Friday, April 14, 2017


Indian men’s hockey team will not take part in the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia for the second year in a row, citing the presence of Pakistan in the event to be held in October.
Hockey India said since Sultan of Johor Cup is an invitational tournament it would continue its stand of not taking part in any series against Pakistan until it tenders an unconditional apology for the 2014 Champions Trophy
Sultan of Johor Cup is an Under-21 tournament and India won the title in 2015. It is not a global event held under the aegis of world governing body FIH or any continental body.
In January, HI announced its decision not to play any tournament against Pakistan until they submit an unconditional written apology for lewd and unprofessional behaviour of the Pakistan team during the FIH Champions Trophy in India in 2014.
The matter did not end there. Ahead of the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow, Pakistan Hockey Federation alleged that India did not want Pakistan to take part in the tournament. India had outrightly rejected the claim.
Eventually, Pakistan did not take part in the Junior World Cup.
“Though Hockey India and its players had let go of the hurtful incident in 2014, it was the recent allegations by PHF (during the Junior World Cup) that has resulted in India pulling out of this tournament.


Dear Friends,
We are pleased to invite you to a unique textile exhibition titled “Velvet Paintings-Wall Tapestries” by Noemi Szeredi Ambrus, textile artist from Hungary. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Mr. SK Jha, Direc”Veltor, Crafts Museum, Delhi on Tuesday, 18th April 2017 at 6 pm at 1/A Janpath.
Please find under the invite for the same.
With kind regards,
—————————— —–
Senior PR & Marketing Officer


Bahujan Samaj Party Supremo Mayawati today appointed her brother Anand Kumar as the party-Vice President. The official announcement regarding this was made during a party function held on the occasion of birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar in Lucknow.
He has not even been a primary member of the BSP but has been empowered by the party chief to carry out party activities in her absence. Our correspondent reports that Sri Kumar has been facing an Income-Tax and Enforcement Directorate inquiry for his alleged links with bogus companies.
Mr Kumar has been appointed on the new post on condition that he will never become MP, MLA or CM.


Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre signed an Memorandum of Understanding for the ‘Power for All’ scheme in Lucknow today. The aim of this scheme is to provide 24-hour quality electric power supply in the state by October 2018 and electric connection to every house and agriculture field by 2019.
The agreement was inked in presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal and UP Power Minster Shrikant Sharma.
This agreement aims to ensure that consumers get quality electricity at an affordable price.
Our correspondent reports that all other States barring UP have already signed this agreement with the Centre.


The Russia-US memorandum on preventing air incidents over Syria has not been officially resumed, but an exchange of information continues, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday. “The exchange of information… continues, but officially we are not announcing that the effect of this document has been resumed,” TASS quoted him as saying. “The volume of information exchange is determined, as I understand, depending on the situation,” he added. Russia suspended the memorandum after the US delivered a missile strike on the Shayrat military airfield in Syria on April 7.
Russia, Syria and Iran have strongly warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, along with his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at a trilateral meeting in Moscow today denounced last week’s U.S. attack on Syria.
They warned that any further such action would entail grave consequences not only for regional but global security.
The Syrian Government and rebel groups have begun an operation to move people away from four besieged towns. People from the north-western towns of Foah and Kefraya are being taken to government-held areas near Aleppo. Evacuees from rebel-held Madaya, near Damascus, have been bussed to Idlib province. Syrian government and opposition forces began a coordinated population swap Friday of about 10,000 people from four towns besieged for years. About 5,000 people were evacuated on 75 buses from two pro-government towns in northern Syria to the nearby city of Aleppo, said Abdul Hakim Baghdadi, who helped negotiate the arrangement. The predominantly Shiite Foua and Kfraya have remained loyal to the Syrian government while the surrounding Idlib province has come under hard-line Sunni, rebel rule. Near the capital of Damascus, some 60 buses carrying 2,350 opposition fighters, activists and their families departed from two opposition-held towns in the direction of Idlib, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and Syrian state media
Last month, the UN described the situation in the four towns as catastrophic, with more than 64,000 civilians trapped in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation. Many people are reported to have died as a result of shortages of food or medicine.


Afghan officials today said the US military’s largest non- nuclear bomb killed at least 36 militants and destroyed deep tunnel complex of the Islamic State group. It has ruled out any civilian casualties.
The top US military commander in Afghanistan said on Friday his decision to deploy one of the largest conventional bombs used in combat was done in communication with officials in Washington and was a purely tactical decision. “This was the right weapon for the right target,” General John Nicholson told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. The 9,797-kg GBU-43 bomb was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar bordering Pakistan against a network of tunnels that Afghan and US officials said was being used by militants linked to Islamic State. Afghan officials said 36 fighters loyal to IS were killed.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the driving force behind a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, registered on Friday to run for re-election next month, state television footage showed. The politically moderate cleric faces a tougher than expected battle for a second term on May 19 as criticism mounts over the continued stagnation of the economy. Rouhani, 68, appeared in the afternoon at the Interior Ministry, where registration to stand for the election runs until Saturday. The conservative opposition remains divided, but attention has lately focused on hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, 56, who runs the powerful Imam Reza charitable foundation.


The Summer Rebellion on India Tour
14th – 21st April 2017
Delhi, Goa, Pune, Bengaluru
The French Embassy and Institut français India are supporting the pan-India tour of the Canadian-French rock band with the enigmatic name ‘The Summer Rebellion’.

This tour – co-organised in partnership with Spedidam and the Alliance Française network -introduces audiences in India combines French rock with the most unexpected instrument: an accordion. French accordionist Arthur Bacon presents this special kind of rock with Canadian singer and drummer David Koczij. Inspired by cabarets, this album mixes “Strength and Beauty”, hence, the title of their new album in a musical collaboration that is fresh and surprising.
The Summer Rebellion: 2017 India Tour
Delhi: 14th April, Piano Man Jazz Club
Goa: 16th April, The 248 collective
Pune : 19th April, Poona Music Society
Bengaluru : 21st April, AF Auditorium

Formed in Brussels, in April 2012, David Koczij (Vox, Drums) and Arthur Bacon (Accordion) became The Summer Rebellion. In their first year, they played concerts in France, Germany and Belgium. They make music that is poignant and accessible, thunderous and emotional.

Following the success of their first music video, “From a Great Height”, and the recent filming of their second “One Sextillionth of a Second Thought”, they have been working hard, planning the next one.
Institut français India (IFI) organises events that highlight French cultural partnerships in India and fosters cultural exchange between France and India. From training needs to promotion, IFI supports cooperation in domains of visual arts, performing arts, design and architecture to establish durable connections in these high growth sectors in the country.


India’s Most Popular MTB Race is Back

6th Edition of Hero MTB Shimla to flag off on April 15, giving an adrenaline-rush to mountain biking community in India

Top names in mountain biking descend on Shimla to pedal the race this year

Talented Indian rides to rub shoulders with the best in the world

Shimla, April 2017: Top-notch bikers from across India and the globe are coming together yet again for the 6th edition of the Hero MTB Shimla, one of India’s most prestigious and highly anticipated mountain biking races that kicks off on April 15th.
This year, for the first time in the history of Hero MTB Shimla, riders will be able to contend in a team of two category; besides previously existing categories which included open men solo, open women solo, student category, and masters solo. With the introduction of new category, Indian riders will get an exposure to riding in race formats followed by international races like BikeTransalp, demonstrating teamwork and other skills.
Set in a background that calls out to adventure lovers, mountain bikers, as well as nature lovers, this race will take the riders through some of the most pristine parts of the Shivalik Mountains, also known as the lesser Himalayas. What sets this year’s Hero MTB apart is not just the new hilly and adventurous track, but also participation of myriad of enthusiastic riders who are the role models for the sports-loving community audience, taking the most-anticipated mountain bike race of the year to new heights of glory altogether!
Hero Cycles and Himalayan Adventure Sports & Tourism Promotion (HASTPA) today unveiled the roadmap of the 2-day marathon type MTB race covering a whopping 120 km and a total elevation gain of 2500-3500 m.  The cross-country adventure race will take place along different types of tracks including off-road, broken tarmac, rocks, sands, mud, streams, tarmac, and moving along wildlife sanctuaries, Himalayan countryside, streams, rivulets, village backroads, beautiful meadows, and so on.
At the opening ceremony of the 2-day adventure-packed extravaganza aimed to promote holistic adventure tourism in Himachal Pradesh, visible excitement was seen among the participants who pledged to take the love of mountain biking to the next level.
“Mountain biking as a sport is gaining rapid popularity in India, and events like Hero MTB Shimla have played a vital role in popularizing this sport. It is one of the toughest sports in terms of the need for endurance and skill, and requires a lot of mental and physical strength as well as training. Hero Cycles’ association with mountain biking sport is not limited only to events such as MTB Shimla or MTB Himalayas; our association is more deep rooted in the fact that we are working at encouraging youngsters to take up the sports professionally by nurturing young talent, training and grooming them to participate in national and international cycling events. This reflects our commitment to contribute to the growth of this sport in India,” said Mr. Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director, Hero Cycles Pvt. Ltd.
“It is a proud moment for us to witness Mountain Biking and Hero MTB Shimla growing so much. This time we have introduced the City Championship to further foster the MTB culture in India. It gives riders an additional impetus to achieve more,” said Mohit Sood, President, HASTPA.
The City Championship continues to be a much anticipated part of the event. Notably, the 6thedition of the race will offer more challenges and competition in various categories with professional bikers from cities like Gurgaon, Manali, Jaipur, Bangalore, and Chandigarh taking part. Last year Shimla was crowned at the champion city, and out of the 9 contenders, boys from Shimla claimed the trophy with Devender winning the open men solo and Akshit winning the student category.
Hero MTB Shimla 2016 had established itself to become a hunt to handpick the best MTB city of India.
The Hero-HASTPA Collaboration & the Hero Action Team
Hero Cycles, the world’s largest integrated cycle manufacturer, partnered with HASTPA in 2014 to bring about a change in the mountain biking scenario in India.  Hero MTB Himalaya and Hero MTB Shimla are the result of this collaboration.
The Hero and HASTPA association has provided a platform for promoting and nurturing young talent in mountain biking with the establishment of school level programmes and mountain biking training academies. This partnership has also seen the rise of the Hero Action Team, India’s first professionally managed mountain biking team. The team has 8 riders – Ankush Arya (Captain), Gurman Reen, Sanchit Sood, Devendar Thakur, Sarah Appelt, Akshit Gaur, Akash Sherpa and Shiven Sharma. These young turks have been earning a reputation for themselves as the rising stars of India in the mountain biking world.
Route details for 6th Hero MTB Shimla 2017
Day-1 Route
Shimla – Sadhupul – Chail – Sadhupul
Day-2 Route
Sadhupul – Junaidghat – Koti – Chini Bungalow – Kufri – Shimla

Highest Point:
2650m at Chini Bungalow
About Hero cycles:
Incorporated in 1956, Hero Cycles Limited is the largest bicycle manufacturer by volume in the world. The company has a manufacturing capacity of 7.5 million bicycles per year, with its units in Ludhiana (Punjab), Bihta (Bihar) & Ghaziabad (UP). It has a highly integrated plant in Ludhiana which produces 19,000 bicycles every day. It also manufactures automotive rims and various other precision-engineered auto components.

Hero Cycles posted a turnover of around Rs 3000 crores during the financial year 2014-15 with a production of around 5.5 million cycles. It is the leader in both the standard and specialist bicycle segments in India, with an overall market share of about 41 per cent. Hero Cycles has been aggressively driving growth by clocking a robust 11% growth in the Indian market.

With its recent announcement of entry in the European market and acquisition of Firefox in India and Avocet Sports in UK, Hero Cycles aims to grow by Rs 8000 crore by 2018. The company has also recently acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka’s leading bicycle manufacturer BSH Ventures, further boosting its manufacturing capacity

In December 2015, Hero Cycles registered a phenomenal sale of over 6 lakh units, making it the highest one month sale in the history of the bicycle industry by any cycle company in India. Riding on strong sales in rural and semi urban areas, and strong growth in the premium cycles segment, the company witnessed 20% growth in month on month sales in December 2015.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure and the most modern machinery, the company entered the premium bicycle segment with the launch of its new brand, UT Edge, in February 2012. A wide distribution network with over 3000 dealers and the favourable location of its plants near its vendors, supports its operations, and facilitates the competitive pricing of its bicycles. Hero Cycles also exports to various countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Thanks & Regards
Kumar Sunny
Account Executive  | M +91 9990653415  | Ph +91 11 49353001


Sachin_Tendulkar_with_Producer_Ravi_Bhagchandka_and_Director_James_Erskine__Shrikan_Bhasi_-_Carnival_373036National: April 13, 2017: It was an occasion to revisit memories as cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar launched the trailer of ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’ in Mumbai today. The crowded auditorium in Juhu, Mumbai was witness to the love that the master blaster commands as the audience cheered and applauded after the first screening of the trailer. Also present at the launch were the director, James Erskine who had flown down from the UK specially to attend the trailer launch. The producer Ravi Bhagchandka of 200NotOut, and Shrikant Bhasi, Founder and Chairman of Carnival Group also shared the dias with Sachin Tendulkar and James Erskine after the screening of the trailer.

The chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin… Sachin, Sachin!’ from the trailer were still echoing in their ears as the MC Vikram Sathaye called the cricket legend to the dias to speak about the trailer and the upcoming film. As Sachin settled down to answer questions, he was joined by the director James Erskine, and producers, Ravi Bhagchandka, Shrikant Bhasi and Anil Thadani.

Answering the questions from the media, Sachin Tendulkar said, “This film has helped me relive the important moments of my life through its making! I remain a private person but realised that there is much I have not revealed or spoken about, to those who have been instrumental to my life and career, especially my fans. I hope the film will be yet another avenue for fans who have showered their love and blessings on me, to cherish the journey that we undertook together for over 24 years.”

Ravi Bhagchandka, the producer said, “Making this movie has been my pilgrimage! I personally am a huge fan of Sachin and it was Sachin who was my inspiration when I used to play cricket. My company’s name, 200NOTOUT is also dedicated to his highest score in ODIs. Sachin is dearly loved by all Indians as well by cricket fans all around the world. He has been an idol for three generations of cricket fans and continues to inspire! This film will give his fans who have watched his cricketing feats on the television screen, the opportunity to see Sachin on the big movie screen!”

The trailer gave the eager audience a hint of what the film has in store for Sachin’s fans. With glimpses of key scenes from the film showing moments of cricketing glory, personal moments, unseen footage from the dressing room and much more, the film promises to be every Sachin fan’s dream come true.

James Erskine, award-winning director of a number of international films on sports, took the audience through the making of the film. He said, “Directing the film was a wonderful experience! Coming from the UK, I knew that Sachin was a cricketing legend but even then, it was an eye-opener to see the adoration and respect that Sachin commands across the globe. Scripting his journey for the big screen involved interacting with Sachin, his family, his teammates as well as players from rival teams and others. Sachin is both gracious, and a perfectionist, and being able to make this film for the Indian people and many more across the globe was a true honour.”

Dr Shrikant Bhasi, Founder and Chairman, Carnival Group and co-producer of the film said, “We are glad and extremely proud to be a part of India’s first sports flim, and we are confident on the success of project Sachin: A Billion Dream. I’ve always been keen to the idea of bringing the marvel of Sachin on the silver screen with the legend itself making his big debut. Carnival Cinemas will make sure that the movie reaches audience all across the country across all strata, as Sachin is a phenomenon everywhere.” He further adds, “Carnival Motion Pictures intends to begin its innings in mainline content generation and distribution, with this being an amazing start. There are many more interesting projects in pipeline that we will announce soon in the next few weeks.”

Following the launch, Sachin Tendulkar also had an exclusive screening of the trailer on Extraaa Innings T20 on Sony Max.


Chechnya is rounding up gay people and taking them to torture camps, and it’s as horrific as it sounds. Men are being electrocuted, tortured until they reveal names of other gay people, and beaten so badly that some have died.
Targeting gay people and dragging them into camps is like something the Nazis would do. It’s both terribly upsetting and infuriating, but there’s a plan to stop it.
Avaaz will amplify the call of brave local activists in the media and use our massive global outcry to force an end to the crackdown. Sign the petition below with one click and tell everyone – let’s get to one million:
To President Putin and all Russian authorities:
As concerned citizens from around the world, we strongly urge you to stop the crackdown on gay people in Chechnya, and to uphold the values of justice and tolerance.
It’s almost too horrific to believe, but Chechnya has long been controlled by a brutal human rights abuser, backed by Russia. When asked about the torture camps, his officials denied the existence of gay people at all. Saying: “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”
And now the well respected International Crisis Group has confirmed reports from people who’ve escaped from the camps, and they’re releasing the information to get global attention.
So let’s use this moment and build a massive outcry that puts Russia, Chechnya and their barbaric practices to shame. Join the call by clicking below, then forward this widely:
So much of what’s happening in the world right now feels out of our control. But each day we have a choice — either sit back and watch the horror unfold, or do something about it. Together, let’s choose action, love and unity, and let’s channel it towards the terrified families in Chechnya who risk losing a loved one.
With hope and determination,
Rewan, Emma, Fatima, Sarah and the entire Avaaz team
More information:
Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And Killed In Chechnya: Report (Huffington Post)
Gay men go missing in Chechnya, reports say (CNN)
Chechnya opens world’s first concentration camp for homosexuals (Daily Mail)


CPR Land Rights Initiative is pleased to invite you to a talk on
Development Conflicts We Know Nothing of
Thursday, 20 April 2017, 3:00 p.m.
Rohit Prasad
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image: Book Cover
This talk is based on the book Blood Red River published in June 2016 by Hachette. It interrogates the typical narrative of development conflict, that of a rapacious industry that is unwilling to share the gains of development with people affected by projects and, instead, prone to paying off politicians, bureaucrats and police officers to achieve ‘compliance’ with the law of the land on land acquisition and environment. While many conflicts observed by the speaker fit the narrative, he argues that there are two important relationships that run contrary to this narrative of development conflict. One is the nature of the conflict between members of the development elite – industrialists who stand to gain from industrialization. These industrialists, driven by their egos, business imperatives, and even family feuds, target their fellow industrialists with methods foul and fair. They often adopt the violent methods of insurgents while at the same time laying the blame on them. Such operations are usually outsourced to contractors who are also backed by pliant politicians, bureaucrats and members of the police force.
The second conflict is between global and national elites. This is a more subtle conflict that is carried out through a series of actions of bodies like the Federal Reserve of the USA, the IMF, and the World Bank, that protect the recession prone economies of the advanced economies through activities like monetary expansion, without considering the possible consequences on the emerging economies. This leads to the national elite getting tethered to the rise and ebb of the global commodities cycle, making them appear visionary and blundering in turn, without any real cause for either opinion. 
Further, many dichotomies of development are in fact, spurious. One of these dichotomies relates to the conflict between the welfare of the poor and the protection of the environment – forests, rivers, and wildlife. Many people feel outraged that environmentalists want to protect the environment against industrialization. ‘Think of the many poor people who could benefit,’ they argue. However, the day to day life of  adivasis (dalits and other lower castes) described in the book shows that the adivasi spends half their working day on the field and half in the forest foraging for fruits, fodder and wood. Therefore, the depletion of the environment directly takes away half their livelihoods. The acquisition of agricultural land takes away the other half. Moreover, the increasing capital intensity of mining and industrial production, overall, results in there being nothing to substitute the loss of livelihood. The speaker will posit potential solutions to these problems both at the level of national and international policy making. These solutions will highlight structural aspects of the world economy that offer hope for inclusive development. 
Rohit Prasad is Professor of Economics at MDI Gurgaon. He has a Ph.D. in Economic Theory from SUNY Stony Brook, USA where he was taught Game Theory by the Nobel Laureate Professor Robert Aumann. His thesis written under the supervision of Pradeep Dubey, leading professor at SUNY-Stony Brook, provides a framework to address questions related to the optimal fiscal and monetary policy choices of a government in a free market. After his Ph.D. he worked in the software industry in USA and India in senior management positions before joining MDI Gurgaon. His last position was Vice President at Xansa, then a USD 700 million firm. His research interests include the economics of ICT¸ and sustainable development. His papers have been published at leading international journals including Telecommunications Policy and Netnomics. He writes a fortnightly column based on game theory called ‘Game Sutra’ in the Mint.  His book, The Dynamics of Spectrum Management co-authored with Dr. V. Sridhar was published by the Oxford University Press in 2014. He is the author of a popular book on entrepreneurship, Startup Sutra and a travelogue that explores development conflict in India, Blood Red River, both published by Hachette. He recently served on a high powered committee of the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India to make recommendations on spectrum allocation and pricing in India, and on two Expert Panels for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, to study the value of 2G spectrum. He has provided expert testimony for a major telecom operator on spectrum related judicial proceedings.


Will you wear a blue shirt for Burma’s political prisoners?
Dear friend
Around 178 people in Burma are in jail for political reasons.
Some are in jail for protesting for their rights, some for criticising the government or the military, and some just because of their ethnicity or religion.
Yet, most people think all political prisoners have been released. There is very little pressure on the NLD-led government in Burma to free remaining political prisoners.
We need your help to change that.
U Win Tin was one of Burma’s most well-known political prisoners. He served nearly 20 years in jail and after his release famously pledged to keep wearing his blue prison shirt until all political prisoners were released.
21st April is the third anniversary of his death, and on this day people around the world are joining forces, pledging to wear a blue shirt and join the call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
Please join us.
Wear a Blue Shirt for Burma’s Political Prisoners on 21st April
On 21st April, we call on people to honour the memory of U Win Tin by raising awareness and taking action for the release of political prisoners still in jail.
Please wear a blue shirt or blue clothing and post pictures of yourself wearing blue on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Let people know that there are still political prisoners in jail in Burma, and that they need our support.
Please use the hashtag: #blueshirt4burma
Share on Instagram using:
U Win Tin
“If there are no political prisoners …
I will take off my shirt but up until now I haven’t seen good indications.” 
U Win Tin
Put the date in your diary now. Wear blue. Tell people why. Share a picture on social media. Use the hashtag: #blueshirt4burma
We can’t let political prisoners be left behind, forgotten in jail.
Thank you for your support.
Anna Roberts
Burma Campaign UK


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