Friday, December 31, 2010

Church bombing in Egypt claims seven lives

Alexandria (Egypt): The number of dead in a bombing outside a church in the northern city of Alexandria ranged up to seven, according to official estimates.

The attack Friday evening targeted Coptic Christians who were attending the New Year\'s Eve mass at the church.

While security sources earlier said that 10 people had been killed, officials later lowered the number to at least seven.

Twenty-four people were injured, including eight Muslims who were bystanders in the street, officials said.

Security forces cordoned off the area and were searching for those behind the attack, the governor of Alexandria Adel Labib told state TV.

Witnesses said that a car that was parked outside the church exploded shortly after midnight and that ambulances were moving the victims to nearby hospitals.

A group of angry Christians threw stones at a close-by mosque in Alexandria before police dispersed them, witnesses said.

The attack was one of several attacks on Christians around the world as the year came to an end. Attacks on Christian homes in Iraq overnight to Friday claimed two lives. In Nigeria, a bomb blast at a church as well as at a market place killed more than 10 people.

The Islamic State of Iraq, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda, has recently threatened Christians throughout the Middle East, saying that they are legitimate targets.

The militant group called for the \'release\' of two Egyptian women, which they said had converted to Islam and were now being forcibly held by the Coptic church in Egypt.

The militant group had first issued their warning to Christians worldwide when they claimed responsibility for a bloody hostage-taking in October at a Baghdad church which left at least 60 people dead.

The group said it would attack Christians and demanded that pressure be put on the Egyptian Coptic Church to \'release\' the women.

Egypt intensified security around churches across the country after the Iraq attack in October.

Christians account for roughly 10 percent of Egypt\'s population, according to official figures.

While violence between the country\'s Christian and Muslim

populations is rare, tensions have been high since last January\'s shooting when gunmen opened fire on parishioners leaving a church in the south of the country.

The attack left eight Christians and one Muslim policeman guarding the church dead.

In November, clashes took place when Christians protested against a decision by the authorities to halt construction of a church in a Cairo suburb. Violence left one Christian dead and several injured, while dozens were arrested.

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Dabangg rated no 1 film of 2010

The year has come to a close and it's time to salute the winners of the box-office battle. But instead of crowning the highest grosser, we've selected movies that earned well in multiples of the money invested in them. In the trade world, everyone from analysts and theatre owners to head honchos of multiplexes and distributors had a unanimous answer — in terms of return on investment, the number one film of 2010 is Dabangg, which made `140 crore.

Komal Nahta, editor of Film Information, asserts, "Dabangg is the highest earner of the year. Not only did it do phenomenally at the box-office, it also fetched a great price for the satellite rights. The music too continued to do well long after the film's release."

One reason why Dabangg was made at a reasonable cost is that there's nothing big in the movie except for Salman Khan. According to Sanjay Ghai of Mukta Films Ltd, "The director and heroine were both new. The film didn't boast of extravagant sets or exclusive outdoors, so the production cost was automatically in control, at ` 32 crore minus Salman's fee. In terms of volume, it returned about 300 per cent."

Question them about Ekta Kapoor's relatively economical Love Sex Aur Dhoka directed by Dibakar Bannerjee, which cost about ` 4 crore and grossed over ` 10 crore, and Mumbai distributor Ramesh Sippy says, "Although LSD had a turnover much in excess of its cost, it's not an all-India hit nor will it go down memory lane. It is a commendable effort that paid off very well, but the fact remains that Dabangg worked all across."

In the same vein, Suneil Wadhwa, a major distributor from CP (north India) territory, adds that universal appeal makes Dabangg the numero uno movie of 2010. "It worked equally well in single screens and multiplexes, in all centres from big metros to small towns, and struck a chord with the audience. Every distributor and exhibitor made money," he explains.

The trade market shares a similar stance on Golmaal 3 being the second biggest hit of the year. "Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor were the biggest actors and it maintained a good risk-reward ratio. Being a Diwali release, it not only opened very well, but also went on to do good business in the third and fourth weeks, crossing over `100 crore," says Delhi-based distributor Sanjay Mehta. Interestingly, Golmaal 3 scored over Dabangg in the Mumbai territory.

While a section of the trade put Prakash Jha's political drama Raajneeti at number three, trade analyst Amod Mehra feels I Hate Love Storys, too, makes the grade. "Costing about `25 crore, it returned about `45 crore, which is very good," he says, adding that Sajid Khan's Housefull comes next, making the top five.

Apart from these, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and Peepli Live too make it to the hit category while Ishqiya and Tere Bin Laden are said to have done average business. Sanjay Ghai says Shankar's Robot (Hindi) too did well earning `30 crore, while the figures of the Tamil original aren't being disclosed by Sun, which produced and distributed the Rajnikanth-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan sci-fi extravaganza. Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol did very well internationally, but according to Ashish Saxena, CEO, Big Cinemas, "It didn't make money for Fox Star, which distributed the film worldwide
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Licensing body files complaints against 3 city pubs

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), a licensing body representing several music companies in the country, filed police complaints against three city nightclubs on Friday night claiming that they had failed to pay the requisite licence fee to play music at their year-end events. The PPL filed a complaint in Santacruz police station against Vie Lounge and Deck at Juhu, for not paying the fee of Rs1.14 lakh before the 5pm deadline on Friday. "Hard Rock Café and Shiro in Lower Parel have also not paid their dues," said Sowmya Chowdhury, country head for events at PPL.

On Wednesday, PPL had issued legal notices to more than 125 city hotels and pubs for not paying music licence fees, and had also threatened to take "strict steps to stop the year-end parties" if they failed to do so by the deadline.

The three pubs in question denied that they had not paid the licence fee to PPL. "We had already paid the annual fee of Rs29,000 that we have been paying for the past five years as a standalone restaurant," said Basab Paul, owner of Vie. "This year, they have held us to ransom by demanding Rs1.14 lakh, the charge levied on five-star hotels."

Paul said Vie has appealed in court and had deposited Rs1.14 lakh to PPL in protest by 4.30pm on Friday. "This sum can be refunded to us if the court hearing in January is in our favour," said Paul.

Amit Keswani, vice-president of JSM Corporation that owns Hard Rock Café and Shiro, said, "The case is already settled, we have paid our annual fee."

The police had not raided any of these spots until the time of going to press.

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Tees Maar Khan is in profit zone, confirms UTV

UTV Motion Pictures has confirmed that they are in the profit making zone for their recent release Tees Maar Khan. Though certain sections of industry as well as trade didn\'t quite acknowledge the terrific start of the film and were only way too pleased to label the film as a \'barely coverage\' affair or even a \'flop\' as weekdays progressed, an official confirmation from UTV with facts and figures intact pretty much tell a different tale.

Buzz up!Though the film didn\'t quite turn out to be the festive extravaganza that it was touted to be, it is way beyond the claims of being a loosing preposition and has actually turned out to be a profitable venture for its investors.

\"Well, all I can say is that only those with some vested interests could be challenging the success of Tees Maar Khan\", says Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO UTV Motion Pictures, \"The film has been a profitable venture for us.\"

There are different stories floating around in the trade though with murmurs of the production house actually loosing money here.

\"Okay, let\'s do the maths here\", Siddharth explains the equation, \"The entire cost of acquisition for Tees Maar Khan was 50 crores. We further spent 10 crores the print and publicity worldwide. This makes the total cost as 60 crores. Now we have already recovered 30 crores from satellite and music rights. Balance 30 crores has to be recovered from India box office collections, overseas collections, home video and other rights.\"

The way film is progressing, Siddharth is confident about the film raking in 40 crores share from India alone.

\"That\'s right; the theatrical share should be in range of 40 crores. Deviation, if any, could be 5-6 crores here or there but not more than that. Overseas share should be 8-10 crores while other rights would fetch us 2 crores. This makes it around 50 crores. Add to this 30 crores from satellite and music rights and we are sitting pretty on 80 crores\", details Siddharth.

Quashing the entire theory of a 5 crores loss (as hinted by a segment of trade), Siddharth says, \"On an investment of 60 crores, if someone believes that 80 crores return is a failure then well, he or she is definitely living in a dream world. Come on, in today\'s times, a ROI like this is pretty much unheard of as well. Also, don\'t forget that other than the box office returns; there are also MGs (Minimum Guarantee) that we have received from theatres.\"

Settling down, Siddharth admits that he is disappointed with the way that not many souls, especially within trade and industry, were willing to give Tees Maar Khan its due when it opened in theatres. \"Despite all the negativity and the fact that trade didn\'t want to talk about it as a profitable venture, Tees Maar Khan has done well for us. One can\'t help if someone still thinks on the contrary, right?\"

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\'I\'m not as big a star as Aamir or Salman\'

King Khan says in Karan Johar\'s show that he would like to grow up to be like Salman and Aamir

AFTER fighting it out for years for the B-Town crown, Shah Rukh Khan has passed it on to two of his biggest rivals Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.

On the couch of Koffee With Karan (KWK), SRK, in one of his most mellow moods, has spoken candidly about friends, co-stars, films and much more.

SRK put to rest the Aamir-SRK war at KWK show saying that he can never be as big a star as the two other Khans.

But one striking note in this chat appears to be when Shah Rukh reveals that he needs to grow up as Salman and Aamir have.

A source present on KWK, which airs today on Star World, said, \"For years Shah Rukh and Aamir have been passing snide remarks about each being King and Ace of the box office and masses.

Shah Rukh and Aamir are two of the most popular Khans and adored by thousands of fans, so the fight for the

ultimate title has always been quite an issue with these two stars, as they have always managed to topple each other at some point of time or the other. They have even sarcastically claimed their number one spot at media events.\"

While both have had equally big hits with 3 Idiots and My Name Is Khan, in recent times their rivalry hit an all-time high when both the stars were reported to sign on projects with international directors with the basic storyline of the city of Mumbai.

Shah Rukh is to do a project with Danny Boyle, who is scheduled to adapt Suketu Mehta\'s Maximum City. Aamir Khan with director Paul Schrader, is to adapt Extreme City for producer Anubhav Sinha, which will be based in Dharavi, a slum in the city.

However Shah Rukh in KWK has put to rest the Aamir-SRK war when he tells show host Karan Johar, \"I am not and can never be as big a star and actor like Salman or Aamir. I would like to grow up to be like them one day.\"

This was quite a revelation considering SRK is known to be an actor who considers himself the superstar of B-Town and has never made any bones about being the No 1.

Apart from humbly giving up his throne, there\'s another reason for SRK\'s statement, the source said. \"The fact is Aamir and Salman are senior to SRK in terms of having entered the industry before him.

So, that\'s also SRK\'s tongue-in-cheek way of saying he is younger to them in experience and still has a lot to learn.\"

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South Africa & India set for series decider

With signs of bad blood between them, test cricket\'s leading teams head for a series-deciding third test in Cape Town, starting Sunday.

India powered back into contention in the three-match contest against South Africa _ and revived hopes of an historic first-ever series win in the country _ with an 87-run victory in the second test in Durban this week. It lost the first match by an innings.

India\'s win at Kingsmead was inspired by good, aggressive fast bowling from Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, but Sreesanth\'s sledging of South Africa captain Graeme Smith has now ensured that an already-dramatic decider will be even more fiercely contested.

Smith refused to say after the match what Sreesanth\'s comments were, but they have been criticized as personal insults by the South Africans and have added some spite to the rivalry between the teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the test standings.

And, for the second time in successive series, the teams now face a crunch New Year game at Newlands _ Smith\'s home ground.

When India last toured the country, in 2006-07, the countries played out a New Year decider in Cape Town, which the Proteas took to clinch a fourth successive home series triumph over India.

Then, South Africa rebounded from a first test defeat to win the next two games in Durban and Cape Town for a come-from-behind 2-1 series win over an Indian team containing Sreesanth.

This time, the momentum is swinging the other way.

The top-ranked India fought back after its heavy loss in Centurion in the opener and the home team is now under fire after it was outplayed in the Indians\' series-leveling triumph _ and its much-praised batting lineup failed.

No South African batsman made a half-century in the match, with Ashwell Prince\'s second-innings 39 not out the best performance. Smith conceded it was South Africa\'s batsmen _ who racked up 620-4 declared in the first match _ who were at fault for the defeat.

\"It\'s the first time in a long time that our batters have let us down,\" Smith said. \"I thought India created a lot of pressure on us. Credit to India for bouncing back after the first test. That\'s why they are the No. 1 team in the world and it bodes well for the third match.

\"The Newlands test match is always an incredible test match to play ... and now that the series is set up at one-all its going to be even bigger.\"

India has its sights set on its first series success in five attempts in the country after the Durban win _ just its second in 14 tests in South Africa _ rejuvenated the tourists and confirmed their No. 1 test ranking. South Africa could have overtaken India if it won the series 3-0.

After an innings and 25-run loss at the hands of a rampant South Africa in the first game, India found its way back with aggressive bowling, which is normally South Africa\'s strength.

Quicks Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth and offspinner Harbhajan Singh led India\'s charge to victory inside four days in the second test as India rebounded from being bowled out for 136 in the first innings of the series to skittle South Africa for 131 and 215 and send it to its third consecutive loss in Durban.

However, in a seesaw series, the home team will be boosted by its strong record at Newlands where Australia is the only team to win a test since South Africa was readmitted to international cricket, post-apartheid.

South Africa last lost a test at Newlands in 2006 and has won 14 of 21 matches, with just three defeats to Australia, since 1993.

\"Our bowling, our batting and our fielding have to be at their best if we want to win the next test,\" India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. \"It\'s a big challenge for us ... everyone wants to perform really well.\"

India is likely to retain its lineup for the final test having brought in the fit-again Khan and middle order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for the second match. Despite being ruled out of the upcoming one-day series with a shoulder problem, opener Virender Sehwag will be available for the final test, the team said.

South African batsman Jacques Kallis is also fit to play after x-rays on his left hand _ after he was hit on the glove and dismissed by a brilliant Sreesanth bouncer in Durban _ only revealed bruising.

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Arushi murder: Pointing finger at her father, CBI says its hands are tied

New Delhi:

\'Irresponsible\' Rakta charitraLearning Point Illumina at MDIDesi Food Galaxy

In the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, Rajesh Talwar, father of the 14-year-old victim, Arushi Talwar, is repeatedly described as the "accused" in her murder case — the only one to be so called — along with a string of reasons why. These range from the careful manner in which the girl's body was "cleaned" and the scene "dressed up" after the murder — the toys and pillows put in their original places — to the parents' attempt to allegedly influence Arushi's post mortem.

However, the agency admits, as first reported in The Indian Express on Thursday, that the father's role may be under doubt but he was not being chargesheeted due to insufficient evidence.

The 30-page closure report states: "Sufficient evidence is not available to prove offence under Section 302 of the IPC against the accused Dr Rajesh Talwar beyond reasonable doubt."

The closure report — the designated court in Ghaziabad is still to take cognisance of it — has been divided into several sections by the CBI.

The first is an analysis of why the agency is certain that the three domestic helps, Krishna, Vijay Mandal and Raj Kumar, could not be behind the twin murders of Arushi and the family help Hemraj.

The final is a lengthy section listing the reasons that led the CBI to conclude there was a clear "involvement" of Arushi's parents in the June 2008 murders and what the agency described as the ensuing "cover-up."

Important among these is the CBI's conclusion that the Talwars tried to "influence" the contents of Arushi's post mortem.

The following is the CBI's list of reasons why the father is named as the only accused in the case:

Talwar's brother, Dinesh Talwar, made Dr Sunil Dore (the Noida doctor who conducted the post mortem) speak on the phone to a caller he said was Dr T D Dogra, head of forensics at AIIMS. Actually, Dr Dogra, one of the country's most respected forensic experts, was never even contacted

The CBI says the Talwars tried to influence the contents of Arushi's post mortem report and were very particular that the possibility of sexual assault is not mentioned in it.

Pointing finger at Arushi's father, CBI says its hands are tied

The distance between Arushi's bed and her parents' in the next room was barely 8 feet and separated by a plywood partition. The lock on Arushi's door could be opened with a key both from inside and outside. A duplicate key to her bedroom was always kept by mother Nupur Talwar

The CBI claims the scene of the crime was "dressed up" after the murder in a manner that was indicated an "insider" role. For, after the murder, her pillows and stuffed toys were placed in their original positions and the body was covered with a sheet. As reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, the CBI has ruled out an outside entry or forced entry into the 1,300 sq ft Noida apartment

Arushi's body showed signs of a "clean-up," and this included her genitals.

The body of Hemraj — his body was discovered a day after Arushi's — was not found at the precise place where he was killed. The body had been shifted around in the terrace and attempts were made to remove the bloodstains from the staircase.

When Bharti, the part-time help employed by the family, showed up, Nupur Talwar told her that Hemraj was responsible for the murder. When the UP Police arrived, the parents asked them to look for Hemraj, who they said was missing. They made no move to unlock the door to the terrace that day.

After questioning Talwar's help, the CBI concluded that the family never kept the terrace locked as was done on the night of the murders. The CBI, has, in fact, claimed that the parents "diverted" the police out of the house and unlocked the door to the terrace only the next day when the police asked them to.

When Hemraj's body was eventually located, Rajesh Talwar's first reaction was that they did not know whose body it was.

While the first expert view received by the CBI — when the helps were being booked — was that a "kukri" could have been used for the murder, a later opinion said the wound could have been caused by a golf club. The expert opinion also said the girl's throat was slit with professional precision and the CBI went to the extent of confirming that a professional dentist — as Talwar — did indeed receive basic surgical training

All data from Arushi's mobile phone had been erased when it was located 16 months after her murder. This was done by a professional, the agency says.

The golf club and golf set owned by Rajesh Talwar were not handed over to the CBI until a few months ago and the couple said they kept it in a loft in their new house and forgot about it.

A top CBI official pointed out: "What is clear is that everything was normal in the Talwar household till 12 pm, till when Dr Talwar was on his computer. What happened thereafter is known only to the Talwars. What is clear is that it was not a pre-meditated murder but without a clear motive, without eyewitnesses, a confession, recovery of the weapon and a single conclusive piece of forensic evidence, it was difficult for us to chargesheet the accused."

CBI officials said that leaving the case open would serve no purpose and that's why the closure report. As far as the touch DNA tests were concerned, the CBI said they had obtained a list of specialists who could conduct the tests in the UK but forensic experts at the Government's lab in Hyderabad said that since the samples (clothes, golf, club etc) were so badly contaminated, it would serve no purpose

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\'This is CBI\'s bid to force chargesheet\'

NEW DELHI: The CBI\'s allegations against the parents of Aarushi Talwar have been strongly refuted by their lawyer, Rebecca John, who said that the closure report was \'\'actually designed to cover up its inadequacies and force the court to order a chargesheet against them.\'\'

On the allegation that somebody had called the postmortem doctor to avoid reporting evidence of sexual activity:

\"If a public spirited doctor were to make such a disclosure, the most logical time for him to do so would have been during the 55-day detention of Rajesh Talwar in 2008. Had such a statement been recorded then, the CBI would not have released Talwar prematurely, stating in the court in writing that there was no evidence against him.\'\'

\"The CBI\'s focus shifted back to the parents after its investigating team had been changed. If the doctor\'s statement has been recorded by the new team, which has been hell-bent on proving the Noida police\'s honour-killing theory, there is every reason to suspect that it is a tutored one. What is the credibility of a statement made in such circumstances?\'\'

\"In any event, the CBI will be hard pressed to explain why it did not charge the postmortem doctor under sections relating to destruction of evidence and a public servant interfering with justice. It cannot selectively use his self-incriminating statement to damn the father.\'\'

On the CBI\'s finding that there was no sign of any forced entry into the flat and that the scene of crime had been rearranged before the arrival of the police:

\"On the basis of narcoanalysis done on servants, the head of the CBI\'s first team, Arun Kumar, had himself declared that they appeared to have gained entry into the flat at that late hour because they were friends with the live-in servant of the Talwars, Hemraj.\'\'

\"The only investigators who ever saw the crime scene were from the Noida police. They never made this allegation that Aarushi\'s room had been rearranged before their arrival. So, on what basis can the new team of CBI now claim that the crime scene had been rearranged?\'\'

\"Had the CBI filed a chargesheet against the parents on such specious evidence, it would have been rapped by the court. It seems to have therefore tailored the closure

report to make allegations through the back door. The idea is to

make the court itself ask: why no chargesheet when the agency is anyway making such allegations against the parents?\'\'

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The members of PAU Kisan Club in its executive committee meeting, congratulated PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Manjit Singh Kang for the significant achievements that PAU has made during the year 2010 . The Club President Mr. PPS Pangli said that fetching of two major USDA projects worth 1,50,000 USD, meeting with US President Barrack Obama in Mumbai, adoption of PAU model by South African University, including PAU Kisan Club members in the team visiting South Africa, are some landmark achievements of Dr. Kang. Mr. Pangli also appreciated Dr. Kang's efforts for setting up Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush foundation with donation of Rs.3 crores with the objective to promote agricultural research through competitive grants to the PAU research teams, besides scholarships to the needy students from rural areas. He said there is great need to establish farming scholarships on the pattern of Nuffield Austrialian scholars funded by Agri-Constoriums, with PAU Kisan Club innovative members as role models. Mr. Pangli said that the Punjab farmers a great deal to PAU that has developed programmes to better the conditions of farmers and farming of the state. He wished great success to Dr. Kang and his team for the ensuing global Climate Change conference that PAU is organizing in February, 2011.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Olive To Join The Android Phone Bandwagon

Although Olive was the first Indian company to make a tablet, they did not manage to get a lot of fan-following. They might be looking to have another go at the market by coming out with Android handsets next year.

Catch my little brother in March

The news doing the rounds tells us that Olive will be launching smartphones based on Android 2.2 Froyo in the first week of March 2011. According to their chairman Arun Khanna, there will be a whole range of smartphones that will hit the market. One interesting point we saw was that one of these phones will be a challenger to the Galaxy S, possibly a large touchscreen device. Of course, it shouldn\'t be any bigger than 5 inches as that wouldn\'t make it a phone anyway.

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Israeli ex-President Katsav convicted of rape


Israel\'s disgraced ex-President Moshe Katsav was today convicted of rape of a former employee and faces up to 16 years in jail over the four-year-old scandal that had shocked the country.

65-year-old Katsav, who was charged with raping and sexually abusing a former employee from the Tourism Ministry, was convicted by a Tel Aviv District Court, which declared his version of events as \"riddled with lies\".

The former President appeared pale, shaking his head in disbelief after the judges read out the verdict convicting him of two counts of rape, which can lead to a severe sentence of four to 16 years in jail.

The verdict in the case comes almost four years after complaints of severe sexual offences surfaced against Katsav, which relate to his terms as Tourism Minister and President of the State of Israel.

\"The event happened in the accused\'s office,\" the judges said adding, \"... this is not sexual harassment, this is rape.\"

Referring to the victim as \'A\', the judges said that just because \'A\' complained years after the event, does not mean that she is lying, adding that her testimony contradicts Katsav\'s.

\"I knocked on the door, and he was wearing just a shirt, and came close to me. I told him \'enough, stop,\' but he continued for ten minutes,\" Judge George Kara quoted \'A\' as saying.

The court said that the complainant\'s testimony is backed by evidence.

In the courtroom, Katsav\'s sons protested saying \"it\'s not true, it\'s not true!\"

Judge Karra, while reading out the verdict, also emphasised that the lengthy time that passed over the course of the trial brought about new evidence supporting A\'s claim and essentially discrediting Katsav.

In addition, the former President was also charged with sexually harassing one \'H\' from the President\'s Residence, sexually abusing and harassing another person \'L\' from the President\'s Residence; and harassing a witness and obstructing justice.

The year-long trial took place almost entirely behind closed doors and left the public wondering whether the former President took a wise risk by withdrawing from a very lenient plea bargain about two years ago.

Judge Karra said that in choosing not to accept a plea bargain, Katsav had shuffled the deck in his case. \"The defendant added himself to the litany of accusations and defamations.\"

The plea bargain did not include the most serious charges and promised Katsav a suspended sentence at worse, but the former President decided to prove his complete innocence in court.

The Judge said that Katsav tried to charm A and when she did not respond to his overtures, he began to harass her.

The defendant told the victim that he was in love with her and left her feeling humiliated, Karra noted.

The verdict read out by the panel of three judges comprising Karra, Miriam Sokolov and Judith Shevach, was the first judicial statement on the veracity of allegations repeated, dissected and mulled over by the Israeli media over four years.

The judges also trashed Katsav\'s claim of a media lynching.

\"The accused claimed that the media treated him unfairly, but he was a part of the publicity and the slander,\" Kara said, referring to his press conference on the matter and criticism of former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

After an initial attempt to have the reading of the verdict of the sensational case closed to the media, its main substance was read in open court today, but how much of the verdict was actually to be released for publication will be decided only after the state submits its position on the matter.

Katsav\'s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said that the former President would \"continue in his attempts to prove his innocence\".

Various women\'s organisations demonstrated in front of the court, in solidarity with the women who accused Katsav of sexual offences.

The demonstrators held signs reading \"You are not alone\" and \"We believe you\".

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3rd UPDATE: India, Iran Central Banks To Meet Friday On Oil Payments Issue

MUMBAI (Dow Jones)--India and Iran scrambled to end a deadlock over crude oil payments with their central banks scheduled to meet Friday after recent curbs from New Delhi threatened to disrupt supplies to Asia\'s third-largest economy.

India is trying to work out an alternative mechanism for payments to Iranian companies after the Reserve Bank of India last week closed the Asian Clearing Union route, a move which effectively stops settlements in U.S. dollars and the euro. Officials from India\'s central bank and finance and oil ministries as well as oil industry executives have been locked in hectic negotiations to resolve the impasse.

\"[The] deputy governor of Iran\'s central bank is coming to meet RBI officials tomorrow [Friday]. Oil companies would also be present there,\" Oil Secretary S. Sundareshan told reporters Thursday at a hurriedly called press conference in New Delhi. \"A decision could be expected in the next few days.\"

While he didn\'t name the Iranian official, the website of the Iran central bank lists Seyed Hamid Pour Mohammadi as the deputy governor.

An email sent to Mohammadi\'s office didn\'t elicit a reply. A Reserve Bank of India spokeswoman confirmed the meeting with the Iranians.

The rush to end the stalemate highlights the fine balancing act that New Delhi has to maintain between securing its energy needs and its growing proximity with the United States.

Iran is India\'s second-largest supplier of crude oil, after Saudi Arabia. India imports $11 billion of crude annually from Iran--about 14% of its total crude import bill, according to government data. State-run Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp. and private-sector Essar Oil Ltd. are among the largest importers.

Sundareshan said the Asian Clearing Union was under \"some stress,\" as a result of which the RBI wanted to make changes to this payment mechanism. He didn\'t elaborate on the stress the ACU was facing.

The ACU, which comprises Iran and eight South Asian nations including India, has been long under the U.S. scanner as the transactions it handles are settled by the central banks of these nations. That makes it difficult to identify individual firms doing business.

In January 2009, Iran\'s government advised local and Indian companies to use the ACU as a way of avoiding international sanctions and the U.S. banking system.

India, however, sought to allay any fears about the ACU move being driven by any fear of sanctions to Indian firms.

\"The import of crude [from Iran] and payment for that does not attract sanctions in our opinion,\" Sundareshan said.

In Bangalore, RBI Deputy Governor K.C. Chakrabarty said the two governments and the central banks must \"find out that if we are going to do business how the transactions will take place.\"

While India\'s oil companies said they didn\'t expect any immediate supply shortage, a delay in solving the issue has the potential to raise India\'s import bill.

The Times of India newspaper reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that the impasse has raised doubts over the supply of about 10 million barrels of oil contracted for January from Iran.

However, Bhaswar Mukherjee, finance director at state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp., said the company won\'t face any immediate payment issues since it has a 90-day credit line with National Iranian Oil Co.

Hindustan Petroleum imported 3 million metric tons of crude from Iran in the fiscal year through March 2010 and is likely to import the same amount this financial year.

Indian Oil\'s finance director, S.V. Narasimhan, said reports that Iran has stopped crude supplies to India are \"unfounded.\"

\"As of now, there are no problems of non-supply of crude from Iran. Generally, in relation to our [Indian Oil\'s] requirement of about 50 million tons, our import from Iran is pretty low,\" Narasimhan said.

An analyst at a local brokerage, who didn\'t want to be named, said any non-resolution of the payment issue may lead to short-term supply disruptions.

\"Typically Iran has been one of the larger suppliers of crude to India over the last 18-24 months. They\'ve also supplied crude at favorable terms, and their crude is at a discount to Brent,\" he said. \"The question is at what price India can get crude from other sources and will the terms be as favorable.\"

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Court rejects bail pleas of 3 accused in Malegaon blast case

Mumbai, December 30, 2010

A special MCOCA court on Thursday rejected the bail pleas of three accused including Lt Col Prasad Purohit, arrested in connection with the September 2008 Malegaon blast case. \"The accused wanted to overpower the Indian government and create a Hindu Rashtra for which they had indulged in terror activities. If they are released on bail they would continue such unlawful acts,\" special public prosecutor Rohini Salian argued.

Purohit and two other accused - Rakesh Dhawde and Ajay Rahirkar - had sought for bail stating that they have been falsely implicated and that since the chargesheet has been filed in the case their custody was not required further.

The trio and seven others including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur have been accused by state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for allegedly carrying out blasts at Malegaon on September 29, 2008 that left six dead and several others injured.

The prosecution had opposed the bail pleas stating that the accused floated a group Abhinav Bharat and indulged in criminal conspiracy and their main object was to threaten the unity and integrity of the nation.

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Srikrishna panel submits report on Telangana

New Delhi: Justice c committee on the Telangana statehood issue submitted its report on the feasibility for carving out a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday.After receiving the two-volume report Chidambaram said that the Srikrishna committee recommendations on Telangana will be discussed with the political parties and added that it will be made public on January 6, 2011.\"The Government will look at the report and do consultations with political parties. Letters inviting political parties are being sent. Immediately after the meeting with eight recognised parties, the report will be made public on January 6, 2011.After the report is made public, media should report the contents in the right direction. I seek cooperation from media once the report is made open,\" said Chidambaram after Justice Srikrishna presented him the report at his North Block office.

Telangana region consists of 10 districts including Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar (its biggest district), Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak and Hyderabad.

The Congress has 21 MPs from Andhra Pradesh and 12 of them are from Telengana region. The state elects 33 Lok Sabha MPs. The 12 Telengana MPs belonging to the Congress are under pressure to quit over the issue of a separate state for the region.

However, Andhra MPs from coastal and Rayalseema region of the state are agitating for a united state, worried about losing out on the rich Telangana areas.

The Congress\' official position is that it favours small states but with a national consensus. Unofficially, though, the Congress is worried there would be a rise in similar demands for smaller states like Gorkhaland and Harit Pradesh if Telangana is created.

The five-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court chief justice BN Srikrishna, also included former union home secretary Vinod Duggal, IIT Delhi professor Ravindar Kaur, International Food Policy Research Institute Senior Research Fellow at New Delhi Office Dr Abusaleh Sharif and National Law University Vice-Chancellor, Jodhpur, Prof (Dr) Ranbir Singh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday night convened a hour-long meeting attended by Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister AK Antony, to discuss the security scenario in light of submission of report.

Terms of reference of Srikrishna Committee included:

(1) To examine the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

(2) To review the developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the State.

(3) To examine the impact of the recent developments in the State on the different sections of the people such as women, children, students, minorities, other backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

(4) To identify the key issues that must be addressed while considering the matters mentioned in items (1), (2) and (3) above.

(5) To consult all sections of the people, especially the political parties, on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views; to seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation and promote the welfare of all sections of the people; to identify the optimal solutions for this purpose; and to recommend a plan of action and a road map.

(6) To consult other organisations of civil society such as industry, trade, trade unions, farmers\' organisations, women\'s organisations and students\' organisations on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views with specific reference to the all round development of the different regions of the State.

(7) To make any other suggestion or recommendation that the Committee may deem appropriate.

The committee was set up by Home Ministry after criticism of P Chidambram\'s announcement on December 9 last year that the Andhra Assembly would move resolution for formation of a separate Telangana state.

Chidambaram made the announcement when Telangana Rashtra Samithi Chief K Chandrashekar Rao had gone on a fast unto death. Rao had been on fast for 11 days before Chidambram made the statement.

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Under the prevailing cold conditions, plantations and crops need protection. Elaborating about the care to be taken for protecting the horticultural plants and nurseries, the Head, Department of Horticulture, Dr. P.S. Aulakh said that the effect of minimum temperature in December and January is aggravated as the temperature generally turns low by 4oC than that of the soil surface. Certain plant species such as papaya, amla, mango, litchi, etc among fruits and potato, tomato, chilli among vegetables, are ever more sensitive to cold.

He said that the cover of the young plants with thatches and polythene should continue up to say mid-February. Elaborating further, Dr. Aulakh said that the practice of creating smoke screen by burning the trash collected from the orchard floor proves beneficial. The boundary plantation also protects the nursery area as well as juvenile plants against the cold winds, he said.

Another Horticulturist, Dr. W.S.Dhillon, said that tender plants growing in the nursery need extra protection against cold as the cold breeze touching them may produce harmful effects. Since the weather experts have predicted rainfall in the coming days, Dr Aulakh suggested the growers not to apply irrigation to orchards, especially of pear, peach, plum and phalsa. \'Rainfall will tend to minimize the effect of frost as the ice formation in the cells will be reduced to a great extent\', said Dr Dhillon. He shared that keeping evergreen nursery plants in good vigour, application of tiny dose of urea and light irrigation, enable them to tolerate the temperature stresses. He advised fruit growers to exercise control measures against the pathogens like Phytophthora that thrives at low temperatures. For this, the recommendations made by PAU should be followed religiously, said Dr Dhillon, adding that the potted plants need to be shifted to some covered or protected areas such as tree canopies, verandahs (for ornamentals), etc. Covering the injured stems or cut surface at the pruning points with Bordeaux paste helps protect the plants from the subsequent infections, he added.

Dr D.S.Cheema, Head, Department of Vegetable Crops, said that the nursery of onion, brinjal, tomato, chilli, etc need to be protected against cold. Over watering to the nursery beds should be avoided, especially when rain has been predicted, said Dr Cheema adding that the vegetables growing in the kitchen gardens should also be adequately protected against cold. Discussing about the vegetables growing under protected cover, Dr Cheema said that care should be taken that the low tunnels or net-house provides protection to the plants against cold breeze. The holes, in the cover, if any, should be plugged, he said. Dr H.S.Rewal, Head Department of Plant Pathology said that farmers should be vigilant to notice the appearance of yellow rust in wheat crop and resort to recommended control measures, if disease symptoms are noticed.
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The PAU Wall Calendar-2011 was released by the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang in his chamber, today. The Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr. R.S.Sidhu, Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Editor Punjabi, Mr. Gurbhajan Singh Gill, the designer of the Calendar, Mr. Kulwant Basra were also present on the occasion. In his remarks, after releasing the Calendar, Dr. Kang said that it will help the faculty, employees, students and farmers to plan their activities and to know about the working days at the University. The Calendar imparts discipline in one\'s life, said he and wished farmers, faculty, employees, students and all people a Happy and Prosperous-2011. The Calendar is available for sale at rupees 10/- per unit from the Business Section of Centre for Communication and International Linkages.

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Pawan Dewan bereaved

LUDHIANA, December 30: Mrs Kala Devi, the mother of Pawan Dewan, a senior Congress leader and delegate Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee passed away today at her residence in Shastri Nagar.

The cremation will take place at Model Town Extension cremation ground at 12 o'clock tomorrow (December 30, 2010). Mrs Kala Devi was not keeping well for sometime.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh has also condoled the death of the mother of Mr Dewan. In his condolence message he expressed sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed for her peace.

Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari has also condoled the death of Mrs Kala Devi. In a condolence message Tewari said, it has been a personal loss to him which is irreparable.

A number of political, social, religious and cultural organizations have condoled her death and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.

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LUDHIANA, DECEMBER 29:------------

The maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at the PAU Meteorological Observatory remained slightly below normal by1- 2 ̊ C as viewed from 49th Standard meteorological week (SMW) onwards, informed Dr L.K. Dhaliwal, Associate Professor (Agrometeorology) at PAU. The sunshine hours too was recorded below normal while the relative humidity (morning and evening) remained above normal during the same period. No rainfall was recorded after October 22 , she added. Discussing about the weather parameters of the previous month, she said that November was completely dry.

Giving further details, Dr Dhaliwal said that the maximum and minimum temperature for December 3-9 was 22.9 ̊ C and 5.9 ̊ C , which was near normal ( 22.9 ̊ C ( and lesser than normal (6.4 ̊ C), respectively. For the period December 10-16 also the trend was similar. From December 17-23, the maximum temperature was 19.9 ̊ C ( normal being 20.7 ̊ C) while the minimum temperature was 4.4 ̊ C ( normal being 5.6 ̊ C). She observed that maximum and minimum temperatures dropped by 2-3 ̊ C from December 25 onwards, thereby adding to the cold.

According to the weather records, low/medium clouds are seen over parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, said Dr Dhaliwal while predicting scattered rainfall over Punjab during the next two days. Fall in day temperature by 3-4 ̊ C over northwest India is expected during next 48 hours, she said. Cold conditions would occur over many parts of Punjab during next the coming 48 hours. In case low temperature, fog and cloudiness prevail, there may be yellowing of wheat leaves, she cautioned.

Keeping in view the forecast of rainfall in next two days, PAU expert advised the farmers to avoid irrigation for next two days in field and vegetables crops. Protection of the vegetable crops from low temperatures by using mulches is a necessity, she added.

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CIPHET celebrated its foundation day by an organizing cultural event

Ludhiana, December 29:

"Judging growth of country by increasing GDP is not correct. The growth of country should be judged from fact how much better we have moved in terms of environment from previous years and how much more food we are able to make available to poorest of poor," this was stated by Dr Anil P Joshi, who got Padam Shree Award in year 2006, for his outstanding service in rural upliftment and environmental conservation. He was here to attend the foundation day of Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

Taking different line for GDP as growth indicator, Dr Anil P Joshi said that it was only an indicator of growth of already prosperous people in the country. "Gross environmental productivity should be taken as indicator for the growth of the country. Every year we are polluting and reducing our natural resources. Most of our rivers are getting dried up, air got polluted, soil is getting infertile due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers," he said, adding that if corrective steps were not taken results would be disastrous in near future.

"Few decades back nobody would have imagined that water would be sold in bottles. It might be possible that in near future there might be centers for taking fresh oxygen in highly polluted areas," he added. Dr Joshi said that prosperity in villages could return through self-dependency only. "Earlier, most of the village necessities used to be fulfilled at local level only. Now, they are getting things from cities which otherwise could be processed and grown in villages only. We have tried to implement self-sustainability models in few villages and now they have started producing 75 percent of their requirements at village level only," he said, adding that farmers need to take role scientists to make agriculture sustainable and scientists need to take role of farmer to produce accepatable and appropriate technology.

Emphasizing that people at village level need to upgraded in better skills, Dr Joshi said that they had provided technique to the people in village Parthal near Vashnav Devi to produce "ladoos" from corn for pilgrimages, which was locally available material. Dr R.T Patil, CIPHET Director, said that while national per capita income stays around 750 dollars yearly, most farmers were even below than this income. He said that until scientific methods were not adopted, new generations would not be taking farming as profession leading to overpopulation in cities. On the occasion, CIPHET released its publications and cultural event was also organized to mark the day. Dr S.K Nanda, Project Coordinator (PHT), Dr Deepak Raj Rai, Head Transfer of Technology Division, and all faculty members of the CIPHET were also present on the occasion.

Box: (Awards given to Dr Anil Joshi)

· Padam Shree in year 2006

· Sat Pal Mittal Award in year 2004

· India Science Congress Award in year 1999

· Dr T.N Kshoo Memorial Award in 2006
News From:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), in the year 2010, was agog with activities concerning academics, research, technology transfer, international visitors and extra-curricular activities. Expansion, innovation and advancement were the hallmark of the year.

The budget estimates of PAU for the year 2010-11 amounting to 33160.16 lac is in operation. The break-up of the budget allocation is 63.41% for research, 18.47% for teaching, 10.12% for extension and 8.00% for administrative and miscellaneous activities. The University steered through 258, 51, 71 and 10 schemes for research, teaching, extension and others. Projects from various national/ international funding sources were also obtained. The share of Punjab government, ICAR, and other sources in the budget is 55.03, 14.35 and 30.62%, respectively. Pension remained a burning issue and PAU strived to make efforts with the Government to get funds for solving the problem.

The significant achievement was the meeting of PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang with US President Barrack Obama at St; Xavier's College, Mumbai. Dr Kang was the only Vice Chancellor from India to have the honour of being invited at a round table discussion on 'Agriculture and Food Security' held in Mumbai. PAU would partner the US in a global food security plan. President Barack Obama was enthusiastic about India's involvement in food security agenda of US for African countries and spoke of the evergreen revolution under its "Feed the Future" programme for global food security. Dr Kang, in a discussion with Obama's adviser Rajeev Shah and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, traced the development of India that made the country self-sufficient on food front. He highlighted PAU's emphasis on research, on resource conservation technologies and human resource development in the cutting-edge technology areas through training faculty and students under collaborative agreements.

The Walter Sisulu University (WSU), South Africa, evinced keen interest to adopt PAU model for raising agricultural production and alleviating poverty through rural development. Dr Kang delivered the keynote address at the 6th WSU Annual Rural Development Conference, held in September.

Dr. Kang was decorated with the Amity Academic Excellence Award by the Amity University in recognition of his contributions, vision, innovation, competitiveness and sustenance during the international Business summit (INBUSH) – 2010.

The enrollment of students for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses has shown an upward trend. The total number of students enrolled during 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 was 1793, 2157 and 2605, respectively, showing the upswing each year. The 6 year B.Sc Agriculture (Honours) and 6 year B.Sc Home Science (Honours) programmes have attracted the ruralites. The credit goes to the new policy initiative for making the academic environment student-friendly. During the year, PAU has expanded its academic dimensions by initiating new programmes in the fields of education, research and transfer of technology. New Ph.D programmes have been introduced for the academic session 2010-2011 in the fields of Agrometeorology, Floriculture & Landscaping and Sociology. Several M.Sc (32) and Ph. D (12) students got fellowships from ICAR, CSIR, UGC and other national agencies. The University Merit fellowship was awarded to 86 M.Sc students and 26 Ph.D students while 12 Ph.D students qualified for the University stipend. Course curricula were revised as per recommendations of National Core Group of ICAR. PAU students fetched 19 gold medals, 2 silver medals and one bronze medal in the All India Inter-Agricultural University Youth Festival held at Allahabad.

A number of new appointments were made which include Dr Satbir Singh Gosal as Director of Research, Dr Gursharan Singh as Dean Postgraduate Studies, and Dr P.K. Khanna as Coordinator of Research, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Lubana took over as Dean of College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (COA&E) on June 18. Providing focus on human resource development, the University provided opportunities to its faculty and staff for skill enhancement through partnership in collaborative programmes, exchange of scientists/students. Several scientists attended national/international programs in their area of specialization. Young scientists (food science, horticulture, economics, biotechnology, breeding, agri-engineering, etc.) attended trainings in cutting-edge areas abroad. Dr. J.S. Sandhu, Senior Scientist (Pulses) at PAU was appointed as Assistant Director General (Seeds) of ICAR. Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Professor and Head, Department of Floriculture and Landscaping was appointed as Director, Directorate of Floricultural Research, New Delhi for five years.

PAU continued to pursue its research agenda vigorously. It released 10 improved crop varieties at the state level which included two each of wheat (PDW 314 and PBW 621) and cotton (MRC 7017BG-II and MRC 7031BG-II of private sector), one each of soybean (SL 744) and pear (Nijisseiki) and four of gladiolus (Punjab Pink Elegance, Punjab Flame, Punjab Glance and Punjab Lemon Delight). Five varieties/ hybrids of different crops including wheat (PDW 314), maize (JH 31110 and JH 31153), summer urdbean (LU391) and kharif urdbean (KUG 479) were released at the national level. Nine national research projects worth 1377.86 lakhs and six foreign research projects with the total outlay of 83.59 lakhs funded by various agencies, have been sanctioned. PAU developed and released research-based recommendations for crop production (11) and crop protection (12) technologies. To bring timeliness and precision in agricultural operations, eight new farm machines were recommended which include: paired row sugarcane trench planter, paddy straw chopper, groundnut thresher, power weeder (adaptive), mat type nursery, moong thresher, raya thresher and dual purpose greenhouse for simultaneous nursery and crop raising. Protective clothing for okra pickers was developed under "All India Co-ordinated Research Project in Home Science – Clothing and Textiles Unit." Two patents for new inventions were applied by Department of Microbiology and School of Energy Studies in Agriculture, during the year.

Facilities for producing disease-free quality nursery of kinnow were strengthened and production targets fixed. The kinnow nursery at PAU has qualified for national level accreditation as \'four star\' rank. PAU also endeavored to educate farmers about the need of diversification in agriculture. It's IPR-Cell has a mandate to educate farmers about IPR and Farmer's rights through camps and mass media dissemination. Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) is educating farmers about the market trends of different crops.

The PAU research focus remained on biotechnology, eco-friendly & cost-effective technologies for natural-resource conservation, bio-control of crop pests and diseases, green-house/net-house technologies for vegetable crops, IPM; farm machinery for water-use efficiency, etc.; technologies for generation of biofuel/bio-energy etc.; empowering women; market-oriented approaches; project monitoring/impact assessment linkage with industry/market(e.g., post-harvest handling, processing/value addition);public-private partnership in research; IT in generation and dissemination of information, strengthening research through communication and administration.

The holding of convocation every year has become a regular feature at PAU now with the efforts of Dr Kang. The 36th Annual Convocation of PAU was held on February 10. On this occasion, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), was conferred with the Degree of Science (Honoris Causa). Three hundred fifty five degrees of Ph.D/M.Sc/M.Tech/ MBA/MBA (Agri. Business) were awarded. Twelve Gold Medal/other Medals were also awarded. Under the faculty recognition programme five teachers/scientists were awarded cash prizes and plaques. Dr. Kang honored Vinod Kumar, working in the Estate Organization, PAU for act of honesty.

PAU in partnership with National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi and University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi has been sanctioned a Network Project "Physical mapping and sample sequencing of Wheat Chromosome 2A- International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (India)" by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. PAU has the distinction of bagging a major share of 18.33 crores out of the total amount of 3456.45 lakhs for a period of four years.

PAU fetched two prestigious US projects that include the one funded by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) on "International Research and Education Collaboration with India and China in information and communication technologies in agriculture and precision agriculture" with a budget layout of $ 150,000 for three years. The second significant award is covered under "Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) for the year 2010 in which PAU, Washington State University and University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point are involved.

The COA&E and the College of Home Science (COHS) have put their learning material on-line. The Placement Cell of the College of Agriculture (COA), in collaboration with University Counseling, Placement and Guidance Cell, organized interviews and campus placements for the benefit of the students. A total of 78 students were placed in various jobs in Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Mahindra and Mahindra, IFFCO, Vardhman Textiles, Sonalika Group, Syngenta India Ltd., Green Fiesta, Pixie Consulting Solutions Ltd., Hindustan Pulverising Mills Pvt. Ltd.,etc. during the period. The Department of Floriculture and Landscaping has collaborated with M/s. Fleuroselect, Holland for the supply of flower seeds for testing. The College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, COA&E and COHS have been sanctioned total 18 projects which would be funded by various agencies.

During the year, PAU inked memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with following international/ national organizations for collaboration in mutually beneficial areas.

• HEBEI Academy of Agriculture & Forestry Sciences, China for joint research projects to develop staff exchange, short trainings and long term scholarship programmes

• Washington State University, Pullman, USA for collaborative academic and research programmes

• PAU and Universidad Pedagogica, Mozambique signed an agreement for wide ranging academic and developmental collaboration.

• Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), Karnal to promote physical and technical research facilities for wheat and barley

• National research Centre for Citrus (NRCC), Nagpur for promoting research on citriculture

• Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc./ Pioneer Overseas Corporation, USA for identification of genes for traits of commercial agricultural importance, crop improvement and scientific exchange programmes

• Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut for exchange of faculty/students, PG resource sharing and technology transfer

• Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, New York for developing scientific projects, and programmes, etc.

• Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology , Udaipur for cooperation in the field of agricultural education through sandwich programme

• HDFC Bank Ltd., Ludhiana for advancement of academic and business exchanges

• Nestle India Ltd., Moga for Health and Nutrition Awareness Programmes

The eminent scientists from USA, Russia, China, Germany, South Africa, Nepal and Australia visited PAU for the academic interactions, exchange of agricultural techniques and other mutually beneficial collaborations. Farmers from France, Nepal, Brazil and Canada visited PAU and interacted with experts.

World renowned rice breeder Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush has set up 'Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush Foundation' for the advancement of agricultural sciences with the headquarters at his alma-mater PAU. He has donated the award money worth 3 crore to this foundation with the objective to promote agricultural research through competitive grants and project assistance to research teams of PAU, to provide scholarships to the needy students hailing from rural areas of Punjab and to provide assistance to the national and international scholars for participation in national, regional or international conferences, workshops, expert consultation, study tours, lectures and seminars.

One new fellowship in the name of S. Gurdit Singh Kang and a new scholarship in the name of Dr. Manjit Singh Kang have been instituted to encourage academic excellence in B.Sc. Agriculture (Hons.) 6 year and B.Sc. Biotechnology (Honours) programmes, respectively.

Transfer of Technology programmes (40) and training camps/courses (1950) were held for the benefit of farmers, farm women and rural youth. A total of 10 Kisan Melas with the theme 'Conserve Natural Resources for Prosperity of All' were held (five each in March and September) at Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Ballowal Saunkhri, Bathinda and Rauni(Patiala). Seven progressive farmers were honoured for outstanding contribution in various segments of agriculture on the occasion of the Kisan Mela. Pre-season workshops were organized for kharif and rabi crops, horticulture, soil conservation, etc., wherein the problems and new recommendations were discussed with the officers of state departments. More than ten thousand farmers visited the Plant Clinic for diagnosis/redressal of their field problems.

PAU organized a number of scientific and cultural programmes. An international workshop on "Accomplishing Food Security of Stored Grains through Novel Storage Practices" was organized at PAU on May, 27 wherein Dr. Dirk Maier of Kansas State University presented an over view of research on Food Grain Storage. A South-Asian Regional Training on Conservation Agriculture, jointly by Central Systems Initiative for South-Asia (CSISA), CIMMYT and PAU was organized at PAU in which participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Uzbekistan participated. A farm tools manufacturers meet (January 19-20), A Workshop on Cooperative Movement in Agriculture (January 21), the Alumni Meet of College of Agriculture (February 11-12, where alumni holding prominent positions in the country participated), national seminar on Women Empowerment (February 18-19), A workshop on creation and dissemination of knowledge (April 19-21) were organized. PAU held public awareness campaign about RTI and Mr. Rameshinder Singh, Chief Information Commissioner delivered a talk. The seminars by eminent educationists were organized in all the four constituent colleges of PAU for the academic enlightenment of the students. The workshops were organized for illuminating the minds of the farmers. A number of faculty members of PAU won prestigious awards at national level. The 44th Annual Athletic Meet of PAU was held on February, 5.

During the year, new infrastructure was created. Dr Kang laid foundation stone of the international centre of PAU at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore. It named a road adjoining the PAU Library and the Gymnasium as \'Olympian Road\' after the Olympians namely, Mr. Charanjit Singh (1964 Olympics, Tokyo), Mr. Prithipal Singh (1968 Olympics Mexico) and Mr. Ramandeep Singh Grewal (2000 Olympics, Sydney), it has produced.

The University maintains Dr M.S.Swaminathan Heritage Tree Park wherein several Indian and foreign dignitaries, who visited PAU, planted tree saplings.

The Centre for Communication and International Linkages (CCIL) continued to project the policies and programs of PAU through its press releases to electronic and print media. An International South Asian Peace Seminar was organized (February 13-14) wherein experts from within the country and abroad participated. An Interface on Communication Skills and Human Behavior was organized by CCIL for Ludhiana Police Personnels (March, 17). PAU facilitated Dr. Surjit Patar, a noted Punjabi Poet and former Professor of Punjabi and recipient of the coveted Saraswati Samman (April 22). The CCIL released his exclusive poster on the occasion. A documentary, "Harvest of grief" produced by the renowned film maker Mr. Rasil Basu and directed by Mr. Anwar Jamal was screened (May 20). A docudrama on Water Literacy Campaign was organized and a CD was released. The CCIL organized a number of painting exhibitions at Dr M.S.Randhawa Art Gallery, to encourage the artists and promote their art work. PAU organized a programme in which Ustad Khadim Hussain Warsi and Janab Husnain Akbar enthralled the audience with their rendition of \' Heer\'.

A two-day Chrysanthemum show, dedicated to the renowned Punjabi poet, Bhai Vir Singh, was organized on the university premises (December 2-3), which provided a rich feast to the viewers. The ten-day PAU Inter – College Youth Festival (October 21 -30) showcased State's rich folk culture with colourful extravaganza. More than 500 student-artistes of the constituent colleges of the university took part in the lined-up series of events, demonstrating their talent and creativity. The National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of PAU laid emphasis on campus beautification, Cleanliness drive and many inspirational lectures organized for the benefit of students. Poster making and debate competitions, educational trip and a rally against social evils were organized.

Mohinder Singh Randhawa library has recently provided Wi-fi facility to the Reading Hall in order to enable the students to use internet facility for academic purpose on their laptops. A Reading Hall named after the Founder Librarian Dr T.P.Saxena provides 24 hour service to readers. A laboratory was set up which provided access to CDs for preparation of TOFEL, GRE and other computer based competitive exams. The Library has automated its activities like registration of membership, cataloguing of books, journals & theses, issue and return of books, generation of bar codes & spine labels, catalogue of library holdings known as Library Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) using Libsys 4 (Library management software).

PAU observed various events such as Republic Day, World Food Day, Earth Day, National technology Day, World Environment Day, Independence Day, Van Mahotsva, etc. with enthusiasm wherein students and faculty took part with ardor. It has planned events for 2011. The significant ones are International Conference on \'Preparing Agriculture for Climate Change\' (February 6-8), Honey Mela and experience sharing workshop (February, 22-24), Indo-US Workshop on Precision agriculture Techniques and Technologies (February 28).

The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Kang has extended greetings and best wishes to agricultural scientists, educationists and farmers for a prosperous and productive 2011.

News From:

The ‘40th Annual Prize Distribution Function-2010’

The '40th Annual Prize Distribution Function-2010' of Everest Pb. Sr. Sec. School, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana was held on 28th Dec. 2010 in the school premises. S. Heera Singh Gabhria, Cabinet Minister, Punjab Government, was the Chief Guest on this occasion. S. Sajjan Singh Cheema, (SP Traffic), Sh. Kulwant Singh Sidhu, Mr. Rajiv Tandon, Vice President, Old students Association, Mr. Sajan Gupta, M/s B. N. Springs, Smt. Sunita Aggarwal, Deputy Mayor, Ludhiana, S. Pal Singh Grewal & Sh. Sukhdev Singh Gill, Counsellor, M.C., Ludhiana, Prof. Harlal Singh, Former Director/Secy. Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, S. Rajinder Singh & Manjeet Singh Jandu (USA), S. Gurmukh Singh, Mr. Jappan Kumar, President, Dusshera Committee, Moti Nagar, Ludhiana, S. Bharpur Singh (Chief Patron of Everest School) were the guest of honour.

The programme started with 'Shabad Gayan '. The students presented a bright & colourful programme on this occasion. They performed skits based on Discipline and Patriotism and presented folk dances and folk songs.

Sh. Rajinder Sharma, Director of the school welcomed the Chief Guest saying that it was a great privilege to have such a distinguished guest among them. S. Heera Singh Giaspura while addressing the students lauded the remarkable progress made by the school in the field of education & sports. He advised the students to endeavor to shine in every sphere. They should dwell upon character training and take it as the first and foremost mission in life. With it come all the qualities, which will make their life successful.

The group songs such as 'Anjana Anjani', 'Western Dance' , 'Radhika Kyun Na Jalle', 'Sasural Genda Phool', & 'Baith Ke Tarinjan Ch Sohniye', "Malbai Gidda" presented by the tiny-tots were fascinating. 'Marathi Dance & Dandia Dance' was also performed by the students. The most eye-catching items representing Punjabi Culture 'Bhangra & Gidda' impressed the audience too much.

S. Sajjan Singh Cheema, Smt. Sunita Aggarwal, S. Pal Singh Grewal, S. Sukhdev Singh Gill, Prof. Harlal Singh, Sh. Rajiv Tandon & Sh. Jappan Kumar gave away the prizes to the participants and the outstanding students of the institution. On this occasion 110 awards were given to sports winners in Distt, State & National Level. The merit student who got merit Positions in Punjab School Education Board were also honored. More than 500 prizes were given to the outstanding students.

Mrs. Asha Sharma, Coordinator/Principal, Indira Gandhi National Open University, National Institute of Open Schooling, Punjab Open School also addressed the gathering and congratulated the students for their wonderful performance. Principal from various schools also attended the function and blessed the students.

Sh. S.K. Sharma, Manager, Everest Educational Society (Regd.) thanked the distinguished guests.

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CIPHET transfers microencapsulator technology to AP based Biotech Company

Ludhiana, December 28:

Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) licensed the microencapsulation technology for encapsulation of food ingredient/enzymes to Andhra Pradesh based M/s Unique Biotech Ltd., Hyderabad . The technology is highly useful for biotechnology and nutraceutical industries. As per the MoU, M/s. Unique Biotech Ltd. would be getting non-exclusive rights for droplet generator of microencapsulator developed by the CIPHET. The technology was jointly developed by Senior Scientists Dr. K. Narsaiah and Dr. H.S. Oberoi. Elaborating more about the technology, Dr. K. Narsaiah said that the technology was highly useful in nutraceutical and biotechnology industry for providing protection to sensitive probiotic microorganisms, food ingredients and nutraceuticals during processing, storage and consumption. Dr. S.N. Jha, Head, Agricultural Structures and Environmental Control Division said that the encapsulated probiotics and enzymes are useful for mitigating stomach disorders as well as animal disease management to reduce use of antibiotics, poultry feeds for effective feed conversion.Transferring technology to Mr. Jawahar Babu of M/s. Unique Biotech. Ltd., CIPHET Director Dr R.T. Patil revealed that a company for production of encapsulated probiotics and feed enzymes could be set up with the investment of around Rs.70 lakh and profit could be as high as Rs.8 lakh per annum. Company can save lot of foreign currencies using the indigenous technology developed by CIPHET. He further added that a new project of costing about Rs.2 crores on microencapsulation is being awarded in this field to CIPHET under national fund for basic, strategic and, frontier application research in agriculture by ICAR.
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The Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang while releasing the 44th edition of Punjab Agricultural Hand Book 2011, brought about by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages(CCIL) said that the beginning of new year is marked by new dreams and the enthusiasm for fulfillment. He said that proper record keeping and planning are as important to agriculture as in any other profession. Dr. Kang said that the farmers, technocrats and all those concerned with successful agriculture will find the information given in the Hand Book useful.

The Hand Book lists important telephone numbers of PAU, Farm Advisory Service Scheme, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and telephone help lines for farmers in addition to vital land use statistics of Punjab, farm machinery, agricultural production, minimum support price, meteorological information, improved crop varieties recommended by PAU, Package of Practices for Vegetables, Fruits, Ornamental plants, Plant Protection, Agro-forestry, Food processing and preservation, tips for safe use of pesticides and farm machinery, beekeeping, mushroom cultivation and technology transfer activities of PAU.

It also has a diary with slogans on natural resources conservation. Present in the release function were the Comptroller, Mr. A.C. Rana, Director of Research, Dr. S.S. Gosal, Dean Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Gursharan Singh, Additional Director Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman and Editor Punjabi, Mr. Gurbhajan Singh Gill. The Hand Book is available for sale at Rs.100/- per unit from the Business Section of the CCIL. The English and Punjabi version of the Hand Book is edited by Dr. Dhiman and Mr. Gill, respectively.
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The PAU Department of Entomology in collaboration with the Directorate of Extension Education, is organizing \'Honey Festival-cum-Experience Exchange Workshop (HFEEW) on \'Prospects and promotion of beekeeping for augmenting hive & crop productivity\' from February 22-24, 2011. More than 2000 beekeepers and bee-scientists from all over the country will be participating.

Briefing about the programme, Dr. A.K. Dhawan, Head of the Department and Organizing Secretary of the event, said that the workshop will offer the apicultural scientists hailing from different states an opportunity to share their professional experiences with beekeepers regarding the prospects of beekeeping entrepreneurship, diversification and constraints of beekeeping along with their remedial measures. To enhance their knowledge, the scientific interventions and the advances in the beekeeping and research needs will be discussed by the eminent scientists working in this field.

During the honey festival, different government organizations, NGOs, beekeepers, beekeeping societies and associations and beekeeping entrepreneurs will put up their exhibitions, displaying their hive products, equipment, etc. A competition among various stalls for their exhibition and beekeeping product development will also be held on the occasion, said Dr. Dhawan.

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The world, especially the southern hemisphere, could see a significant drop in agricultural productivity as a result of climate change. this was stated by the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who is the Chairman of the National Organization Committee. He added that agricultural losses related to climate change are expected to hit developing countries hard, as agriculture employs a substantial number of people and contributes greatly to economic growth. Moreover, poverty in developing world is largely rural with a major proportion of the population dependent on agriculture, he said. The Green Revolution of 1970s and 1980s to a large extent increased food grain productivity and increased rural incomes. However, recent agricultural growth rates in countries like India are far below the growth rates of other economic sectors. Thus unlike in developed countries, the adverse impact of climate change on agriculture will disproportionately affect the poor, observed Dr Kang. To develop a consensus global view on whether climate-resilient agriculture technologies mitigate the effects of climate change, a three-day international conference of eminent farm scientists and climatologists will be organized at Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana from February 6-8, 2011. The themes of the conference will include: 1) agriculture: abettor and sufferer, 2) mitigation strategies – policy and management interventions, 3) adaptation strategies: genetic options/interventions, and 4) climate change and biodiversity: extinction and new emergence, informed Dr Kang.

Dr Allah Rang, Chairman of the Local Organization Committee said that the event is being held under the auspices of the Crop Improvement Society of India, whose headquarters are located at PAU, Ludhiana. The conference will comprise invited plenary and symposium presentations and conclude with a panel discussion on \'Directed adaptation to climate change and role of long-term forecasting models\'. There will be symposium lectures by experts on the first two days, he said. A session will be devoted to selected contributory posters from bright young scientists and students.

The first Session will be chaired by Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, a World Food Laureate . Dr Bikram Gill, an internationally renowned scientist will also share his experiences, said Dr Rang. Dr Daniel Hillel of the Columbia University, Center for Climate Systems Research, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, will speak on \'Climate change and sustainability of existing farming systems\'. Dr Sumana Bhatacharya, National Expert Consultant, Winrock International, New Delhi, will deliberate on "Climate change projections and global circulation models".

Session-II will be chaired by Dr Rattan Lal from School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, USA, who will also deliver a lecture on \'Intensive Agriculture and carbon dynamics\'. Dr Upmano Lall, Earth and Environment Engineering, Culumbia University, and Dr Dinesh Benbi, National Professor at PAU will speak on \'Water future and climate change\' and \'Land use changes and agriculture related methane emission.

In another Session, Dr Tej Pratap, Vice-Chancellor SKAUST, Srinagar, (J&K) will discuss \'Agricultural ecosystems with a special reference to hilly areas\' while Dr Robert Norton, Regional Director Australia and New Zealand, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Horsham, Australia will speak on "Agronomic practices and input-use efficiency"

Prof. M.S.Swaminathan, will discuss \'Climate change: What it means for Indian agriculture and national food security\' and Dr William Dar, International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics, Hyderabad, India, will have his views on "Reduced productivity and global food security". Dr Ramesh Chand, The National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP), New Delhi will delve on \'Reforming rice- wheat farming systems\'.

In another Session to be chaired by Dr Kang, Dr Sanjay Sharma, Biotechnology Division, Institute of Himalayan Bio-resources Technology, Palampur, will enlighten the participants about \'Understanding altered molecular dynamics\'. The \'Genetic manipulations for crop adaptation\' will be discussed by PAU biotechnologists. Dr Toby Hodgkin, Global Partnership Programme, Biodiversity International, Rome, Italy will speak on \'Reaping the benefits of climate change\' and \'Adaptation options: in-situ and ex-situ conservation of biodiversity\'. Dr Martin Barbetti, School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, Australia will speak on "Pathogens and diseases". Experts will dwell on \'Directed adaptation to climate change and role of long-term forecasting models\'.

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We need to develop new food products from indigenous raw material: Dr Patil

Ludhiana, December 27:

"India is blessed with very diverse kind of raw material. But, still we have not tapped the potential for developing variety of food products like people have done in United States and Western Countries." These remarks were made by Dr R.T Patil, Director, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), during inaugural of 11-day long training on Agro-Process Equipment Design for Research Engineers of All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on Post Harvest Technology (PHT).

While research engineers from across countries are participating in the training programme, experts from outside country would also be delivering lectures. More than 40 lecturers on diverse issues including extrusion processing of expanded products, formulation of food products through linear programming, design of axial follow thresher, prediction modeling in post harvest technology, design of groundnut grader, basket centrifuge, electrical controls in processing equipment, innovate mechanical designs by common men etc would be delivered.

Saying that second green revolution is only possible through post harvest, Dr R.T Patil, said that India had not been able to use its raw material fully. "We lot of variety of crops but still are confined to traditional foods only. Rice is still used for producing only 'Idli' and 'Dosa' from ages. Why cannot we produce biscuits from it," he said, adding that new ideas need to be incorporated in the research. Emphasizing that food is a multidisciplinary commodity; he said that inputs from various disciplines of sciences were required for developing any food. "That's why we say CIPHET is Mecca having all the disciplines under one roof".

Showing un-satisfaction on low standards of cleanliness maintained in food processing, Dr Patil, said that if we want to sell our products globally, then production facilities should also be of that standard. Hoping that training programme would enable research engineers working under AICRP (PHT) to upgrade their knowledge, he said that in the highly competitive scenario, one could not survive without regularly adding to knowledge. Dr S.K Nanda, Project Coordinator (PHT), said that they tried to provide comprehensive training programme to refresh the knowledge of the participants.

Terming this kind of training programme highly useful, Dr S.K Sehgal said that all the researchers working in ACIRP's should be given a chance to upgrade their knowledge in upcoming training programs. Dr Deepak Raj Raj, Head Transfer of Technology Division, hoped that programme would prove useful for the participants. Dr Sangeeta Chopra, Senior Scientist at CIPHET, presented a vote of thanks.

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A Special demonstration programme was conducted by Patanjali Yog Samiti and Bharat Swabhiman Punjab

Ludhiana, December 27, 2010

A Special demonstration programme was conducted by Patanjali Yog Samiti and Bharat Swabhiman Punjab to educate the volunteer of NSS at Govt. College for Women here today. Mrs. Gurminder Kaur, Chief Guest on this occasion Prof. Kuldip Singh, Mrs. Sukhwinder Kaur, Ms. Sharanjeet Kaur, Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur and Mrs. Rozy Sapra were also present. Mrs. Manju Sahni welcomed the Chief guest and other Guests. Sh. K.L. Gupta President PYS Punjab, Sh. Darshan Singh Shankar organizing Secretary, Sh. Parmod Sharma Distt. President Practiced Yog Assan, Prana yan Kirya etc. About 150 volunteers participated this programme.

In his address Mr. Darshan Singh Shankar elaborated about the importance of Prana yan and Assan in prevention of all diseases and keeping body healthy. He said that Yog is entirely scientific and It has been scientifically proved that all the diseases can be curved with Prana yan (Yog) and Ayurvedic system of treatment successfully. Mr. Krishan Kumar Gupta stressed upon the need to adopt Yog in the young age so that whole life could be lived diseases free and the higher expenditure on the treatment of diseases could be avoided. He said that Yog was the only way to keep our society healthy and mental development of the youth can be ensured.

Mr. Parmodh Sharma practicing Assan educated student about Acupressure and Ayurvedic medicine and Awshidhees. Mrs Gurminder Kaur told about the importance of Yog in life. She appealed to the younger student to adopt the Yoga to avoid various diseases. The Vote of thanks was proposed by Ms. Sharanjit Kaur.
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A field day on potato and wheat crops was organized at Village Chakkowal Brahmana of Hoshiarpur in which PAU experts of different disciplines and extension personals of Farm Advisory Service Scheme, Hoshiarpur participated. The PAU Board of Management Member, Dr. B.S. Boparai, while addressing the farmer participants of the field day said that PAU has developed need-based technologies for farmers which are being disseminated by 11 FASS offices and 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras. He said that farmers should follow the recommendations and develop contacts with experts to succeed in farming. He encouraged farmers to market their produce themselves, read farm literature of PAU and discourage wasteful expenditure.

Dr. G.S. Chahal, Executive Director of Sir Ratan Tata Trust highlighted the activities being carried out by the Trust to enhance farmers\' income. The Chief Agricultural Officer, Hoshiarpur, Dr. Sarabjit Singh Kandhari discussed the subsidies available for the farmers. Dr. H.S. Rewal, Head Department of Plant Pathology said that regular vigilance about the occurrence of yellow rust of wheat and late blight of potato help in the control of the diseases through recommended measures. Dr. J.S. Chawala, Dr. Surjit Singh, Dr. K.S. Sandhu, Dr. T.S. Thind and Dr. Chander Mohan and Dr. G.S. Kolar provided useful tips for the scientific production and health-care of potato and wheat crops. Earlier, Dr. Inderjit Singh, District Extension Specialists welcomed the farmers and the experts. Dr. Daljit Singh provided know-how about vegetable growing. An exhibition on PAU farm literature and recommended technologies was organized. The experts responded to the queries by farmers.
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MP sanctions Rs 3 lakh for Govt Primary School

LUDHIANA, December, 27: The local MP and the national spokesperson of the All India Congress Committee Manish Tewari has sanctioned Rs three lakh for the Government Primary School, Haibowal Khurd from his MPs local area development fund.

A cheque of Rs 1.50 lakh was presented to the area councillor Balkar Singh in presence of other PASWAK committee members while Rs 1.50 lakh more will be provided to the school later on. The money will be used for construction of building at the school.

Tewari said, free and quality education was among his top priority and he had been meticulously choosing the institutions to be presented grants from the MPLAD fund. He hoped that the amount although not so big will help in building construction to the students. The councillor and the committee members expressed their gratitude to the MP for providing grant to the school.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

News From December 27, 2010

तेंदुलकर को सम्मानित करेगा बीएमसी

टेस्ट क्रिकेट में 50वां शतक जड़ने वाले महान बल्लेबाज सचिन तेंदुलकर को दक्षिण अफ़्रीका के मौजूदा दौरे से लौटने पर यहां स्थानीय निकाय द्वारा सम्मानित किया जाएगा.

स्थानीय निकाय के एक अधिकारी ने कहा, ''बीएमसी आयुक्त स्वाधीन क्षत्रिय सचिन के मुंबई लौटने पर उनसे सम्मान समारोह के लिए वक्त देने को कहेंगे. निगम आयुक्त जल्द ही सचिन को पत्र लिखकर उनकी उपलब्धता के बारे में पूछेंगे. पत्र का मसौदा तैयार है और क्षत्रिय के हस्ताक्षर का इंतजार है. ''

इस महान क्रिकेटर को सम्मानित करने के कई प्रस्ताव मुंबई नगर निगम बीएमसी में 2001 से लंबित पडे हैं.

अतिरिक्त निगम आयुक्त मनीषा ने कहा, ''हाल में सचिन के 50वां टेस्ट शतक जडने के बाद निगम आयुक्त ने बधाई देते हुए उन्हें संदेश भेजा था और सूचना दी थी कि बीएमसी उन्हें सम्मानित करना चाहता है. इसके जवाब में सचिन ने कहा कि वह दक्षिण अफ़्रीका दौरे से लौटने के बाद उपलब्धता के बारे में बताएंगे.''

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OIL FUTURES: Crude Eases From 2-Year High After China Rate Hike

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Nymex crude oil futures traded slightly lower Monday, easing from a two-year high in the previous session, after China\'s central bank raised its benchmark deposit and lending rates.

The move signaled that inflation in China has become a \"more serious matter,\" said Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services in Sydney. \"You will find that crude will come under pressure.\"

The rate hike likely damped expectations of rising energy demand from China, which surpassed the U.S. earlier this year as the world\'s top energy consumer.

\"We would urge caution on behalf of the bulls,\" analysts led by Stephen Schork said in a note to investors. \"China increasing its interest rates will likely have the effect of cutting down on lending and spending.\"

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at $91.43 a barrel at 0541 GMT, down $0.08 in the Globex electronic session. February Brent crude on London\'s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.43 to $94.20 a barrel.

Nymex crude, however, could weaken next year due to high supplies, according to analysts at JBC Energy.

In the first quarter of 2011, TransCanada Corp. (TRP) plans to extend a pipeline from refineries in the Midwest to the key storage hub in Cushing, Okla., they said.

\"The extension will boost the total capacity of the Keystone pipeline to 590,000 barrels a day and should result in more crude getting stored in and around Cushing,\" JBC analysts said in a note to subscribers.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn\'t worried about oil prices rising above $90 a barrel as they are largely driven by seasonal forces, Qatar Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said last week.

\"OPEC still sees there is no need for another meeting until (June) and there are no complaints from consumers and producers.\"

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi also reiterated that OPEC doesn\'t need to meet again before June.

\"We have already taken that decision (of not meeting before June) in Quito,\" Naimi told reporters in Cairo.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for January--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 71 points to $2.4355 a gallon, while January heating oil traded at $2.5420, 12 points higher.

ICE gasoil for January changed hands at $783.25 a metric ton, up $4.25 from Friday\'s settlement.

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OIL FUTURES: Crude Eases From 2-Year High After China Rate Hike

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Nymex crude oil futures traded slightly lower Monday, easing from a two-year high in the previous session, after China\'s central bank raised its benchmark deposit and lending rates.

The move signaled that inflation in China has become a \"more serious matter,\" said Jonathan Barratt, managing director at Commodity Broking Services in Sydney. \"You will find that crude will come under pressure.\"

The rate hike likely damped expectations of rising energy demand from China, which surpassed the U.S. earlier this year as the world\'s top energy consumer.

\"We would urge caution on behalf of the bulls,\" analysts led by Stephen Schork said in a note to investors. \"China increasing its interest rates will likely have the effect of cutting down on lending and spending.\"

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at $91.43 a barrel at 0541 GMT, down $0.08 in the Globex electronic session. February Brent crude on London\'s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.43 to $94.20 a barrel.

Nymex crude, however, could weaken next year due to high supplies, according to analysts at JBC Energy.

In the first quarter of 2011, TransCanada Corp. (TRP) plans to extend a pipeline from refineries in the Midwest to the key storage hub in Cushing, Okla., they said.

\"The extension will boost the total capacity of the Keystone pipeline to 590,000 barrels a day and should result in more crude getting stored in and around Cushing,\" JBC analysts said in a note to subscribers.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn\'t worried about oil prices rising above $90 a barrel as they are largely driven by seasonal forces, Qatar Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said last week.

\"OPEC still sees there is no need for another meeting until (June) and there are no complaints from consumers and producers.\"

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi also reiterated that OPEC doesn\'t need to meet again before June.

\"We have already taken that decision (of not meeting before June) in Quito,\" Naimi told reporters in Cairo.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for January--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 71 points to $2.4355 a gallon, while January heating oil traded at $2.5420, 12 points higher.

ICE gasoil for January changed hands at $783.25 a metric ton, up $4.25 from Friday\'s settlement.

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