms and financial assistance from ‘outside’ and building its fire power while President Assad’s forces were showing brutality against his people, resulting in suffering for mostly innocent people who are forced to flee their homes for safety. In its press statement the Security Council also condemned bombing attacks on Syrian government targets, describing those as acts of terrorism. Ruling out a military intervention on the lines of Lybia as the solution for peace in Syria, Puri seemed to agree that fail-

Amb. Hardeep Puri, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN (right) and Maneev Puri, Deputy PR, addressing the UN press corps. (Photo by Ashok Ojha)
ure of the Kofi Annan plan would prove catastrophic in the Middle East region. Referring to India’s stand in the face of sanctions against its oil purchase from Iran, Ambassador Puri remarked that nations can’t change their policies of economic growth because of the sanctions. He indicated that India’s purchase of Iranian oil, measured at 12 percent of its total consumption can be supplemented by other sources if one source was blocked. Expressing his optimism over India’s relation with Pakistan, Puri categorically said that the two were poised to become major trading partners with mutual trade jumping to $50 billion in future. Pakistan is a big country whose interests converge with India’s, he said, adding: considering the proximity with India, Pakistan can greatly benefit from supplies from India.

Buddhist statue, Tyeb Mehta’s painting fetch millions
New York: A 13th century Padmapani statue from Nepal sold for around $2.49 million US at a Christie’s auction in New York on Tuesday — seven times its expected sale price. The 45 cm bronze figure was the top lot sold so far in a week of Asian art sales that will see 1,800 artifacts and artworks from China, Southeast Asia and India go on the auction block. Padmapani is one of the representations of the Buddhist god of compassion and the statue, dressed in a dhoti and sacred thread, has a lotus blossoming on its shoulder. It was bought by an anonymous buyer from the collection of Doris Wiener, an art dealer who was well-known as a collector of Asian art. An 11th-century bronze of Hindu god Somaskanda, shown with his wife, the goddess Parvati, and his son Skanda, sold for $1.8 million in the same sale. On Wednesday, a painting by modern Indian master Tyeb Mehta sold for $1.76 million — at the high end of its estimate..Untitled (Figures with Bull Head) from

Desi spin on M.I.A’s new track

A 13th century Padmapani statue from Nepal sold for $2.49 million at Christie’s. 1984 is from a significant stage in the late artist’s work, combining his abstract style and obsession with god figures with refined lines

Untitled (Figures with Bull Head), a 1984 painting by Tyeb Mehta fetched $1.76 million. and use of color. On Wednesday, Sotheby’s Indian and Southeast Asian Works of Art sale brought a total of $3,804,726. The top lot was Standing Vishnu, Nepal, circa 12th century which sold for $590,500 (est. $200/300,000), followed by Uma, Khmer, Baphuon period which fetched $530,500 (est. $80/120,000).

New York: M.I.A connects with her Desi fans by teaming up with famous Brit-Asian Producer Rishi Rich, Bhangra star Miss Pooja, and Desi Hits! The Sri Lankan rapper who has constantly been in the news for not only her good music, but also controversy, put a Desi spin on her track by having Rishi Rich drop Desi beats on her “Bad Girls,”

track, as well as by incorporating the strong vocals of Bhangra Queen Miss Pooja. Desi Hits! has previously been responsible for creating collaborations amongst top American artists including Lady Gaga and Salim-Sulaiman, and this is another collaboration that is stirring up massive buzz, as all artists involved are A-list.


Turn Page
Harvard meet story Continued from page 1 ners, TA Associates, TPG, New Silk Route & Tata Capital Firms will talk about the challenges and opportunities of the booming investing market in India. Speakers include Nitin Nohria, Dean & Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and well-known Bollywood personalities like Abhinay Deo (director of ‘Delhi Belly’) and Ritesh Sidhwani (producer of ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’). Jay Sean, popular Indian origin singer from London, will dwell on building a brand and successful business in the biggest entertainment market in the world. The Tata group of companies, which recently donated a $50 million gift to the Harvard Business School, is the title sponsor of the conference. The conference has a history of drawing prominent speakers and participants from both the student and professional community all around the world. In the past, it has attracted eminent speakers like India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and filmmaker Karan Johar. The organizers expect to host around 600 attendees this year. The South Asian Times, New York based premier newspaper for the South Asian community, is the Prime Media Sponsor of the prestigious event US to hurt story Continued from page 1 quences of any Israeli attack, that reaction may give stronger voice to those in the White House, Pentagon and intelligence community who have warned that a strike could prove perilous for the US. The two-week war game, called Internal Look, played out a narrative in which the US found it was pulled into the conflict after Iranian missiles struck a navy warship in the Persian Gulf, killing about 200 Americans. The US retaliated by carrying out its own strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. The exercise was designed specifically to Consultant - Media Alliances Bhrigu Pankaj Prashar C: 516.303.4002 test internal military communications and coordination among battle staffs in the Pentagon, Tampa, Fla., where the headquarters of the Central Command is located, and in the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of an Israeli strike. But the exercise was written to assess a potential, real-world situation. Online tutoring story Continued from page 1 able to help local parents and students in Long Island as well as helping long-distance learners achieve success and self-confidence through online tutoring. TheETutor offers academic help, test preparation in all subjects and levels, a specialized preschool readiness program called “The EToddler for Tiny Tots”, and personalized lessons to learn from 18 languages. works around each student’s individual schedule. With spring in the air, many students are busy with sports practice, or enjoying time outdoors with friends. Parents do not have to be concerned with traveling to a tutoring center and working around their hours or worry about when a local tutor is available to drive to their home. An exclusive perk of online tutoring is that when you hire a tutor online, you can choose from experts throughout the country, even from the world over. employs experts from around the world in different subject areas. Low cost is another key reason for the success of online tutoring. While a face-toface tutoring session would cost $70 - $100 per session earlier, an online tutoring session with costs less than $35 a session. In a big plus, gives you the ability to view your own recorded sessions for review and concept clarification. It also includes a free ongoing evaluation of student progress through well renowned Scholastic, Inc. All you need to get started with online tutoring is internet service on a computer, a webcam, and a noise cancelling headset to block outside distractions. Then, you are ready to join the growing revolution in tutoring and self-improvement. Photographs: Gunjesh Desai/ Xitij Joshi/ Photo Journalist: Parveen/Bhanu Seth Chief Cartoonist: Mahendra P. Shah Art and Design: Vladimir Tomovski Bhagwati Multimedia, Rahul Sahota Web Editor: B.B.Chopra News Service: HT Media Ltd. IANS Newswire Services Printing: Five Star Printing, NY Richner Publications Contacts Advertisements P : 516.390.7847 F : 516.465.1343

March 24-30, 2012

‘West to pay $4bn/year for Afghan army’
Kabul: The international community will subsidize Afghan security forces by more than $4 billion a year for a decade after US-led combat forces leave Afghanistan in 2014, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday. Western officials told AFP that no final agreement had been reached. But Karzai said: “It's set that post 2014, for the next 10 years the international community, with the US in the lead and followed by Europe, will pay Afghanistan security forces $4.1 billion annually.“ Karzai's Western allies in the war against Taliban insurgents wa

Sergeant to be charged for Afghan killings
Washington: Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, assault and a string of other offenses in the massacre of Afghan villagers as they slept, a U.S. official said. The charges signed against Bales include 17 counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated assault as well as dereliction of duty and other violations of military law, the official said on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced. The 38-year-old father of two who lives in Lake Tapps, Wash., will be charged with going on a shooting rampage in two villages near his Southern Afghanistan military post on March 11, gunning down nine Afghan chil-

Sgt. Robert Bales

dren and eight adults and burning some of the victims' bodies.The charges are to be read to Bales on Friday. He is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and faces trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The killings were yet another blow to U.SAfghan relations, following a series of missteps, including the accidental burning of Qurans, which prompted violent protests and revenge killings American troops in the war zone.

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March 24-30, 2012

Dharun Ravi found guilty, faces upto 10 years in prison
While Indian community maintains stoic silence, legal experts debate over disproportionate punishment to him
By Ashok Ojha/ SATimes Edison, NJ: Recently the jury in a New Jersey court convicted the Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi, who had used his webcam on his roommate, who was having sex with another man, for ‘hate crime’. According to prosecutors, Ravi also publicized his action among friends through twitter feeds. Though Ravi was not charged for causing his roommate Tyler Clementi’s death, experts say that the episode greatly influenced the case. Legal experts are debating if Ravi’s conviction is disproportionate to the crime he committed. The US media splashed the news and questions were raised. If he is lucky Ravi will be deported to India only after serving his term in a US prison. But Ravi is yet to have a sympathetic word from the leaders of Indian American community in New Jersey, who are maintaining a deafening silence. There are scores of legal experts and resourceful aware of. He said that it was unfortunate that a young life was affected by the legal system. Other Indian Americans simply said the case was too complicated to make a comment. There was no debate in the community. Unfortunately for Ravi, neither his parents made any effort to mobilize support from the community, nor the community folks raised the issue on any forum. In case of Ravi, public was enraged by his behavior and no one had courage to express sympathetic opinion for him. In many cases the severity of the punishment depends on how seriously the case was followed by the prosecutor office. The severity of punishment also depends upon the public mood. Ravi also missed the opportunity to accept the guilty pleas that could have saved him from the possibility of prison sentences. Experts say that declining a guilty plea shouldn’t be the reason for disproportionate punishment. He refused because prosecutors would have required him to admit to bias intimidation. His lawyers said he simply did not believe he had committed a hate crime. Perhaps any sympathetic word would have infuriated gay rights advocates who had used the example of Clementi’s suicide to lobby for anti-bullying law of New Jersey. Amidst an avalanche of applauds for example setting by the jury an article by Emily Bazelon’s in New York Times stands out. It highlights the case as an example of harsh punishment of up to 10 years in prison faced by Ravi. Though he was never in legal trouble in the past, now he is not only convicted for spying on his roommate but also for a hate crime. New Jersey law prescribes severe penalties for offences influenced because of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender and sexual orientation. In fact it reflects the government’s will to protect vulnerable people. Every New Jersian should feel proud of such a strong civil rights law. Ravi’s lawyer pointed to apologetic texts that he sent Mr. Clementi, in which he said he had no problem with homosexuality and even had a close friend who was gay. But the apology came too late to save a life. Whatever punishment he gets, Ravi is leaving behind stern message for everyone: Be careful what you write in your online messages. The court was scheduled to announce its judgment while this piece was being written.

Dharun Ravi leaving the courthouse accompanied by his father people in the community who preferred not to express their views independently or collectively, as the matter was controversial, never mind it involved a young boy of Indian origin, who acted stupidly. Perhaps the case failed to disturb the community enough for a voice to be raised. A resourceful and prosperous community didn’t care if Ravi, ‘a computer wizard, who fell victim to his stupid misdeeds’ belonged to the Indian Diaspora. Upendra Chivukula, the only Indian American legislature in New Jersey, commented on the case about which young people across the society should be made fully

.....meanwhile campaign against 'unfair' verdict gathers momentum
Washington, DC: More and more voices are being raised across the US over an "unfair verdict" against an Indian American student as a White House petition suggesting he was "prejudged and declared guilty" by media gathered momentum. Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student charged with spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi, was found guilty by a New Jersey jury of 15 counts including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. He faces 10 years in prison and deportation to India. By early Tuesday the petition posted on the White House site asking the Obama administration to "address the fact that media is driving Justice System's decisions" and "18-year-old Rutgers student Dharun Ravi is NOT Biased", had gathered 2,137 signatures. It must get 25,000 signatures within a month to get a White House response. Commenting on the verdict, Sunil Adam, editor, The Indian American, wrote in the Huffington Post: "Ravi, it appears, has been turned into the proverbial sacrificial lamb for society's collective guilt about its own bias intimidation against homosexuals." "Make the Punishment Fit the Cyber-Crime," exhorted Emily Bazelon, a senior editor at Slate, writing in the New York Times. "The idea of shielding vulnerable groups is well intentioned," she said. "But ... these civil rights statutes are being stretched to go after teenagers who acted meanly, but not violently. This isn't what civil rights laws should be for." Some experts, cited by called the guilty verdict against Ravi "precedent setting" in the battle against bullying, but others decried it as entering the "realm of vengeance." "This is well beyond looking for justice and into the realm of vengeance considering the number of charges against Ravi and the seriousness of them," Bill Dobbs, a longtime gay activist and civil libertarian was quoted as saying. "As hate crimes prosecution mount, the flaws of such laws become apparent," he wrote. However, Louis Raveson, a law professor of criminal and civil trial litigation at Rutgers School of LawNewark, suggested: "It will be an important precedent throughout the country." Eminent lawyer Ravi Batra says, “A jury is required to follow the law, as a judge instructs. This jury found Dharun Ravi was not anti-gay, but guilty of all other charges, including, bias-intimidation and invasion of privacy. The split verdict proves that the jury was just and fair, and why juries are central to American freedom and American greatness.” Meanwhile, Marc Poirer, an openly gay professor of law and sexuality at Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey, said he was concerned about the verdict. "I think that the law didn't fit very well," he said, calling Ravi's actions those of a "dumb 18-year-old" that "went wrong."

A legal resident, Ravi may face deportation
New Brunswick: The potential legal consequences of his webcam spying conviction do not end in a criminal courtroom for Dharun Ravi. The 20-year-old former Rutgers student, who is a legal resident of the U.S. but not a citizen, may also face deportation. "His situation from an immigration perspective is definitely very serious," said Lori Nessel, a professor and director of the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall Law School in a Star Ledger report. Immigration law experts said proceedings that could lead to deportation are not likely to begin until after Ravi completes his sentence for bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering and other crimes. Sentencing is set for May, but Ravi’s attorney has already said he will appeal the verdict. "There’s no doubt he’s going to face removal proceedings," said Englewood attorney Michael Wildes, managing partner of a Manhattan immigration law firm. "Everybody at immigration is going to roll up their sleeves, sit down, and figure out how aggressive they’re going to be." Ravi was born in India, moved to the U.S. with his parents as a small child, grew up in New Jersey and graduated from West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School. His attorney, Steven Altman, said he is not a citizen but has a green card. His parents are not U.S. citizens.


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March 24-30, 2012


Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in US celebrates 30th year
haratiya Vidya Bhavan announced the celebration of 30th year of its inception in USA. The U. S. Branch of the Bhavan was established in New York on October 2, 1981 - the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. P. Jayaraman was the founder Executive Director who served the Bhavan for 30 long years. Community leader and CEO-TV Asia Mr. H. R. Shah is now the Chairman of Bhavan, USA for 2012-13. Also appointed as ViceChairman and Secretary for the period of 2012-13, is Kenny Desai. Dr. Navin C. Mehta, surgeon, philanthropist, and Past Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's USA center was appointed the President of Trustee Committee. Joining Dr. Parveen Chopra, Dr. Vandana Chokshi, Yakub Mathew and Dr. Mehul Shah as Directors are community leaders Sant Singh Chatwal, Dr. Bhupendra Patel and Mrs. Swati Vaishnav.

Adman Piyush Pandey to receive 2012 CLIO Lifetime Achievement Award



(From L to R): Chairman H. R. Shah, President of Trustee Committee Dr. Navin C. Mehta and Vice Chairman and Secretary Kenny Desai Andy Bhatia has joined the Bhavan family as 'Chief Operating Officer'. This year happens to be not only 30th year of the Bhavan, USA but also 75th year of the Bhavan worldwide and 125th birth year of Kulapati Dr. K. M. Munshi.

he CLIO Awards, one of the with the Lifetime Achievement most recognized awards compeAward at the 53rd annual CLIO titions honoring excellence in adverAwards ceremony, taking place on Tuesday, May 15th at the American tising, design and communications Museum of Natural History in New has named Piyush Pandey as the recipient of the 2012 CLIO Lifetime York. Achievement Award. Pandey, the "Piyush truly embodies the spirit of Executive Chairman and Creative this award," said CLIO director, Director of South Asia for Ogilvy & Piyush Pandey, Karl Vontz. "He not only possesses Mather India, will be the first per- Exe Chairman wonderful creative vision, but he is son from the region to receive the and Creative Dir a great leader who motivates everydistinction. With a prolific adver- South Asia, O & M one around him with his enthusiasm tising career spanning three decades, Pandey and passion. We look forward to celebrating is often revered as "the godfather of Indian his body of work and his ongoing contribuadvertising" by peers. He will be presented tions in the field of advertising."

Sony expands primetime with ‘Shubh Vivaah’
ony Entertainment Television (SET) is expanding its prime time band with the launch of a new fiction show, Shubh Vivaah. Shubh Vivah first aired February 27th . The show will run every Monday through Friday at 7.30 pm. Eijaz Khan and Neha Janpandit are the lead actors of the show. Produced by UTV Television, the show talks about middle class


9 million active users access Saavn for Bollywood music
aavn, the world’s fastest growing Indian digital music service, is announcing a number of exciting milestones for its free and legal digital music service. The company’s active users worldwide jumped 25 percent since December to 9.3 million across Web, iOS and Android. Registrations surged to 125,000 each month, a five-fold increase since 2011. Listening hours also increased five times over, with over 2 million hours of content streaming per month, and streams-per-day spiked to over 1 million. The massive global growth in Saavn’s users and engagement show Bollywood is taking the worldwide digital music scene by storm, as users flock to ac-


cess the Indian music they love. “Before Saavn, there was no centralized place to find, listen to and share Indian music legally and for free, resulting in an industry overrun by illegal operations, poor quality of music and extremely incoherent listening experiences,” said Vinodh Bhat, co-founder and CEO of Saavn. “We’re very happy to announce that 9 million users who might otherwise be downloading pirated music are now enjoying the Indian music they love the way it was meant to be experienced, while simultaneously creating value for artists, record labels, advertisers – even social networks.”

girls in India that fanaticizes about getting married as young girls. When married, the show portrays how each girl struggles to keep the marriage and love alive. UTV Television COO Santosh Nair said, “Shubh Vivaah is an adaptation of the award winning Tamil show ‘Metti Oli’ and we are glad to bring this show to our Hindi audiences through Set.”

Sikh American Chamber of Commerce to hold annual gala event
he Sikh American Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its Annual Members Gala on Friday, March 30, 2012 at Deewan Banquet Hall at 560 Stelton Road, Piscataway, NJ. The guest speakers at the Gala Event will include Jaswinder (Jassi) Chadha, Founder and CEO of Axtria, Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal, an MPP in Ontario, Canada , Manjeet Dhariwal, Founder and Director of Netsmartz, LLC and Valarie


Kaur, an award-winning Sikh American filmmaker, lawyer and Founding Director of Groundswell. Over 400 business leaders are expected to attend the Annual Members Gala. The Sikh American Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and to substantially increase the success rate and involvement of Sikh entrepreneurs in the business community.

Indian Americans are influential players in US media
Washington, DC: With two of them governors, four billionaires and over a score sitting in high places in government, Indian Americans not only keep making news but have also emerged as major players in American media. Take Indian-born Aparism Bobby Ghosh, for instance, who was last week named by Time magazine as 'Editor-at-Large'. In naming Ghosh, Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, called him "one of Time's greatest assets and this past year was one of his best yet." Then there is Fareed Zakaria, who too was introduced as Editor-atLarge of Time Magazine in October 2010 after spending 10 years overseeing all of Newsweek's editions abroad. Called "the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation" by Esquire Magazine, Zakaria hosts what has been dibbed one of the most intelligent shows on American TV, 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' on CNN every Sunday. Equally ubiquitous is Sanjay Gupta, the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. A practicing neurosurgeon, Gupta has reported from earthquakeand tsunami-ravaged Japan, earthquake devastated Haiti and covered live the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan. Vinnie Malhotra, a former program development executive at ESPN and long-time ABC News producer, has just joined CNN as senior vice president for development and acquisitions. Last month, Raju Narisetti, credited with creating Mint, the successful business daily out of Delhi, returned to the Wall Street Journal, where he had spent 23 years earlier, as Managing Editor of its Digital Network. Nisid Hajari, Managing Editor of Newsweek is busy writing "Midnight's Furies," a dramatic history of the Partition of India and Pakistan, told through the characters of Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru, Churchill, and Mountbatten. Rajiv Chandrasekaran is the National Editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. His first book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone" published in 2006 won the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize and was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Awards for non-fiction. ESPN's sports anchor Kevin Negandhi is the first anchor of Indian-American descent to be on a national sports network in American Television history and Ali Velshi, son of Murad Velshi, the first Canadian of Indian origin elected to the legislative assembly of Ontario, serves as CNN's chief business correspondent. Other names include Davan Maharaj, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times; Stephanie Mehta, Fortune magazine Executive Editor overseeing technology, and Nikhil Deogun, Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief Business News, CNBC, the most-watched business TV network in the world. Peter Bhatia, editor of The Oregonian, one of America's top regional newspapers, is the first South Asian to run a major US daily. Hundreds of lesser known Indian Americans are among the producers, reporters, copy editors and production assistants, bringing Americans their daily news -showing how far Indian-American have come in the media world where only a few of them commanded bylines in the 1990s.

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March 24-30, 2012

New Jersey to manage its health care exchange from January 2013
By Ashok Ojha/SATimes New York : Following the efforts of lobbying groups and Obama administration’s initiatives, New Jersey is well on its way to establish and run its own health care exchange that will enable individuals and employers choose their health insurance plan. According to health care activists, New Jersey has received $1 million to begin planning for a New Jersey exchange. The law requires that states must submit a proposal for their own health insurance exchange to the federal government by January 1, 2013. All exchanges should be ready to operate by 2014. Speaking at an event organized by Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce in North Brunswick NJ, Jeff Brown, an activist from NJ Citizen Action Group, pointed out that businesses can benefit from these exchanges because they will offer cheaper coverage. It is good news for employees of small companies that the exchange will be open to companies with employees up to 100. An employer can offer choices to employees with the help of these exchanges. According to Brown opponents of Affordable Care Act spread misleading information that shouldn’t deter people from taking advantage of these exchanges. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to

Delhi High Court bars maid from pursuing case in US
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has restrained an Indian domestic help, awarded nearly $1.5 million relief for alleged "illtreatment" by an Indian consulate employee in the US, from pursuing her case in a New York court till further orders. The court's interim order came in response to a petition filed by the central government seeking to restrain domestic help Shanti Gurung from pursuing her case in the US. Justice Kailash Gambhir said the whole concept of anti-suit injunction would be defeated if the foreign court was allowed to decide the issue at this stage. "An Indian diplomat enjoys sovereign immunity and any order passed by the court of the US would tantamount to interfering in the rights of the government of India to determine the terms and conditions of the employment of its diplomatic officers posted abroad," the court said. A New York judge last month had recommended that Gurung deserved nearly $1.5 million for her "barbaric treatment" by Neena Malhotra, who in 2006 served as press counselor at the Indian consulate in the US, and her husband Jogesh. Gurung in her complaint in the US alleged that Malhotra made her work without pay, seized her passport and visa, restricted her ability to leave her apartment and constantly warned her that if she traveled on her own, without their permission, she would be arrested, beaten and raped. Justice Gambhir asked the government to establish personal contact with Gurung through its diplomatic channels to ascertain the veracity of the allegations made by her before the next date of hearing. "If Shanti Gurung has been a victim of any barbaric conduct, as held by the US court, at the hands of the Neena Malhotra, then the central Government has the prime responsibility of taking care of her rights as well, she also being an Indian citizen," the court said. The government March 12 approached the court seeking directions to restrain Gurung from pursuing the case in the New York court. It also sought the court to direct Gurung to withdraw the complaint. The court would next hear the matter May 3.

make health care accessible and affordable. Even though the law will fully take into effect in 2014, the framework of resources will be ready by next year,” he said. Health care lobbyists in New Jersey are campaigning for passing a new legislature called, "The New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act", which will enable to create a competitive health insurance exchange in New Jersey. A health insurance exchange is a virtual marketplace intended to make purchasing health insurance more transparent and affordable for consumers. An ideal health insurance exchange would create competition, transparency and accountability in the insurance market, therefore bringing down the cost of insurance premiums for consumers. Under the ACA, states are required to establish these state level health insurance exchanges or allow the federal government to establish an exchange for their state.

US to launch website to help donate funds to Indian NGOs
Washington, DC: To ease concerns over some NGOs in India misusing foreign aid, the US is set to launch an online portal that will help Indian-Americans to safely donate funds to non-government bodies back home. At the initiative of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the State Department is in the final stages of launching the ambitious website. It would change the way Indian Americans and others make donations back home at the click of a mouse rather than going through a cumbersome bureaucratic process and getting rid of the strain of identifying the kind of genuine NGO that would help them deliver the money and services to the targeted group. Following months of research and series of brain-storming sessions both in India and the US, the State Department is slated to launch website in late April or early May. "Right now there are a lot of people, who want to help, want to give back, but it's not as easy as it should be," says Mitul Desai, Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships in the US Department of State's South & Central Asian Bureau. With the help of Guide Star India, the State Department is working on the website which would put together all the genuine non-governmental organizations working in various parts of India in different field, Desai said. All these NGOs, he said, would be certified by a third party and FCRA complaint. This is designed to make it easier for Indian Americans, in fact any American, to support an NGO in India, he added. Through a user-friendly interaction, the website would help individuals sitting in the US to identify NGOs working in various regions and various field of their choice to whom they can collaborate or send money for the work they want to get done, he noted. Entrusted with the task, 18 months ago, of engaging all non-stake actors including foundations, non-governmental organizations, private sector and the Diaspora, Desai said initially it would start with donating money online but overtime it could be actual tangible things and services too. Hopefully it would become a hub for education, he said. "Educating Indian American community about the importance of strategic giving, strategic philanthropy. India is a very big place, when you think about giving to India, think beyond the place you came from - think broadly what India needs, how do that really need, the concept of strategic philanthropy, which I think the Indian American community can help advance," Desai said.


National Community

March 24-30, 2012

US trade mission to explore business, lure Indian investment
ing infrastructure sector" and encouraging Indian investment into the US. During the March 25-30 mission with stops in New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, Bryson will also address concerns on market access, trade investment and removing barriers to level the playing field for American businesses and workers, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday. The department also announced the names of 16 companies that will join Bryson on his mission for building stronger US-India commercial relations, his first as Commerce Secretary. Bryson will meet with senior level Indian government officials to advocate for US export opportunities in India's rapidly expanding infrastructure sector, and promote investment opportunities in America-both key priorities of the Obama administration, the announcement said. "This mission builds on President Obama's historic visit to India two years ago, when he said before the Indian Parliament that the US-India relationship will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. I couldn't agree more," said Bryson. India is expected to spend over $1 trillion on infrastructure development over the next five years, and a growing consuming class could lead to increased demand for a range of consumer goods and services, the announcement noted. The 16 companies participating in the trade mission are: Autodesk, Black & Veatch Corporation, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, CH2MHill, EHDD, GE, Innovari, Jacobs Engineering Group, LORD Corporation, Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch, MeadWestvaco Corporation, OSISoft, PwC, Syneren Technologies Corporation, Target Engineering Group and URS Corporation. India is America's 17th-largest merchandise export market, and its 13th-largest trading partner. From 2002 to 2010, US services exports to India more than tripled, increasing from $3.2 billion in 2002 to $10.3 billion in 2010. Between 2002 and 2011 US goods exports to India more than quintupled, growing from $4.1 billion in 2002 to more than $21.6 billion in 2011. In 2010, the total stock of investment directly from India in the United States was $3.3 billion, but when Indian investment that transferred through other countries is included, the total stock jumps to $7.1 billion.

US Commerce Secretary John Bryson to lead three-city trade mission Washington, DC: US Commerce Secretary John Bryson will lead a three-city trade mission to India next week aimed at exploring business potential of India's "ris-

Physician convicted of health care fraud
Washington: An Indian American physician in Chicago has been convicted of a health care fraud by a federal grand jury, the US Justice Department said. Dr Jaswinder Rai Chhibber, 43, faces a maximum penalty of 70 years of imprisonment, and a fine of $2,250,000 for being found guilty of five counts of healthcare fraud and four counts of making false statements involving a health care benefits program between 2007 and July 2010. After less than two full days of deliberations following a weeklong trial in US District Court, in Chicago, the jury found him not guilty of seven additional counts. Chhibber, who operated the former Cottage Grove Community Medical Clinic in Chicago, was convicted on Tuesday of defrauding Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois by submitting false insurance claims for medically unnecessary tests and using false diagnosis codes to justify the tests he had ordered. According to the Justice Department, the evidence at trial showed that Chhibber ordered medically unnecessary tests, falsified patients' medical records, and used false diagnosis codes on insurance claim forms in various fashions for at least five patients who testified at trial, including two undercover federal agents who posed as patients. Evidence also showed that Chhibber administered echocardiograms (Echo), electrocardiograms (ECG), nerve conduction studies, and carotid doppler and abdominal ultrasounds for an unusually high percentage of his Medicare and Blue Cross patients, it said.

Sikhs around the world celebrate Sikh Environment Day
Washington, DC: As many as 1007 Sikh institutions and gurdwaras around the world celebrated March 14, the day nature and animal lover Guru Har Rai became the seventh Sikh Guru in 1644, as Sikh Environment Day. EcoSikh, a Washington based Sikh organization, which had initiated the celebrations last year had set the goal of enrolling more than 700 Sikh institutions and gurdwaras to celebrate the day this year as compared to 450 last year. This year it had also included Sikh run schools and Sikh-owned businesses to join in this endeavor. Dr. Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh said: "It is amazing to see so much enthusiasm among Sikh masses and we believe that is perhaps the largest direct action by the Sikhs for the environment ever in the history. "Guru Har Rai's life has inspired so many individuals to lead efforts at the local levels in India and all across the globe to take meaningful actions dedicated to this day." Bandana Kaur, New York based program director of EcoSikh in North America, said: "Many Gurdwaras are engaging in the local environmental issues in North America in their own localities and many are becoming eco-friendly in their operations." Scores of young people are excited about this effort since it gives them the opportunity to relate to their faith in a unique way. South Hall based largest gurdwara in Europe has organized a major green drive on this day." Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and Takhat Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Maharasthra, and Sikhs in several countries including USA, Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya and UK joined in the effort to mark the Sikh Environment Day as a tribute to Guru Har Rai, EcoSikh said.

Several prominent Indian-Americans attend Obama's State Dinner

Raj Shah with wife Shivam Mallick Shah, Kamala Harris and sister Maya Harris, Rajiv Kumar Fernando, Dr Arun Majumdar and Amit A Pandya were among the attendees at Obama’s State Dinner hosted in honor of British PM David Cameron Washington, DC: Several prominent Indian- Americans attended the high-profile White House State Dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron here. This was Obama Administration's sixth State Dinner which started with the first state dinner hosted by the President for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009. However, this was the largest state dinner of the Obama administration with 362 guests, more than 100 of whom walked through the entrance hall packed with media known as the Booksellers Area last night. Raj Shah, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration, was accompanied by his wife Shivam Mallick Shah. The first woman Indian-American and African Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, was accompanied by her sister Maya Harris, who currently is the vice president for Peace & Social Justice at the Ford Foundation, according to the list of guests released by the White House. Obama also used the occasion to invite one of his prominent IndianAmerican fund raiser from Chicago, Rajiv Kumar Fernando. According to open source, Fernando, who is in chopper trading, has raised between $ 200,000 to $ 500,000. According to ABC news 41 of the 364 invited guests at the state dinner were Obama campaign bundlers or volunteer fundraisers who give the legal maximum and then gather checks from friends and colleagues who do the same."The group attending the dinner tonight is responsible for at least $ 10.7 million of the roughly $ 250 million Obama and Democrats have amassed for the election cycle so far," it said. Dr Arun Majumdar, Director at Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, US Department of Energy, accompanied the US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Amit A Pandya, who is currently with the Washington office of the Open Society Institute, and previous served in the various capacities in the US Government, accompanied Cecilia Munoz, Assistant to the US President and Director, Domestic Policy Council.

Sensational India! Fest at PEM
Weekend celebration of India’s art and culture
Salem, MA: The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) celebrates an unparalleled 200-year legacy of cultural exchange with India with its annual Sensational India! festival, March 31 – April 1, 2012. This year's festival celebrates Faces of Devotion, Indian Sculpture from the Figiel Collection and focuses on the theme of devotion — spiritual and artistic. A vibrant array of dance and music performances, traditional Indian cooking demonstrations, yoga workshops, film, art making activities and more will be lined over two days. Yoga with Kofi Busia, one of the world's foremost teachers in the Iyengar tradition, cooking demonstration by Chef Shruti Mehta,

blockprinting workshop, Kathak presentation by Parul Shah Dance Company, Hindustani music renditions, Bollywood dance party with DJ Rekha and talk by acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh are some of the highlights of the festival.

National Community


March 24-30, 2012

Muslim groups express dismay at Time cover story on Modi
Washington: Expressing outrage at the Time magazine's cover story on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a leading group of Indian American Muslims on Sunday called for an international campaign against the prestigious weekly through email, letters and social media networks - Twitter and Facebook. "This is an unethical article. We don't expect such a glorification of someone who was involved in massacre of Muslims in Gujarat 10 years ago," Shaik Saad, spokesman of Muslim Peace Coalition said. The New York-based organization of Indian American Muslims sent a mass email to its members and supports calling for an international campaign against the Time magazine. Saad said the group is seeking a meeting with the editorial board of the Time magazine to "sensitize" them with the sentiments of the Muslim community in the US and India which has been deeply hurt by the "glorification" of its recent article on Modi, the cover story of its latest issue of the Asia edition. Earlier in a mass "action alert" email, Shaik Ubaid, the New York State Co-Chair of Muslim Peace Coalition USA and a founding

“India Pavilion” at International Boston Seafood Show 2012
Boston: The International Boston Seafood Show 2012 was convened in the Boston Convention Center, Boston, MA, from 11-13 March 2012. India’s nodal seafood promotional Agency, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) participated in the Show displaying an array of seafood products - frozen and packaged - at its booth – “India Pavilion.” India’s seafood exports in the year 2010-2011 to US Market have grown by almost 45%. The export in the current year in value terms has been $545.74 million for the period April- December 2011. Indian seafood exports to US are expected to reach $700 million by end of March 2012. MPEDA has been participating in the Show from last 10 years. This year MPEDA had 6 Co-Exhibitors: Dish Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., West Coast Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd., Gadre Marine Exports Pvt. Ltd., Seven Seas Exports Pvt. Ltd., Surya Mitra Exim Pvt. Ltd., Shree Datt Aquaculture Farms Pvt. Ltd. One of the Co-Exhibitor Dish Hospitality won the 2012 Seafood Excellence Award for the second time in a row for their product “Oriental Shrimp Nest” as the Best New Food Service Award. The $30 Million Company has gone miles in Value Added Products and they are striving for quality excellence. They are proud of making their product in India and presenting it to the World. “India Pavilion” attracted a lot of potential buyers and various trade inquiries were received. MPEDA also had a cooking demonstration in the Pavilion showcasing the most popular Indian Black Tiger Shrimp and the White Shrimp-Vannamei. The taste of the Indian Seafood was appreciated by all visitors. Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India in New York visited the “India Pavilion” and had a lot of

The article says Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi means business member of the Coalition Against Genocide that was instrumental in getting Modi's US visa revoked, denounced the Time magazine's glorification of Modi as "bad journalism and an obscenely insensitive act" as it was perpetrated during the 10th anniversary commemoration of Gujarat pogrom. The "action alert" also called for a similar campaign against the Washington-based think-tank Brookings Institute, which a day before too wrote an unusual long piece on Modi with the headline "India's Most Admired and Most Feared Politician: Narendra Modi."

Ambassador Prabhu Dayal with MPEDA Chairman Ms. Leena Nair at the “Indian Pavilion” (inset) at International Boston Seafood Show 2012 praise for the booth. He congratulated the winner of Seafood Excellence Award “Dish Hospitality” and motivated them to excel in future. He assured full support of the Consulate General of India, New York to promote Indian seafood trade to US. MPEDA has been facilitating the Indian seafood exporters and supporting them so that they get appropriate exposure of the international market and its demand. The participation in the Boston Show has given the Indian seafood exporters a platform to make their business grow by leaps and bounds. Chairman, MPEDA Leena Nair remarked that “India had already exported over $3 billion value of seafood products during April - December2011 and hopes to touch $3.5 billion by the end of March 2012.” She added “Boston Show 2012 will definitely help us in achieving this goal and strengthen the Brand India in the US Market.”


US Affairs

March 24-30, 2012

India, China not spared from US sanctions on Iran oil
Washington: The United States has not included India and China in a list of 11 nations that would be spared financial sanctions as they have significantly reduced purchases of Iranian crude oil. The exempted countries are Japan and ten European nations - Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK, according to a State Department statement. "The actions taken by these countries were not easy," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the US Congress Tuesday. "They had to rethink their energy needs at a critical time for the world economy and quickly begin to find alternatives to Iranian oil, which many had been reliant on for their energy needs," she said. "The United States is leading an unprecedented international coalition of partners that has brought to bear significant pressure on the Iranian regime to change its course," Clinton said. Besides India, China, and South Korea, which do not figure on the list there are nine other major importers of Iranian oil that could face sanctions.

Osama wanted to kill Obama to create chaos
Washington: The slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden pushed his organization to develop plans to kill President Barack Obama, according to media reports citing documents recovered from his hideout in Pakistan. He did so in the belief that the US would tumble into chaos if an "unprepared" Vice President Joe Biden became commander in chief, several US media outlets including the Washington Post said in articles Friday. The Al Qaeda chief's analysis of presidential succession scenarios appear in a collection of classified records that the Obama administration is planning to release to the public in the coming months, the In a message addressed to his top lieutenant, bin Laden urged his network to pursue ways to kill Obama with an attack on the presidential aircraft, Air Force One, the Post said. The records also identify thenGen. David H. Petraeus, who was commander of US forces in Afghanistan, as a priority target. "The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency," the message said. And "Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis." Bin Laden described Petraeus, now director of the CIA, as "the man of the hour," according to the Post, and said that "killing him would alter the war's path" in Afghanistan. Many of bin Laden's messages were addressed to his operational lieutenant, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, and indicate that he hoped that a Pakistani terrorist, Ilyas Kashmiri, would be charged with developing attack plans, the Post said. "Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work," bin Laden wrote to Atiyah, according to the US daily. Both operatives were killed in CIA drone strikes within months of the May 2 raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad hideout by US Navy SEALs.

Post said. The documents depict bin Laden as a terrorist leader who was fixated on finding a way to assassinate top US officials but who appears to have devoted more thought to the anticipated fallout from such plots than to how they might be carried out, it said.

Generic drugs are damage suit-proof
New York: Across the country, dozens of lawsuits against generic pharmaceutical companies are being dismissed because of a Supreme Court decision last year that said the companies did not have control over what their labels said and therefore could not be sued for failing to alert patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Now, what once seemed like a trivial detail — whether to take a generic or brand-name drug — has become the deciding factor in whether a patient can seek legal recourse from a drug company. The cases range from that of one woman who wasn’t told which type of drug she had been given when she visited the hospital, to another woman who developed a gastrointestinal disease after taking a generic form of the drug Accutane, as required by her health care plan. “Your pharmacists aren’t telling you, hey, when we fill this with your generic, you are giving up all of your legal remedies,” said Michael Johnson, a lawyer who represented Gladys Mensing, one of the patients who sued generic drug companies in last year’s Supreme Court case, Pliva v. Mensing. “You have a disparate impact between one class of people and another.” The Supreme Court ruling affects potentially millions of people: nearly 80 percent of prescriptions in the United States are filled by a generic, and most states permit pharmacists to dispense a generic in place of a brand name. More than 40 judges have dismissed cases against generic manufacturers since the Supreme Court ruled last June, including some who dismissed dozens of cases consolidated under one judge. Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to give generic companies greater control over their labels, a rule change that could allow users of generic drugs to sue, but the agency said earlier this month that it needed more time to decide. “Congress can make this problem go away, and the F.D.A. could, too,” said Allison Zieve, the director of Public Citizen Litigation Group. “But we haven’t seen signs that either of them is paying much attention.” A spokeswoman for the F.D.A. declined to comment.

Romney looks to seal the deal
Washington: Mitt Romney prepared for another Southern showdown in Saturday's Louisiana primary after a convincing victory in Illinois padded his delegate lead and he received the highly prized endorsement Wednesday of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Gov. Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall," Bush, the brother of one former GOP president and son of another, said in a statement. The Bush endorsement, from a respected Republican leader once considered a possible presidential contender this year, added to the increasing air of inevitability surrounding Romney's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Analysts sounded like the Republican campaign was essentially over. Romney "hasn't definitely won" the GOP race, CNN political analyst David Gergen said of the former

Times Square contributes $110 billion commerce yearly
New York: Being seedy and dangerous, it was avoided by the gentry once. In the last few years, its importance as a magnet for commerce as well as tourists has risen rapidly, according to a study. The Times Square district directly and indirectly contributes one-tenth of all of the jobs in the city and $1 of every $9 of economic activity, says the study, which was commissioned by the Times Square Alliance, the de facto chamber of commerce for the district. That amounts to $110 billion in annual economic activity — about equal to the output of Portland, Ore. — emanating from the district, which the report defines as roughly a block on each side of Broadway between 40th and 53rd Streets. So much of the economy of the nation’s biggest city depends on an area that occupies less than 1 percent of its land. Tim Tompkins, the president of the alliance, says that look up at some the gleaming buildings in the area.

Mitt Romney making a speech after winning the Illinois primary Tuesday. Massachusetts governor's In Chicago, Romney had double-digit victory 55% of the total with 99% Tuesday in Illinois. "But in of precincts reporting, while a campaign that has had Santorum notched 25%, many, many unexpected according to the city's electwists and turns, I think we tion website. may look back ... and say The results gave Romney tonight was the final big at least 41 of the 54 deleturning point." gates up for grabs in the The Illinois victory state, increasing his total to appeared to follow estab- 562, according to CNN's lished patterns so far in the estimate. Santorum is secRepublican race, with ond with 249, Gingrich third Romney doing well in urban with 137 and Paul last with and suburban areas while 69. top conservative rival Rick A total of 1,144 delegates Santorum ran strong in rural are needed to clinch the areas. GOP nomination.

A jampacked Times Square on New Year’s eve They are not just hotels, but below 110th Street. But the also giant office towers that money earned and spent in house companies where tens Times Square supports of thousands of lawyers, 215,000 jobs elsewhere in accountants, editors and the city, according to the bond traders work. Those study, conducted by HR&A companies buy goods and Advisors. The study also proves the services from other businesses throughout the city value of tourism as a main and employ people who take component of the city’s their pay home to apartments strategy to develop its econand houses in other bor- omy. oughs. “In the same way that we In all, about 170,000 peo- were a postcard for why not ple work in the district, and to come to New York City most of them — 61 percent 20 or maybe 30 years ago,’’ — live in northern Tompkins said, “we are a Manhattan, another borough powerful advertisement for of the city or the suburbs. how appealing the city is The rest live in Manhattan now.”



March 24-30, 2012

Amid row, Mukul Roy is new Indian Railway Minister
New Delhi: Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy was sworn in as cabinet minister and given the railways portfolio in place of party colleague Dinesh Trivedi, who had to quit after his proposal to hike rail fares was bitterly opposed by party chief Mamata Banerjee. Roy, former minister of state for shipping, was sworn in by President Pratibha Patil at a brief function in Rashtrapati Bhavan. On the advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she directed that the railways portfolio be allocated to Roy. The prime minister also introduced Roy as a new cabinet minister to MPs in the Rajya Sabha. Trinamool chief anerjee forced Trivedi's exit from the cabinet following the rail budget last week. Banerjee had written to the prime minister that Trivedi should be replaced by Roy. Banerjee was conspicuous by her absence as was Trivedi, whose resignation was accepted on Monday. Most Trinamool MPs were present. Roy told reporters that safety, security and punctuality would be his priority as railway minister but added

Won't tolerate humiliation: Mamata
New Delhi: After ensuring replacement of Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi for hiking fares, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she wants to stay with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) but won't tolerate humiliation. "I'm committed to UPA-II because we contested elections together. I want to keep my manifesto promise. Unless until they throw us out we would continue with respect, whatever they may give to us. If there is humiliation, you have to take a decision. Until, unless there is humiliation we will abide by our commitment," she told CNN-IBN news channel. Explaining her removal of Trivedi for hiking fares without consulting her, Banerjee said she expected to be briefed by her ministers on policy issues. "He (Trivedi) is my own minister, at least on policy decisions... I'm not asking the Budget proposal to be given to me... If somebody is deputed from the party they have to inform the party about the policy decision... At least you should inform about the price hike," she

Dinesh Trivedi had to quit as Railway Minister after his rail fare hike proposal was opposed by party chief Mamata Banerjee. that he would speak in detail only in parliament. Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the new railway minister had the prerogative to take a decision on passenger fares.

BJP questions PM on Trivedi's ouster
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioned the resignation of Dinesh Trivedi as railway minister saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were equally responsible for a proposed rail passenger fare hike. Initiating the debate on the rail budget in the upper house, BJP leader Balbir Punj said there was a "mystery" behind Trivedi's resignation. He said: "Railways, which is the life line of the country's economy, should not suffer due to the compulsions of coalition politics." "Is it not correct that the prime minister and the finance minister had given their blessings to the rail budget presented by Trivedi? Should these two not be questioned," Punj said. He also said that both had lauded Trivedi's budget, but he was later forced to resign. "It's like being lauded by the headmaster of the school, and then being rusticated."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. said. Stating she "digested" Trivedi's move to hike freight rate by 20 percent before the rail budget, Banerjee said: "The poor people travel in sleeper class." "They (the ministers) should work for the poor people. It is the higher class who have advantage can travel. The poor people everyday travel by train, more than sixty percent of them are daily passengers. Two paise or five paise increase amounts to around Rs.200 in a month," she said adding the parliament would decide on any roll back. She said the party would decide on Trivedi. "He is in our party. I'm not saying anything on it... it is our own party matter. I can't disclose outside."



March 24-30, 2012

Assembly By-polls

Congress scores in Karnataka, Gujarat, mauled in Andhra
Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat and Karnataka in the results of bypolls. In Gujarat, which will face assembly polls later this year, Congress snatched Mansa assembly seat from the BJP. Congress candidate Babuji Thakore defeated BJP's D.D. Patel in the constituency which has been won by BJP since 1995. Though the term of the MLA from this seat will be just about eight months, the election was made a prestige issue by both the Congress and BJP. The Congress wrested UdupiChikmagalur Lok Sabha seat in Karnataka from the scandal-hit ruling BJP, adding to the woes of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda. Congress nominee K. Jayaprakash Hegde, who had lost to Gowda in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, defeated the BJP's V. Sunil Kumar by over 45,000 votes in the bypoll held March 18. The bypoll followed Gowda vacating the seat after becoming chief minister Aug 4 last year, replacing corruption-scarred party colleague B.S. Yeddyurappa. The Congress faced a major setback in Andhra Pradesh as it was defeated in all seven assembly seats. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) bagged four assembly seats while YSR Congress, BJP and an independent won one seat each. Congress's poor performance in the bypolls in the state is likely to revive the demand for statehood for Telangana with its own leaders Wednesday blaming "lack of clarity" in the party's stance on Telangana for its debacle. Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won the Athagarh assembly by-election defeating the Congress by over 47,000 votes. Former sports minister Ranendra Pratap Swain got 87,604 votes while Congress' Suresh Mohapatra trailed with 40,214. Swain had represented the same constituency for four consecutive terms, from 1990 to 2009. V. Muthuselvi of the ruling AIADMK was elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly from Sankarankoil constituency, defeating her DMK rival by over 68,000 votes. Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the results were "good" for the party in three states but admitted that the party faced a "serious political situation" in Andhra Pradesh.

The Congress scored morale-boosting victories in BJP-ruled Gujarat and Karnataka in the results of by-polls. New Delhi: The Congress scored crucial victories in BJP-ruled Karnataka and Gujarat as well as in Kerala, but lost in all the seven assembly by-polls in party-ruled Andhra Pradesh, while the respective ruling parties in Tamil Nadu and Odisha registered emphatic wins in by-elections across six states. The Congress scored moraleboosting victories in Bharatiya

Soumitra named for Dada Saheb Phalke award

NRI withdraws RS nomination amid rift in BJP
New Delhi: With the old guard of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) upping the pressure, NRI businessman Anshuman Mishra decided to withdraw his nomination for the Rajya Sabha election from Jharkhand. Mishra, a 37-year-old businessman from London who entered the fray for Rajya Sabha election with support of some BJP MLAs, had to withdraw after a section of the BJP rebelled as it became clear that he was in the arena due to covert backing from party president Nitin Gadkari. BJP MP representing Jharkhand in the Rajya Sabha, S.S. Ahluwalia's name was dropped to make way for Mishra. "I will withdraw my RS nomination," Mishra told Headlines Today. Stung by rebellion, the BJP declared that it will not support Mishra, who is seen as an outsider in the state. BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar announced that party legislators in Jharkhand would not vote for Mishra March 30 because there was "large-scale horse-trading and malpractices" going on in the Rajya Sabha election. Bitter that vocal party MP S.S. Ahluwalia had not been re-nominated for the Rajya Sabha, BJP leaders rallied against Mishra.

NCTC row: SP, BSP, Trinamool bailout government
New Delhi: The government Tuesday defeated oppositionbacked amendments on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in the Rajya Sabha, where it lacks majority, with help from the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its often mercurial ally Trinamool Congress. The SP and BSP, bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh, supported the government after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the house in his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the president's address that efforts would be made to evolve a consensus on the antiterror hub and chief ministers would be consulted. The six Trinamool MPs were not present in the house during the vote.

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Kolkata: Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who has portrayed a versatile range of lead characters in films by Satyajit Ray, has been selected for India's highest film honour - the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2012. "I am extremely happy. Till this evening I had not thought of this award. But after I got the news I am extremely happy," Chatterjee said. Chatterjee, one of India's most talented actors, made his debut in 1959 with Ray's super-hit movie "Apur Sansar". The film gave him the much needed platform, and he never looked back. Chatterjee soon became Ray's favourite, and became the lead actor of most of the movie maker's classics including "Sonar Kella", "Charulata", and "Ghare Baire". Chatterjee's association with Ray is often compared with the chemistry between famous actor-director duos of the world such as Akira KurosowaToshiro Mifune and Marcello Mastroianni-Federico Fellini. Apart from Ray, Chatterjee has worked with all internationally acclaimed directors of his time, including Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar.Some of his notable movies are "Jhinder Bandi", "Koni", "Kaapurush", "Akash Kusum", "Aranyer Din Ratri", "Joy Baba Felunath", "Teen Bhubaner Pare", "Ganashatru" and "Sakah Prashakha".

Anshuman Mishra, a 37-year-old businessman from London (left in the picture), entered the fray for Rajya Sabha with support of some BJP MLAs. "The BJP categorically states that no member of BJP Jharkhand legislative assembly shall vote for Mishra," Anath Kumar told reporters in parliament house. An angry Mishra retorted that the BJP should do away with "old people" in the leadership.

BJP again caught in porn scandal, now in Gujarat
Ahmedabad: Barely a month after a porn scandal hit its ministers in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) found itself mired in more sleaze after a journalist alleged that BJP legislators in Gujarat were watching obscene clips in the assembly. Journalist Janak Dave reported to Gujarat Speaker Ganpat Vasava's office that Shankar Chaudhury and Jetha Bharwad were watching obscene clips in the house as it discussed the demands for grants of the water resources department. The issue also rocked the Gujarat assembly with the Congress demanding dismissal of the two legislators. The journalist claimed that he noticed the two legislators watching "pictures of Swami Vivekananda, then cartoons and then pictures of women" - from his seat in the media gallery of the assembly. Chaudhary, Dave said, showed his tablet to Bharwad. After the journalist reported the incident, the speaker ordered the removal of the tablet from the assembly and called for a probe by the assembly's privileges committee. Now, the tablet is likely to be sent for forensic tests to the laboratory here. "I went to the speaker's chamber and complained about it to his personal assistant, who informed the speaker and the viewing was stopped," Dave claimed. Meanwhile, Chaudhary denied the charges against him and claimed it was a conspiracy against him and his party.

A journalist claimed that he noticed the two legislators watching "pictures of Swami Vivekananda, then cartoons and then pictures of women."

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Panel Themes & Speakers
Fire Side Chat SPEAKERS SPEAKERS ment. The panel featuring senior professionals from some of the most well established funds will discuss the viability of PE as an asset class and outlook for its future. SPEAKERS Binalakshmi Nepram Writer-Activist Nepram was born in Manipur in India's Northeast region, bordering Myanmar. She is a writer-activist who is spearheading work on making disarmament a movement and meaningful issue. In 2004, she co-founded India's first civil society organization dedicated to conventional disarmament issues, the Control Arms Foundation of India. And in 2007, Nepram launched the Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network. Vish Narain Director, TPG Narain was an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners in New York. Previous to that, he was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey's Private Equity Practice in Palo Alto and London. He holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a Master of Technology from IIT Delhi.

Nachiket Mor Chair, Sughavazhvu Healthcare and former Chair, ICICI Foundation Mor is a Yale World Fellow, has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania with a specialization in Finance from the Wharton School, an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, and an undergraduate degree in Physics from Mumbai University. While completing his Ph.D., he was associated with a Philadelphia based hedge fund (Quantitative Financial Strategies) for three years. He is now the Chairman of the Boards of Sughavazhvu Health Care, CARE India and IFMR Trust and is closely involved in the evolution of these three organizations.

Prof. Lant Pritchett Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School of Government Pritchett works as a consultant to, is a non-resident fellow of the Center for Global Development, and is a senior fellow of BREAD. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1983 with a B.S. in Economics and in 1988 from MIT with a PhD in Economics. After finishing at MIT, Pritchett joined the World Bank. Look East Policy: Look East through the Northeast In 1991, coinciding with the liberalization of India’s economy, Look East Policy signaled a major shift in India’s foreign policy. India’s reviewed relationships, especially with its immediate neighbors, Myanmar and China, have been interpreted as India’s increasing influence and renewed interest in being an important economic and cultural player in Asia. Connecting India to South East Asia is the North Eastern Region of India (NER). The NER is an important focal point that is tied to the achievement of many Look East Policy objectives. However, despite India’s massive 10% earmark budgetary spending for the development of the NER since 1996, industrial and infrastructural condition in the region remains abysmal. While the region’s strategic location and untapped natural resources suggest abundant potential for India, insurgency and conflict in the region are some of India’s biggest challenges today. How can India confront these challenges?

Pradyot Deb Burman Chairman and Editor, The Northeast Today Magazine Burman is a recipient of NETV's Entrepreneur of the Year 2004, an award for young entrepreneurs of the Northeast of India (for the first Heritage Hotel called Tripura Castle in the Northeast of India). He is the son of the last King of Tripura, and Chairs the Royal Tripura Foundation.

Shashank Singh (Panel Lead and Moderator) Partner & Co-Head (India Office), Apax Partners Singh joined Apax in London in 2004 as part of the Technology & Telecoms team, and has focused on investments in the telecom and IT services/BPO spaces.He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, from which he graduated as a Baker Scholar, a first class degree in economics from Cambridge and a BA (Hon.) with distinction from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Shashank has lived in 12 different countries.

Darius Pandole Partner, New Silk Route Advisors Pvt. Ltd. At the start of his career, Pandole worked with Procter & Gamble and Kraft General Foods in the US. He returned to India in 1993 and managed the operations of his family owned soft drinks business, Duke and Sons Limited. He has a BA (Economics) from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Pandole is currently an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. He is a frequent speaker at venture capital industry forums in India. Food for Thought: Innovations in Agribusiness India is the world's largest producer of milk, fruits and vegetables, major spices and foodgrains and is on the path to double its share in global food trade by 2015. Innovations along the value chain are changing the landscape of the Indian agriculture and food industry. The opportunities that emerged from this transformation has recently attracted many HBS/ HKS graduates to start agribusinesses in India. While looking at how agribusiness leaders are riding this wave of growth, panelists will share their insights on how they are advancing farm-to-fork models. SPEAKERS

Vikram Puri CEO, Mahindra ShubhLabh Services Ltd With 29 years experience as an agribusiness professional, Puri has been associated with several Indian companies engaged in the production & marketing of agricultural inputs and output. He has chaired the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Agri Services Showcase in 2008 in Chandigarh. He is frequently invited to speak at seminars on agribusiness around the country and at leading Management Institutes in India to share his rich & varied experience in Agribusiness. Puri is CEO at Mahindra Shubhlabh Services Ltd.

P.A. Sangma General Secretary, Nationalist Congress Party Sangma is an Indian politician. He is a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and also served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya State, in the Northeastern Region. He was a cofounder of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and still serves as its General Secretary. Sangma was elected as an MP for eight terms in Lok Sabha from Meghalaya. He also served as a Union Minister between 1991-1996, including serving as a Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting in 1996. Currently he is an elected Member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, representing the West Garo Hills constituency. Investing in India discussion: Is PE in India a sustainable business model? The last two decades have been a time of exponential growth for Indian companies. Private equity (PE) has emerged as an important source of capital for growth and the industry has witnessed a proliferation of global and domestic funds. Returns, however, have been elusive and the industry operates in a tough regulatory and competitive environ-

Akhil Awasthi Managing Partner, Tata Capital Growth Fund Awasthi has over 13 years of private equity experience in India, and about 21 years of experience in financial services spanning asset management and corporate banking. He was a founding member of India's first private sector mutual fund ITI Pioneer AMC. Awasthi has completed the Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School, has a Post Graduate qualification in Management from University of Delhi, and is a qualified Mechanical Engineer. He is actively involved with Indian Venture Capital Association, TiE and the HBS Alumni Association.

Sanjiv Rangrass CEO, AgriBusiness Division - ILTD, ITC Ltd Rangrass joined the company in 1982 after completing his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. He has also spearheaded process excellence initiatives involving Lean and Six Sigma in his previous role in the India Tobacco Division (ITC), and continues to do so as in his current role. As Chief Executive of the Agri Business Division – ILTD, he is driving organizational change through Talent Management, Knowledge Management, process excellence and stakeholder development processes.

Naveen Wadhera Head, TA Associates Advisory Pvt Ltd Wadhera was instrumental in providing advice with respect to TA’s investments in Dr. Lal PathLabs, Micromax Informatics and Tega Industries. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Dr. Lal PathLabs and Micromax. Prior to joining TA in 2001, he worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Broadview International. He received a BSc in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance.

Prof. Kasturi Rangan (Panel Lead & Moderator) Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School The chairman of the Marketing Department from 1998 to 2002, Rangan is now the co-chairman of the school´s Social Enterprise Initiative. Currently, he teaches the popular Business at the Base of the Pyramid course at HBS. In addition, he teaches in a number of executive education programs. Rangan has a Bachelor of Technology from IIT. He is the founding co-chair of the Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard, an initiative which he has continued to lead since 1995.

Dr. Rashmi S Nair Director, Emerging Markets, Regulatory Policy & Scientific Affairs, Monsanto Company Nair joined the company in 1980 as a Senior Toxicologist and has held leadership positions throughout her career. A native of India, Nair earned a Ph.D degree in Toxicology from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Washington University. She also holds a certification from the American Board of Toxicology. She has more than 25 technical publications and numerous abstracts in key scientific journals.


Dealing with mega corruption
By Prashant Bhushan professor from the Jawaharlal Nehru University recently commissioned a study which found that until the 1980s the biggest scam that had surfaced in the public was Bofors, involving what seems today a measly figure of Rs 64 crore. The next decade, i.e. 19912001, saw 26 scams that involved losses to the exchequer exceeding Rs 1000 crore. And then, the student had to give up his study after accumulating a list of at least 150 scams, each exceeding Rs 1000 crore, for just the period 2005-08. This exponential growth of corruption in India after ending the license-permit raj and introducing the LPG (liberalization, privatization, globalization) policies in the hope of reducing corruption is no mere coincidence. Corruption in India has grown to alarming proportions because of policies that have created enormous incentives for its proliferation, coupled with the lack of an effective institution that can investigate and prosecute the corrupt. Under the garb of liberalization and privatization, India has adopted policies by which natural resources and public assets (mineral resources, oil and gas, land, spectrum, and so on) have been privatized without transparency or a process of public auctioning. Almost overnight, hundreds of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) have been signed by governments with private corporations, leasing out large tracts of land rich in mineral resources, forests and water. These allow the corporations to take away and sell the resources by paying the government a royalty, usually less than one per cent of the value of the resources. The Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, recently pointed out in a report on mining in Karnataka that the profit margins in such ventures often exceed 90 per cent. This leaves huge scope for bribe giving and creates incentives for corruption. The same thing happened when A. Raja, without going through a public auction, gave away spectrum to companies at a fraction of its market price. Private monopolies in water and electricity distribution, airport development, and so on, have been created, where huge and unconscionable levels of profit can be made by corrupting the regulator and allowing private monopolies to charge predatory prices. Tens of thousands of hectares have been given away to corporations for commercialization in the guise of airport development, construction of highways, creation of Special Economic Zones and so on, at what appear throwaway prices.


Prahsant Bhushan (left) is part of Anna Hazare’s core team crusading against corruption. Bhushan, a Senior Lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, is on Harvard India Conference’s panel on Political Accountability.


part from creating huge incentives for corruption, such policies have also resulted in the involuntary displacement of lakhs of poor people, leaving them on the brink of starvation, even forcing some to join the Maoists. The beneficiaries have stripped the land of natural resources (a good deal of which is exported) and destroyed the environment. Most ominously, such deals have resulted in the creation of monster corporations that are so powerful and influential that they have come to influence and virtually control all institutions of power, as we see from the Niira Radia tapes. While adopting policies that create huge incentives for corruption, we have not set up effective institutions to check corruption, investigate and prosecute the corrupt and bring them to justice. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) continues to be under the administrative control of the government, which is seen as the fountainhead of corruption. Thus, action is rarely taken by the CBI to effectively investigate high-level corruption, except in the rare instances when the court forces its hand. Often we see the CBI itself behaving in a corrupt manner, with no other institution to investigate that. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), mandated to supervise the CBI, has failed to act, since its own appointment process is riddled with conflict of interest. The Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Leader of the Opposition want to avoid their own accountability and are thus interested in having weak and pliable individuals to man the institution expected to supervise the CBI. Moreover, both the CVC and the CBI have to seek the government’s prior sanction to investigate and prosecute wrongdoers; such sanction is usually denied when it comes to high-level corruption. The CVC depends on vigilance officers in various government departments who are often middle-level officers from the same departments and thus cannot be expected to exercise vigilance over their bosses who write their confidential reports. The

judiciary, which must try and convict the offenders, too has become dysfunctional and is afflicted with corruption due to a lack of accountability of the higher judiciary. he draft Jan Lokpal bill seeks to create an institution that will largely be independent of those it seeks to police, and have effective powers to investigate and prosecute all public servants (including ministers, MPs, bureaucrats, judges and so on) and others found guilty of corrupting them. Since corruption involves misconduct and gives rise to grievances, the draft also proposes that the Lokpal will supervise the machinery (the vigilance department) to pursue disciplinary proceedings against government servants as well as the machinery to redress grievances. Thus, both misconduct by government servants and grievances will come under the ambit of an independent authority rather than the government, whose machinery has become ineffective due to conflict of interest. It is further proposed that if the Lokpal finds that a contract is being awarded for corrupt considerations, it can stop the contract process. It cannot otherwise interfere with government decisions or policy.


Last, any of the 11 members of the Lokpal could be removed for misconduct by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court, whereas all the officers under its supervision will be accountable to independent complaint authorities that will be set up in each district. In order to maintain the independence of the Lokpal, it was decided following many consultations that the selection committee should consist of the PM, the Leader of Opposition, two Supreme Court judges, tow High Court judges, the CAG, the CEC and the three previous Chairpersons of the Lokpal. This broad-based committee was envisaged so as to avoid a conflict of interest observed in the appointment procedure for the CVC, which has often resulted in weak and pliable individuals being appointed.



t is often alleged that this would create a super-cop with enormous powers and no accountability. There is a misconception that the proposed Lokpal will also have judicial powers; there is no such provision in the bill. The need of the hour is to have an effective cop who can investigate and prosecute the high and mighty without interdiction from the very people who need to be prosecuted. The bill seeks to make the Lokpal accountable. First, the Lokpal is mandated to work transparently so that everything related to its functioning is known to the people (without compromising the investigation itself). Exemptions from disclosure provided in the Right to Information Act could be included. Second, the Lokpal’s orders will be subject to review in the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

t has been said that putting the function of redress of grievances on the plate of the Lokpal would make its work unmanageable. However, it is important to remember that the Lokpal will function only as an appellate body for grievances, which will have first to be sent to the grievance redressal officer attached to each office of each public authority. Further, only those grievances arising out of a violation of the citizen’s charter, which is mandated to be made for every public authority by the UNCAC (United Nations Charter Against Corruption) will be considered . Thus, the Lokpal will only cover grievances arising from duties which should have been fulfilled by the public authority in a timebound manner, but were neglected due to some extraneous consideration, usually the expectation of a bribe. This mechanism will also help strengthen our existing public machinery because the grievance redressal officer will be the one held responsible and on whom a fine can be imposed for the improper functioning of his/her office. Another significant aspect of the Jan Lokpal bill is the fact that it also addresses corruption arising

from the dealings between the state authorities and private corporations, specially with respect to transfer of national resources like land, water, minerals, and so on, by: a) mandating that any transfer of natural resources must take place in a completely transparent manner through public auctions, unless it is not possible, in which case reasons must be recorded in writing; b) directing that no government servant can wilfully take up a job/consultancy with a private corporation for benefit if he/she has dealt with their file in an official capacity while serving in government; and c) directing that if any private entity is convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for abetting an act of corruption (i.e. for bribing a public official), then the company concerned and any other sister-company will be blacklisted for any government transaction in future.


n addition, the very definition of ‘act of corruption’ also includes ‘obtaining any benefit from any public servant in violation of any laws or rules’, which would include any license, contract or largesse which has been obtained by any private corporation in violation of laws and procedures laid down by any competent authority.


ne must not, however, be under any illusion that the Lokpal law by itself will solve the problem of corruption. Unless we tackle and change the policies that create enormous incentives for corruption, and monster corporations that have become too powerful for any institution to control, the fight will remain incomplete. The judiciary too is in need of comprehensive reforms. But setting up an independent, credible and empowered Lokpal is a first step, a necessary, though not a sufficient, condition to effectively control corruption. Let us at least work together to put that in place. This article is reprinted from Seminar magazine.


Panel Themes & Speakers
Health Care in India: Envisioning the Future The healthcare panel features leaders from the burgeoning medical device and diagnostics sector in India that has so far driven much of the growth in the healthcare sector, as well as the emerging healthcare services sector which promises to be a strong factor in the years to come. The panel will also discuss how these trends are shaping the future of India’s healthcare landscape. SPEAKERS SPEAKERS Nachiket Mor Chair, Sughavazhvu Healthcare and former Chair, ICICI Foundation Kanuru Suajatha Rao Former Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India Rao joined the IAS in 1974. Before that she was Additional Secretary and later Secretary & DG Department of AIDS Control from 2005 till 2009. She retired from government service in 2010. Rao did her post-graduation from Delhi University and has a Master ’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1991-92. Entrepreneurship in India – Billion Opportunities and Billion Challenges India, the land of a billion people and one of the fastest growing economies, presents huge opportunities to entrepreneurs to build businesses to serve the growing needs of its population. Yet, there are numerous challenges ranging from bureaucracy to lack of capital, talent, advisors and intellectual property rights. What does it take to create value in such an environment? How is the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem evolving? Is this the right time to start a venture in India? Moreover, is this the right place for me as an entrepreneur? SPEAKERS Prashant Choksey Co-Founder, Mumbai Angels Choksey is the Executive Director at the Choksey group of companies which has interests in Real estate, Construction, Entertainment, Venture Capital and Manufacturing. He is the Chief Executive of Choksey Constructions, a real estate development company. He holds engineering degree in Applied Mechanics from University of California. He has also completed Management Education Program (MEP) from IIM Ahmedabad and done Executive Management Program (EMP) from Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Venkat Srinivasan CEO and Chairman, RAGE Frameworks Dr. Srinivasan is a uniquely experienced individual with substantial expertise in multiple functional areas. Having started his career as a public accountant, he completed his doctoral work in credit and finance, and is an expert in knowledge-based systems architectures, computational linguistics and natural language processing. Towards More Inclusive Finance The panel will discuss recent trends and innovations in India's financial sector that are helping to ensure that India's economic growth becomes more inclusive in the coming years. The panelists will draw on their extensive expertise in fields as varied yet intricately linked as microfinance, small business lending, and rural banking. SPEAKERS

Ashish Jha, M.D., M.P.H (Panel Lead & Moderator) Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Jha is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, associate physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and VA Boston Healthcare System. Over the past three years, he has served as Special Advisor for Quality and Safety to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jha received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1997 and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Jha is a practicing general internist with a clinical focus on hospital care.

Jacqueline Bhabha (Panel Lead and Moderator) Jeremiah Smith Jr lecturer in law, Harvard Law School Bhabha is the Jeremiah Smith Jr lecturer in law at Harvard Law School, the Director of Research at the Francois Bagnoud Xavier Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard and the University Adviser on Human Rights Education to the Provost at Harvard University. She is a founder of the Alba Collective, an international women’s NGO currently working with rural women and girls in developing countries to enhance financial security and educational achievement.

Vivek Madappa Founder & CEO, Humming Bird Corporate Travel & Stay Pvt Ltd Vivek Madappa is the co-founder & CEO of Humming Bird Travel & Stay Pvt Ltd (HB). Prior to his entrepreneurial journey he worked in the corporate sector for 15 years handling successful and award winning brands. An avid wildlife photographer, adventure explorer and scuba diver, he has a degree in engineering and an MBA from Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai.
Harnessing India's Demographic Dividend Role of social development actors in skilling India's marginalized youth

Dr Sanjay Sinho CEO, American India Foundation Dr. Sinho serves as CEO at American India Foundation (AIF) since April 2008. He holds Master’s degrees in Sociology, Pediatrics and a Bachelor’s degree in general medicine and surgery from Bhopal University in India. He is currently based in New York, and in his spare time teaches Hindi to children of people of Indian origin in his local community.

Dr. Om Manchanda Chief Executive, Dr Lal PathLabs Dr. Manchanda is CEO of Dr Lal PathLabs. Before joining it in 2005, Manchanda led the International & Innovation group of the Consumer Healthcare Division at Ranbaxy. An MBA from the IIM Ahmedabad, Manchanda is also a Doctor in Veterinary Sciences from Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.

Prof. Shikhar Ghosh (Panel Lead & Moderator) Professor, Harvard Business School Ghosh is the Mel Tukman Faculty Fellow, Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. He has been the founder and CEO or Chairman of eight technology-based companies and was the past Chairman of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MTLC) and TiE. He has been a keynote speaker in numerous conferences on innovation, entrepreneurship, digital media and on the future of the Internet.

Mahesh Uberoi Co-Founder, My Personal Health Record Express Uberoi and his wife Madhu founded My Personal Health Record Express in 2009. He was the founder (1983) and President/CEO of Uii Corp. Uberoi is a graduate of IIT Madras, and holds a Masters in Operations Research from Syracuse University. He is a US citizen living in Florida.

Mohit Dubey Co-Founder & CEO, Mohit comes from a middle-class family in Bhopal, and has in the last 5 years, relentlessly pursued his idea of a site aggregating information on cars to South Asia's leading car portal, with over 5 million visitors a month and a leadership position all these years even against nearest competitor, a much-better funded rival from the Times of India.

Skill development holds the key to India being able to leverage its demographic dividend for inclusive growth and to evolve as the hub of global workforce given its unprecedented proportion of population under 25. The panel addresses poignant topics for India including how the youth of the country must be armed with marketable skills for India to compete in the global world economy. All stakeholders – government, industry and civil society – would need to play a role to address the emerging challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for providing skills training to unemployed youth. Additionally, ways to present innovative delivery approaches and facilitate private-public partnerships to expand skill building capacity in India will be debated as some of the best practices in the field are shared.

Poonam Ahluwalia Founder and President, Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) Ahluwalia is the Founder and the President of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (YES) an international nonprofit based in Cambridge, MA. Over the past 9 years she has organized five global YES Summits. She is a member of the Global Council for Youth Unemployment of the World Economic Forum.

Nancy Barry (Panel Lead and Moderator) President, NBA Enterprise Solutions for Poverty Over the past 30 years, Barry has engaged private sector leaders, policy makers and local organizations in emerging economies to build finance and enterprise systems that work for the poor majority. In 2006, she launched Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. Barry serves on the Advisory Board for Strategy Development of China Mobile.

Rick Desai Co-Founder & CEO, Dashfire Desai is a co-founder and the CEO of Dashfire. He has over 6 years of investment experience. In 2008, he was granted the William J. Clinton Fellowship by the American India Foundation. He worked with Saath, the Ahmedabad-based NGO concentrating on microfinance, vocational training, and market-based development in urban slums.

Gregory Chen Regional Representative for South Asia, CGAP Chen works to deepen CGAP’s engagement across eight countries in South Asia, with a focus on the role of technology. His academic training is in economics and he holds a master's degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School. Kolli N Rao Chief Risk Officer, Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd Rao is specializing in general insurance for over 25 years, of which last 23 years in agriculture insurance. He is a post-graduate in ‘agricultural sciences’ and masters in ‘business administration’, and recently completed doctorate degree on ‘climate risks and index insurance solutions’.


India's Exploding Digital Economy
By Jeffrey F. Rayport / Harvard Business Review ecently, I had the privilege of moderating a conference of global entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in Mumbai — an event called Founders Forum India. Founders Forum is a franchise started by two successful UK-based entrepreneurs, Brent Hoberman and Jonnie Goodwin, to stimulate USstyle entrepreneurship in the European region, and now around the world. The event brought together some 250 entrepreneurs and investors for a series of panels, round tables, and a business plan competition. It also featured a showcase of hot new Indian startups. What the event made clear — beyond the striking array of talent in the room assembled by our Indian host, Reliance Group's Rajesh Sawhney — was a stunningly bright future for all things digital in India. Indeed, practically any statistic you might cite about Digital India suggests that something unusual is going on. And the impact will occur in the next 24 to 36 months, based on the following data and projections: Let's start with Internet access. Today, India's population of Internet users is 80 million, which equals a penetration rate of just seven percent (or 17 percent of the urban population). That is about to change. The government is rolling out what it calls its National Broadband Plan, a $4.5 billion initiative to build a country-wide fiber optic network that will connect an additional 160 million Indians by 2014. An Indian investment bank, Avendus, projects 376 million Indian Net users by 2015. Part of what's fueling growth in Net penetration is an explosion in mobility. The Indian government sponsored the introduction of 3G services in 2011 with a $30 billion spectrum auction. Morgan Stanley projects that 3G penetration will reach 22 percent by 2015. Government and the private sector have spent something like $55 billion on related infrastructure. Further, we'll see a roll-out of 4G wireless services across the country in 2012. While there are nearly 800 million mobile subscribers in India, very few use smart phones; most have feature phones that deliver, at best, premium text-based services. As unit economics enable ever cheaper smart phones (the lowest price in the market is now $65), their penetration will rise. Fueling this explosion is a fact of national culture: Indians love media. No one aware of the nation's obsession with "ABC" (Astrology, Bollywood, and Cricket) will be


Healthcare in Rural Areas – The Road Not Taken
By Akshay Navaladi ow does one go about getting diagnostic services out of the large, swanky labs that are the mainstay of big, urban cities, and into the hands of the rural population, that constitutes almost 60% of India’s population? Ask any first year Harvard Business School student and he or she might propose the Aravind Eye Hospital model. Set up a rural camp, create fanfare, transport equipment and medically trained personnel to the camp, bring back patients who need surgery and there you have it. But if it were that straightforward, why are articles such as this, still talking about it? Perhaps because it’s not. Finding doctors who are willing to travel to remote areas for the purely altruistic motive of diagnosing and testing patients is quite sadly, hard to do. Then there’s the issue of making diagnostic equipment work in the field, under weather and handling conditions that might not even nearly resemble manufacturer specifications. Suppose we did find the right doctors, and suppose we did find the right type of equipment, who should bear the responsibility of treating India’s rural patients? The private sector? The government? Non profits? Some will say there’s a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid and hence it is in the interest of private hospitals to do


surprised to learn that the average Indian consumes 4.5 hours of media and entertainment a day, while 70 percent of the national population spends money on content, both online and off. Time spent online already comes to 40 minutes per capita per day. Mobility will drive much of the expansion in Internet usage. One of every four Internet users in the country now accesses the Net using a mobile device. A leapfrog effect will mean that three of every four Net users will do so by 2015. Byebye to the clunkier and more costly PC. One result of this expansion is that e-commerce is rapidly taking off. Granted, only 11 percent of Indian online users are transacting online. As in China several years ago, there's a reluctance to pay for goods using the Web; most of today's online transactions are in the travel industry (representing 87 percent of a $6.3 billion e-commerce sector, says Avendus). Still, Amazon lookalike Infibeam is growing sales handily. It's a reflection of what's happening in the domestic retail space more broadly. Infibeam's founder projects growth of the retail economy from $400 billion today to $1 trillion by the end of the decade. Digital will inevitably play a starring role in propelling this growth. At the same time, there is an abundance of local capital ready to deploy to feed new ventures. Consumer demand for innovative digital services, when executed ably, seems unquenchable; and that demand is stimulating capital flows. For this reason, one entrepreneur observed, "More companies [in India] die of indigestion than of starvation." According to Mergermarket, the value of investment activity rose from $111 million in 2010 to $829 million in 2011, while the number of deals doubled from 33 to 66. This expansion isn't

just domestic. Indian entrepreneurs are feeling bullish about global markets. One publicly traded company, On Mobile, an operator of premium SMS services, now does business in 52 countries around the world. Growing confidence among Indian entrepreneurs is related to one other market attribute: Indian consumers are extraordinarily demanding. Many at the conference articulated the idea simply. As they say in Manhattan, the Mumbai crowd averred, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." Yes, there are challenges. There are at least 16 languages spoken throughout the country. There's the question of how to develop robust legal, regulatory, and financial infrastructure (including payment systems). There's the problem of sound policing of intellectual property rights. There's an aversion to subscription-based offerings. And, as ever, there's something else you cannot ignore: executional risk. But it was hard for me, from a moderator's perch, not to feel exhilarated by the dramatic upside for Digital India. The subcontinent seems on the cusp of amazing developments, only beginning with broadband Net access, high-speed mobility, and e-commerce. The idea that India — with its scale, its energy, its consumers — could become a digital laboratory and growth engine for the world struck me as both likely and inspiring.Given that, is it any wonder many who attended the conference regard India's digital opportunity in the next few years as greater than China's? The author is an Operating Partner at Castanea Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm focused on retail, information, and marketing services, and was formerly a faculty member at Harvard Business School.

this. But the reality is, unless one adopts an Aravind-esque approach of getting urban patients to subsidize the cost of services for rural patients, or some other such model, it is quite hard to test rural patients profitably. Moreover, shouldn’t the job of making healthcare accessible to India’s rural patients be the responsibility of the government? Why should this be any different from some of the other responsibilities the government has towards the rural population, such as constructing roads and ensuring a safe supply of drinking water? I unfortunately don’t have an answer, but perhaps the panelists on the healthcare panel at the India conference will. The panel pits Dr. Om Manchanda, CEO of Dr. Lal Path Labs, Mr. Nachiket Mor, Chair of Sughavazhvu Healthcare, and Mr. Mahesh Uberoi, President of MphRx, not only against each other, but also against Ms. Sujata Rao, ex-secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Slated to take place on the 24th and 25th of March, ‘India: The New Frontier’ aims to bring forth not only the country’s challenges, but also some practical solutions that are well positioned to contribute to India’s growth story going forward. Akshay Navaladi is a first year student at the Harvard Business School with prior experience in the healthcare sector.


Panel Themes & Speakers
Serving the Indian Masses SPEAKERS The New Age of Entertainment This panel will focus on the business of the Indian Entertainment industry and its growth prospects. The panelists will address questions about what makes a successful movie, changing distribution channels and innovation in both content and distribution. SPEAKERS Prof Mukti Khaire (Panel Lead and Moderator) Associate Professor of Business Administration Marvin Bower Fellow, Harvard Business School

Luxury market or base of pyramid? Both the segments offer great opportunities for consumer companies trying to grow within India. Both segments have their unique challenges and drawbacks. The panelist will talk of some success stories within these segments and share insights around the challenges they have seen, how have they overcome them and what they foresee as a future for consumer companies serving these two segments. SPEAKERS

Karambir Singh Kang General Manager, Taj Boston Kang is also the Area Director, Taj Hotels -- The Americas. Previously, he was Vice President – Mumbai and General Manager of the Taj Mahal Palace, the company’s flagship in Mumbai, overseeing a spectacular renovation of the hotel’s historic Palace Wing. He joined the Tata Management Training Center in Pune in 2010 while on a sabbatical.

Yashwant Deshmukh CEO, YRD networks Deshmukh is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of communications consultancy YRD Media. He did his Major in Media from the prestigious IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass Communication) in New Delhi. He is life member of WAPOR and also member of ISQOLS, ESRA, CSDI and The Election Center.

Prof. Ramana Nanda (Panel Lead and Moderator) Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Nanda’s research focuses on the ways in which the financial sector impacts innovation and entrepreneurship in the economy. He is Faculty Affiliate at the Center for International Development and the Center for the Environment at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from MIT's Sloan School of Management and has a BA and MA in Economics from Trinity College, Cambridge, U.K.

Dheeraj Sinha (Panel Lead & Moderator) Regional Planning Director, Bates Sinha leads the planning function for the Bates network in Asia, across 13 countries. He has worked on the brand strategy for Colgate, Fiat, Virgin Mobile, MasterCard, LG, Reckitt Benckiser, AIG, DBS, TVS Motorcycles, Max Bupa, Marico, Dabur, and Cavin Kare.

Sanjeev Asthana Founder & Managing Partner, I-Farm Venture Advisors Pvt Ltd Asthana has over 24 years of investments and operations management experience in Food and Agribusiness in India as well as internationally. He is the Founder & Managing Partner of I-Farm Venture Advisors Private Limited. He was also a Director on the board of Cargill India, where he established and ran the Grains and Oilseeds business in India. Indian Media: Global, Representative, Autonomous? The Panel will deliberate on the shifts in Indian media that they have perceived and whether Indian media and the quality of the content generated is relevant locally and globally. The panelists will also address queries around the sanctity of the information provided by the media and how much of a credible institution it remains in Indian polity. Given the background of our panelists, they will also address any questions around how easy/tough it is to start and successfully sustain a media based company in India. SPEAKERS

Atul Singh Founder, Fair Observor Singh was born in Vasco da Gama, Goa and grew up all around India. In India, Atul founded "A Creative Effort", a non-profit that worked for social and educational reform. He also served as an officer in Kashmir and Nagaland where he was involved in sensitive special operations in volatile areas. He came up with the idea of Fair Observer at the New York Global Media Summit held on March 10-11, 2010.

Vidur Vyas Marketing Vice President, PepsiCo India Foods Vyas heads the Marketing function for PepsiCo India Foods. He has over 15 years of experience and has worked across various roles in the Consumer Products Industry and Business Consulting. Before Pepsico, he worked with Accenture Business consulting where he worked for a consumer products company, helping them build a business strategy. Vyas is interested in cricket and hockey and also enjoys playing chess.

Rajiv Mishra Managing Director, CLP India Private Ltd Mishra was the Director of Finance for PowerGen plc's Indian operations prior to 2002 and on joining CLP, became the Project Finance Manager responsible for the financing of the BLCP Power Station in Thailand and continued as BLCP's Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer until July 2004. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering (first class distinction) from BIT, Sindri and an MBA from IIM Lucknow.

Ritesh Sidhwani Producer/Co-Owner, Excel Entertainment Sidhwani is one of the principal driving forces and co-founder of the pathfinding and highly successful film production house, aptly named Excel Entertainment. His very first film, Dil Chahta Hai, not only achieved cult status for pioneering a new genre in Indian cinema but also won him a National Award in 2001.

Ravi Prakash CEO, TV9 Prakash is the founder and CEO of Associated Broadcasting Company. He started the first TV9 channel in Telugu in 2004, which changed the very dynamics of media and breaking news in Andhra Pradesh by making a huge impact on the broadcasting industry. Cleantech Panel: Powering Greener India In coming decades, India will need huge amounts of energy to support economic growth and reduce poverty. Supplies of conventional energy will struggle to keep up with growth in demand. And energy needs to be produced in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Renewable energy is potentially an answer to this conundrum. Renewable energy currently accounts for less than 10 per cent of India’s power needs. With current power deficit looming large and favorable government policies to promote renewable energy generation, it has the huge potential to represent around 20-25 per cent. The panel shall discuss challenges and opportunities in renewable power generation in India. It shall look to analyze solar, wind, biomass sector among others holistically from policy, investing and operations perspectives.

Abhinay Deo Film Director, Delhi Belly Deo is an Ad Film maker turned Film Director. His parents are the veteran actors Ramesh and Seema Deo. His first movie was Game (2011), and his second was Delhi Belly released last year.

Mansi Madan Tripathy Director, Procter & Gamble Tripathy has over 15 years of experience in Procter & Gamble and is currently leading CMK (Consumer and Market Knowledge) function for Global Shave Care Business ($7Billion Sales with brands like Gillette and Venus). Earlier, she was leading CMK for ASEAN/ India/ Australasia/ Korea/ Japan business based out of Singapore.

Prof Mukti Khaire (Panel Lead and Moderator) Associate Professor of Business Administration Marvin Bower Fellow, Harvard Business School Khaire has previously taught the required first-year MBA course, “The Entrepreneurial Manager.” She has also taught in the HBS Executive Education programs, including custom executive education offerings, the preMBA, and START. She received her PhD in Management from Columbia Business School. Her dissertation explored how intangible resources such as legitimacy and status help new ventures grow despite their inherent financial constraints.

Anita George Director, Infrastructure Investment, International Finance Corporation George joined the World Bank in 1991 as a Young Professional and worked on infrastructure in Europe and Central Asia. She joined the Global Infrastructure Department of IFC in Washington DC as Principal Investment Officer in 2000. She has a dual Masters in Business Administration and Economic Policy from Boston University, USA. Ashok Pasricha Senior Technical Advisor, EXIM Bank Pasricha has over 30 years of experience in the power, petrochemical and water treatment industries. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and has an MS degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and as an MBA and specialization in International Finance. He is the author of over 25 technical publications and has made several presentations in India and in other countries.

Samir Patel Founder, ACK Media Patel is a serial entrepreneur. Most recently he founded ACK Media. He was educated at MIT, where he received a Masters from the Sloan School of Management and from the School of Engineering in 2000. Conversation with Jay Sean

Kapil Sharma of Tata Sons will lead a conversation with Cash Money Recording Artist, Jay Sean on building a brand and successful business in the biggest entertainment market in the world.

Jay Sean, R&B singer,


HIC Organizing Team
Conference Co-Chairs
Amit Ghorawat Deepak Dogra Erendro Singh Kulin Lalbhai Naiyya Saggi Pavan Sirpa Simar Singh

Conference Sponsors
Title Sponsor: Tata
The Tata group comprises over 90 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and IT, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The Tata name has been respected in India for 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. Surrounded by art galleries, boutiques and restaurants, the hotel is ideally located near the Theatre District, historic sites, shopping at Copley Place and the Hynes Convention Center.

Sponsor: South Asia Initiative
The South Asia Initiative (SAI) is a Harvard wide unit, located across the Charles river but one that connects faculty and students across all schools at Harvard and the community in South Asia. SAI's mission is to foster excellence in teaching and research at Harvard on global issues relevant to South Asia.

Conference VPs
Prathima Manohar Aashish Barwale Rajarshi Banerjee Abby Bellows Rajesh Vijayaraghavan Aditya Shukla Raviraj Jain Akshay Navaladi Reena Gautham Anand Dureja Ritu Shah Andrea Quadros Rohin Aggarwal Ankit Samdariya Rohit Singhal Anushree Tainwala Rupakshi Goel Catherine Leland Sahil Gupta Divya Jain Shruti Dube Gazal Kalra Sid Misra Hetal Jani Subodh Kumar Kalpana Beesabathuni Sujoyini Mandal Kanupriya Misra Tonusree Basu Kash Pate Vishnu Karthik Kavikrut Mahindra Bapna The team comprised students of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Gold Sponsor: Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech India Ltd
Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech India Ltd. (MMB) is a joint venture between Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd. (Mahyco) and Monsanto Holdings Private Limited – a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Monsanto Company. MMB has broadly licensed its Bollgard II® and Bollgard® cotton technologies to several Indian companies so farmers can access technologies in the preferred hybrid seeds of their choice.

Prime Media Sponsor: The South Asian Times
The quintessential newspaper for the South Asian communities – it heralds quality, ethics and objectivity in journalism, and is a trendsetter among information outlets. The South Asian Times is the voice of Indian Diaspora and is the one publication that nudges this accomplished group to reach greater heights and to connect with their roots.

Preferred Hospitality Partner: Taj Boston
Taj Boston, the Crown Jewel of Boston Hotels, occupies the city's most prestigious address at Arlington and Newbury Streets. Renowned for its classic style and award-winning service, this 1927 landmark hotel overlooks the picturesque Public Garden with swan boat rides and the Boston Common's ice-skating at Frog Pond.

Lead Media Sponsor: TV Asia
TV Asia is a US-based channel that harbors the mission to highlight South Asian talent in USA and Canada and promote the rich heritage in arts, religion, sports and culture. It also seeks to inspire the current generation to uphold and carry forward the rich and ancient ideals of South Asia’s glorious past.

Op Ed


March 24-30, 2012

Indian politics: meet new Amol Palekars
By Sagarika Ghose


brave new voice has sounded in the assembly elections of 2012. The voice of the Indian voter that has thundered out from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur, is a voice both modern and rational and contains pointers for the future. The most modern aspect of Verdict 2012 is a complete rejection of sectarian agendas. In Punjab, the Akali Dal gave up the Akal Takht agenda and turned to emphasizing a composite identity rather than a Sikh or a Punjabi one. The jathedars were marginalized, rhetoric on the 1984 riots and Operation Bluestar reduced and attacks on deras curbed. The Akalis gave as many as 11 tickets to Hindu candidates who all won. In Goa, it was once again proved that the BJP wins thumping victories only when it rejects hardline Hindutva. In a stunning departure from exclusivist Hindutva politics, the BJP put up seven Catholic candidates, aggressively wooed

minorities and as a result even swept Catholic-dominated Salcette. That Manohar Parikkar becomes BJP CM with Catholic support means that not only did the Goan voter want to throw out the Congress, but in the process has not baulked at giving the BJP a chance to prove its pluralist credentials. In Uttarakhand, notwithstanding his own personal defeat in Kotdwar, the valiant former chief minister BC Khanduri was top of the popularity charts. The CNNIBN post-poll survey showed that a high 33% in Uttarakhand wanted Khanduri to be the chief minister. And Khanduri is a BJP leader who stands not for extreme Hindutva ideology, but for development and a clean image. In UP, the Congress appeals to Muslim identity backfired badly. Raising the pitch on quotas did not convince an electorate anxious to move beyond old style identity politics. There was another important feature of Verdict 2012. If the Congress believes that National Advisory Council-inspired expen-

sive welfarism will automatically reap a rich electoral harvest, then this election needs to force a rethink. Sanctioning a R8,000crore Bundelkhand package, the R6,000-crore weavers package showed that throwing money at the poor does not always win elections. Of course, it could be argued that even growth did not win in UP this time, as an almost 7% annual rate of growth could not prevent Mayawati’s defeat. Yet, it must be said that in areas where Mayawati’s development work has been most successful, namely in Noida and Gautam Buddh Nagar, the BSP performed impressively. Here voters proved that tangible development work is rewarded. In the 1970s, Amol Palekar portrayed the quintessential middleclass educated citizen on screen: soft spoken, unassuming, he oozed decency and sincerity. In films like Rajnigandha and Chhoti Si Baat, Palekar was the good man next door, amiable with everyone from the postman to the landlord. Two highly successful politi-

Two highly successful politicians -Nitish Kumar and Akhilesh Yadav can both be described as the Amol Palekars of Indian politics. cians — Nitish Kumar and Akhilesh Yadav — can both be described as the Amol Palekars of Indian politics. They do not have fire and brimstone rhetoric, nor do they stand out in a crowd, nor do they make flamboyant gestures or fiery speeches. Nitish Kumar and Akhilesh Yadav barely raise their voice, you would miss them in a crowd, television cameras do not find them particularly alluring. Yet it is they who have captured the trust and confidence of the voters in a modernizing media-saturated India. The changing nature of political charisma was a defining feature of Bihar in 2010 and has been reiterated in 2012. Australia-educated Akhilesh or IIT Mumbai-educated Manohar Parikkar embody the new middle class: they are educated, professional activists yet the very opposite of flashy. In a media age they use the TV camera well: when the camera’s lens is up close and personal, what is the need to shout? When the zoom captures the innermost expression in the eyes, speeches become almost redundant. The Amol Palekars of politics perform well in extreme closeup.

By Indrajit Hazra

Errr... a year later against, ummm... Bangladesh
Tendulkar's last century came against South Africa on March 12, 2011, at Nagpur during the World Cup. I suspect something that I have never aired before. Regardless of how much I hold him in the highest of regards, I can't help but think that my unemployed (and unemployable) uncle was right when he told me some five months ago that Sachin was consciously avoiding scoring his 100th hundred. No, not because of some H-grade non-item number Bollywood lady hanging around outside the Indian dressing room and then introducing Tendulkar to some bookie-type. Sachin is no rookie-type! He consciously may have postponed the 100th century to keep retirement plans at bay as long as possible. For let's be honest, he's hardly the

achin Tendulkar is god. I would have upper-cased ‘god’ if he had done either of two things: scored his bloody 100th international century sooner, or against a better side. Now, don't get me wrong. He's the best cricketer that the world has ever known. Actually, come to think of it, he's the most brilliant human to have ever walked on the face of this planet — and I'm not being biased here. But to leave fans like me dangling for one year and three days — 368 days for people like Harsha Bhogle who are better with figures and haircare than I'll ever be — is a travesty. Or as Sir Donald Bradman-ji, if he was still alive, would have said, “a bloody travesty”.


divine being with his bat that he once was. After all, he hasn't scored a century for a year. And as he said after Friday's match: it's selfish to retire when you're at the top of your game. How's that for humility? And a stick in the eye for Rahul Dravid who should have kept playing for another ten years weren't it for his selfishness. As for the second reason why I've demoted Sachin from God to god — he's reached the landmark against... er, Bangladesh. Taking a single off Shakib Al Hasan on the 138th delivery he faced in an innings with 10 boundaries and one over-boundary leaves me — now what's the word? — underwhelmed. But I guess I should thank my lucky stars that an increasingly nervous BCCI, worried about Sachin not scoring his

Sachin after scoring his 100th international ton against Bangladesh. 100th hundred before the next leap year sets in, didn't announce a 'historic' one-day series between India and Holland. Sachin scoring his 100th hundred against a delivery from Ryan ten Doeschate would have been a bit hard to digest. It would have still made front page news everywhere though. In any case, I'm all excited about Sachin scoring his 50th one-day international century against Pakistan in Dhaka. Friday's 100 was his 49th. So let's all hold our breath for that big landmark now, shall we? So what if, like Friday against Bangladesh, India loses the match today.

The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.



March 24-30, 2012

Russian court dismisses case seeking Gita ban
New Delhi: A court in Russia has dismissed a case that sought a ban on the Gita. Hindus in Russia on Wednesday won the case when Tomsk city court in Siberia dismissed the plea from state prosecutors. The court rejected the appeal against a Dec 27 verdict given by a lower court in Tomsk. "We have won the case. The court has dismissed the state prosecutors' appeal," an elated Sadhu Priya Das, a devotee of the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in Russia told Indo Asian News Service that first brought the issue to light, Gita: As It Is" written by A.C. Bhaktived Swami Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON, claiming that it was "extremist" in nature and spread "social discord". The Gita was first published in Russia in 1788 and since then it has been republished many times in various translations. The controversial Russian translation of "Bhagavad Gita: As It Is" was carried out by founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The book was translated into more than 60 languages.

Kirtana Vallabhaneni named UK’s top young scientist
London: An Indian origin stuMuseum’s inventor in resident, Kirtana Vallabhaneni, dence Mark Champkins. beat 360 other entrants to be Vallabhaneni, who was part awarded UK’s top young sciof the project team working to entist at The Big Bang Fair at isolate cells in the pancreas Birmingham’s NEC on March that can be targeted with 16. chemotherapy, said she was The 17-year-old was part of “so happy” with the win. University of Liverpool’s “Everything that I’ve research project aimed at idenworked for over the last year tifying the harmful cells that has come together,” the BBC Kirtana Vallabhaneni quoted her as saying. cause pancreatic cancer. She said she hoped her win could help “The fact four finalists were female “instill the same kind of passion I have for shows that there are strong opportunities science in other young people.” for women in science and it proves they The judging panel for the national don’t have to follow convention and award, open to 11 to 18-year-olds who stereotypes. completed a science, technology, engi“I’m so passionate about what I do and I neering or maths project, included hope that with this success, I can instil the renowned space scientist Dr Maggie same kind of passion I have for science in Aderin-Pocock, Nobel Prize winning bio- other young people… If I can do it, they chemist Sir Tim Hunt, and the Science definitely can,” she added.

Bhagavad Gita over phone from Tomsk. The case relates to Tomsk state prosecutor's filing a petition in June 2011 seeking a ban on a Russian translation of "Bhagwat

In Brief 381 wives of NRIs seek government help
New Delhi: The ministry of overseas Indian affairs (MOIA) has received 381 complaints of women being deserted or harassed by their non-resident Indian (NRI) husbands, a majority of them from Punjab, the Lok Sabha was informed Wednesday. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi said in a written reply that the NRI Cell opened at the National Commission for Women (NCW) too had received 532 complaints since September 2009. Of all the Indian states, Punjab had the most complaints filed at the ministry by Indian women victims. "There were 94 complaint from that state," Ravi said. After Punjab, most number of victims were from Delhi, There were 68 complaints by women from Delhi. Andhra Pradesh related complaints stood at 36 complaints. Other 18 states had less than 25 complaints each. At the NRI Cell in the NCW, Delhi had the most complaints with 121 women approaching the national body for a resolution of their problems with their NRI husbands. Uttar Pradesh had 62 complaints, Haryana 45 and Punjab 43, the minister said.

UK clarifies ‘Overseas Citizen of India’ status
London: Responding to concerns of British citizens holding the status of ‘Overseas Citizen of India’ (OCI), the UK Foreign Office has clarified that when such citizens are in India, they will continue to be treated as British citizens and offered consular assistance if required. A large number of people of Indian-origin have acquired OCI status after being naturalized as British citizens in the UK. The scheme launched by the Indian government in December 2005 has been welcomed by the Indian diaspora. The Foreign Office has confirmed in a letter to a London-based solicitors company, Freemans Solicitors, that when OCI holders are in India, they will continue to be treated as British citizens and will be entitled to consular assistance. The letter by Louse Edwards from the Consulate Directorate of the Foreign Office says that the OCI status does not affect a person’s nationality under international law. “Our understanding is that the Indian authorities would not consider a British citizen holding OCI to be a dual national, although this is a matter for the Indian authorities. Therefore, for the purposes of consular assistance, they would be treated as a British national and would be eligible for the consular assistance,” Edwards writes in the letter available online. Registration as OCI entitles them to several benefits, such as multipurpose lifelong visa, exemption from registration with the police and parity with non-resident Indians in financial and economic matters. However, many OCI holders were not clear about their status while in India, and were concerned whether they would be treated as British citizens in India and extended consular assistance if required. The OCI status is granted in the form of a booklet, which is not to be understood as a ‘passport’, which is issued to Indian citizens. During the period an OCI is in India, the person is subject to Indian criminal/civil laws. OCI holders cannot vote or contest elections, nor hold any constitutional post or enter into employment with the Indian government. An OCI can acquire Indian citizenship again by renouncing the citizenship of the foreign country after five years of being granted the OCI, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Sops for diaspora in Kerala budget
Thiruvananthapuram: Presenting his 10th budget in the Kerala assembly Monday, Finance Minister K.M. Mani Monday announced a slew of benefits for the state's diaspora, including a hike in financial assistance and opening a business guidance centre. Mani announced that the financial assistance extended to the weaker and poorer sections of the diaspora included assistance to bring back the bodies of those who die while working abroad, medical assistance, and increase in marriage fund from Rs. 10,000 to Rs.20,000. "For this I have set aside Rs.1.50 crores. Also Rs.50 lakhs has been set aside to open a business centre which will advise the diaspora who are keen to set up business ventures in the state," said Mani. According to the latest studies done by the Centre for Development Studies, the diaspora's remittances account for 31.23 percent of Kerala's net state domestic product. The number of Keralites living abroad in 2011 is estimated at 2.28 million, up from 2.19 million in 2008. It was 1.84 million in 2003 and 1.36 million in 1998. "I have also set aside Rs.50 lakhs which would be used to bring back the Keralite's currently lodged in jails in the Middle East countries," said Mani. "Already a scheme has been launched to this effect in Saudi Arabia with the help of the Keralite business community there. Now with this allocation it would be launched in other countries also," added Mani. Mani has also set aside Rs.50 lakhs for the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to be held in the state for the first time next January.

India to spend Rs.50 crore on overseas Indians
New Delhi: India will spend close to Rs.50 crore on welfare schemes targeted at overseas Indians in 2012-13, according to budgetary estimates proposed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has been allocated a total of Rs.114.77 crore for the next fiscal, a 41 percent increase from the 2011-12 budget outlay of Rs.81 crore.The ministry will also spend Rs.6 crore on celebrating the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. The rest of the Rs.114.77 crore will go towards establishment and infrastructure expenses.India has the world's second largest overseas community, next only to China. It is estimated that there are about 25 million Indian diaspora spread over more than 110 countries around the world. The MOIA was established as a separate ministry in 2004 to look after the welfare of the Indian diaspora and to provide them assistance across economic, social and cultural spheres.



March 24-30, 2012

China mum on fears of Nuclear terrorism in Pak
Beijing: China is unlikely to defend Pakistan if questions are raised at the forthcoming Nuclear Security Summit about Islamabad's ability to safeguard its nuclear installations from theft or attack by terrorists. The summit, to be held in Seoul, South Korea, on March 26-27 , will be attended by leaders of 53 countries including Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Chinese president Hu Jintao. Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing was confident about the safety standards at the Chinabuilt Chashma nuclear power plant in Pakistan, but skirted questions on how it would respond to fears about theft of nuclear material by terrorists. Chinese foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu said there was serious threat of terrorists acquiring and misusing nuclear material. Although there has been no nuclear incident involving a terrorist organization, it's necessary to create safeguards against such a possibility , said Ma. He refused to discuss the terrorist situation in Pakistan in the context of nuclear security, the theme of the Seoul summit. China's concern was evident when Ma quoted figures provided by the International Nuclear Energy Agency about 2,100 cases of theft of nuclear material since 1993. Singh and Hu will meet again when HU visits New Delhi for BRICS meeting on March 28. China's response to the issue of terrorists' threat to nuclear security will weigh heavily during the discussion.

Ready to broker peace with Taliban: Sri Sri
Lucknow: Art of Living (AoL) founder and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shanker has offered his "good intentions and services" to the Pakistan government and said that he was ready to broker peace between the Pakistan government and Taliban. Back from a trip to Pakistan, Sri Sri said that during his trip to Pakistan, he "could feel the urge in the Pakistan masses to find peace and get over violence". Moved by the successive terrorist attacks and the emotional welcome and send off he got at the AoL camps in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the spiritual guru said he would be the happiest if any efforts by him could bring peace to the strife torn Pakistan. "There is a lot of violence in Pakistan and people are fed up, they want to live peacefully. If I could be of any help in bringing an end to the vicious cycle of violence, I am ready to talk to the Taliban," Sri Sri said.

Back from a trip to Pakistan, Sri Sri said he "could feel the urge in the Pakistan masses to find peace and get over violence". In fact, he added, as a spiritual guru, he was duty bound to bring peace to the world and he would leave no effort untried in doing so. In Lucknow, for a Satsang attended by over a lakh people at the Police Lines, recalling his Pakistan trip, Sri Sri said he was overwhelmed at the response he got to his meditational techniques in Pakistan and added that at the end of it, it was all about "universal stress." "We are all sufferers of stress, tension, violence and hatred - and small ways of easing out are all that you need," he mused while discussing his experience with the Pakistani people. "I am sure," he added, "that in times to come better sense would prevail on all who were involved in violence and that peace would prevail everywhere."

Non-Muslim women in Pakistan face harassment
Islamabad: Two-thirds of nonMuslim Pakistani women were sexually harassed and 43 percent suffered religious discrimination at workplaces, a study said. Around 27 percent of Hindu and Christian women faced discrimination in admission to educational institutions and were forced to take Islamic studies for absence of any alternative subject, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) said. A study conducted by the commission with rights activists, media and people from various walks of life has just been released, its executive director Peter Jacob was quoted as saying. The research, based on interviews with women from minority communities, was led by Jennifer Jag Jivan and Jacob and assessed by Asiya Nasir, Ernestine C. Pinto and Pushpa Kumari. Jacob said the study looked into social, political and economic conditions of "minority women" in 26 districts of Punjab and Sindh, the two provinces where 95 percent of minorities in Pakistan live. As many as 1,000 Hindu and Christian women were interviewed. The study looked into issues such as legal disparity, laws concerning minorities, religious and gender biases, forced conversions that affected everyday life of minority women.

Pak parliament demands end to US drone strikes

India votes for US resolution on Sri Lanka
Geneva: India and 23 other countries voted in favour of a US resolution here Thursday urging Sri Lanka to probe alleged human rights abuses during the final phase of the war against Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka expressed outrage after the resolution won majority support at the UN Human Rights Council meeting, but quickly added that its "friendly ties" with India and the US would not change. The UNHRC adopted the resolution with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions, BBC reported. The motion called on Colombo to address alleged abuses of international humanitarian law. The Sri Lankan military crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, ending 26 years of civil war. But the final phase of that conflict saw largescale civilian casualties, the figures ranging from a few hundred to thousands. The resolution tabled by the US asks Colombo to explain how it will address the alleged violations of humanitarian law. It also seeks to know how Sri Lanka will implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry into the war and encourages the UN human rights office to offer it advice and assistance. China and Russia supported Sri Lanka and opposed the resolution. In Colombo, Acting Media Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena said India's internal political situation had pushed New Delhi to vote in favour of the USsponsored resolution, Xinhua reported. "Sri Lanka's ties with India will not be affected over the decision it has taken," Abeywardena said. "India's ruling party has lost some of the big states in elections and all the parties in Tamil Nadu have gathered together to pressure the central government to support the resolution," Abeywardena added.

Khaleda's son indicted in 2004 grenade attack
Dhaka: Former PM and opposition leader Khaleda Zia's "fugitive" elder son and 29 others were on Sunday indicted by a special Bangladeshi tribunal over a 2004 grenade attack on current PM Sheikh Hasina's rally that killed 24 people and injured her. "Charges were framed as the allegations against them were proved primarily," judge Shahed Nuruddin of Dhaka's Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 pronounced , also indicting ex-junior minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar besides Zia's son- Tarique Rahman- and 28 others, formally launching the trial of the case. The judge set March 28 for hearing the witnesses' testimony as several senior police and army intelligence officials were also found involved in the attack, said to be carried out by HuJI operatives.

The US must review its footprints in Pakistan, the Pakistan Parliament stressed. Islamabad: A Pakistani parliamentary commission demanded an end to American drone attacks inside the country and an apology for deadly US airstrikes in November as part of a review of its near-severed relations with the United States. The commission was tasked with going over ties with Washington after errant airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and led to the closure of US and Nato supply lines to Afghanistan. The incident presented an opportunity for the army - furious at the Americans and under public pressure following the raid on Osama bin Laden last year that was seen in Pakistan as a violation of the country's sovereignty to gain a negotiating advantage in its turbulent relationship with Washington. "The US must review its footprints in Pakistan," commission head Raza Rabbani said, reading the recommendations . "This means the cessation of drone strikes inside Pakistan." This demand could complicate efforts to rebuild the relationship. But the commission didn't say the supply lines should be permanently closed, as many Pakistanis would like, rather that the government should charge the US and Nato more money for the privilege. Washington wants to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan, whose cooperation is seen as key to the success of striking a deal with insurgents in neighboring Afghanistan .



March 24-30, 2012

Iran threatens to retaliate to attack by US, Israel
Tehran: Tehran will retaliate against any attack by Israeli or American forces "on the same level" , Iran's top leader said in a defiant address just moments after US president Barack Obama appealed directly to the Iranian people with a message of solidarity. The contrasting approaches highlighted the broad range of political posturing and tactics as the standoff deepens over Iran's nuclear program. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking on state TV to mark the Iranian new year, repeated his claims that the country does not seek atomic weapons , but said all their conventional firepower was ready to respond to any attack. "We do not have atomic weapons and we will not build one. But against an attack by enemies - to defend ourselves either against the US or the Zionist regime we will attack them on the same level that they attack us," he said. Despite the hard-edged tone for most of the speech, there were hints of overtures toward America before a possible resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers. He urged the US to have a "respectful attitude" toward Iran - suggesting it could bring dividends.

Strong quake jolts Mexico, Obama’s daughter safe
Mexico: A strong, long 7.6 earthquake with an epicenter in Guerrero state shook central southern Mexico, swaying buildings in Mexico City and sending frightened workers and residents into the streets. People on the street after the 7.6 quake hit Mexico. Meanwhile, Malia Obama, the The US Geological Survey set the intensity at 7.6 and said the 13-year-old daughter of US epicenter was 11 miles under- President Barack Obama, who is ground. Mexico's National on vacation in Mexico was safe Seismological Survey said the after a strong earthquake there, temblor had an epicenter south- the White House said. "In light of today's earthquake, west of Ometepec. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo we can confirm that Malia Ebrard's Twitter account said the Obama is safe and was never in water system and other "strategic danger," Xinhua quoted a spokesservices" were not experiencing woman for first lady Michelle Obama as saying. problems.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Earlier this month, Khamenei gave a rare nod of approval to US after Obama said he favored diplomacy to resolve the nuclear dispute. Obama has urged for more time to allow sanctions to cut deeper into Iran's economy . Israeli officials have said there is no decision yet on whether to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, but analysts in both countries have become increasingly nervous about the risks of touching off a region-wide war.

Islamic gunman dead after French standoff
Toulouse, France: An Islamic extremist who boasted of killing seven people to strike back at France died Thursday after jumping from his window, gun in hand, in a fierce shootout with police, a French minister said. Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the suspect, who claimed links to al-Qaida, jumped out after police entered the apartment Thursday and found him holed up in the bathroom. The death of Mohamed Merah, 23, ended a more than 32-hour standoff with an elite police squad trying to capture him alive. Merah was wanted in the deaths of seven people, three paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi, all killed over 10 days. Another student and another paratrooper were wounded in his attacks. Police said, during hours of negotiations Wednesday when the standoff first began, Merah admitted to being proud of the seven slayings he carried out in three motorcycle shooting attacks around the southwestern city of Toulouse. They are believed to be the first killings inspired by Islamic radical motives in France in more than a decade. Authorities said Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent, espoused a radical form of Islam and had been to Afghanistan and the Pakistani militant stronghold of Waziristan, where he claimed to have received training from al-Qaida. Elite police squads set off sporadic blasts throughout the night and into the morning — some blew off the apartment's shutters — in what officials described as a tactic aimed to pressure Merah to give up. A new set of detonations, known as flash bangs, resounded at 10:30 a.m. (0930 GMT), portending the end to the standoff. "The killer came out of the bathroom, firing with extreme violence," Gueant said, adding that the RAID squad had "never seen an assault like it." The volley of gunfire resounded throughout the neighborhood Thursday morning, and two police officers were wounded in the firefight.

Syria situation intolerable: Ban Ki-moon
become an unacceptable and intolerable situation," Ban said in Bogor, Indonesia, where he addressed the country's peacekeepers working for the UN. His comments come ahead of a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday to discuss a draft statement calling for possible "further measures" if President Bashar al-Assad does not carry out a peace plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. A Western-drafted statement on Syria was put to the council by France, aiming to give strong backing to Annan's efforts to halt the 12 months of killing in Syria. The document is a presidential statement, which has less weight than a resolution but is adopted by consensus and is generally negotiated faster. The statement would express the "gravest concern" at the deteriorating crisis in Syria and "profound regret" at the thousands of dead over the past year. It calls on Assad and Syria's opposition to "implement fully and immediately" Annan's six-point peace plan. France's UN envoy Gerard Araud said he hoped it would be adopted the same day. The plan includes a halt to the violence, humanitarian access, the release of detainees held over the past year and withdrawal of security forces from protest cities.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. Bogor ( Indonesia): UN secretarygeneral Ban Ki-moon said the situation in Syria has become unacceptable and called on the Security Council to unite on the issue. "The situation in Syria has

Bombs kill at least 51 across Iraq
Bagdad: At least 27 bombs struck cities and towns across Iraq, killing at least 51 people and wounding nearly 250, despite a massive security clampdown ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad. It was Iraq's bloodiest day in nearly a month, and the scale of the coordinated explosions in more than a dozen cities showed an apparent determination by insurgents to prove that the government cannot keep the country safe ahead of the summit. Iraq is due to host the meeting for the first time in 20 years and the government is anxious to show it can maintain security following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December. "The goal of today's attacks was to present a negative image of the security situation in Iraq," government spokesman Ali alDabbagh said. "Security efforts will be escalated to counteract terrorist groups' attacks and to fill loopholes used by them to infiltrate security, whether in Baghdad or other provinces." The deadliest incident occurred in the southern Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Kerbala, where twin explosions killed 13 people and wounded 48 during the morning rush hour, according to Jamal Mahdi, a Kerbala health department spokesman. "The second explosion caused the biggest destruction. I saw body parts, fingers, hands thrown on the road," 23year-old shop owner Murtadha

At least 27 bombs struck cities and towns across Iraq. Ali Kadhim said. "The security forces are stupid because they always gather at the site of an explosion and then a second explosion occurs. They become a target."



March 24-30, 2012

India's federal budget: A manuscript of good intentions?
New Delhi: It has made all the right noises about the need to reform and prune subsidies, and even extends incentives to tax payers. But without targets, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's 7th union budget remains a manuscript of good intentions for the Indian economy. Yes, each of India's 35 million tax payers stands to gain at least Rs.2,000 ($40) annually and some among them will benefit from the revision in income tax slabs. Many also stand to profit from the new scheme that provides incentives on investment in equities. But all these minor gains get wiped out by the hike of 2 percentage points in virtually every service, as also the revision in the standard excise duty rate from 10 percent to 12 percent, which Mukherjee proposes in the budget tabled in the Lok Sabha. That leaves one to turn to the other aspects of the budget -- fiscal consolidation, how to nurse the economy back into shape, lower the subsidy bill and kick-start the reforms program that seems to lie in state for quite some time now. But there are, indeed, positive sides to the budget, especially on the issue of helping the corporate sector raise funds at competitive rates globally, higher allocations for infrastructure development and social sectors, and an affirmation on pruning subsidies. The finance minister also says the subsidy bill will be brought down to 2 percent of GDP and further down to 1.75 percent over the next three years, while also promising direct transfer of food, fertiliser and fuel doles to the intended beneficiaries. Yet, given his own initial assessment that the Indian economy was clearly on the road of recovery with growth pegged at 7.6 percent for the next fiscal, and that inflation would be lower next year, one expected much, much more from the $300-billion budget. Perhaps, as a veteran of seven budgets, Mukherjee knew how the news will be played out. On that count, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi was better off. With a fare hike, he did what others did not dare for past 10 years -- knowing well he was going to lose his job.

Indian Govt rolls back railway fare hike
New Delhi: Stating that it impacted poor people, new Railway Minister Mukul Roy Thursday rolled back the fare hike in suburban and nonsuburban, sleeper, air-conditioned chair car and air-conditioned threetier classes announced by his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi in the railway budget. "I intend to give relief to the already over-burdened common man by not effecting any increase in these classes," said Roy, replying to the debate on the rail budget in the Lok Sabha. He said the "proposal to increase fare by 2 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 5 paise per km in second class suburban and non-suburban and sleeper class is a huge drain on the pocket of the masses". "The increase in the fare of airconditioned chair car and air-conditioned three-tier, which is now patronised by the middle class, is also quite severe." However, he retained the fare hike for the air-conditioned first and second class by 15 paise per km and 30 paise per km, respectively, announced by Trivedi, who had proposed 10 paise per km each for airconditioned chair car and air-conditioned three- tier. Official sources in the ministry said the roll back of fare hike was a setback to the reform process.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after presenting his seventh Union Budget. Here, the budget is full of just promises. Mukherjee himself says there is need to "bite the bullet" but does not actually do so in a clear sign that his Congress party has been unable to convince the allies within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. In fact, there were great expectations, not just because the UPA's second stint is well past the midway mark of its tenure, but also since this national budget will run co-terminus with the first year of the country's 12th Five Year Plan. The Economic Survey, authored by finance ministry's Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu, and the monetary policy review of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had also prescribed a host of measures to ensure high growth for the Indian economy. But there appears to be little action on them. There is no timeline for introducing a pan-India goods and services tax and direct tax code. There is only a reiteration of intention to introduce bills to open up pension, insurance and banking sectors. On black money, he just promises a white paper.

New iPad sales top 3 mn: Apple

Government plea on Vodafone tax verdict dismissed
New Delhi: The government suffered a setback as the Supreme Court dismissed its plea for a review in the Rs.11,218 crore ($2.2 billion) tax dispute case against telecom giant Vodafone. The rejection of the review petition meant that the government will have to return the Rs.2,500 crore Vodafone had deposited. "We look forward to the return of our deposit immediately," Vodafone said in a statement. The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar dismissed the plea of the government after considering it in their chamber. "We have carefully gone through the review petition filed by the Union of India on 17th February, 2012. We find no merit in the review petition. The review petition is,

The case involved a levy on a 2007 transaction in which Vodafone Plc had paid $11.2 billion to Hong Kong-based Hutchison. accordingly, dismissed", said Tuesday's order. Vodafone reacted saying the Supreme Court's "clear and unambiguous ruling, based on the existing laws of India, re-iterates that the Indian tax authority does not have the jurisdiction to tax the transaction." The case involved a levy on a 2007 transaction in which Vodafone Plc had paid $11.2 billion to Hong Kong-based Hutchison for acquiring a 67-percent stake in Indian telecom services major Hutch Essar.

The new Apple tablet is the company's first 4G LTE-capable device. San Francisco: Apple announced that three million new iPads have been sold since the product's launch. "The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold - the strongest iPad launch yet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday." "We had a record weekend, and we are thrilled with it," Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said earlier Monday at a conference call to announce a dividend and stock buyback programme, reported Xinhua. The third generation iPad is now available in 12 countries and regions, and will be available in 24 more this Friday through the Apple online store, retail stores and some authorized sellers. The new Apple tablet is the company's first 4G LTE-capable device, featuring retina display, HD camera and faster processors.

Court quashes proceedings against Microsoft India
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court quashed charges of hosting objectionable content against Microsoft India and set aside a trial court order for initiating criminal proceedings against the company for lack of evidence. The company's counsel told the court that no defamatory material was posted on its websites, and Microsoft India is not a social networking site or search engine. The move came as Microsoft India approached the high court, challenging the trial court's order initiating criminal proceedings against it for hosting "obscene and derogatory content". The high court also gave the complainant Vinay Rai liberty to file a fresh complaint if any credible piece of evidence was found against the company. The company in its petition submitted that there is not even an iota of evidence against the Microsoft India. "Still no offence whatsoever is disclosed against the company." "The complaint is wholly false and malicious and has been lodged with an ulterior motive to cause harassment and to blackmail the company and other officers of the company," the petition said while seeking quashing of proceedings against it.



March 24-30, 2012

Mirpur (Dhaka): Bangladesh outplayed Sri Lanka by five wickets to enter their maiden Asia Cup final here, knocking India out of the tournament. The hosts produced another spirited performance as they restricted Sri Lanka to 232 and then the chased down the total in 37.1 overs after an initial stutter. Rain delayed the start of the Bangladesh reply, revising their target to 212 in 40 overs. Opener Tamim Iqbal (59) and premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (56) rose to the occasion, much to the delight of their passionate fans at the packed Shere Bangla National Stadium. The Bengal Tigers meet Pakistan in the final. Bangladesh had overcome a 290-run target to humble India in their last match while they stretched Pakistan in the tournament opener. Bangladesh did not panic despite being 40 for three in the eighth over. The experienced duo of Iqbal and Hasan steadied the ship by adding 76 runs off 73 balls.

Bangladesh reach maiden Asia Cup final, India out

Pak lift Asia Cup in thrilling final
Dhaka: Pakistan held their nerve to beat Bangladesh in a nail biting final at Mirpur to clinch the Asia Cup trophy on Thursday. Bangladesh's hope of winning their maiden Asia Cup title was spoiled by the Pakistani bowlers who restricted hosts three short of the winning target. Paceman Aizaz Cheema grabbed three wickets, while fast bowler Umar Gul and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal each finished with two wickets as Pakistan stopped Bangladesh at 234-8 after scoring 236-9 in the day-night match. Chasing 237, Bangladesh got off to a brisk start as Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin took the hosts past 50mark without allowing the visitors any success. Iqbal scored his fourth consecutive half ton to keep Pakistani bowlers at bay. However, just after Iqbal's half-ton Afridi struck for Pakistan ending Nazimuddin's challenge. Before the hosts could recover frpm the first blow, Ajmal spelt magic to scalp Islam at the score of 68. Pakistan pacer Umar Gul got rid of Tamim Iqbal (60) after his solid show to rattle Bangladesh after a brisk start. Gul got Iqbal caught by Younis Khan to reduce Bangladesh to 81/3 in 24 th over. Iqbal's dismissal came soon after spinners' double-strike that spoiled Bangladesh's steady start.

Bangladesh had overcome a 290-run target to humble India in their last match. And after they fell to off-spinner Minister Sheikh Hasina on its Sachithra Senanayake (2/38) in a feet. space of four overs, Mahmudullah Earlier, Sri Lanka were in deep (32) and Nasir Hossain (33) guid- trouble at 32 for three in 10 overs ed the team home with an unbeat- before Chamara Kapugedera (62), en 77-run stand off 83 balls. Lahiru Thirimanne (48) and Upul Hossain hit the winning bound- Tharanga (48) took the team to a ary, a straight drive off Suranga fighting total. Lakmal that had the crowd includMedium pacer Nazmul Hossain ing the Bangladesh Prime (3/32) removed Sri Lanka's high-

profile top-order while left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak (2/44) and Hasan (2/56) were effective in the middle overs. Bangladesh, electing to field, looked a team with a purpose. Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene (5) missed a straight one off Hossain to be bowled in the fourth over while opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan (19) played on attempting a cut shot. Kumar Sangakkara (6) also fell while trying to hit on the up, getting caught at extra cover. Kapudgedera then forged partnerships with Thirimanne and Tharanga, sharing 88 and 49 runs for the fourth and fifth wicket. Both Kapugedera and Thirimanne had to work hard for every run against the Bangladesh spinners. Kapudera's 92-ball innings saw only four boundaries while the Southpaw consumed 73 balls, hitting just three fours. With Thirimanne back in the hut at 120 for four, Tharanga came out with an aggressive intent. He scored at more than a run a ball, striking five fours and a six.

NBA sensation Lin becomes Volvo's brand ambassador

Sachin should keep going: Time
Washington: Hailing Sachin Tendulkar's feat of scoring 100 centuries, Time magazine has joined issue with those seeking his retirement saying the Indian cricket legend has "earned the right to keep going, to keep achieving." "For Tendulkar, arguably cricket's greatest-ever batsman, the pursuit of this 'ton of tons' has been unusually tortuous," noted the US magazine's Indian-born editor-at-large Bobby Ghosh in an article hailing "Tondulkar! A New Landmark For Cricket's Greatest." But "His talent is so immense, there was never any doubt he would get there, it was only a question of when and where," he said writing about "Tendulkar, cricket's greatest batsman, reaches another mark." "Now that he has, some will cavil that the occasion did not match the achievement: he got the runs against Bangladesh, one of the minnows of

Yuvraj Singh released from hospital
New Delhi: India's star cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who was undergoing treatment for rare germ cell cancer in Boston, was discharged from hospital after he completed his third and final cycle of chemotherapy. "3rd chemo cycles over, back from hospital n I am free. Road to recovery starts now. Can't wait to be back home," Yuvraj tweeted. "Thank you 4 all ur love n wishes from the bottom of my heart I'm sure they have worked well with the doctors therapy," he said.Yuvraj is expected to take the field in the first week of May, according to his doctor. Yuvraj also paid tribute to team mate and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar for completing a century of international hundreds. "Overwhelmed and full of emotions Tendulkar take a bow What he has achieved is immeasurable and what he has done is unachievable@sachin_rt," he tweeted.

NBA superstar Jeremy Lin. New York: China-owned Swedish automaker Volvo has announced an endorsement deal with NBA's new AsianAmerican superstar Jeremy Lin, marking the first major corporate contract for the Knicks guard. Over the next two years, Lin will participate in Volvo's corporate and marketing activities as a "brand ambassador" for Volvo Car Corp, appearing in advertising and promoting Volvo cars around the world. His first commercial of Volvo will come out this summer, according to the company. Lin, 23, who ascended from basketball benchdom to stardom earlier this year, said at the press conference that he found his belief in common with what Volvo stands for in terms of "continuing progress".

Even legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar is unhappy about suggestions that Sachin Tendulkar should retire from the game. the game," Ghosh said dismissing it as "all nonsense" as "Great sporting achievements set their own landmark: they don't need to occur on especially haloed turf and at an especially propitious hour." "If history is any guide, now the pressure's off, Tendulkar will hit a purple patch of form, scoring hundreds with his customary aplomb," Ghosh wrote. "That's a terrifying thought for bowlers everywhere, and a delicious prospect for all those who love the Mat Tests 188 ODIs 464 T20Is 1 1st-class 292 List A 550 T-20 60 Inns 311 451 1 464 537 60 NO 32 41 0 48 55 8 game, for when Tendulkar bats without a monkey on his back, he elevates the sport into art," he said. Arguing that Tendulkar is "fit, and his legendary appetite for runs remains undiminished," Ghosh said, "Having borne the weight of his nation's dreams for so long, and with such uncomplaining grace, Tendulkar has earned the right to keep going, to keep achieving." "Don't encumber him now with speculation of retirement. Let Sachin play," he exhorted. Runs 15470 18374 10 24389 21947 2069 HS 248* 200* 10 248* 200* 100* Ave BF SR

'Attitude does matter'
By Akshat Jain It finally came. And it poured. Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international ton in Mirpur against Bangladesh came after a year-long wait. But the feat showed the master blaster has a never-say-die attitude towards his game. 'Dreams do come true, enjoy the game and keep dreaming..' were his first words after reaching another milestone in his illustrious career. Take a glance at the table at what Sachin has achieved in past years, and is set to break more records in years to come.





Ct 113 140 1 181 175 23

St 0 0 0 0 0 0

55.44 51 44.81 21319 86.18 49 10.00 12 83.33 0 58.62 78 45.53 60 39.78 1659 124.71 1

65 67 95 2011 194 0 2 0 111 113 13 268 26

Ultimate Bollywood


March 24-30, 2012

Manmohan’s lookalike makes point in film on dowry
s he walks slowly wearing a white kurta-pyjama and a light blue turban, anyone could mistake him for the most powerful man in India - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But Delhi-based transporter Gurmeet Singh Sethi does not mind. So much so that he even accepted an offer from TV personality Suhaib Ilyasi of "India's Most Wanted" fame to be the part of a film that highlights the misuse of the Dowry Act against men. The role he is playing is not hard to guess! The film, "498A - A Wedding Gift", produced by Ilyasi, briefly features Sethi in his role as Indian prime minister. "Suhaib asked me if I would do the role of our honourable prime minister and so I thought over it and accepted it," Sethi said. Sethi says he enjoys being the lookalike of the prime minister. "When I go to the Connaught Place market in Delhi to get my shoes polished, youngsters confuse

Watch out 'Agent Vinod' for desi superspy flavor



Gurmeet Singh Sethi, the lookalike of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. me for Manmohan Singh. Once the crowd got so excited to see me that they made me sit where I was," he said. The movie deals with the subject of the Dowry Act being misused against husbands and their relatives. Ilyasi says the narrative of the film is based on the alleged harassment of his friend, Syed Ahmed Makhdoom, who committed suicide in 2009 after being booked under Section 498-A.

fter playing a simple Dalit man in "Aarakshan", actor Saif Ali Khan returns as a spy in the thriller "Agent Vinod”. The film, made at a budget of approximately Rs.60 crore, has been shot in Russia and Switzerland, while in India it has been shot in Ladakh, Mumbai, Jaisalmer and Delhi. It took almost two years for Saif to complete the film. Produced under Saif's banner Illuminati Films, it also stars Kareena Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor and Ravi Kishan. The story begins with a series of seemingly unconnected events, all over the world. In Uzbekistan, an ex-KGB officer is murdered. In Cape Town, a group of international business tycoons are seen discussing that the dead officer had a nuclear suitcase bomb hidden away. In Moscow, an Indian secret agent is exposed and is shot dead while he was trying to send a coded message to India. In India, the head of RAW sees the incomplete message, which has only number 242. To solve the mystery, Agent Vinod (Saif) springs into action. He has a relatively different way of solving cases, which often puts him into dangerous circumstances, but he still manages to get crucial leads. He is sent to Moscow to investigate why his colleague was killed, where he comes to know that a Russian money launderer called Abu Nazar (Ram) has sent $58 million to a contact in Morocco, for an operation against India. He immediately jets off to Morocco, where he bumps into Mafidsi Kazan (Prem

A scene from Saif’s new film ‘Agent Vinod.’ Chopra) and Dr Ruby (Kareena). Kazan is part Greek, part Moroccan, and part Indian. He is a ruthless man running the drug trade in the Mediterranean. A series of twists and turns take Vinod across the globe from Marrakech in Morocco to Riga in Latvia, Karachi, Delhi and finally London, where he discovers the ultimate conspiracy. Directed by Sriram Raghavan, Saif will be seen performing some daredevilry stunts in "Agent Vinod". A film with a similar title hit the screens in 1977, with actor Mahendra Sandhu playing the lead role. A lot of comparisons are being made between Hollywood's "James Bond" movies and "Agent Vinod" but the makers are adamant that the character bears no resemblance to the British superspy. The film caught attention for its sleek trailors, Kareena's mujra song "Dil mufta ka" and, of course, its item number "Pyaar ki pungi" picturized on Saif.

Agent Vinod's Pungi song a copy?
The music band Barobax Corp was founded in 2003 by three Iranian nationals Kashayar Haghgoo, Kevian Haghgoo and Hamid Farouzmand. According to the legal notice issued by law firm Vidhii Partners, Barobax had on January 16, 2010 produced and released an album titled Soosan Khanoom which became a rage. "On March 12 this year, the band came across the promotions of the movie Agent Vinod on satellite television in Iran. The song Pungi Baja De was being aired. On listening to the song, the band realised that the initial portion of the song is lifted without any change from the title song of their album," the notice claims.

Amitabh, Jaya to romance again

The song Pungi Bajaa Kar from Saif Ali Khan's spy thriller Agent Vinod. ust as the song Pungi Bajaa Kar from Saif Ali Khan's spy thriller ‘Agent Vinod’ is gaining popularity, an Iranian music


band has slapped a legal notice on music director Pritam Chakraborty and distributors for alleged copyright violation.

Amitabh and Jaya in a scene from Zanjeer. anjeer gave Amitabh Bachchan a fresh start and popularized him as the angry young man of Bollywood. It also starred Jaya Bachchan, Pran and Ajit. Afer Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Big B and Jaya Bachchan are all set to reunite on screen again with Shootjit Sircar's next. The film is an intensely romantic film about an aged couple. "It's a retrospection of a marriage in the closing years of a couple’s life when they’re certain that one of them would go before the other. After spending 35 years together, how does one-half of the marital pair prepare to face a spouse-less existence?” director Shoojit Sircar tells Mumbai Mirror.


Hope I match Bipasha in 'Jism 2': Sunny
ndo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone hopes that with "Jism 2", she can at least match the standard that Bipasha Basu set with the prequel. "I have seen her (Bipasha) and she is gorgeous and amazing in the first movie. I hope I can meet up to her standard and not let her down in 'Jism 2'," the 30-year-old said here in an interview. "I want to do a good job and I hope everybody likes the movie," she added. Sunny took part in "Bigg Boss 5", and she got lucky when filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt decided to offer her "Jism 2".


Sunny Leone in a ‘Jism 2’ teaser.

“True love doesn’t diminish over the years. It just turns into a different shade of emotion than what it was earlier. I want to explore the unconditional love of a couple who have devoted their lives to one another,” added the director. Sircar is now in talks with Big B. “Mr Bachchan and I spent two years of our lives working on Johnny Mastana. It’s unfortunate that the film is still unreleased. I still say it’s one of Mr Bachchan’s best works till date. My next film with him would be even better,” Sircar told the tabloid. Big B and Jaya were seen in films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Abhimaan, Zanjeer, Chupke Chupke, Sholay, and Silsila before.



March 24-30, 2012

Humor with Melvin Durai

f you're planning to go for a walk -- and I strongly advise against this -- you might want to keep your eyes up. You never know what might fall on you: apples, frogs, Russian space crafts. Yes, it's a dangerous world out there and the best thing you can do is stay indoors. If you absolutely have to go outside, follow my example and say a prayer: 'Dear God, if you must drop something on my head, let it be hair. My bald spot isn't getting any smaller.' Apples may seem like harmless objects, but not when they're dropping from the sky, as they recently did in Coventry, England. More than 100 apples fell on a main road in the village of Keresley, forcing drivers to slam their brakes. They were lucky they weren't walking. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, as the old saying goes, but 100 apples will surely bring him. Doctor: 'What happened, Mrs. Smith? Why do you have all those bumps on your head?' Mrs. Smith: 'It's my son-in-law's fault. I was walking to the Pension Service to discuss my housing benefits and my son-in-law said, 'Good luck, Mum! I hope your visit will be very fruitful.'' Officials in Coventry are trying to figure out where the apples came from. One theory is that they were swept up from an orchard by a


Watch out for falling objects
tornado and dropped on the road, but Keresley parish councillor Sandra Camwell has a more logical explanation: witches. 'We're in an area with a spooky history, where there have been witches for centuries, after all,' she told The Telegraph. If it were just apples falling from the sky, we wouldn't have too much to worry about. In fact, we might pray that more apples fall, especially in parts of the world where people would lie on their backs and open their mouths wide. London man: 'Yes!!! That apple just saved me a lot of money!' Tourist: 'But you didn't even eat it.' London man: 'Eat it? Are you bonkers? Why would I eat it? I just wanted it to knock out my loose tooth, so I wouldn't have to pay the dentist.' Unfortunately it's more than just apples falling from the sky. Just ask anyone who follows the news closely and they'll tell you about the thousands of frogs that fell in Odzaci, a small town in northwestern Serbia, in 2005, or the hundreds of fish that fell in Lajamanu, a town in Australia's northern territory, in 2010. 'When I told my family, who live in another part of Australia, about the fish falling from the sky, they thought I'd lost the plot,' a woman named Christine Balmer told The Daily Mail. 'But no, I haven't lost my marbles. All I can say is that I'm thankful that it didn't rain crocodiles!' Raining frogs and fish is bad enough, although you might get a meal out of them. But here's a warning: if something falls out of the sky, make sure you identify it before you put it in your mouth and start chewing. Even if it looks like a real fish, you should always turn it around to see if you can spot the words

'Made in China.' Experts believe that the frogs and fish were swept up by tornadoes or sucked up in a storm, but how do they explain what happened in Kentucky in 1876? Pieces of meat as large as three or four square inches fell from the sky into someone's yard. According to The New York Times, 'two gentlemen, who tasted the meat, express the opinion that it was either mutton or venison.' I don't know about you, but if chunks of meat fell from the sky into my yard, I wouldn't be tasting it. I'd be running through the streets screaming, 'Witches! Witches!'

Laughter is the Best Medicine

by Mahendra Shah
Mahendra Shah is an architect by education, entrepreneur by profession, artist and humorist, cartoonist and writer by hobby. He has been recording the plight of the immigrant Indians for the past many years in his cartoons. Hailing from Gujarat, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tech Life

Cellphone is the new tool for data collection
Washington, DC: Researchers can garner vast amounts of information bearing on pollution, epidemics, transportation, from cameras, audio recorders and other applications built into cellphones, cheaply and efficiently. But how to get mobile users to cooperate? "We can 'soft control' users with gaming or social network incentives to drive them where we want them," said study co-author Fabian Bustamante of Northwestern University. For example, a game might offer extra points if a player visits a certain location in the real world, or it might send a player to a certain location in a virtual scavenger hunt, according to a Northwestern statement. To test soft control, researchers created Android games, including one called Ghost Hunter in which a player chases ghosts around his neighborhood and "zaps" them through an augmented reality display on his phone. In actuality, the player's zapping motion snaps a photo of the spot where the ghost is supposedly located, said Bustamante, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern. In Ghost Hunter, researchers are able to manipulate where the ghosts are placed. Some are placed in frequently traveled areas, others are located in outof-the-way, rarely photographed locations. Participants were willing to travel well out of their regular paths to capture the ghosts helping researchers collect photos of Northwestern's Charles Deering Library from numerous angles and directions - a far broader range of data than the random sampling found on Flickr. "Playing the game seemed to be a good enough vehicle to get people to go to these places," said John P. Rula, McCormick graduate student, who led the study. If this technology were implemented on a larger scale, users would need to be notified that their data was being collected for research purposes, Bustamante said. "Obviously users need to know where their data is going," he said, "and we take every measure to protect user privacy." These findings were presented at the XIIIth Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (HotMobile).



March 24-30, 2012
Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874 Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899;

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma
Stars Foretell: March 24-30, 2012
Aries: Stabilization in your relationship with your family members seems certain if you are willing to compromise on certain fronts. Professional gains for some bring gains and prosperity. Your new ideas and technical knowledge will make a good impression on others. Residential moves and renovation during this period will prove auspicious. Outdoor sports events and entertainment programme will help you keep relaxed. Taurus: This is a period to invest with extreme precaution and care. Past investments need another reexamination. If you're planning on investing in a new venture then you better take small factors into consideration. Your ability to charm others will put you in the limelight. Property or vehicle transactions seem quite likely. Children will cause some dissatisfaction but spouse remains quite cooperative. Gemini: Your optimism will push your career to new heights. Put some of your innovative ideas into your work to reap longterm benefits. The next few days will see pressure on your work front arise giving you little time for recreational and other activities. Gifts and presents will be plenty from visiting guests. Avoid standing for surety of any one to avoid unnecessary complications in the coming period. Family members will be supportive and caring. Cancer: This is an excellent time for professional advancements, promotions and recognition. At work you will be in the good books of your seniors and you will also benefit monetarily. Romance is in the air, so make the best of it and avoid any arguments with your lover. Opportunities to go out with friends will be informative and pleasurable. You need to do more things that you enjoy in order to relax. Foreign transaction or overseas journey will prove to be highly beneficial. Leo: You will be in a commanding position as your confidence and enthusiasm will be high. Important messages should be attended to immediately. You will make financial gains if you get involved in speculation. A spiritual person’s blessings give comfort and relief. New relations and attachments will develop as a result of vacation and other recreational activities. Get involved in activities that will help you keep in perfect shape. Virgo: Financial matters demand more attention. You should cut down your expenses on entertainment and shopping. Financial difficulty will even effect your health. Stay focused on your goals, but take necessary precautions. For some, a change of residence or a new construction will prove highly auspicious. Your erratic behaviour will raise emotions at home. Don’t take criticism too seriously. Travel will be highly exciting but expensive. Libra: Some challenging project will see you express your skills in a very different way. New approach will give you new confidence on which you will build future hopes and dreams. Businessmen and investors will see past investments reaping profits. Relations with somebody close might get strained over petty issues. Good week to call important people over to your place. Spouse will be highly supportive and shower you with love and affection. Legal affairs will create a state of nervousness. Scorpio: Your present health condition will be primarily because of the work pressure that you carry on your mind. You need to take time out with your friends will help you relax and regain your energy. Relationships with your clients will strengthen and you can accomplish a lot through smart negotiation and diplomacy. This week you should meet people who can further improve your career goals. Take care while driving, especially during the nights. Sagittarius: This week you will focus on domestic issues and should think about the immediate needs of your family members. Spouse and children will be a source of immense happiness. Guests and visitors bring you gifts in cash and kind. Going out with friends will be exciting and you will learn new and different skills. A good diet, coupled with fitness program will make you feel better. Capricorn: Work will suffer this week as romance clouds your mind. You will find it difficult in concentrating on your jobs and getting favours from others. Keep your focus clear on your goals to reap professional benefits. Pleasure trips for some will be educating. Little time for meditation and yoga will be important for mental as well as physical gains. Group involvement will entertertaining, but expensive if you don’t learn to say no. Aquarius: You will meet interesting people at social functions that you attend this week. Your ability to stand out in the crowd will bring you popularity and recognition. Your creative ability will surface, bringing you good ideas to make extra money. Great period to go out shopping for expensive items and jewelry. Spend some time with the one you love. Travel will be highly educating. Pisces: Money making efforts will be profitable provided you work on new ideas and plans. This seems to be an excellent time for you to do things that will keep you relaxed and entertained. This period seems exceptionally good to take time out for hobbies, or take an adventure trip or go out on a short vacation. Friends and family members will seek your advice. Wonderful week to look into new courses that interest you.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week
March: 24 You are commanded by planet moon and is under the dominance of Venus. Number 6 will also there to lead you. You have full faith on the skills you possess and is very much assured of the decisions you will take for the betterment of your business. In the year ahead you compel others to follow your instructions and do their work accordingly. Your peers will move away from you because they didn’t like your attitude. You will get fame by upgrading yourself in the area you have interest in. You will be delighted when you bestow important information regarding something to others of which you have great knowledge. You will contribute most of your time for a noble cause by helping others in a form of cash and kind. Your kind and gregarious nature will attract those who are in a need of help. This will make you feel that you are on the ninth cloud. In the year do not involve yourself in the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning. You may suffer a great loss by getting into such unproductive activities. The months of June, August, January and February are of great essence to you. March: 25 You are ruled by the planet Neptune and the number 7 controls you. You are headed by planet Moon, You are trustworthy and a reliable personality by nature. You will always be there to support your friend and loved ones in their sorrow. You never run away from your responsibility regarding your family. You will perform well in every field instead of doing better in one. You will be recognized by your superiors for the efforts and dedication that you will show in your professional life. All those who are working as a teacher will perform their work up to the mark. Your sound knowledge and your ability to remember things for a long will take you towards success. Sometimes you perform unpredictably and without showing consistency in your work. This attitude of yours will affect in a long run to your business. The months of August, November, March and April will reap fruits for you. March: 26 Planet Saturn and the numeral 8 will command you. Planet Moon will also have a great impact on you. You are highly excited and have interest in dealing with big plans. In the year ahead you will be with full of energy and will give up your laziness in order to reach the destination by getting success. You should actively participate in your business activities. In a person’s life he may get one or two golden opportunity but you are lucky enough of getting many, so try to avail them for the betterment of your organization. Your family members are everything to you and you will do your best to satisfy them and make them feel happy. You near and dear ones may interpret something wrong as you conceal your underlying feelings and views about them, so try to share your things with them and there will not be any dispute regarding this will occur. You easily get fascinated towards opposite sex. The months of May, November, January and April will leave some long lasting impression in your life. March: 27 Number 9 and planet Mars will save you from any outside control. The Moon will be creditworthy for the freedom. The phenomenal achievement is made by highly creative ideas which normal person never thinks off. The long trail of constructing the highly productive estimates or themes will finally paid off in the form of winning trust of your bosses. You might be remanded because of your sullen act at times. People find it not hard but impossible to match the standards of your maverick ideas. This will completely overrule them and makes you shine forever. Keep the flow of the water steady so that the river could reach to its destiny means do not enforce others too much. The hypocritical excuses will not work in romantic front. Only when the opposition is willing to support then follow the green signals otherwise halt for sometime till the air blow to your way automatically. Take the support of your better half in every matter of the family to win their trust throughout your life. It will strengthen your bond with them. August, December, And February will be the best time period. March: 28 You are eclipsed by number 1 and the Sun. The Moon will overtop you throughout your life. Self-possession and decisive policies are behooves for you for unmatchable growth. You never feel difficulty in parking your cars in the den. Your aptitude and trained skills are enough to deal with any speculative task. A quality of naturalness and simplicity will raise your bar and standard of living too. You are inarguably of use for the poor and destitute or physically challenged people. It will give you a feel good factor from the core of your heart. You always tinker around but never display real self of yours. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad depending upon the situations. But do not be conservative or introvert in the eyes of other people. No share means no care, put some emphasis on this idiom and then try to mould yourself according to it. Money will flow like water, be careful. June, August, February and April will be lovable period. March: 29 Number 2 and the Moon will engineered the most of the things in your life. You have business instinct in you from the very first day on this planet. Scanning and skimming of the terms and conditions thoroughly will put you at par. You can fully rely on this trait. The coffers are always filled and luck will also support you. Your flexible and unstable nature might pose some bearing on you. You should carry forward the momentum to maintain your chair in the board room. Your audacious attempts will help you to manipulate the things. Independence is the key to sort out the major hurdles which you should find out for yourself. Pragmatic approach is essential to lead a complacent and satisfactory life. August, November and April will be like fertile land for you. March: 30 Number 3 will be responsible for your utmost interest in becoming actor or musician or writer. Planet Jupiter will regularize all your irregular accounts and The Moon will dominate you by all means. You should do some exercise to life the heavy suitcases containing loads of money. Teachers and writers tend to display their talent in more profound way which enhances their growth opportunities. Unreachable place will entice you which have something religious means in our history. The pleasurable trips might be sponsored by the property you got from your ancestors. Bank balance will surely surge to newer heights. You need to hone your talons to decide right thing at right time at right place which will ultimately decide your fate. And if all things fall at their respective places then it might turn out to be a jack pot for you. Minor bummer because of impulsive and uneasy thoughts. July, December and March will be pregnant for you.

Before you consult...
i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, don’t feel shy. It’s his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.

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Spiritual Awareness

March 24-30, 2012

Concluding part of a three part series of Sant Ji’s discourse on inculcating Spiritual Love

There is no greater love than that of the soul and God
ditionally because we want something? Some people claim to love others but really want something from them, like money, possessions, control, power, favors and the like. When we love someone for who they are at their core, that is love. When we just love someone for the sake of loving them and do not care to gain anything from them, that is love. But most people call something love when it is nothing more than filling a desire for money, belongings, security, attachment, control, or power. These reasons for loving end up dragging us through the mud of anger, greed, attachment and ego. Thus, the so-called love only adds to our karmic load. True love frees us from karma because we do not want anything for ourselves. So long as we have forgotten love, we are in separation from God. To end the separation from God, we need to illumine ourselves with love, the expression of God. That love is innate within all of us. When we are illumined with that love within, we connect back to God. Every religion stressed this key purpose of life. Each religion has love at its core. Each saint taught the way to illumine ourselves with that love. Once we find the love within ourselves, we have found God. We think finding God is so complex and technical. We think that it is something that only a lucky few throughout history have done. Finding love is so easy it can be done by a child or person of any age, whether literate or illiterate. It is like digging for a treasure hidden under your house. Just dig and you will find it. Instead we are looking for the treasure everywhere else instead of where it waits for us. Imagine there is a treasure. Yet we are ignorant of it. How can we find it? We need someone with the map to show us the right place to dig for the treasure. That person can show us the right tools we need, the right place to dig, and the technique for digging. Similarly, the treasure of God’s love is within us. We have forgotten it is there, forgotten how to dig for it, and forgotten the technique. Masters are the catalyst by which we can find and reawaken that love within. The Masters are in tune with the love of God. They have a physical form and they have a mind but they have found the source of love within them, connected with it and have become one with it. Thus, when we come into the presence of a Master we are in the presence of love itself. Every saint has been described in the same manner, a being of all love. Christ was all love. Moses was all love. Buddha was all love. Mahavira was all love. Guru Nanak was all love. Kabir was all love. The founders of all religions were all love. Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj was all love. Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj was all love. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj was all love. Whoever came in contact with a Master-saint came in contact with walking love on earth. When we become disciples, apostles, followers, students, initiates, satsangis, or whatever we want to call it, we are learning from them how to love. They give us the roadmap to find the treasure of God’s love within us. That roadmap is that they initiate us into the Light and Sound of God. They teach us the process of meditation by which we can conlove from the Master than from anyone else they met in this world. Meditation is not a dry set of physical steps, such as sit down, close your eyes, and look within; meditation is an act of love. It is the dance of love between the soul and godly love within us. The term spiritual "Master" means "one who has mastered meditation on the Light and Sound and can teach us to do the same." The Master of meditation of the inner Light and Sound is teaching us how to reawaken our love within us through connecting with the stream of love to take us back to the source of love, which is God. The Master radiates love through his eyes, through his words, through his smile, through his touch, through his presence in the physical realm, and through his spiritual or radiant form which we ways in which lovers and their beloveds honor the love they have for each other. But the greatest love relationship in this creation is that of the soul and God, lover and Eternal Beloved. That is a love that never ends. It is a permanent, eternal love that elevates the soul into the arms of the Beloved. There is no greater love than that of the soul and God. The closer we come to identifying with our soul, the closer we come to having greater and greater love for God. There is nothing sweeter than the sweetness of love in the heart of a disciple for the Master. This sweetness is that of the soul in love with God. We think of outer sweets as being delicious. But there is nothing more delicious than the love the disciple experiences for the Master and the love of the soul for

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
s God’s love flows out, creation comes into being. Love lies at the heart of all God’s expressions, from the spiritual realms of creation, to the physical realm, and all matter and energy that exists within these realms. Love is at the heart of all forms of life in creation as well. It exists within every living thing from the plants, to the animals, to humans. We name that love within us as the soul. The soul is a spark of God, and as God is love, our soul is also love—pure and simple. All problems that exist in creation are due to forgetting the love of God within us. If we were to remember God’s love, we would be one with God, from whom we were created. If we are here on this planet today, it is because we have forgotten that love. Our separation from God is due to forgetting this love. This outer shell of the body we wear is formed from the actions and reactions of a long stream of lifetimes in which we cycled away from God’s love. We may have been sent out for one experience but if we became enamored by God’s universes instead of God, we ended up being attracted to living in the realms of creation instead of returning to God. How few returned to God. It is said that only ten percent wanted to go back to God but they had already accumulated karma in their sojourn away from God and that had to be paid off before they could return. Think of the ninety percent who have not yet remembered they came from God and how much karma they are accumulating in each successive life away from God. As long as we think we are the body and mind and not the soul, it is easy to forget love. What we call love in this world is really a manifestation of desire. How many of us really love the essence of other people for the pure love within them? How many love others con-


Whoever came in contact with a Master-saint came in contact with walking love on earth. When we become disciples, apostles, followers, students, initiates, satsangis, or whatever we want to call it, we are learning from them how to love.
tact that Light and Sound within. That Light and Sound are two manifestations of God’s love that brought all creation into being. That love of God is a stream or current of Light and Sound that flowed out from God, creating all that exists including us. God, the Light and Sound, and the soul are all one, and that oneness that is at their core is love. When we connect with the Light and Sound we are connecting to a stream of love. That love leads us back to the source of that love, God. Meditation is the process of making daily contact with the love within us. When we meditate on the Light and Sound, we are meditating on that love. That is why those who experience success in their meditation are blissed out. Why? They are contacting that love within them. See the faces of those who rise above body-consciousness. They are enraptured with love. Those who have had a near-death experience describe their entry into a world of Light where they experienced more love than they ever had on earth. Those who meet a Master in the physical form or the radiant form within during meditation describe experiencing more meet in meditation. His ethereal form radiates even more than his outer form. His radiation of love increases as we travel with the Master within through each higher realm of creation. The love we experience from the Master without is but a reflection of the love we experience when we meet the Master within. We know about the art of divine love of God through the saints and Masters who have experienced this love for themselves. Saints have described what it is like to meet their Master within in terms of bliss so incredible there is little comparison to it in the language of this world. They may say something like: "Every pore of the body is filled with ecstasy." It is not just one experience of ecstasy, but it is multiplied by thousands, if not millions, of times over. Some people cannot even contain themselves with one single drop of ecstasy, let alone millions of times that amount. That is why we speak of those touched by this love as having the madness of love. We think of love in this world as a matter of giving cards to our loved ones that say, "I love you," or giving flowers or candy to our loved ones. These are some outer God. Love is the sweetest nectar in the world. What is Naam, or the Light and Sound? It is not a principle of physics. It is love itself. It is the love flowing out of the heart of God in the form of Light and Sound that created all. It is the God power or the Master that is actually love itself. The Master is one with that power and exudes that love in all directions. It is the soul that is a drop of that love. When we strip away the world and the mind, we find ourselves as a drop of love. We are soul, and as such we, too, are made of love. When the love of the soul meets the love of God, there is no duality. Two become one. It is love meeting love. When the disciple meets the Master, it is recognizing the love within us is the same love that is within the Master, and all separateness is gone. Love meets love and there is nothing but love. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions and mystic traditions, emphasizing ethical living and meditation as building blocks for achieving inner and outer peace.

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