Thursday, March 31, 2011


Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Ministry of Culture, Victoria Memorial Hall and Italian Embassy joined ANTONIO MARTINELL renowned lens man and curator, Dr. ANGELA TREZZA from the ITALIAN EMBASSY, CHITTRANJAN PANDA ,Victoria memorial hall, Kolkata, VB PYARELAL Joint Secretary IGNCA and ARCHANA KHARE, HOD IGNCA inaugurated the exhibhition ORIENTAL SCENERY today and had also organised a PRESS CONFERENCE ON the same , the exotically juxtaposed exhibition of paintings and photographs depicting the India of 200 years.India of the late eighteenth Century, with its palaces, cities, forts, landscapes and places of worship traced in the late twentieth century through the same places with the same points of view to discover what has changed and what has remained unchanged in a span of two hundred years. Influenced by the Daniells, two hundred years later, Antonio Martinelli travelled across India and successfully captured the places and sites once visualized and painted by them.

INAUGRATION by Antonio Martinelli, Kumari Selja, Ministry of Culture, Jawahar Sarkar secretary of culture, Chinmay R.Garekhan President IGNCA and the Italian Ambasaador H.E.GIACOMO SANFELICE DI MONTEFORTE at 5.30pm; 31st March 2011

Aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell
Original idea, curatorial expertise and photographs by Antonio Martinelli
The 73 18th century aquatints of Thomas and William Daniell, accompanied in their mirror image by the photographs of Antonio Martinelli, both in possession of the Victoria Memorial Hall of Kolkata will be exhibited during the 3 month long exhibition. Which were also exhibited in Europe at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome and at the Conciergerie in Paris under the patronage of UNESCO. Antonio Martinelli, with his artistic flair, has succumbed to the magic of the Daniells. In order to reproduce the same views which thrilled the Daniells, he has visited the same places which they visited and reproduced the same views where possible, but in another medium, photography. The skill and artistry involved in this project necessitated much the same expertise, hard work and dedication as was exhibited by Thomas and William over 200 years ago. This exhibition is of enormous interest and importance and Martinelli's work will endure in the same way that 'Oriental Scenery' has.Apart from Mr. Martinelli, this exhibition owes much to the Dept. of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
The aquatints juxtaposed to the photographs, comprise a rare documentation, useful for recreating the original perspective of the natural and architectural patrimony of India, offering a base for reflecting on the state of their conservation and on the changes that these places and structures have undergone. Antonio Martinelli

India's heritage sites and monuments have reached the end of 20th century in good shape, well almost. Astonishing, for, by the accounts of NGOs and environmentalists, most of them need help. But the juxtaposition of 200-year-old aquatints of many a monument with their recent photographs speaks alot about the survival of our cultural and topographic heritage.

The exhibition Oriental Scenery: Yesterday & Today at the Victoria Memorial Hall, presents the works of Englishmen Thomas and William Daniell in the 18th century along with matching photographs by Italian photographer Antonio Martinelli.

ASI and UNESCO protected monuments as well as others that run the risk of being destroyed due to modernization or lack of protection feature amongst the aquatints of the Daniells and photographs of Martinelli. For this reason, Antonio Martinelli hopes that the exhibition in its double role of past and present, serves as a caution for the threat that the natural and architectural patrimony of India faces today.The exhibition pans the North East of the Indian subcontinent with 42 aquatints and their modern versions in photographs, the South with 20 aquatints and 20 photographs and the West with 11 aquatints and their modern photographic adaptations.
Antonio Martinelli, a renowned Italian Photographer and Indophile, has made significant contribution to photo-history with the publication of his book 'Oriental Scenery' (Delhi, 1998). His survey has served a sobering reminder of the fragility of our cultural heritage sites. Influenced by the Daniell, two hundred years later, Antonio Martinelli travelled across India and successfully captured the places and sites once visualized and painted by the Daniell. The descriptions and contrast envisaged in this exhibition provide a warning to all those who care for conservation of cultural property. It is for the viewers to share the lyrical nuances.
Historical perspective:Thomas Daniell R.A. (1749-1840) and William Daniell R.A. (1769-1837) have been described as artists and travellers. But they were much more than that. They were explorers and adventurers also. They combined artistic talent with dogged endurance, determination, and character, and travelled the innermost parts of virtually unknown eighteenth century India from 1786 to 1793.They observed with painters' eyes the exciting vision of Mughal and Dravidian antiquities and the rural life around them, and recorded them with skill, accuracy and charm. William kept a diary, and this, combined with annotated pencil drawings, colour wash, watercolours, and oil paint, gives us a picture of their abundant talent in a very beautiful country. It was on their return to London that they produced a wonderfully complete graphic record of their journeys in India. Over a period of several years (1795 to 1808) 'Oriental Scenery', a series of 144 aquatints, was produced. This has delighted us ever since, especially those of us who love India. The Victoria Memorial Hall has a wonderful collection of oil paintings by the two Daniell, the most important that there is anywhere; and it also includes their work in other media, and of course 'Oriental Scenery' which this exhibition is about.
My first acquaintance with Thomas and William Daniells, was in the 1980s when an Indian friend, Princess Naheed Mazharuddin Khan of Surat, showed me Mildred Archer's book 'Early Views of India' dedicated to the aquatints produced by these two artists some 200 years ago. Some time later I had the chance to look closely at the original 144 aquatints of their 'Oriental Scenery' in the India Office Library in London. The impact that these hand-coloured prints had upon me was profound: I was totally fascinated by their magical, yet startlingly realistic images of India. When I learned that the Daniells framed their landscapes and monuments with the help of an artistic device known as the camera obscura, it made their work comprehensible to me since in many respects it appeared to anticipate photography.

The Daniell spent almost nine years travelling throughout India and a further twelve years to publish the fruits of their travels. Two centuries later, aided by marked improvements in transport, it still took me almost two years to find the correct sites and precise locations of each of the Daniells' views, a journey which took me into territories, which are still not easily accessible. The small boat on which the Daniell set sail from Calcutta served them a dual purpose: a safe means of transport and accommodation during most of their trip up the Ganga route. Food and shelter were thus more or less guaranteed, quite unlike in my experience. The Daniell could stop and camp wherever they liked, while I was forced to look for a safe room for my night halts where meals were not always available. I decided it was wiser to travel by car and was extremely lucky in finding an excellent driver in Delhi, Surender Singh, who also became my interpreter. A young man from Garwhal served as an assistant and helped carry the heavy photographic bag. These two persons, replaced by a similar team in South India, became my companions, friends, helpers and support for many months. What a small team in comparison with the Daniell who travelled in great comfort and a much grander style: 2 boats and 7 retainers in North India; 48 servants in the South!

Much research at the India Office Library (British Library) in London, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta was required to identify and locate each of the Daniells' views. However, several problems were only solved 'in the field', with the help, on one occasion, of an aged Indian historian who had retired to the Garwhal mountains, on another of a shepherd from a nearby village. But if the identification of forgotten ruins seemed possible, was it reasonable to expect to locate some 200 years later an actual landscape, a profile of a mountain, or a bend in a river? Even if the present exhibition does not show all of the matching documentary photographic work of my 144 views of the 'Oriental Scenery' not more than ten in the end escaped my investigation.

This was either because the monument had totally vanished, or because it had been so radically transformed that it was no longer recognisable. One by one the aquatints divulged their secrets, but sometimes only after many days of walking along the bed of a mountain stream, carefully approaching the side of a mountain or the turn of a road. The results are striking. Eighteenth-century India is still partly to be discovered, like the enchanted place of a timeless land, barely masked by some 200 hundred years of development.

The photographs reveal the great precision of these artists, but they also show missing or additional elements, sometimes even voluntary mistakes. While the Daniell used the camera obscura in order to ensure correct perspectives, shadows and light conditions they sometimes took liberties to enhance their compositions. I discovered that the Daniell often added, removed or even replaced elements. The new photographic record and the comparison with the aquatints, reveal astonishingly that India's heritage sites and monuments depicted in the Daniell's views have reached the end of the twentieth century almost in good conditions. The visual record shows both the sites under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India, and the other monuments which has been declared World's Heritage by UNESCO, as well as the remaining vestiges which, lacking adequate care and protection, are facing a real danger of destruction due to the growth and expansion of modern India.

At a glance is an extraordinary graphic account of what happened in India in the past 200 years. Martinelli, between 1995 and 1997, conceived and realised an ambitious personal project of tracking the footsteps of the uncle-nephew team to come up with this exhibition and a book 'Oriental Scenery: Two hundred years of India's artistic and architectural heritage" a book which was released last year in New Delhi by Timeless Books.Inspired by Mildred Archer's book “Early Views of India” on Daniell aquatints and the originals at India Office Library, London, Martinelli decided to capture the startlingly realistic images of India with his camera, for which he acquired UNESCO's patronage.

The works of the Daniell took years of non-stop sketching and detailing and back to England to do the aquatints (engravings). Light, shade, perspective and precision with which Daniell handled their subjects anticipated photography also because of the instrument they used: camera obscura.

Thus started the journey- a voyage through space and time, Martinelli's photographs had to try and match as closely as possible the originals. Like Daniell masterpieces, Martinelli wanted his works to serve as reference 200 years down the line. And this was all done within two years. Whereas the Daniell spent nine years travelling and 12 years in publishing the fruits of their travels, this was when the artists had a crew of almost 50 people to help them. On the other hand, with the help of two people, Martinelli located the sites within only two years. This took him to territories some of which are still not accessible and are probably not even till date on guide maps. In research help from the British Library in London, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, George Michell, an international authority on Indian art and architecture and the co-author of the Oriental Scenery book assisted Martinelli.

Though the exhibition illustrates a tumultuous history, it also demonstrates the country's unique capacity to preserve in its folds shreds of its distant past. But the photographs also show that the legacy is facing a real danger of destruction due to growth and expansion of modern India. And if necessary steps are not taken, they will not be able to survive the next 200 years.

India beat Pak enter final ICC WC 2011

India enters into the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup beating Pakistan by 29 runs in the second semi-final at Mohali last night. Team India winning toss electing to bat first,India put up moderate score 260 for nine with top contribution of 85 runs by Tendulkar,declared Man of the Match.Thus Chasing the target of 261, Pakistani batting crumbled against some brilliant bowling by the Indian seamers and spinners. They were all out for 231 runs in 49.5 overs.For India, five bowlers including Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh claimed two wickets each.

With this victory, India maintained their unbeaten record against Pakistan in 36 years of World Cup history.Punjab Cricket Association Stadium went wild in celebrations, shouting, dancing and waving national flags after India carved out a memorable victory against its traditional rival in the presence of the Prime Ministers of both countries.Pakistan had done well earlier to peg India back to 260-9 despite some sloppy fielding, with left-arm pace bowler Wahab Riaz taking a career-best 5-46.

The victory continued a streak for India, which has beaten Pakistan in all five World Cup head-to-heads dating back to 1992.

The game was touted as a face-off between India’s batting lineup and Pakistan’s bowling attack,Pakistan’s shoddy fielding was eventually the difference between the two sides as Tendulkar was let off four times,giving him an opportunity to knit together challenging total for India and the bowlers then ensured a third World Cup final appearance for the 1983 champion.India piled the pressure on a Pakistan batting lineup which failed to produce a single century in the tournament. Pakistan’s early promise was slowed down in the middle overs as Yuvraj made early inroads and the bowlers slowly took control, marshalled well by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. All five Indian bowlers finished with two wickets each.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Northern India Amateur Golf Championship, Chandigarh

Northern India Amateur Golf Championship, Chandigarh
29th March, 2011:Chandigarh:Northern India Amateur Golf Championship,played at Chandigarh:Local lad Abhijit Chadha atop leader board on day one at Northern India Amateur Golf Championship, Chandigarh :Local hero Abhijit Chadha has taken a first round lead over the windy conditions at the Northern India Amateur Golf Championship in Chandigarh Golf Club, Chandigarh today. Chadha shot one-under 71 to take the day one lead while Chikkarangapa from Bangalore finished second with a level par score along with Honey Baisoya of Delhi. Another Bangalore lad Udayan Mane returned with a score of two-over 74 along with Sidharth Seth of Delhi to share the third place while Varoon Parmar of Chandigarh carded three-over 75 to finish in fourth position.

The 20-year-old Chadha did not have a very good start but birdies on 6th, 13th, 14th and 17th holes made him take one stroke lead. Winner of the Faldo series Asia grand final 2011 Abhijit Chadha said, “The course was playing very tough today and I think I was not hitting the way I wanted. I am glad that chipping and putting really saved me and I could finish with the best score of the day.”

The harsh windy conditions made it hard for majority of the leading players to perform well. Rahul Bajaj of Noida who recently won the silver medal in Asian Games did not play very well as he returned with the score of five-over 77 while the winner of recently held Haryana Open, Delhi’s Arshad Ali ended the day with the score of six-over 78.
Posted by Nksagar at 9:28 AM 0 comments

JCB launches world class fuel efficient Engine

New Delhi, March 29th 2011:JCB India Ltd, India’s Largest Manufacturer of Construction Equipment announced the launch of its own domestically built world class, fuel efficient, state-of-the-art, BSIII, 16 valve diesel engine to power its equipment range progressively.

Worldwide, over 1,50,000 machines with JCB UK built engines are already proving their worth. In India JCB engines have already successfully clocked over 50,000 hours of rigorous testing in the most adverse climatic and geographical conditions, across various models. Over 600 machines in different variants are already working in India across myriad applications. The engines launched by JCB in India have been designed and manufactured along the same platform as the world record breaking Dieselmax engines.

At JCB India’s world class facility in Ballabgarh, approximately 40,000 engines will be produced per year starting April 2011.Speaking on the occasion JCB India MD & CEO Mr. Vipin Sondhi said, “We are delighted to launch the BSIII compliant JCB engine ecoMAX in India. These world class engines are a testimony to the immense hard work put in by JCB teams from the UK and India working together. These latest technology engines, would offer immense fuel efficiency to our customers. The domestic production of JCB engines will enable us to provide the best quality product. We will immediately start powering our backhoe the 3DX with JCB engines and many other models in our range will follow. India plays a vital role in JCB’s global expansion plans and this development marks another step towards JCB’s growth in India”.

The JCB engines will come in the range of 76 hp to 150 hp and will be naturally aspirated, turbocharged or common rail. They will be pressurized by a high pressure rotary pump. The block, bedplate design and crankshaft dimensions are similar to the JCB Dieselmax engine. The cold side has features like 14.5 psi cooling system for increased cooling efficiency, fan belt auto adjuster, 6000 hrs of belt life, oil change period and engine filter change period of 500 hrs each reducing maintenance cost, main filter change period of 1000 hrs, state of the art Delphi fuel system.

Features on the hot side include a heavy duty cylinder block specially designed for off highway applications, aluminum alloy pistons for optimized cooling, centralized location of fuel injectors for even burning of fuel, four cylinder sixteen valves, deep bed plate design for improved stiffness, low noise and improved sealing. The engine can be put on full load directly, no running in required.

High fuel efficiency and low maintenance cost of these engines are two parameters which will make JCB machines driven by JCB engines even dearer to the customers. Our environment friendly engines with low noise and vibrations and longer engine life will add to customer delight. Further, the machines will now have a single point support for warranty.Mr. Sondhi added,” Our dealers have been very enthusiastic about the engine. At various levels the service engineers in the dealerships have received comprehensive training on the JCB engine, to ensure they’re in the right stead to serve our customers. Parts for the engines have already been stocked at JCB warehouses and our dealerships. All JCB dealerships across India are now fully prepared to support the JCB engine.”

JCB today is the market leader in construction equipment sector in India with over 50% market share. JCB India is also gaining strength in the Tracked Excavator, Compaction equipment and the Wheeled Loading Shovel segment all over India and has created history in India by selling its 100001st machine recently.JCB is the fastest growing company in the Indian earthmoving and construction equipment industry. The company is a pioneer in the industry and has been recording excellent growth rates. In addition to this, JCB has already invested in some of the largest and best Parts, Warehouse and Training centers.Every 1 out of 2 construction equipments sold in India is a JCB.

About JCB:JCB India Limited, Ballabgarh (Haryana) is a fully owned subsidiary of JC Bamford Excavators Limited, UK. The company offers twenty one different machines in seven product types such as Backhoe Loaders, Loading Shovels, Tracked Excavators, Compactors, Telehandlers, Skid Steer Loaders and Pick and Carry crane. An excellent network of 53 dealers and over 370 outlets throughout the country along with a world-class customer service network support JCB.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Northern Indian Amateur Golf Championship

28th March, Chandigarh: The Indian Golf Union , in association with Par Sports Leisure & Adventure Management Pvt. Ltd. (SLAM G), announced the onset of Northern India Amateur Golf Championship today. The championship is scheduled to be held at Chandigarh Golf Club from 29th March – 1st April, 2011.

Around 68 top selected golfers of the country through qualifying tournament and Merit list will play in the 4-day event and 34 players will be in the cut list to be decided after 36 holes. The National level tournament will be played in Stroke Play format.

While the who’s who of amateur golf of the country will compete for top honours at the Chandigarh Golf Club, Abhijit Chadha, No. 1 Indian Amateur Golfer, will add local flavour to this National Level event. Included in the field are Haryana Open’s winner Arshad Ali of Delhi Golf Club and Surya Jai Prakash of Royal Calcutta Golf Club. They will be joined by a host of existing players from all over the country who will be anxious to prove their mettle at the National level.

RDS Tiwana, Managing Director, SLAM G said, “The Northern India Amateur Golf Championship is a perfect platform for all amateur golfers of the country to showcase their skills. We will keep on improving the standard of every Championship with our innovative ideas so that a player comes to play with no burden and hesitation.”

SLAM G expresses its gratitude and thanks on behalf of all the Amateur Golfers to the elite brand of partners and sponsors like Reebok, Taylormade, Monte Carlo, Coca Cola, Toro, Super Cassettes, Radisson, Bhushan Steel, Jaypee cement, Drishti Eye Care, SportzPower, Save the Children India, Golf Plus as the official Magazine Partner and Deccan Chronicle as the official print media partner. We hail these partners and sponsors since it is only with their vision, commitment, help and support to sports in general and golf in particular, that the game of Golf will actuate its vast potential in India.

CBI to file first chargesheet against Raja, others

CBI will file this week its first charge sheet into the 2G spectrum scam against former Telecom Minister A Raja and some of his close aides besides a couple of real estate companies for allegedly defrauding the exchequer and entering into a criminal conspiracy in securing the telecom licenses.CBI sources, however, said the extent of loss to the state exchequer may not be included in this charge sheet as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was yet to complete the process of ascertaining the loss on allocation of spectrum to all operators between 2001 and 2008.

The sources said that the charge sheet would cover the alleged criminal conspiracy behind allocation of spectrum during 2007-08 by Raja, the then Telecom Minister.
The charge sheet will be filed in a special court of Justice O P Saini, which is expected to be started from Tuesday as the Centre has already informed the Supreme Court about the same.The CBI had last year informed the apex court that it would be filing the first set of charge sheet by March 31 which will include the investigations made by the agency as well as by the Enforcement Directorate in the case.The charge sheet comes at a time when Tamil Nadu is going for the Assembly polls, and Raja is a member of the ruling DMK in the state.Congress and DMK have a pre-poll alliance.

The CBI is expected to seek permission from the court for continuance of its probe in the case after filing its first charge sheet, as the probe agency wants to investigate various other angles including criminal conspiracy for favouring certain companies, abusing of official position for getting pecuniary benefits and the companies which manipulated the records to secure loans.

The sources said that besides those arrested in the case including Raja, his personal aide R K Chandolia, former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura, former Managing Director of Etislat DB (earlier Swan Telecom) Shahid Usman Balwa, the name of an MP may be mentioned in the charge sheet for being a part of the company which had allegedly received kickbacks in the scam.

They said the names of at least two firms dealing in real estate business would be mentioned in the charge sheet for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy and bribing government officials for bending rules in their favour.

A prominent telecom firm will continue to be under scanner as the agency feels that several funds were routed through overseas into DMK's Kalingar Television.On the exact loss to the exchequer, the CBI is likely to inform the court about its efforts including approaching the TRAI for the same.The sources said that TRAI was still to come out with any figure in this regard.The CBI had requested TRAI to set up an expert team which will go into the entire gamut of spectrum pricing and give an estimated loss which could be proved in the court of law.The probe agency had earlier said the government may have lost over Rs 22,000 crore due to irregularities in the allocation of spectrum in January, 2008, by the then Telecom Minister A Raja, who was arrested earlier on charges of favouring some private firms.The CAG has put the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

India-Pakistan Home Secretary Level talks begin

India-Pakistan Home Secretary Level talks begin on Monday the two day Home Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan begin in New Delhi. Indian side will be led by the Home Secretary Sh. G.K.Pillai whereas Sh. Qamar Zaman Chaudhary, Secretary Interior, Pakistan will lead the visiting delegation.Issues such as terrorism, narcotics control and counterfeit currency are among the items on agenda.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

National consultation of Tribal Peoples Movements & Organisations

26th Mar,2011-Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc: New Delhi
“Effective implementation of the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989 should be our primary task”, was the agenda set by Shri Mukul Wasnik, Hon'ble Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Social Justice & the Empowerment at the gathering of around 100 Tribal Leaders and Representatives from all over India today at the Constitution Club, New Delhi. The occasion was the National Consultation of Tribal Peoples' Movements and Organizations jointly organised by the National Coalition for Strengthening the SC & ST (PoA) Act (NCSPA), the Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal People (ICITP) and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (DAAA).Lamenting that atrocities are increasing even after the 20 years of the passing of the PoA Act, and that the conviction rate is very low as compared to IPC and the pendency rate is very high, he urged the gathering to bring the necessary amendments to the Act to make it more effective. Informing the delegates that a communication has been sent from his Ministry to all the States asking for the required amendments to the Act, he promised that the matter will be discussed with the National commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. While highlighting the introduction of Pre-Matric scholarship for SC/ST people, he admitted that SCP and TSP funds are not being allocated properly and that allocations already made are not being used for the intended purposes. “Focus on such matters, discuss and make proposals on how to effectively monitor the implementation of SCP and TSP”, was the call he made at the gathering of Tribal delegates.
Sharing her experiences as member of the Jharkand State Commission for Women, Ms.Vasavi Kiro pointed out how the PoA Act and TSP are not being implemented properly, and informed how her Commission is trying its best to reach out to the tribal people.Stating how interventions are being made at the UN level only in recent years, Shri Jebra Ram Muharay, Chief Advisor of Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal people, highlighted the pathetic situation of indigenous people and mentioned that not much improvement has taken place in their lives in spite of the many efforts being made by the Govt. While pointing out certain obstacles in the governance system militating against the progress of the tribal communities, he emphasized on two tasks for the Govt. to act upon that is, open-ended inclusive consultations with the indigenous people and develop consensus among all the Commissions both at the national and state levels.

Prof.Vimal Thorat, National Convener of All-India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch pointed out the problems of domestic workers who mostly belong to the Dalit and tribal communities and appealed that the monitoring of the implementation of PoA Act needs to be re-looked.Highlighting the improper allocations made in the SCP and TSP, Mr Paul Divakar, General Secretary of NCDHR-Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan, traced the denial of rights to the Tribals and Dalits to the caste system which he declared to be a sin and punishable crime. He further stated that no debate has been held and no clear efforts have been taken by the Govt. and that laws, though existent, are not being implemented properly. While appreciating the Hon’ble Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment for introducing some changes in the current budget, he was critical that more money has been allocated to the service sector of SCs/STs and therefore made a strong appeal that more allocation in the budget should be for the knowledge and entrepreneurship development of SCs/STs. “Only then will our people be at the higher positions of the scientific and technological communities and the governance system. If we have Dalits and adivasis in such growth sectors,” he added, “this country will become truly powerful and will be seen as a model modern nation”.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kapil:Mobility of Students in University System

University system must allow mobility to students. The University system needs to rise up from the current approach of limiting itself to teaching in specific streams such as arts and commerce as also limiting students to availing courses that are available only in their institution. This was stated by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource, while inaugurating a Conference of Vice Chancellors of Central and State Universities here today. Shri Sibal went on to say that the power of the communication revolution taking place in the country must be utilised so that a student in one university can access a course he/she would like to study from another university. He also wondered as to why, when everything in nature is cross disciplinary, in academics there is still debate regarding this issue. Multi disciplinary study and research will result in creativity, he added.

Shri Sibal also underlined the need for uniformity in access to knowledge. He said that you must create a financial, social, economic structure which facilitates access to students. He said that the time has come that confidence in the academic system is shown and that the academic system should also show confidence in itself.

Shri Sibal, during his address, pointed out that enormous interest is being expressed by foreign universities in collaborating with Indian universities or setting up their institutions here. He also said that the general message he got from foreign institutions was that the large student strength in India attracts them to come here, especially for undertaking research.

Delhi High Court stayed demolition of Gayatri Colony

Delhi High Court stayed demolition of Gayatri Colony
A large-scale demolition affecting more than 5,000 residents of Gayatri Colony (West Patel Nagar) was stayed after legal intervention at the Delhi High Court. Justice Muralidhar ordered immediate interruption of the illegal action authorized and implemented by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi Police. Contrary to binding legal obligations, DDA did not provide residents with any notice or meaningful relocation options, with many losing their homes and livelihood even after lived legally in the area for more than 20 years. Such an action violates the right to life, housing, food and health protected under both international human rights law (ICESCR) and Indian Constitution (Artt. 19 and 21). The demolition blatantly infringes previous Supreme and High Court orders, above all Chameli Singh v UP 2 SCC 549 (1996) and Mukandi Lal v MCD WP 9246/2009 (2009).

Gayatri Colony has more than 2000 jhuggis, out of which at least 1000 have been demolished between Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th. Many of the residents are dalits, and the sudden demolition of the Jhuggis has placed the lives of the most vulnerable at risk, particularly those of pregnant women and young children. The HRLN team conducted a fact-finding on the evening of Wednesday 23rd and observed a community tore apart by the abrupt dismantlement. The team confronted children unable to attend school, pregnant and lactating women with no access to health services and half of the community left starving and shelterless in only two days. It is estimated that Delhi's homeless population arose by 30% as a result of this demolition.

At around 9:30 am on today, 2000 policemen swarmed the area and five bulldozers were ready to re-start the operation. The behaviour of the DDA and the Delhi police was highly uncooperative, non-transparent and provocative towards both community members and human rights activists.Members from HRLN, IGSSS and the National Campaign on Dalits Human Rights, organized a pacific protest with community members and managed to delay the demolition until 12.30 p.m. Meanwhile, HRLN Advocate successfully filed an urgent life and liberty application in the High Court and obtained a mandate to stop the operations despite an ongoing massive lawyers' strike. The case is to be heard tomorrow 25th March, seeking urgent reliefs of access to food, water, shelter, and health care for the thousands of residents left stranded by the government's unlawful actions.

World Tuberculosis Day -Release of New Low Cost TB Drug, Risorine

Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said, “We welcome Bill Gate and Melinda Foundation and it is a major partner for our Department of Biotechnology as it helps us to take challenges and we welcome their major interest in supporting the R&D facilities in India. Briefing media hosted by the Ministry of Science & Technology on Maximizing India’s capacity: Creating an ecosystem of innovation and research to address public health concerns, Shri Pawan Bansal further said, “ India’s focus is on health, nutrition, agriculture, technology and global health of mother-children, infectious diseases and these are area of priority for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also. We would also look to broaden the scope of partnership in technology in addition to vaccines and technology for maternal and child health. This would be very helpful for our industry and the Department of Bio-technology in discussing share R&D programme on discovery through ground challenges with Foundation for a possible announcement of low cost drugs.” Shri Pawan Bansal said that partnerships are crucial in bringing different institutions and organizations closer, to strengthen the capacity to innovate. He said, “Experiences match are relevant in RD programme including our institute and industry. The foundation is interested in utilizing India’s manufacturing capacity for vaccines and drugs as well low cost provider for the masses.”

Giving example of CSIR, the Science and Technology Minister said, “The innovation should focus not only on research and discovery, but we must endeavor how best it benefit poor. The initiative of this team’s Open Soft Drug Discovery (OSDD) for tuberculosis is one programme which has been accepted the world over. Today more than 45,000 young scientists from over 130 countries are already on board, interacting with each other and working to diverse molecules and for drugs discovery. With continued emphasis on this programme, we would ultimately become a model for Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD), which is the need to make drugs available, particularly relating to the tropical diseases available to the people at affordable cost. India has one of the world’s largest talent pools of scientists and researchers. The country is perfectly positioned to develop new inventions that will help to control health problems globally. Many drugs have been developed in CSIR laboratories in collaboration with Indian pharmaceutical companies, ex-researchers and support from Department of Bio-technology. Shri Pawan Bansal presented the low cost drug to Mr Bill Gate for TB which was launched today by CSIR and Cadila earlier in the morning.

Mr Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Foundation also addressed the press. Mr Bill Gates said, “"India's culture of innovation has led to unique solutions that are transforming health in India and providing lessons for similar advancements abroad. It is for this reason that I believe India can change the way the world prevents, controls and manages TB. Today is world TB Day. It exists not only in India but around the world. India has a large scientists community. Here is a product in India which will help to control TB”.Earlier, Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Telecommunication and Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences formally released the new TB drug, Risorine in a meeting held today at CSIR to observe the ‘World Tuberculosis Day’. This drug has been commercialized by Cadilla Pharmaceuticals based on the CSIR technology. Shri Sibal stressed on the need to eradicate tuberculosis as a national priority in the 12th Five Year Plan and proposed that one of the 14 innovation universities being set up would be dedicated to Science & Technology for Public Healthcare. He was speaking during a meeting held today at CSIR to observe the ‘World Tuberculosis Day’. Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, outlined the success of the CSIR’s flagship program on Open Source Drug Discovery as an effective modal to find an affordable cure for tuberculosis. He opined that merging the open source education model of Open Source Drug Discovery with the emerging universities would definitely facilitate imparting quality education to the students.Dr. Rajiv I. Modi, Managing Director, Cadilla Pharmaceuticals along with his senior colleagues made a brief presentation on the effectiveness of this new drug in providing low-cost treatment with no side effects.Prof. Samir K. Brahmachari, DG, CSIR, made a presentation on OSDD and proposed the customary theme of the World TB Day as: Open Innovation for Global Collaboration to Combat TB for the year 2011 at the beginning of the meeting.Dr. M.K. Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology; Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology; and Ms. Vibha Puri Das, Secretary, Department of Higher Education also addressed the meeting.

On this occasion, some new initiatives being undertaken under the OSDD program were also announced. They are :Setting up of an OSDD Chemistry laboratory at CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad, exclusively dedicated to the synthesis of potential anti-TB compounds.

Large scale screening of molecules against TB – CSIR laboratories will open up its small molecule libraries, from synthetic and natural sources.Sequencing Mtb strains in large numbers to study variation in Mtb.Collaboration with ICMR to bring clinicians and researchers work together for improving TB drug research.OSDD will extend as a pan-India open source program for malaria with global participation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DDA demolishing JJ Gayatri Colony in New Delhi

2011-03-23 15:27:20 - 23 Mar 2011Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc: New Delhi
Today at 9.30 am 300 police personnel along with 40 to 50 MCD officers pounced on about 2000 jughhis of poor people living in Gayatri Colony near Patel Nagar New Delhi area are being demolished since today morning. No notice was served and these people have been living here for almost twenty years:

The population in this area is around 25,000 and most of them are women and children and they belong to marginalized section of the society. The sudden demolition of houses without any prior notice has put the people specially women and children out of which many are pregnant and lactating in a insecure situation whereby their health and life is at grave risk. Some children are also having their annual exams going on in the midst of this.

Before the the demolition began, not a single notice was served these people who have been living in the area for almost twenty years.

There is also no talk of providing alternative accommodation to them, as mentioned in the Master plan of Delhi. So far, 5 bulldozers have been deployed for the demolition, and 700 houses demolished. Hundreds of people have been arrested, and many are severely injured due to the police's beatings.

The population of the colony comprises a large number of women and children who are among the most marginalized sections of society. The sudden demolition of houses without any prior notice has put the slum residents, over 500 of whom are pregnant women, in an insecure situation whereby their health and lives are at grave risk. Some children are taking their annual examination.

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Saina Nehwal wins Swiss Open title

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up her first title of the year, clinching the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold trophy with a straight-game victory in the summit clash against Ji Hyun Sung of Korea in Switzerland on Sunday.

Second seed Saina beat Ji Hyun 21-13 21-14 in 43 minutes to make amends for her quarterfinal exit from the All England Super Series in Birmingham last week.

The world number four Indian had beaten the unseeded Korean, ranked 19th, during the first round of Indonesia Open Super Series last year.

Saina, who had a subdued beginning to the year after recovering from a ligament injury, showed her mettle all through the tournament to swell her trophy cabinet.

Ji Hyun tried to keep pace with Saina till 7-7 but the Indian was indomitable as she broke off from their and surged ahead with gaint strides to pocket the first game comfortably.

In the second game, Saina was ruthless as she opened a four-point lead at 7-3, and held fort to canter to her first title of the season.

The 21-year-old Saina had won three Super Series titles last year -- Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong Open -- besides winning the Commonwealth Games gold and India Grand Prix gold.

She also won the Indonesian Super Series in 2009 besides winning the Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold in 2008.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

‘ Water - a Precious Resource’

On the World Water Day March 22, 2011,in the National Science Centre, Delhi. An Exhibition – Water: a Precious Resource’ was inaugurated on March 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM by Kumari Selja, Minister for Culture and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation in presence of Dr. Krishan Lal, President, Indian national Science Academy (INSA) and Chairperson, Research Advisory Board, National Council of Science Museums (NCSM). The Minister emphasized the importance of water conservation, its judicious use and proper management if we have to leave the Earth livable for our future generation. She advised the young audience to become messengers and communicators to create consciousness and awareness on the water crisis that is looming the planet earth:

The Exhibition – Water: a Precious Resource – will stay in Delhi for two months for public viewing and then, in next two years, it is scheduled to travel across India through the circuit of 25 science centres developed and managed by the National Council of Science Museums, the science communication organization, functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Several activities, lectures etc. shall be organized at each site to create awareness. The exhibition attempts to raise consciousness about the world wide crisis of this precious resource that affects over 1.1 billion people around the globe. Today, scarcity of water is the most excruciating problem in the face of the earth after global warming.

The issue raised by this exhibition, developed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), is one that we all know of but often tend to ignore. This exhibition makes us look at the problem squarely in the eye – A big squeeze on the world’s freshwater resources looms as populations mushroom and incomes rise; moreover, we have been casual and careless about water resources.

The 20th century saw a tripling of the world’s population while freshwater use grew by a factor of six. With the world population expected to increase as much as 50 percent over the next half century, analysts are indeed worried that increasing demand for water, coupled with industrialization and urbanization, will have serious consequences both for human health and the environment. Access to freshwater is also likely to cause conflicts between governments as well as within national borders around the world. Today one-sixth of the world’s human population lacks access to clean drinking water, and more than two million people—mostly kids—die each year from water-borne diseases. With the human population more than 6 billion and climbing, the per capita quantity of freshwater continues to decline. Yet the principal problem continues to be man-made: the inequitable access to and distribution of freshwater, which is highly variable between and within countries. The visitors can explore how much water is being wasted by them through an interactive exhibit illustrating fresh water withdrawal and consumption in the year 2010 across various continents.

By the year 2020, to quote a report, majority of the Indian cities will run dry. In India, supply of safe drinking water too is fast dwindling primarily due to depletion of water resources. Now, situation has arrived when even a single drop of water matters. Interactive displays and multimedia based presentations highlight the shocking facts that looming water crisis brings uncertainty in our lives and also the ways to face these challenges through water conservation practices in our daily lives.

How is the scenario in India? In 1947 per capita per year water availability was about 6000 cubic meters. It came down to 2300 cubic meters in 1997. If we let it dip below 1700 cubic meters, India may slip into the category of a water stressed state. We don’t actually realise how much water we need on daily basis. This exhibition makes it clear through interactive exhibits – eat an apple and you are consuming 70 litres of water because that is the amount of water needed to make the apple grow. A glass of milk equates to 200 litres of water and a cup of tea means 35 litres, this devouring of water going on through the spectrum of products we use or consume unthinkingly on a daily basis. Agriculture being the largest water consuming sector, studies show that in many modern cities (Delhi included) water scarcity often is a result of huge water stream diversion to agricultural fields, which in a way is inevitable.

The exhibition demonstrates that even low-tech water conservation methods and some conscious readjustments in our daily water usage patterns could be viable alternatives that may potentially stop us from running our taps dry. This exhibition is de-facto a plea on behalf of the planet earth and presents a manifesto of what needs to be done to save the planet from ensuing water crisis.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Air Strikes cripples Libya air capability

Pentagon WASHINGTON: Western strikes on Libyan air defenses over the past two days had crippled Muammar Gaddafi's capability to launch airplanes and detect foreign aircraft, a senior US military official said on Sunday."We judge these strikes to have been very effective in significantly degrading the regime's air defense capability," Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, director of the US military's Joint Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.

"There has been no new air activity by the regime and we have detected no radar emissions from any of the air defense sites targeted," Gortney said. "There has been a significant decrease in use of all Libyan air surveillance radars."
Media agencies

Tibetians across world vote to elect new PM

Thousands of Tibetans across the world voted on Sunday to elect the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile. The exercise may usher in a transition in the community's leadership following the Dalai Lama's refusal to reconsider his decision to retire as its political head.Chief Election Commissioner Jamphel Choesang said, the results will be announced on the 27th of next month. The three candidates - Lobsang Sangay, Tenzin Namgyal Tethong and Tashi Wangdi are in the fray for the post.

The current prime minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche has already served two terms and the Tibetan charter bars an individual from holding the office for more than that period.The five-year tenure of the Prime Minister will be significant as it could mark a transition from one-man leadership of the Dalai lama to a democratically elected government of exiled Tibetans.The Dalai Lama, a Nobel peace prize winner, has been both the spiritual and the political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile which he had founded after fleeing to India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet . But he had on March 10 announced his decision to step down as political head of Tibetan government-in-exile.

Saina wins Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up her first title of the year, clinching the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold trophy with a straight-game victory in the summit clash against Ji Hyun Sung of Korea in Switzerland today.Second seed Saina beat Ji Hyun 21-13 21-14 in 43 minutes to make amends for her quarterfinal exit from the All England Super Series in Birmingham last week.

The world number four Indian had beaten the unseeded Korean, ranked 19th, during the first round of Indonesia Open Super Series last year.Saina, who had a subdued beginning to the year after recovering from a ligament injury, showed her mettle all through the tournament to swell her trophy cabinet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Attacks begin on Libyan

Coalition forces started attack on Libya air and missile defense systems to prevent further attacks by the Libyan government on its citizens and rebels in and around the rebel held city of Benghazi, a senior U.S. military official said.Two dozen warships plus a large number of war planes from various countries made up the initial strike force, led by the U.S. military’s Africa command, the official said:“The key first strikes would be on the coast because that is where the integrated air and missile defense systems,”
India issued advisory to its residents to leave Libya and in the process of evacuating its nationals stranded in Libya the two aircraft specially chartered Air India Boeing 747 capacity of 360 passengers,an Airbus 330 with a capacity of 280,capacity of 640 passengers to Tripoli and dispatching four ships the evacuation from Libya without any cost or payment:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

RBI raises policy rates

RBI raised its short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points each yet again on Thursday with a view to check spiralling prices of essential commodities.

This is the eighth time since March 2010 the RBI has resorted to policy rate hike to tackle inflation, which is ruling above 8 per cent, much above the comfort level of 5-6 per cent.In view of the rising fuel prices, following unrest in the middle-East and high food prices in the domestic market, the RBI has upped its March end inflation forecast to 8 per cent from 7 per cent projected earlier.

The short-term lending (repo) rate has been hiked to 6.75 per cent and the short-term borrowing (reverse repo) rate to 5.75 per cent with immediate effect.
While the RBI injects liquidity through repo rate, it absorbs funds through reverse repo window.

As regards the impact of monetary action on interest rates, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) Chairman and Managing Director M Narendra said the RBI measures may not lead to immediate hike in interest rates."I think rates would remain stable during this month. Beyond March it would depend on various factors like money market, call money rate etc," he said.

The initiatives, RBI said, are expected to rein in demand-side inflationary pressures and contain the spillover of food and commodity price rise to other sectors.It further said that the RBI would "persist with the current anti-inflationary stance".The overall inflation was at 8.31 per cent in February this year compared to 8.23 per cent a month ago.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan to cool all Fukushima plants

Japan today making its all efforts desperately to douse overheating spent fuel rods at its quake crippled reactors in the Fukushima plant,dumping tonnes of water using helicopters and water cannon trucks amid growing concerns of a nuclear disaster.
NHK reports in its Online News Tokyo Electric Power Company hopes to activate the cooling system of the No.2 reactor at its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant as early as Friday night after restoring power to the system.3 reactors at the plant lost cooling capabilities due to a power outage and the failure of emergency power generators after last week's earthquake and tsunami.The company laid a new power line to the plant on Thursday, but has yet to connect it to the No.2 reactor due to efforts to douse it with water. The utility plans to link the cable to the reactor on Friday.

The firm says the reactor seems to have suffered less damage to its electrical equipment than the other reactors at the plant.However, the company says connecting the cables could be hampered by the radiation threat to workers who will have to approach the reactor.Tokyo Electric says that if it can send electricity to the cooling systems of the 3 reactors, it will be able to resolve the problems at each of the reactors. The utility says it wants to restore power to the reactors as soon as possible.
US nuclear expert warned that a "potentially catastrophic situation" could be round the corner."There is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures," the chief of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Gregory Jaczko said as the ominous nuclear cloud spread alarm in the US and other countries.Two CH-47 helicopters of the Self-Defense Force (SDF) scooped up sea water and released it over the reactors after another chopper checked radiation levels in the air, a week after the magnitude-9.About 5,000 Indians,of a 25,000 total strong community based in Japan,have already left that country in the aftermath of tsunami caused by a massive earthquake last week.

Association of Western Union & India Post iconic brands

New Delhi, March 17, 2011: Western Union® Money Transfer, a global leader in money transfer services and Government of India’s Department of Post (India Post) has completed a decade of assisting Indians living and working overseas to send money to their family and loved ones to build better lives and communities.

Western Union and India Post combined has helped transfer US$6.5 billion1 worth of hard earned remittances through its 7,000 strong India Post location network dotted across urban and rural India . A majority of locations are in rural India (55%)2.

“India Post is an integral part of Western Union’s India wide Agent network and the largest Western Union in-country network. The trust placed in two iconic brands for a decade –India Post, a familiar icon that has provided a civic service for communities for centuries and Western Union a global brand with a heritage of 160 years – is unparalleled”, said Anil Kapur Managing Director, South & South East Asia, Western Union.

“On behalf of Western Union, a special salute goes out to the thousands of India Post employees that have helped service millions of money transfers over the last decade. Their ability to interact in person with our consumers sharing their joys and sometimes their hardships, has made this relationship more than a mere milestone”, he said.

India Post is the world’s largest postal network with over 155,000 post offices; with a significant presence across rural India. Western Union has over 400,000 Agent locations across 200 countries and territories.“An efficient and reliable communication network is the lifeline of the nation and plays a crucial role in socio-economic development and the integration of the country. At India Post we strive to exceed the expectations of our consumers and society”, said AS Prasad, Deputy Director General (Financial Services), Department of Posts.“Our 10 year relationship with Western Union has helped us offer a modern, reliable and fast service embedded with our traditional values and ethics.

“Given Western Union’s popularity across rural areas, it has also enabled India Post to also attract new consumers for other services such as mutual funds and insurance offered by India Post”, he said.

Kiran Shetty, Western Union’s Regional Vice President for India added, “Trust is a fundamental trait in all money matters and particularly so when you are transferring hard earned monies that help build the future generations of India. The hallmark of reliability, convenience and speed – is underscored by our collaboration and continues to strengthen.

“The 7,000 strong India Post network offering the Western Union® Money TransferSM service has been a shining example of rural inclusion at play, with over 55% of this network catering to rural consumers. This includes a strong presence in traditional remittance markets such as Kerala and Punjab as well as emerging markets such as Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu among others,” he added.According to the World Bank, India continued to be the largest recipient of remittances in 2010 to the tune of $55bn, owing to the growing Indian Diaspora, strong investment opportunities in India and the growing needs/affluence of middle-class. Western Union helps families of the Indian diaspora back home receive international remittances in an easy, reliable and convenient manner through its nationwide network of more than 63,000 Agent locations.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Launch "MTS Pulse" Smartphone

Launch "MTS Pulse" Smartphone
MTS Crosses 10 Mn Customer Launch MTS Pulse Smartphone MTS, Tuesday launched a new new MTS brand MTS Pulse from HTC in Smartphones category: Leonid Musatov, Chief Marketing Officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd., “We are excited to unveil the new MTS brand, in line with MTS’ global strategy. MTS has recently been ranked as the 72nd most powerful brand in the world by Millward Brown. In keeping with our endeavor to delight our customers, we have adopted a disruptive approach to marketing that would redefine the way Smartphones are sold in India. The latest in our range of Smartphones is MTS Pulse from HTC is powered by Android 2.1, with impressive stylish and technology together with incentive scheme free calls, data usage and SMSs”identity designed the need of the hour and catching attention of today’s youth, the tag, “A Step Ahead”. This launch comes at a time when MTS has crossed the 10 million subscriber mark in India. Telecoms service provider company provides High Speed Mobile Internet services to over 5 lakh customers in the country. Adding to the celebrations, MTS has brought out for its customers the MTS Pulse from HTC– the company’s first Android powered Smartphone.Vsevolod Rozanov, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd said "Indeed a proud moment for me and the entire MTS team to have crossed the 10 million customer milestone. We had started this journey about two years ago in Tamil Nadu and have crossed this milestone in less than two years. Today, we are one of the fastest growing telecom companies in India with presence across all telecom circles. Going forward, it will be our endeavor to stay true to our data centric-voice enabled strategy to provide innovative telecom solutions to our customers.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WHO conference “Partners for Health in South-East Asia”

WHO conference “Partners for Health in South-East Asia”
2011-03-16 15:45:53 - Sagar Media Inc:Press Release :16 March 2011, New Delhi: The conference of “Partners for Health in South-East Asia” organized by the World Health Organization was inaugurated by Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, India, today. Ministers from 11 Member States along with high-level representatives from donor countries are attending the conference.

The conference aims at strengthening collaboration for health and encouraging effective and sustainable partnerships. WHO and partners will deliberate on priority health issues in the WHO South-East Asia Region. The UN Millennium Development Goals, Noncommunicable diseases and Universal Access to Health services are some of the issues to be discussed at the conference.

“Let us commit ourselves to doing our very
best towards instituting a health care system in our region, which is equitable, affordable and accessible by all sections of the society” said the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad in his inaugural address. “Let us resolve that we will not allow our poor and vulnerable to suffer on account of a health care system which is unavailable and unaffordable” he added.

Although significant progress has been achieved in improving the health of the people in South-East Asia, much remains to be done. The Region bears a staggering and disproportionately high proportion (40%) of the world’s disease burden with about a quarter of the world’s population.

“Perhaps the starkest statistic in public health is the difference in maternal and child mortality in rich countries compared with that of less developed countries. Despite the high level of global, regional and national commitments, maternal mortality still remains unacceptably high, which is a reflection of the social inequities and injustices which continue to afflict women. South-East Asia contributes to one third of maternal deaths worldwide,” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

Around 54% of all deaths in the WHO’s South-East Asia Region occur due to noncommunicable diseases. A 21% increase in NCD deaths is expected betwen 2006 - 2015 in the Region. NCDs are, therefore, a major health and development crisis facing the Member countries today.

India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand account for more than 99% of the 3.5 million HIV-positive cases in the Region. There are five million TB cases estimated in the Region and annually more than three million new TB cases emerge. Around 94% of reported malaria cases and deaths in the Region are from India, Indonesia and Myanmar.

Partners from 11 Member States (Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste) along with multilateral and intergovernmental organizations, civil society, foundations, corporations and research/academic institutions will deliberate on key health issues at the conference over the next three days.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear Emergency in Japan

Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant
The defacto Nuclear Emergency in Japan appears to exits as the state combats with its resources to get rid our Nuclear crisis after series of strong quake from Saturday onwards to Monday and Tsunami renders million in fear & homeless: NHK sources from its Online site Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:48 - Third incident of fire starts at No.4 reactor reports of Tokyo Electric Power Company has confirmed that a fire at the No.4 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.Company officials told a news conference that the fire was spotted at 9:38 AM local time on Tuesday, near the northwestern part of the reactor building's 4th floor.The officials say damage was earlier found near the building's 5th floor roof.

Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant

The operation of all 4 reactors at the quake-stricken Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant has been brought to a halt.Tokyo Electric Power Company says the 4th reactor at the No.2 plant was safely brought to a stop at around 7:00 AM on Tuesday. It also says the reactor's temperature dropped below 100 degrees Celsius after its cooling function was restored. The reactor's cooling system was damaged in Friday's massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
The operation of the other 3 reactors at the Fukushima No.2 plant was earlier suspended. Two of the reactors were unable to cool down for some time due to tsunami damage.

NHK adds Nearly 2,500 people have been confirmed dead so far from the powerful earthquake and devastating tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on Friday. More than 17,000 others are missing.Miyagi Prefecture has confirmed 1,254 deaths with many more bodies being found along the coast.
In Onagawa town with a population of around 10,000, more than 5,000 people are taking shelter in 16 locations.But municipal officials say they cannot confirm the whereabouts of the remaining 5,000.
Miyagi prefectural police said on Monday that about 100 bodies were found on each of several beaches on the Oshika Peninsula, which straddles Onagawa and the city of Ishinomaki. A senior police official said the bodies may total 1,000 or more there alone.
Around 1,000 bodies have also been found in the coastal town of Minami-sanriku, where most homes and other structures have been washed away by the tsunami. About 10,000, or more than half the town's population, remain unaccounted for.
In the Arahama district of Sendai city, where several hundred bodies have been found, the Self-Defense Forces have retrieved about 50 of them.

From Reports in Media Japan Police say the death toll in the prefecture alone is likely to exceed 10,000.In Iwate Prefecture, 675 deaths have been confirmed so far.In Rikuzen-takata, most buildings in the city center have been swept away by the tsunami. Self-Defense Forces troops have confirmed 300 to 400 bodies.

In the neighboring city of Ofunato, breakwaters at its port were breached by the tsunami, resulting in a quarter of the city's homes being partially or totally destroyed.At a nursing home for the elderly, 47 or nearly all residents there were killed in the tsunami.Fukushima Prefecture has confirmed 492 deaths. The cities of Iwaki and Minami-soma have sustained particularly heavy damage.The prefectural police say 1,689 people are missing. In Namie town, around 900 are unaccounted for.Elsewhere in northeastern Japan, 3 deaths have been confirmed in Aomori Prefecture, one in Yamagata Prefecture and one in Hakodate city, Hokkaido.
In the Kanto region, 19 deaths have been confirmed in Ibaraki Prefecture, 16 in Chiba Prefecture, 7 in Tokyo, 4 in Tochigi Prefecture, 3 in Kanagawa Prefecture and one in Gunma Prefecture.

Group of Eight Nations has decided to issue a statement to show their all out support for Japan.At the G8 foreign ministers meeting in Paris on Monday, the massive earthquake in Japan was the first topic on the first day of the 2-day meeting.Japan's Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto expressed gratitude to the members for their support.He said the earthquake and tsunami were beyond any prediction even for Japan, a country known for its natural disasters, and the level of loss is immense.

Monday, March 14, 2011

UNCTAD Report on Investment

India is projected to become the second most attractive destination for FDI in 2010-12, as per UNCTAD’s World Investment Report, 2010. The projection made in the report is based on the survey conducted among Trans National Corporations (TNCs).

Government has put in place an investor-friendly policy on FDI, under which FDI, up to 100%, is permitted on the automatic route, in most sectors/activities. This policy is reviewed, on an ongoing basis, through a consultative process and significant changes have been made in the policy regime, in recent times, to ensure that India remains increasingly attractive and investor-friendly. The FDI policy is now available in the form of a consolidated document, as Circular 2 of 2010, effective 1 October, 2010, issued by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. The circular is available in the public domain and can be accessed at the website of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (

The Government plays an active role in investment promotion, through dissemination of information on the investment climate and opportunities in India and by advising prospective investors about investment policies and procedures and opportunities. A number of joint commissions and joint working groups have been set up to promote industrial, technical and scientific cooperation with select countries. The Government has also set up CEOs’ /Business Leaders’ Fora with some countries, for active business-to-business cooperation and for developing a road map for partnership and industrial cooperation. It also coordinates with apex industry associations in their activities relating to promotion of industrial cooperation, intended to stimulate flow of foreign direct investment into India.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

Another Fukushima nuclear plant blast

NHK reports that it appears to be another hydrogen blast has occurred at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima at a building precints to the facility's No. 3 reactor. With smokes coming out No damage to the reactor chamber has been reported, but 6 people at the plant have been injured.The official the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says what it believes was a hydrogen blast occurred at 11:01 AM on Monday at the No.3 reactor of Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant the cause is by a buildup of hydrogen gas. The agency says it has so far observed no abnormal rise in radiation around the compound of the plant.The agency has advised anyone remaining within 20 kilometers of the power plant to take shelter inside buildings as soon as possible. About 600 people are thought to be still in the area.A similar buildup of hydrogen gas cause hydrogen blast that occurred at the No.1 reactor at the same plant on Saturday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that he has received a report that the latest blast has left the container of No.3 reactor intact. He said the likelihood of large volumes of radioactive materials being dispersed in the air is low.Video footage shows that the top of the building housing the reactor has been blown off, as in Saturday's blast.Fears of an explosion grew when the water level of the No. 3 reactor dropped, exposing fuel rods, and a reaction with the steam generated a large amount of hydrogen. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that even if the top of the building has blown off, the reactor chamber will not be affected. Monday, March 14, 2011 12:30 +0900 (JST) Media report of NHK Japan

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another quake 6MT off East Coast of Honshu Japan

13Mar2011-11:37:31-With reports of U.S. Geological Survey EAST COAST OF HONSHU encounters another shock of 6MT intensity:Japan serial quake shocks starting freon dated 2011-03-11 05:46:23 (M 7.9) NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU,JAPAN 38.3 142.4 are getting intermittent quake shocks of higher intensity above 6 Magnitude till date of recent quake of Sunday: The Details of the temblor are 6.0 M - OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 6.0 M Date-Time 13 Mar 2011 11:37:31 UTC * 20:37:31 near epicenter * 13 Mar 2011 15:37:31 Depth 24 km -Distances * 138 km of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan and 168 km SE 126 degrees of Sendai, Honshu, Japan and 177 km of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan also 303 km of TOKYO, Japan

PosTech 2011

Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc:
Postech 2011 Dubai Mar14-16,2011 is the third in the series of PosTech, an outstanding unique global postal technology event that brings to light the key issues technology raises in the postal industry, shows the way how these can be tackled and the remunerative solutions that can be implemented. Saudi Post the founder of the Pos Tech conference,this year theme 'New Technology: New Post' with global participation in its third year is neo-post a study the multi-channel service supplier,technology in the operations value chain. The inaugural session was held in Jeddah three years ago with the participation of more than 140 countries. The postal landscape is continually changing to respond to the threats and opportunities presented by technology. This is a unique opportunity to understand the key challenges and meet leaders,key suppliers,legislators and postal operators.Two-day conference with an accompanying supplier showcase exhibition and global quality of delegates attending, the show is renowned for the extensive networking opportunities it offers to integrate global corporate world.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan's quake toll 1,700 -Explosion in N-Reactor

Kyodo news agency said the combined number of people who have died or are unaccounted for in yesterday's double disaster that devastated the country's north-western coast is feared to top 1,700.Local media reports said at least 1,300 may have been killed while Chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said it was believed that more than 1,000 people had died.There were fears that the death toll would rise with Fuji TV reporting that as many as 10,000 people were missing in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi.One report said four whole trains had disappeared and still not been located.

The building housing the main reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant in northern Japan, 250 km north of Tokyo, exploded this afternoon leading to radiation leaks injuring four people as the authorities told 45,000 residents living within a 10-km radius of the leaking plant to evacuate their homes, Kyodo reported.The injuries are not life threatening, an official said."The plant is experiencing a nuclear meltdown," Japanese nuclear scientists confirmed, after Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited the site in a helicopter early today.Kan urged calm among people living near the plant and vowed the government would do its best to protect public health."By taking firm measures, we will do our best not to have even a single person, suffer from health problems," he said.

Reports said the main building of the plant housing the reactor as well as the outer walls were blown away in the high intensity explosion which occurred at 3.30 pm local time (1200 IST) as the cooling water levels dropped alarmingly through evaporation after the quake had damaged the main plant."The loss of cooling water is leading to a meltdown of the reactor," Jiji Press reported.

Radioacative materials- cesium and iodine were also detected around the No 1 rector of the plant, according to the Nuclear and Industrial safety Agency.
The concerns about a radiation leak at the nuclear power plant overshadowed the massive tragedy laid out along a 2,100 km stretch of the coastline where scores of villages, towns and cities were battered by the tsunami packing 23-feet high waves triggered by the massive 8.9 magnitude quake.

TV footage showed smoke billowing from the site and reported that the reactor building had been destroyed.The channels and public broadcasters warned nearby residents to turn off air conditioners and not to drink tap water.People going outside were told to avoid exposing their skins and to cover faces with masks and wet towels.

Kyodo quoting police said that another nuclear plant adjacent to the one which exploded was also malfunctioning with the radiation level reaching almost 1,000 times the normal level.The authorities said that an emergency had been declared at all five nuclear reactors as the units had lost cooling ability, as US dispatched plane loads of coolants to the disaster struck nation.They said that Fukushima, Daiichi plant unit no. 1 had exploded after failing to tamp down heat and pressure inside the reactor which had suffered extensive damaged due to tidal waves set off by the earth quake which cut down the power supply to the plant.Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency described the situation at the Fukushima plant dire.Defence Ministry officials said dozens of troops and fireman trained for chemical disasters had been dispatched to the plant, which is located South of the Miyagi Prefecture which was hardest hit by the quake.

As Japan is one of the most seismically active country in the world, the government met has strict set of regulations designed to limit the impact of quakes on nuclear plants.But even so 10 of the Japan's 54 commercial reactors were shut down because of the quake.Meanwhile, four trains running in a coastal area of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures remained unaccounted for, the train operator said.It is not known how many people were aboard the trains that were running on East Japan Railway Co.'s Ofunato, Senseki and Kesennuma lines on the Pacific coast when the quake hit northern Japan.The company said earlier that another train on the Senseki Line was found derailed near Nobiru Station after the quake. The Miyagi prefectural police today rescued nine passengers from the train by helicopter, Kyodo said.

The number of partially or completely destroyed buildings reached 3,400, while there 200 incidents of fire at quake-affected areas. Some 181 welfare facilities, including nursing homes, had been damaged.Around 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai's Wakabayashi Ward, they said.Some 1,800 houses in Fukushima Prefecture were found to have been destroyed.As rescuers have not been able to completely access the tsunami-hit areas with tsunami warnings still in effect, the overall picture of the destruction remained unclear.A municipal official of the town of Futaba, Fukushima, said, "More than 90 per cent of the houses in three coastal communities have been washed away by tsunami. Looking from the fourth floor of the town hall, I see no houses standing."

In the quake-hit areas, around 5.57 million households had lost power, while 600,000 had their water supply cut off.Nine expressways were closed and at least 312 domestic flights cancelled.The Tokyo police said more than 120,000 people in the capital were unable to return home last evening due to the suspension of train operations and traffic jams.Rescue teams from South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and other countries were set to arrive in Japan, after 50 nations offered support following the powerful earthquake, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
In Washington US President Barack Obama called Japanese Prime Minister Kan to offer help."(First Lady) Michelle (Obama) and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis," Obama said in a statement.Media agencies

Promotion of Tourism

Promotion of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism makes efforts to improve the quality of service to the tourists. At present Ministry of Tourism is not offering any incentive to the tourists. However, in order to promote tourism, Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme was introduced by the Government of India for the nationals of five countries, namely, Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand with effect from 01.01.2010. In the year 2011, this scheme has been extended by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the nationals of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Extension of TVOA scheme to more countries has been taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs.This information was given by Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Designing long term future of Delhi

Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc:Event "Delhi 2050", initiative arch i* architectural platform is supported by Dutch Design Fashion Architecture Programme** and The Embassy of The Netherlands in India.The first series of Public events from 5th to 7th March were successfully held in the presence of eminent experts from the Netherlands, top Dutch planners Ton Venhoeven: National Architect for Infrastructure in The Netherlands and Bart Vink; project head of ‘Randstad 2040’. Dunu Roy (Activist and Environmentalist), Sohail Hashmi (Scholar and activist), Bharati Chaturvedi (Author “Finding Delhi”), Dinesh Mohan, (Coordinator TRIPP), Sudipto Ghosh (Architect, S.Ghosh and Associates), Ravi Agarwal (Director Toxic Links), Ashok B. Lal (Architect, A B Lall & Associates)and I.M Chishti (Archiect, Studio IF) participated in the discussions addressing vital urban issues.
“From Walled city to World City” - Why does it have to be one or the other?
Considering the worsening traffic situation, will the Delhi of the future make movement impossible? What needs to be reorganized – our city typology or city networks?
In the workshops at the busiest traffic nodes of the city, AIIMS Flyover and at the top of Connaught Place, the roof of Statesman House, a group of professionals from different disciplines brain-stormed and modelled the future of Delhi.
The next series of public events will be launched on 13th March, SUNDAY at 11:00 PM, Chandni Chowk. The underlining theme of the events scheduled till 15th March, will be ‘DESIGN in DELHI 2050’.
13 March, SUNDAY
DELHI DNA - Interaction 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Courtyard House, Chawri Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
STUDIO CHISHTI - Workshop 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Design Studio, Deptt. of Arch., School of Planning and Architecture, ITO, New Delhi
14 March, MONDAY REDUCING PIPES - Excursion 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Centre of Science and Environment, 41 Tughlaqabad Institutional Area, New Delhi
KHIRKI 2050 - Workshop 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM KHOJ Studio, S-17, Khirki Extension, New Delhi DRAWING DELHI - Interaction 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM The Attic, Regal Building, Connaught Place, New Delhi
15 March, TUESDAY
LECTURE by Rianne Makkink & Vic Cautereels 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Pearl Academy of Fashion, Industrial Area, Phase 1, Naraina, New Delhi
THE VILLAGE WORKSHOP - Workshop 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Ishan Khosla Studio, 19, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi

Eminent experts for the Delhi 2050 Public events Part 2 include Dutch designers Rianne Makkink (Designer, Makking & Bey) & Vic Cautereels (Professor, Man+Mobility, Design Academy Eindhoven). The other panelists are Parmesh Shahni (Editor-in-chief, Verve), Aditya Dev Sood (anthropologists), Madhu Pandit & Madhav Raman (Architects), Asim Waqif (Artist), Mayank Mansingh Kaul (Fashion Designer) & Ishan Khosla (graphic designer).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Russia concerned over U.S. missile plans in Poland

Russia is not pleased over U.S. plans to deploy permanent missile defenses and air force units in Poland, 100 kilometers from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday - as per reports in Russian Media - Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S. missile defenses near its borders, arguing they would be a security threat and could destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe."Regarding the U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses elements and air force units in Poland, we are certainly concerned and agitated," Alexander Lukashevich said.

On March 3, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed Washington's military plans in Poland.Wikileaks published U.S. cables in late 2010 showing that NATO was drawing up a plan on the protection of Estonia, Lithuania and Poland from external threats on a request from the United States and Germany.Lukashevich also said the U.S. plans contradicted calls for cooperation at the Russia-NATO Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010.Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so called Euro missile defense system at the Lisbon summit. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

NATO drew up plans in January to defend the Baltic states against Russia, the latest batch of leaked U.S. cables released by Wikileaks show."On January 22, NATO's Military Committee agreed to expand Eagle Guardian, the Alliance's contingency plan for the reinforcement and defense of Poland, to also include the defense and reinforcement of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania," the cable, published on Monday in the Guardian, read.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentions the plan in another cable released on Monday and stresses that it must be kept secret."We see the expansion of Eagle Guardian as a step toward the possible expansion of NATO's other existing country-specific contingency plans into regional plans," the cable said.
May 2010, following the U.S. - Polish Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the United States opened a temporary military base near the northern Polish town of Morag , 80 km (50 miles) from the Russian border. The base, which will become permanent from 2012, will deploy U.S. Patriot missiles and Standard Missile interceptor SM-3s. Media agencies

First Lady of the US :Care all children

First Lady of the US :Care all children In her message Said "As a mother, it breaks my heart to think of any child feeling alone or afraid in their classrooms, on the playground or even online. But every year, nearly one third of school-aged children -- upwards of 13 million students -- are bullied.
Bullying in our schools and communities isn't a rite of passage or part of growing up. It's unacceptable.Today, the President and I are attending a White House Conference on Bullying Prevention to talk about how we can work together to make our schools and communities safe for all of our children.Barack and me:
Every child deserves a chance to grow up happy, healthy and safe. Kids who are bullied are more likely to have challenges in school, abuse drugs or alcohol, or have health and mental health problems. As adults, it's up to us to send a message that bullying of any kind for any reason isn't OK."

"Parents, teachers, coaches, faith leaders, elected officials, and anyone else involved in our children's lives have a responsibility to set a good example through our own behavior and to take action when we see bullying in our communities."

Russia to join WTO top priority for US

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet on Thursday in Moscow to discuss Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a variety of bilateral issues.On Wednesday, Biden met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and said that Russia's membership in the WTO was a top priority for the United States.Russia has been in talks on membership in the 153-nation WTO for 17 years. A recent Russia-EU summit assessed its chances to join the organization this year as very high.Biden arrived in Russia on Tuesday. Biden will give a speech at Moscow State University on bilateral relations of the two countries.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Thursday a proposal by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to introduce visa free travel between Russia and the United States "a good idea." Biden is holding talks with the Russian premier as part of an official visit to Moscow."If Russia and the United States agreed to introduce a visa-free regime before Russia makes an agreement on the matter with the European Union, it would be a historical step in the development of Russian-U.S. relations," Putin said.

A Kremlin source earlier said Biden's visit is a run-up to an official visit to Moscow by U.S. President Barack Obama, due later this year.RIA Novosti

Croatian protesters for government to resign

Croatian protesters on International women day paraded in the streets Zagreb alleging the government of economic imbalance widespread corruption a march on a bankrupt factory following privatisation in the capital, Zagreb.Anti-government protest rally held in Vinkovci: The anti-government protest started at 1800 hours on Tuesday in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg square from which disgruntled citizens started a march through the city.Some 500 people gathered in the Cvjetni Trg square who then started walking towards the central Ban Josip Jelacic square. Many citizens joined in the walk so the number of protesters climbed to several thousand, according to reporters' assessments.reports Media

Protesters headed to Franjo Tudjman Square where the Kamensko textile factory, which is in receivership, is located.Kamensko workers joined the protest walk.Workers were chanting "Everyone to the Streets" and carrying banners reading "Direct Democracy - Down with the Government, Down with Parliament," "Union? No Thanks," "We Don't Need Leaders To Decide - Direct Democracy," "Happy Women's Day, Jadranka," "Give back the money you stole."
Media agencies

Dutch lost to India :ICC WC 2011

India secure a quarter-final berth defeating Netherlands with a well fought five-wicket victory in a World Cup Group-B match:India restricting the Dutch to a moderate 189, the hosts started off with a flourish but lost wickets in a heap before scampering home with 81 balls to spare in what turned out to be another hard-fought win for the hosts.Yuvraj Singh (51 not out) played responsible knock to guide the team to the victory target on a slow Ferozeshah Kotla track.Virender Sehwag (39), Gautam Gambhir (28) and Sachin Tendulkar (27) got the starts but failed to make it count.This win put India consolidated their position atop the points table with seven points and were almost certain to qualify to the quarter finals from the group.Dutch batsmen -- Eric Szwarczynski (28), Wesley Barresi (26) and Tom Cooper (29) -- got the starts but could not translate them into big knocks as the minnows lost wickets at regular intervals on a placid Ferozeshah Kotla track.The opening pair put on 56 runs but the other batsmen succumbed rather tamely against a disciplined Indian bowling attack which exploited the conditions well. The visitors could have been in bigger trouble had it not been for Borren's 36-ball 38 and Muddasar Bukhari's (21) late onslaught.Zaheer Khan was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3 for 20 while Yuvraj (2/43) and Piyush Chawla (2/47) were the other wicket-takers.

The Dutch openers put on 56 runs for the first wicket before leg spinner Chawla provided the breakthrough for the Indians by getting rid of Szwarczynski much to the delight of the home crowd.Chawla, who has been a trifle disappointing in the previous matches, got the wicket with a googly as the batsman tried to cut the ball but only to see his stumps being knocked down.The Netherlands lost their second wicket just eight runs later with part-timer Yuvraj claiming his 100th ODI wicket when he accounted for Barresi who seemed to be quite comfortable at the crease.

Barresi was hit on the pads with a delivery that straightened after pitching and umpire Steve Davis had no hesitation in ruling him out.Barresi asked for a review and there was no change in the decision. The only bone of contention was whether the ball hit the bat before hitting the pad. Replays show that it hit his the front pad first.

Yuvraj struck for his team again by dismissing Netherlands' key batsman Ryan ten Doeschate (11) who failed to time his shot properly and Zaheer took a well-judged catch at long off just a few metres within the boundary.Then it was Nehra's turn to take the spotlight as he got rid of Tom Cooper with a brilliant off-cutter and captain Dhoni made no mistake with the edge.

Bas Zuiderent, who joined the action after Cooper's dismissal, did not trouble the scorers much as Zaheer sent him back to the pavilion with a gem of a delivery which came in sharply and trapped the batsman in front of the wicket.Zuiderant went for a review and the third umpire also vindicated Davis' original decision.A few minutes later, Tom de Grooth was run out going for a suicidal run and the Dutch innings lay in tatters.From a rather comfortable 99 for two, the Dutchmen suddenly slumped to a precarious 108 for six as India's pace bowlers made a much better impression with the old ball.Captain Borren hit some lusty shots in the fag end of the innings to take the Netherlands score beyond the 150-run mark which looked doubtful at one stage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lokpal bill need relook:PM

Team of India Against Corruption (IAC)on Monday met PM said that the govt has no time to consider the issue of corruption till the 13th May due to the ongoing parliament session and forthcoming elections in five states. IAC representatives requested for an early action because the country was seething with anger and bleeding due to corruption.

The meeting last evening between representatives of IAC (Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh, Archbishop Vincent, Dr Kuldip Chikara (Bharat Swabhimaan Nyasa), Darshak Hathi (Art of Living) and PV Rajagopal) and the PM and Law Minister, Veerapa Moily was not very encouraging.Mr Shanti Bhushan, senior lawyer and former Law Minister, told the Prime Minister that he had personally gone through the Jan Lokpal Bill and was convinced that if it were passed, it would have a huge impact on corruption within next five years.

After great persuasion, the PM agreed to bring some Lokpal bill in the monsoon session of parliament. The PM was informed that the bill drafted by Law ministry was extremely bad. Rather than curb corruption, it would encourage it. To this, Mr Moily suggested that a subcommittee of "Group of Ministers (GOM)" will be constituted which will have two meetings with representatives of IAC after the 13th of May. The GOM will draft the bill accordingly after the interaction. When Anna Hazare insisted that he would not wait for so long, the PM offered to have one “symbolic” meeting after 25th March when parliament session ends.

When he was requested to set up a joint committee consisting of half members from civil society and half from the government's side to prepare the draft Lokpal Bill by the 13th May when the elections end, the govt simply refused.In the meeting, Anna Hazare pointed out that all talk about development and all expenditure thereon was meaningless and futile unless corruption was checked. People were very angry against corruption and the government better realized that. He pointed out that the whole country needs to immediately act against corruption. He said that it was unfortunate that the govt does not have time to address this burning issue. Anna Hazare has announced that the movement would continue and intensify. His decision to go on fast on the 5th April stands.

Official reports says:A group of Civil Society activists led by Shri Anna Hazare belonging to “India Against Corruption” initiative, met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday the 7th March 2011, evening. The group argued that the country expected meaningful reforms to tackle the menace of corruption in public life. The Prime Minister told the group that “I appreciate and share your concerns on corruption”.India Against Corruption representatives presented the Prime Minister a draft of their proposal on Lokpal. The group accepted the Prime Minster’s suggestion that a sub-committee of the Group of Ministers could interact and discuss the draft with the civil society activists.The Prime Minister also requested Shri Anna Hazare not to carry out his threat to go on a fast.
The “India Against Corruption” delegation consisted of:
1. Shri Anna Hazare
2. Shri Shanti Bhushan
3. Shri Prashant Bhushan
4. Ms. Kiran Bedi
5. Shri Arvind Kejriwal
6. Swami Agnivesh
7. Archbishop Vincent
8. Dr. Kuldip Chikara (Bharat Swabhimaan Nyasa)
9. Shri Darshak Hathi (Art of Living)
10. Shri P.V. Rajagopal
The Prime Minsiter was assisted by the Law Minister Shri Veerapa Moily and the MOS in PMO Shri V. Narayanasamy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Congress, DMK seat sharing Tamil Nadu assembly election

Congress President Sonia Gandhi meet with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) ministers Dayanidhi Maran and MK Alagiri unable to get seat sharing solution thus propel the hectic negotiations to stalemate between the two coalition partnership spanning seven-year alliance looks in flux.Two Political outfits may go again for hectic negotiations on Tuesday to get to results for contest the April 13 elections to the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly together

Japanese Good Design Exhibition in New Delhi

Japanese Good Design Exhibition in New Delhi
First Time in India
New Delhi, March 7, 2011- Opening ceremony of the Japanese Good Design Exhibition in India and the I Mark launch event took place at the Federation House on March 4th. 8 representatives from India and Japan participated and addressed their remarks on the opening of the exhibition and the newly created I Mark.
Deputy Director-General for Infrastructure and Advanced Systems Promotion, Creative Industries Promotion, Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Masakazu Ichikawa, addressed his excitement on the opening of the exhibition and the expectation for the future collaboration between India and Japan. Dr. Amit Mitra, Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) followed, “We at FICCI feel that design can be one of the important factors for deepening our bilateral ties. India aspires to be the manufacturing hub in the coming years and design plays an important role in this evolution”. On behalf of Shri Anand Mahindra, Chairman of IDC & Vice Chairman/Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, Roney Simon, Director of FICCI, quoted his keynote address “I am absolutely delighted at the increased and well deserved attention we are giving to design through the National Policy on Design, the Indian Design council and the launch of the I Mark. Our design thinking would have to be not just holistic but also unique to us. If we want to put India on the design map of the world, then we would have to find our own design voice- a design vocabulary that is uniquely Indian but has universal appeal”. During the launch of the I Mark, Prof. Pradyumna Vyas, Member Secretary of the India Design Council and Director of National Institute of Design said, “Design is integral to the process of creating an effective system for the development of long term advantage and we need to foster the culture of good design practice and recognition of good design in the country. In this regard, IDC is committed to encourage the development of a Design led economy that is productive both ecologically and economically. The introduction of the India Design Mark is one significant step in this direction.” For the vote of thanks, the producer of the exhibition Kazuo Tanaka, President of the GK Design Group Inc. and board member of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) ended, “What is design? It is not a job merely deciding a color or a form of an object. Design makes people's daily lives comfortable and affluent by resolving today's many kinds of problems. A beautiful and easy to use design might innovate our lives, society, and economy.”
From the 4th to the 6th of METI will hold an exhibition titled Japanese Good Design Exhibition in India. This event will be the first of its kind to be held in India. It aims to promote the idea that “Good Design is Good Business,” and will highlight 95 products from Japan including appliances, cars, motorcycles, lifestyle items and even machinery. The exhibition will be held in association with FICCI, the India Design Council and the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO) at the Federation House. Please visit the venue to see and feel what the newly created I Mark is aiming for.
In recent years industry has become increasingly aware of the importance of product design. In response to this growing awareness, India’s government announced their National Design Policy in support of fostering innovative design. Further to the announcement of the National Design Policy, India Design Council was set up and one of the key mandates of the Council was to establish a mechanism for recognizing and awarding industry achievers in creating a brand image for Indian designs through the award of an India Design Mark or I-Mark. To help establish India’s own award system, the India Design Council contacted the Japanese government to learn from their experiences in creating Japan’s Good Design Award. The Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO) and India Design Council signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2010.

Objective of the exhibition
The Good Design Award is a comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design organized by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), which was established in 1957 by the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the current METI). JIDPO receives approximately 3,000 submissions from more than 1,000 companies and designers every year. These designs are screened by about 70 design experts, who select and recommend those designs worthy of the Good Design Award. However, the Good Design Award is not a beauty contest, nor is it an award that assesses the design’s outcome in economic terms. Rather, the Good Design Award is a system that aims to channel the eminent powers of design to build prosperous lives and encourage sound industrial development. Ultimately, it is a campaign to brighten and enrich society through design.
METI, through collaborative efforts, will offer support to establish an Indian design award alongside the Indian Design Council to create a mutually beneficial relationship between Japan and India. Additionally, a key aim of the event will be to further understanding of how design in Japan has contributed to industrial, economic and social development, and apply that knowledge in India.
What is I MARK?

* I MARK is a proposed marking (symbol) that the India Design Council plans to confer on selected products, services, objects and works that conform to the processes and standards that are set by it, to help define good in the concept of good design.
* The objectives of I MARK process are to:

Raise the profile of Indian design: Increasing general awareness of design to increase interest of students to study new design programmes. This award will also make entrepreneurs aware of ways in which design is integral to business planning.

Encourage and demonstrate the use of design: I MARK will bring to fore projects of social and economic value that have benefitted from good design processes, thereby encouraging other stakeholders to emulate these successes.

Give broader recognition to the value of design: As of now the value of design is understood only in academic circles. Value of design needs to be recognized in wider circles for design to become useful to society, industry and government.

Document case studies of successful design: I MARK is a good method for the India Design Council to recognize and document case studies.

Future Developments
METI will continue to offer support leading up to the launch of the India Design Award. Additionally, the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO) and the India Design Council will continue to work together based on their cooperative agreement after the launch by holding joint discussions.

About Japanese Good Design Exhibition in India

Event name Japanese Good Design Exhibition in India

Theme Good Design is Good Business

Host Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

In Association with India Design Council

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO)

Producer Kazuo Tanaka, President of the GK Design Group Inc. and board member of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design(ICSID)

Location: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi, 110001 India

Date March 4-6, 2011

Open Hours Open to public on 5th (11:00 to 20:00) and 6th (11:00 to 16:00)

Admission Free

Exhibition Space 1090 sq meters

Items to be Exhibited 95

About the Good Design Award

Gマーク基本パターンJapan’s Good Design Award is the biggest design award in Asia and is well known and widely respected the world over. Every year more than 3,000 products from 20 different countries apply to be judged for this prestigious award. Products awarded with the Good Design Award receive the “G Mark”. This mark is a sign of reliability and represents the connection between industrial design and real life.

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland is set ...