Monday, May 31, 2010

Jagan Mohan says he\'s allowed to continue yatra

First, he said, in what was seen as a gesture of defiance, that his yatra in Telangana would continue. Now, Jagan Mohan Reddy says his party has sanctioned the controversial tour.

Reddy, son of former Andhra chief minister YSR Reddy, met with senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily in Delhi on Tuesday morning. Reddy claims that Moily \" asked me to go ahead with my yatra.\" YRS Junior says Moily expressed his appreciation of the tour, and that he now plans to finish his tour in August.

The Congress has been worried about the impact of the tour in the fraught atmosphere of Telangana, where the demand for a separate state repeatedly leads to violent demonstrations. Jagan Mohan has expressed his opposition to the creation of a new state.

Last week, as he entered the Warangal district, pro-Telangana campaigners clashed with the police as they expressed their opposition to Jagan\'s arrival.

The Congress had asked Jagan Mohan to cancel his tour. He was summoned to Delhi on Monday to explain his position.

Jagan\'s defence: that he \"is not conducting this tour as a politician\", and that his heart \"is free of any guilt\'. The MP expressed his hope for a meeting with Sonia Gandhi -a meeting that did not materialize, in what some say was a sign of the party\'s disapproval of his stance. Jagan Mohan, however, told reporters, \"I have huge respect for Sonia Gandhi. Please do not turn this into a stand-off between the party and me.\"

Jagan says that after his father died in a helicopter crash in September, he promised to visit families whose members died or killed themselves reportedly out of grief over YSR\'s loss.

He also lashed out at Andhra Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who took over after YSR\'s death even as Jagan\'s supporters campaigned for him to be made chief minister. \"I am in Delhi to tell the high who I have a lot of faith...about the event that took place. That is the most important thing that I should be doing. I have nothing to do with Rosaiah. It is my faith and my affection towards Madam that is primarily important. It wouldn\'t make any difference to me whether it is Rosaiah or anyone else. The way Rosaiah handled the situation is not acceptable,\" he said.

On Monday, Reddy had said he was ready to quit as Kadapa MP if it was proved that he had politicised the visit even as he insisted on continuing with the yatra.

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Bengal says no to CBI probe, PC says needle of suspicion points to Maoists

The West Bengal government today refused to allow a CBI inquiry into the Jnaneswari Express derailment at Sardiha in West Midnapore, which has so far claimed 148 lives.

"We received the request from the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday, and the (West Bengal) chief secretary has given his reply today. We have said clearly that since the (state) CID is investigating the case and since it has already made some progress, there is no need for a CBI inquiry," Samar Ghosh, West Bengal home secretary, said.

The MHA had sought the Bengal government's views after Union Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee yesterday expressed suspicions of a possible political conspiracy behind the incident, and demanded a probe by the CBI.

At a news conference in New Delhi today, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said the Railway Ministry had sought a CBI probe, and the Centre had referred the matter to Bengal for its opinion.

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Following the Bengal home secretary's statement, Union home secretary G K Pillai said the Centre has no objection to a probe by the Bengal CID.

"If the CID on its own does the investigation, cracks the case and files a chargesheet, let them do it. We have no problem," Pillai told The Indian Express.

A CBI inquiry is possible only if the state government agrees, or a High Court orders one.

In Delhi, Chidambaram said it was likely that Maoists or their front organisations were behind the incident. "The needle of suspicion points to the CPI (Maoist) or a front organisation of the CPI (Maoist). However, the identity of the culprit can be established only in the investigation," he said.

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Another AI Express plane has close shave

MUMBAI: The Mangalore air crash seems to have opened a Pandora\'s box, with other incidents of air-safety violations coming to light. The latest concerns last Wednesday\'s Air India Express Dubai-Pune flight, which rapidly descended several thousand feet over Muscat air space even as the pilots flouted some basic safety norms.

The Pune-Dubai flight IX-212, with 112 passengers on board, started descending at 2000 feet per minute and -- according to reports -- came down to about 15,000 feet when, according to sources, the commander was not in the cockpit. \"He had gone to the toilet when the auto pilot of the plane got disengaged. The co-pilot could not control the aircraft as it started the descent,\" said the source. It was not clearly known what altitude the flight was at when it started its rapid descent.

The rapidly descending aircraft cut through the flight paths of several other aircraft but miraculously did not come into a collision course with any other aircraft; there was no Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) resolution advisory.

The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched an investigation into the incident. An airline spokesperson confirmed the incident but denied that the aircraft lost 15,000 feet. \"Flight IX-212 lost some height (not 15,000 feet as reported). There are no reports of any injuries to passengers and crew,\" said the spokesperson, adding that the pilots as well as the four cabin crew had been de-rostered to enable them to participate in the inquiry.

What the incident highlights is the absence of standard operating procedures (SOP) in Air India Express, which are followed by several international airlines when it comes to one of the pilots leaving the cockpit.

\"Under the SOP when a pilot leaves the cockpit during flight, a flight attendant is supposed to join the other pilot. This is done so that if the lone pilot in the cockpit gets incapacitated for some reason, the flight attendant will be able to open the locked cockpit door,\" said a senior commander of an international airline. \"The SOP was introduced by several airlines after 9/11 when new norms for securing cockpit doors were adopted by all airlines for security reasons,\" he added.

The Dubai-Pune incident took place just four days after the Mangalore Air India Express aircrash where a flight from Dubai overshot the runway while landing.

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BJP meet on \'good governance\' next week

NEW DELHI: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will give the keynote address at a BJP stock-taking meeting to be held near Mumbai next week.

\"Named `Suraj-Sankalp\' (commitment to good governance), the conference will focus on review of some very noteworthy and innovative welfare or development initiatives (taken in the BJP-ruled states),\" former Goa CM Manohar Parrikar said here on Monday.

Asked why Modi was chosen for delivering the keynote address, Parrikar said the decision was taken keeping his \"good\" track-record of governance in mind as well as the fact that he is the \"senior most\" BJP chief minister.

Parikkar has been made in-charge of the conclave which will be inaugurated by BJP chief Nitin Gadkari.

\"This is a conference and not a workshop. The good deeds of everyone will be discussed there... Slips will be discussed too but weaknesses will not be made public,\" Parikkar said, when asked how the convention was planned.

A report card on good governance of the BJP chief ministers and accountability in their states will be prepared at the convention.

Parrikar argued that if performance in any aspect was bad, it did not mean the party should not aspire for good governance. BJP is in power in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka. The party is a junior partner in Bihar and Punjab.

\"Issues like meeting the millennium development goals in education, employment, health, agriculture, rural development, panchayats and urban infrastructure will also be discussed,\" Parrikar said.

Other issues to be discussed include implementation of the party manifesto, coordination between party organisation and government as well as keeping alive the link with party\'s support base.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha will present a `charter on good governance\'. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will speak on relationship between the ruling party and the opposition while her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley will dwell on administration and management issues.

BJP Parliamentary Party chairman L K Advani will deliver the valedictory address.

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The PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill has said that the University, like previous years, will award farmers and farm women on the occasion of Kisan Mela to be held in the month of September. He said that there will be five awards as mentioned below.

Sardar Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award carrying a cash prize of rupees 5000/- alongwith a plaque and citation will be awarded to self cultivating farmer of field crops in the state of Punjab.

The Parvasi Bharti Award carrying a cash prize of rupees 8000/- alongwith a plaque and citation would be awarded to self cultivating farmer engaged in diversified farming system.

Sardar Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award carrying a cash prize of rupees 3100/- alongwith a plaque and citation would be awarded to self cultivating vegetable grower who puts atleast 60% area of their operational holding under vegetable crops in winter as well as summer season.

Sardar Surjit Singh Dhillon Award carrying a cash prize of rupees 5000/- alongwith plaque and citation would be awarded to self cultivating small farmer with a holding of upto five acres.

The fifth award will be Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial innovative women farmer award carrying a cash prize of rupees 3100/- alongwith plaque and citation that will be awarded to farm woman involved in agriculture and allied agriculture enterprises in the state of Punjab.

Dr. Gill said that the farmers/farm women desirous of competing for these awards should apply on the application performa available from the Deputy Director (T) of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras near to them, Director, Regional Stations, District Extension Specialists (SM), Chief Agricultural Officers, Deputy Director of Horticulture of different districts of Punjab and Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana. The last date for receipt of applications in the office of Director of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana is July 15. For each award separate application will be accepted, said Dr. Gill.
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In different functions organized by the faculty members of different departments, three teachers namely Dr. Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, Head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, Dr. (Mrs.) Subhashini Verma, Professor of Foods and Nutrition and Dr. (Mrs.) Neelam Mahajan, Professor of Extension Education were given warm farewell, today.

Dr. Dhaliwal served PAU for over three decades. In a largely attended farewell function held in the Jacob Hall of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, the contributions made by him were remembered especially in the area of developing efficient farm machines and guiding postgraduate students.

Dr. Verma served PAU for over 35 years in various capacities and as Head, of the Department of Foods and Nutrition. She is known as a reputed food scientist.

Dr. Mahajan was appreciated by Dr. M.S.Gill, Director of Extension Education as a keen extension worker who organized various farmer oriented training programmes.

The retiring teachers were bid warm send off wishing them a happy retired life and were presented with mementos.
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The PAU Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey has informed that the working hours of Punjab Agricultural University will be from 7.15 a.m. to 2.15 p.m. (without lunch break) w.e.f. June 1 to July 31. This has been exercised in the wake high temperature and hot weather conditions, said Dr. Mahey adding that these timings will be observed at all the offices/departments of the University located at Ludhiana and outstations. However, the schedule of final examinations shall remain unchaged. He added that the timings of PAU hospital will be from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. (without lunch break) and the hospital shall remain open on all the Saturdays except second Saturday of the month.
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Students of final year B.Sc. Agriculture (Hons.) programme at PAU will visit three selected villages namely Sarabha, Aboowal and Rattowal of Pakhowal block of Ludhiana district from June 6-14 to gather information about the farming through interacting with farmers. The students groups will visit these villages in three teams each comprising of two teachers of Department of Extension Education. The Head of the Department of Extension Education, Dr. B.S.Dhillon said that the training will provide them with first hand learning experience to undertake various activities performed by field extension workers. They will also learn to be good communicators with farmers and field workers, said Dr. Dhillon. The students will get an opportunity to studying the agricultural and rural development problems, planning and designing of field lay out, collection and dispatch of water and soil samples and other farm operations. The interaction with farming community will provide the students to learn about the prevalent social evils and the need to address them. The programme, which is part of the curriculum, will come to an end on June 14.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

SAD-BJP govt surviving on centre’s oxygen

LDUHIANA, May 29: The Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the All India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today said, the Akali-BJP government in the state was surviving on the oxygen supplied for the centre. Otherwise this government can collapse anytime, he remarked, while addressing a series of public meetings in different villages in the Gill assembly segment.

Tewari pointed out, the state government has not a single penny with itself to launch any of its own development projects. All the development works being carried out in the state were being financed by various centrally sponsored schemes, he said, while adding, this government had not even made any effort to generate or mobilize its own resources.

Criticising the state government for its all round failure, the MP pointed out, the power situation was worst ever. He said, during last two days people in Ludhiana and surrounding areas have been surviving this summer's heat without electricity. "I want to ask the Deputy Chief Minister and the SAD president Mr Sukhbir Badal as what happened to his promises of making Punjab surplus within three years of taking over the government (in 2007)", he said, while asserting that the Akali-BJP regime was writing its own obituary and the countdown for its demise had already begun.

Tewari also distributed grants from his MP's local area development fund in different villages. He was accompanied among others by former minister Malkit Singh Dakha and party leaders Manjit Singh Hambran and Pawan Dewan.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

WWE Smackdown Report 05.28.10

CM Punk wins his way to Fatal Four Way and refuses to show his shave, the Undertaker returned to Smackdown in search of a World Title shot and much more! Check out 411's complete WWE Smackdown report for all the details!

Hi, everyone, my name is Michael Uphoff, and I am your reviewer for tonight\'s Friday Night Smackdown! I have to tell you, it\'s been my pleasure recapping Smackdown for the last few months, but this will be my last review. It\'s been an honor to do this, and I wouldn\'t trade it for the world (even with all the comments from Chungles!). I\'ll be on the 411 Wrestling Top 5 almost every week, so look for me there. That being said, let\'s get to it! SMACKDOWN!

The Undertaker returns to Smackdown tonight!

Teddy Long comes out to the ring. He announces that the Big Show automatically qualified for Fatal Fourway. CM Punk will compete against Kane, and Rey Mysterio faces the Undertaker! Drew McIntyre\'s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. He demands a mic and says he should still be the IC champ. He says he\'s the Chosen One and can do anything. He pulls out a letter and gives it to Teddy Long. He reads it out loud and says that Matt Hardy has been suspended without pay, due to his actions at Over the Limit. Drew threatens Teddy with another letter of termination if he doesn\'t shape up. Teddy leaves, but Matt Hardy comes out! He is held back by Teddy and security. Loud \"You suck\" chants from the crowd.

Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger (c) vs. The Big Show and Kofi Kingston (c)

Resounding boos for Swagger. He makes note of the fact that he is still World Heavyweight Champion multiple times. Decent pop for Kofi. BIG pop for the Big Show.

Kofi and Swagger to start. Bell rings and they lock up. Swagger grabs a front facelock, and rolls Kofi on the mat a lot. Rear bearhug, Kofi fights and leapfrogs, but Swagger tags Drew. Kofi with a kick, but Drew just takes him down. Hip toss countered into a monkey flip by Kofi for 2. Kick and right by Drew, rights by Kofi, Irish whip by Drew, forearm smash by Kofi! Drew is frustrated and turns around as Kofi tags Show! Corner splash by Show, and he takes down Drew. Swagger in, but Show gut punches him and he rolls out of the ring. Kofi clotheslines Drew over the top rope! Commercial.

Back from commercial, we see Show throwing Drew over the ropes into the ring. Corner chop by Show. Ribs shot by Show to Drew. He tosses him into the corner. Show sits on Drew in the ropes. Show scoop slams Drew and Kofi comes in with a splash for 2! Modified keylock by Kofi, and he rolls Drew to the mat and keeps the hold applied. Drew to the corner, and corner offense. Kofi leapfrogs and hits a clothesline. Irish whip reversed, kick and European Uppercut. Mounted punches by Kofi! Swagger tries to get involved, but gets knocked off, but as Kofi tries to springboard in, he plants him on the apron! Drew rolls him into the ring and covers for 2. Huge chop to the chest by Drew. He tags Swagger, who grabs the Ortonlock. He transitions to a rear headlock. Kofi fights out with some rights but gets powered down by Swagger for 2! He tags in Drew, who stomps the hands of Kofi. Corner clotheslines by Drew, followed by seated punches on the mat. Submission hold by Drew, but Kofi armdrags out but Drew stops him from tagging. Drew tags in Swagger. Swagger lays boots to Kofi then blows to the back. Bearhug by Drew, Kofi elbows out but misses the tag by an inch. Swagger charges, but Kofi counters and hits a springboard crossbody! Swagger tags Drew, but Kofi dodges and tags Show! Irish whip, corner splash, Show comes off the ropes and Show bowls over Drew! Show powers Swagger over the rope, Future Shock try, KO PUNCH to Drew! 1…2…3!

Winner: The Big Show and Kofi Kingston via KO punch- Good match for what it was. Everyone worked hard, and the styles meshed well together. **1/2

Swagger gets stared down by Show after the match as he walks away.

Best of PPV matches 2009-2010 is out on DVD.

Did You Know…that WWE has been doing Make A Wish for 25 years?

In the back, the SES is buttering up Punk, getting him ready for his match.

Vickie is pissed at Vance Archer and Curt Hawkins for some reason. Dolph Ziggler kisses up to Vickie and gets a match where he teams with Chavo vs. Christian and Hornswoggle. Yay.

CM Punk vs. Kane

The winner is in the Fatal Fourway match at Fatal Fourway. CM Punk makes his way to the ring, wearing a towel on his face. Punk takes off the towel and is wearing a mask! Commercial. Kane\'s music and pyro hit, and he makes his way to the ring.

The bell rings, and Punk with rights and kicks. Huge uppercut by Kane. Kane works over the arm. Snapmare for 2. Kane back to the arm. Corner offense by Punk, but Kane reversed an Irish whip and Punk countered. Welcome to Chicago countered by Kane. Kane tries to rip off the mask as Punk slides under him after reversing an Irish whip. That distracts Punk and he bails. Commercial.

Back from commercial, we see Punk stomping away on Kane. Kane with rights, Irish whip and back elbow by Kane. Scoop slam by Kane. Kane up top, but Punk counters! Kicks to Kane knocks him off the top out of the ring. Punk goes after Kane outside the ring with kicks to the knees. Punk works over the knees some more. Kane sells the knee as Punk kicks him again. Punk works him over some more for 2. Punk grabs a submission. Kane counters and lays some rights to Punk. Punk is too quick, and grabs another submission on the knee. Kane elbows out and Punk kicks him in the knee again. Suplex by Kane gets 2. Punk dropkicks the knee for 2. He grabs a modified Indian deathlock on Kane\'s knee. Kane fights out. Punk off the ropes and Kane powers him down with a slam! 1…2…NO! Corner charge blocked twice by Punk, big boot by Kane! That gets 2! Irish whip into a sidewalk slam for 2! Kane up top, and hits the flying clothesline, but landed on his bad knee! Kane calls for the chokeslam, Punk kicks the knee, and Kane throws him out of the ring! Punk with a springboard crossbody, but Kane rolls through for 2! Chokeslam countered, GTS countered, Kane grabs the mask, and Gallows with a right! Kick by Punk, GTS by Punk! 1…2…3!

Winner: CM Punk qualifies for Fatal Fourway- This was good until the end. They horribly botched the GTS, almost as bad as KENTA/Richards. Still a decent match and Kane sold well for Punk. **1/2

Undertaker/Mysterio is later on tonight.

WWE Rewind shows the Peep Show and Dolph Ziggler and Chavo taking out Christian.

Christian and Hornswoggle vs. Dolph Ziggler and Chavo Guerrero

Someone should tell Hornswoggle DX is over. The bell rings, and we get Christian and Chavo to start. Lockup, and Chavo grabs bearhug, reversed by Christian, Irish whip and Christian hits a dropkick. Chavo goes for Three Amigos, but Christian hits inverted DDT. Hornswoggle in, and kicks, but Chavo boots him down. Chavo stomps his boot on him. Chavo scoop slams Hornswoggle. Ziggler tags in and puts Hornswoggle in the corner. Hornswoggle dodges and makes the tag. Chavo in, Christian with rights. Chavo with back elbow, but Christian hits a flapjack on Chavo. 2nd rope uppercut by Christian. Killswitch blocked. Chavo with corner rights. Pendulum kick followed by missile dropkick. Hornswoggle in, Ziggler throws him out, Christian takes out Ziggler, suplex by Chavo, frog splash try, Chavo rolls, Killswitch! 1…2…3! Ziggler chokes out Christian in the ring after the match.

Winner: Christian and Hornswoggle- This was a giant waste of time that not even Christian could save. *1/4/

Next week, Drew activates his rematch clause against Kofi.

Team Laycool is in the back, explaining why they have two titles. FUCK ALL OF YOU WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SHIT.

Luke Gallows vs. MVP

The bell rings, and MVP with some rights and ducks a punch. Gallows with body blows. They trade punches until MVP hits a belly to back suplex. MVP with mounted punches. MVP with a he right. Irish whip and MVP with a flying forearm for 2. Rights by MVP. MVP with a boot, but Gallows tosses him over the ropes. Gallows works him over by running him into the apron. He rolls him into the ring. He covers for 2. Gallows drops elbows for 2. Ground bearhug by Gallows, MVP elbows out, Irish whip, MVP blocks and clotheslines Gallows. Facebuster sets up the Ballin\' Elbow! Gallows rolls out, but MVP hits a flying clothesline from the apron. Serena distracts MVP and the ref backs her off, and the masked stranger hits a DDT on the apron to MVP! Gallows hits his finisher, and that gets 3!

Winner: Luke Gallows- This was about as good as the previous match. *1/2

The RAW Rebound shows Batista quitting the WWE.

Rey Mysterio vs. The Undertaker

The winner is the last participant in the Fatal Fourway match and joins CM Punk, Big Show, and Jack Swagger. Rey Mysterio makes his way to the ring as we go to commercial. Back from commercial, the Deadman makes his way to the ring.

The bell rings, and Rey uses his speed to stay away. Taker dominates, but Rey counters with a knee and Taker clobbers him with a clothesline. Taker hangs Rey out to dry on the top rope. Rey kicks Taker to the outside. Taker is pissed and Rey with an Asai moonsault! Commercial.

Back from commercial, we see Rey landing kicks and dodging taker, but Taker catches him, Rey slides off, Rey kicks him, Taker goozles him, Rey slides under, Taker goes for Last Ride, but Rey goes for the 619! Taker CLOBBERS him with a boot. Taker tosses Rey to the floor. Taker follows out and charges Rey into the ring post. Taker runs Rey arm first into the post. Taker stomps him on the ground and then throws him into the barricade. Taker then hits a vicious elbow. Taker grabs a keylock on the left arm. He gets a cover for 2. Taker works the arm to set up for Old School, and throws him down for 2. Rey fights back and hurracanranas him into the corner. Some move I missed gets 2. Taker sits up, and Rey hits the seated senton! 1…2…NO! Taker with a right, Rey sets up for and hits the 619! Springboard splash…GOOZLE! Chokeslam countered, and then Snake Eyes countered by Rey! Springboard moonsault by Rey is caught by Taker! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! 1…2…3!

Winner: The Undertaker via Tombstone- This was a good match between the two, with some stuff we haven\'t seen before from the two of them. Good effort from both men. ***

Next week, Taker runs rampant and Drew activates his rematch clause.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was another show that seemed bipolar, with big ups and downs. The two opening matches were good, but two matches followed that were awful. The main event saved the show. The good thing is that we have Taker/Punk/Show/Swagger at Fatal Fourway, and that is an interesting and intriguing matchup. Thumbs in the middle, leaning up.

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Water crisis of east & west Punjab

As the long hot summer sizzles, one\'s thoughts in Lahore and Amritsar turn to water. It is scarce on both sides of the border. When the British finally and fully took over the Punjab in 1849, their thoughts turned to the possibility of engineering for agriculture. In the 1860s, they built the first canal in the Gurdaspur-Amritsar area. During 1880-1920, they built the great canal colonies, in west Punjab. Life-giving water was spread over the Baars, pushing back forever the great story of herdsman Ranjha and the peerless Heer. The open scrub lands dotted with Kikar and lusty rivers were replaced with wheat and cotton fields, and vast citrus gardens. The graziers disappeared. Sikh farmers having little land in the impoverished east went west, and by the 1930s, they became fat and prosperous zamindars. Sadly, just when the fruits were coming, they were pushed back east.

The political battle of the 1940s was also a battle for land. Someone told me in Lahore once "we are land rich." They added to their holdings, howsoever. In the east, Tarlok Singh, ICS, devised the graded cut for Nehru to settle far too many farmers, on much less land. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Punjabis, helped with cooperative loans, sank nine lakh shallow tubewells, built the Bhakra, and created the Green Revolution. I remember in my Amritsar village, sweet water was available at just 15 feet in the well; by our land passed a small canal, perfectly designed by the British. In summer, we grew green, sweet-smelling lucerne and other fodders, and the buffaloes yielded plenty of milk. In west Punjab, the farmers did not share the land bounty fairly. The few at the top took the most. But still in their skewed farm sociology, they prospered with good harvests, more citrus orchards and plenty of water to waste.

In the new century, all this changed. In 1960, Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan signed the Indus Waters Treaty in Karachi, mediated by World Bank president Eugene Black. For 50 years, this worked well for both Punjabs. Both built the Bhakra, the Beas, and the Tarbela dams, and expanded irrigation. My Punjab added nine lakh tubewells through cooperatives. The other Punjab failed with the public sector tubewells, and remains largely dependent on canal water.

Sixty years have drastically reduced the comfort of 1950 on both sides. In Pakistan, the population growth from 50 million to 175 million has put an unacceptable burden. This has reduced the water availability per capita, per year, from 5,000 cubic feet in 1960 to 1,500 today. In our Punjab too, the population has increased over 60 years but at a lesser rate. In 1947, in east Punjab, 6,000 cubic metres of potable water was available per person, per year. Now it is only 1,600 cubic metres. It is estimated to fall further to 1,147 cubic metres in 2050. However, the nine lakh shallow tubewells now dangle dry. The rich have started digging deep to 300 ft or more with submersible pumps to grab water. Small farmers who predominate cannot afford the cost and their wells are drying up. One deep tubewell will dry up a hundred around it. The water table has gone far down, and this situation will lead to social tension. We read every day that 95 per cent of east Punjab\'s development blocks are in the grey area, for tubewells. In southern Punjab, and some other pockets, the underground water, in any case, is salty. West Punjab too faces these grave questions.

As a child I went to Sargodha in west Punjab to stay in the new lands. The land, the cattle and the people smiled. Now I read of Ghanzafar Ali, a farmer in Chak 95, Sargodha, and his woes. He says the water crisis means life and death to him. He does not get his regular supply. He cannot grow fodder and the cattle starve in summer. There are extended closures of the canal. According to him, the crisis is in the entire State, but particularly bad in Sargodha-Faislabad. He worries about the weather changes, and laments, "we are tied to river water, dams, rainfall and tubewells. You take away the river water, and this place will turn into a wilderness it once was." This is what Calvert, ICS, warned of in 1928 in his classic book, The Wealth and Welfare of the Punjab. In Lahore, aggressive leaders challenge the IWT and accuse India of not being fair. Swiss arbitrators are brought in to adjudicate. The Americans with their satellite studies have recently put out ominous reports, of severe and steady groundwater depletion, in both Punjabs, and western Uttar Pradesh. In a convocation address at the Punjab Agriculture University in Ludhiana on November 5, 1998, I warned that there would be a crisis and tension within and without on the question of water. We see it already and I worry about the situation 10 years hence with more population, more demands, more anxiety and hysteria.

What should the two Punjabs do? What should my Punjab do? I know we will have to rise above, and beyond, politics and focus on the crisis, which requires difficult and bitter solutions. Scientific solutions exist, and more can be found. But they will have to be applied with a will, and firmness, over long periods, to make any visible difference. As Development Commissioner, Punjab, from 1985 to 1988, I visualised that the time had come to license and regulate tubewell sinking, including the permissible depth. All must share fairly, and not take the maximum, by means of wealth and power. I also felt that it was very easy, in the computer age, to monitor all nine lakh tubewells all the time to know the depletion and recharge; to be able to plan and administer the fair share and use of groundwater. I would appoint a High Commissioner, for Ground Water Management, for the Punjab, with full scientific staff, and powers, reporting only to the Chief Minister. He should also present an annual detailed written report to the Assembly. A more balanced crop plan has to be insisted upon. I had said in Ludhiana that the Punjab is not a great agriculture State. It is only a grain growing factory, and factories have lockouts. We are facing one now.

In our Punjab, we faced an unprecedented crisis when far too many people returned from the west to be settled on too little of poor quality land. We created a new Punjab which, since 1966, has been providing the surplus for the country to avoid imports. If we face up to this new crisis, in the new century, we can certainly overcome it. Like Israel, let us use the full scientific knowledge of the world to lay out an efficient system of water usage. Our British canals are in a state of collapse and flood irrigation will not do. We also need to have a more balanced crop regime. This requires revival of the Punjab Agricultural University and making it efficient. As for my friends in west Punjab, they should, as their Foreign Minister said, stop wasting 40 per cent of the canal water, rely on their collective will and effort, and not allow people to mislead them with the comfort that they have no shortcomings and that others are to blame. Both Punjabs should face up to the water crisis, with courage and steady application of science. Else, they will be in trouble which won\'t go away.

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Human rights activists blast Punjab govt over attacks

LAHORE: Human rights activists have severely criticised the Punjab government, with some even holding the provincial government responsible for Friday's terrorist attacks on two worship places of Ahmedis located in Model Town and Garhi Shahu. Several human rights activists said that Friday's terror attacks were "the result of a continuous hate and persecution campaign launched by the provincial government against Ahmedis". They said that Law Minister Rana Sanaullah's affiliation – reported by the media – with people from banned outfits in Jhang exposed the true face of the government. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Punjab Chairwoman Hina Jilani told Daily Times that the Punjab government has "completely failed" to protect minorities in the province and that Sanaullah's recent "parade" with representatives of banned outfits in Jhang had encouraged terrorists and had instilled an impression in the general public that extremists had influence over some segments of the government. "Even the media at times uses derogatory terms while referring to Ahmedis, especially at a time when they should be sympathised with considering the nature of today's heinous attacks," she said, adding, "A so-called religious programme on one of the biggest TV channels of the country and a recent tape attributed to TV anchor Hamid Mir incited hatred against Ahmedis… they played a vital role in taking things to the point where terrorists launched such attacks on them." She said Friday's attacks showed that not only did the country need to fight terrorism, but also intolerance. "HRCP is closely monitoring the role of the government in incidents where minorities are targeted and a report will be issued in this regard soon," Hina said. Separately, South Asian Partnership (SAP) Executive Director Muhammad Tehseen said that the reporting of the incident by a certain section of the media reinforced the unfair claims that Ahmedis were not a part of the nation. Senior activist, Mehboob Ahmad Khan, told Daily Times that the masses had seen the Punjab government shake hands with extremists and their bias against minorities had become apparent by the way in which the Gojra incident was handled. afnan khan

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Punjab leads the field on day two

Punjab led the medals tally on the second and penultimate day of the 10th National Federation Cup junior athletics championships at the Port stadium here on Friday.

Punjab, with four golds, was followed by Maharashtra and U.P. with three golds each. Maharashtra was ahead in the boys\' section with three gold, while West Bengal was leading the pack with two gold, two silver and four bronze in the girls\' category.

No record fell on Friday though S. Thingalaya of Maharashtra came within a whisker of rewriting the record in the 110m hurdles. He finished in 14.39 seconds, 0.02 more than the mark set by Kerala\'s D. Venugopal in 2008.

Gayathry cruises home

G. Gayathry of Tamil Nadu won the 100m hurdles gold. The girls\' high jump saw Sunita win the gold after a tie with Shipu Mondal (WB). Both cleared 1.53m. Karnataka won the girls\' shorter relay comfortably with Nirupama Sundar anchoring the last leg.

The results: Boys: 110m hurdles: 1. S. Thingalaya (Mah, 14.39s), 2. P. Kesavarama (TN), 3. J. Surendar (TN).

10-km walk: 1. Maniram Patel (MP, 45:38.39), 2. Ramkumar Yadav (MP), Sunil Haral (Mah). High jump: 1. Rupendra Singh (Mah, 2.02m), 2. Dharmendra Kumar (Jhar), 3. Arun S. Kumar (Ker). Hammer throw: 1. H. Dagar (U.P., 68.03m), 2. Amit Gill (Har), 3. Ajaj Ahmed (U.P.).

Shot put: 1. Gurwant Singh (Pun, 16.75 M), 2. Kuldeep Singh (Har), 3. Vijay Singh (Del).

4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu (42.73s), 2. Kerala, 3. Punjab. Decathlon: 1. Omveer Singh (Mah, 6,277 points), 2. Akhil (Ker), 3. Akhil S.K. (Ker).

Girls: 100m hurdles: 1. G. Gayathry (TN, 14.18), 2. J. Hemashree (TN), 3. Sumandeep Kaur (Pun). High jump: 1. Sunita (Har, 1.53m), 2. Shipu Mondal (West Bengal).

Long jump: 1. Renu Bala (Orissa, 6.09m), 2. Shraddha (Mah), 3. Tanjila (WB). Pole vault: 1. Anoosha K.K. (Ker, 3.10m), 2. Juby Paily (Ker), 3. S.M.K. Sinju Prakash (Ker). Javelin: 1. Annu Rani (Del, 46.87m), 2. Sophia (Jhar), 3. Biji Mohan (Ker). Hammer throw: 1. Minakshi (U.P., 44.9m), 2. S. Shinde (Mah), 3. Sonam (U.P.). 4x100m relay: 1. Karnataka (49.43), 2. Tamil Nadu, 3. West Bengal.

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2 die due to sunstroke in Punjab, unseasonal snow in Kashmir

Two persons have died due to the heat in Punjab even as overnight unseasonal snow and heavy rains in Kashmir led to a dip in temperature and suspension of traffic on the Srinagar-Leh national highway on Friday.

Two persons, including a police constable, died due to the heat in Hoshiarpur district of the state.

However, the summer loosened its grip a bit in the region as maximum temperatures dipped after parts of the region were swept by duststorms.

In Jammu and Kashmir, nearly 500 people were stranded when snowfall at the 11,578 feet high Zojila pass on the highway caused landslides and prompted authorities to close the road for traffic this morning.

Zojila, 100 km from New Delhi, received four to five inches of snow till this morning, the spokesman said.

The hill resort of Sonamarg, 80 km from New Delhi, which is situated on the highway, received two to three inches of snow this morning.

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Chandigarh, Punjab urged to use high security number plates

New Delhi-based Association of Registration Plates Manufacturers of India (ARPMI) here Friday urged the Chandigarh administration and the Punjab government to introduce high security number plates for vehicles.

\'A High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) policy, dedicated to the safety and security of the vehicles and public at large, was made by the central government in 2001 but till date it has not been implemented in the true sense in any part of the country,\' said Ravi Somani, president of ARPMI, while talking to reporters here Friday.

He added: \'Therefore, last year M.S. Bitta, chairman of All India Anti-Terrorist Front, approached the Supreme Court that directed all states and union territories to implement the HSRP project by May 31, 2010. Now only three days are left but no state government, including Punjab and Haryana, seems concerned about the deadline.\'

Somani said that the association has written to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other officials on the issue. The association\'s members are planning to meet them personally to persuade them to make the use of security plates compulsory.

Talking about the features of the safety registration plates, Somani said: \'These plates are manufactured on the lines of the technology that European countries are using. We import special-quality aluminium from Germany for making them.\'

\'There is a safety hologram on every plate, different laser marking number on both plates of a vehicle, and India is written in block letters on every plate. Besides, there is a small plate on which engine number and chasis number is written, which will be pasted on the wind shield. Every plate has its own character and it can significantly help in curbing incidents of vehicle thefts,\' he said.

Somani said that the price of these plates is not more than normal number plates. For two-wheelers each pair will cost nearly Rs.220 whereas for four-wheelers it will cost around Rs.450 a pair, he pointed out.

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HC adjourns Rathore bail plea till May 31

Convicted top cop S.P.S. Rathore will have to spend some more time in jail now.

The hearing in the Punjab and Haryana HC on Rathore's plea for suspending the 18-month jail sentence he got from a lower court will take place on May 31 because the CBI counsel said he did not receive a copy of the appeal petition.

Objecting to the submission made by Assistant Solicitor General of India Anmol Rattan Sidhu in this regard, Abha Rathore, wife and counsel of Rathore, said that a copy of the petition had been handed over to the CBI.

Abha made a plea before Justice Gurdev Singh for suspending the sentence but the appeal was turned down.

The case will be taken up by a vacation judge as the summer holidays start on May 31.

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Punjab govt warned in advance: Rehman Malik

LAHORE: The Punjab government had already been informed that terrorists could target minorities in the province, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday. According to a private TV channel, Malik said the provincial government had also been informed about a terrorist named Abdul Jabbar and about the attacks that took place on May 13 and 26. Malik said the Tehreek-e-Taliban or al Qaeda could be responsible for the recent killings in Lahore, as the banned organisations had been involved in such terrorist activities earlier. daily times monitor

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Punjab police playing host to Pakistani \'spy pigeon\'

May 28 (IANS) Police in Punjab\'s Amritsar district, bordering Pakistan, are playing hosts to a pigeon, suspected to have come from the neighbouring country on a \'secret mission\'.

According to police, the pigeon is kept in an air-conditioned room in Ramdas village, around 35 km from Amritsar and around 275 km from Chandigarh, and police are continuously monitoring its condition.

\'Harbans Lal Saini, who lives in the village, saw this white pigeon sitting on the roof of his house yesterday (Thursday). As normally they do not see pigeons very frequently in this area, he suspected something, caught the bird and brought it to the police station,\' Jagjit Singh Chahal, station house officer of Ramdas police station, told IANS Friday.

According to the police officer, \'preliminary investigations suggested it had come from Pakistan\'.

\'We found a Pakistani phone number and address scribbled on the body of the pigeon. We also found a rubber ring, which was probably used to carry some message written on a paper, around its feet. We immediately informed our seniors about this,\' he said.

After last month\'s incident in which two policemen and two Pakistan-based militants were killed in a fierce gun battle near the India-Pakistan border in Gurdaspur district, Punjab police issued special instructions for the residents of border villages to keep extra vigil and to immediately contact police if they find anything suspicious.

Chahal said officials of state animal husbandry department had conducted medical examination of the bird and found it to be in good health. \'Police are keeping a continuous watch on this bird and we are not allowing anybody to go near it,\' he said, adding senior officials were being informed thrice a day about its health.
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Interpol says no call received to arrest Thaksin

LYON, France — Cross-border police agency Interpol said Friday it had received no request to track fugitive Thai ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and that it would not arrest him on purely \"political\" grounds.

Thailand said Thursday it would request Interpol\'s co-operation after it issued an arrest warrant on terrorism charges for Thaksin, whom it accuses of funding protests that led to deadly clashes in Bangkok in recent months.

Interpol\'s headquarters in Lyon, France, quoted its Secretary General Ronald Noble as saying he had \"no knowledge\" yet of an official demand from Bangkok for help in the case.

If such a demand were made it would be subject to Interpol\'s \"normal procedure\" and referred to the agency\'s judicial advisers.

A spokesman for Interpol, which helps coordinate investigations between its 188 member countries, told AFP that its statutes forbid it to ask its member states to carry out arrests of a \"political nature\".

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and later went into exile to avoid a jail term for corruption. He has been living mainly in Dubai, with visits to other countries including Montenegro, France and Britain.

The Thai government accuses him of inciting unrest and bankrolling rallies by \"Red Shirt\" opposition protesters which have sparked deadly outbreaks of violence.

Thai deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban said on Thursday that a request for Interpol\'s help would be sent \"so any country that knows of his whereabouts can notify Thailand, so Thailand can begin the extradition procedure\".

Thaksin said in a radio interview Wednesday that Interpol would recognise the accusations were \"politically motivated\".

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Israeli warplanes raid Gaza: Palestinians

GAZA CITY — Israeli warplanes launched six raids on the Gaza Strip overnight Friday, but nobody was hurt in the attacks, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.

Israel carried out five air strikes in the southern part of Gaza near Rafah and the border with Egypt, as well as a sixth raid east of Gaza City, said the sources.

Gaza has been mostly quiet since the end of a devastating 22-day Israeli offensive in January 2009, but the past week has seen several incidents along the heavily guarded border.

The latest was on Thursday, when two Palestinians were wounded in an Israeli air strike east of Gaza City during an exchange of fire after militants launched a mortar round, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.

Israeli news website Nana said a military aircraft had opened fire at a group of men seeking to breach the Gaza border fence, under cover of a heavy sandstorm, in order to launch a raid into Israel.

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Obama hails \'balanced\' non-proliferation accord

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama welcomed a nuclear non-proliferation deal reached Friday at a UN conference but \"strongly\" opposed singling out Israel over talks for a Mideast atomic weapon-free zone.

The agreement reached at the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference \"includes balanced and practical steps that will advance non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which are critical pillars of the global non-proliferation regime,\" Obama said in a statement.

The accord agreed by the NPT\'s 189 nations -- their first in a decade -- \"underscores that those nations that refuse to abide by their international obligations must be held accountable,\" Obama added.

The US president expressed concern however with the document\'s most controversial issue, a commitment to hold a regional conference in 2012 that would aim to create a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons.

\"The United States has long supported such a zone, although our view is that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations are essential precursors for its establishment,\" he said.

\"We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel\'s national security.\"

The NPT members\' final statement calls for holding a conference in 2012 \"to be attended by all states of the Middle East, leading to the establishment¨ of such a zone.

It also mentions ¨the importance of Israel\'s accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.¨

The United States had opposed putting such a statement in the text.

Iran was not cited despite its defiance of successive UN resolutions calling for the Islamic republic to halt uranium enrichment and be more transparent about its suspect nuclear program.

\"The greatest threat to proliferation in the Middle East, and to the NPT, is Iran\'s failure to live up to its NPT obligations,\" Obama said.

\"We must work for a world where nations benefit from the peaceful power of nuclear energy, while also being secure from the threat posed by nuclear proliferation.\"

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80 killed in terrorist attacks on two Pakistan mosques

ISLAMABAD: Eighty people were killed and 70 injured in a coordinated attack by terrorists on two mosques of the minority Islamic sect, Ahmadis, in Lahore during Friday prayers.

Armed with grenades, the gunmen held people hostage in the mosques for nearly three hours in the afternoon before security personnel managed to take control of the besieged premises.

Donning suicide bomb jackets, the terrorists struck at the mosque in the pre-partition vintage upmarket Model Town locality and another in Garhi Shahu across the city within minutes of each other. While the former was cleared in about three hours, room-by-room search operations were on at the latter till evening and people were asked to remain indoors though the firing had stopped.

According to the District Coordination Officer of Lahore, Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, three suicide bombers detonated themselves inside the Garhi Shahu mosque as security personnel closed in. One suspected terrorist was reportedly caught alive by the police.

The Interior Minister later indicated that the Tehreek-e-Pakistan (the Taliban wing in the country) and organisations like the Lashkar-e-Jhanvi and Jaishe-e-Mohammad could be involved in the attacks.

The Minister also said the federal government had information about a possible terrorist strike in Lahore and had alerted the Punjab government accordingly twice this month

Eye-witnesses said the terrorists lobbed grenades as they entered the mosques and began shooting indiscriminately. Once the worshippers were held hostage and police reached the mosques, there was a steady exchange of fire as the two areas were cordoned off and the media kept at bay.

Before the area was cordoned off, some television channels got footage of terrorists firing at policemen from the minarets of the mosque in Garhi Shahu. Though the Ahmadi sect in Pakistan has been declared by law as a non-Muslim community, and are barred from calling their places of worship mosques and propagating their faith, a large congregation of the faithful had gathered at the mosques when they were attacked.

Secretary-general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) I.A. Rehman said the Model Town mosque had received threats over the past year.

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Jaya sticks with Amar, declines Mulayam offer

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: Amar Singh may be in political wilderness but his emotional pull with the Bachchans does not seem to have waned. Jaya Bachchan on Friday turned down the much-coveted RS berth offered to her by Mulayam Singh Yadav in a scantily disguised move to isolate Amar by driving a wedge between him and Bollywood\'s leading clan.

Jaya\'s decision, taken after Amar\'s visit to the Bachchans on Thursday, spared the expelled SP leader what could have been a huge embarrassment, and marked a rebuff to Mulayam. After Mulayam unleashed his shocker on Wednesday, the expelled SP leader seemed to bank on his friendship with Amitabh Bachchan to escape the loss of face. Jaya\'s decision shows that his confidence was not misplaced.

A red-faced SP boss tried to explain away the embarrassment by saying that Jaya turned down the option because of family commitments and that she was fully with the SP. \"Unhone kaha hai ki pariwarik karano se woh abhi rajneeti mein sakriya bhoomika nahin nibha payengi (She has said she will not be able to play an active role in politics owing to family reasons),\" Mulayam said.

The setback for Samajwadi leadership also confirmed that Mulayam and his advisors, in their eagerness to

isolate and humiliate Amar, had not bothered to even sound Jaya out when they announced her nomination. Clearly, they thought that given the scramble for a berth in the upper House, Jaya, an intensely political person, would find the offer irresistible.

They, however, miscalculated Amar\'s continued clout with the Bachchans.

A \"yes\" from Jaya would have dealt a devastating blow to Amar at a time when he is struggling to remain politically relevant.

Interestingly, Amar had appeared resigned to Jaya availing of Mulayam\'s calculated generosity. Unlike Jaya Prada, another Bollywood figure who owes her seat in Parliament to the Thakur from Azamgarh, Jaya seemed reluctant to break away from Samajwadi Party. Though she did turn out for some of the rallies organized by Amar after his expulsion from SP, her comments at an Azamgarh rally, calling Mulayam a \"father-like figure\" only seemed to confirm the fears of Amar\'s associates that she had begun to drift away.

SP also came to the same conclusion, with Mulayam differentiating Jaya B from Jaya P, and praising the former from public platform. That was also the reason why SP gave her the ticket.
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CBSE Chennai region scales a 20-year high

CHENNAI: On Friday, when the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declared the results of the All-India Secondary School Examination (class X), awarding grades to students instead of marks, it was time for a triple celebration for schools in the Chennai region.

First, the students were relieved of the tensions usually associated with the mark-based valuation system where a single mark can make or mar one's future . Second, students of the Chennai region, comprising the southern states, Maharashtra, Goa and the four union territories , scaled a 20-year high in overall success rate. Of the 1,16,927 candidates from the region who appeared in the AISSE, 96.18% were successful, enveloping last year's record of 95.6%. Add to this the fact that just a week ago, class XII students of the Chennai region set a 16-year record in overall pass percentage.

Incidentally, both the class X and class XII students of the region had set new records in pass percentage just last year, which has been erased now.

The CBSE has not classified students as "passed" , "failed" or "compartmental candidates " this year. "We are declaring a unique result where candidates who have secured grades D to A1 are declared as 'qualified' for higher studies and those with grades E1 and E2 are classified as 'EIOP' meaning they are eligible for improvement of performance," N Nagaraju, joint secretary, CBSE (Chennai region), said.

No failures in CBSE exams this year

CHENNAI: The CBSE has not classified students as "passed" , "failed" or "compartmental candidates" this year. Candidates who have secured grades D to A1 are declared as 'qualified ' for higher studies and those with grades E1 and E2 are classified as 'EIOP' meaning they are eligible for improvement of performance.

The EIOP candidates would be required to obtain a grade of D and above, utilising chances in July 2010, March 2011, July 2011, March 2012 and July 2012 to qualify for admission into class XI or for higher studies.

Nagaraju, joint secretary, CBSE (Chennai region), said students securing marks between 91 and 100 would be awarded 'A1', which entitles them to a grade point of 10. A student scoring between 33 and 40 marks will be awarded 'D' , with a grade point of 4.

While such grades and grade points are awarded for each subject, a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) will be calculated for each student by adding the grades of all five subjects and dividing it by 5. Once this figure is arrived at, an overall indicative percentage of marks will be calculated by multiplying the CGPA with 9.5 through a standard deviation method to enable preparing the merit list for admission in Class 11.

"We have already instructed all school principals on calculating the overall indicative CGPA," Nagaraju said.
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OU campus on the boil again

HYDERABAD: Osmania University campus remained tense on Friday as students took out rallies to protest Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's Odarpu yatra and the violence which ensued in Warangal. After a gap of four months, the campus once again reverberated with drum beats and slogans in support of a separate state.

The first spell of protests took off around 12 noon after OU Joint Action Committee) members called for a march against the Odarpu yatra and the violence in Mahbubabad station in Warangal district. Over 50 students marched to NCC Gate of OU campus and blackened the statue of Rajiv Gandhi to mark their protest against the Congress administration.

The students then marched to Tarnaka crossroads shouting slogans against Jagan and burnt his effigy.

However, though the protesters blocked both the main entrances of the university, they did not disturb the PG examinations which were going on at various colleges on campus.

Meanwhile, in a meeting held by the JAC members, the students called for a campus bandh on Saturday. "Neither classes nor examinations will be held on Saturday. We have also given a call to hold dharnas at the doorstep of all Congress party leaders in Hyderabad ," a JAC member said. He said there would be massive protests on campus on Saturday.

More statues of Congress party leaders would be damaged in protests that will commence from Saturday, they threatened. "We will demolish the statues of these party workers and replace them with statues of Telangana martyrs," protesters said. Women students of the university also held marches to the main gate and shouted slogans in support of the Telangana formation.

The sudden spurt of protests on campus have got several students worried about their academic future yet again. "The last phase of agitations had derailed the academic schedule of the university. We are worried that this would start affecting our future yet again," said a student from MBA department.

Students also feared that the campus placement process, which was likely to start from June 1, would be affected. Some of the students, however , maintained that the agitation might not last long as there are only a few T agitators on campus at present . "Most of them are on vacation. The agitation might not be severe this time,'' a student said.

The university authorities have asked all students to stay back in their hostels and not participate in the agitation .

OU exams postponed

Osmania University on Friday postponed MBA IVth semester examination scheduled for Saturday in view of the bandh call given by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). BCA IInd year (IInd semester) exams scheduled for the same day has also been postponed. "It is only a preventive measure. There is no change of the schedule of the remaining exams," said B S Rao, OU spokesperson. Officials said the revised dates will be put on the university's website. Meanwhile, tension on OU campus on Friday did not affect the post-graduate exams.

Eamcet on schedule

To address concerns of candidates appearing for Eamcet scheduled on May 30, officials assured on Friday that the exam will be conducted as per schedule. They said all arrangements have been for the exam.
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Canada apologizes for visa \'language\'

NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S M Krishna on Friday said the visa issue was a \"closed chapter\" after Canada apologized for the language used by its officials against Indian security and intelligence establishments. The move came after the home ministry threatened retaliatory measures if Canada did not backtrack from its stand.

Canada\'s minister of citizenship and immigration Jason Kenney said in a statement, \"The government of Canada... deeply regrets the recent incident in which letters drafted by public service officials during routine visa refusals to Indian nationals cast false aspersions on the legitimacy of work carried out by Indian defence and security institutions, which operate under the framework of democratic processes and the rule of law.\"

He added, \"Canada has the highest regard for India, its government institutions and processes.\"

The apology came after the PMO took up the matter with the ministry of external affairs. The Candian high commissioner met MEA\'s secretary (west) Vivek Katju in the backdrop of an outrage in India over adverse comments made by Canadian high commission officials against Indian armed forces and intelligence establishment while rejecting visas of some senior serving and retired officials.

Terming the incident as \"unfortunate\", Kenney said the \"language or the unaccurate impression it has created, in no way reflects the policy or position of the government of Canada\". He added that the admissibility policy was under review.

Reacting to the statement, India said its visa row with Canada was a \"closed chapter\". Asked if the visa process to Canada would henceforth be a smooth affair, foreign minister S M Krishna said Canada was governed by its own procedures. There would be no quarrel between the two countries and the issue was a closed chapter, he added.

\"We have received a copy of the statement made by Jason Kenny, Canadian minister for citizenship. He has expressed high regards for India. They have deeply regretted the recent letter drafted by low level officials on routine visa applications casting aspersions on security forces,\" Krishna said.

\"They told us that this language in no way reflects the policy or perceptions of Canada about India. I think they have realised their mistakes. We should consider the chapter closed,\" the minister added.

The Canadian high commission, over the last few years, has denied visas to a number of senior serving and retired officials of the armed forces and intelligence establishment, claiming that their organisations or they themselves had served in sensitive areas like Jammu and Kashmir and engaged in violence and human rights violations.

These adverse comments had triggered an outrage here, with the home ministry threatening retaliation if no corrective steps were taken by Canada within a week.

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Bengal train derailment: More bodies still trapped in debris

A day after at least 71 passengers were killed and 200 injured when 13 coaches of Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express derailed in West Bengal\'s West Midnapore district, the process of pulling out bodies trapped in coaches still on and many more are still trapped inside. The focus is on rescue, relief and on restoration work.

The incident occurred at 1:30 am on Friday when the train was running between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations, about 135 km from Kolkata.

The tragedy has been compounded by the fact that out of the 71 dead bodies, only 11 have been identified so far. It\'s hence been a long and traumatic wait for relatives of the victims and information from the railway\'s helpline is sketchy.

Scores of anxious relatives are waiting at the Kurla station in Mumbai, the train\'s final destination, for some news of their families.

They have been running from pillar to post trying to gather some information, hoping their loved ones are not among the dead or the injured. But it was only nine hours after tragedy struck that railway officials came up with a new tentative list.

Meanwhile, it is still not clear how the tracks went missing still. While Home Minister P Chidambaram says it\'s act of sabotage and no explosive material was found at the site but Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee says the Maoists triggered a blast.

This tragedy could impact lakhs of other passengers as well amidst reports that the Railways may stop running trains through Maoist-affected areas during the night.

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Vikram, Aishwarya on the sets of Raavan

One of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, Mani Ratnam\'s Raavan, is just a few weeks away from release. The music by A.R.Rahman has already become a rage and the promos of have created tremendous buzz. Yes... come June 18, and viewers can get a chance to experience the world of Raavan.

Raavan | Aishwarya | Hot N Spicy | Bollywood Video | Hot Celebrities | Raavan Synopsis

Buzz up!While the film primarily revolves around Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan and South superstar Vikram, there are also a host of prominent stars such as Govinda, Ravi Kishan, Priyamani and Nikhil Dwivedi who feature in important roles. While Govinda\'s character is similar to that of Hanuman in this modern-day interpretation of Ramayan, Nikhil Dwivedi happens to play Vikram\'s brother and Ash\'s brother in law in this film. So it may not be wrong to say that he would have taken some reference points from Lakshman\'s character in Ramayan.

However, how similar these characters are to the ones made immortal in the mythological drama is something which we will know only on June 18.
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I Hate Luv Storys doesn\'t mock Bollywood: Imran

He achieved heartthrob status with his debut in the hit romcom Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa and Imran Khan is returning to the genre with I Hate Luv Storys (IHLS), which he says is a parody of all things Bollywood.

Though Imran\'s new film pokes fun at the \"cheesy\" treatment given to love stories in Hindi cinema, the actor says that the film does not take a condescending look at Bollywood, instead the laughters come from the fact that everyone loves the much derided cliches.

\"IHLS is a self parody and we are not shying away from admitting that. See, the fact is that there is a tendency amongst a lot of people in the industry to say that the song and dance routine is passe. It is something that I have never understood,\" the actor told PTI.

The Karan Johar production, directed by debutante Punit Malhotra sees Imran pair up with Sonam Kapoor, who plays a die-hard filmi romantic.

If promos are any indication, the film makes an unabashed statement about the song, dance, mush and romance in Bollywood. But he is all for more song and dance in films, said the 27-year-old actor.

Infact, Imran is of the opinion that Bollywood does not need to be apologetic about it\'s song and dance routines and stick to it\'s entertainment value.

\"We are making films for the Indian industry so why not just make it the way everyone loves them? If we are making Hindi films with all the songs and dances then why be apologetic? We should be proud of what we are doing and only aspire to do something better. Let\'s work further on getting some more amazing music and amazing dance numbers but let\'s not do away with them please,\" he said.

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Big B flies economy, begins shoots

AHMEDABAD: Passengers aboard the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Bhuj were in for a pleasant surprise to find Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan as a co-passenger flying with his crew to this Gujarat district on the Indo-Pakistan border on Friday.

Secretary, Gujarat tourism, Vipul Mittra who went to Mumbai to receive Bachchan, brand ambassador for Gujarat , on his first round of shoots for a promotional film, offered to fly him on a chartered plane, which the actor refused and preferred to fly on a regular flight, economy class!

The flight (9W2533) landed in Bhuj at 2.50 pm, nearly half an hour late after which Bachchan headed straight to a farm house in Kukma village, seven kilometres from Bhuj. The farm house owner is Vimal l Gujral , a cargo dealer who was requested to host Bachchan, by the tourism department.

A couple of hours later he gave some still shots on a set created in the banquet hall of a hotel in Bhuj. Tourism officials said all the shoots have been scripted and conceptualised by Piyush Pandey, executive chairman & national creative director , Ogilvy & Mather India. Only Bachchan will feature in all these shots.

At the Bhuj airport when Bachchan, dressed in a plain white kurta-pyjama walked out, a huge crowd stood to greet him and he waved and shook hands with them.

Amitabh has a very hectic schedule ahead and will be shooting in Dordo , the White Rann of Kutch, named thus after the salt deposits, at 4 am on Saturday. He will also shoot at Vijayvilas palace in Mandvi. After sessions in Mandvi and Dholavira in Kutch, he will head for Gir.

Bachchan is here on a week-long tour for the promotional film under the title, 'Khushboo Gujarat ki' .
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Jai Ho... New York fans ready to pay $1,000 for AR Rahman concert

NEW YORK: Most international musicians barely get noticed in the bustling Big Apple, but AR Rahman is a show-stopper — and very profitable.

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Fans have paid prices of up to $1,000 (Rs47,000) for 11 concerts in North America between June 11 and July 5, which are already thought to be sold out.

Rahman's "Jai Ho — The Journey Home Tour" begins on June 11 at New York's fabled Nassau Coliseum where Pink Floyd performed during "The Wall Tour". More recently, Madonna held three performances of her "Blond Ambition World Tour" in the massive Nassau Coliseum.

"It's definitely an East-meets-West kind of show where there's technology and tradition. Just like AR's music, it breaks all borders," said the show's artistic director Amy Tinkham, who has run tours for Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey.

Two years after Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars, interest in all things Indian is still going strong. Rahman's Slumdog... soundtrack, which earned him two Academy Awards and two Grammys, has made him a recognisable name in America.

It also helps that Rahman is a prolific composer who has astaggering range. Americans find his music "easy listening" as it is brewed with an unerring feel for melody, swing and soul.

Ahead of his concert, Rahman who has been writing musical scores for Bollywood since the 1990s credited the film industry for his versatility.

"In America, they typecast a person — he is a good horror movie soundtrack composer or he is a good classical music composer. In India, the director expects everything from one person. That pushed me to compose different types of music — Indian and Western," Rahman told DNA on the sidelines of an event in the Asia Society.

For a musician who has won two Grammys, Rahman started out as an engineer who was clueless about the depth of his prodigious musical talent. "My first movie, I thought it was going to be my last movie," said Rahman. "So I wanted to do my best and then leave it."

For a man who was going to do his "best and then leave it" Rahman has come a long way. He has sold 150 million records and 200 million cassettes and is counted among the top 25 recording artists of all times. TIME magazine rated the soundtrack of Roja in the top 10 of their all-time best movie soundtracks of the world.

Financially the "Jai Ho..." tour is being run like a Swiss watch. Rahman will perform at massive venues in North America and Europe, but there will be one night per city instead of a run, so more places will be pumped up with enthusiasm and keen for Rahman souvenirs. Rahman snakes through America and Europe before ending at London's Wembley Stadium on July 25.

Rahman is putting on a three-hour concert that features Cirque du Soleil or circus acrobats, four troupes of dancers and a Mongolian contortionist who will demonstrate extreme Indian yoga. The show brings together flutists, cellists, tambura players, singers and musicians who have played with Lionel Richie and Fleetwood Mac.

"Rahman has captured the imagination of audiences of all demographics, both Indian as well as western. His music is multi-faceted. I don't think his Oscar-winning Jai Ho is his best work, but he certainly deserves an Oscar for the breadth and excitement of his musical talent," said Aroon Shivdasani, executive director of the Indo-American Arts Council, which is selling the concert's tickets.

"Regular tickets to Rahman's concert tour of the US are sold out. The only tickets remaining are those of high ticket value. I doubt there will be a single available seat at any of the actual concerts," she added.

Americans are buying into the East-meets-West spectacle. "Landing a Rahman concert ticket is a big deal," said attorney Gary Sherman, who has a ticket for Rahman's concert at the Patriot Center, in Washington.

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RPower buys RInfra assets

NEW DELHI: Reliance Power has acquired three power plants of group company Reliance Infrastructure, having a total generation capacity of 433 MW. The transfer value of assets is Rs 1095 crore, based on independent valuation by KPMG.

At present, Reliance Infrastructure operates 433 MW generation capacity — 220 MW at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh, 165 MW at Kochi in Kerala and 48 MW in Goa. So, Reliance Power will have over 1,000 MW operating capacity after thisacquisition and completion of 600 MW Phase I of Rosa Power Project in UP.

According to a statement, all three plants have significant potential for capacity expansion . While the Samalkot plant has been supplying power to AP Transco under a 15 year PPA, the Kochi plant has a similar agreement with Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). The Goa plant has been supplying power to the state government as well as various industrial consumers in Goa.

The committees of directors , as authorized by the respective boards of Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Power, on May 27, 2010, have approved the transfer of the power plants. These plants are held by subsidiaries of Reliance Infrastructure. The entire share capital of these subsidiaries will be transferred by Reliance Infrastructure to Reliance Power to bring entire generation portfolio under one roof.

Reliance Power, a part of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group is implementing power projects with capacity of over 35,000 MW in country.
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Trai, FCC to collaborate on broadband

NEW DELHI: Despite the challenges it has persistently posed, India\'s broadband goals need a light touch regulatory approach, not a heavy-handed one. This was the prescription offered by chairman of US telecom regulator FCC, Julius Genachowski . He was speaking at a conference on Broadband Investments & Innovation.

The Trai is preparing to release a consultation paper on India\'s broadband sector and the US, which is also combating similar challenges against 100% broadband adoption, has only recently implemented its national broadband policy.

There was consensus among senior industry leaders that voice telephony in India had blossomed because of minimal regulatory interference which allowed for better network management, pricing , outsourcing to lower costs and flexibility in building infrastructure. They agreed that a similar gentle regulatory approach must be followed in broadband as well.

Trai chairman J S Sarma and Genachowski both agreed that a wider consultation between the Trai and FCC on positive learnings in both countries would substantially assist policy development.

Genachowski is likely to engage with DoT secretary, P J Thomas, IT secretary, Chandrasekhar and Sarma on several other key bilateral and policy issues as well.

India\'s telecom story is a mixed bag of excellent performance in voice telephony and an extremely slow start for broadband penetration. According to the latest data, India has roughly 70 million internet users and less than 10 million broadband users. The government is worried about the future of broadband as it impacts India\'s information infrastructure and delivery of health, banking, and education over wireless and internet.

Genachowski said the US was equally concerned about the fact that 10% of its population had no access to wireless infrastructure while broadband adoption continued to be a weak 65% even where infrastructure exists. Genachowski warned that the costs of digital exclusion are rising as most job postings are only available online and applications are also only accepted digitally. Kiran Karnik, former Nasscom chief said India needs to replicate its success in voice telephony in broadband
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M&M to bid for Ssangyong

NEW DELHI: After scooping up electric carmaker Reva Electric , earlier this week, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M ) has now trained its eyes on beleaguered South Korean SUV maker Ssangyong Motor.

The Anand Mahindra-led company is understood to be among seven bidders that have submitted letters of intent to bid for Ssangyong. Faced with continued losses, the South Korean company has been witnessing a court-led restructuring since early last year. Others in the fray include tyre maker Dunlop\'s owner Pawan Kumar Ruia as well as Carlos Ghosn-led Renault.

\"We have no comment to make on the matter as of now,\" a spokesperson for M&M said, though industry sources confirmed that it has submitted a letter-of-intent .

A deal, if takes place, offers a lot of synergies to M&M . \"Mahindra gets a technological platform and access to newer markets, \" sources added. After losing out to the Tatas in the race for Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008, M&M has been active in the M&A space and has shown its keenness to take the acquisition route for growth. The company had in 2008 bought Kinetic Motors to enter the twowheeler market and early this week announced picking of a majority stake in Reva. Early this year, the company also announced that it will buy out Renault\'s stake in a domestic JV that makes the no-frills Logan sedan.

Meanwhile, the Ruia group confirmed it had submitted a letter of intent. \"We have been turning around sick companies in the past. Given our expertise in that, when this opportunity opened up in Korea, we decided to make a bid,\" a spokesman said.

A total of seven foreign and South Korean companies are believed to have submitted letters of intent for Ssangyong, 10% owned by China\'s SAIC Motor Corp. A Seoul court had kicked off the sale process for the cashstrapped company this month, and is set to receive binding bids by July 20 to pick a preferred buyer during August.

Ssangyong, which has just 2% of the Korean vehicle market, has suffered losses over the past two years and reported another net loss of 25.8 billion won in the first quarter. It aims to more than double sales this year to 85,000 vehicles and double it again to 183,000 cars by 2013 with new product launches such as the C200 SUV planned this summer, its first new model in two years, and by boosting sales in overseas markets such as Vietnam and Russia.

Buyout-Driven Growth

Total of seven foreign and South Korean companies, including M&M , Dunlop and Renault , are learnt to have submitted letters of intent A Seoul court had kicked off the sale process for Ssangyong, and is set to receive binding bids by July 20 to pick a preferred buyer during August A deal may offer a lot of synergies to Anand Mahindra-led M&M . "Mahindra gets a technological platform and access to newer markets," says a source
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IOC profit rises 246% in 2009-10

NEW DELHI: Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest oil firm, on Friday reported a 246% jump in net profit for 2009-10 fiscal and said it is considering reviving projects it had put on backburner due to cash crunch earlier.

Net profit stood at Rs 10,220.5 crore in 2009-10 fiscal against Rs 2,949.5 crore in the previous year, IOC chairman B M Bansal said.

"We are in a better position now and so we are re-examining projects in hand and prioritising them," he said. Facing cash crunch because of losses on being forced to sell fuel at price lower than imported cost, IOC had split the refinery-cum-petrochemical project at Paradip in Orissa. It decided to implement only the 15 million tonnes refinery at a cost of Rs 29,777 crore and deferred the petrochemical project.

"We had kept the petrochemical project on the hold. Now with better prices, we have to take a decision when we have to start the project again," Bansal said. The petrochemical project will cost Rs 22,300 crore.
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Obama steps up fight against oil spill

GRAND ISLE, Louisiana : President Barack Obama Friday stepped up the battle against a massive slick lapping the Gulf of Mexico coast, vowing never to abandon those imperiled by the worst US oil spill.

As BP pleaded for patience to allow time for its risky, complex \"top kill\" to work and plug the massive leak, Obama pledged \"to continue to do whatever it takes to help Americans whose livelihoods have been upended by the spill.\"

The US president, clad in hiking boots and with his sleeves rolled up, ordered the number of workers feverishly trying to contain and clean up the spill along the southern US coastline to be tripled.

He toured an oil-slicked Louisiana beach, picking up tar balls to examine them, as he outlined his administration\'s \"historic response\" to the disaster which has spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

His second trip to the region since an April 20 explosion tore through the Deepwater Horizon rig, 50 miles (80 kilometres) off shore, came as experts and residents hold their breath, hoping BP can stop the oil flowing from a fractured pipe.

Government scientists estimate some 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of crude a day have been gushing into the Gulf since the rig sank two days after the blast which killed 11 workers.

\"I think the key element here is to exercise patience,\" said BP\'s chief operating officer Doug Suttles, adding the operation would last another 24 to 48 hours.

The British energy giant is using robotic submarines to pump heavy drilling fluids down the wellhead, hoping to drown the leak long enough to allow engineers to then seal it with cement.

\"We\'ll have periods where we\'re pumping. We\'ll have periods where we\'re monitoring results of that pumping. We\'ll have periods where we actually pump in this, what we call junk,\" Suttles said, seeking to allay concerns over why BP had stopped the pumping several times since it began on Wednesday.

The disaster has already closed stretches of coastal fishing waters, endangering livelihoods which are also dependent on tourism, and threatening a catastrophe for Louisiana marshes, home to many rare species.

\"To the people of the Gulf Coast, I know you\'ve weathered your fair share of trials and tragedy,\" Obama said, in a reference to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina which triggered a botched response by the former Bush administration.

\"I\'m here to tell you that you\'re not alone. You will not be abandoned. You will not be left behind,\" Obama vowed. \"We are on your side and we will see this through.\"

He said 20,000 people had already been deployed to contain and clean up the spill, but that he had ordered Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and US Coast Guard chief Admiral Thad Allen to \"triple the manpower in places where oil has hit the shore or is within 24 hours of impact.\"

Allen, who has been charged with overseeing the government\'s response, said initial signs suggested BP\'s \"top kill\" was succeeding.

\"They have been able to push the hydrocarbons down with the mud. The real challenge is to put enough into the well to keep the pressure where they can put a cement plug over the top,\" he said on ABC\'s \"Good Morning America.\"

Government data released Thursday would mean between 18.6 million gallons and 29.5 million gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf -- far more than the roughly 11 million gallons of crude spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.

Amid the environmental catastrophe, there were also growing fears for the health of cleanup workers exposed to the oil and chemical dispersants.

Two more crewmen aboard ships helping burn off surface oil were evacuated to hospital late Friday after falling ill, a day after the US Coast Guard announced that seven workers were evacuated for medical emergencies.

Obama said three million feet (910,000 metres) of hard boom had already been deployed in an effort to stop the oil spill reaching wetlands and beaches. But he admitted \"there\'s a limited amount\" available.

\"We\'re going to try to get more boom manufactured, but that may take some time,\" he said.

The commander of a federal research ship who has spent five days out at sea on the edges of the slick said a heavy smell of oil hung over the area.

\"It\'s a strong smell out there,\" said commander Shepard Smith of the Thomas Jefferson, a 204-foot survey vessel. \"It smells like freshly creosoted railroad ties.\"

BP said Friday the oil spill had cost the firm about US$930 million, while the company\'s market value has also dropped by billions. - AFP/jy

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Punjab Agricultural University has inspired many poets to compose poetry on nature, agriculture and social issues. This was stated by the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, while releasing an anthology of Hindi poems entitled \"Anubhuti Manjusha\" authored by Mrs. Pushpa Srivastava \'Rashmi\'. Dr. Kang said that some of the poems have been written with utter sensitivity towards the contemporary happenings in Punjab. One of the poems \"Punjab Ek Jwalant Prashan\" (Punjab a Burning Question) describes the age-old traditions of Punjabi way of life encompassing fraternity and peaceful co-existence. Dr. Kang himself translated and transliterated the poem in Punjabi. A poster of the translated and transliterated version of the poem was presented to the poetess. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Srivastava said that she composed poems based on the happenings taking place in the society and her experience. She shared her reminiscences of the cultural and literary environment at PAU and remembered Prof. Mohan Singh, Krishan Adib, Ajaib Chitarkar and Dr. Satinder Bajaj. She said that she is carrying the sweet memories of her times spent at PAU. Her husband, Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Director General of AMITY University a former Professor of Botany at PAU was also present. Dr. Kang honored Mrs. Srivastava with a memento of Punjab Agricultural University. She recited some of her poems. The Additional Director Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman shared the content and style of poetry composed by Mrs. Srivastava. He said that the poetry will be translated in Punjabi for the benefit of Punjabi readers. Mr. Gurbhajan Gill, Editor (Punjabi) and a Punjabi poet was also present who shared his poems about the human values. Dr. Srivastava thanked the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Kang and others present on the occasion.
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A three day training programme on 'Gene and Protein Sequence Analysis: Applications in Agriculture' for agricultural scientists was organized by the Bioinformatics Centre of PAU at School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SAB) under a DBT funded project 'Sub-distributed Information Center in Bioinformatics'. The Sub-distributed Center is a part of national Biotechnology Information System (BTIS) Network consisting of 143 centres. Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice Chancellor, PAU, in his presidential address, shared that before the era of bioinformatics, only two ways of performing biological experiments were available: within a living organism (in vivo) or in an artificial environment (in vitro). Bioinformatics is the third way of performing biology i.e. in silico, he said. Dr. Kang emphasized the importance of Bioinformatics in crop improvement for developing biotic and abiotic stress tolerant and nutritionally improved crop varieties. Dr Kang congratulated the scientists of the PAU for successfully introducing the subject to the faculty and students and the trainees for acquiring the practical information on the subject and wished them to apply the knowledge in their scientific pursuits to make their research more output oriented. Dr Kang also distributed certificates to the trainees.

According to Dr (Mrs) Parveen Chhuneja, 33 scientists from 10 different departments of PAU acquired this training which involved 8 lectures and equal number of demonstrations and hands-on practicals she said that the Bioinformatics Centre has so far organized eight trainings for the scientists of the various universities.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director, SAB said that the Bioinformatics has become important field with exponential growth in DNA and protein sequence data and has evolved as a full-fledged multidisciplinary subject that integrates information and computer technology as applied to Biotechnology and Biological Sciences. The function ended with vote of thanks by Dr G.S. Miglani, Adjunct Professor at SAB.
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LUDHIANA, MAY 28:-----

In view of the prevailing high temperature conditions, reports of drying of young cotton plants have been received from different places in the state. This was stated by Dr. M.S.Gill, Incharge Cotton Section, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. He said that in sandy soils, strong winds can also cause injury to young cotton plants. To protect the crop, the farmers have been advised to apply irrigation to cotton fields.
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Students of G.N.International Sen.Sec. Public School, Model Town, have excelled in CBSE X examinations.

23 students have scored the highest grade point i.e. above 9.0 grade point.

Mandeep Singh topped the school with 9.8 grade point & scoring A1 grade in all subjects & A2 in Punjabi.

Harmanpreet Singh is II with 9.6 grade point.

Seven students Gurleen Kaur, Ancy Rao, Gurpreet Singh, Ayushpreet Singh, Harjot Singh, Harpreet Singh Kathpal, Navpreet Kaur, Prabhjot Singh have scored a high grade of 9.4 points.

Social Science subject has highest A grades i.e. 51 students. 42 students in Science & Math have scored A grades.

Management, Director and Principal Mrs.Gurmant Kaur Gill congratulated the students and teachers concerned.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Punjab & Sind Bank likely to get IAS head

Unable to find a senior Sikh banker to replace G S Vedi at Punjab & Sind Bank, the finance ministry has begun the search for an IAS officer to be appointed as the Delhi-headquartered bank's chairman & managing director.

Vedi is due to retire at June-end and, unlike other public sector banks where the top job is falling vacant this year, no candidate has been shortlisted for the bank's top job.

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Traditionally, the bank has had a Sikh as chairman and managing director and, in the absence of a banker, the job has gone to an administrative service officer. R P Singh, who is at present secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion, was Vedi's predecessor. Singh was, however, appointed as the government wanted an outsider to run the bank that had run up a pile of bad debt and was unable to modernise.

In the absence of a Sikh executive director with at least two years of service left, the government was toying with the idea of appointing a non-Sikh banker. But, the move was opposed by the community, prompting the government to settle for a candidate from the bureaucratic community.

Punjab & Sind Bank, the only unlisted public sector bank in the country, has received the Reserve Bank of India's approval for an initial public offer. The bank's management has indicated it intended to hit the capital market in June-July for raising around Rs 500 crore. Post-IPO, the government holding will come down to 82 per cent.

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Rs 9 billion Bank of Punjab loan scam: SC directs formation of investigation team

ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday directed the constitution of an investigation team, headed by former FIA director general and current Anti-Narcotics Division Secretary Tariq Khosa, to probe criminal cases in the Rs 9-billion Bank of Punjab loan scam and issue a notification in this regard today (Thursday).

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday issued the directives while examining progress into the scam case.

"We direct the NAB chairman to send a requisition to the establishment secretary to appoint a head of the investigation team to probe criminal cases in the BoP case and the authority is required to issue a notification today for the appointment of Tariq Khosa to this post in addition to his duties as the anti-narcotics division secretary," the court observed.

It said the NAB chairman, after issuing a notification for appointment of Tariq Khosa, should meet him and other investigating officers. It also asked Khosa to investigate the case in consultation with the NAB chairman.

"If Tariq Khosa feels necessary to acquire services of any other officer, he can request the NAB chairman," the court order said. The court also directed the investigation team to submit its progress report in the next hearing on June 11.

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